Meet Our Staff & Board

Peter Espenshade

 

PRESIDENT & CEO

Peter Espenshade (he, him, his)  is super proud of his long-term recovery and has been the president of Recovery Vermont and VAMHAR since 2013.  Prior to his work here, Peter worked in philanthropy as a VP at the Vermont Community Foundation and as the Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Land Trust.  He is an active supporter of the arts and currently serves on the board of the Vermont Shakespeare Festival.

Melissa Story

 

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO)

Melissa (she, her, hers) is a person in recovery and you will find her shouting this from the rooftops! Melissa first discovered Recovery Vermont when she attended the Vermont Recovery Coach Academy in 2017.  For years prior to the Academy, Melissa had her own business as a Wellness Coach, specializing in disordered eating. She felt called to change the course of her career after witnessing the power of Recovery Coaching. Today, Melissa wears many hats in her role at Recovery Vermont including overseeing the Certification process, connecting Recovery Coaches to opportunities, and operations for the Academy. She has a personal mission to end the stigma around substance abuse, and is always looking for like-minded people to collaborate with on outreach and awareness projects.   

Danielle Sessler

 

VICE PRESIDENT, Communications

Danielle (she, her, hers) is thrilled to be working with Recovery Vermont. You’ll find her doing a lot of behind the scenes action: designing the website, sending out newsletters, and posting on our social channels. Danielle comes from a background of marketing and working alongside mission-driven nonprofits. She moved to Vermont from New York City in 2017, where she worked in video production, producing commercials and social videos. Danielle is inspired by her work with Recovery Vermont and feels honored to help get the message out about the power of recovery to Vermonters. 

Lisa Lord

 

Director of Workforce Programs

Lisa Lord (she, her, hers) is the Director of Workforce Programs at Recovery Vermont.  Her work is focused on creating a state-wide network of Recovery Friendly Workplaces and supporting Vermont’s Recovery Coaches and the life-changing work they do as they gain and maintain their nationally and internationally reciprocal certification.  She is inspired daily by the transformative nature of recovery and how transferable the skills learned through a recovery journey are to the workplace – and she looks forward to the day that there is no longer SUD-related stigma. 

Vini Emery

 

Program Manager: Recovery Coaches in the EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

Vini (they, them, theirs) is the Program Manager for the Recovery Coaches in the Emergency Department.  They have 17 years’ experience working with a variety of communities such as pregnant and parenting teenagers, people experience homelessness, people with disabilities, and children and families.  Vini also brings experience working in mental health (both as a peer and as a support person) and as a housing specialist.  Vini has many years of volunteer work with Social Justice movements that address Race, Class, Disability, Immigration, Gender, and Sexuality. Vini strives for equity, accessibility, and respect in the work they do.  Vini is a family member to several people with Substance Use Disorder, and is honored to be part of the wonderful recovery community in Vermont.
 
 

Brittany Karkut

 

Prevention and Education Coordinator

Brittany’s (she, her, hers) main priority at VAMHAR is overseeing the Vermont Alcohol and Drug Information Clearinghouse (VADIC). Before becoming a staff member in the spring of 2015, Brittany served on our Board of Directors. Brittany has a strong background in event coordination and represents our organization on various planning committees throughout the year.  Originally from Gloucester, Massachusetts, Brittany moved up to Vermont to attend Champlain College. She earned her B.S. in Mass Communications in 2011. She currently lives on the edge of the Green Mountain National forest with her husband, Matt, and two cats, Bongo and Bramble. 
 
 

Jeff Moreau

 

Executive Director of Vtarr

Jeff Moreau (he, him, his) is the Founding Executive Director of the Vermont Alliance for Recovery Residences (VTARR).  VTARR is committed to supporting those in recovery from Substance Use Disorders by improving access to Recovery Residences though established standards, a fair and transparent certification process, education, technical assistance, research, and advocacy.  Jeff is also a surveyor and consultant for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) an international accreditation body for health related organization.  As a Certified Fundraising Executive with graduate level education in public administration, Jeff brings over 25 years of experience leading non-profit organizations, developing resources and measuring quality service delivery.

Trista Ringer

 

DirEctor of Camp DayBreak

Trista Ringer (she, her, hers) is the Director of Camp Daybreak, a residential summer camp for Vermont kids ages 8-11 with a range of social, emotional and behavioral needs. Trista’s involvement with Camp Daybreak started in 2005, as a high school age volunteer. She climbed the ladder, holding various positions including Big Sibling, Counselor, Rec. Director, and Consultant of Family C. When Trista is not dressing up like a pirate at camp, she can be found behind her sewing machine and is active within the local (modern) quilting community. Trista and her partner also run a small farm on their little slice of earth with the help of their two dogs, Mulligan and Tullamore. 

 

2021 Board of Trustees

 Catherine Kalkstein, MSW, Chair

William Keithcart, MA, LADC

John Pierce, Dept of Mental Health (ret.)

Katie Whitaker, RN, CRC, CADT

Ted Tighe, PhD

Mary Donnelly, Prevention Consultant

Gary Miller, Writers for Recovery

Aimee Marti, Aspenti Health

CONTACT US

Recovery Vermont
A program of VAMHAR
100 State Street, Suite 352

Montpelier, VT 05602