Andrew is a native of Bellows Falls, a VFOR co-founder, and VFOR’s Director of Operations. He is also a person in recovery since May 24, 2003. Andrew’s life has been shaped largely by his experience as an inmate with the Vermont Department of Corrections from 2005-2008. Andrew is the rare individual who was able to turn a period of incarceration into a truly positive, life-changing experience. While incarcerated, Andrew stayed sober, received an education, and through many months of soul-searching, determined that he would commit his life to providing people in recovery with safe and sober places to live. Since, his release in 2008, Andrew has done just that, managing sober houses throughout Northern Vermont. Andrew has received formal training in sober house operations, recovery coaching, Cognitive Self Change, and 16 Habits of Mind. His smiling face is seemingly omnipresent throughout the recovery community in Vermont and beyond, and his commitment to service is widely recognized and admired. VFOR is the manifestation of Andrew’s dreams, and he is excited to commit his life to developing a vibrant network of Recovery Homes.
David is one of VFOR’s co-founders and currently serves as VFOR’s Executive Director. David is a native of Waterbury and a graduate of Harwood Union High School. He is currently employed as a Supervisor with JetBlue Airways in Burlington. David is also a person in recovery since January, 2007. Since that time, David has been heavily involved in the recovery community. He is often asked to speak at 12 Step meetings and conferences, and has conducted weekend seminars on 12 Step literature. David became involved in sober housing in 2008, when he began renting his own home to other recovering alcoholics and addicts. David realized that there is a great need for safe, transparent, well-managed, sober housing throughout Vermont, and hopes to make providing this service his life’s work.
Shannon was born and raised in the little town of Essex, Vermont. She is a currently the house manager for the women’s house in South Burlington. Shannon has been sober since March 20th, 2013 and actively works within a 12 step program. While she finishes her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, she also volunteers her time to the Northern Vermont University Recovery Program on Johnson campus. In her spare time, she enjoys dance, travel and taking long walks on the beach.
Mike is the house manager for the Essex and St. Albans VFOR houses. He was born and raised in Burlington, VT, and is an active member of the 12 step/recovery community. Mike has been clean and sober since November 11th 2008. Since becoming sober and finding a new lease on life he has been able to overcome obstacles that prevented him from living a happy, joyous, and free life. His goal is to be available to any VFOR members who are struggling with early sobriety and give them encouragement and positive solutions. Mike is passionate about the wilderness, also works as a local Vermont Fly Fishing Guide. He enjoys playing soccer, hockey, and is a live music fanatic who travels around to see his favorite Vermont band as much as he can.
Harley is the house manager of the Saint Albans VFOR houses; also currently living in the transitional house. Harley has been a member of VFOR since February 2017. He was born in Burlington, VT, and is an active member of the 12 step/recovery community. Harley has been clean and sober since February 12th, 2017. Harley also works for Franklin Grand Isle restorative justice center as the transitional housing specialist. Harley is passionate about service to others and helping his community. He also enjoys cooking, writing, and making music.
Board of Directors
Anne is originally from Chittenden County and moved to Central Vermont 23 years ago. She currently lives in Duxbury with her husband, two sons, and dog, Brady. She attended Essex Junction High School and is recent graduate of Northern Vermont University with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Management. Over the years, Anne has served her community by holding numerous positions on non-profit boards and holding elected office. She believes in the idea, “it takes a village”. Currently, she is filling an Interim position as Central Vermont Regional Coordinator for Building Bright Futures. Anne has been with VFOR since 2016 and stepped into the role of president in 2018. Having been sober since 1997, Anne understands the importance of a supportive, clean environment as a person transitions into a sober life from the ravages of addiction. She is excited to be a part of this amazing team of dedicated people who are passionate about sobriety and dedicated to making a difference for those who are still suffering.
Melissa is a native of Waterbury, VFOR’s Past President of the Board, and a 1992 graduate of the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Education and Early Childhood Development. She has also received a M.S. in Education and Early Childhood Leadership from Bank Street College of Education in New York, NY. Melissa has been the Executive Director of the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children since 2006, and she teaches regularly at both Champlain College and the Community College of Vermont. Melissa’s passion for sober housing—and for the recovery community generally—stems from the effect she has seen it have on her brother, David. As Melissa puts it, the positive effects of sober housing and peer support of the recovery community, “gave me my brother back.” Melissa is involved in VFOR with the hope that she may help give other families the gift of their loved ones becoming healthy.
Lisa was raised in Barre VT and graduated from Spaulding High School in 1983. She also attended and graduated from Champlain College. Lisa has owned and operated a successful business in Stowe VT for 25 years. She has been clean and sober since 2007 and dedicates a lot of time to 12 Step service. From 2013-2017 she worked as operations manager at North Central Vermont Recovery Ctr. During this period Lisa worked directly with folks in or seeking recovery from drugs and alcohol on a daily basis. Hobbies include baking, fishing, hiking, and especially spending time with family! Lisa is serving as the Secretary of VFOR’s Board of Directors.
Ron is the Community Relations Coordinator at Dominion Diagnostics. He has two advanced degrees; Master of Science in Administration from St. Michael’s College, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Vermont. He is also an Apprentice Addiction Professional. In his role at Dominion, Ron is tasked with developing innovative vision, strategy and outreach programs that positively impact patients, providers and the broader continuum of care ecosystem. He believes very strongly that an essential part of successful recovery is safe and supportive sober housing without delay after inpatient treatment and support. Without this scaffolding, individuals may have no choice but to return to an environment which quite possibly might short circuit their journey of recovery. He feels VFOR is an effective deterrent to relapse and a pathway to a healthy and happy life.
In 2017 Karen moved to Vermont from Denver, Colorado where she lived for 22 years. Karen grew up in Highland, New York and attended Binghamton University graduating in 1994 with a BS in Computer Science. Karen has had a 25 year career in Application Support at a few different large corporations. She had been volunteering for a weekday lunch and food basket program in Colorado called Friends of Saint Andrew. Karen has been sober since December of 2014 and is truly enjoying a great life in Central Vermont. Her hobbies include golf, cooking and a new love kayaking.
Board Activity, Agendas, Minutes, and Tax Forms are available upon request by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org