Suzie Walker’s professional passions inspired her to join the Faces & Voices of Recovery team. Suzie first pursued a publishing career, finding her way to the textbook development field. Suzie is highly curious and enjoys learning new things, so getting to develop lessons, tests, and books for learners from grade school to college was truly satisfying! Then, through a series of coincidences, and some more curiosity, she found her way to the peer recovery world. Suzie, who describes herself as an accidental nonprofit director, served as executive director of the Turning Point of Windham County recovery center in Vermont. After joining Turning Point’s board of directors, she became captivated by the work of supporting people seeking or maintaining recovery from substance use disorder. Her own long-term recovery, and her family’s recovery, gave her a deep sense of kinship with the center’s mission. A temporary role as interim director led to 14 years of deep involvement in Vermont’s peer-recovery community. Suzie became a recovery coach and was a leader in statewide recovery related initiatives, including advocating at the State House, speaking with the media, and developing and documenting training and other materials to bolster peer work.
Both of Suzie’s careers led to her current role as a Curriculum Development Specialist for Faces & Voices of Recovery, where she is focused on the development needs of peer-recovery specialists and leaders. Suzie is eager to develop materials for the growing, essential, and specialized peer-recovery workforce. As a peer-recovery leader, Suzie made training and development a priority in supporting staff, and she led colleague directors in identifying and developing training programs, many with collaborative partners. Sharing training experiences promotes understanding and collaboration in helping our communities heal. A training program on supporting people who live with the impact of past trauma, for instance, is much more impactful when recovery coaches attend alongside first responders, case managers, nurses, and counselors, as well as neighbors and coworkers. Expanding awareness and nurturing relationships this way helps us all better advocate for and support people living with substance use disorder.
Suzie enjoys traveling, especially to Texas (Go, Horned Frogs!), hiking, quilting, reading, and spending time with the people dear to her-and her goofy cats! She also serves on the board of directors for the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, a museum deeply connected with the community and its needs.