Vermont Business Magazine On April 1, Daniel Franklin will officially become executive director of North Central Vermont Recovery Center. Franklin started at NCVRC in March of 2018 as the operations manager, and was promoted to assistant director in September. In a little more than a year, Franklin has been a driving force in a significant expansion of the recovery center’s services and programs by adding health and wellness offerings, a music program, more groups and workshops, and harm reduction services provided by Vermont Cares.
Perhaps most notably, with Franklin as manager of the recovery coaching team since April 2018, NCVRC more than doubled its number of peer recovery coaches and grew the number of people served by coaches from 283 in 2017 to 438 in 2018. NCVRC then parlayed the success of its recovery coaching program by receiving a large grant to offer 24/7 recovery coaching services at Copley Hospital starting in February 2019 to better serve patients with substance use disorders seeking medical care at Copley.
Franklin is a native of Guilford, Vermont. He excelled at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Massachusetts, Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and Utah State University for graduate school before moving back to Vermont in 2013. After living in Chittenden County and Washington County working mainly for toxicology laboratories for several years, Franklin and his fiancé, wildlife artist, author, and entrepreneur Corrina Thurston, moved to Hyde Park in June. They are excited to settle down in Lamoille County long-term.
Franklin brings nearly seventeen years of public service and human services experience to his new role, including four years working with victims of domestic violence, years working with impoverished and disadvantaged youth, service to refugees of foreign wars, and devoted service to Relay for Life in honor of loved ones lost to cancer.
Of course, working with people with substance use disorders and in recovery has always been important to Franklin, as addiction has affected his family and friends throughout his life. Prior to coming to NCVRC, in what proved to be a somewhat brief but life-changing experience, Franklin served on the board of the Turning Point Center of Chittenden County.
Along with other accolades he’s received as an academic, as an athlete, and for community service, Franklin was named a Vermont Business Magazine Rising Star in 2017, an award given to forty people under the age of 40 in recognition of their “vision, passion, leadership, and contributions to the future of Vermont.”
These traits, it turns out, are part of why Franklin was chosen to be the next executive director following Stefani Capizzi’s years of transformational leadership.
In the words of NCVRC board member and secretary Rick Barnett, “Daniel has already earned his stripes ten times over. Not enough can be said about his level-headedness, his visionary thinking, and his take-action approach. He gets stuff done.” Board president Michelle Legere echoed that sentiment, saying “Daniel is the ‘real deal’ in his passion and dedication to helping people who suffer from addiction, as well as the people who care about them. Daniel is forward-thinking and looks at the big picture but is also able to address all of the details that will help services move forward. Daniel is kind and caring. He truly cares about every visitor, every staff member, every volunteer, and every coach that walks into the center and will do whatever it takes to make sure people feel welcome and safe when they are dealing with NCVRC.”
Stefani Capizzi, whose hope it was to find her successor and leave the center in good hands when the time was right, offers perhaps the most resounding endorsement for the person inheriting her remarkable legacy by saying “Daniel has proven to be a very talented, intelligent, determined, compassionate, innovative person with many skills. Some of his most prominent strengths to me are in the areas of research, communication, advocacy, and forward thinking. I have complete confidence in his ability to take over the role as executive director for NCVRC.”
April 1 is a landmark day for NCVRC and its staff in other ways as well. Geoff Butler, who has been overseeing the Emergency Department Recovery Coaching Program at Copley and supervising its coaches, will become the manager of the recovery coaching program as a whole. Butler has, Franklin says, “quickly become an invaluable, widely-respected core team member at NCVRC and in Vermont’s recovery community.”
As for Stefani Capizzi, she’s not leaving NCVRC or the area quite yet. Capizzi will serve as the development director at NCVRC until October 1. Capizzi will focus her efforts on “helping to create a solid plan for future sustainability for NCVRC through grant-writing and enhanced engagement in the community.” Additionally, she says, “I will launch an arts program for people in recovery and support Daniel in the transition into his role as Executive Director.”
Of her long-term future Capizzi, who is also a professional musician, says, “I plan on leaving Vermont in October. I am going to be traveling in the U.S., discovering, playing music, and visiting friends and relatives. I have been in this role for close to seven years, worked as a nurse for ten years before that, and homeschooled my children for six years before that. It is time for me to step away and find my next adventure. I plan to return in the summers because my children and grandchildren live here, and I love Vermont summers!”
Capizzi is proudest of “growing Lamoille County’s recovery center into a thriving, well-respected place where people find healing, safety, and recovery.” Michelle Legere says that “through Stefani’s guidance, NCVRC has grown into a vibrant center that is a trusted resource for our community. She is a living example of what is possible in recovery. Stefani's leadership, integrity, and endurance through difficult times and decisions brought us here.”
“It is hard to describe the ‘specialness’ and magic of NCVRC. It is a warm, welcoming, connecting, safe place with a beautiful team of individuals in recovery providing unprecedented supports for people in recovery and their loved ones. Often people in their most desperate state of mind reach out to us via phone or walk through our doors and are lifted up and given the gift of hope and the example of others who have done it before them,” Capizzi says.
“This is a critical time in our organization’s history. Our innovative, holistic programs and services and the community’s belief in us have placed us in a position to help more people than ever before. We certainly still need increased funding to keep and grow our staff so we can provide dynamic supports and services that are so vital to our county and to realize our ambitious vision.”
As of April 1, NCVRC will have one full-time and four part-time staff members, four on-call per diem emergency department recovery coaches, and twenty peer recovery coaches, while also relying on more than twenty volunteers and the five current members of the board of directors.
So Capizzi will continue to devote her efforts to enable NCVRC to have an even brighter and more prosperous future. Because, as Rick Barnett beautifully summarizes it, “We are committed to growing and helping as many people as possible to find hope, health, stability, and long-term recovery.”
North Central Vermont Recovery Center is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing an upbeat, welcoming, safe, and substance-free environment for individuals and families on their paths to lasting recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
Source: Vermont Business Magazine 3.24.2019 www.ncvrc.com