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Staff

Susan Dudley Gold, Executive Director

Susan Dudley Gold developed the Vet to Vet program as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer at Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) in 2014. She served as SMAA’s coordinator of Vet to Vet for four years, leaving in June 2018 to volunteer her services as executive director of Vet to Vet Maine and assist in the program’s transition from SMAA to its own independent nonprofit. She receives inspiration from her father’s best friend, who lost his legs when he stepped on a mine during World War II and went on to help other veterans, and from the many wonderful Vet to Vet veterans whose own stories inspire and motivate. A graphic designer, publisher, and author of more than 60 books for high school and middle school students, Susan won the Jefferson Award in 2001 for founding and facilitating a chronic pain support group. She continues to volunteer with the University of New England in its pain initiative and as a speaker at conferences and medical education seminars.

Susan can be reached via email at sgold@vet2vetmaine.org or by phone at 207-579-9204.

Judie Alessi O’Malley, Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator

Judie Alessi O’Malley spent most of her career telling the stories of University of Southern Maine students, faculty and staff in USM’s Office of Public Affairs. While there, she enjoyed interacting with local and national reporters, but her joy was mentoring the many interns who worked in the office, many of whom now have successful careers in public relations themselves. Following her departure from USM, she served as a Resource Coordinator for 2-1-1 Maine at the Opportunity Alliance, and then Volunteer Coordinator at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, where she came to know some of Vet to Vet Maine’s volunteers. Her interaction with V2V volunteers brings the same joy she experienced while mentoring her USM interns. Judie’s Dad was a WWII Army veteran who served in Europe. She was inspired by a V2V Memorial Day Celebration to visit Husinec in the Prachatice District of the Czech Republic in 2019, where her Dad spent some time with local residents during his service.

Judie can be reached via email at director@vet2vetmaine.org or by phone at 207-579-4024.

Melissa Laverdiere, Volunteer Coordinator

Melissa Laverdiere started out as a volunteer peer companion for Vet2Vet Maine and has since become our Volunteer Coordinator. She grew up in Maine and served in the US Navy, Naval Reserves, and the Maine Army National Guard. Helping out veterans has always been a passion for her as several of her family members have served or are currently serving in the military, including her husband, Jake, who is retired.

Melissa and her husband have a small business that has been in operation since 1998. She has two children and a granddaughter. She loves to spend time at her lake house with family and work on her genealogy. It was through her research that she was able to become a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She has also volunteered for Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery and was privileged to lay the wreath on her uncle’s grave at Connecticut Veterans Cemetery. Melissa and her family plan on continuing the tradition.

Melissa shares the same vision as Vet2Vet and is working hard to see this program grow and help as many veterans as possible.

Melissa can be reached via email at volunteer@vet2vetmaine.org or by phone at 207-579-4017