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.
Judie Alessi O’Malley, Program Director
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.