NEWPORT — Mary Butler recently joined the board of directors for the Orleans County Restorative Justice Center (OCRJ) in Newport.
Butler has been in Vermont for nine years after 30 plus years in hospital administration.
“My experience taught me about how important listening is to leadership, making sure you understand,” Butler said, pointing out that this is important to the idea of Restorative Justice. “As a hospital administrator, I liked to say, ‘we aren’t calling these things problems. They’re unsolved opportunities.’”
She saw opportunity shortly after she joined the board when she sat in on a Restorative Panel meeting at OCRJ one day.
“There was a great deal of compassionate leadership and good boundaries and creative ideas,” Butler explained. “I saw a person being helped on his journey of restitution. He was given hope to go on and not have his past actions ruin his life.”
Butler jumped into community service soon after landing in the Northeast Kingdom, co-founding the Out of the Darkness Walk for suicide prevention/awareness, facilitating a support group for survivors of suicide and serving on the board for the Vermont Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
She is also chair of the Age-Friendly Advisory Council in the Newport area.
Of course, all work and no play wouldn’t be a wise balance. Butler stepped gamely into social activities in the area such as the Northeast Kingdom Quilters when she isn’t writing, gardening, reading, or adventuring with her husband.
“Mary is a great addition to an already talented and caring board,” Barbara Morrow, OCRJ Executive Director said. “She brings a wealth of organizing and high-level administrative experience, understands the mission, and jumps in with wise counsel. Our board members are highly valued contributors to the community.”