March 23, 2015 | News

Burlington Labs co-founder receives award for recovery work

On Friday, Burlington Labs CEO and co-founder Michael Casarico was presented with one of Vermont’s top honors for work supporting addiction recovery. Casarico accepted the 2015 Jack Barry Award at a ceremony at the annual Recovery Day at the Vermont Statehouse.

The award, named in honor of legendary Vermont broadcaster Jack Barry, is presented annually by Friends of Recovery-Vermont to an individual or group who has effectively communicated about the value of long-term recovery from addiction and mental health conditions. Recovery was a center of Jack Barry's life and a focus of his personal and public service.

According to Amanda Fulmer, Acting Director of Friends of Recovery, Casarico received the most nominations from Vermonters active in the recovery community. “When the votes came in, Michael was the clear winner because he has done such a wonderful job communicating about the issues of addiction and demonstrating the beauty of recovery.”

Casarico was quick to share credit. “This is very humbling for me because I know there are so many others out there who are also very deserving of this award,” he said. “I’m blessed to have such an amazing team of people working at Burlington Labs. They have all supported my dream – starting with my co-founder, Jodie Casarico, whose partnership has been essential to our success, and continuing with each of our 135 employees now spread across 7 states. All of their dedication and hard work makes it possible for Burlington Labs to contribute in the ways we do toward improving the lives of people in recovery.”

michael receiving award

Michael Casarico accepts the Jack Barry Award from VAMHAR Executive Director Peter Espenshade, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and Suzie Walker of Brattleboro.


“One of the things that attracted me to work with Michael was his incredible passion to help people,” said Mickey Wiles, Chief Financial Officer at Burlington Labs. “From advocacy, to donations, to hiring people in recovery, we’ve done a lot of things under his leadership that a typical company doesn’t do.”

Burlington Labs is a clinical drug testing laboratory, founded by Michael and Jodie Casarico in 2006 to bring more compassionate, faster-turnaround, higher-quality drug testing services to the recovery community. Burlington Labs is committed to giving back at least 10% of pre-tax profits every year to the communities served, which now extend far beyond Vermont’s borders. Since its first year, Burlington Labs has given more than $450,000 to causes supporting personal growth and healthy communities.

Friends of Recovery-Vermont is a statewide organization that promotes public awareness and understanding of alcohol and substance abuse. The organization places special emphasis on encouraging people in recovery to publicly share their personal stories in order to support others, educate the public, and erase the stigma associated with substance abuse.