Take 5 Spotlight – Alena Kuplinski – SMART Recovery


For Alena Kuplinski, a SMART employee who splits her work responsibilities between the Call Center and Volunteer Headquarters (VHQ), her success at SMART came by way of Poland. As in the country of.

Alena lived in Poland for five years and says it set her up for success in dealing with all kinds of people, “I was lucky enough to meet and work with people from all around the world, [I learned] to communicate effectively across language barriers and cultural differences.” This meant she became a great listener & communicator, and that’s essential for the work she does.

Her VHQ activities include keeping track of new meetings, making necessary changes to existing ones, registering volunteers, and anything else that needs done. In the Call Center she handles the broad array of inquiries that flood the SMART phones.

One specific connection she has to SMART is through her father, who has been a participant in meetings trained facilitator, and is now Regional Coordinator for Nevada. This provided a close-up view of SMART’s value, “Seeing how much SMART helped him really made me have a lot of passion for the organization as I have witnessed firsthand just how much it can change lives.”


Here are Alena’s responses to the Take 5 Spotlight questions:

  1. Are there tasks you perform regularly during your workday? The first and foremost task is taking care of meeting changes to make sure our list is up to date and accurate, so that those wishing to attend a meeting are getting the correct information. Another task I do regularly is answering our Contact Us emails in our VolunteerHQ inbox.  And of course, answering phones! 
  2. What are a couple of the ways you interact and coordinate your job with other national office staff? Those of us in the National Office make effective communication a top priority. We keep in touch via Zoom both through messages and calls, as well as emails, to make sure that we are helping everyone that needs help.
  3. What is one of the ways that you think you personally make a difference at SMART? Between my work in the Call Center and VolunteerHQ I spend a lot of time interacting with the participants of our meetings as well as our facilitators. I feel like this gives me a special opportunity to help people in all aspects of their recovery and involvement with SMART.
  4. What is your message to all those dedicated SMART volunteers across the country? I am endlessly impressed by the dedication of our volunteers and without them SMART would not be what it is. Thank you for all of your hard work!
  5. What kinds of things are you interested in outside of work? Any hobbies? I’m a huge music lover and spend a lot of time listening to music, attending concerts, and practicing bass. I also enjoy reading, writing, playing video games, traveling, and cooking.

The music that SMART Recovery hears when it comes to Alena Kuplinski is a fluid melody of listening, responding, and helping. That’s the kind of song that makes SMART function like a well-tuned orchestra.

Learn more about the Take 5 Spotlight series and see others who have been profiled.


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