Staff

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JOSHUA WALLACE

CEO & President

read his bio HERE

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CODY B. WEST

Chief Program Officer

read his bio HERE

SITE STAFF

Julie Hinkemeyer

JULIE HINKEMEYER

Program Director

Julie has lived in Spokane her entire life. Growing up in Spokane made her appreciate family and how important they are to her. Sports was Julie’s middle name with all the activities she was involved with during her school years. But, addiction was always at her door. She has experienced mental health struggles and drug addiction, and she went through many treatment centers on her path to recovery. The death of a child and her husband of 10 years overdosing pushed her in the direction of becoming a peer. Julie motivated herself through empathy to recover and aid many others on their path. She

has started a new career to help others at Peer Spokane; she welcomes all into a judgment-free and safe place at Peer Spokane with unconditional acceptance and positive regard. 

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ANDREW LEONARD

Program Manager

Andrew was born in the Spokane area. Raised by a struggling single mother, he and his two sisters were exposed to adversity early on. Andrew suffered from depression and anxiety from an early age. After dropping out of high school very early, he spent most of his adolescence and young adulthood living in social isolation. He eventually returned to school with aspirations to be a therapist but was held back by his crippling anxiety & depression and, despite faring well, was forced to drop out. The pandemic forced him to reflect on his life. Through therapy and self-care, he faced some hard truths about himself and recently came out as gay. Recovery has been a long, hard-fought road for Andrew, and he is eager to share his experiences with others and help them on their journey to recovery. In addition to his lived experience, Andrew brings years of clerical experience and office management expertise and is honored to share that with the Peer Spokane team. He looks forward to working with the local community and growing as an individual and a professional. 

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MARSHA VALENZUELA

Peer Services Specialist

Marsha was born in Yakima. She was removed from her biological parents and raised by her grandmother until 11. After her grandmother's death, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother, where her addiction became increasingly worse. By 1990 she moved to Spokane, Washington, to have a clean start and a better life but kept doing drugs and spiraling down until, at the age of 40, CPS got involved and took her kids. This was the life-changing turning point in Marsha's life. She got involved in community recovery groups and began putting the pieces back together that she had lost from drugs and alcohol. She then regained custody of her children and took parenting classes and training so that she could be the parent that her kids deserved. After going through all the hardships, Marsha realized her experience could help others, so she started advocating for families working with social workers, CPS, and judges for stronger family reunification. After working with families, she decided she wanted to become a CPC to inspire strength, hope, and resilience and has been doing that work in our community since 2015.

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JAMES TILLETT

Peer Services Specialist

James has been a Spokane resident for 35 years. He has long been an active member of the Native American community, even acting as a student ambassador to the Native American College Initiative funded by the Gates Foundation, in which Native American high school students were able to attend college courses. James was the first member of his family to graduate high school, which he did in 2005 with honors from Joel E. Ferris. Having struggled with addiction on and off again since 2005, James has been raided, incarcerated, suffered from homelessness, and diagnosed with PTSD & chronic depression. James enrolled at the University of Phoenix, where he graduated with a Psychology Associate's degree before his mother passed in November of 2014; an event that led to a 6-year-long relapse. In February 2021, James was hospitalized with endocarditis, hepatitis C, pneumonia, MRSA, and had gone septic; on the verge of death, he finally asked for help. After completing inpatient treatment at Sun Rey court, James began medically assisted treatment through Ideal Options, which he is still utilizing today. He is an energetic, warm-hearted, and intelligent person who loves helping others with their journey in recovery. During his downtime, James is known for his cartoonish artwork and wrestling action figure collection.

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CORY BROMLEY

Peer Services Specialist

Cory is excited to return to human services in a peer support role after taking a two-year hiatus to regroup and focus on his recovery and personal growth. As a long-term (20+ yrs) HIV survivor and an individual with addiction issues, Cory has explored many different forms of healing and is looking forward to sharing his journey of success with other folks seeking wellness.

He shares his home with Franklyn and Finnegan, two of the best dogs ever. He also enjoys frequent hikes in the woods behind his house, his awesome firepit, learning about Human Design, exploring wellness through nutrition and yoga, urban homesteading, tv, naps, and social gatherings. 

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JENNIFER STARKWEATHER

Peer Services Specialist

Born in Bethesda, Maryland, Jennifer moved to Wenatchee, WA, at a very young age with her parents and two siblings. Her addiction began at the age of 12 with drinking and smoking weed. That was the beginning of a lifelong battle with addiction. Over the years, she also struggled with mental health challenges and was finally diagnosed as bi-polar in 2012. She was in and out of treatment centers and was homeless most of her adult life. At her lowest point, she had lost all 5 of her children and was sleeping in public parks and on church doorsteps when she wasn't in jail. She checked herself into her final treatment center in 2018, and today is over three years clean and sober. She became a CPC in 2020 while working as the housing supervisor at Royal Life Treatment Centers. She has now joined the Peer Spokane team and is very excited to work as a housing peer support specialist! 

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CHRISTINE MCMACKIN

Peer Services Specialist

Christine moved to Spokane from California in 1992 after living on the streets as a teenager. Both her parents were alcoholics, and her mother suffered from domestic violence since Christine was a little girl. Christine turned to substance use as a coping mechanism from the trauma and abuse seen daily in her home. She started using when she was 14 years old, but was able to get clean for over a decade before going back to using in her mid 20's. Christine's children and family were lost to her in the world of addiction. After years of being incarcerated, houseless, traumatized, and abused, she took her life back, and now it is part of her daily work.

Christine has over 13 years of recovery from substance use and mental health. She joins our team with more than 10-year experience working with those affected by substance use, trauma, and mental health. She believes everyone can find peace from their past and enjoys watching our community grow and succeed from the things that once held them down. Besides caring for our community, Christine is passionate about animals and has an extreme love for dogs.

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TYLER VERMILLION

Peer Services Specialist

Born and raised in Montana, Tyler gained a deep love for nature and being outdoors, which continues to be his favorite way to spend his leisure time and decompress. It is not uncommon to find Tyler and his two dogs hiking in the mountains during the spring and fall or swimming in the lake during the summer. Tyler came out publicly as a gay man his sophomore year as the only openly gay person at his high school. It wasn’t always easy or safe for him to be out and proud at such a young age in the rural and conservative state. Grappling with the chaos of his home life and his identity, Tyler experienced severe mental health struggles during his adolescence and young adult life. Tyler utilized therapy and personal care plans that were authentic to him, which he credits with giving him the tools to thrive and ultimately contribute to work that allows him to now uplift and empower others. Tyler originally went back to school for business; however, he realized his true passion was psychology and sociology. While enrolled at the University of Montana, Tyler focused his sociology studies on racial injustice and social inequality. In 2019 Tyler relocated to Canada for some time before moving to Spokane in 2020 and enrolling in Gonzaga University to finish his undergraduate programs. Tyler graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University, where he majored in Sociology and minored in Public Relations. Tyler has spent the time he has lived in Spokane focused on providing support to vulnerable populations, especially the local LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and incarcerated communities. Tyler is excited to grow professionally with Peer Spokane while bringing his education, lived experiences, and immense empathy to his work in the local Spokane community.