Staff

JOSHUA WALLACE

CEO & President

read his bio HERE

CODY B. WEST

Chief Program Officer

read his bio HERE

SITE STAFF

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Director

GEORGIA BUTLER

With over 33 years of experience in the field of recovery, Georgia is an incredibly strong ally to have with us. Currently the director of Peer Spokane, she also founded Recovery Cafe Spokane and was the former director of Recovery Community Services at Community-Minded Enterprises. Georgia also serves as a Recovery Coach and as a Recovery Coach and Ethics Trainer for the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery. She has expertise in developmental psychology, addiction studies, adult learning, and women's studies. Georgia's long list of accolades certainly doesn't stop there, and all of them still pale in comparison to her compassion and fierce motherhood towards those in her community and beyond. She truly is the best "Good Judy" anyone could hope to have (just don't get between her and her cup of coffee). But about some of those accolades...

 

  • Founder of Hands Across the Falls

  • Director of Recovery Community Services 1996-2019

  • Founder of Recovery Smiles 

  • Governor's Recognition Award for the Collaborative Leadership Development Institute

  • Spokane Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council award for Outstanding Community Service

  • Presenter at the Co-Occurring Disorder Conference and the Early Brain Development & Best‐Interest

  • Inland Northwest Recovery Coalition chair 2014-2018

  • Treasurer of the Washington Recovery Alliance 2015-2018

Julie Hinkemeyer

JULIE HINKEMEYER

Program Manager

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. 

Justin Harmon

JUSTIN HARMON

Program Manager

Justin was born in Juneau, Alaska, and moved to Ellensburg, Washington at a young age. He came out to family and friends at the age of 15. Living in a small rural area, he faced challenges finding acceptance and community. Justin turned to substance use to cope with his surroundings. He was referred to the path of recovery by a local judge and chose to relocate to Spokane, WA in the early 2000s to live in an Oxford House. He became employed working with people with disabilities and did so for several years before returning to Ellensburg.


After experiencing a devastating relapse, Justin found his way back to Spokane, where he built a new foundation in recovery with the help of treatment and local 12-step programs. He has a passion for working with others in recovery, both one-on-one and through service, and this is what lead him to Peer Spokane. Justin applied to become a peer coach and group facilitator and has been involved with Peer Spokane since its opening in September of 2019. Peer support has been an integral part of Justin’s recovery, and he firmly believes in the power of shared experience.

Jessica Warks

JESSICA WARK

Peer Services Specialist

Jessica was born and raised in Spokane, WA. At a young age, she was exposed to a long line of family substance abuse. It was not long before she followed in their footsteps and suffered from mental health issues, alcoholism, substance use, and chronic pain. In 2003 she was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness. Despite her battles, she obtained Associate Degree in Dental Assisting and went on to work her way up to be a Surgical Dental assistant with over 18 years of experience. 

Jessica's journey with Peer Spokane began as a member and volunteer, helping to open Peer Spokane. Her dedication to recovery brought her to a place of wanting more in the peer community. Through Peer Spokane, she became a Peer Coach, outreach volunteer, and Peer Group Facilitator. She is now the Covid-19 Care Coordinator as a Peer Support Specialist. Her new role allows her to offer support to individuals in the Spokane community who test positive for Covid-19 and must quarantine at home. Jessica's calming personality and presence are a massive asset for our members and the Peer Spokane team.

JONATHAN FORBES

Peer Services Specialist

Jonathan came to Washington all on his own at the young age of 17. By this time, he was already partaking in daily drug use, going down a path of destruction with no direction. He often found himself in jail or in treatment programs that only gave brief reprieval between long periods of drug use. On September 14th, 2017, Jonathan had enough and found his way back into an inpatient treatment center. 

Diligently following the 12 step program became Jonathan's prime directive. For the first time in his life, Jonathan sensed an overwhelming feeling of freedom. Addressing his mental health and spirituality allowed him to flourish. In 2019, he was hired as the program director at Mighty to Save ministries in Oak Harbor, Washington. Working with them as a peer walking alongside them on their journey into recovery really showed Jonathan his life's calling: serving others while being their peer. From there, he was able to partner with drug courts, WorkSource, local treatment centers, churches, non-profit organizations, and the housing authority. 

Now, he is back in Spokane and was delighted to hear about Peer Spokane. Peer Spokane's approach to recovery resonates with Jonathan, and he continues to educate himself, earning a longer and longer list of certifications, pieces of training, and skills. We are so happy to have him here at Peer Spokane to continue our growth not just as an organization, but as individuals too. 

ALLA DYFORT

Peer Services Specialist

Alla has lived experience with addiction, and her journey in recovery brought her to Peer Spokane to join our family of Peer Coaches. She is always very self-driven and has the heart to help others. Alla is also a proud member of the Slavic community, where she has been helping families who have suffered from mental health and substance abuse for years. She is outgoing, compassionate, and enthusiastic about starting her role of helping families in her local community. 

ANDREW LEONARD

Peer Services Specialist

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. 

ORYAN AYERS

Peer Services Specialist

Oryan was born in Oscoda, Michigan. At the age of four, he moved to Spokane, Washington. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies at the University of River Falls, Wisconsin, and played college soccer. After leaving college, addiction became an even more ever-pervasive coping mechanism. Many moves and hardships later, addiction eventually led him to homelessness in Seattle in his mid 20's. Following hitting rock bottom, he found treatment services and tools to heal with the aid of a 12 step program. Upon finding stability, he embraced himself as a transgender man and utilized community support to aid in his transition.

Oryan found the most precious gift of recovery was a connection. Connecting with peers who helped illuminate the path for mental health, addiction, and LGBTQ-related challenges, proved vital to his recovery. After moving back to Spokane to be closer to the family, he applied to Peer Spokane hoping to help others through shared experiences. Oryan's hardships have informed a deep sense of empathy for and commitment to those who have not yet found freedom on their journey. He is humbled and honored to join the Peer Spokane team in its mission to provide inclusive peer support to those impacted by mental health and addiction.