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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 and raised in the Spokane area by a struggling single mother. Andrew suffered from depression and anxiety from an early age, growing up isolated from his peers due to circumstances at home. After dropping out of high school very early, he spent most of his adolescence and young adulthood living in social isolation, unable to break the cycle he learned as a child. He eventually returned to school but was held back by his depression and, despite faring well, was forced to drop out before completing his goal of becoming a mental health professional. Eventually, after seeking treatment for his mental health and much self-reflection, Andrew came out as gay and now lives a fulfilling and happy life with his partner and their two cats. Peer Spokane has been very healing for Andrew, and he can now build solid and meaningful connections and friendships with ease. His professional background is an asset, and he uses his acquired skills daily to manage several programs, connect with colleagues and community partners, and is a skilled trainer and Peer Coach.

 

Andrew has a comfortable work-life balance and practices self-care daily. In his off time, he enjoys traveling, camping, visiting local lakes for paddle boarding and fishing, and looks forward to many wintertime snowboarding trips.

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JONATHAN FORBES

Program Manager

Born in Anchorage and raised in Pacific Grove, California, Jonathan moved to Seattle at age 17. Choosing a path of destruction, he found himself in-between moments of reprieve from drug abuse while in jail or various treatment programs already at a young age. 

On September 14th, 2017, he had had enough and found his way back into an inpatient treatment center. Working diligently, he finally found his freedom. In June of 2019, Jonathan was hired as the program director at Mighty to Save ministries to help launch their first faith-based transitional program for men in Oak Harbor, Washington. Working with these men as a peer by walking alongside them on their journey into recovery, Jonathan felt like he had finally found his calling by using his life experience to assist those seeking help.

In November 2020, he decided to move back to the Spokane area, and that's when he found out about Peer Spokane. Jonathan applied immediately for a position, did not get chosen then, but reached out to find out more about the services they offered, including the CCAR recovery coach training. One thing led to another, and now he is a full-time employee at Peer Spokane. 

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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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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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JILL HAAG

Peer Services Specialist

Like many in recovery, she grew up surrounded by addiction, lies, dysfunction, loss of love, and major trauma. For many years her only coping skill was various addictions, and those continued for many years to come. Years later, while trying to hold down a job, live a “normal” life, and find that missing puzzle piece, her traumatic dark past would continue to haunt her. As her addiction got worse, she tried to unearth that mystery in her head so she could have closure and heal. She went through numerous therapies and classes and even had CBT and DBT instructors acknowledge her passion for the mental health field...she laughed it off. Having an extensive list of diagnoses and being proud to say not all medication is lifelong and, most of all, a diagnosis does not define who she is. However, she never imagined herself living a substance-free life, and little did she realize she was already mapping out her new future. 

In 2012 she found her soulmate. They both struggled with addiction and found recovery together. Practicing daily gratitude and creating beautiful keepsakes for people have made life stressors easier to cope with. In 2019, she was given another chance to succeed. She has facilitated many groups and classes, teaching others diverse ways to better themselves and helping them see their potential in living a positive and joy-filled life in recovery. In September of 2022, she started volunteering at Peer Spokane as a facilitator for the Beautiful Within Women’s group. In a brief period, she was already connecting with the ladies, and their confidence was growing. Although she already had experience as a peer coach, she welcomed the opportunity to attend the training at Peer Spokane and be able to coach their members.

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JAMIE DIXON

Peer Services Specialist

Jamie was born in Spokane, WA, and raised in South King County, WA. After a horrible life experience, Jamie battled mental health issues and active addiction. After 15 years of using and almost losing her three children, Jamie completed a year and a half of inpatient treatment at Seadrunar in Seattle. Upon completion of treatment, Jamie regained custody of her children and moved to Spokane. With a passion for helping others on their recovery journey, Jamie began the process of becoming a SUDP. During this time, she found Peer Spokane and is excited about working as an Employment Peer Support Specialist! 

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JUSTIN HARMON

Peer Services Specialist

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. After getting a DUI, he relocated to Spokane to pursue recovery, moving into an Oxford House.

After experiencing a devastating relapse, Justin 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, one-on-one and through service. This led him to Peer Spokane, becoming a peer coach and group facilitator. Within a few months, he was hired as a Program Manager for housing and employment services. In March of 2022, Justin transferred to Peer Seattle with the hope of increased opportunities for personal and professional growth. Peer support has been an integral part of Justin’s recovery, and he firmly believes in the power of shared experience.

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KAYLA MILLER

Peer Services Specialist

Kayla was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Growing up surrounded by and watching those close to her struggle and lose their battle with substance use and mental health, Kayla moved to Vancouver, Canada, at age 18. With strong lived experience of trauma, grief, and abuse, Kayla found her passion for Harm Reduction and provided resources and a caring shoulder for others going through tough times. Kayla has experience working in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighborhood, with a particular focus on its houseless community, street-based sex workers, those struggling with mental health, and those who use substances. In the last couple of years, Kayla ended up marrying her long-distance, incarcerated pen pal and navigating the reintegration process with him. One thing led to another, and she now calls Spokane home. Kayla has a Maine Coon cat named Felix, who is her entire world. In her free time, you can catch Kayla fighting off anxieties by playing video games, engaging in introspective/shadow work, creating art, and self-care. Kayla is extremely grateful and eager to use her lived and worked experience to meet people where they are at and help support them in their goals.

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