Staff

PEER HEADSHOTS-18.jpg

JOSHUA WALLACE

CEO & President

read his bio HERE

Cody updated color.jpg

CODY B. WEST

Chief Program Officer

read his bio HERE

SITE STAFF

facebok profile pic.jpg

GWYNNE McCAY

Director

Gwynne is a West Coast baby, living everywhere from Oakland, CA, in a collapsing duplex to Bristol Bay on a fishing boat. She spent a long time bouncing around and is happy to finally call South King County home. She, her wife, and her son are active in the LGBTQ+ community and identify strongly with the peer mission. 

Professionally, she brings 12 years of non-profit experience to her role with Peer Washington, including a strong background in navigating both the DSHS and Juvenile Justice systems as an external advocate. She has spent many years working within the LGBTQ+ community in different capacities. Gwynne has also studied cultural geography at Cal Berkeley and Conflict Resolution at Portland State. 

She is excited to be a part of the dynamic Peer Kent team and to be a partner in lifting our communities to new heights. 

PEER HEADSHOTS.jpg

SARAH ANDREWS

Program Manager

Born in Santa Rosa, CA, Sarah and her family spent much of her youth moving to various states. When she turned 22, she finally moved to Washington and fell in love with its beauty. Growing up, she struggled with her sexuality and feelings of self-worth while silently battling anxiety and depression. It wasn't until a close family member faced similar mental health challenges that Sarah realized the importance of peer support. The experience motivated her to get certified as a peer counselor to use her lived experiences to help others. Now a Program Manager for Peer Kent, she brings her wealth of passion and experience to her community. She is also honing her practice on trauma-informed yoga for youth and adults. Spreading messages of self-love and mindfulness is always paramount for Sarah. 

PEER HEADSHOTS-2.jpg

WILDER WALKER

Program Manager

Wilder was born and raised on the east coast and came to Peer Kent via Peer Seattle. She walked through the doors of SASG (now Peer Seattle) in June of 2018, where she felt fully accepted as she was on her path. She eagerly sought out the Peer Recovery Coach program and was quickly paired with a Peer Coach who was crucial on her healing journey. Wilder then volunteered at the front desk, became a group facilitator, an Intern at Peer Seattle, and became a certified Peer Recovery Coach in April 2019. Wilder is also a certified yoga teacher with over ten years of experience and is passionate about bringing trauma-informed yoga and movement to others in recovery. 

facebok profile pic.jpg

COLETTE RAPP

Program Manager

Colette was born in upstate NY and moved to Seattle in the early 1990s. Since the age of thirteen, Colette has struggled with substance abuse, homelessness, incarceration, and family dysfunction. Fortunately, that struggle manifested into a gift she now uses to provide support to others. Colette's journey in the helping field started in 2011 as a substance abuse counselor and then evolved into transitional housing support. This was where she truly felt her passion develop. Since then, Colette has collected numerous seminars and certifications, including mental health first aid, de-escalation, and suicide prevention. She has over four years of hands-on experience with peers in transitional housing and understands the need for community support along with personal support to obtain and keep permanent housing. Colette embraces the opportunity to walk with others on their unique recovery journey. 

facebok profile pic.jpg

MARJORIE DRIEU

Program Manager

Marjorie comes from France and Ireland and has been in the US since 2003. She was very involved in sports growing up and competed as a gymnast for 15 years. In June of 2011, Marjorie got diagnosed with chronic stress fractures in her back, which promptly ended her gymnastics career. Having so much free time on her hands and not knowing what to fill it with, she turned to drugs, and the next eight years were filled with unhealthy choices, incarceration, and treatment facilities. On May 6, 2019, Marjorie learned she was pregnant; her sobriety started the next day. After this jumpstart of motivation, she has since found passion in life. She is a King County Drug Diversion Court graduate, an active member in the 12-Step meeting community, and is a dedicated mother to her son, Liam. Marjorie hopes to become a pillar in the recovery community and strives to make a difference using her personal and professional experience. She is a certified Recovery Coach and works as a Peer Services Specialist at Peer Kent.

PEER HEADSHOTS-11.jpg

CHARLES TATUM

Peer Services Specialist

Born in 1965, Arkansas, Charles relocated to Seattle when he was four years old. He lived most of his life in the Central District of Seattle around drugs, violence, and gangs. As a young child, Charles would draw to escape the real world, but the real world eventually caught up. Charles began spending more time hustling and smoking weed. He started getting in trouble for stealing, and then the judge finally got tired of it and sentenced Charles to a year and a day in prison. There, he was introduced to primo, smoking weed and crack mixed together. This was his drug for over ten years. He ended up being wanted and took off on the run, ending up in Minnesota. Charles was apprehended there and was sentenced to a very lengthy prison sentence. Here is where he finally had to admit that he had a problem. Since his release over 13 years ago and a relapse, Charles has now arrived at this point in his life that he has only dreamed of while being stuck in jail. Being a Peer Services Specialist for Jail Health Services is perfect for Charles due to his years of lived experience. Now he continues this work at other facilities and keeps coming up with more ways to get peers the help they need. 

PEER HEADSHOTS-12.jpg

JENNIFER BOLTON

Peer Services Specialist

Jenny was born and raised here in Washington state. Her lifelong struggle with substance abuse has beautifully transcended into a compassionate journey of helping others with similar lived experiences. Jenny is a two-time graduate of both The Pierce County Drug Court in 2006 and The King County Drug Diversion Court program in 2012. Her lifelong colorful lived experience has allowed her to understand how to be present for someone on a very deep level when facing a crisis. Jenny was graciously invited to the King County Drug Diversion Court Alumni meeting, where she was introduced to the peer support world and fell head-over-heels in love with the exquisite magic that the Peer Recovery Coaching Program possesses. Jenny worked as a Peer Recovery Coach and witnessed in total amazement how such a simple process of one peer helping another can radically transform a person's entire life! Jenny worked with Washington Listens briefly before that position blossomed into her current role as a Peer Services Specialist. Jenny has also been blessed to work with King County Drug Diversion Court, where she helps participants through the very same program she graduated from. Life is a trip, and Jenny is grateful to still be alive and along for the ride. Jenny is a mother of three beautiful, brilliant little girls she calls her little angels. She credits them for all her strength and hope needed to continue in her recovery journey.

Shot 10 Purple.jpg

LAUREL LEMKE

Peer Services Specialist

Laurel is known as a pioneer and long-term leader in the mental health movement. After receiving a master’s degree in clinical psychology, she co-founded the first bi-polar support group in Pierce County in 1984.  Her 32-year career with the State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) including work in recreation, vocational rehabilitation, psycho-education, Ombuds Services, and finally directing Consumer Affairs and Volunteer Services at Western State Hospital (WSH). She mentored many volunteers and students who later became employees and/or peer counselors and helped establish the Peer Bridger Program at the hospital. Laurel is known nationally for her legacy project: the Grave Concerns Association, a nonprofit she has led since 2000. Her efforts changed state law and now raises funds in an ongoing effort to replace 3,200 numbered stones in the historic WSH patient cemetery with proper granite memorials. She credits David Granirer and Stand Up for Mental Health for changing her life and providing opportunities for her to perform as a comic. She has received numerous awards from DSHS for individual and team achievements and was honored with the 2020 Cindy Willey Award for outstanding dedication, commitment, and support for Washington State peers.


During COVID, Laurel and Tanyalee Erwin developed 55Plus Senior Perspectives, a weekly Zoom meeting through the Peer Workforce Alliance. Laurel then chose to come out of retirement to serve as a Peer Services Specialist with the WA Listens Support Line and help launch  Peer Kent. The Doors to Wellbeing recruited Laurel to help develop the  National Peer-Support Warmline Council. She looks forward to sharing her skills as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Advanced Level Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Co-Facilitator, and Alternatives to Violence Workshop Leader with the Peer Washington Community and beyond.

Shot 1 Purple.jpg

BERTRAM CALCOTE

Peer Services Specialist

Bertram was born and raised in Monroe, Louisiana. His lived experience includes recovery from a mental health crisis, religious trauma, and many other challenges. His recovery journey began in 2010 after being sent to prison for 11 years. During his incarceration, he focused on his education, personal & spiritual growth, and community involvement programs.

He has participated in all types of programs to assist in his change. Upon discovering his trauma, he participated in rehabilitation programs such as Bridges to Life, Alternative to Violence, and Nonviolent Communication. Bertram is passionate about supporting individuals during their transition process out of prison. He has worked with Community Partnership Program and Re-entry Division Program to provide resources, mentorship, personal coaching, and employment support to those in the re-entry process.

Working with Peer Kent has allowed Bertram to continue his personal development and serve the community in creating a healthier lifestyle. He is a certified recovery coach, group facilitator, and peer services specialist at Peer Kent. Bertram is genuinely passionate about rehabilitation and building a community where love resides and forgiveness is accepted.

Shot 8 Purple.jpg

SAYED ALALAWI

Certified Peer Counselor

Sayed was born in Syria and raised in Bahrain, an island in the Persian Gulf. He left home because of fear of prosecution due to his involvement with human rights activism and his sexuality. After years of travel, he found his way to Seattle seven years ago and immediately fell in love with it. However, upon arrival, Sayed struggled with addiction, mental health difficulties, and homelessness. Sayed found himself through the help of his community at Peer Seattle. He became a volunteer, a recovery coach, and more recently, a Certified Peer Counselor. Through his experience with recovery, support from others, and his drive for learning, Sayed made it his life goal to help others who have been through similar experiences. In his free time, he likes to hike, eat his wife's cooking, and hang out with their cat Penelope & snake Atlas.

Shot 7 Purple.jpg

LINDSAY NEMEYER

Certified Peer Counselor

Lindsay was born and raised in Kent, Washington. In her teenage years, she broke her ankle, which began her addiction to opiates. After struggling with addiction for most of her life, Lindsay again found herself in trouble with the law. Only this time, she ended up in Federal prison, where she was given the opportunity to participate in Federal DREAM court (Drug Re-Entry Alternative Model.) With the help of several people in the US court system and her family, she completely changed her life and graduated from DREAM court in May 2019, which is where she found her love of helping others find their way to recovery. Now she uses her personal experience to walk with others into their definition of recovery; being a certified peer counselor has given her the ability to share her strength & hope and lead by example. 

Photo 12 Purple.png

KAMARIA BENGE

Certified Peer Counselor

Kami, as most people know her, was born and raised in a little town called Pacific, right outside of Auburn, Washington. Kamaria met her now-husband when she was 14, and they discovered all the good and bad in life. Before their recovery, Kami and her husband lived with substance abuse addiction and homelessness, in Auburn, for eight years. Kamaria spent much of 2019 in Score Jail, and thanks to their church services, a small seed was planted where she no longer liked who she was and started making better choices. She still couldn't beat addiction until she found a methadone program and no longer had to focus on simply surviving.

 

She finally got serious about getting better when she saw her counselor's before and after video five years prior and realized that if her counselor could do it, so could she. With support from her Peer Counselor, Kami realized her purpose in life was to give back to her street family by providing hope with her personal story, by being a beacon of light for people still lost in darkness. Kami and her husband made it out of the darkness together and hope to show the world how to love again, using their love as an example. Kamaria is blessed with a beautiful 11-year-old daughter named Skyefire, who is super proud of how far her mom has come in such a little amount of time! She also has a huge support group, and a super supportive family, who give her strength when she needs it most. 

Shot 9 Purple.jpg

THERESE PAXTON

Peer Services Specialist

Therese grew up in the greater Seattle area. She was diagnosed with ADHD and Bi-Polar disorder at a young age. At age 13, she began her long road through drug and alcohol addiction and was in and out of jail from the age of 18. Between ages 18 and 28, Therese experienced many traumas, including homelessness, and at age 28, she went to treatment for the first time and was under DOC supervision. Upon discharge from treatment, she moved into sober living through WELD and became a successful house manager. She has been in recovery since August 30th, 2019. Today, she is deeply rooted in the Alcoholics Anonymous program and its community. "Recovery and the abundance of life it brings is a gift, but the greater gift, still, is getting to share this with others."

Shot 20 Purple.jpg

ABIGAIL BARDWELL

Peer Services Specialist

Abigail has lived in the Pacific Northwest for quite a few years but is a Southerner at heart - born in Arkansas and grew up in Gainesville, FL. She has been in services since she was a teenager. Before working in peer services, she was a professional chef and culinary instructor. Over time, Abigail became more passionate about working with direct advocacy and mobilization.

She transitioned into inpatient milieu care and circulated evaluation and treatment centers as a behavioral health technician and direct peer counselor, focusing on recovery resourcing and treatment planning for bridging discharges. Her previous two positions were in WISe outpatient programs as a youth peer partner for Catholic Community Services in Pierce County and Seneca Family of Agencies in King County.

Abigail is very forthcoming and transparent about her lived experiences, primarily regarding her Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis and its stigma in the mental health community. Her sister took her own life five years ago after years of struggling in public systems with the same diagnosis, so Abigail is very conscientious in how she approaches mental health agency and access.

facebok profile pic.jpg

LISA TAYLOR

Peer Services Specialist

Our Peer Services Specialist for the South King County Municipal Court is Lisa Taylor. She is our hometown girl, born and raised in Seattle, attended Seattle Public Schools, and graduated from West Seattle High School. At  Peer Kent, Lisa started working as the Front Desk Intern. She is currently a trained recovery coach, group facilitator, and is about to complete her training as a certified peer counselor. She brings years of customer service experience and is a licensed aesthetician. Lisa enjoys traveling, learning new things, and spending time with her family. Most importantly, Lisa gives her time to help anyone in need.

facebok profile pic.jpg

MARTI LYN BLOSE

Peer Services Specialist

Coming soon!

facebok profile pic.jpg

CAT DAIGLE

Peer Services Specialist

Cat was born in Palm Springs, California, and has lived in several states until 2021, making Kent, Washington her newest home. Since the age of eighteen, Cat has struggled with a chronic disease, an opioid addiction, severe depression, mental health hurdles, family traumas, and homelessness. Cat found herself through the support of her family and the community at Peer Kent. She became a volunteer, a group facilitator, a recovery coach, and is about to complete her training as a certified peer counselor. She also enjoys horseback riding, dancing, cross-stitching, and spending time with her family.

facebok profile pic.jpg

MICHAEL SHAPSNIKOFF

Peer Services Specialist

Mike is from Unalaska, Alaska, and relocated to Seattle when he was two years old. Michael was raised in an abusive and drug-addicted home and was a child in the foster care system. He was eventually returned home to this environment when the foster home was found to be more unsafe. Mike struggled with mental illness and various addictions most of his life, in January 2019, he found himself repeating history when his own children were taken into care because of violence and addiction in the home. It wasn't until December of 2020 that Mike had enough of feeding his addiction and being homeless. He knew he needed to change or he was going to die, and he began his walk on the Red Road that led to healing relationships with his wife and children.

 

His work at Northwest Indian Treatment Center made him realize he was running from childhood trauma all his life and brought him back to his Native American culture. After leaving treatment, Mike helped open Oxford House Totem as one of its first residents, where he lived for a year until moving back in with his wife and six children. He has put in a lot of work to become a better father, engaging in Native Parenting classes and acknowledging that children flourish with love, support, and a safe place to be heard. He takes pride in advocating for fathers' rights and has become someone that other men in recovery come to for insight when navigating parenting advice and family court issues. He now considers himself in long-term recovery and says, "Every day is a good day." Mike is enrolled Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska and enjoys attending sweats and learning to drum and sing indigenous songs every Sunday on the Puyallup reservation. Working for Peer Kent is a step in the right direction toward Mike's goal of becoming a certified Substance Abuse Counselor. Mike wants to support as many people as possible on their recovery journey and begin their healing, whatever that looks like for each individual he encounters. 

facebok profile pic.jpg

TRIANA O'CAIN

Peer Services Specialist

Triana's life started here in good old Seattle, Washington, raised in the Central District. Growing up as a teenager around those times was very challenging. She overcame many of her childhood traumas through therapy. Triana enrolled in the early '90s for Computer Engineering. Then, to continue her education, she later went to GRCC for Computer Software. During her education, she explored some culinary arts classes, which she very much so enjoyed. Feeding the homeless in Triana's spare time was her way of giving back to the community. She has worked at the Department of Social and Health Services, assisting with clients' employment and housing placement. Triana is grateful to be here at Peer Kent Services to expand her journey.  

facebok profile pic.jpg

NIMO ABDULLAHI

Peer Services Specialist

Nimo's family emigrated from Somalia and settled in Minnesota. After graduating from high school and giving birth to her daughter, she moved to San Diego, California, in 2005. In San Diego, Nimo worked multiple jobs to support her family. Everything on the outside was going exceptionally well; however, the stress of past traumas was rearing its head. Turning to drugs and alcohol, it got to the point where she was using every day. 

Nimo went through multiple programs throughout her recovery, but she kept relapsing until she found herself in jail for the umpteenth time. After being re-released from prison on August 5th, 2019, she made that date her sober birthday. Nimo looked at her life with a different lens; she wanted to be free from addiction. She took advantage of all the help that was offered to her, she attended IOP regularly, met with her case manager, and did everything that the program asked of her. She found a job and finally had structure and stability. Nimo graduated from drug court on July 8th, 2020, and then from San Diego State University in May 2021 with a bachelor's degree in Social Work. Being sober now for three years, Nimo is very excited to join the Peer Kent team and share her story to encourage strength and hope in others.