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

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CHRISTOPHER ARCHIOPOLI

Director

Christopher Archiopoli has lived in the Seattle area since 2006 after being born in Connecticut and raised in Phoenix, AZ. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Arizona State University and a Certificate in Project Management from the University of Washington. 

 

Christopher began an expansive career in the beauty industry in 2002. Over the course of twenty years, he held roles encompassing nearly every area of the business. As a service provider, educator, manager, and project manager, Christopher learned the power of a customer-driven business. More importantly, he considers himself a Daymaker: A person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place. 

 

Christopher began receiving services as a member at Dunshee House in 2008. He continued at Seattle Area Support Groups, becoming a group facilitator of SOS in 2017 and a Peer Coach in 2018. Transitioning from the beauty industry, he hopes to bring the concept of daymaking to Peer Seattle making a direct impact in and on the community. 

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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. 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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JESSE ALALAWI

Program Manager

A lifelong Washington resident, Jesse graduated from the University of Washington in 2012 with an art degree focusing on fiber and textile design with a minor in sociology. Having found the help she needed from substance use, she hopes to help others through her work as a Peer Services Specialist. For multiple years she led support groups for Trans Families and is now helping to design and facilitate the Trans Fem Society group for the same organization. As a trans woman and recovering addict, she is dedicated to educating and advocating for her communities. Jesse is also a photographer, fiber artist, and designer. Most recently, Jesse has become newlywed and is excited to start a family within her community. 

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MARC SHELFFO

Program Manager

Marc was born and raised on a small hobby farm in Burnsville, Minnesota. Feeling estranged from family, friends, and the greater community because of his sexual orientation, Marc headed west in 1988. Patterns of avoidance led to mental health problems and substance use disorder. His journey of recovery from severe depression and methamphetamine abuse began in 2007. Despite many setbacks, Marc chose to learn from those mistakes and never surrender. 

Marc's addiction to crystal meth ended on April 23rd, 2013. Entering Peer Seattle's doors with his trusty dog Bruno signaled the beginning of a more substantial recovery. Marc supported alternative MAT (Medical Assisted Therapies) and was assisted in his recovery through Ibogaine. He has since been on the Strength Over Speed leadership team and helped develop the "Shame and Guilt" workshop, among many others. Marc has been a Peer Recovery Coach, Coach Mentor, and CCAR Certified Coach Trainer for the past six years and helped develop workshops and plans for 2017-2019 Discovery retreats. He recently received his Certified Peer Counselor Certificate from Washington State, further cementing his excellent service to the LGBTQIA+ recovery community. Now Marc is excited to bring his skills, energy, experience, and enthusiasm to Peer Seattle.
 
You can find Marc bowling on the Thursday Gay league, mushroom hunting, or camping with his partner Bill and faithful companion Bruno in his spare time.

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AARY GARISS

Peer Services Specialist

Aary is a Seattle transplant by way of Chicago and Wisconsin. Shockingly, the small town of Oconomowoc, WI, was not the most accepting or supportive space for a young queer struggling with severe mental health issues and addiction. So, like any good coming-of-age protagonist, at eighteen, Aary moved to Chicago in search of a better life. While attending The Theatre School at DePaul University, they found their first communities within the Queer and Arts scenes - but the party culture of both contributed to their addictions. After a near-death experience in 2017, Aary began their road to recovery. Today, they are proudly non-binary and have over two years of complete sobriety. While working for Free Street Theater (which was more like a family than a theater company), they discovered the importance of community empowerment, peer support, and value-based living. Inspired by these role models - and after a severe existential crisis - they decided to leave the theater industry altogether to pursue a career closer to their values. They moved to Seattle in 2020 to get a fresh start and are thrilled to join the PEER Seattle team as the Volunteer Coordinator as the next step on their journey.

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MACK AYLESWORTH

Program Manager

Mack and his identical twin brother made the local newspaper for their birth. A 4th generation of Big Sky Country, Mack's pioneering spirit took him to Germany as a high school exchange student, where he learned a love of language and "bier." Fear kept him in the closet during his early years studying at the University of Montana; he turned to alcohol and pot to cope.

After graduating, Mack moved to the closest big city, Seattle, found work in Biotech, and a vibrant music & outdoors scene. For a time, life was good: he saw professional success, completed a master's program at UW, spent summers on the lake, and spent winters on the slopes. But, a drink was never far off, and his life slowly retreated into isolation and alcoholism. Several stints in treatment created some recovery capital but lacked lasting sobriety; Mack stopped and stayed stopped in 2020. 

He's found the value of service work at local treatment centers, answering phones during KEXP fund drives, as an Oxford House Chapter Chair, and a Peer Seattle volunteer. Uncovering self-realization here and a calling for the helping people field, Mack pivoted professionally. Bringing hope to those in recovery is now filling the space to make him whole.

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JACK HARLAN

Peer Services Specialist

Jack has always been a nomad and latchkey kid, moving roughly twenty times before putting down roots in Small Town northern Minnesota in the third grade. Underwhelmed by the rural offerings and eager to put behind difficulties at home, he moved to Minneapolis, where he studied communications, comparative literature, and classical & near eastern cultures and religions. He struggled with mental health and substance abuse, never finding the correct diagnosis, balance, or lifestyle. The social and political unrest in Minneapolis, combined with the incredible uncertainty of the early days of Covid, realigned his values and priorities; he needed a drastic change. He moved west, flirting with LA, Portland, and a cabin deep in the Olympic forest, before settling on Seattle. Jack likes writing, biking, live music, and film. He lives in Ballard with his partner Allie and pug, Stella.

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PERCY WORRELL

Peer Services Specialist

Percy was born and raised on the east coast, hailing from Norfolk, Virginia. He began his downward spiral into the world of drugs and alcohol at age nine. This stemmed from family abuse and led to other ways to ease the hurt. It wasn't until finding his way across this beautiful country, landing in the great state of Washington, that he found a home for his wayward spirit and a place to grow in a positive light. Percy came to Peer Seattle seeking services in 2019. Since then, he has been a volunteer, a peer coach, and a group facilitator. Having given up his old habits for new ones, he is also writing about his journey through addiction to where he is now, viewing life through clearer eyes. 

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RUTH UTNAGE

Peer Services Specialist

Ruth is originally from Omaha, NE, and moved to Washington when she was 14 with her mother. Ruth comes from a life rooted in drugs, racist ideologies, and anti-LGBTQ+ everything. Ruth went to prison in her mid 20's, got clean, earned her education, and went on to receive over 90 awards, achievements, and recognitions in education, public speaking, and program development. She came out while in prison, has not looked back, and has spent a lot of time unlearning her childhood. For Ruth, prison was a womb in which she emerged as her authentic self, and with a chosen family she is proud of. Ruth published academically in a double-blind peer-reviewed journal in the field of criminology on the effects of prison culture on criminal desistance (when someone stops committing crime). Ruth enjoys studying culture, specifically organizational culture and the science behind it. She also enjoys hikes, mathematics, quilting, networking, and goal-setting. Ruth's long-term goals are to speak at the UN General Assembly in New York and help shift the culture inside prisons. She is unapologetically vulnerable and highly social; always down for a chat.

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MIRANDA FOLEY

Peer Services Specialist

Miranda is originally from the Bay Area in California. They moved to Washington in 2018 to attend college at Bastyr University, earning their degree in nutrition and exercise science in 2020. For much of their young adult life, Miranda struggled with an undiagnosed eating disorder, chronic illness, and mental health issues. After a manic episode, she sought out therapy and community to begin the road to recovery. She began working with teenagers and adults who also struggled with eating disorders and grew in her own healing along the way.

They are a strong advocate for mental health, specifically in the LGBTQ+ community. They are proudly out as pansexual and living as their true self. Miranda now lives in Seattle with her two cats and enjoys rock climbing, practicing yoga, and reading.

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TINESHA HARMON

Peer Services Specialist

Born an army brat, Tinesha and her family settled in the Seattle area over 25 years ago. Moving around most of her young life, Tinesha wasn't good at settling down. She very quickly attached herself to the wrong kind of crowd and, by 16, had already suffered sexual abuse and survived the loss of a child, which fueled the beginning of a very emotionally tied drug habit. Lacking the coping skills needed to heal from her trauma, her addiction ramped up. With the threat of losing her two children in sight and the news of a third on the way, it was time to make a decision. This was the change that sparked her road to recovery. 

Tinesha has been in recovery for thirteen years and sober for three. Taking back her life, Tinesha conquered those fears and traumas that held her hostage for so many years. Through counseling and supportive family and friends, the light at the end of the tunnel became the light she lives in daily. She has spent the last two years in service, giving back and supporting those on their recovery journey. When she sees a change that's needed, she jumps in and creates that change. When she saw a community in need, she became an ordained minister supporting the LGBTQ+ community and non-traditional unions. Tinesha is excited to join Peer Seattle as the Family Navigator inspiring our friends to be the change you want to see!