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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

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MARC SHELFFO

Program Director

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 RENEE

Peer Services Specialist

Aary is a queer, non-binary, and polyamorous peer counselor, as well as a trans advocate/educator. They are a Seattle transplant, originally from Chicago and Wisconsin. After years of grappling with their mental health and addiction, Aary now boasts over five years of recovery. Before becoming a peer, they worked in a theater for social change artists. Working for and with folks with many intersecting marginalized identities showed them the significance of sharing personal stories as a means of reclaiming our own narratives, which had a huge influence on their decision to pursue peer counseling. At Peer Seattle, their primary focus is on working with queer/trans and gender non-conforming individuals and their loved ones - aiding in the healing process from trauma, education, and fostering community development.

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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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SEAN FRANZ

Peer Services Specialist

Sean was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. He went to college in New Orleans, inspired by the city’s rich history and the intrigue of Anne Rice novels. It was there he began experimenting with drugs and the circuit party scene. After graduating, Sean moved to Los Angeles and worked in the entertainment industry, but drugs, depression, and the loneliness of the LA scene caught up with him after a few years, and he left.

In 2016, he decided to leave the conservative state of Arizona and move to a more queer-friendly city. After some research, he chose Seattle. When he went into recovery, he came to Peer Seattle, got a peer coach, and attended Strength Over Speed (SOS) meetings. Several years later, he returned as a volunteer and, after six months, was hired into the FCS housing department. In the past, he was told that being naturally compassionate and non-judgmental was weak and not “manly.” But these are strengths, especially in this peer-led organization, and Sean thrives today. 

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M FOLEY

Peer Services Specialist

M is a trans non-binary peer counselor focused on advocacy and recovery work within the queer community. M grew up in a religious environment in Northern California for 21 years, often isolated as a young queer person without community. Their struggles with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD led to a spiral of recklessness and impulsivity, resulting in a spiral of unhelpful coping mechanisms throughout their young adult life- including years of an eating disorder and behavioral addiction. Finding community and like-minded individuals helped propel M into recovery, and now uses their own lived experiences to help others on their recovery journeys. M believes that recovery is unique and individual to each person, but leaning on a support system is a valuable part of that journey. M now lives in Capitol Hill with their two cats spending most of their time reading, being outside, and amongst friends.

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SAM WOOD

Peer Services Specialist

Sam was born and raised in Maine, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History from Bates College in 2012. He then lived in Chicago before coming to Seattle in the fall of 2016 to pursue graduate studies in Architecture History at the University of Washington. Sam struggled with mental health during his studies and eventually developed a substance use disorder. In the fall of 2019, he lost his job and was diagnosed with HIV. Around this time, he began seeking supportive services, first at Lifelong and then at Peer Seattle. Through working with a peer coach and attending peer support groups, Sam navigated his challenges and found long-term recovery. His experience inspired him to become a peer coach himself, and in the fall of 2021, he became a CCAR-Certified Peer Recovery Coach to help others with similar backgrounds. Sam is passionate about giving back to his community, and he is excited to further his work in this field as a Peer Services Specialist on a Mobile Outreach team in partnership with Public Health—Seattle & King County.

 

When Sam is not engaged in peer work, he enjoys being outside on his bike, hiking, or running. He also loves architecture and urban history, so you may see him on a neighborhood walk with his camera. At home, he enjoys lounging with his cat, Winnie, and reading a good book.

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ROSALITA HILLARY

Peer Services Specialist

Born and raised in Seattle, Rosalita grew up amidst the city’s aughts gay-bar-based bohemian art scene—having an early exposure to both the culture that she would later come to know as her queer family and the rampant substance use that would go on to be one of her biggest challenges. During their teenage years through their early twenties, Rosa experienced several life-changing traumatic events, turning to alcohol, party drugs, and other self-destructive behaviors as a substitute for working through grief.

In 2020 following an escape from an abusive and dangerous living situation, Rosa began the work of getting sober once and for all and has since worked to build a life in pursuit of joy and community. With those intentions in mind, Rosa began seeking services at Peer Seattle in 2021, volunteering in 2022, and in 2023 is thrilled to be working as a Peer Services Specialist. Outside of her work, Rosa loves celebrating queer culture, going to the gym, spending time with her partners, and doodling comics.

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MARQUEZ TIGGS

Peer Services Specialist

Marquez was initially born and raised in Russellville, Alabama. Growing up, times were challenging for him as the 2nd oldest of 14 children and as a young black gay man growing up in the rural, conservative south. However, he pushed through racism, mental health challenges, and many other adversities. He began his journey in Washington state after being stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord in 2016. After completing his U.S. Army duties, Marquez has had many setbacks transitioning back into civilian life but has overcome them and made Seattle his forever home. Marquez’s passion is serving the community by volunteering and supporting those in need.

 

In Seattle, Marquez has flourished and lived his life out and proud. He comes from a banking and consumer lending background and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University. While attending support groups at Peer Seattle, Marquez discovered that it is a place where many can feel safe and be exactly who they are and not be judged or ridiculed. Marquez also advocates for diversity, human rights, and fair treatment. Marquez’s hobbies are hiking, gardening, road trips, and spending time at home.

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