Advisory Team

  • Abigail Brewer

    - by Claire Boomgaard

    My name is Abigail Brewer. I am a mother, wife, and have 3 and a half years of sobriety much of which I owe to the opportunities I have received from Recovery Beyond. I am now a true lover of nature, the bonding you get when out with friends and the stories I hear from everyone on the trail. I have now overcome so much, and learned so much! I have climbed and successfully summited Mt. Rainier, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Adams, Mt .Baker, and Mt. Saint Helens. I also have attempted to climb Mt. Hood. I never would have thought that these experiences could impact me so deeply. I honestly would have never known the love I would find for nature had I not spent time learning, training, and growing with Recovery Beyond. In my personal life I am a tattoo artist and work on call at a local youth shelter. I also teach a bible study and craft class with the women in the New Life Program through the Tacoma Rescue Mission. I play the cello most Sunday’s at my church Zion’s River. I want to give back as much as I possibly can because I have been given a second chance at my life again! I think I can offer a great perspective on the advisory team based on the experience I have obtained through being involved with Recovery beyond since 2016.

  • Scott Sowle

    - by Claire Boomgaard

    Scott grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest. It was a place where he spent his free time hiking and running in the woods. After graduating high school, he moved on to Utah’s Wasatch Mountains to pursue his snow skiing and cycling passions for the next 30 years. These outdoor activities were a way of life for Scott until his addictions caught up with him.

    He then moved to the Seattle area in 2009 seeking recovery and a renewed life and found this through an addiction program at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. It was also where he began to enjoy mountaineering during the first season of Climbing Out of Homelessness in 2011 (now RB).

    Scott recently worked with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission as the Health and Fitness Coach where he helped with the Recovery Beyond Climbing program. He has recently returned to Redeeming Soles, a nonprofit he founded in 2011, as the Executive Director. During his free time, you’ll find him running, hiking or climbing in the mountains along with riding his road bike or taking on a few PNW cyclocross races.

  • Virginia Burton

    - by Claire Boomgaard

    My name is Ginny Burton. I am a recovering addict with more than 7 and a half years of recovery from drugs and alcohol. When I got clean in December of 2012, I was ready to change my life in ways I had never thought of before. It was during this time I was called to the mountains. I began having a desire to be close to trees. That quickly evolved into hiking and then backpacking. In 2017 I started alpine climbing. In 2019 I climbed and summited Little Tahoma, Mt. Adams, and Big Tahoma in a 4-week period. Mountains have become central to not only my recovery but also to my mental health and stability.

    After nearly 30 years of a destructive past, I have emerged a new person. I give this credit to my recovery program, my higher power and the mountains.

    Mountains have been the key to my growth and change. I have a past many people don’t recover from. I went from being someone with 17 felony convictions, 3 prison sentences, years of drug abuse and domestic violence to a backpacking, mountain climbing, full time student heading to law school. I am an active member of a church and a successful parent. I give the credit to the mountains more than anything else. Without pushing myself to conquer them I would’ve never discovered what I am actually capable of. They’ve taught me more about myself than anything else in my entire life.

    Today I am an active runner, cyclist, workout fanatic, hiker, backpacker, mountain climber, and an aspiring rock climber. I am very excited to be a part of Recovery Beyond and its life changing activities.

  • Amanda Wager

    - by Claire Boomgaard

    Two years ago, I watched ‘A New High” and it struck a cord. I’ve always felt the outdoors is incredibly healing and nurturing and to watch people overcome hurdles and summit the highest volcano in Washington, wow! In my day job I work with the mentally ill and substance abuse population – one would think I would have my fill but to be around people who WANT to change and better themselves, I’m in. I pretty much stalked McKenzie and Nate since seeing that movie and finally our worlds collided last summer.

    Starting this year, I had the time and was ready to make the commitment. Only having a handful of hikes in with the group, I already feel a bond. There is an incredible amount of positivity and light that shines around the group, one can’t help themselves but feel empowered. The outdoors transforms people. It makes them laugh and be goofy or quiet while taking in all the sights and sounds. I’m thrilled to join the Advisory team and cannot wait for the new adventures and memories to begin! “Lookout” (that’s my trail name) is ready!

  • Jose Enciso

    - by Claire Boomgaard

    Born and raised in Oregon and after the separation of his mother and father at a very young age Jose grew up with a front row seat to the effects of drugs and alcohol. Eventually crumbling to the pressures of his surroundings Jose also fell victim to drugs and alcohol abuse for 17 years. In 2008 Jose lost everything he had and gained everything he needed at the same time…he found the rooms of AA and NA. Entirely devoted to his faith and his sobriety Jose immediately began doing service work, got a sponsor, worked the steps and eventually started sponsoring others and chairing meetings. He now has over 11 years clean and sober looking for 12 in August! He has worked with his church as a leader in forgiveness classes and 3rd grade ministry leader. He has also worked with Youth Eastside services mentoring at risk youth and is involved heavily in his community volunteering at St Angelines for Thanksgiving Day meal prep and serving and also serves at local food banks, works donation programs to benefit local communities and financially supporting housing for mentally disabled adults thru their family restaurant. He works full time as a Senior Supervisor in building operations and engineering and helps out at his family’s restaurant The Triple X Root Beer Drive in on Sundays. Jose became an avid hiker after the sudden loss of his mother searching and finding ultimate peace and balance on mountain tops and in the midst of nature. He is also a dedicated cyclist who trains with Cascade Cycling Club and has done the famous STP Seattle to Portland ride for 3 years in a row. He enjoys hot yoga, Brazilian jiu jitsu, long boarding and spending time with his wife and their family of 9 kids. Yes, he has 9 kids!! Jose saw one of McKenzie’s posts on Facebook about Recovery Beyond and was instantly drawn to the purpose, met up with the group for a hike and the rest is history. He loves sharing testimonies, mentoring, guiding and inspiring others with compassion and love! Heart on his sleeve for everyone to see Jose is always smiling and ready to strike up a conversation and welcome you into his heart!

  • Scott Brown

    - by Nate Lanting

    It all started when Scott served up an entire watermelon to the 2018 Mt. Rainier team at Pebble Creek while sporting a watermelon t-shirt. A much appreciated and satisfying treat, and not to mention hilarious! Since then, Scott has been known as “Mr. Recovery Beyond”; making Recovery Beyond flags and shirt of his own.

    That is Scott; an ever-loving, hilarious, and valued member of our team. Scott climbs mountains, treks around the world and is fast approaching a decade of being clean and sober. He volunteers and serves as a Backpack Lead, Hike Lead, Fitness Instructor, Recovery Mentor, and Program Advisor for Recovery Beyond. You may find him leading a hike, telling a joke, or quite possibly sporting some new watermelon garb.

  • Mick Pearson

    - by Jesper Dinesen

    Mick resides in Seattle, WA managing Kaf Adventures an outdoor education and adventure travel company, and works tirelessly to provide world-class experiences and educational experiences that provide knowledge and a greater perspective of wilderness travel.

    Mick’s true passion is education. He has found a unique passion for educating aspiring instructors and guides in the U.S. You will find him outside helping new leaders gain confidence in their ability to make decisions in complex environments.

    Mick is an American Mountain Guide Association certified Rock and Alpine Guide, SPI Program Provider, AMGA Instructor Team Member, LNT Master Trainer, a Wilderness First Responder, a certified Level 3 AAI Avalanche graduate, and a Course Leader for the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education.

    He joins the Recovery BP board to support operations and safety practices of the volunteer leaders.

  • McKenzie Johnson

    - by Jesper Dinesen

    If you’ve ever checked out Recovery Beyond’s Facebook page or Instagram account, you’re more than likely familiar with the friendly, smiling face of McKenzie Johnson, one of Recovery Beyond’s “super” volunteers. In the photos shared, you might see her standing atop a mountain she’s just climbed grinning from ear to ear or proudly posing with a group of Recovery Beyond’s program participants on a training hike that she has led.  If you’re like me, you may know McKenzie’s name from a Washington Facebook hiking and climbing page called the Washington Hikers and Climbers, a place where McKenzie has shared her story of recovery and adventures in the mountains over the years.

    Read more about McKenzie’s story.

  • Becky Vinson

    - by Jesper Dinesen

    Becky Vinson is known for her deep love of others and an “I-can-do-that” attitude. This last year, she was one of our community climbers with our Climbing Out program. Her wit, sass, and southern charm is top-notch in our book. Becky is one of a kind. Recently we had the opportunity to interview her and hear more about what makes Becky, Becky. She shared her ups and downs, the courage needed along the way and some of her reflections on the climbing program.

    Read more about Becky’s story.

  • Katie Zeitler

    - by Jesper Dinesen

    Katie is the volunteer coordinator, storytelling lead, and is on the social media amplification team for Recovery Beyond. She currently works in the healthcare field.

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