Staff

Interim Executive Director: Clarinda White

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Strategy Director: Lauren Davis (she/her)

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Lauren grew up in King County and first became passionate about behavioral health advocacy when she served as the primary caregiver to her best friend Ricky Garcia, who was gravely ill with untreated alcohol and opiate addiction, and unable to get the care he needed because of the way our system works. Today, Ricky is in long-term recovery.

When Ricky got better, Lauren got to work fixing the system gap that nearly cost his life. She championed HB 1713, named “Ricky’s Law,” which was signed by Governor Inslee in 2016. The legislation created an involuntary crisis commitment system for youth and adults with life-threatening addiction. Ricky’s Law represents one of the largest single investments in addiction treatment in Washington state history. Lauren was recognized with the 2016 Hero Award from the Washington Council for Behavioral Health.

Lauren helped found the Washington Recovery Alliance in 2014, and now serves as the Strategy Director. She is a strong champion for mental health and addiction recovery and reforming the criminal justice system. She is a Fulbright Fellow, and has the honor of serving as a State Representative for Washington’s 32nd District.

Heather

King County Recovery Coalition Director: Heather Venegas (she/her)

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Heather Venegas is a servant leader in long-term recovery, and has lived experience with both substance use and mental health. She is passionate about the transformative power of recovery and loves to help others experience the gifts that recovery has given her. Heather joined the King County Recovery Coalition as the first Director in 2018.

Heather is active in global service travel as well as being of service locally. She brings joy, creativity and compassion to all she does. Heather is a woman of many talents: she’s a skilled speaker, teacher, coach, and even an ordained minister! She has a Master’s Degree in Consciousness Studies from Holmes Institute. She is passionate about and deeply committed to our vision of making recovery a reality for everyone.

Operations Manager: Annika Browne, MSW (she/her)

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Annika is passionate about working behind the scenes to help great teams do great work. She is so excited to work every day with the amazing recovery community and everyone here at the WRA. A lifelong Washingtonian, Annika has worked in operations and administration for a variety of human service and policy organizations in the greater Seattle area, focusing on poverty, human rights, and behavioral health. She received her Master of Social Work in Administration and Policy Practice from the University of Washington.

Development and Communications Manager: Alexandra Flanders (she/her)

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Program and Events Manager: Tristan Seikel, MS (they/he)

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Tristan is a community organizer who has worked on both electoral and issue-based campaigns that support people who use substances, those in recovery, and policy change rooted in harm reduction. They have created several grassroots organizations around these issues and are thrilled to apply their community building expertise to help the WRA deliver engaging recovery events and programs across Washington state. Beyond advocacy, Tristan enjoys spending time in the many beautiful parks here in King County. They received their Master of Science in Applied Anthropology degree from the University of North Texas in 2020.

Program and Communications Assistant: Karen Wedekind (she/her)

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Karen is currently a student at the University of Washington, studying Integrated Social Sciences with a focus in Psychology. She is passionate about advocating for those in recovery from mental health struggles and substance use, and supporting positive public policy change. Karen loves supporting the WRA as an assistant in its mission to promote recovery for all.

BASW Practicum Intern: Sabrina Springer (she/her)

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Sabrina is currently an honors student earning her bachelor’s degree in social welfare with the University of Washington. She is applying for the University of Washington’s graduate program in social work as a pathway to become a licensed clinical social worker in Washington state. She enjoys spending quality time with her son and outdoor gatherings with good friends. Her grandmother (Nana) was a recovering alcoholic for over 35 years and had attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as that was very helpful in her recovery. Sabrina has worked with North Seattle College as part of their Equity team since 2019. She is eager to learn more about how to be an effective team member with the WRA and contribute her best efforts moving forward.

BASW Practicum Intern: Andy Ford (he/they)

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Andy is a Bachelors of Arts in Social Welfare student in his senior year at the University of Washington. He is a passionate advocate of harm reduction, trauma informed care, and the housing first model of housing and addiction services. Within his program Andy leads an affinity space for disabled SSW UW students including those in mental health and substance use disorder recovery. Andy is also a Lead Volunteer at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter where he works on a team of volunteers to build community with and provide emotional support to shelter guests.

MSW Practicum Intern: Talus Peterson (she/her)

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Talus is one of WRA’s interns for the 2022-2023 academic year. She is currently working toward a master of social work (MSW) from the University of Washington School of Social Work. She recently moved to the Seattle area from Salt Lake City where she held various roles in the health care setting, from bedside care to administration. Upon graduation, Talus hopes to work with hospitals to destigmatize mental healthcare among employees and develop policy to provide employees with the care they need. In her free time, she loves playing with her dogs, reading a good book and exploring her new city!

Board of Directors

David Coffey, President (he/him)

David is the Executive Director of Recovery Café. He has guided Recovery Cafe’s programming with the Founders Killian Noe and Ruby Takushi for over 15  years. David also serves on the Mirabella Foundation Board, on the Fundraising Committee of the Food Bank at St. Mary’s, and is the Secretary of the Board Consejo Counseling Services. David is passionate about finding better solutions than incarcerating people for behavioral health disorders.

Melody Mckee, Immediate Past President (she/her)

Melody McKee, MS, SUDP, is the Program Director for the Behavioral Health Training, Workforce and Policy Innovation Center through Harborview Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Institute. She has worked in the Behavioral Health Field for 17 years. Melody is a founding member of the Washington Recovery Alliance and is a respected leader in both the behavioral health system and the recovery community. She participates in advocacy work at the local and state levels. Melody is a person in long-term recovery. She acknowledges her lived experience as the driving force behind her passion for improving the behavioral health system in Washington State.

Alan Muia, Vice President and Treasurer

Jerri Stanley, Secretary

Steve Daggett (he/him)

Steve Daggett, SUDP is a driven substance use disorder counselor in long-term recovery that lives to the ideal that recovery simply means “I am better today than I was yesterday and I am doing everything possible to be better tomorrow than I was today.” Steve’s creativity and energy combined with compassion and a strong desire to remind the recovery community that we don’t have to do this alone creates a network of caring and connection. After retiring from the Navy he stayed to continue his work with the Substance Use Disorder community. He is currently the clinical supervisor for the Substance Use Disorder programs at Sunrise Services, Inc, a Community based Behavioral Health provider in the North Sound area. Steve is also the Chairman of the Camano, Whidbey Island Recovery Coalition and Acting Chair of the North Sound Recovery Coalition.

Brad Finegood (he/him)

Brad Finegood, MA, LMHC, is Strategic Advisor at Public Health- Seattle& King County.  He oversees the public health response to substance use and overdose prevention.  In this role he recently served as a co-chair of the King County Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force. He received his bachelor’s from Michigan State University and his master’s in community agency counseling with a specialty in alcohol and drug abuse from Western Michigan University. Finegood has worked in the behavioral health field for 20 years in both substance use disorder and mental health. He has provided direct service in multiple modalities including prevention, outpatient, residential and medication-assisted treatment, both in institutions and the community. In November 2017, Finegood was named one of the thirty most innovative influential people in Seattle by Seattle Magazine. Most importantly, he is the sibling and survivor of a younger sibling that passed away of an overdose.

Ed Petersen (he/him)

Ed is a retired Air Force Veteran of 23 years. He was a high school math teacher and then a high school administrator, both as an assistant principal and principal for six years retiring in 2012. He is a proud father of a son in long term recovery. Ed has been the President of the local non-profit Seattle Chapter of Not One More, working to raise overdose awareness. He is also a member of the Pierce County Opioid Task Force and a founding member of the Pierce County Recovery Coalition. Ed is passionate about educating our communities and finding ways to provide on demand access to treatment facilities and care.

Cody B. West (he/him)

Cody is the Chief Program Officer at Peer Washington and brings a wide set of experiences from the private sector ranging from Accounting & Finance, Human Resources, Training & Development, Employee Relations and Management. He has been active in the Seattle recovery community for many years, providing services as a volunteer, peer group facilitator, peer recovery coach, trainer and tree lot assistant manager. He enjoys empowering individuals to create and sustain a healthy living approach to their lives.

Summer Anderson

Joel Chavez

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