Salk Lake City  team

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Tanner Gray

Program Director


 

Tanner was born and raised in the small town of Wylie, Texas. The youngest of three, raised along with primarily by a wonderful single mother who unknowingly taught him everything he needed to about character and resilience.

Football and sports in general dominated most of Tanner’s time and energy, while academics were placed on the back burner. High school came easy, but college studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was a different challenge. It was through adversity that Tanner fell in love with academics and applied research. After graduating, he went on to work at a cancer research hospital as a researcher in biophysics.

Something wilder was calling and Tanner moved to Utah to become a Wilderness Therapy guide working with adults on the spectrum, those battling addition, depression, and anxiety. He fell in love with group and individual therapy and creating lasting magical moments for young adults. After nearly six years, Tanner discovered the path of Life Coaching and how the same ideas can be applied to real-life environments and situations, setting people on paths towards their own greatness whatever that might be.

When he isn’t working with clients, you can find him somewhere above 10,000ft trail running, alpine climbing, or ski-mountaineering. 

It also introduced him to his life’s passion. Teaching and team building is where Joe feels like he can be his authentic self. The Scouts gave him a place to explore those skills. He was eventually given the opportunity to build his own challenge course. One of his proudest accomplishments. 

 

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Billy Nicola

Executive Director Salt Lake City

COO All Locations

Billy has a long-standing connection to the core principals of Pacia Life. He personally benefited immensely when he was younger by having individuals in his life that coached, mentored, and helped him figure out both who he was, and also who he wanted to become. Though he didn’t know it at the time, those experiences laid the foundation that would lead to an incredible life journey and career path.

Billy graduated college with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing, including time spent studying abroad. After working in the corporate world, he desired to find more passion in his work and searched for opportunities to assist others. Before joining Pacia, he started with an entry-level position and eventually was a program manager for several years at the largest outdoor therapeutic company in the nation. Billy’s natural ability to quickly build relationships coupled with his organizational skills and attention to detail make him an incredible asset the Pacia family.

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Dan engel
Life Coach


 

Dan specializes in working with non-neurotypical populations by bringing high levels of empathy and creativity to the table when addressing the needs of an individual’s unique neurology. Dan is passionate about fitness and all of the many adventure activities that Salt Lake City, Utah has to offer.

Dan Engel has over 600 trail days as a wilderness therapy guide and was awarded the Jumping Mouse award for excellent guiding at the 2014 Wilderness Therapy Symposium.

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Jose Acevedo
Life Coach


 

Jose mentored students in Portugal for nearly six months before transferring to Salt Lake City in March of 2020.  

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Jose teaches Spanish to students wanting to study Spanish as a second language.  Jose is very gifted in creative writing and painting. 

Jose loves the study of positive psychology and training the mind to get real-life results.  

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Sohan de valle
ICF Certified Life Coach Yogi 


 

Having grown up in Puerto Rico, Sohan is fluent in both Spanish and English and has studied French. Her college studies from the Universidad de Puerto Rico in psychology and social sciences also lead her to become a certified International Coach Federation (ICF) Life Coach.  Through her schooling, previous experience, and the Tatori Method allows her to take young adults through a thought-provoking and creative process. Her goal is to inspire them to maximize the personal and professional next chapters of their lives!

 


Sohan shares, "The things I enjoy most of this life are nature, listening, writing, loving, music, the beach, and Rincón! The quality I enjoy most of my self is my empathy. I am passionate about growing and helping everyone grow every day. 

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Allyson Loshin
Life Coach


 

Allyson is from the San Francisco Bay area. She grew up playing a lot of sports, including water polo, swimming, basketball and soccer. She has always been outgoing and loves meeting new people. Allyson loves to be outside and spend most of her free time exploring in nature. She loves to camp, hike, swim, play softball, rock-climb, and ski. Allyson is very close with her family which is something she is very grateful for.

 

Allyson states, "I try to surround myself with healthy people who inspire me to be the best version of myself.” Allyson has traveled extensively, some of her favorite places are Turkey, Portugal, Spain, London, Mexico, France, Israel and has been backpacking in Austria. Allyson has worked in recovery since 2014. Her true passion is working with addicts, which stems from her own struggle with achieving sobriety and being in recovery.

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Jess Baird
Life Coach

 

Jess is a clinically informed life coach in Pacia Life. While based out of Salt Lake City, Jess also helped start-up Pacia Life Boston and Pacia Life Portugal. 

 

Before coming to Pacia Life, Jess has worked in other therapeutic treatment facilities and has specialties understanding addiction and dual diagnosis challenges.  

Jess has specialized training on DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and incorporates those skills into her life coaching modalities and the Tatori method when appropriate.

 

While Pacia Life is a life coaching GAP year experience, not a treatment facility, Jess brings additional understanding to clients who may be struggling through college or just normal life experiences.

Jess is also certified in Neuro Pathway Symmetry, a process of doing brain mapping and brain training for peak performance.

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Amanda Ravensbergen

Life Coach

manda has lived in New Jersey, Germany, Colorado and now Utah. During seven years living in Europe, Amanda traveled to 14 different countries and became familiar with the military community while going to school on an Army base. Amanda’s professional background is in wilderness therapy as well as rock climbing and backpacking guiding. She also brings her more creative interests to Pacia by sharing her knowledge of jewelry making, painting, film photography and creative writing skills with clients. Amanda’s professional and personal experiences have equipped her to help clients practice a “work hard, play hard, rest hard” attitude where life can feel full of adventure, joyful relationships, purposeful work, and meaningful self-care.

In 2015 Amanda moved 2,500 miles away from home and family to pursue a dream that did not make sense to many people in her close circle. She transferred from a university in her home state of New Jersey to a state university in Colorado. It was during her time at Western State Colorado University that Amanda was first encouraged to identify her strengths and pick a path where she could do the most good with what she was already talented at: leadership, empathy, conflict-resolution, and self-exploration. Through this strengths lens, Amanda pursued opportunities in life that brought these natural strengths and her personal passions for outdoor adventure and creative expression together.

Amanda hopes to be a resource for those at Pacia looking to discover and embrace their own natural strengths and specific areas for growth in order to create a meaningful and fulfilling life.

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Keith Andrews
Coach & Mentor


 

Hi, my name is Keith Andrews. I was born and raised in Juneau Alaska. I grew up exploring the mountains, glaciers, and rainforests of Southeast Alaska with a pair of skis, hiking boots, boats, lots of rain gear with contagious happiness and stoke for life in general and the outdoors. ​

For 15 months before starting at Pacia Life, I worked for Aspiro Adventures as an adventure wilderness therapy guide. I took at-risk young adults to all the corners of Utah to learn about themselves and what they have to change in their lives to be a successful functional human in society. My primary responsibility included leading experiential adventure activities designed to promote personal growth outcomes. As a therapeutic adventure guide, I used the power of relationship and solution-focused thinking to create natural conversation and ceremony to guide young adults to make better choices in their lives. 

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Ben Brown

Life Coach, Music,

Job and Academic , Remote Coach

Ben has a unique, enlightened style of life coaching that has been developed from a wide variety of industry experience and a diverse educational background. 

Working with young adults since 2000 in a variety of settings, including wilderness therapy, group homes, and residential treatment centers, Ben has a gift for seeing the strengths in others that they can't see in themselves and teaching them how to use those strengths to overcome a variety of problems they may encounter in life. 

Inside of Pacia Life, as a Family Systems Coach and Family Dynamics Specialist, Ben has developed an intricate family coaching system using formal assessments to help young adults, and families get results. It is through the use of these systems in which Ben uses love and intuition to guide him in what is needed at that moment in time for that young adult and the family. 

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Kat Werdan

Coach & Mentor


Kat has always been passionate about the outdoors since she was a child. Frequently traveling and camping with her family inspired her to follow her heart to whatever adventure was next. Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, Kat’s experiences in nature from a young age formed a healing relationship and deep connection with the natural world.

Like many of the students at Pacia Life, growing up and becoming the “CEO” of her own life wasn’t always easy. Kat encountered many challenges and difficult choices along the way. This is where she discovered her ability to look inward for grit, resilience, and self-efficacy, as well as a passion for serving others in the community and teaching these and other skills she discovered through her journey.

With an educational background in psychology and environmental studies from Northern Illinois University, Kat set out to southern Utah, where she began her journey as a field mentor at Elements Wilderness Program. What first drew her to wilderness therapy was the desire to pay it forward and mentor students through teaching dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), 7 challenges, and other therapeutic tools.

After almost three years of working at Elements and becoming one of their most distinguished staff. Kat felt it was time to further her own growth, as well as assist other demographics. This is when Kat discovered Pacia Life at the 2021 Outdoor Behavioral Health Symposium. At Pacia Life, She has been able to use her creativity, mixed with the Tatori method to help guide clients to their own truth. She was also able to incorporate tools like flow theory, the 5 love languages, and goal setting which she was already familiar with through previous work.


 

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Damian Trujillo

Life Coach

Counselor (CSUDC)

Before founding his own specialized recovery center, Damian worked full time with Pacia Life as a Clinically Informed Life Coach. Today, he continues to provide specialized services in partnership with Pacia Life.

You can learn more about Inspiro Recovery by visiting http://www.inspirorecovery.com/.

After spending much of his teenage and young adult years making wrong decisions and suffering because of them, at the age of 30, Damian began to change his life. He began to shift from someone that was addicted to drugs and alcohol that experienced extreme consequences into someone with integrity, values, and morals.

more useful lives.

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Tasheena Stephenson Academic Specialist, Life Coach
 

Tasheena Stephenson has a passion for helping, serving and inspiring others. Having obtained specialized training and a certification in Therapeutic Recreation, she has utilized her skills in treatment facilities working with young people with autism, anxiety and anger issues, as well as drug and alcohol addiction since November of 2010. On the other end of the life spectrum, Tasheena has spent nearly two years working with the elderly within a behavioral health setting and in Hospice. She believes being there for ones leaving this world and the families surrounding them, has created a personal light of compassion, understanding, and belief of making the most out of every moment.

 

Tasheena received her Associates in Business Management and will soon receive her Bachelors in Music Business in 2017. Her motivation and push towards finding her path and expanding knowledge has created a desire for Tasheena to help others with their own academic path, building a path towards self-motivation. Tasheena loves the outdoors and credits her children as her everyday inspiration!

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Eileen Rojas
LCSW
Dance, Arts, Music

 

Eileen helps students interested in the arts of dance and music integrate into the local vibe of Salt Lake City. She has a passion for dance and has been performing and teaching in Salt Lake City, UT since receiving her BFA in Modern Dance in 2004. She also keeps her creative side alive by song writing with her husband Trevor.  (http://www.trevorpricemusic.com)

Eileen Rojas is part of our community network and is an enthusiast of life. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 15 years of experience working with adolescents, families, and adults as a therapist, mentor, social worker, and teacher. She runs her own community based private practice and works with the team from COMPASS COUNSELING & CONSULTING. 

Eileen loves being outdoors and is an avid skier, rock climber, mountain biker, and hiker. If she lived by the sea she would definitely add surfing to that list. Eileen has enjoyed traveling abroad with her husband and spending time visiting her family in Colombia.

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Trevor Price
Music Industry Coach


 

Trevor Price is a sound engineer, music coach, has his own band, and the owner of Stone Angel Music Recording Lounge. Stone Angel is a private label studio for world-renowned American Pianist Paul Cardall.  Trevor coaches young adults seeking to develop their music careers.  

As an independently contracted music coach, Trevor will work with Pacia Life students in both a career track or a hobby only track. 

Pacia Students do have to commit to a consistent schedule and work ethic to work with Trevor Price and the Music studio. 

trevor price, utah's best kept secret - blog written by joshua waldron

I have been a fan of Trevor Price for many years now. He has always amazed me with his melodies, lyrics, and most of all the emotion in his performances. He has had somewhat of a difficult musical journey because of his two very distinct writing styles. Its almost like he has two musical faces that constantly argue with each other as to which way to go. In most cases, this problem would cause a musician to produce records that have no theme, no direction, and would likely sound all over the place, but Trevor does not seem to have this problem. Although his records are very different from one another they seem to complement each other.

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Kim Mikesell
Emotional Dog Support Trainer


 

Kim is an AKC certified evaluator, certified obedience trainer, and certified service and therapy dog trainer. She also serves on the Intermountain Therapy Animals Board of Directors.

Kim also understands the Life Coaching process and the value of capitalizing on the experience of training the dog owner is the real key to success! 

Kim has loved animals all her life but didn’t truly understand what dogs were capable of until a life-changing incident. After becoming involved with drugs, Kim spent some time in prison where everything changed. During her prison stay Kim vowed to turn her life around and earned her AA in psychology, as well as got extremely involved in the dog program and learned to train service and therapy dogs.

This is really where Kim’s love for training dogs flourished and where she realized that she wanted to not only help people but help dogs get second chances too.

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Emily Letts

Coach & Mentor
 

Originally from Pasadena, California, Lead Life Coach Emily Letts has called Salt Lake her home since 2017. Emily has over 5 years of experience working in the field of mental health including 3.5 years in wilderness therapy and additional time working in a psychiatric hospital.

Before making a large career shift into mental health, Emily graduated from the University of Michigan with a dual degree in Political Science and Chinese. She lived in China to study Mandarin and has traveled extensively around Europe and southeast Asia. After graduating, she lived in DC and worked for a large government agency. Two years of working in a cubicle was enough for Emily and she left everything behind to ride her bicycle across the country and find passion working in mental health.

Emily has experience working with teenagers and young adults dealing with depression, anxiety, PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, eating disorders, and self harm. She has worked with neuro divergent populations including with clients on the Autism Spectrum. She is a certified Clinical First Responder and is in the process of becoming a licensed therapist.

Emily is a certified yoga instructor and leads Pacia Life's 6 week Yoga and Meditation Training with students. She believes in making yoga and mindfulness accessible and approachable for everyone.

When she is not with students, Emily spends her free time throwing pots in the pottery studio, running ultra marathons, practicing yoga, and knitting lots of sweaters.

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Michael Krushinsky

Fitness and Nutrition Coaching

​Wasatch Fitness Academy

As a kid I played, and hated, team sports. CrossFit was the first exercise experience (outside of running and cycling) that I enjoyed. After several years training and coaching in a few different communities, I realized there was something missing. I wasn’t satisfied with the degree to which CrossFit coaches focused on quality movement, and I didn’t appreciate the always-competitive nature of these gyms. When we opened WFA, the intentions were clear: build quality and then layer on intensity; build cooperation among athletes and competition for each athlete with self; and provide an experience where everyone leaves happy, strong, and moving better than when they came in.

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Scott Schaffer

Coach & Mentor

Scott grew up in Idaho where he spent  time camping in the mountains with his family, going backpacking, and learning to mountain bike, rock climb, and ski.  He graduated with a degree in Secondary Education and History from the University of Idaho and moved to China to teach English at a university prep school.  

 

In 2013, Scott decided that he wanted to apply his background in the outdoors and education in a non traditional setting and began working in therapeutic programs, including primitive and adventure wilderness therapy and residential treatment.  In these settings, he experienced the power of mentorship and modeling and how connection to others and the environment can bring about positive change.  

 

In his free time, Scott enjoys adventuring in the mountains and desert with his wife and two dogs, rock climbing, skiing, biking, playing guitar, fly fishing, knife making and woodworking.