Peers Empower Peers Conference

We are back in person for this years Peers Empower Peers annual
conference! As devoted peers we invest our hearts, and energy into caring for,
advocating for, empowering, and supporting others. That is no small task. As caring
professionals it is absolutely essential that our own needs are routinely cared for
too. Through regular self-care and tending to our own wholistic wellness we can
find greater sustainability and effectiveness in our roles as peers. Join us, in
person, for this this years peer wholistic wellness centered conference, “PEER &
SIMPLE: It Starts With a Balanced YOU!”

Register Now!
2 Days (Saturday-Sunday)
9+ Workshops
Join Us Via Zoom for our
2021 Virtual Conference
—  2023
Peers Empower Peers 2023 Conference

About The Peers Empower Peers Conference

In 2018, A group of Eastern Washington Peers recognized the need for opportunities to grow, network and celebrate recovery for peers in Eastern and Central Washington and began a discussion. This resulted in the first annual Peers Empower Peers (PEP) conference on July 13, 2019! In response to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the PEP Conference Committee made the decision to go virtual for the 2nd annual conference. The conference was a tremendous success in bringing folks together to share their passion for recovery and to build lasting connections.In an effort to build on and sustain those connections, we are excited to announce that we will be hosting a 5th annual conference this year on June 17th and will be in person to bring our peer community together.

Speakers coming soon

Keynote Speaker

Thomas Jackson is a self-motivated individual known for
his unwavering determination and genuine love for others.
A loyal friend would describe him as someone who never
gives up and consistently spreads positivity. Thomas's
compelling speeches on self-care resonate deeply with his
audience, captivating them with his authentic belief in the
importance of prioritizing one's well-being. Through his
words, people are inspired to embrace self-care as a vital
component of a fulfilling and balanced life.

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Thomas Jackson
Annette Jones, Keynote Speaker

This Years Keynote Speaker

Annette Jones is co-founder of Jones Community Solutions, a for-profit, Peer run, social services enterprise and co-developer of Community Life, a virtual community drop-in center focused on mental health recovery & wellness. She has been certified as a Peer Counselor since 2015 and has found her niche working as a Change Agent with services and organizations in the community that are already doing great work. Annette works to eliminate stigma and discrimination by creating all-inclusive community events, providing educational workshops, seminars and trainings to the community at large, and by partnering with other organizations to provide new community solutions to old social challenges. She has been a trainer for the Washington State Certified Peer Training in six modules, including Trauma-Informed, Ethics and Boundaries, Cross-Cultural Partnership, Supporting Goal Setting, Facilitating Groups for Recovery, and Supporting Self-advocacy, and participated in the collaboration to write the Peer Bridge Training Curriculum for Recovery Coaches. She is certified as a Peer Group Facilitator, Recovery Coach, Mental Health First Aid, DBT Skills Group, Recovery Advocacy, Trauma-Informed, and the Teen Program training for Strong African American Families. Annette attended four years at the University of California, Berkeley, and enjoys being a lifelong learner.

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We Stand Together As Peers!

Calling all presenters!

Do you have a workshop idea?

You can submit to present a workshop at this year's conference here!

Submit Now!
Nora Cornelius, Opening Speaker

Opening Speaker

Nora is a Spokane Tribal Member who has been in the counseling field for 23years working primarily with Native American youth and families. Nora has worked with women in addiction, high risk pregnancies and domestic violence issues as a PCAP supervisor and mental health counselor. She practices holistic healing and is trained in heart centered hypnotherapy, incorporating many traditional ways of healing to address issues related to generational and complex trauma.

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Spotlight On Local Leader

Jessica Goulart’s journey as a peer leader began when she first went through the state’s peer training to receive her certification. However, her passion and desire to work with others really began with a desire to teach, to share her gift of art with the world (both hands on and written) and to bring her teaching experience to a whole new level as it has been such a rewarding, centering, and calming coping skill that she has carried through a lifetime of many different types of challenges, as well as positive experiences. When Jessica left the Pottery studio to seek education, she had no idea whether she would be likely to pick up clay again.  However, recently during Covid she decided to bring home a box of clay, and was pleased to learn that it was as if she had never put it down. Jessica has brought many people the gift of art through her recent experience as a Peer, and thinks of herself as a kind of community connector, and arts advocate, volunteering in multiple different atmospheres, leading all types of craft and writing groups whenever the opportunity arises. Jessica is currently involved with Peer Spokane as a Peer Coach and has also been connecting with Spark Central in a number of different ways, and enjoys sharing the many available programs at both places with individuals in the community. Jessica is a persistent and tenacious leader who pursues her goals with unwavering commitment and compassion for all that she meets. Jessica is a writer, an artist, a leader, a community connector, and a really good friend to have.  

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Jessica Goulart, Spotlight On Local Leader
Allyssa J Jomei, Certified Peer Counselor, Certified Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Director, Founder of Everyday Sacred Mystery℠


Allyssa is a passionate peer educator, advocate, and mentor.  Over the years she has served as a support group facilitator and peer leader with local mental health nonprofits.  She has helped in organizing and leading various mental health offerings to educate and support the community-at-large, including community forums, trainings, and workshops.  Allyssa is a certified Reiki Master-Teacher, has taken lay-ordination vows in a Zen Buddhist community, is a certified Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Director, and founded an online community (Everyday Sacred Mystery℠) offering classes, meditations, and community gatherings. Informed by her own journey, Allyssa has integrated numerous effective avenues and methods to assist peers’ holistic healing, personal development, and overall wellbeing.  Allyssa’s deepest passion is connecting with and empowering others to transform their stories of darkness into powerful lessons of hope, inspiration, courage, resiliency, and growth.  She believes that mental health peers are a force to be reckoned with.  “When we join hands to support, encourage, and shine light on each others paths, we are all better able to fully embrace our challenging, sometimes messy, yet beautiful life journeys.  There are no limits to what we can accomplish, together.”

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Amazing people

This Years Guests

Allyssa Jomei

Allyssa Jomei is a passionate peer. She is motivated by her own powerful and transformative journey of healing, self-growth and self-discovery. She is described by friends as joyful, silly, empathic and thoughtful. When she is not working, Allyssa loves being outdoors, and spending time with her daughter and loved ones. She feels blessed to be a part of the peer movement that is changing our world for the better!

Amy Griesel

Amy has been on a journey of recovery since graduating from the Felony Mental Health Court in 2016. After this life-changing event, she realized she wanted to walk alongside those seeking support and recovery. Amy became a CPC in 2018 and in 2019, she became nationally certified as a peer specialist through the Association for Addiction Professionals. Amy began working as a care navigator, utilizing her peer support skills and became the first peer support specialist at Deaconess hospital, creating a hospital-based peer program. She began as the Recovery Café manager in Spokane in 2022 and has since accepted a position with WSU and HCA as the Peer Bridger/Peer Respite program manager. Amy aspires to transform systems from within and build further peer support programs, as she has seen the impact this has made on the lives of those that she serves.

James Tillett

The curator of creativity and innovator of antics when it comes to Peer support. Highly passionate and dedicated to providing compassionate support to the individuals in co- occurring recovery. Enthusiasm, and strength based beliefs allow for him to get the most of of his community members and partners never hesitating to build bridges when given the chance.

John Bodkins

John Bodkins is the current President of Peers Empower Peers and The Executive Director for Dads on Fire. He hold several certifications as a trainer in Mental Health. John is always seeking to break new ground and share his knowledge of education advocacy.

Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis is the PR Manager at Jones Community Solutions. He is a devoted father and a passionate advocate for empowering others. Jordan is thrilled to attend the Peers Empower Peers Conference as an emerging leader. His diverse range of skills include being a certified peer counselor in training, an artist, a community convener, a visionary & futurist. By combining these roles, he bring a unique perspective and a strong sense of purpose to the conference.

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a certified peer counselor, a recovery coach, and most importantly, a proud Dad and husband.

Terrance Nelson

Terrance Nelson came to Spokane from Alaska in 2010 beginning his journey of recovery. Over the last 13 years he has explored community building while utilizing person centered care and at the heart of this workshop he shares insight into a core value of his self-care: Exercising Your Yes and Protecting Your No. He brings laughter and stories to share that will help each one in attendance understand the value of self-care and leave refreshed as they go back in to serving others.

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Dynamic speakers


Hours of speakers and workshops


Day of peer insights


Conference to rule them all

// 2023
Join Us at The Hive Spokane, WA
June 17, 2023


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Full Schedule


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