Born and raised in Montana, Cindy has always had an appreciation for the outdoors. This appreciation grew into a real passion in her mid-30s. Cindy moved to Utah when she was 19, and now she can’t imagine living anywhere else! For Cindy, Utah has everything an avid outdoor explorer could hope for: mountains, deserts, canyons, red rock, five world-famous national parks . . . the list goes on and on!
Cindy has a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Master of Business Administration. She’s currently a commercial property manager and manages more than 500,000 square feet of office space in downtown Salt Lake City. Her hobbies / passions include hiking, backpacking, playing soccer, and being the “cool” aunt.
Cindy is certified in wilderness first aid and adult first aid/CPR/AED.
Angelique is originally from a teeny, tiny town in southeastern Oklahoma. She didn’t grow up hiking or doing outdoorsy things. When she was 30, she spontaneously signed up for a backpacking trip to Havasupai Falls and absolutely loved it. That trip and the end of her 10-year emotionally abusive marriage were the catalysts that led her to discover her love for hiking, backpacking, and traveling.
Angelique has a bachelor’s degree in English education and a master’s degree in literacy, as well as a second master’s degree in technical writing. When she’s not hiking, backpacking, or traveling, she’s writing proposals for a construction company that does all federal construction. She also periodically teaches undergraduate English classes online for a university in Missouri. Outside of hiking and backpacking, Angelique loves to lift weights. You can find her in the gym every morning at 5 am.
Angelique is certified in wilderness first aid and adult first aid/CPR/AED.
Denise is originally from Dallas, Texas. She has lived all over the US but came to Utah from Phoenix, Arizona. Denise is the residential director in northern Utah County for a company that provides services for adults and children with cognitive disabilities. She is a pretty fierce advocate for a traditionally underserved population.
Denise grew up in an outdoorsy family. Her dad was always taking her into the woods, biking and roller-skating around the lake. She spent summers camping and playing in rivers and can’t remember a time she wasn’t outdoors. When she is not outside, Denise is busy with her family. She is married with three kids with one still at home. She loves going to museums, concerts, and festivals and just getting out into the community. She also loves all of her critters: two dogs, a cat, and two Guinea pigs!
Sam is from Buffalo, New York. She moved to Salt Lake City with her husband and her dog right when COVID-19 hit. Sam is a physical therapist and loves to encourage people to be active and live healthy balanced lives. She’s been working with geriatrics and has been amazed by how much a little activity and conversation can do for a person’s well-being. Other than hiking, Sam loves snowboarding, boating, camping, cooking, gardening, and tailgating for the Buffalo Bills—which is her favorite thing to do.
Since she was a kid, Sam has always loved to hike and camp. Back in western New York, the hiking trails are quite limited compared to Utah, so Sam found herself hiking the same trails over and over again. Now that she is in Utah, she feels like Utah is a big adult playground for outdoor activities. After moving across the country away from everything she has ever know, hiking has helped Sam create a sense of identity, as well as make new friends.
Erin grew up in Oregon, where she also went to college (go Ducks!) and lived for 10+ years post-school. After being burnt out from a decade in corporate accounting and with a love of travel, in January 2018 Erin and her husband decided to sell their condo in Portland, put all their possessions into storage, and hit the road. They traveled to 28 countries in 2 years and did some amazing things like backpacking the W Trail in Patagonia, SCUBA diving in the Red Sea of Jordan, and doing a safari in Kenya!
This past June, especially with COVID changing their nomadic lifestyle, they decided to settle in the small, welcoming mountain town of Park City. Erin loves being able to hike, ski, and run right from her condo. Workwise, Erin is back in accounting, now doing financial reporting for a telemedicine startup from the comfort of my home, usually in yoga pants. Outside of hiking, she also loves to Crossfit, do yoga, bake, and read.
Rachel is originally from Wisconsin, but she lived the last 5 years in the Netherlands and Finland before moving to Salt Lake City in June 2020. Rachel is working for an oatmilk startup company and is starting her own company, SLC Chow, which launches in February 2021. She loves to knit, read, eat, and play board games with her friends. Rachel is really interested in the environment and sustainability initiatives and is always trying to learn more about how she can live a more conscious lifestyle. Because of this passion, Rachel will be leading our community service and outreach program.
Rachel first started hiking when she moved abroad and joined a group trip to the Picos De Europa in North Spain. She loved the physical exertion, the amazing views, and being able to come back to her hotel at the end of the day and feel relaxed and accomplished. It’s what has made her travels more unique and exciting and has drawn her towards environmentalism.
Melissa Lyon West, New Member / Beginner / Mom Ambassador
Melissa is originally from Baltimore and moved to Salt Lake City two years ago to help start a nature-based preschool downtown. Melissa is a badass mom of 4 wildlings and a life coach for those dealing with guilt, shame, and fear—all things she herself has experienced. Melissa loves new planners, all the plants, collecting books that she WILL read this time, meeting new friends, and connecting over conversations without judgment.
The nature preserve in her backyard where she ran wild most days was her babysitter. She lost that wild child over the next 20 years to trauma and anxiety. Hiking has helped Melissa heal through trauma, and it continues to support her mental health. Long walks and hikes in nature, usually with a baby on her back, became part of her healing journey and a a gateway to learning she was safe to take a deep breath, powerful enough to carry herself to the top of the mountain, and brave enough to do something just for herself.
Alessandra Coote, Davis / Weber County Ambassador
Alessandra is an Army veteran from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She currently works at Hill Air Force Base as an aerospace engineer. Outside of work, she loves art, literature, snowboarding, and hiking, of course!
Hiking has always been part of Alessandra’s life. In fact, one of her first memories was hiking in Yellowstone National Park with her dad. For Alessandra, hiking has represented different things throughout the years: sometimes it’s a chance to prove herself and her physical ability (like trail marathons), and sometimes it’s a chance to reconnect with herself and nature. Other times, hiking is a tool to get Alessandra out of a funk, a way for her to leave all of her problems at the trailhead and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
Tissiana Peterson, All-Area / New Member Ambassador
Tissiana is originally from Ecuador and has been living in the States for the past 13 years. She is a wife and a mother of two little humans and a cute schnauzer. Tissiana loves hiking, backpacking, biking, rollerblading, and pretty much anything that gets her body moving. She also loves to cook and is on a mission to find the best bakery wherever she goes.
Hiking is Tissiana’s spiritual practice. It heals her. Tissiana got into hiking after severe postpartum depression with her first child. She figured the only way out of that space was getting outside, and so she did with her child in tow. From there, she began reaching out to strangers in random hiking groups on Facebook (including the Wine Hiking Society!). Many of those strangers have become some of her dearest friends. With the Wine Hiking Society, Tissiana found sisterhood and a community she was yearning for.
Let's Hit the Trail!
Our ambassadors are here to make sure you have a fun, safe time on the trail. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or new to the outdoors, you’re guaranteed to meet other women who also share a love of the wilderness and wine.