Our Team

Fostering sisterhood and strength in the outdoors

Our Mission

The Women’s Wine Hiking Society was formed to create lifelong connections and friendships among amazing women who are passionate about exploring the outdoors and our beautiful backcountry. Our mission is to empower women to discover not only their own strength and ability as they journey through the wilderness but also the power in supporting other women in the outdoors. Together we hike, backpack, and socialize in a judgment-free environment.

Find a Society chapter near you!

Cindy Vance, Co-Founder

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 Fish, Co-Founder

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.

Amanda Meyers, Utah County Ambassador

Amanda was a Navy brat and grew up all over the U.S. She moved to Utah for college 11 years ago and became so smitten with Utah that she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Amanda didn’t grow up active in the outdoors. Although she appreciated the beauty of places, she never wanted to work hard to get to them. It wasn’t until she moved to Utah and discovered the mind-blowing places we have out west that she began to embrace the challenge of getting to beautiful places.

Hiking later helped heal Amanda. After Amanda got divorced, left the LDS church, and shed some of her old beliefs, getting outdoors helped her feel more like herself and freer than before.

These days, Amanda has 2 dogs that she loves to spend time with and take hiking. Otherwise, photography and travel are Amanda’s major passions. She’s traveled to 20 countries and still travels to parts of Utah monthly. Amanda lives for travel and adventure.

When Amanda isn’t traveling, she can be found at Texas Instruments, which pays for her bills and her adventures.

Sam Martino, Salt Lake County Ambassador

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 Mckalip, Summit County Ambassador

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 Smith, Community Service and Outreach Ambassador

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.

Kari Michal, New Member Coordinator

Kari is from New Zealand and has been in America for 25 years. For 22 years, she has worked for Delta as a flight attendant, a profession she loves as her true passion is getting on a plane to a far-flung destination for work. Kari also has a deep love of art, words, and mid-century anything. Besides travel, Kari also is also passionate about writing poetry, doing yoga/pilates, collecting art glass, and tossing balls and sticks endlessly for her pooch Marley.

Growing up in NZ, especially during the 1960s, meant Kari was outside all the time. Surfing, camping, hiking, and playing sports instilled in Kari a love of the outdoors.

To Kari, hiking means freedom. It means getting away from the frenetic life she has and finding peace in the sounds of silence. At 59, Kari is still hiking high mountains and backpacking remote places. She said, “The fitness and age-defying qualities that you get from simply being out in the wilderness are unparalleled. Hiking to me is life; it’s my physical and mental food.”

southwestern Utah ambassador

Melody Turner, SW Utah Ambassador

Melody grew up hiking in northern Arizona. Her dad was a teacher and her mother stayed at home with Melody and her sister. As a family on a single teacher’s income, they did not have extra money to go on big vacations, but they had endless adventures outdoors around Arizona. This gave Melody a love and passion for the outdoors, hiking, and adventures. For Melody, being outdoor and taking hikes is also the ultimate stress reliever. Not only do you get to enjoy nature and all the beauty around you, but you also get to escape the chaos of daily life.

Melody married her childhood sweetheart and is a mom of three mostly grown kids. She also has a new granddaughter and two wild and crazy dogs. Melody has been a nurse for 15+ years, spending most of her career in pediatrics. Her current role is in healthcare administration.

Melody spent 10 years in Colorado before moving to southern Utah in 2017. Besides hiking, Melody loves fishing, camping, kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, and skiing.

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.

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