Our Team

Taking care of the planning so you can just have fun
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.

jackie adragna

Jackie Adragna, Summit County Ambassador

Originally from NY, Jackie has been in Park City for 8 years. Jackie’s love for the mountains started when she lived in Washington, but Utah is where that love has grown. Jackie loves to ski, camp, backpack (her latest passion), do yoga, paddle board, and hang by the water.

Hiking is where Jackie’s mind, heart, and soul refresh. The sounds, the smells, the sights, all rejuvenate her. She continues to grow her abilities and conquer her fears with every mile and peak bagged.

Jackie found this group in November 2020. She did our beginner backpacking trip to Canyonlands in April 2021 and has since completed multiple other trips, including the Sawtooths in Idaho.

Melissa Lyon West, New Member & Slow Hikes 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.

Sam Clowers, Davis / Weber County Ambassador

Sam is a Utah transplant born and raised in Colorado. She is a single mother to two grown sons and has worked for Smiths for 24 years.

 Sam started hiking after she lost her grandmother who was and still is her best friend. Sam didn’t know where to turn after the loss, but she knew if she could find a butterfly that her grandmother would be nearby. Thus, Sam’s passion for hiking began as a way to chase butterflies, and she sees them on almost every hike. Sam even has 6 butterfly tattoos!

 When Sam isn’t chasing butterflies on the trail, she enjoys reading and watching sports. Sam loves to read just about everything, but fiction is her go-to. When it comes to sports, Sam mainly watches football (go Broncos), hockey, and NASCAR!

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 & Over 50 Ambassador

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.”

Karen Leonard, Salt Lake County Ambassador

Karen is originally from Seattle, Washington. She was a fisheries biologist for a handful of years before marrying her college sweetheart 23 years ago. After her first child was born, Karen switched gears and became a stay-at-home mom. Her family of four moved to Bountiful, Utah, in September 2020 after living in Peachtree, Georgia, for 16 years. Karen’s two sons are young adults now, so she is semi-retired from mom duties. When Karen isn’t busy keeping her mini Aussiedoodle Zoey entertained, she enjoys gardening and backyard bird watching.

Karen got into hiking the year she turned 50. She says maybe it was a mid-life crisis, but either way, she suddenly needed something more than just a suburban walking experience. Her cousin, who is an experienced hiker and backpacker, took her on her first backpacking trip in the summer of 2018. Karen was instantly hooked. Karen says hiking takes her to beautiful and isolated places. Spending time outdoors gives her time to reflect and re-energize for life back in reality.

Woman hiking

Aimee Stevens, Community Service Ambassador

Aimee is originally from Pennsylvania but started hiking in North Carolina before moving to Utah in 2020. Aimee used to be a runner and got into hiking to recover from some health issues following a few surgeries. For Aimee, hiking is not only a way to stay active, but it’s also a way to challenge herself while seeing the beauty of nature.

Aimee has been married to her soulmate since 2010. Together, they have a fur baby pit bull named Mooney. Aimee is the finance manager for the Kimberly-Clark Ogden plant, but her undergrad is in art! She loves all things artistic and creative, as well as traveling and reading.

Aimee has led several work organizations and non-profit groups. She also served on a non-profit board of a mental health facility in Greensboro, NC, and is currently on the board of The United Way of Northern Utah. She is passionate about volunteering and community service.

Tori Foote, Hiking Challenge Ambassador

Tori Foote, Hiking Challenge Ambassador

Tori was born and raised in Utah. She is a wife and fur mommy to 3 large doggies. She loves hiking, yoga, arts and crafts, paddle boarding, camping, and coffee! Tori’s passion is to learn new skills and push herself to the next limit. Utah has her heart, but she loves to travel. Planning her next adventure gives her joy for months.

Tori has a master’s degree in Heath Administration. She has been a Veterans Health Administration employee for the last 11 years. She loves serving those who served our country. Tori’s current role is with the National Oncology Program Office as a Health Science Specialist. Project management, data, and quality improvement initiatives are her niche.

Tori has always enjoyed being in nature. Prior to finding the Wine Hiking Society, she felt very limited to hikes she felt comfortable doing alone. For Tori, hiking means an opportunity to let go of daily stresses while also connecting back to the wonderful scenery that is Utah.

Leah Manzari

Leah Manzari, Southern Utah Ambassador

Leah and her husband of 30 years recently moved to Irvins, which is just south of St. George. Prior to her move, Leah spent 20 years in NW Montana, enjoying an active early retirement full of horses, gardening, hiking, fishing, wine collecting, exploring Glacier Nat’l Park, and working as a ski guide on the Big Mountain (now known as Whitefish Mtn Resort).

With a fresh challenge of enjoying all these same pursuits in an entirely different climate, Leah has become madly in love with hiking and rock scrambling the red rocks and is excited to connect with like-minded ladies in Southern Utah.

After a chaotic professional career in Los Angeles, Leah desperately needed to decompress and found there was nothing more relaxing, freeing, and healing than exploring the outdoors. Leah has found that fresh air, nature, and quality time with other women who are there for all the same reasons has way of grounding you and keeping you truly focused on your health and wellbeing instead of professional success or social climbing.

 

Let's Hit the Trail!

We take care of all the planning and organizing so all you have to do is show up and have fun. Our ambassadors make sure you know what conditions to expect and what to bring. The only decision you have to make is whiskey or wine, white or red.

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