Board of Directors

Our philosophy at the Loa fund is based on the belief that within each person lies undiscovered strengths and the capacity to live a balanced and rewarding life. We are passionate about our work and deeply committed to the people who are in need of help and are interested in the process of self-discovery.

Derek J. Daley - Founder

Derek J. DaleyDerek began began his career in the therapy industry facilitating personal growth experiences working as a Head Instructor at Red Cliff Ascent in the mountains and deserts of southern Utah. Over the next decade, Derek compiled over 1,000 nights in the field teaching, mentoring and supervising the facilitation of change. While working at Aspen Achievement Academy, he co-created an education resource manual designed to help guides understand and more effectively teach the program curriculum. As an original contributing member of Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, he went into the field with the first student and over the years that followed worked to enhanced program effectiveness and safety in the field and helped establish and solidify the program structure and identity. Recently, Derek joined forces with the accomplished team at Legacy Outdoor Adventures to help create and establish a new program for young adult males. Derek consistently finds ways to expand opportunity and inspire those around him. Derek is a co-creator of the "You Are Awesome" campaign, Derek mangages the campaign with a passion for spreading postive messages.

"Working with individuals to create powerful and sustainable life transformations is my  passion and over the years I have witnessed the need for more financial and other assistance for people in need of therapeutic programing. In 2011, I helped found the Loa fund to meet this need.  I am committed to the goal of advancing effective wilderness and residential treatment to more diverse demographics including the mainstream mental health demand." 

Dr. Matt Poinsett - Co-Founder

Matt PoinsettMatt has consistently pursued personal and professional challenges, pushing himself to lead a fulfilling and balanced life. He has used his education to facilitate change in a wide variety of settings and currently owns and operates Infinite North, a private practice in Poulsbo, Washington where he provides psychological services and professional development to the local community. Dr. Poinsett earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Eastern Michigan University. He has successfully worked with hundreds of clients seeking positive change, engaging individuals, business owners, and large organizations in the process of self-improvement. Matt currently divides his time between his family, his work, and his passion for helping others (the overlap is usually significant). 

Dr. Brett Talbot

Dr. Brett TalbotDr. Brett Talbot, PhD is the Director of Psychological Services at Provo Canyon School (PCS), a psychiatric residential treatment center for youth. Prior to PCS Dr. Talbot was an Executive Clinical Director for a group practice of 11 residential and outpatient centers. Brett’s fun and ‘easy to talk to’ personality, unique skill set, and his dedication to positive youth development and treatment led to his current position.

At Provo Canyon School Brett is the chairman of the Program Development Committee and specializes in working with youth who are requiring specialized services (e.g. Stabilization, Testing/Assessment, substance abuse programming, Neuro/bio-feedback, etc.). He has a track record of identifying diagnosis/treatment issues and working with treatment teams in creating meaningful treatment plans and individualized interventions that optimize the youth’s commitment to meaningful and long-lasting change. Brett also specializes in adolescent treatment issues (e.g. adjustment, mood disorders, anxiety, conduct issues, ADHD, substance use, eating disorders, family issues, etc.), older adolescent and young adult issues, leadership training, and testing/assessments.

Brett's research has focused on program design for adolescent treatment programs, emphasizing the effective integration of the family into treatment; and family functioning related to adolescent and young adult health risk behaviors. Brett also has experience in several areas having spent time in settings such as Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital Adolescent Department, Latin Youth Project, DeBakey VA Hospital, Behavioral Consultants/Methodist Hospital, UH and UVU College Counseling Centers.

Brett is a faculty member at Utah Valley University teaching Behavioral Science courses (i.e. psychology, social work, etc.), and continues to teach 1-2 classes each semester. Brett is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hiking, camping, backpacking, fly fishing, and anything that gets him out into nature. Brett is married and has 3 children.

Sam Carpenter - Treasurer

Sam CarpenterSam has seen first-hand how programs like those associated with the Loa Scholarship Fund can change the lives of not only program clients but their families. He has also seen the financial burdens those families often carry in an effort to get their loved ones back on their feet to reach their full potential.

Sam moved with his family from Chicago to Utah in 2011. He has spent the majority of his career in financial services. He earned his undergraduate degrees (Accounting, Spanish Translation) at Brigham Young University and his MBA at Northwestern University.

Kalon Wright  - Outreach Director

Kalon WrightKalon grew up in Alaska and first moved to Utah in 2007 to work for NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) in Vernal, UT. Kalon have been working in the outdoor behavioral healthcare industry since 2008 when Kalon first began working as a field guide at Aspen Achievement Academy. Kalon was first drawn to the work during a 15 day Outward Bound trip Kalon did in northeastern Utah when Kalon was 18. It would be four years before Kalon found myself in Utah again and was presented with the opportunity to work in the field.

Kalon put in 400+ field days during my first stint at Aspen before deciding to return to school at the University of Utah to finish my psychology degree. Kalon spent 2 of my years at Aspen working as a senior guide, and the last 6 months was spent helping them start Aspen Recovery, their addiction focused group for adolescent boys. The last 3 months Kalon left field guide work and moved into a role doing program development, guide training, and counseling for the group.

Over the next 3 years Kalon was primarily a student, but frequently came back to work shifts at Aspen before they shut down, and spent some time working as a guide for Legacy as well. In 2013 Kalon started the Substance Use Disorder Counseling program at the University of Utah, completing it and graduating with my Bachelor's in Psychology in the Summer of 2014. During my time in the SUDC program, Kalon did my counseling internship with Vista Treatment Centers, working at their adolescent girls and boys residential programs, as well as their young adult transitional living facility. After graduation, Kalon spent 8 months working at Gateway Academy on both their residential and outdoor recreation weekend teams.

After completing the licensing exam for my SUDC Kalon was hired on at Legacy Outdoor Adventures to work on the clinical team. Kalon was at Legacy for 13 months, teaming with other therapists with clients, as well as carrying a solo case load. Kalon had to leave this position this past summer so that Kalon could start the Master's in Social Work program at the University of Utah. Kalon am currently nearing the end of my first semester and am excited for how the training will add to my current knowledge and experience. Kalon am still working closely with Legacy while in school, helping out with transportation and intake assessments. Kalon am also currently working with a student organization at the University of Utah that is starting a Collegiate Recovery Program (http://collegiaterecovery.org/) to help provide more comprehensive recovery services for students on campus.

On a personal note, Kalon am in recovery myself since May 2010, and am passionate about helping others find their path to recovery, be that from addiction, trauma or other life challenges that have kept someone from finding health and happiness. Kalon am also very interested in making recovery services more available to those who otherwise couldn't afford it, and would love to help the Loa Fund on their mission.

Jess Shade - Strategic Development 

JessRaised throughout the Southeast, year-round outdoor activities were a large part of Jess’ childhood. From car camping at the lake to team sports such as baseball, lacrosse, and collegiate ultimate Frisbee, any excuse to be outside was a good one. It wasn’t until graduate school at Emory University, however, that backpacking and sport climbing became influential passions. These interests sparked reflection and led to a deeper knowledge of self. The outdoors became a place where character took on a more elemental importance. Inspiration to be and do one’s best were fundamental. As her master of divinity program was drawing to a close, Jess was faced with a crossroad; should she continue into PhD work focusing on the ancient Near East, Hebrew, and archaeology or do something else? One Google search fed into another and eventually led her to the field of wilderness therapy. Jess was hired by Aspiro Adventure in February of 2012 and began work as a field guide that June after completing her degree. Embracing the concepts of self-efficacy and autonomy became a personal passion for Jess as she led young adults who struggled with NLD, ASD, and other quirky personality traits. She stayed on with Aspiro until February of 2016 finishing there as their Field Operations Manager. Currently Jess works as a Case Manager in Summit Co. Utah with adults with severe and persistent mental illness.  

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  • Gratitude & Appreciation

    "Thanks to everyone that contributed to making another great year for the Loa Fund. Through the generosity of many supportive people, we were able to make change possible!"
    -Derek Daley Loa Fund Founder.
  • Contact Us

    Spanish Fork, UT
    Phone (810) 399-4589
    Email loafund@gmail.com

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