About Our Team

You may be wondering what qualifies us to guide you in the process of building a powerful life?

John Tobias, Founder

After five years as a wilderness therapist, witnessing hundreds of clients make the transition out of the wilderness to various front country settings, I began to consider the idea of combining my experience as a transitional coach with my experience as a wilderness therapist (both predicated on my long tenure as a wilderness field staff).

After many conversations with long-time industry friends and professionals, Red Cedar Transitions (RCT) was born.    

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Chelsie Newkirk, Primary Therapist

I have always enjoyed working with young adults and their families who support them. I believe this is in part because I had a challenging time in my young adult life discovering who and how I wanted to be in the world. It was a process for me, and I benefited from having those in my life who allowed me to struggle and find my way, while still offering me support. 

It is a privilege to be able to offer this level of support and guidance to my clients and their families. 

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Kevin Waller, Primary Therapist

There are many points that have led to where I am in my life and that drive my connection to and love of the outdoors as well as working with others in the therapeutic world.

I think back to my first multi-day backpacking trip in 1995 to Jack’s River Falls in north Georgia. This was my first full exposure to the backcountry that sparked a passion for slowing down, connecting with what’s around me, and gaining a heightened awareness of my internal and external world.

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Buckey Biesak, Transition Coach

Working side by side with John, someone I consider a good friend and professional mentor is wonderful. We have similar backgrounds and perspectives and a variety of shared therapeutic strategies that will assist our clients in finding their unique, individual pathways to fulfilling futures. Together, we will learn more lessons, teach more lessons, and guide our clients through their personal journeys.

I could not be happier to be here in the lush forests and rivers that Asheville.

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David Carmean, Transition Coach

When working with young adults who’ve found themselves in need of support and guidance, my objective, though sometimes challenging, has always been simple: to help them build and maintain meaningful forward momentum in life, governed by self-accountability, and driven by values specific to themselves.

As a Lead Transition Coach for RCT I’m encouraged to do the same: to work with our clients in a supportive purpose-driven way that aligns with values specific to me.

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Ellen Ford, Transition Coach

I never imagined I would find myself working in the mental health field, in fact, I had designed a trajectory that would cultivate my fascination with mind and brain, yet keep me far away and disconnected from other people’s deepest vulnerabilities.

So, I resolved to become a neuroscience researcher. From the time I was in high school, I knew I wanted to be a scientist working in a laboratory and I had a 10-year plan that would get me there. I moved out at 17, rearing to enter the world of academia.

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Carson McNeely, Transition Coach

Carson has traveled around the globe managing adventure camps with friends and loved ones. He was employed as a wilderness therapy field staff where he worked with adolescents and young adults.

Carson's hope is to continue to help others build community, gain confidence, find belonging, and seek independence. He is an avid mountain biker, you can find him at any of Asheville’s local trails whipping around turns during his spare time.

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