Continue Mission Volunteer Staff

Laura Cantin

Laura co-founded Continue Mission, serves on the Board of Directors, and volunteers her time for the organization.

Laura has more than twenty years of experience in 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations as a recognized leader in managing year round sports and recreational programs. She has extensive training in adaptive sports and maintains a PSIA Level 3 Adaptive Certification.

In recent years Laura's special interest and focus has been directing programs for Veterans. She has gained an understanding of the emotional, social, and physical challenges that our Veterans face when returning home after service to our Nation. She is QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) trained in suicide prevention.

Laura is passionate about her work and mission to inspire, empower, and support our Veterans as they 'drive on' in life.

Melissa Hansen

Melissa serves on the Board of Directors for Continue Mission and also volunteers her time as Executive Director. She experienced military life through supporting her husband, CM co-founder Josh, through basic training and two tours of duty in Iraq. She took care of the Hansen home-front while Josh served our great country and then ended her career as a Chemical Engineer in order to take on the challenge of care-taker as she helped Josh during his healing process once he returned from service with a traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress.

Melissa is always happy to reach out to support members of Veterans and can empathize with the challenges they have endured and continue to endure. She teaches NAMI Homefront to family and loved ones of Veterans and Service Members and has also completed training in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), Connect Post-Vention, and APEX Mental Health.

Melissa and Josh have been married since 1994 and have three beautiful children and a grandson.

 

Leslie Zimmerman

Leslie has been with Continue Mission from its inception, as both a participant in, and ambassador of the program. She is an Iraq war Veteran. Having served as a combat medic, she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress upon her return from Iraq. She found CM during her own process of healing from the invisible wounds of war.

Leslie is an avid mountain biker and races for Continue Mission. In addition to her time as a volunteer with CM, she is a professional cake decorator and a published children's book author, with another book in process that aims to help children of deploying parents understand and cope with the stress that occurs when a parent deploys to war.

Leslie is currently finishing her bachelor's degree in Public Health Education at Utah Valley University, and plans to continue to volunteer her time to CM; providing key expertise in health promotion program planning, development, and implementation. 

In addition to her CM family, Leslie's true joy comes from her own family. She has been married to her loving husband Judd since 2008 and is the mom of three cute kids who all think of CM as family and attend many of the CM events.

Kelly Draper, GM2

GM2 Kelly Draper loves the outdoors. She is an avid hiker, biker, snowboarder, wake boarder, and lover of being on an adventure. She loves to make sure all people can participate in Continue Mission events and activities no matter what their level is and she loves loves to watch people achieve their goals.

Kelly has climbed Mt. Rainier and Mt. Kilimanjaro and would love to trek to Everest Base Camp one day.

Kelly served in the Navy from 2001 - 2005 as a gunners mate and enjoyed the travel to many countries during that time.

Steve Mersereau

Steve has 25 years of executive level management experience, along with nearly 10 years of facilitating outdoor-based experiential leadership development programs. His passions include skiing, biking, and running in the Wasatch Mountains. During the winter he teaches adaptive skiing to individuals with mental and/or physical challenges. He has level 2 PSIA certification in Alpine and Adaptive skiing. He also teaches management and marketing courses for the University of Utah and University of Phoenix.

SGT Josh Hansen (US Army Retired)

Josh serves on the Board of Directors for Continue Mission, co-founded the organization, and volunteers his time to serve the CM family.

Josh is a two-tour Iraq war Veteran. While deployed he served as an IED Hunter. His unit (call sign Pathdinder 1) cleared routes of improvised explosive devices in and around Fallujah, Iraq for the Marines. Josh was Wounded in Action (WIA) March 15, 2007 and medevaced out of Iraq to recover from injuries. Josh's battalion lost six great men in combat (three from his company) and lost four to suicide once home. Josh has experienced the pain of war and is still working to overcome the challenges presented to him as a result of his service to the country. He can relate to the emotional and physical struggles that Veterans are faced with each day.

Josh was a successful business owner before being injured serving the country. His goals today are to help Veterans find the road to recovery so that they can start to enjoy life again.

Josh has been married to his wife, Melissa, since 1994 and they have three beautiful children and a grandson. The consider all Veterans involved with Continue Mission to be a part of their family.

 

Brian Smyer

Brian Smyer is a professional photographer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. He owns and operates Smyer Image.His eye for light and composition keep him busy doing what he loves, making his clients feel like they are his only clients.

Brian volunteers his time and photography to Continue Mission, taking amazing pictures of our Veterans at many of the events held by CM.