No barriers Ambassadors

Meet the Ambassadors


Tina Beauvais

Social Media Influencer
Public Speaker & Coach

Tina B is a social media influencer, public speaker, and coach. She believes that too many special needs moms wake up in the morning feeling undervalued and unloved. As a special needs mom herself of a 16 year old daughter with Muscular Dystrophy, she knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed, and depleted. At the end of the day, there may only be a few small moments of peace and clarity as a Special Needs Mom and she wants to help moms find more of those moments; she’s creating communities and systems to help special needs moms find the connection and validation they desperately need.

No Barriers has given Tina and her family some of these special moments of peace and clarity while they attended the No Barriers Summit and the What’s Your Everest hike. The impact that the No Barriers Community has had on Tina and her family is profound. She is excited to partner with No Barriers and help others get connected with people and the mission of No Barriers. 

In the words of Tina herself, “I want to live in a world where we don’t take ourselves, or our childs situation too seriously. I want to live in a world where we can embrace the challenges, learn from the struggles, and find happiness no matter where our day takes us. Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, I want us to learn to dance in the rain.”

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Gretchen Evans

Founder Team UNBROKEN
Speaker, Author, Athlete
CSM U.S. Army (Ret.)

Texas native Gretchen Evans is one of the most highly decorated female veterans who held leadership roles in multiple combat engagements in her 27 years in the Army, including overseeing more than 30,000 ground troops in Afghanistan. She worked her way up to Command Sergeant Major – the highest rank an enlisted soldier can achieve. While serving in Afghanistan in 2006, CSM Evans’ world changed in a millisecond when a rocket blast caused her debilitating injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, internal injuries, and the loss of all hearing ending her military career.

With the help of her guide dog, her “rope team” of friends and supporters, and a healthy dose of grit, Gretchen navigated her way through a changed life. She was inspired by her experience on a No Barriers Warriors expedition and found a new purpose for her life — improving the lives of her fellow veterans. In 2019, CSM Evans founded Team UNBROKEN, a mixed ability athletic team and competed in the World’s Toughest Race, currently airing on Amazon Prime. Gretchen has served as a trustee for Excelsior University and is an ambassador for No Barriers USA, America’s VetDogs, and the Dogtopia Foundation. Gretchen is a nationally known motivational speaker and has been featured on the Megyn Kelly Show, the Today Show, and CBS’ Courage in Sports. Recently, Gretchen received the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2022 ESPY Awards.



No Barriers USA
No Barriers Warriors

Jeff is a Co-Founder for the No Barriers Warriors Program. He is a lifelong adventurer, Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant and Expedition Guide. As a civilian, Jeff has always felt a strong sense of “debt repayment” to the veteran community and has committed himself to the development and execution of the No Barriers Warriors Program. To this end, he has contributed his expertise in the role of expedition leader and chief medical officer for many of the program’s sentinel projects. Since the program’s inception, Jeff has served as expedition leader on Lobuche (High Ground), Cotopaxi, and Warriors to Summits expeditions on Mt. Whitney and Gannett Peak.


Mandy Harvey

Singer, Songwriter, &
Motivational Speaker

Mandy Harvey is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and motivational speaker. A Vocal Music Education major at Colorado State University, Mandy left the program when she lost her residual hearing in 2006-2007 at age eighteen due to a connective tissue disorder that affected her nerves. She pursued several career options but returned to music in 2008, as her true passion could no longer be denied. She quickly became a regular performer at various venues and has released six albums thus far. Though her hearing loss is profound, her timing and pitch are perfect, and her passion is tremendous. With support from friends, family, and her faith, Mandy continues to find joy in music.

In 2011, Mandy won VSA’s Top Young Soloist Award and lived a personal dream of performing at the Kennedy Center in DC. She continues to perform around the United States and has been featured on NBC Nightly News, Katie Couric, Canada AM, The Steve Harvey Show, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition to performing and speaking, Mandy has become an ambassador to both No Barriers and Invisible Disabilities with a mission to encourage, inspire and assist others to break through their personal barriers.

In 2017, Mandy Harvey’s audition on America’s Got Talent consisted of singing her original song “Try” while playing the ukulele. Moved by her performance, Simon Cowell pressed his Golden Buzzer to send Mandy straight to the Quarterfinals. She went on to make the Finals and placed 4th overall.

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Rustin Hughes

MMA Competitor

Rustin Hughes grew up in North Platte, Nebraska. He found a strong passion for mixed martial arts (MMA) and is a Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Fabiano Scherner. Rustin is a multiple time MMA competitor and is also the owner of B-Bold Adaptive Living. He is a United States Army veteran, Para Jiu-Jitsu champion, and coach. Since he lost his leg in 2014, Rustin has dedicated his life to convey a sense of hope and determination to individuals battling through their own adversity, no matter what their abilities are. You will find Rustin coaching and managing fighters, teaching Jiu-Jitsu classes as well as operating the B-Bold program in Fort Collins, Colorado.


Antoinette Lee Toscano

Freelance Writer,
TV Producer
Public Speaker

Antoinette Lee Toscano, MBA — is an 11-year United States Army veteran, a contributing writer at Paddling Magazine and Culturs, a global, multicultural magazine, a public speaker, and the Producer of WhitewaterTV. Additionally, Antoinette is a Kokatat National Brand Ambassador, co-founder of Diversify Whitewater, Board Member of Vibe Tribe Adventures, architect of the free National American Adventure Sports Club, Board Member of No Barriers, City of Loveland, Colorado Parks and Recreation Commissioner, and a Team River Runner and Badfish SUP Paddling Team Member.

One of her passions is talking about how outdoor recreation is at the intersection of conservation and adventure.

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JR Martinez

Army Veteran N.Y. Times Best Selling Author Motivational speaker

J.R. Martinez’s life is different than most. J.R is a burn survivor Army veteran who has won Dancing with the Stars, become a New York Times best-selling author, starred in the television series All My Children and is a keynote speaker at events all over the world. He believes that life is what you make it, and he is most definitely proof of that. He is many things, but perhaps most significantly, he is an inspiration! Once a high school football player from a small town in Georgia, the only son of a single working mother who emigrated from El Salvador, J.R. ‘s trajectory is nothing if not surprising. Even to him.

After high school, he joined the army. J.R. was proud to serve, as a way to give something back to a country that had already given so much to him and to his family. In March of 2003, J.R. was deployed to Iraq. On April 5, he was driving a humvee in Karbala when his front left tire hit a roadside bomb. The three other soldiers were ejected from the burning vehicle, but J.R. was trapped inside.

Having suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34 percent of his body, J.R.
was immediately evacuated to a local medic station in Iraq and then on to Landstuhl, Germany, for immediate care. He spent 34 months in recovery and had 34 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery in the eleven years since his injury.
During his recovery, a nurse asked him to speak to a burn patient, who had just seen his body for the first time and had become withdrawn. After a brief visit, J.R. realized he had a positive impact on this patient and decided to use his own experiences to help others. He continued to visit patients every day sharing his story and listening to theirs. He learned that inspiration is often a two-way street.

Martinez now travels the world spreading his message of resilience and optimism. He devotes himself to showing others the true value of making the most of every situation.
He has spoken to troops at various bases around the world, as well as to other groups including universities, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies. His story is unique, but his message is universal: your path in life is decided by your own ability to adapt and overcome.

However, many also know J.R. from his TV appearances. He’s starred and co-starred on a number of shows including daytime drama All My Children, action series SAF3, and Army Wives. In 2013, J.R. inspired a nation on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars when he and partner, Smirnoff, were named season champions.
Martinez is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit,” a memoir about how he was able to take his own personal tragedy, and turn it into an inspiration for others.

Rhonda Liddell Head Shot


Adaptive Athlete, Poet, Navy Veteran

My name is Rhonda Liddell, I served in the U.S. Navy from 1985 – 1993. My first two years I attended Data Systems Technician and Link Cryptologic school. Then I went out to sea. In 1989 I was the third woman in the U.S. Navy to get accepted to Explosive Ordnance Disposal school, an unbelievable and hard-earned honor. I was at my peak physically and emotionally. I boxed, ran, swam long distances, and played softball. I was an example to my shipmates and the women who would come after me.  While waiting for orders to go to EOD school I was hit by a drunk driver. Everything changed for me after that crash. I suffered many physical and mental injuries that left me a 100% disabled veteran. A title I never hoped or imagined I’d earn. I found myself no longer a US Naval NCO. No longer certain about my future, no longer confident or strong. I was injured and I didn’t have a plan, but I persisted. My time in the service had taught me two things. I learned I was way smarter than I thought and don’t take “No” for an answer if you believe you can.

Then, I became a single mom and I focused on my children for 20 years. I consider this time fruitful as I built a solid mental toolbox, was very involved in Art Therapy, was present, and shared it all with my children. They are now successful college graduates and authentic, loving, confident adults. In 2018, sitting alone, I realized I needed to rediscover myself. I scoured the internet for organizations that helped disabled veterans get active. I found “No Barriers” and wrote to them. They called me and I was told they would change my life if I would just trust them, I did! I attended my first Summit. I made lifelong friends and mentors. I found the Adaptive Sports World. I learned that what’s within me is stronger than what’s in my way. I came home with personal goals and dreams and I began this truly fulfilling journey. I’ve been blessed to participate in the No Barriers Warriors programming 3 times since then. Each time I learn more about the “Elements”, myself, and healing on profoundly deep levels. 

Because of No Barriers I am now VERY physically active. I’ve climbed mountains and rode rapids! I have a solid “Rope Team”. I am consistently out of my comfort zone. I once again have confidence and I’m getting stronger in so many ways on a daily basis! I persistently “Reach” and I’m not afraid to try. I have earned a spot on the Para-Orienteering Team USA and train with the USA Para-Skeleton team. I am an Ambassador for Move United and PGA Hope and have dreams of qualifying for a USGA Adaptive Open and riding my Skeleton in competition. What an awesome expedition I am now on! It is my hope to pay it forward, to show others that they are stronger than they know, and instill that they should never doubt their worth. I’m eager to share my experiences with others and encourage them to learn, grow, heal, stay active and live their life out loud. I will be forever grateful to No Barriers. 


Sam Morris

Zen Warrior Training

Sam Morris is the founder of Zen Warrior Training. At the age of twenty-four, Sam was in a car accident caused by a drunk driver which left him paraplegic. Years of complications from his injury forced him to experience over a dozen surgeries and to become bedridden for a total of over three years, two of which were in hospitals. Determined to not become the victim of his circumstances, Sam learned and created a system of mental and physical training based on Zen philosophy, meditation, and somatic disciplines that healed his mind and his relationship to his body, ultimately bringing him more vitality and clarity than he had before his injury. He created Zen Warrior Training as a means by which to share what he has learned. For the past few Summits, Sam Morris has led a number of Zen Warrior sessions that have been wildly popular.


Melissa Simpson

Disability Advocate

It is safe to say, No Barriers changed Melissa Simpson’s life. Growing up with Cerebral Palsy and using a wheelchair, she never thought that her life would change. She thought she would be stuck in the same position for the next 20 years. On May 5th, 2017, blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer attended her college as the commencement speaker. His speech gave Melissa the motivation to begin her No Barriers journey. After attending her first No Barriers Summit, she thought to herself, “I never felt freer of my disability than I have in my entire life. Since then, I have been following the organization closely and I recently became an administrative volunteer for No Barriers.”

Erik Weihenmayer

Co-Founder No Barriers USA
Touch The Top

Erik has become a celebrated and accomplished athlete, despite losing his vision at the age of 13. Redefining what it means to be blind, Erik has transformed the image of blindness and opened up the minds of people around the world.

On May 25, 2001, Erik became the first blind climber in history to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. In 2008, he reached the summit of Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea completing his quest for the Seven Summits – the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.

In September 2014, Erik kayaked the entire 277-miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, an adventure that he has remarked to be the hardest and scariest thing he has ever done. Since then he has returned his focus to climbing, and continues to endeavor upon new adventures around the world.

Erik is also an author – Touch the Top of the World, The Adversity Advantage and most recently, No Barriers, A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon. He is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the prestigious National Courage Award and the ESPN ESPY award and was named as one of Men’s Journal’s “Top 25 Most Adventurous Men.”
Erik refuses to let blindness interfere with his passion for an exhilarating and fulfilling life and actively seeks opportunities to help others adopt a similar mindset. In 2004, Erik and his Everest teammates led a group of blind Tibetan teenagers to 21,000 feet on the north face of Everest as an educational outreach project. Their journey was documented in the film Blindsight. In 2010, Erik and his Everest team led the first Soldiers to Summits climb to the summit of Lobuche in the Himalayas, a quest documented in the film High Ground.

Erik’s triumphs over some of the world’s most formidable mountains were fueling a growing aspiration to take the lessons he learned in the mountains to help others shatter barriers in their lives. To advance this idea, Erik co-founded not merely an organization, but rather a movement called No Barriers. The mission is to help people with challenges, all of us to some extent, to turn into the storm of life, face barriers head on, embrace a pioneering and innovative spirit and team up with great people to live rich in meaning and purpose. The motto is “What’s Within You is Stronger Than What’s in Your Way.”