2019 CAST

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Amelia Colwell

Amelia Colwell is a nonprofit fundraiser by day and an amateur toddler whisperer by night. She writes for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Twin Cities blog and has published a poem in The Iowa Review. When she’s not chasing her favorite kid in the whole world around the house, Amelia enjoys her book club, hiking, cooking, reading, and writing. She hails from Waterloo, Iowa and enjoys reminding Minnesotans that long goodbyes and passive aggressiveness are not unique to them. She loves her family and friends, who are everything.

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Heather Hauck

Heather Hauck is a teacher, mother, and a transracial Korean adoptee. She earned her M.Ed in Second Languages and Cultures at the U of M. She taught 18 years in the Robbinsdale Schools, but after her son’s adoption she resigned to become a full time mother and has never looked back. Most days she’s running around the house being chased by her silly 3.5 year old “monster.” Heather enjoys watching a good K-drama, reading romantic YA books, and plotting her next travel adventure.  She lives with her family in Minneapolis. Visit her blog here.

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Rose Jagim

Rose Jagim was born an Air Force brat in Nuremberg, Germany then grew up in South Dakota, California, and Nebraska before choosing Minnesota for herself.  After earning a teaching degree at Black Hills State University and a Masters at Hamline University, she has spent the last 19 years enjoying her job as a high school English teacher. A mother of four and trophy wife, she can usually be found in the kitchen or reading a book. Each summer she bikes the MS Ride Across Minnesota with her family.  She loves hiking, playing cards, and on the mat--airplane pose.

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Emma Lindley

Emma Lindley is a kindergarten teacher who uses her limited free time to write, read, and nap. She loves her incredibly patient and dedicated family and friends, as well as her students who inspire her to be a better human. She also loves her cat, Mr. Hatch, who is supportive of all her endeavors in his own way. Emma believes that love trumps hate, kindness is everywhere, and children can and will change the world. She will continue every day to speak up, speak out, and speak honestly for equality and justice. 

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Trisha Menke

Trisha Menke is a nurse practitioner in cardiology and a proud alum of UW-Madison. She is a hard-working fun-loving married-mother of three who’s always looking of the next adventure. She is a lover of all things Dog, although she’s found a new appreciation for the dark side in the family cat, “Crazy Daisy, the city kitty.” A morning coffee is a must, and so is an early bedtime. But make no mistake, she’s a morning gal. Like her mother, she’s a “joiner.” Whether it’s a mom’s coffee group, or a PTA position, she’s sure to fit it in her schedule.

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Angela Miller

Angela Miller is a writer, classically trained musician, proud mom of four, and cultural adventurer. Her contagious smile has been spotted on four continents and counting. She is the author of the best-selling book, You Are the Mother of All Mothers; founder of the award-winning online community and the A Bed For My Heart grief center. She has been featured in People Magazine, Psychology Today, Forbes, MPR, The Huffington Post, Blog Talk Radio, and more. Angela’s writing has comforted the hearts of countless grieving parents around the world. She is currently writing her second book. 

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Maria Nezami

Maria Nezami is on the Board Member of Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment & also one of your leaders of Islamic Coalition of ISAIAH. In the recent 2018 elections, she helped with the MN Gubernatorial & Attorney General campaigns through Faith in MN. She graduated from the University of MN with a Bachelors in Speech-Communication. She works in Business Receivable for AT&T and is also a consultant. Maria loves to read, cook ,and travel with her kids. Recently, she started a cooking YouTube channel called “Cooking with Maria & Little Mustafa”, where she cooks Afghani food with her 10 year old. 

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Bukola Oriola

Bukola Oriola is an international public and motivational speaker, bestselling author, mentor, advocate, entrepreneur, consultant, and member, U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Appointed by President Barack Obama in December 2015, and reappointed by President Trump in 2018, Oriola is an award winning journalist, a survivor of labor trafficking and domestic violence.

Depicting her experiences in two memoirs, she has dedicated her life to helping others by sharing her story, and offering practical solutions to service providers and community members on how to help victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. Her work has reached millions around the world. 

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Lisa Ovsak

Lisa Ovsak is blessed to call herself the mom of two amazing kids. After a cancer diagnosis for her daughter at ten months old, Lisa began public speaking and raising awareness about children’s cancer, including a trip to D.C., to advocate for more research and quality of life programs. She is currently serving on her second board, Breanna’s Gift, which focuses on art, dance, and music for kids battling cancer and serious illness. Her most treasured gifts are her family and friends. She loves to write, binge watch Netflix, and she’s never met a piece of chocolate she didn’t like. 

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Chaz Sandifer

Chaz Sandifer is an entrepreneur, group fitness instructor, lifestyle health and wellness coach, motivational speaker and mother of a 12 and 14 year old. She also owns and operates a farmers market during the summer. Her passion for health and fitness brought her to co-own and operate Noir Elite Fitness, a pop-up fitness and wellness company here in the Twin Cities. She currently is working on various empowerment projects to help motivate, educate and encourage women of color to stay healthy from the inside out. Her website is

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Molly Sjostrom

Molly Sjostrom is a proud mother of three who aspires to open hearts and minds through storytelling. She’s had a fulfilling 18 year career in sales at General Mills, where she serves as Vice President of their LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group and is actively involved in their diversity and inclusion efforts. She has a passion for dogs and the elderly and hopes to one day combine the two passions to bring joy to both. She loves spending time with her large family and close friends and feels lucky to be married to her best friend, Ryan.

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Catherine Squires

Catherine Squires is a writer, yoga instructor, and professor. She is writing a memoir about her experiences with pregnancy and loss. An essay from that project is forthcoming in the book, What God Is Honored Here? edited by Kao Kalia Yang and Shannon Gibney. She has written many works on race, gender and media, including the book The Post-racial Mystique. She lives with her twins and husband in St. Paul and is always on the lookout for interesting birds. 

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Korey Stoelzing

Korey Stoelzing lives in South Minneapolis with her husband of 27 years and two daughters. She recently found herself in a group of women who were much younger and is now wondering how it happened that she is suddenly the "old" mom of the group. She cherished staying home with her girls for the past 19 years. She loves to read, garden, and arrange flowers. Upon driving home from her first LTYM rehearsal she realized that reading at LTYM has helped her accomplish a secret lifelong dream … having people actually pay money to see her do something and clap afterwards!

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Junita Flowers is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur and a mom. With more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations, she spent her career advocating for families and equipping youth to lead fearlessly. A social entrepreneur and a recipient of the FINNovation Lab Fellowship for Social Enterprises, Junita founded Junita's Jar, a mission driven cookie company committed to using it’s retail platform to reduce the occurrences of relationship violence against women, by facilitating education and awareness campaigns. Known as the Hope Muncher-in-Chief, Junita is leading the #HopeMunchesOn movement, an initiative dedicated to spreading a message of hope and inspiring women to live their best lives.