ANN IMIG is the founder of the live-reading series and video sharing company LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER and editor of the acclaimed anthology LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now (Putnam Books, 2015). A Stay-At-Home Humorist, Ann’s writing has been featured on sites like CollegeHumor, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Huffington Post and The Washington Post. National TV appearances include ABCnews.com, NBC Nightly News and the webseries Battleground and The Louise Log. Ann’s blog (annsrants.com) has been named a Babble Top 100 Mom Blog, A BlogHer Voice of the Year, and a SheKnows Top 5 Funniest Mom Blog. Ann lives with her husband and children in Madison, Wisconsin.
Jess Witkins is a storyteller, freelance writer, and blogger who specializes in humorous essays. Her blog, Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project is where she writes about pop culture, women’s issues, weird things her husband says while sleeping, and all things writerly. She is working on a memoir and enjoys wordmongering at local coffeeshops. She’s also active in social justice work and believes stories bond us together. With this production, she hopes to give voice to the many inspiring storytellers of the area, and is grateful for her own mother who instilled in her a love of reading and writing at an early age.
Beth Erickson is a writer and editor, and owner of Jobe Communications, LLC, and a part-time education and investment specialist at Trust Point, Inc. Beth is the editor of the national trade publication Wedding Planner Magazine and a development editor for Anselm Academic. She is the mother of two wonderful, mischievous children and the daughter to a mother who birthed and raised seven children. Beth is still not sure how her mom did it, but is so grateful to be part of such a big, crazy, loving family!
Molly Hilligoss currently serves as the Social Justice and Advocacy Director forYWCA La Crosse, whose mission is to empower women and eliminate racism. She has worked with YWCA since 2011, where her role has evolved from volunteer management and outreach to the coordination of mission driven campaigns, events and public policy initiatives. As a working mom she is always looking for balance and ways to support all moms in the community. She is super excited about giving voices to moms while working with the Listen To Your Mother team. She currently lives in La Crosse with her wife Teri and their two sons.
Maureen Freedland is an advocate of community endeavors including anti-poverty work, environmental initiatives and interfaith collaboration. She has served on the La Crosse County Board since 2005. Maureen grew up alongside the Mississippi River in New Orleans and is grateful that she had the opportunity to care for her mother and father in La Crosse after Hurricane Katrina uprooted their lives. Maureen and her husband, Robert, raised three children in La Crosse. They have one granddaughter who Maureen hopes will listen to her story when she is older.
Nancy Heerens-Knudson has paddled in three streams in her life: theatre, in which she majored during college, counselor training in graduate school and medical practice as a Family Practice Physician Assistant. This was the biggest stream and I used everything I ever learned, every day! It was a great swim! Being retired means she explores wonderful other worlds after work which included having incredible times with her husband and family and being able to pursue what catches her eye, fills her heart and fuels her mind.
Sylvia Jimison is from Upstate New York, but grew up in Indiana. She recently relocated to La Crosse from a short stint in Chicago to work at UW-La Crosse. She has worked at several other colleges throughout the U.S. on the east coast. She has worked with students who are first in their family to attend college for over ten years, and she is also a first generation college graduate. She has a son and grandson and two beloved pets, Milo and Neeco, in New York. Her passion is helping others and making people laugh – which is linked to her motto for life – “live life to the fullest and shoot for the moon, you may land amongst the stars.”
Livia Johnson is a 7th grade English teacher at Holmen Middle School. She is the mother of a very rude cat, an adorable dummy of a dog, and a new son named Johan who has ridiculous hair and a wonderful giggle. Livia enjoys reading, starting craft projects and planning trips. She is an experienced knitter, a beginner calligrapher and a novice when it comes knowing the appropriate amount of blush to apply.
Jonathan Lamb grew up in the theater all thanks to the loving support of his Family. In 2012 he decided to honor his grandmother and create a performance company. Behling & Company was born. They have produced two original pieces, a couple of comedies, a musical, and four murder mysteries. Jonathan has since got the courage to work the plays that have bounced around in his head for many years. Jonathan is also a Barista.
Amy Sanwick is a wife and mother of two amazing little people. She grew up in La Crosse and is a proud stay at home mom who doesn’t get to stay at home between her kids, husband and life. Amy tries to volunteer and do good but usually ends up wishing for more time to do all the things she wishes she could.
Susan C. Schuyler recently retired from teaching communication at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Her previous professional incarnations include graphic designer, musician, business owner, entrepreneur, marketing professional and public relations specialist. But the occupation she loves most is being a mom to two amazing young men, PJ and Schuyler Leehey.
Michael Scott is an actor, storyteller and advertising copywriter. He is the creator and host of The Old School Variety Show, a show that highlights local musicians, actors, storytellers, along with a wide assortment of other performing artists. In December he concluded a 10 show run of the one-person play, David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries for The Pump House and LCT. A role he will reprise next year. He is the scriptwriter/actor for the La Crosse Public Library’s Dark La Crosse. He has been a featured teller at the La Crosse Storytelling Festival and Northlands Regional Storytelling Conference several times. Michael is also the creator/voice talent for Rose Jeweler’s ‘Rose Files’ radio branding campaign. He is the father of three children, Ian, Emma and Owen, as well as being a proud foster parent for La Crosse County.
Joanne Adragna Shird, a native Easterner, has lived in the Kickapoo Valley since 1978. She is a retired school teacher and currently lives with her husband on a 207 acre farm outside of La Farge. She is an avid cook, baker, writer and weaver/craftswoman. She spends a great deal of time out of doors biking, skiing, gardening and hiking.
Sheida is native of Tehran (Iran) where she lived until the age of 22. She came to the US in 2007 to study for her PhD in Economics at West Virginia University. In 2012, Sheida graduated and left her beloved Morgantown to come to the beautiful La Crosse, where she now teaches Economics at UW – La Crosse. Sheida enjoys yoga and writing as her hobbies and she is excited to share part of her amazing mom story with others!
Clare Wight is a bubbly social butterfly who flits from mommy groups, to networking meetings, to anywhere she can connect with the community. Clare supports families seeking childcare as a National Childcare Consultant with the portal Let’s Talk Au Pair. Born and raised in Brazil by a family of journalists, she has always been fascinated by different languages and cultures. Eleven years ago she became an au pair in the US and has since been living with her husband and three spunky children in the La Crosse area, the one place her heart calls home.
Christy Wopat is a 4th grade teacher at Evergreen Elementary School in Holmen and a wanna-be writer. She loves to tell and write stories and is in the process of writing her first book, a memoir about losing infant twins. Christy lives with her husband and two other hilarious, energetic children, who provide more than enough material for Um, You Guys?, her humorous blog and Facebook page. She is excited about sharing her story in hopes of breaking the stigma surrounding infant loss and grief.