Meet the Cast!

by Ellie on March 26, 2013

They are as diverse as it gets and together, these women represent the fabric of motherhood–the funny, the sad, the inspirational, the empowering. Introducing the inaugural cast of the 2013 Listen To Your Mother St Louis!!!


Ellen Abramson is author of Live to Dance, which details her experience as a cardiac arrest survivor. She is also a motivational speaker, exercise enthusiast, leader/ambassador for Weight Watchers International, volunteer for the American Heart Association, and Lobby Day participant at Capitol Hill.  As an educated woman, Ellen had no idea she was at risk for a heart attack until she had one at 51.  Ever since, it has been her passion to educate women regarding heart disease.  A native St. Louisan, Ellen lives and dances in St. Louis with her husband Ernie. She is most proud of her three children, Heather, Eric and Alex, son-in-law Alan and twin grandchildren Leo and Raquel. Visit her at

Kimberly Curran Cole is a proud Mommy of her daughter born in 2010, twin daughter and son born in 2012, two kitties, and a guardian angel daughter lost before birth who watches over all of them. In addition to enjoying the sleepless and wonderful rollercoaster ride of motherhood, she also works full time for Westlaw, a Thomson Reuters business. She met her husband, Bill, at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her B.A. in Communication and Philosophy. She earned her law degree at Washington University in St. Louis. In her “spare time” she enjoys volunteering for various fundraisers, including organizing an annual Pub Crawl to benefit Cardinals’ Care for kids. Kimberly is a fanatic for St. Louis and Mizzou sports and “Little House on the Prairie.” 


Adrienne Draper  has made anyone who dumpster dives behind her home a fortune as she binges on Pepsi. The non-stop wife and mother of four needs something to boost her energy as her family treats everyday as a fashion show. She has authored a children’s book Missy’s Mouthing Off and a self-help book Dirty Dishes: Every Woman has Them.  Her ability to tell a story and share wholesome advice leaves children and adults wanting more. Somehow she manages to balance the demands of motherhood, speaking engagements, freelance writing, her website and events with her extended family. Adrienne believes writing is therapeutic and offers a sense of normalcy to anyone who feels alone in a crowded room.

Laura Edwards-Ray
 Co-Director/Producer lives in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri with her two daughters, a stepson close by, and her husband, the co-owner of an independent music store in the Delmar Loop. She is a full-time Mom, law firm representative, speaker, and author of Brain Dead in the Burbs and Cooking Your Way Back to Sanity…a memoir and Still Brain Dead & Cooking. She shares her life with such an unrelenting wit and relate-able perspective that you will feel like you have known her forever. Her insights will ring true to anyone who has ever questioned her own actions, sacrificed for love, or taken a stand to get what she wants. We promise that if (when?) you read her book, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and then you’ll want to cook. And who knows, she may even share some of her fabulous recipes with you!


Alana Flowers is a recent college graduate from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelors in Communication and minor in Business. Along with her many titles, mother is at the top of the list. Becoming a mother at the age of 19 began as a roadblock but gracefully became her stepping stone over adversity. After graduating college on time with Addyson in tow with a cap and gown as well, she is preparing for work as a full time college advisor and beginning graduate school at Washington University this summer. “Do you what have to do so you can do what you want to do” – words of wisdom given by her father. With God being at the helm of her life, she lives life fearlessly. Read her blog at
Naomi Francis Co-Director/Producer is owner of Master Events, LLC, has been planning parties and events for more than 20 years. She is known for planning successful sponsored events and fundraisers. She has also planned tons of corporate meetings, as well as many social events including weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, birthday parties, graduations, retirement parties and holiday get-togethers. Naomi is a married mother of twin boy-toddlers so her household is always one big party that she’s forever trying to clean up!


Melissa Fuoss is an alternative education teacher, a mother of two adorable boys, and a wife to man who knew he would marry her the day he met her.  She loves the challenge of getting her (anything but easy) students to get lost in books and share their personal stories. Before she became a teacher she was a reporter/photographer for a small daily paper in Kirksville, Missouri where she literally cut, waxed, and pasted her stories on a board before they went to press.  She was raised in St. Louis by a dad who inspired her with his love of life, and a mom whose chicken soup made everything better and who was never afraid to keep it real.


Ellie Grossman
Co-Director/Producer Known by her readers as the “Jewish Erma Bombeck,” Ellie is the author of  Mishegas of Motherhood. Raising Children To Leave The Nest…As Long As They Come Home For Dinner. Her momoir, which was named a finalist in the Shirley You Jest Indie Book Contest, combines domestic satire with Jewish wisdom that applies to all modern families. Her  writing appears in newspapers and magazines across the country and blogosphere. Her story on Jewish Girls Don’t Camp inspired a webisode on In The Motherhood, starring Leah Remini.  Visit her at


Kim Lehnhoff is a wife, mother of three, stepmother of three, grandma of eight, technical writer and published author. Long ago, she had the aspiration of being Mother of the Year, but then she had children and knew she would never reach that lofty goal. She blogs and write short stories and poems. She is the President of the Writers’ Society of Jefferson County and a member of both St. Louis Writer’s Guild and Saturday Writers. She has volunteered for OASIS as an Intergenerational Tutor, as a Parent Mentor for MPACT, and as a speaker for NAMI St. Louis. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, cooking and/or baking, reading, taking roads to see where they go, and drinking obscene amounts of Coke Zero. Check out Kim’s blog at


Hannah Mayer is a young writer often referred to as a “modern-day Mark Twain.” Luckily, she was recently able to save up enough money to permanently remove her unruly white walrus mustache and resume life as a normal woman. By day she is a stay-at-home mom to her 1, 2 and 3 year-old daughters; by night she drinks a chardonnay and Zoloft cocktail she has dubbed “The Sweet Relief.” She writes a blog, but it’s only temporary until her swimsuit modeling career takes off. She’s certain there’s a niche for stretch marks and nipples the size (and consistency) of salad plates. In her free time she enjoys eating Doritos Locos Tacos and spying on her neighbors’ cordless phone conversations through her baby monitor.

Linda M. Nance
 President of the Annie Malone Historical Society, Linda has recently published a collection of poems and prose “Love Gone Bye”, exploring loss and recovery.  A longtime advocate for children and former Director of Resource Development for the Annie Malone Children & Family Service Center, she coordinates fundraising activities to support the largest African American parade celebration in the country. She has served on the Citizens for Missouri’s Children, President of the Webster Groves School Board and President of the Missouri School Board Association. Linda is a 2010 Community Arts Training graduate and recent TIGER Fellow, which are sponsored by the Regional Arts Commission. Linda is a talented vocalist, pianist and an aspiring harpist and together with her husband Harreld she has four delightful sons and five grandchildren.

Linda O’Connell is a seasoned preschool teacher and an accomplished freelance writer, who has been published in seventeen different Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She’s co-creating an anthology,  Not Your Mother’s Book…On Family (Publishing Syndicate) due to release, September 2013. Linda enjoys walking on the beach and often goes south to dip her toes in the sand and surf. When she gets an urge to dance or sing, she doesn’t care who’s looking or listening. She’s young at heart, has a great sense of humor and believes everything happens for a reason. She and her husband Bill laugh every day, often at each other. They have a blended family of four children and nine grandchildren. Linda blogs at


Jill Rosenfeld Orr excels at multitasking. On any given day, she mothers, writes, cooks, cleans (poorly), shops (like a champ), reads, blogs, volunteers, glares at her minivan with equal parts affection and disgust, runs, justifies a third cup of coffee, worries about what she should wear, and avoids the question, “What’s for dinner?” She also gets lost anytime she leaves her neighborhood. And she likes to make stuff up. Read about it on her blog, An Exercise in Narcissism. She writes for Columbia Home magazine and has written a romantic comedy novel that her agent is trying to sell at this very moment.


Danielle Smith  is a digital correspondent, host, storyteller, speaker, media trainer, and author of Mom, Incorporated – and now her 2nd book: Social Media Engagement for Dummies. In her “free time”, she juggles work as the founder of Extraordinary Mommy and Danielle Smith Media as well as hosting and producing her lifestyle series ‘Keeping Style in Your Life’, creating original content for Babble and SheKnows. She has covered everything from the Red Carpet at the Academy of Country Music Awards to the Vancouver Olympic Games.  Most importantly, she is mom to two sweet and sassy small people: Delaney 8, and Cooper, 6 and wife to Jeff.



Suzanne Tucker Co-Director/ Producer is mom to nine, twins plus two and five angel babes. She has written a book about loss, hope and healing and is the creator of My Mommy Manual, a website and online community encouraging moms to look inside themselves for “instructions”. Suzanne leads weekly classes for new parents as a physical therapist and Infant Massage Educator in St. Louis, Missouri where she lives with her husband Shawn, there four children and far too many pets. She believes in the healing power of sharing our life’s stories and that listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Suzanne is actually the one writing this and finds talking about herself this way a little creepy, but is going with it.


Molly Veltz is an RN, an international board certified lactation consultant, (IBCLC) and La Leche league Leader. She is a wife and mother of three children, all old enough to brush their own teeth, which was a welcome milestone. Molly is a nurse who nursed, and then decided to become an expert in order to help other mothers breastfeed successfully. She is fortunate enough to have worked with moms and babies for 13 years, and continues to enjoy supporting new moms as they gain confidence in their mothering skills and begin to feel like, enjoy and find the humor in being a mother!  In fact, she is the keeper of funny children’s quotes and records them verbatim if they make her laugh or contain a word with more than 3 syllables. Aside from motherhood, she loves sports that begin with S, such as, swimming, skiing and scuba diving, but not sumo wrestling or squirrel fishing, which surprisingly, is an actual sport.


Jen York is a former Chicagoan with a long career in the restaurant business. Two years ago, when her first-born was two weeks old, she boarded a plane and became a denizen of the St. Louis area. She is a milk farmer, a taxi driver, a chef, a therapist, a teacher and sometimes an army general to her two beautiful boys, Nolan and Oliver. She is blessed to be married to an amazing and hunky husband who is a paramedic/firefighter and a fantastic housekeeper.


Virginia Kerr, host of Great Day St. Louis, will emcee the event.

Tickets are on sale now! Information can be found HERE.

See you on Saturday, May 11,  at St. Luke’s Institute for Health Education, in Chesterfield.

Ann March 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm

What an incredible group of women!! Congratulations to all of you!

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