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.
LAURA ROODMAN EDWARDS RAY C0-Director/Producer—is the author of Brain Dead in the Burbs and Cooking Your Way Back to Sanity and Still Brain Dead and Cooking and soon-to-be-released Forever Brain Dead and Night of the Living Brain Dead, which are all compilations of funny and emotional stories (and lots of recipes with full-colored photos, of course). And, move over Chicken Soup for the Soul…she is also working on an ongoing project, Brisket in the Back Seat…An Anthology of Red Meat. Watch how Laura uses her self-deprecating, quick-witted personality to empower women in her standup comedy show Funny Girls…The Experiment on her YouTube channel. She lives in the burbs with her husband Tom, an eclectic musician and record store owner, and her two daughters, one unofficially adopted daughter, and her stepson close by. She tirelessly spends her days trying to perfect her role as a full-time law firm sales representative, mother, wife, cook, author, comedienne, and speaker . Find her at www.braindeadlaura.com.
NAOMI FRANCIS C0-Director/Producer—Naomi has been planning parties and events for more than 20 years. When it comes to organizing successful sponsored events and fundraisers with a creative flair, Naomi is the best. She also coordinates corporate meetings, weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, birthday parties, graduations, retirement parties, and holiday get-togethers. She is also sought after for her ethnic gourmet cooking classes that she offers to her clients in their homes with their friends or other couples. Naomi is married to Ron, and they have twin 5-year old boys, Jake and Luke. So her household is always one big party that she’s forever trying to clean up!
ELLIE GROSSMAN Co-Director/Producer– Ellie is the author of “Mishegas of Motherhood. Raising Children To Leave The Nest…As Long As They Come Home For Dinner,” which combines domestic satire with Jewish wisdom that applies to all modern families. Her award-winning writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country and blogosphere. Ellie works as a consultant in social media, public relations, and marketing. Mom to Sari (18) and Jack (22), she is about to become an empty nester and is looking for parents to join her Empty Nester Club! Find her at www.mishegasofmotherhood.com.
LUCY BURNS came to the United States from China 30 years ago as a graduate student hoping to get a degree in plant pathology. After receiving her Master’s, she worked as a scientist in various fields, such as biotechnology, molecular biology, and molecular diagnostics. She is a mother of two children who are in their early twenties. She is a proud scientist and has co-authored seven US patents in gene detection. Lucy is currently a research lab manager at a small company. She was a Toastmasters club member for 10 years and has developed a passion for public speaking by attending speech contests and organizing public speaking training events. As her children grew up, she became more focused on community work and is now a member of a local OCA chapter, an Asian American Organization that aims to promote diversity through high school students, college students and Asian American professionals. Her other hobbies include reading books and camping. Recently she also found new interests in orienteering and flying toy drones.
Lucy has attended Listen to Your Mother since its inception and enjoyed listening to everyone’s stories so much in fact, that she wished to tell her own story on the show! Now a part of the casts on this show, she is very excited to tell her story to the audience.
WENDY COOPER was born and raised in Indianapolis and became a teacher in 2000 for the Indianapolis Public School. She moved to St. Louis in 2004 and continued her work as a teacher for the Rockwood School District. Currently she is as an Assistant Principal at Trail Elementary in Wentzville School District. She loves her job and working daily with her 980 “kids,” and she finds her work challenging and rewarding each day.
Her own kids bring her the most joy, and she says her proudest moment was when she became a mom. She has two children Keegan (12) and Audrey (8). In fact, it was her own daughter who inspired Wendy to write about her motherhood journey. Audrey was born with a rare medical condition, which her little girl bravely wrote about and shared with a live audience at The Store Bee Show. Wendy thought if my daughter can do it, so can I!
Wendy also loves to hang out with her three stepchildren Adam (19), Rachel (18) and Beth (15). Together her family likes to play games and cook up some fun in the kitchen. She also enjoys traveling with her husband Chris.
For Wendy, there’s nothing better than having the honor to raise her kiddo’s. She feels so honored to be chosen to be among such a great group of mothers in LTYM. She can’t wait to hear other stories and be inspired by them as well.
MAUREEN MCKERNAN DILTHEY is a wife, mom and grandmother. Though privately educated from kindergarten through college, attaining her dream job right out of college and marrying her ideal match, her greatest achievement is being mom to one perfect daughter and three magnificent sons for the last 38 years. Her true calling is now being “Maurmi” to five handsome grandsons, three darling granddaughters with a newbie joining the clan this summer! Her daily life includes jotting down memories before she forgets. She runs an ecommerce business dealing with treasures from the past. And she loves shopping at Target and being filmed by her daughter, the poor man’s paparazzi, who then uploads her antics to her Facebook page Come on Colleen. Recently, she has begun working on a new passion as co-producer of the The Story Bee Show. She has come to realize children are the true teachers. They hold the keys to the future, the wisdom of the ages and allow us a peek of a beautifully pure soul. Her family is her greatest source of happiness and she intends to attend their every event to cheer them on, laugh with them until she cannot breathe and love them until the Good Lord says your job is complete.
LAUREN DRUMMOND is a woman of faith in God, a mother, a writer, an artist and a number of other things in between. After spending 13 years as an anchor and reporter in the television news business, Lauren answered the call from God on her life and went into Christian ministry. While Lauren’s primary public speaking experience these days is delivering a message of hope from the Scriptures, she also enjoys speaking to women as one of the founders of The MERCY Project-STL—an organization aimed at encouraging racial reconciliation.
For the last two years, Lauren has served as emcee for the premiere annual scholarship fundraising event for her alma mater, Howard University, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. In 2012, Lauren received her Master’s Degree in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. She was ordained and commissioned as a minister in August of 2014.
Lauren currently works part-time as a chaplain for the Friendship Village Retirement Community in Sunset Hills, Missouri and for Marketplace Chaplains USA. She has served as a chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital where she completed her Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training and as a chaplain in the Heart Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Lauren has two sons, Christian–14 and David–11. Although she admits she cannot take all of the credit for her amazing children, she considers them to be her greatest accomplishments in life. In addition to hanging out with her boys, Lauren loves to hike, bike, oil paint and bask in the beauty of God’s glorious creation in the mountains and on the beach. She is in the process of writing a book about black and white race relations within Christianity, which is expected to be published next year.
SHAQUAN A. GROVE is known for her witty wisdom and down-to-earth approach, Shaquan is an advocate for healthy relationships and believes we each have a secret sauce to create the relationships we desire. She is the owner of PRT Coaching Services, a life and relationship expert firm focused on self-awareness strategies to help you better connect in your intimate, personal or professional relationships.
In addition to being a Certified Relationship Coach, Energy Leadership Trainer and Professional Speaker, she holds a BS in Consumer and Family Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Shaquan is also an aspiring speaker with the St. Louis chapter of the National Speakers Association and she’s a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Being on the LTYM stage is an accomplishment to allow Shaquan to share fond memories of her mother, and honor her parents who continue to support and encourage her to live a full life. Alongside her husband Reggie, and sons Mason and Anderson, their family motto is “Team Grove never gives up!” as a reminder to push through the limits to reach their God-given potential.
As an extreme extrovert, Shaquan prefers hugs over handshakes, believes in the power of friendship, love and laughter, and she can easily be bribed with Skittles!
TIFFANY HOECKELMAN is mom to 5 year-old Aayden who joined the family through foster care. Tiffany and Matt have been joyfully married for nearly nine years and live in Union, MO. After graduating from Truman State University (1996), Tiffany traveled as a missionary with N.E.T. Ministries and landed in St. Petersburg, FL for several years. Feeling the hometown magnetism, she settled back in St. Louis and most enjoys being a wife, mom and business owner. Tiffany owns Lone Orange Brand+Design which helps growth-minded business owners establish their distinctive brand to attract clients they love and profits they deserve! Her primary passion is helping people see and believe in their possibilities. She channels that passion into growing her business, volunteering as a middle school Student Council moderator, organizing Self-Employed St. Louis and as an active member of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).
Tiffany is looking forward to celebrating only her 2nd Mother’s Day with the LTYM family!
AMY LATTA is a certified life and weight coach, speaker, and author of the Amazon best-selling “Worth & Wellness Journal.” A former corporate marketer and stay-at-home mom, Amy is now the Business Woman’s Health Coach, helping exhausted woman business owners get an hour or two back in their day and overcome their self-sabotaging so they can finally lose the weight and reclaim their missing energy.
Amy married Trey, a union pipefitter, 14 years ago, and they have a daughter, Isabella, 18, from Trey’s first marriage, and two sons, Sean, 11, and Ryan, 8. Lou the Chubby Chihuahua insists on being mentioned as well. They are documentary junkies and music lovers who also enjoy long road trips in the family truckster and short date nights in the open-topped Jeep. When not building her own business, Amy can usually be found on her yoga mat or experimenting in the kitchen.
Being a stepmom has been one of the most challenging and rewarding of all Amy’s jobs, and she’s both terrified and exhilarated to share her story in the show.
LINDA ANDERSON-LITTLE serves as the Interim Associate Pastor and Director of Pastoral Care at Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Florissant, MO. She has been an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1989 and has served congregations in Detroit, Kansas City and St. Louis. Linda is working toward a Certificate of Spiritual Direction at Aquinas Institute of Theology. She serves on the Board of The Prosperity Shop, the business arm of The Blessing Basket Project, which works to end global poverty by paying artisans in Asia and Africa Prosperity Wages®.
In the fall of 2016, Linda published her first book, Motherhood Calling: Experiencing God in Everyday Family Life, which shares humor and insights about the sacredness of daily life, the spiritual wisdom of children, and the presence of the holy in the mundane, joyful and sometimes painful events of daily life (including her battle with breast cancer). She is passionate about helping people see all life as Sacramental by encouraging people to notice “God-sightings” and to recognize the presence of the holy hidden in the ordinariness of our everyday.
Linda is married to the Rev. Dr. Dan Anderson-Little, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). They have 3 young adult children. Visit her website LindaAndersonLittle.com!
CARA MENDEZ is a recovering perfectionist, self-care advocate and Founder of House of Mendez – a community where overwhelmed moms learn to reconnect with their authentic selves through holistic self-care workshops and online courses.
She lives in the small picturesque town of Pacific, MO with her husband, 5 kids, 2 dogs and 10 chickens where they homeschool and run two businesses. To maintain her own sanity, her daily self-care entails yoga, journaling and meditation. In her free time, she loves to CREATE. Anything DIY is just her speed – from jewelry to natural skin care products to furniture rehabs. As a self-proclaimed birth junkie, she is most proud of rockin’ her four HBACs (a.k.a. home birth after cesarean).
LINDA METZLER wants to be a writer when she grows up. She writes on Twitter as @LindaInDisguise, she writes on her personal blog, JustLinda.com, and sometimes even in real publications. Rumor has it, she even writes on bathroom walls. This is Linda’s 2nd time in our LTYM cast–and we’re glad to have her back!
A St. Louis native, Linda has five daughters, ranging from age 12 to 33, and four super adorable grandchildren. To pay the bills, Linda is a professional money-spender, leading Procurement and Accounts Payable for a St. Louis headquartered company called TierPoint.
As a writer, she’s hoping to one day be discovered, but is terrified it will be by a concerned mental health worker rather than a big-time publisher.
Her interests include writing, traveling, and music. She also loves to spend time with her grandchildren.
REBECCA LINZ O’LAUGHLIN moved to St. Louis from New York in 2014 with her wife Carolyn and their two sons: Avery (9) and Caleb (6). They recently became homeowners in Rock Hill. Rebecca has a Ph.D. in French and works as the program administrator for Comparative Literature at Washington University, where she is involved in The Toastmasters Club, WUSTL Speaks. She has performed pieces on topics such as the importance of punctuality; the frustrations and joys of learning the French language; her parents’ conversion to Judaism; and her experience at a bargain-basement, discount beauty salon with disastrous (but humorous) results. She also enjoys exploring St. Louis, spending time with friends and planning (and going on!) vacations and getaways.
A recent accomplishment is graduating from Partners in Policymaking, a disabilities advocacy program run through the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council. The program is intended for parents of children with disabilities as well as for self-advocates. If you fit into one (or both) of those categories, she highly recommends this life-changing experience. Her publications include several scholarly articles and book reviews in academic journals and opinion pieces regarding disability issues in local newspapers.
Rebecca saw – and loved — the 2013 and 2014 LTYM shows in New York City, and knew it was an experience in which she wanted to participate. She loves the format of bringing together unique stories regarding mothers and motherhood, and she is proud and excited to be a part of the 2017 St. Louis cast.
Find Rebecca on Facebook!
SIOUX ROSLAWSKI is the proud mother of Ian, her tatted-up son (he’s finishing up his 2nd year of med school), Virginia, her beautiful daughter, and Jason, her son-in-law who is a painter as well as an award-winning tattoo artist. The light of her life? Riley, her granddaughter, who embodies all the grace, compassion and talent of her parents. In May, Sioux will become Emily’s mother-in-law when she and Ian marry. In her spare time she teaches middle-school, reads voraciously, belongs to two (count ’em–2) writing critique groups, is a teacher consultant for the Gateway Writing Project and rescues golden retrievers for Love a Golden Rescue. When she retires (for the 2nd time), Sioux is moving (in her dreams) to the little village of Nay in southern France (where her sister Virginie lives).
This is Sioux’s second time as a Listen to Your Mother performer, and she’s looking forward to sharing a lighter side of motherhood. (Last time, her story was a sad one.)
You can read more from Sioux by checking out her blog at siouxpage.blogspot.com.
TIFFANY TIBBS is honored to be part of the 2017 Listen to Your Mother St. Louis event! She looks forward to sharing her story with others and to hearing the powerful stories that connect us. She has two daughters, Rachel (age 11) and Ally (age 9) and is married to Kevin Tibbs, who is the chemist and co-founder of Better Life, a natural cleaning products company that was featured on the TV show “Shark Tank”. She is a clinical psychologist and teaches psychology courses and contributes to research. She has experience with academic writing and also had some personal essays published in online and print magazines. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, walking her new puppy, and traveling. Her proudest accomplishment so far is simple, but not easy – she has tried to lead a meaningful and (semi) balanced life. It is a work in progress.
JODY GRIZZEL-WEST, together with those closest to her, founded Amazing Gracie’s Legacy last year with the loss of their youngest daughter. She and her husband Chris have three children…Isabella, age 9, Gavin, age 8, and sweet Amazing Gracie, who lost her battle with Trisomy 18 at almost 17 months.
In 2003, Jody left the corporate arena and her life in communications to pursue her career with Mary Kay. She is currently a sales director enriching the lives of others through coaching women to build their own business and by serving as a consultant to women seeking personal beauty service. She is thankful for those choices that enabled her to focus on her faith and family over her career these past couple of years when it was needed most.
She has always been a writer and through her words was able to share this inspiring story via social media. And, now, Jody is so excited to be a part of this year’s show to inspire others who are growing through a rough blessing. Rough blessings are those blessings that make some of your toughest days your best days and some of your best days your toughest. She feels blessed to have been chosen to be Gracie’s mom. And, she is proud to share their story of faith and inspiration, as well as share a small piece of the impact this little nugget had on everyone who entered her world.
For more information about Jody and her family, please visit her at amazinggracieslegacy.com.