Minnesota Hands and Voices


Guide Regions and Bios

Meet our staff!

Candace Lindow-Davies


Candace is the mother of a son who is profoundly deaf. Besides being the Coordinator for MN Hands & Voices since its inception, Candace has served on the MN Dept. of Health's Newborn Hearing Screening and Newborn Screening Advisory Committees. She has also served as Co-Chair of the Center for Disease Control's Parent-to-Parent Committee, developing parent materials for national use. She is a Board member of the national and international organization, Hands & Voices.  She has presented at national, state and local conferences.  Prior to her work at MN Hands & Voices, she worked for 8 years counseling families in crisis. 

Interests:  Children who are deaf and hard of hearing plus medical concerns, educational advocacy, and legislative policy.

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All MN Regions- Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side Coordinator

Laura Godfrey lives in Scott County, and is a parent of a son who is hard of hearing. She joined the MN Hands & Voices team in 2009 and in 2011, took on the role as the Guide By Your Side Coordinator.

She serves of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board.

Interests:  Audiology

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Metro MN- Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide

Robin has 4 children, all graduated from high school with 1 in college. All three of Robin's boys are hearing and her daughter has a profound hearing loss and is medically fragile. She served on the MN Hands & Voices' Advisory Committee since 2004 and returned to work at the office in June of 2010 after being away for 4 years.

Interests: Legislative issues, educational and medical advocacy, volunteerism.

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Central MN- Brenda Hommerding

Central Parent Guide

Central MN Region Counties Map

Brenda Hommerding lives in Rice, MN, and is a parent of twin girls. Amanda and Ashley were born in 2001 and have different degrees of hearing loss. Brenda is also hard of hearing and has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993. Brenda has been the Central MN Parent Guide of MN Hands & Voices since 2006 and the Lead Regional Parent Guide since 2015. She serves on the St. Cloud area DHHS Advisory Board. She is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to do events for families locally.

Interests: Educational Advocacy, Language Development, Community Access

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Southeast MN - Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide

Northwest MN-Shannon Horhman

Northwest Parent Guide

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls, MN and is the mother of two boys.  The youngest was born profoundly deaf. She serves as a member of Region 4 EHDI team, is on the MNH&V Advisory Board, and has served on the DHHS (Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services) board.

She has an academic background in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education

Interests:  District Curriculum Review Advisory Committee, EHDI Advisory Committee, DHHS Advisory Committee, O.U.R. (Observe Understand and Respond).

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Southwest MN- Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is the mother of four children.  Her eldest son is profoundly deaf due to Connexin 26, a genetic cause.  Cassie has an education background in Counseling, Community Health and Mental Health 

Interests – Family Support, Educational Advocacy, Social – Emotional health specific to hearing loss families, Grief Support

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Upper NW MN- Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Guide

 Upper NW Region

Hello my name is Leslie Carnegie-Hilde I live in Norman County with my two daughters.  My oldest daughter is 16 and was born with congenital Atresia/Microsia to her right ear, leaving her with single sided deafness plus (Bi-polar).    My second daughter is 10yrs. At birth she had an injury that left her with a Brachial Plexus injury to her right arm and shoulder.  Both of my girls have as big a heart as they do a smile. 
Life gets busy for us but we always find time to enjoy it as a family.  Whether its headed to the lakes or doing some sightseeing away from home but not to far. 
We all have our own special needs and my family is no exception!  With a strong support system and wonderful resources such as MN Hands & Voices it has our journey just alittle easier

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Northeast MN - Marie Pank

Northeast MN Parent Guide

Northeast Region


Marie has an education in psychology and counseling. She also has a background in accommodating different abilities and learning styles in educational, personal, and everyday settings. She has 2 children with special needs including deafness, autism, and other delays.

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Metro MN - Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide

Contact Anne:

Phone: (651) 265-2400


Anne is the mother of 2 young adult children, the oldest of whom has a profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. She has been involved with all aspects of the developmental and educational process of raising a child with hearing loss (and a hearing sibling) and is thrilled to be able to use this knowledge and experience in her job as Metro Parent Guide. All of those years of experience and learning have been a great base of knowledge. Added to that has been a wealth of learning through MNH&V regarding the latest in educational advocacy, changes in technology, testing, audiology, resources, networking,  and so much more.

It is an honor and a privilege for her to be able to reach out to new families as they learn now to navigate the many nuances of raising a child with hearing loss. It is also a thrill for her to be able to support them on their journey and watch them as they grow in their own confidence as parents and advocates.

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All MN Regions - Saida Sheikh-Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities

Contact Saida:

Phone: (651) 265-2351


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 I am a mother of four wonderful children, including a daughter who is hard of hearing and born with Cri Du Chat Syndrome. I love helping other families with children who have special needs in our community. I joined MN Hands & Voices because I find the work profoundly important, and I want to share its resources and information with the African communities in Minnesota. At the same time, I think MN Hands & Voices will give me the tools to help my daughter to be successful in life.

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All MN Regions - Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities

Contact Mai:

Phone: (651) 265-2350


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 I am a mother of two children.  I have a son who is in college and a two year old daughter.  My daughter was born very premature at 26 weeks and was diagnosed with hearing loss in the right ear and mixed hearing loss in the left along with other medical difficulties.  I became a stay home mom and attended to my daughter with her medical needs as soon as she was born.  The journey has not been easy. I understand the struggles and emotions that one will have that’s why I joined MN Hands and Voices as a Parent Guide.  I want to help other families who are going through the same thing that I went through.

Being a parent with a child who has a hearing loss and also a member of the Hmong community, I understand the struggles and difficulty with the language barrier, views, culture, and the belief of hearing loss and deafness that can prevent or limit a family to get the support or resources that is available for a child who is hard of hearing or deaf.   I feel very happy and privileged to be that outreach person who will support and guide our Hmong families and South East Asian families through MN Hands and Voices as a Parent Guide.   

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All MN Regions - Judith Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-Speaking Communities

Contact Judy:

Phone: (651) 265-2383


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All MN Regions - Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide

Contact Laura:

Phone: (651) 265-2357


Laura is the mother of 2 children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.  She served on the MN Hands & Voices Advisory Board from 2009 through 2010.  She testified at the state legislature with MN Hands & Voices multiple times, telling her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by MN Hands & Voices.  She was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, and is serving a term that runs through 2016.  She joined the MN Hands & Voices team in 2013 as the Parent Education Guide and is back on the Advisory Board. 

Interests:  Educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive  technology, networking

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All MN Regions - Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community

Jenn has been with the MN Hands & Voices team since the summer of 2008.  She has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter with asymmetrical hearing loss, and she is also profoundly deaf herself.  She has enjoyed living in the beautiful state of Minnesota since 2006.  Prior to moving here, she lived in 5 other states – 4 of which are in the south, yet she doesn’t mind the Minnesota winters.  Sports are a big part of her life, as she grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level and competed in two Deaflympics.  She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world.

Interests: Educational & Community Advocacy, Deaf Culture/History, Sports including the National Softball Association of the Deaf (NSAD) and Deaflympics.

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