Guide Regions & Bios

Minnesota Hands & Voices trained Parent Guides are a dedicated group of individuals available in all areas of the state. Read on to learn more about our staff.

All MN Regions

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

Metro MN

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

Central MN

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

Upper NW MN

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

Northwest MN

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

Northeast MN

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

Southwest MN

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

Southeast MN

Candace Lindow-Davies

Program Manager (651) 265-2435 CandaceD@lifetrack-mn.org

Candace Lindow-Davies has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since its inception in 2000. Candace specializes in advocacy, equal access and civil rights, and the needs of children who are deaf/hard of hearing “plus” - who have a disability or disabilities and are deaf or hard of hearing. She believes in finding common ground and working from that place to affect real, positive change.

Candace lives in the Twin Cities Metro area with her wonderful family. She met her husband when she was 18 and they married six years later. They have a son, now a young adult, who is profoundly deaf, and a daughter with typical hearing.

She loves outdoor activities such as running, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Her family has been very involved in robotics; Candace loves mentoring students, particularly in order to open doors for females to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) industries.

A note from Candace: “I want to assure parents that as unsettling as it may be when you are first told your child is deaf or hard of hearing, I look back and am so grateful to all the people who took time to help my son and to help our family along the way. I hope that you find that same support through Minnesota Hands & Voices and all our many partners.”

Laura Godfrey

Guide By Your Side™ Coordinator (651) 265-2372 LauraG@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Godfrey has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since November of 2006, overseeing daily operations as new families are referred. She enjoys collaborating with other people and organizations. She believes that families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing will do better when we help one another more.

Laura lives in the southwestern metro with her son who has had a high frequency hearing loss that was identified at three months of age.

She enjoys yoga, scrapbooking, and playing with her many animals (dogs, bunny, gerbil, bearded dragon, hedgehog, and tree frog). She has a background in animal behavior and was a zookeeper at the Minnesota Zoo for several years. She has taken coursework in Audiology at the University of Minnesota.

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” ~ Maya Angelou

Laura Libby

Parent Education Guide (651) 265-2357 LauraL@lifetrack-mn.org

Laura Libby joined Minnesota Hands & Voices in December of 2013 as the Parent Education Guide, and served on the Advisory Board in 2009 and 2010. She specializes in educational advocacy, legislative policy, assistive technology, networking, and parent education. She has testified at the state legislature with Minnesota Hands & Voices multiple times, sharing her story as a parent who has benefitted from the services provided by the organization.

Laura lives in Crystal, a suburb of Minneapolis, and was elected to the Crystal City Council in 2012, serving a term through 2016. She is married with two children. Her son is deaf and her daughter is hearing.

Her interests include reading, spending time with family, hiking, politics, sustainable agriculture, gardening, and environmental issues. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Carina Figueroa

Administrative Assistant (651) 265-2420 CarinaF@lifetrack-mn.org

Carina Figueroa began working for Minnesota Hands & Voices/Lifetrack in 2012. As Administrative Assistant, she provides support to the team in a number of ways, including event planning, providing clients with information, and managing content for Minnesota Hands & Voices’ website and social media.

Carina has a passion for the diversity found in the Minnesota Hands & Voices community. She believes in the program and the families they serve. She also has an interest in the various communication modalities and technologies available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and is always trying to expand her knowledge of them.

Carina has family members who are deaf or hard of hearing on both sides. Her younger brother was identified as hard of hearing when she was very young. Growing up with a sibling who is hard of hearing has made Carina a more caring, accepting, and patient person.

She works out of the Metro office location and supports team members in all areas of the state. She also assists part-time in a deaf and hard of hearing program preschool classroom. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Speech-Language Hearing Science. Carina loves to draw, paint, travel, and use her creativity to support Minnesota Hands & Voices.

Brenda Hommerding

Lead Regional/Central Parent Guide (800) 908-6675 BrendaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Brenda Hommerding has been working with Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2006. She started as a Parent Guide and took on the addition role of Lead Regional Guide in 2015. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota in the town of Rice. She has been married to her husband Lynn since 1993, and is the parent of twin girls, Amanda and Ashley, who were born in 2001 and are both hard of hearing in different degrees. Brenda herself is also hard of hearing.

Brenda serves on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and is instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally. Her mother always wanted Brenda to be a teacher, so being a part of Minnesota Hands & Voices allows her to share and learn with a unique group of people.

Brenda loves to cross-stitch, read, paint, dance, garden, and spend time with family and friends.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (866) 587-4189 LeslieC@lifetrack-mn.org

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since 2011. She is the Parent Guide for the Upper Northwest region of the state, and has special interest in audiology and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

Her teenaged daughter Shawnae, has Microtia/Atresia in her right ear, with severe- to profound deafness in that ear. She has a younger daughter, Sheyenne. They live in Norman County.

Leslie enjoys traveling and visiting local state parks and lakes. She enjoys flower gardening and seeing movies. She studied Commercial Art, which has become an outlet for stress.

Shannon Hohrman

Northwest Parent Guide (866) 860-4075 ShannonH@lifetrack-mn.org

Shannon Hohrman has been the Northwest Parent Guide for Minnesota Hands & Voices since April of 2016. She helps families connect with other families and help them get the services they need. She is involved in the O.U.R. (Observe, Understand, and Respond) Project through Hands & Voices HQ, dedicated to addressing neglect, abuse, and bullying. Shannon is committed to helping families advocate for their child.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval officer, and her son Nicholas, a high school student, is profoundly deaf.

She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and has participated on several committees, including the school district curriculum, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS), and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

Shannon enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking, golfing, and spending time in the mountains and at the beach. She loves doing triathlons with her Minnesota Hands & Voices coworkers.

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (866) 750-4421 MarieP@lifetrack-mn.org

Marie Pank started with Minnesota Hands & Voices on her birthday in 2012. She is the Northeast Parent Guide and has a special interest in the large variety of technology available and how it can be used in everyday situations.

Marie lives in St. Louis County. She has low vision and albinism and her twin daughters have special needs. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, and is a national delegate and Gold Award committee member for her Girl Scout Council. She is also a member of Lions Clubs International and is a LEO youth club advisor.

She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and has completed coursework for her Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology.

Cassie Ramerth

Southwest Parent Guide (888) 214-0660 CassieR@lifetrack-mn.org

Cassie Ramerth has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Southwest Parent Guide since April of 2016. She has a special interest in family support, educational advocacy, social-emotional health specific to families with deaf or hard of hearing children, and grief support.

Cassie lives in Blue Earth County and is married with four children. Her oldest child is hard of hearing. She has educational and work background in counseling, community health, and mental health.

She enjoys reading, dancing, fishing, boating, sporting events, family time, and spending time outdoors.

Anne Barlow

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2400 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 AnneB@lifetrack-mn.org

Anne Barlow has a Metro Parent Guide with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013. She loves the family education events held by Minnesota Hands & Voices, and has enjoyed creating literacy information packets. An important part of Anne’s role is fostering connections between families that help them know that they are alone; they are part of a warm community.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two children, the older of whom is profoundly and bilaterally hard of hearing, and are grandparents to a KODA (Kid of a Deaf Adult). They are also “staff” to one cat.

She is a “retired” OTR (Occupational Therapist), and has also worked as a para and/or volunteer in special education at the elementary level for many years. She loves to read mysteries, bake, bike, swim, and swing in a hammock. She tries to learn something new every day.

A note from Anne: “Because Minnesota Hands & Voices did not exist when we were learning about our son’s hearing loss, I had deep feelings of isolation and anxiety about how to proceed. I feel honored to be able to help support new parents on their own journey to find information and resources as quickly as possible so that they feel empowered and confident to make choices that work for their children.”

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Direct: (651) 265-2334 Toll Free: (866) 346-4543 RobinC@lifetrack-mn.org

Robin Coninx started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in June of 2010. She is a Metro Parent Guide, and enjoys collaborating with various audiologists, educational staff, and individual parents.

Robin has four children – three adult boys and one adult daughter. Her daughter is her third child and was identified deaf at 14 months old. She has had numerous medical appointments since birth due to medical conditions.

She is a 1998 graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a governor’s council on disability training. From 2004-2006, she worked for Minnesota Hands & Voices and then returned in June of 2010. In 2007, Robin was a parent rep at the Emergency Medical Services Regularity Board Tri-State Conference. In 2015, she attended the Family Leadership Institute of PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition of Educational Rights) and is a Family Voices graduate. She has received additional training through PACER as well.

She enjoys travel, raising German Shepard dogs, riding horses, and reading non-fiction. She is a football and basketball fan, both college and pro.

Sabrina Hinrichs

Southeast Parent Guide (888) 827-7820 SabrinaH@lifetrack-mn.org

Sabrina Hinrichs started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2015. She enjoys supporting parents in the Southeast region of the state.

She lives in Zumbro Falls, and has three children. She has two daughters and one son, who is profoundly deaf. She enjoys hunting, camping, and traveling.

Sabrina looks forward to working with each and every Minnesota Hands & Voices family in her region.

Jennifer Hume

Parent Guide for the Deaf Community (866) 261-0857 JenniferH@lifetrack-mn.org

Jennifer Hume has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2008 as the Parent Guide for the Deaf Community. She has special interest for educational and community advocacy, and enjoys connecting with other Deaf families.

Jen has a son who is profoundly deaf, a daughter who is hard of hearing asymmetrically, and is profoundly deaf herself. Her son loves to play sports, and her daughter loves listening to music and creating artistic masterpieces. They live in the Twin Cities Metro.

Growing up profoundly deaf, Jen educated herself in the area of deafness, but not without many awesome supporters, including her parents, teachers, and other amazing people, all with different roles. But she’s also learned through life, through various friends, and even through her own children, that ever individual who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has their own preferences, just like anyone else. She has been to countless IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings, for herself and for her children, and over time has discovered many different accommodations and technologies.

Sports have always been a big part of Jen’s life. She grew up playing multiple sports and went on to play tennis at the college level. She competed in two Deaflympics. She currently does CrossFit and participates in slow-pitch softball, including the National Softball Association for the Deaf tournaments.

She enjoys meeting other Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout the country and even the world. In her free time, she enjoys going to dirt track races, camping, and fishing (yes, even ice fishing, despite growing up in the Southeast!) with her family.

Saida Mohamed

Parent Guide for Northeast African Communities (651) 265-2351 SaidaS@lifetrack-mn.org

Saida Mohamed, Parent Guide for the Northeast African Communities, has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since July of 2015.

She lives in Hennepin County and has five children. Her daughter is hard of hearing.

Saida works at a school with kids with special needs, and enjoys spending time with her family.

Mai Houa Lor

Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities (651) 265-2350 MaiH@lifetrack-mn.org

Mai Houa Lor started with Minnesota Hands & Voices as the Parent Guide for Southeast Asian Communities in December of 2015. She enjoys helping and working with families that are from different cultural backgrounds.

Mai has two children. Her son is in college and her young daughter, who was born premature at 25 ½ weeks, is hard of hearing. They live in Dakota County.

She has many years of experience volunteering with families that are new to the country. Some areas of need for these families are interpreting, social service, housing, health, and medical. Mai has more than ten years of professional interpreting and translation experience in medical clinics and hospitals for diagnostic appointments, hearing tests, and hearing aid fittings for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing, ranging from newborns to adults.

Judy Cavazos-Beal

Parent Guide for the Spanish-speaking Community (651) 265-2383 JudithC@lifetrack-mn.org

Judy Cavazos-Beal has been the Minnesota Hands & Voices Parent Guide since December of 2013. She gives support and information to families so that their children who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the growth opportunities available to them. Judy has worked for several years in the social services, including counseling and mental health therapy.

Judy was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and now lives in the Twin Cities Metro area. She speaks Spanish and English. Judy has two young sons; the older son is moderately hard of hearing in both ears and has significant vision loss in his right eye. He was born with CHARGE syndrome, which caused impairments in several ways. With a lot of his own determination, as well as the assistance of therapies, the school team, and the support of family, he is overcoming multiple challenges.

Some favorite family activities are camping at northern Minnesota lakes, watching movies at home, and practicing different languages. Judy enjoys camping, hiking, and cross-stitching.

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About MN Hands & Voices

Minnesota Hands & Voices is a community of families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

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News

Apr 10, 2017

Calling on all the Superheroes in the MN Hands & Voices Community! We know you’re out there! We’ve seen you in action! Adults who are deaf and hard of hearing advocating for change. Parents making huge sacrifices out of love for their child. And our k…[more]

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Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) refers to the practice of screening every newborn for hearing loss prior to hospital discharge. Infants not passing the screening receive diagnostic evaluation before three months of age and, when necessary, are enrolled in early intervention programs by six months of age. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) laws or voluntary compliance programs that screen hearing.

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