Staff Regions & Bios

Minnesota Hands & Voices trained Parent Guides are a dedicated group of individuals available in all areas of the state. Our Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program are a group of trained adults who themselves have a hearing difference and support all areas of the state. Read on to learn more about our staff.

All MN Regions

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
;

Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
;

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
;

Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
;

Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
;

Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
;

Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
;

Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
;

Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
;

Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
;

Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
;

Metro MN

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
;

Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
;

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
;

Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
;

Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
;

Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
;

Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
;

Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
;

Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
;

Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
;

Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
;

Central MN

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
;

Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
;

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
;

Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
;

Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
;

Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
;

Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
;

Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
;

Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
;

Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
;

Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
;

Upper NW MN

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
;

Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
;

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
;

Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
;

Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
;

Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
;

Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
;

Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
;

Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
;

Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
;

Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
;

Northwest MN

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
;

Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
;

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
;

Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
;

Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
;

Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
;

Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
;

Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
;

Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
;

Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
;

Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
;

Northeast MN

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
;

Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
;

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
;

Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
;

Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
;

Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
;

Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
;

Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
;

Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
;

Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
;

Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
;

Southwest MN

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
;

Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
;

Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
;

Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
;

Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
;

Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
;

Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
;

Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
;

Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
;

Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
;

Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
;

Southeast MN

Laura Godfrey

Former MN Hands & Voices Director

MN Hands & Voices is grateful for Laura's 15 years of dedicated and passionate work and leadership. We extend our thanks and best wishes to Laura as she begins a new chapter in her life

Laura Godfrey
;

Brenda Hommerding

Guide by Your Side Manager (320) 828-6786 Brenda.Hommerding@lssmn.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. In 2017 Brenda moved onto a different role in the organization as the Guide By Your Side Manager. She specializes in educational advocacy, language development, and community access.

Brenda lives in Central Minnesota. 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 also has a grandson that was born in 2019 and is deaf.

Brenda has served on the St. Cloud Area Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Advisory Board, and has been instrumental in collaborating with community stakeholders to hold events for families locally.

Brenda currently serves on the West Central DHHS Advisory Board and in July of 2020 has been appointed to the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) board.

Brenda continues to represent MNHV at National Conferences and was awarded the Miss Congeniality Award for her patience, kindness, and an all around good natured person in 2017. 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.

Brenda Hommerding
;

Anne Barlow

Director of MN Hands and Voices 651-265-2435 Anne.Barlow@lssmn.org

Anne Barlow has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since December of 2013.

She began as a Parent Guide where she was able to share her 25+ years of experience as a parent of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. As Director, Anne is honored to lead a diverse and passionate team who strongly believe in our mission of parent support and empowerment.

Anne lives in the northwest Metro area. She and her husband are the proud parents of two adult children, the older of whom is Deaf, and are grandparents to 2 KODA's (Kid of a Deaf Adult).

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.”

Anne Barlow
;

Robin Coninx

Metro Parent Guide Supervisor/Statewide ASTra Guide (651)265-2334 Robin.Coninx@lssmn.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.

Robin Coninx
;

Shannon Hohrman

Regional Parent Guide Supervisor/ Statewide ASTra Guide/ Northwest Parent Guide (218) 350-0771 Shannon.Hohrman@lssmn.org

Shannon Hohrman is the Northwest Parent Guide, Educational Advocacy Coordinator, and the Out-State Lead Guide and has been with MNHV since April 2006.

Shannon lives in Fergus Falls and has two wonderful boys. Her son Thomas is a Naval Pilot and her son Nicholas who is profoundly Deaf with Bi-Lateral Cochlear Implants is a student at Gallaudet University majoring in Biology.

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

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.

Shannon Hohrman
;

Elena Miranda

Lead Cultural Guide Supervisor (651) 265-2383 Elena.Miranda@lssmn.org

Elena Miranda has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since August 2017 serving Cultural Diverse Families, finding resources, support and family connections. She is passionate about social interaction with new families.

She is a single mom of the 3 kids, her oldest is bilateral profound deaf. He’s primary communication mode is ASL but also speaks Spanish and English.

Elena is an active woman how cares about others finding the way to support them with her Latinas Group.

She really enjoy almost everything she does with their kids, cook, organize things, play with her kiddos, paddleboard, fishing just for fun, play in the snow, bike and decorate. One of the things she loves to do is read books for their kids classmates at elementary age in ASL, Spanish and English.

She truly believes that the less isolated the granted is the success in everything you do.

Elena Miranda
;

Heidy Nazario

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Supervisor (612) 297-6603 Heidy.Nazario@lssmn.org

Heidy (pronounced hay-dee) is a bilingual, Puerto Rican woman who has been working with Lifetrack as a DHH Adult Role Model since October 2016, and DHH Guide Supervisor since January 2019.

She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, oldest sibling, and 2 dogs, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Preschool/Elementary Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her dogs, and biking (when it's warm). She also loves to watch comedy movies and occasionally practice different forms of art.

Heidy feels passionate about working with DHH families as she is deaf herself, with a genetic and progressive hearing difference in both ears, and has many experiences to share! Her father and most of his family members are also deaf or hard of hearing.

Heidy Nazario
;

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde

Upper Northwest Parent Guide (218) 902-0148 Leslie.Carnegie-Hilde@lssmn.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.

Leslie Carnegie-Hilde
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Suzanne Iwainat

Central Parent Guide (320)428-4232 Suzanne.Iwainat@lssmn.org

Suzanne started with Minnesota Hands & Voices in August of 2017 as Central Minnesota's Parent Guide. She has been connected with MNH&V since 2005. She lives in Morrison County with her husband and two children, both of whom have a hearing difference. Suzanne holds an interest in planning events, family connection and educational advocacy trainings from MNHV ASTra team.

Suzanne volunteers her time on advisory boards including, Special Education Advisory Council at their local school district, Deaf and Hard of Hearing East Central Advisory Board and St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Advisory Board. In 2018, she graduated from the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Child Education Program and is in the process of earning her teaching license in Early Childhood Education.

She loves spending time with her family. They enjoy camping, swimming, biking, and visiting national parks.

Suzanne Iwainat
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Marie Pank

Northeast Parent Guide (218) 343-1207 Marie.Pank@lssmn.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.

Marie Pank
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Krista Blood

Southern Parent Guide (507) 696-7550 (TEXT ONLY) or call (651) 964-1351 Krista.Blood@lssmn.org

Krista is the Parent Guide for southern Minnesota, she has been with Hands & Voices since 2018. She resides in Faribault, Minnesota. She enjoys meeting families, and loves showing them as a Deaf adult, that your child will be okay. Krista comes from a unique background, she grew up relying on hearing aids, and using spoken English. Krista was born hearing but become profoundly deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis.

But as an adult, she slowly translated to using full American Sign Language, and has a very bilingual household. Her husband Corey is also profoundly Deaf. Krista has 4 children who are unique in their own way. Kylah who is a currently a senior in high school is a CODA. (Child of Deaf Adults.) Then she has 3 children each with a different kind of hearing loss. Zander who is 11, is profoundly Deaf, Zyler who is 8 has Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder, last is her daughter Bianca who is 7 she has unilateral Deafness. Her children that are Deaf/HH attend Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, in Faribault.

Krista has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education, and Psychology. As well has completed level one and two of basic Training for ASTra. She also attends many webinars and trainings weekly on a wide range of topics, such as mental health, ADHD, Audiology. She is most passionate about learning how to advocate for children, and families.

Krista enjoys spending time with her family. As a family they enjoy going up to their 2nd home up North by Grand Rapids. Where they love fishing, boating, swimming, bonfires, and just being with each other in the great outdoors of Minnesota. Krista has a passion for craft sales, making rustic household items and making old things new again. Krista also enjoys cooking, and baking.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller
Krista Blood
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Sonya Gridhar

IT Specalist (507) 696-7550 Sonya.Gridhar@lssmn.org

Sonya has been with Minnesota Hands & Voices since January 2018 as the Southeast Parent Guide. She has a background in neuroscience and has an interest in communication strategies and language acquisition.'

Sonya is in Rochester, MN and lives with her husband and two young children. Her 5-year-old daughter has a profound unilateral hearing loss. In her free time, Sonya enjoys photography, hiking, and playing the ukulele. Sonya’s background is in computational neuroscience.

She is passionate about brains, research, and making science more accessible to non-scientists. Previously, she created child-specific educational resources for families to explain their child’s hearing profile and communication access needs. She has also published a children's book and the main character is a child with hearing loss.

Sonya Gridhar
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Sophia Barr

Administrative Assistant/ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide VP: 612-999-2517 Sophia.Barr@lssmn.org

Sophia has been working with MNH&V as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide and as the Administrative Assistant.

Sophia has a profound hearing loss in her right ear and has a severe hearing loss in her left which uses a hearing aid to help amplify the little hearing she has. She is the only person in her family that has a hearing difference. She grew up oral and understood sign language, but couldn't sign well herself. She took 4 ASL classes in college and her signing has improved and loves that she is bilingual.

Sophia went to University of Wisconsin Stout for Hospitality. She is now attending again for her masters in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. She used to be a House Manager for a group home full of deaf individuals and became a huge advocate, and want to continue being one.

Sophia enjoys walks with her dog, traveling, painting, watching a good horror film, sleep, and spend time with friends and family.

Sophia Barr
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Janie Barlow

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Janie.Barlow@lssmn.org

Janie started with MN Hands and Voices DHH Guide Program in July 2019 to share her personal experiences with families as well as to provide support and resources where needed. She is excited to meet families and to learn along with them!

Janie is hard of hearing although she identifies as Deaf. Janie has a bilateral hearing loss and uses two hearings aids. Her left ear has a more profound hearing difference than the right ear. Without her hearing aids, she cannot hear much. Her communication method is both American Sign Language and Spoken English. Janie is married to a wonderful Deaf man and they have two KODAs (Kids of Deaf Adults) who are full of energy and bilingual.

Janie has experience working with high school students who had varied hearing differences in goals of developing skills in the employment field. She helped them with getting jobs and/or volunteer experiences along with learning life skills and how to apply those to everyday life and their work environment. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and work alongside with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families in the hope that they might have a role model that she didn’t really have growing up. In her down time, she likes to spend time with her family, dance, read, take walks, and create.

Janie Barlow
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Kobe Schroeder

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kobe.Schroeder@lssmn.org

Kobe has been with Minnesota Hands and Voices since Spring 2019. He currently serves as a DHH Guide.

He was born deaf due to a gene called, Nonsyndromic Hearing Loss. Kobe and his brother are first generation Deaf.

Kobe enjoys working out, hanging out with friends and family, telling jokes, spending time outside and listening to music!

He is currently attending Gallaudet University majoring in Physical Education and minoring in Biology. He is on the football team.


Kobe works as a Peer Health Advocate at Gallaudet and is also certified as a Peer Educator by NAPSA.

https://www.naspa.org/

Kobe Schroeder
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Hannah Harriman

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Hannah.Harriman@lssmn.org

Hannah Harriman is a DHH Guide here at MNH&V, she has been here since February 2020.

Hannah is Deaf-Blind and loves to use that combination of disabilities to serve children and families in the best way possible.

She is passionate about advocating for individuals who have disabilities; she had experienced advocating on both the state and national level.

She graduated from Bethel University in 2019 with a degree in Communications.

Hannah currently lives in Stillwater, Minnesota. She has two younger sisters and is the only DHH individual in her family and the only one who is blind as well.

Hannah's hobbies include reading, singing, and spending time outdoors.

Hannah Harriman
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Shelby Geldon

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (651) 983-4058 Shelby.Geldon@lssmn.org

Shelby started at Minnesota Hands & Voices in July of 2019. She serves as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide (DHH Guides). She shares her experience of being hard of hearing with families and acts as a role model to demonstrate self-advocacy as well as confidence in being Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Shelby is currently going to college to become a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Her hope is that working with MN Hands & Voices will give her experience working with families and their children to provide resources and accommodations because this is a big part of being a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher.

Shelby loves to go hiking and be active in sports. Softball, volleyball and hockey are her favorite sports. She also took up ceramics and enjoys making figurines along with cups and bowls. In her spare time, she goes swing dancing, reads books, and goes for walks with her dog.

Shelby loves to work with kids and their families and assist them as they venture on their hearing journey. She wants everyone to know that Deaf and Hard of hearing people can succeed in anything they put their mind to. They just may need a few accommodations or different communication methods along the way.

‘Deaf people can do anything but hear’—I. King Jordan

Shelby Geldon
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Kelsey Woodward

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide Kelsey.Woodward@lssmn.org

Kelsey started working for MNH&V in June 2019 as a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Guide. she lives north of Minneapolis. She is a single mother a daughter whom is a KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult). Her hobbies include spending quality time with her daughter and going to new fun places and exploring around.

Kelsey Woodward
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    Oct 26, 2018

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    MDH Minnesota Department of Health

    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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