Native Texan Elaine Giessel is a trained marine biologist; teaching is her passion. She has worked in regional solid waste management, taught college science courses and served as an overpaid consultant to the chemical industry. She volunteers as an environmental advocate and currently works as a Park Naturalist at Ernie Miller Park Nature Center, where she was recently recognized as Employee of the Year. Inspired by both her pediatrician grandmother and stay-at-home mom, Elaine has tried, as have so many baby boomers, to find a guilt-free balance between motherhood and career.
Geneva Greenfield (Clara Brown)
When she retired from public service Geneva decided to dedicate herself to the preservation of the art of storytelling. She loves to tell all kinds of stories, folktales, ghost stories, Teddy Bear tales and slavery stories. She tells in churches and schools and travels to storytelling festivals sharing her talents and experiences. Geneva lives in Kansas City, MO and be can reached by her email email@example.com
Jo Ho (Alligator Annie Miller)
Jo Ho is an accomplished storyteller, actress, and drama instructor from Overland Park, KS. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre/Speech from Dickinson University, Dickinson, North Dakota, and was awarded an Alumni Fellow for her 30 years of contributions to the performing arts.
In 2009 Jo was also honored by the KC Parent for her unique storytelling for children. She was awarded a grant from the Louisiana Arts Commission to interview naturalist Annie Miller and was chosen as the Johnson County Libraries Performing Artist of the summer.
Te Holmes (Dr. Elizabeth Garrett Anderson)
Te Holmes has been telling stories to all ages on both side of the Atlantic. She grew up in a small English village, in an area with a history going back 12,000 years. Her birthplace has provided a wealth of story material and continues to furnish opportunities for discovering new tales. Lucky audiences have thrilled to see Te’s performance as Queen Boudicca from the Inceni people of ancient Britain. Te works at the Shawnee Mission School District.
Lisa Lacombe (Luella Agnes Owen)
Lisa is the manager of the Burr Oaks Nature Center in Blue Springs, MO. As the employee of the Missouri Department of Conservation Lisa helps educate on the natural recourses of the state and loves exploring. Like Luella, she is a cave explorer. Lisa leads trips to the Devil’s Icebox and enjoys canoeing. She was selected as the Missouri Interpreter Professional of the Year. She is proud mom and grandmother and enjoys getting her family outdoors.
Lesly Lewandowski (Amelia Earhart)
Lesly Lewandowski is a professional actress and singer. She has taught acting for twenty years. Delighting audiences of all ages as she brings Amelia to life, Lesly has performed over 350 “Amelia” shows throughout the United States. Currently she lives in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Sharon Lockhart (Narrator)
Sharon is the producer of EveryWoman, “a show about women making a difference” on 90.1 FM KKFI Community Radio, Saturdays at 3pm. She calls herself a WOMANIST, a feminist on steroids and is a peace and justice advocate and activist. Weekdays, she is a Certified Financial Planner professional in Prairie Village, KS. Sharon just arrived back from New Zealand where she explored the country and the culture.
Bri Postlewait (Dancer and Julia Butterfly Hill)
Bri has been dancing for 21 years and was recently cast as a featured dancer in the upcoming Shawnee Mission Park Theater in the Park summer show of “All Shook Up”. Last summer she was nominated for a Demmi Award for her dancing in the TTP production of the “The Wedding Singer”. She has choreographed several award winning dances for area dance studios. Bri was a member of a national award-winning hip hop dance team. Her hobbies are photography, writing and hiking. She is a junior at UMKC in sociology.
Molly Postlewait (Sybil Ludington, Carry Nation, Juliette Gordon Low)
Growing up in the Ozarks, Molly was inspired by stories told by her grandmother. Park naturalist, storyteller, risk manager’s nightmare and self- described “Wild Woman,” Molly has created and performed more than 20 scripts for living history portrayals. She is also a cave trip leader, adventure course facilitator, and creator of “Girl Power,” a summer program for girls 12-14. She has designed several women’s events, including an upcoming “Yoga and Climbing Camp,” May 2. Recently her program “Lamp of Freedom” was honored as the Outstanding Interpretative Program of 2009 from the National Association for Interpretation. Molly volunteers at KKFI 90.1 with EveryWoman and the local performers showcase.
Elaine McMilian (Musician)
Elaine McMilian started singing at church around the age of 6 and has never stopped! A native of Independence, Missouri, she continues to perform locally. During her music career she sang and played guitar in the bands Easterday and The Bonnys' McGill, and loves to harmonize and perform with other musicians, including the Swingin’ Six, and the Brannock Device, a loud quirky, funk rock band. Elaine has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing, which she applies now to songwriting and poetry. Look for her upcoming CD The Messenger to be released in May 2010. You can listen to some of Elaine's music at www.myspace.com/elainemcmilianmusic.
Vanessa is a Park Police Officer at the Johnson County Park Police Department. She enjoys the diversity of the work, including the dual roles of police officer and interpreter. You might see Vanessa in area schools as she presents live animal programs. She is an avid outdoorswoman and in her spare time, she loves fishing, hiking and canoe trips.