PROJECT AMBASSADORS

These wonderful friends & family have agreed to dedicate their time and energy into helping this project grow! THANK YOU! 

 KEVIN KUSTER  Creative Director at Watts of Love, CEO/Partner of the JJ Community and former Senior Editor of Photography at Playboy Magazine, Kevin is our go-to guy at Watts of Love. His calm demeanor, kind heart and positive attitude make you believe you can make a project like this happen! 

KEVIN KUSTER

Creative Director at Watts of Love, CEO/Partner of the JJ Community and former Senior Editor of Photography at Playboy Magazine, Kevin is our go-to guy at Watts of Love. His calm demeanor, kind heart and positive attitude make you believe you can make a project like this happen! 

 
 JENNA MYRLAND  Jenna is the American Refugee Committee Relations Specialist. She has lent her ear and her time to encourage and help develop this project. She has spent hours copywriting, researching, looking into how the lights will be transported, learning about where they can be put to best use in Uganda. She is instrumental to this project.  

JENNA MYRLAND

Jenna is the American Refugee Committee Relations Specialist. She has lent her ear and her time to encourage and help develop this project. She has spent hours copywriting, researching, looking into how the lights will be transported, learning about where they can be put to best use in Uganda. She is instrumental to this project.  

 KARLA HULT  Karla Hult: Award-winning reporter for KARE 11 News, the Minneapolis NBC station. Karla traveled to the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in December 2016 to report on the efforts by Minnesota-based American Refugee Committee. For several years, Karla has told the stories of ARC – their purpose, their projects and their accomplishments – and has also emceed some of their beautiful events, including galas in Minneapolis and Uganda. The Minnesota native and mom of two also has a Master’s in International Affairs; she considers it a privilege to profile the important work of an internationally renowned organization that just happens to be headquartered in our backyard. (Twitter and Instagram: @karlahult).

KARLA HULT

Karla Hult: Award-winning reporter for KARE 11 News, the Minneapolis NBC station. Karla traveled to the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in December 2016 to report on the efforts by Minnesota-based American Refugee Committee. For several years, Karla has told the stories of ARC – their purpose, their projects and their accomplishments – and has also emceed some of their beautiful events, including galas in Minneapolis and Uganda. The Minnesota native and mom of two also has a Master’s in International Affairs; she considers it a privilege to profile the important work of an internationally renowned organization that just happens to be headquartered in our backyard. (Twitter and Instagram: @karlahult).

 
 Paul Johnson  Graphic design artist extraordinaire, talented photographer, artistic genius and just a guy with a really great heart. Paul has agreed to help design our letters & cards that will be mailed out. He has also agreed to work on #TheShineOnProject photo project featuring light photography.   Find Paul at  @Paul_Johnstone

Paul Johnson

Graphic design artist extraordinaire, talented photographer, artistic genius and just a guy with a really great heart. Paul has agreed to help design our letters & cards that will be mailed out. He has also agreed to work on #TheShineOnProject photo project featuring light photography. 

Find Paul at @Paul_Johnstone

 
 TRACY BLOWERS  What Stirs Your Soul?   Tracy Blowers is a Lifestyle Blogger, Photographer and Social Media Strategist. She is passionate about the small things that make life big. She loves pushing past limitations, exploring and being a mom to her beloved pup Utah. This project stirred her soul and she hopes to inspire others to shine on!   whatstirsyoursoul.com      @usoulphoto     

TRACY BLOWERS

What Stirs Your Soul? 

Tracy Blowers is a Lifestyle Blogger, Photographer and Social Media Strategist. She is passionate about the small things that make life big. She loves pushing past limitations, exploring and being a mom to her beloved pup Utah. This project stirred her soul and she hopes to inspire others to shine on!

whatstirsyoursoul.com    @usoulphoto

 

 
 Charlie Brackney Love  Hairstylist, Co-Founder and Creative Director of HAUS Salon in Minneapolis. In addition to his trip with ARC to Uganda in June, Charlie has also traveled with ARC and a team of hairstylists from HAUS Salon to Thailand. For two years they have taught refugees business skills and haircutting techniques. Charlie traveled to Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June, 2017 for World Refugee Day.

Charlie Brackney Love

Hairstylist, Co-Founder and Creative Director of HAUS Salon in Minneapolis. In addition to his trip with ARC to Uganda in June, Charlie has also traveled with ARC and a team of hairstylists from HAUS Salon to Thailand. For two years they have taught refugees business skills and haircutting techniques. Charlie traveled to Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June, 2017 for World Refugee Day.

 
 Brent Love   As a gay humanitarian, Brent Love has been working with refugee communities for over a decade. As a new father and a Twin Cities transplant, Brent draws powerful connections between the world wecreate at home and our ability to give around the globe. For six years, Brent worked as Roving Correspondent at the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee, traveling the world to tell ARC stories. He acted as trip leader on the trip to the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June 2017. He has a wonderful photographic eye, a smile that is contagious and a great heart. Shortly after returning from Uganda, Brent joined ARC’s newest partner, ORAM and now works as their Development Lead, connecting communities to ORAM's work with LGBTQ refugees.  

Brent Love 

As a gay humanitarian, Brent Love has been working with refugee communities for over a decade. As a new father and a Twin Cities transplant, Brent draws powerful connections between the world wecreate at home and our ability to give around the globe. For six years, Brent worked as Roving Correspondent at the Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee, traveling the world to tell ARC stories. He acted as trip leader on the trip to the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June 2017. He has a wonderful photographic eye, a smile that is contagious and a great heart. Shortly after returning from Uganda, Brent joined ARC’s newest partner, ORAM and now works as their Development Lead, connecting communities to ORAM's work with LGBTQ refugees.  

 
 KASSI GROVE  Senior Staff Attorney for The Hartford, Kassi spends her days litigating insurance claims, but keeps equally busy with her two children and their multitude of activities.  Kassi and her husband have a deep passion for all things travel related.  They love to travel internationally, embracing different cultures, and immersing themselves with the locals.  They have instilled this same desire in their children.  She looks forward to helping this incredible project become a reality.

KASSI GROVE

Senior Staff Attorney for The Hartford, Kassi spends her days litigating insurance claims, but keeps equally busy with her two children and their multitude of activities.  Kassi and her husband have a deep passion for all things travel related.  They love to travel internationally, embracing different cultures, and immersing themselves with the locals.  They have instilled this same desire in their children.  She looks forward to helping this incredible project become a reality.

 
  Adrienne Fitzmaurice

Adrienne Fitzmaurice

 MELISSA BERNING  Melissa is a mom to two active boys and also works part-time consulting for medical device companies. She and her family love to travel, camp, and explore the outdoors.  She is very excited to be part of this amazing project.

MELISSA BERNING

Melissa is a mom to two active boys and also works part-time consulting for medical device companies. She and her family love to travel, camp, and explore the outdoors.  She is very excited to be part of this amazing project.

 
 ANNIE O'NEIL  Annie O'Neill is an attorney turned stay at home mom to her four young kids who spends her days running to and from their activities, running to the grocery store and running around the beautiful lakes in Minneapolis. She and her husband love traveling and made it a goal to see as much of the world as they could in their "pre-kid lives". Now they love spending summers on the lake and embracing the simple joy of time with their children. She is honored and excited to participate in this amazing project and looks forward to spreading light to those who need it most!

ANNIE O'NEIL

Annie O'Neill is an attorney turned stay at home mom to her four young kids who spends her days running to and from their activities, running to the grocery store and running around the beautiful lakes in Minneapolis. She and her husband love traveling and made it a goal to see as much of the world as they could in their "pre-kid lives". Now they love spending summers on the lake and embracing the simple joy of time with their children. She is honored and excited to participate in this amazing project and looks forward to spreading light to those who need it most!

 
 NORA THELEN  If you want to try some of the best home-cooked meals this side of the Mississippi - you need to visit Nora in her western Edina home! How she makes such glorious meals with they mayhem of three young girls running around is a mystery to all who have dined there. She also manages to run a floral arrangement business on the side. She is an avid traveler, an active member of her church and community and a great asset to the Shine On Project. 

NORA THELEN

If you want to try some of the best home-cooked meals this side of the Mississippi - you need to visit Nora in her western Edina home! How she makes such glorious meals with they mayhem of three young girls running around is a mystery to all who have dined there. She also manages to run a floral arrangement business on the side. She is an avid traveler, an active member of her church and community and a great asset to the Shine On Project. 

 
 Nathan Eckstein  An educator, activist artist, and resident of St. Paul MN. Born in Colombia Nathan has always had a passion for the global community and illuminating social justice causes such as LGBTQIA rights, immigration and issues facing refugees both at home and abroad.   Nathan received the Clause Edison Purdy award for Directing from Penumbra Theatre and has been involved in the theater community here in the twin cities as an artist and director. Additionally, he has been involved in the digital influencer side of the fashion community and most recently in the primary education community working in a middle and high school on St. Paul’s East side. Nathan is extremely excited to be supporting this work especially now in a time where we must all turn out hearts to a place of compassion.

Nathan Eckstein

An educator, activist artist, and resident of St. Paul MN. Born in Colombia Nathan has always had a passion for the global community and illuminating social justice causes such as LGBTQIA rights, immigration and issues facing refugees both at home and abroad. 

Nathan received the Clause Edison Purdy award for Directing from Penumbra Theatre and has been involved in the theater community here in the twin cities as an artist and director. Additionally, he has been involved in the digital influencer side of the fashion community and most recently in the primary education community working in a middle and high school on St. Paul’s East side. Nathan is extremely excited to be supporting this work especially now in a time where we must all turn out hearts to a place of compassion.

 
 DARBIENE SATER  Darbiene was immediately inspired when she was invited to join The Shine on Project. She is a seeker of positive energy, and typically finds it through travel, exercise, live music…anywhere that elevates community. She loves food, friends, and family (none in moderation). She is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this cause.

DARBIENE SATER

Darbiene was immediately inspired when she was invited to join The Shine on Project. She is a seeker of positive energy, and typically finds it through travel, exercise, live music…anywhere that elevates community. She loves food, friends, and family (none in moderation). She is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this cause.

SARAH WAGNER

Superstar mom to three with a knack for Interior Design. 

 
 AMY WYATT  Amy Wyatt lives in Edina with her husband Brian and sons, Alex, Charlie and Teddy. When not working or driving her children to various activities, they seek adventures riding bikes to the lake and farmer's markets.  She enjoys being with her family and friends.   I am looking forward to spreading the word about the Shine on Project to friends and family near and far.

AMY WYATT

Amy Wyatt lives in Edina with her husband Brian and sons, Alex, Charlie and Teddy. When not working or driving her children to various activities, they seek adventures riding bikes to the lake and farmer's markets.  She enjoys being with her family and friends.   I am looking forward to spreading the word about the Shine on Project to friends and family near and far.

 
 Kaha Mohammed  As an immigrant from East Africa I am excited to be part of this project. I moved to Minneapolis 17 years ago and it became home. I live in Southwest Minneapolis with myhusband and our 3 year old. I am always looking for ways to give back. I am so thrilled and honored to be part of this life changing project.

Kaha Mohammed

As an immigrant from East Africa I am excited to be part of this project. I moved to Minneapolis 17 years ago and it became home. I live in Southwest Minneapolis with myhusband and our 3 year old. I am always looking for ways to give back. I am so thrilled and honored to be part of this life changing project.

 
 Amanda Paa   Food + travel photographer and writer from St. Paul. Amanda’s hugely popular blog, Heartbeet Kitchen, is where she shares real food recipes, stories, and sometimes deeper ponderings. The things that make her heart “beet”. Amanda traveled to Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June, 2017 and shared her photos and experiences with her widespread audience.

Amanda Paa

 Food + travel photographer and writer from St. Paul. Amanda’s hugely popular blog, Heartbeet Kitchen, is where she shares real food recipes, stories, and sometimes deeper ponderings. The things that make her heart “beet”. Amanda traveled to Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June, 2017 and shared her photos and experiences with her widespread audience.

 
 Laura Skubic  Laura is a nonprofit professional living in the Twin Cities.  Throughout her career, she has worked with immigrants and refugees here in MN in a variety of ways, from helping them find employment, teaching English at a community center, and helping to get culturally familiar foods into local food shelves.  She is also on the Board of Directors for First Step Initiative, a MN-based nonprofit that gives grants to female entreprenuers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Laura traveled to the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June 2017, and she's very excited to be supporting this amazing project and helping the wonderful people living in Nakivale.

Laura Skubic

Laura is a nonprofit professional living in the Twin Cities.  Throughout her career, she has worked with immigrants and refugees here in MN in a variety of ways, from helping them find employment, teaching English at a community center, and helping to get culturally familiar foods into local food shelves.  She is also on the Board of Directors for First Step Initiative, a MN-based nonprofit that gives grants to female entreprenuers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Laura traveled to the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in June 2017, and she's very excited to be supporting this amazing project and helping the wonderful people living in Nakivale.