LAAS 2020 Annual Retreat

Speakers

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Sarah Coumbe-Guida

Sarah specializes in behavior modification and has been blessed to work with hundreds of schools and dozens of companies from all over the Midwest. She works as a behavior consultant in public schools and works with due process for special education. Trained as Special Education teachers, the Coumbe-Guida’s are able to tailor programs and events to address specific needs that a group may have. Sarah and her husband, Travis, have adopted 4 children at older ages and have three birth children. They are now doing adult family foster care as well. Recently, they have purchased Summerhill Farms a business in Park Rapids and are renovating it.

Amy Zamzo MA, OTR/L

Amy is an Occupational Therapist and Autism Consultant that has spent her 21 year career empowering and guiding children, parents and other professionals. She is dedicated to providing the necessary strategies, supports and compassion needed to help all individuals be the best possible version of themselves. She has experience with clients from birth through 21, a variety of diagnostic and educational labels, and has worked with those who have significant learning, social, and behavioral challenges. Her expertise in the field of autism, her knowledge and skills in the areas of executive function, self-regulation, and thinking socially has been
essential in supporting individuals with special needs and their families. Her goal is to help all her clients become happy, independent, contributing members of society.

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Tiffany Bobendrier

Growing up in a family that did foster care, Tiffany Bobendrier has spent the majority of her life living with children from hard places. Although her developing years helped shape who she is as a person, her trauma informed journey got a jump start when she became an adoptive mom. That was nearly fifteen years ago and since then Tiffany has tirelessly sought to learn everything she can to parent her children well, recognizing early on that love is not enough. Her journey has been one marked with determination, perseverance and humility as she’s recognized her mistakes along the way and continues to examine how her personal childhood experiences impact the way that she relates to her children and others. As Tiffany’s eyes have been increasingly opened to the widespread impacts of trauma, she has developed a passion to share this life transforming knowledge with others. Certified as a Trauma Competent Caregiving Trainer, Tiffany follows her passion in a variety of ways including leading an orphan care and adoption ministry, serving as a lay counselor, working as a trauma specialist for a child sponsorship program, training local church leaders and speaking at moms groups. In her spare time she’s working towards her Masters in Counseling at Bethel University. Tiffany lives with her husband and four children in Minnesota and can often be seen cheering loudly at youth sporting events.

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Sarah How

My name is Sarah How and I am a mom, speaker, children’s author and school psychologist. Whew that sounds like a lot! Guess I also like to be busy. The reason I live big is driven by the intention of being a hope bearer and teaching others how to transform their life through relationships. I am passionate about sharing my love of connecting and the power of relationships with others. More than ten years ago in 2009 my life was rocked to the core when we adopted Kalob and Chloe from foster care at ages 6 and 12. What I thought I knew as a mom from having two young biological children Justin 10 and Lydia 3 and what I thought I knew as a school psychologist was thrown out the window between tantrums, fights and tears. There is a difference between consulting and teaching children and teens with traumatic backgrounds in a school setting versus living with them and loving them as your son and daughter in your home. That was my world.

Sarah How is a dynamic Certified Advanced Trainer in the Nurtured Heart Approach since 2010 and a practicing Nationally Certified School Psychologist in her 22nd academic year.

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Kari Nokken

Kari Nokken is the Founder and Executive Director of Patiently Waiting.

Patiently Waiting began in 2006 as a small group for couples walking the journey of infertility and adoption. Over the years it became a place to find support, encouragement, education and connection. In 2014 Patiently Waiting was established as a non-profit organization.

 

Kari and her husband Eric have been married for 21 years.  They have 2 children:  Isaiah, 14 years old, adopted and born in Ethiopia and Jacob, biological son who is 13 in October.

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Leslie Ludy

(Recorded video closing speaker)

Leslie and her husband, Eric, are the authors of twenty-two books that have been translated into over a dozen languages around the world, including their widely known classic, When God Writes Your Love Story. Leslie’s bestselling books for women include Authentic Beauty, Set-Apart Femininity, Set-Apart Motherhood, and The Set-Apart Woman.

Leslie has spoken to hundreds of thousands of women over the past twenty years. Her core message of complete surrender to Christ in every area of life has inspired today’s Christian woman to exchange mediocrity for a thriving spiritual life that impacts others for God’s glory. Leslie is the director of Set Apart Girl Ministries and founder of the Set Apart Girl Magazine, which inspires women of all ages toward Christ-centered femininity. 

Leslie and Eric are passionate about adoption and have adopted four of their six children. The Ludys live in Colorado where they train Christians in Gospel-centered living through their powerful Ellerslie Discipleship Programs. To learn more about Eric and Leslie’s discipleship ministry, please visit their website ellerslie.com.

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The REEL Hope Project

Our vision is to mobilize the faith community in Minnesota to bring foster kids into forever families. We strive to be a bridge between church and state, partnering on both sides to see an end to kids waiting for families. We work to equip social workers with an invaluable tool to share their kids’ stories, and we empower families to meet Minnesota kids. To complete our mission of a forever family for every child, our goal is to make a video for every kid in our state who is awaiting adoption.

1. The Reel Hope Project provides each reel to the county and adoption agency representing each kid for their adoption recruitment.

2. We take the reels to faith communities and events every week, introducing as many people as possible to these kids.