2015 Queen Candidates

Ashley Curtis: Hamernick Decorating

AshleyAshley was born in Orange County California and has lived in Minnesota for nearly 21 years. She is one of four children and is the second oldest. Ashley is the co – owner of a floral business called Always Blooming Floral. In her free time when she isn’t working with her mom, she is usually drawing or watching and singing along to one of her 90 Disney movies. Ashley is a member of both the Lupus and the Kidney Foundations and does the walks every summer to help raise awareness. In the summer she donates most of her time volunteering for her two nephews baseball and T-ball associations, the Irish festival, and her favorite, the Game Fair which is where she brings her four year old dachshund Skipper so she can act a little taller than she thinks she is for one day. Ashley hopes within the next five years to start a family of her own and hopefully pass along the joy of volunteering to the younger generation.


Shelby Edmondson: LCS Company

ShelbyShelby was born in St. Paul Minnesota and grew up in the town of West St. Paul. She was raised by her parents, Shawn and Kay Edmondson. She has one younger brother named Blake.  Shelby is currently studying English broad field at the University of Wisconsin River Falls and would like to teach high school English after she graduates. In her free time she enjoys spending time in the woods hunting, on the lake fishing, reading, playing her violin, photography, and spending time riding her horse Marley.


Krystle Igbo-Ogbonna: Dar’s Double Scoop

KrystleKrystle is a lifelong resident of Saint Paul and is excited to be a 2015 Saint Paul Winter Carnival Queen of the Snows candidate! Krystle earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Theatre Arts at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. While at the University of Minnesota, Krystle was a Multicultural Excellence Scholar, a member of the Dean’s List, and was the Student Keynote Speaker at the 2011 Multicultural Graduation Ceremony. After graduating, Krystle spent two years serving as an AmeriCorps Volunteer with the Twin Cities based organization, College Possible. Krystle is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership with a focus on Student Affairs in Higher Education at the University of St. Thomas. Krystle works at Century College as a TRIO Upward Bound Program Advisor where she helps traditionally underrepresented, first generation high school students in the Saint Paul Public School district gain access to higher education. Krystle volunteers with the Minnesota TRIO Association, Young Artists Initiative, and with the Rondo Days and Rice Street Festivals. In her free time, Krystle enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time with her family and friends.


Afton Jena Kielsa : White Bear Country Inn & Rudy’s Red Eye Grill

AftonAs the former Miss Minnesota U.S. International 2013, Afton has a passion in making a difference in the lives of individuals and animals by being a volunteer enthusiast for the Animal Humane Society, Como Zoo, community festivals & pageants.  Additionally, for over 5 years she has dedicated her time to the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and has recently sat on planning committees for the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation and the Ambassadors. As an outgoing & energetic professional, she currently works full time as a Guest Experience Manager at La Quinta Inn & Suites where she is accountable for guest satisfaction. One of her greatest accomplishments was when she was appointed to the Naval Academy in Annapolis by Senator Norm Coleman, but pursued her degree as a 2011 graduate of Saint Catherine University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise & Sports Science and a Minor in Coaching. A resident of Saint Michael, in her spare time, Afton loves bargain shopping, reading, watching movies, walking her dogs, and spending time with her family and friends.


Dana Scachtner: FFP Wealth Management

DanaDana Schachtner, of Saint Louis Park, received her Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 2008.  She holds a position on Target Corporation’s Weekly Ad team as an Associate Production Artist. Dana, who is a native of Hudson, Wisconsin, enjoys the fine arts, reading, cooking, volunteering with the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, and spending time with friends and family. A lover of design and portraiture, Dana has recently jumped back into her childhood pastime of fashion illustration.


Caitlyn Stenerson: Ainsley Shea Communications

CaitlynCaitlyn Stenerson is a life-long resident of Maplewood and a lover of all things Winter Carnival. One of her favorite Winter Carnival events is the Medallion Hunt, which she has bundled up to participate in nearly every year since her birth – in elementary school, her mother used to pick her up with snowsuit in hand to search for the fabled puck. Caitlyn graduated with a degree in Political Science from Bethel University in December 2013, and currently works as a Communications Specialist for the Minnesota House of Representatives. She is active in politics, having held a role on a campaign at nearly all levels. In her spare time, Caitlyn runs for the Oiselle Flock and loves trying out new cupcake recipes.


Tiffany Swenson: Rice Street Festival

TiffanyTiffany Swenson is very proud to be sponsored by the Rice Street Festival.  She was lucky enough to grow up in the beautiful City of Saint Paul, raised in the same house her father grew up in.  Being a life-long member of the community, she was honored to be crowned the Rice Street Festival Queen for 2013 and represented the North End Area across the region for the following year.  She is most proud of being a mother who strives every day to lead a positive, healthy and happy lifestyle.  Tiffany is currently working as a Production Manager, for a Professional Digital Photo Lab, a field where she has 10 plus years’ experience, and enjoys providing long-lasting memories to her clients from all around the region.  Her grandmother, Patricia, was the first Swenson in her family to join the Winter Carnival history books, having found the Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallion fifty years ago in Como Park!  She is very excited for her experience as a candidate for Queen of the Snows and is looking forward to the memories she will create.


Laura Werk: Dan Gould Jewelers

LauraAs a Senior Graphic Designer at WPI in Plymouth for the past 13 years and small business owner of Lotsa Design, Laura is an artist whose passion for volunteerism radiates from her one-of-a kind designs. This is highlighted in her creation of inspiring logos for local community events and non-profit organizations including Blair’s Tree of Hope, Richfield Hometown Fourth of July, and the Nowthen Historical Power Association. She is currently serving on the Anoka Halloween Board of Directors and oversees the development and creation of the schedule of events, acts as Button Design Contest Chair, and designs the Anoka Medallion. In addition, she has received the Aquatennial Commodore’s Award and has been knighted by the Royal Family of the St. Paul Winter Carnival for her commitment to volunteerism and leadership within her community. In this magical time, Laura is a strong believer in “spreading a LIGHT of hope and inspiration” through volunteering, random acts of kindness, and paying generosity forward.


Rochelle Westlund: Northern Prairie Financial

RochelleRochelle Westlund is the Health and Human Services Policy Analyst with the Association of Minnesota Counties. She received her B.A. from Hamline University in Economics and Environmental Studies, with a certificate in French Proficiency.  Rochelle spent a year working with disadvantaged populations in the inner city of Saint Louis before obtaining her Juris Doctor degree at William Mitchell College of Law.  As Vice-President of Law Students for Legal Disaster Relief, Rochelle worked to resolve cases in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Upon completion of law school, Rochelle practiced Criminal Defense in Minneapolis then became a lobbyist with the Minnesota Retailers Association.  Rochelle currently resides in Saint Anthony Village, and is the Captain of Team Blonde for Blondes vs. Brunettes Twin Cities; a charity football league that raises money and awareness to end Alzheimer’s.


Leah Wipperling: Ideal Printers

LeahLeah Wipperling is a 24 year old dental assistant at Orthodontics by Hipple and Zirbel.  She is constantly inspired by the work she does because she love helping people feel confident in their smiles and, ultimately, more comfortable in their everyday life. This passion has lead her to volunteer with organizations like Union Gospel Mission and Give Kids a Smile in her free time.  In addition to her career and the volunteer work she does, she spend much of her time surrounded by her family at their cabin in Spooner, WI.  Her family motivates her daily and reminds her to think of her favorite quote “believe in yourself and anything is possible” whenever she faces a challenge. She is very excited to be a 2015 St. Paul Winter Carnival candidate and can’t wait to meet all the great people of St. Paul at events this year!