Alyssa Grythe, Sponsored by Opportunity Community Services, Inc.
Alyssa is currently an Assistant Program Manager at Opportunity Community Services Inc., in Oakdale, where she assists with Relocation Services Coordination and Targeted Case Management. She graduated in May of 2018 from the University of St. Thomas where her passion for helping families and children drove her to pursue a degree in social work. When Alyssa is not helping her clients, she enjoys being with her family, going for walks with her Labrador Theo, reading a good book, cooking or baking, and finding new ways to volunteer in her community and surrounding cities. She likes to coordinate philanthropic events that help give back to those in need and tutoring young children in both math and reading.
Cathryn Heimerdinger, Sponsored by Northern Prairie Financial
Expecto Patronum! As an avid Harry Potter enthusiast, much like the spell Expecto Patronum, Cathryn is a loving yet loyal person whose biggest strength is her positivity. Her passion for science and making a difference led her to become first a chemist and then a Regulatory Affairs Specialist for Medtronic. Cathryn’s passions are shown in her love of giving back, baking, fitness, and learning. She is a team leader and also a strong team member always working to achieve a common goal. Cathryn loves the spooky season and enjoys the way the start of the holiday season brings everyone together.
Dana DeMaster, Sponsored by Hoover Perio
Dana is a 20-year Saint Paul resident who can often be found holding court at The Spot Bar. She manages research and program evaluation for Ramsey County, providing data-driven insights to improve county services. When not at the Spot or crunching data, she volunteers as board president of the Fort Road Federation, her district council; sews historical clothing from between 1780 and 1940; and parents two great children, Quinn and Daphne. Nearly her entire wardrobe is hand-sewn with a focus on the 1940s, but her passion is sewing historic corsets. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota and a BA from the University of Saint Catherine. She loves the Winter Carnival and has loved attending Carnival events with family and friends for many years.
Dee Barrett, Sponsored by Visit Roseville
Service, friends, family, and fun inspired Dee’s Queen of Snows candidacy. Dee’s life has been enriched through years of community involvement with her extended festival family. She hones her organization and leadership skills working with C-suite executives at Medtronic, while dedicating her free time to her passions. Dee has fostered more than 300 dogs, raised awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and organized countless charitable events. Dee is always on the move. During the pandemic instead of perfecting sourdough or learning the latest TikTok dance, Dee was walking, and she hasn’t stopped! She has logged 2,983 miles including virtual 5Ks and the Mud Girl Run. When she does slow down, you’ll find her at home in Fridley with her family and three dogs, likely crafting.
Effie Barnes, Sponsored by LCS Company
Effie was born and raised in the small town of Farmington, just south of the Twin Cities. In 2016 she graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and is currently working on completing her first novel. You can often find Effie scrapbooking at her mom’s crafting retreat, exploring sites of the Minnesota Historical Society, or volunteering in her community by mentoring young adults. For the past six years she has worked as a personal banker and is currently at Highland Bank, which serves St Paul’s Highland Park community. In 2020, Effie became a first-time homeowner in a cozy neighborhood right here in St Paul, where she lives with her guinea pigs and cat, Bucky.
Jayda Bagstad, Sponsored by Mess Hall
Jayda, of Hopkins, recently graduated from Hamline University obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice, with minors in: Social Justice, Legal Studies, and Psychology. She currently works at Supportive Living Solutions as a Housing First Advocate. Bagstad was the 2019-2021 Hopkins Raspberry Festival Queen. She traveled over the state of Minnesota and even some parts of Wisconsin. She loved learning about towns and their festivals and sharing her spark with everyone she met. Jayda represented Hopkins at the Minneapolis Aquatennial and was awarded the inSPIREation Award at coronation. In her free time, she loves showing her support to other Ambassador programs by attending parades and coronations.
Jayna Emerson, Sponsored by Bob & Cheryl Flood
Jayna was born and raised in our great city of Saint Paul. She loves country music & anything that sparkles! She is currently a cloudLibrary™ Account Specialist at Bibliotheca in Oakdale. In her spare time, she enjoys organizing, reading, doing Do-It-Yourself Projects, and taking her 6-year-old son, Jacob to as many parades as possible. One of the things Jayna is passionate about is her involvement in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Twin Cities Out of the Darkness Walk. Jayna is also an active volunteer with The Ambassadors for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival serving as a board member for the past 2 years.
Jen Baltes, Sponsored by F2 Strategy
Jen loves working with the community and giving to others. She spent the last 12 years volunteering with West St. Paul Days, first as Treasurer, then Vice President. She is an expert at “hurry up and wait” during festivals. Proudly sponsored by her employer F2 Strategy, Jen provides consulting on Change Management, Technology Operations and Project Management to complex RIA, wealth, bank/trust and family office firms. Jen is lovingly supported by her husband, Dan, son, Zach and daughter, Mina. What drew Jen to running as a candidate is how Aurora was consulted by and advised Boreas on how to manage his Winter Realm. It shows the inclusivity of voices even in mythical reality. Being part of Winter Carnival is an opportunity to bring people together and celebrate our diversity.
Katey Johnson, Sponsored by The Tschida-Johnson Family
Katey was born and raised in the heart of Saint Paul, where she went to High school at Como Park, and furthered her education at Century College, studying Theatrical Arts and Drama, proving she in fact could be a bigger drama queen. It was 2011 when the travel bug bite Katey and she left her job in finance, because that acting thing never did pan out, to become a flight attendant with Delta Air Lines. However, due to the Pandemic, Katey found herself grounded. Currently, Katey is working as an Account Manager for Madison Equities LLC. in downtown St. Paul and furthering her education and knowledge in accounting and finance. In Katey’s spare time, you’ll find her volunteering for Special Olympics’ MN or enjoying the great outdoors with her husband Brad and their 3lbs Teacup Yorkie Harley.
Keyah Adams, Sponsored by 5th Street Poker Parties
Keyah, a proud Hopkins native, followed her heart to the East Side where she resides north of St. Paul. An advocate for education and cultural competence, Keyah attended the University of Minnesota, completing her master’s in Heritage Studies and Public History with a focus in Archaeological Heritage. Her passion flows into her career, as she is a cultural resource assistant at Mead & Hunt. In her free time, Keyah loves to laugh with loved ones, collaborate as a coordinator for the Mainstreet Foundation, hone her photography skills, and break a sweat in her new pursuit: mastering the aerial silks. Keyah eagerly welcomes candidacy through a new life lens; focusing on connecting with new and familiar faces, continuing to volunteer within Winter Carnival, and bringing people together.
Kim Johnson, Sponsored by White Bear Country Inn & Rudy’s Redeye Grill
Kim truly enjoys all aspects of her State. Growing up in Northeast Minneapolis, she hopes that she can continue being a positive example for all children. She resides in Apple Valley with her independent seven-year-old daughter Danielle and her husband Bryan. Being involved with her community has been her focal point since High School; joining the military at the age of 17 and proudly retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard with 20 years. With her assignments primarily in St. Paul, Kim adored the activities within the city. One of the rewarding factors she has received from being in her community is meeting Bryan and tying the knot in New Orleans. Kim’s career consists of being the Women Veteran and Gold Star Family Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs.
Kylie Johnson, Sponsored by Hamernick’s Interior Solutions
Born and raised in Woodbury, Kylie is a true Minnesota girl who loves the four seasons and all of the family fun activities each season brings. As a December 2021 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Kylie has a passion for teaching children and helping them grow. Currently, Kylie is a teacher at Everbrook Academy of Woodbury. When she isn’t in the classroom, she loves hiking throughout Minnesota’s State Parks with her dog Solo, traveling, and spending quality time with her family. Since being introduced to the Saint Paul Winter Carnival in 2004 by her grandmother and her love of volunteerism, community spirit and new experiences; Kylie has dreamed of being a part of and carrying on the spirit of the 136-year tradition.
Maija Johnson, Sponsored by Doodle Productions
Maija is attending Grand Canyon university online, pursuing a degree in elementary and special education. After graduation, she hopes to one day have her own kindergarten classroom. Maija also has a love of music and is teaching violin to beginner students. When she’s not busy with school or her students, you can find her and her family volunteering for several community festivals, including the St. Paul Winter Carnival, which she has been active in since 2015. It has been Maija’s dream since she was very young to be part of the Royal Family and she is excited to have the opportunity to be a candidate. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with several organizations including Camp Odayin and North Star Reach, traveling, and playing with her new kitten Laszlo.
Marissa Mayfield, Sponsored by Quality Insurance Service
Marissa is a college student awaiting acceptance into her desired program of Nursing. While she waits for that she works full time at Helzberg Diamonds in the Mall of America. One of her favorite things about working at the mall is it helps fulfill some of her favorite activities, shopping and people watching. She quite enjoys cooking after a day of work even if it seems to be the same five things. One of her favorite foods is mac and cheese, so it makes sense as to why she gets along with children so well. She plans to spread hope and joy wherever she goes.
Michelle Boris, Sponsored by Dan Moran Financial Advisor Merrill Lynch
Michelle is the Coordinator of Young Adult Ministries at a church in White Bear Lake, where she spends her time working with high schoolers and young adults. A graduate of St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, she has a degree in Evangelization and Religious Education with a Spanish minor. She has lived all over the world, from being a long-term volunteer in Scotland and Ireland to working at a small film school in San Diego. She holds many leadership roles for professional organizations for youth ministry in the Twin Cities and spends the rest of her free time volunteering with the Friends of San Lucas and Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest. She has great memories of the St. Paul Winter Carnival from childhood and is excited to be more involved with the Coolest Celebration on earth.
Rahila Hungiapuko, Sponsored by Allegra Marketing Print Mail
Rahila is a graduate of Bethel University and a current MAT TESOL master’s student at The University of Southern California. Born in Nigeria and raised in Saint Paul, Rahila enjoys spending time outdoors sledding and paddle boarding, as well as traveling. As a local performer in community theater, she enjoys bringing joy and laughter to her audience. As an educator she specializes in English Language development working with primary and secondary English language learners. She also enjoys creating play obstacles for her pet bunny Bella, visiting museums, and creating music and video productions. She and her family help support the enrichment of students locally and overseas.
Shannon Baier, Sponsored by Village Inn Sports Bar & Grill
Shannon recently graduated from the University of St. Thomas in December of 2021 with a Business Administration – Marketing Management Degree. She is living her passion for serving children in need and using her degree to work in Human Resources in three inner-city schools. Shannon along with her sister are founders of a non-profit organization, Blankets for a Brighter Day, which provides tie blankets to patients at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially going to various sporting events. Shannon is most happy when she is with her one-year-old puppy, Ernie.
Sunny Chen, Sponsored by Ideal Printers, Inc.
Sunny is an IT Technical Writer working under ServiceTec International at the MSP International Airport. In the future, she hopes to eventually advance her career and become an IT Business Analyst so she can use her business skills to be a liaison between the business and IT departments. In 2019, she graduated early from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems. Sunny also graduated with University Honors, which she considers to be her greatest accomplishment, as the University Honors Program was the reason she chose to attend UW-Eau Claire. When not creating articles for the airport’s IT Knowledge Base, Sunny enjoys baking from scratch, playing JRPG video games, and learning how to sew to make and model cosplay costumes.
Susan Pulcher, Sponsored by South Main Dental
Susan, of Cambridge, has 2 grown children and in 2020 welcomed her first grandchild. Susan has been a labor, post-partum, and NICU nurse for the past 22 years. In 2021 Susan reached her goal of returning to college and graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Minnesota State University of Moorhead. She most recently obtained her Certified Lactation Counselor accreditation and has applied to receive her public health license. Goals left to accomplish for Susan include jumping out of an airplane, being in time square for the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, participating in the polar plunge, and early retirement.
Teri Theno-Erb, Sponsored by Patti Jo and Kari Fitzpatrick at Coldwell Banker
Teri’s roots were established on the west side of St. Paul, and now resides in Oakdale, where she raised her 3 children. She is newly married to her soulmate and biggest supporter, John. She is energetic and has a big heart for helping when needed. She has been giving back to her community and worthwhile charities most of her life. Teri has learned to balance home, family, volunteering, and work as owner of Teri’s Hair Studio, and hopes to inspire people to live out their dreams; hers is to have the opportunity to help carry on the tradition of the Coolest Celebration on Earth. She feels that her life experience, and her ability to communicate well with others, along with her passion for Winter Carnival, would make her a great representative for the 136th tradition.