Amy Bohner

Amy Bohner is a California native who migrated to Humboldt County in 1992 to live “where the forest meets the ocean.”After attending Humboldt State University and a decade in Social Work, Amy met her future husband Steve and joined his company, Alchemy Construction.

As co-owners they grew the business with specialties including sustainable building practices, solar systems and radiant heating. Recently awarded Best Construction Company in Humboldt, Alchemy Construction’s higher profile projects include Café Brio, Dead Reckoning Tavern and The Alibi Lounge expansion on the historic Arcata Plaza.

Amy and Steve hope to continue their success as a team by starting a second business- Arcata’s first distillery. Small batch “grain to bottle” spirits will be made using solar assisted American made equipment and ingredients as locally sourced as possible. Their business model includes a strong emphasis on high quality control, just as on their construction projects.

Amy’s life follows the Confucius’ saying “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Amy is a proud “woman in business” and a strong participant in her community. Her volunteering spans over two consecutive decades between Humboldt Women for Shelter, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise and Six Rivers Planned Parenthood.During rare time away from the Alchemy projects, Amy enjoys road trips with Steve on their Harley Road King or hauling their Vintage painted Airstream. You can also often find her spending time with friends, possibly watching Steve (recently voted Humboldt’s favorite drummer) playing in his band.

Brian Smith

I choose to communicate, connect, engage, and touch people in a safe environment such as partner dancing. These social dances have an expected behavior that one might not find at a night club or bar. My goal as a speaker is to inform men and woman of these behaviors and how to recognize them amongst their own social scenes.

Kintay Johnson

Kintay Johnson has dedicated his educational career to helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed academically and in life. After eight years of military service, he began college at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. Here he worked his way into a position as a Student Mentor in Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS). A social reform program established in 1969 in the California Community Colleges, it encouraged the state’s community colleges to develop programs and services to meet the unique educational needs of “English language learners as well as students with social, and economic disadvantages;” programs and services “over, above, and in addition to” the regular educational programs of the college. As a student, Johnson was enrolled and benefited from this program, he saw its life changing affects personally and devoted himself to continue the tradition of helping students succeed and achieve their highest potential.

It was during this time that Johnson found his calling, working with students with unique needs. He became involved in campus governance as a student at Humboldt State University, and served on the California State Student Association representing not only HSU, but also the 400,000 students of the entire California State University system. Here he was exposed to California’s Master Plan of Higher Education, and he would dedicate his life to the basic values of the plan, ensuring education is accessible, affordable, and of quality for all Californians. After graduation, he became employed where it all started for him, College of the Redwoods. He began working as the Assistant Director of Residential Life and currently works as a Student Services Specialist in the EOPS department. He is currently pursuing his master’s in education, with plans to pursue his PhD in Spring 2014. Overall, he hopes to continue to help ignite the drive to be successful in all students and inspire them to reach for their educational dreams.

Diana Totten

Diana Totten has deep roots in the mountains of Humboldt County, California. She was born in Garberville in 1955 with a heritage of local Native American and strong American pioneers; she has lived all of her life in the beautiful area they called home for over a hundred years.

She was born with a male body and did the best she could given the fact that she had no idea anyone else experienced this. She did well in school and, at eighteen, married the rodeo queen, a local rancher’s daughter. They lived a cowboy’s dream, riding horseback and working the ranches in rugged mountainous areas. Most ranches were very remote and had no electricity or phone. The beauty that surrounded them, the sheep, cattle, and horses along with the wild animals, were how she found peace.

In the mid nineteen seventies, she started to work in the woods as a logger, eventually becoming a logging boss. At the age of 32, she found she wasn’t alone, that there were other transsexuals like her. After several failed marriages, and with three young sons, she found it impossible to continue in the body of a man and transitioned into womanhood.

Diana has continued to raise her children and now enjoys her grandchildren. She still lives in the town she was born in and her roots have given her the stability to be an example of the strength and integrity of her proud heritage. Diana has worked in construction, ranching, and as a fire fighter. She has worked extensively with missing person cases, as well as search and rescue as an expert wilderness tracker, and has managed many major incidents. She is also a doula and has enjoyed helping bring many babies into the world. She has also performed many marriages and has been a speaker at many funerals.

Diana has lived as her ancestors did, adhering to the cowboy ethics that she grew up with. She has taught by example and counts among her closest friends the loggers and cowboy families as well as the new homesteaders that have spent generations living and working in the mountains she calls home. In 2008, Diana was awarded Citizen of the Year by the people of Southern Humboldt. She continues to ride horses and spend time in the wilderness with friends and family. She is well known for her story telling around the campfire.

Jasmine Allard

Jasmine Allard is a teenager turning 18 in January. She’s currently attending McKinleyville High School as a senior, and stressing about future college plans. Right now she’s hesitantly optimistic about studying directing and screenwriting for film in college. This interest has been sparked due to being heavily involved in theatre since 4th grade, and even more so in high school, where she became accustomed to not just performing, but also writing said performances. For this reason, she plans on continuing to explore the possibilities in theatre as well, in case the first interests don’t work out. And living off her parents is plan C. She began writing in 7th grade, and has since been writing novels, scripts, short stories, speeches, essays, and some poetry. Some of which has been fanfiction. No, she does not have shame.

Encouraged and inspired by the effect fictional stories have on people, she hopes to positively effect others in the same way with her own works. Growing up, she was influenced by several books and other media, including Doctor Who, To Kill a Mockingbird, Stargirl, Disney, MissRepresentation, various webcomics, bad anime, and of course, TED talks. Thus, she may or may not admit to being a nerd. Now, she spends much of her time focusing on her education, both for school and outside of it. She strives to educate others on gender, sexuality, and mental health. She also runs a blog and is probably a big deal. Maybe. If you’d like to see some of her written works or talk to her ever, she can be reached at or by shouting really loudly into the night sky. She’ll probably hear you. You know, eventually.

Jennifer Savage

Jettisoning the SoCal life for a new chapter in Humboldt was a questionable move, especially as the 700-mile relocation happened in the height of the 1997-98 El Niño. Finding a home for her family proved more challenging than expected. While her husband started his classes at College of the Redwoods, Jennifer Savage and her three children hunkered down in what was then the Vagabond Inn, trudging through the rain for instant soups at the Co-op and wondering if they’d find a rental before their savings ran out.
Nine days in, salvation arrived in the form of a little barn-shaped house up in Ridgewood Heights. Over the next four years, the kids grew, Jennifer and Bobby finished CR and transferred to HSU, and life blossomed so fantastically all doubts about moving faded into the desert past.

After one year in Humboldt, Jennifer successfully pitched “The Parenting Show” to KMUD radio, where for three years, she hosted the monthly discussion on issues from homeschooling to sexuality, with a little music in the mix. That eventually led to a monitoring shift and then a music program on KHSU – “Jennifer’s Garden” – and from there, shifts on KHUM and then a steady gig as KSLG’s midday host through 2009 when she switched to weekends through 2012. She still co-hosts “Coastal Currents” every Wednesday at noon on KHUM and hosts “The EcoNews Report” on KHSU once per month.

Meanwhile, she covered music, arts, theater and community stories at the Arcata Eye weekly newspaper from 2002-2009 and began freelancing for the North Coast Journal shortly after – she currently writes “The Setlist,” a weekly music column and occasionally offers unasked-for advice in the form of “Five Things To Know Before You….”

A longtime advocate of ocean protection, Jennifer formalized her passion for clean beaches and waves by reinvigorating Surfrider Foundation’s Humboldt Chapter in 2008, helping to raise thousands of dollars and doubling the chapter’s membership in her first year as chapter chair.

All of this contributed to her being hired by D.C.-based advocacy organization Ocean Conservancy for the purpose of implementing California’s Marine Life Protection Act. As the North Coast Program Director, Jennifer served on the Marine Life Protection Act North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group, helping to create California’s only unified proposal, in which fishing and conservation interests were able to agree on how to best create a network of marine protected areas. During this time she began “Your Week in Ocean,” a column on Lost Coast Outpost.

In January, she accepted a position with the Northcoast Environmental Center as Coastal Programs Director, in which she continues her work on marine protected areas, oversees the NEC’s marine debris program and assists in coordinating California Coastal Cleanup Day. If you asked her if moving north was a good idea, she’d have to say, “Yes.”

Linda Stansberry

Linda Stansberry is a writer and freelance journalist. She grew up on a cattle ranch in rural Honeydew, CA. She was fortunate enough to absorb the values of both her hard-working rancher parents and the community to which they belonged: a community largely off the grid, where emergency calls and gossip were made using CB radios, indoor plumbing was often a luxury and every local worth their title carried a chainsaw to clear the roads in the middle of winter. She left Honeydew after high school to earn a BA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco. After close to a decade of world travel, a career in social work and some hard-won lessons in humility, she came full circle back to writing and working on her family ranch. Her non-fiction essays have been published in local, national and international publications. Her latest project is an urban exploratory mission along the abandoned tracks of the Northwestern Pacific rail line. She is blessed to have a large, supportive family (both by blood and by choice) and an even larger, supportive community. When she’s not writing or fixing fence Linda can be found hiking in the redwoods, practicing her Spanish or experimenting with recipes for marinara sauce. The topics that make her passionate are poverty, social justice, feminism and cultural fluency. Linda’s guiding principle is Universal Positive Regard, which she practices with mixed success.

Ryann Citro-Hough

Ryann Citro-Hough is a upbeat student at South Bay middle school in Eureka. She has always enjoyed expressing her personal opinions with her friends and family. Hanging out and joking around with her friends is something that she most enjoys. In school she is a well focused student and tries her best. With her spare time loves to play with her siblings, read, or watch classic comedies. Another thing she enjoys doing is going to the beach and collecting seashells then burying them in the sand. One of her most favorite things to do is play capture the flag with her neighbors during the week end. She has been to the grand canyon twice once she got to see it when it was covered in snow another time when the canyon was in a dry hot climate. At age 6 she got to go to Washington D.C. and see the first president, George Washington’s, house. During the school year just like most students at school she can’t wait until summer break because she get to head up to her aunt and uncles summer cabin for a few days and she gets to go tubing and gets to practice mastering water skiing. Hawaiian food is her favorite kind of food that she occasionally gets to go out and eat with her family on special occasions. Each year she looks forward to going down to Arizona and visiting family and going quading. She hopes that everyone will enjoy her speech and keep in mind what she has to say.

Lisa A. Rossbacher

Lisa A. Rossbacher became the president of Humboldt State University, in Arcata, California, in July 2014. She previously served as president of Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia for 16 years. She graduated from Dickinson College (B.S. Geology, summa cum laude), received masters degrees in geology from the State University of New York at Binghamton and Princeton University, and earned her Ph.D. (Geological and Geophysical Sciences) at Princeton University. She has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, a geothermal exploration company, and National Public Radio, in addition to serving as a faculty member and administrator at California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, Whittier College, and Dickinson College. Both Cal Poly – Pomona and Whittier College are designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions, as is Humboldt State. She has also served as interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer for the University System of Georgia, with responsibility for academic issues affecting 260,000 students and 10,000 faculty members.

Dr. Rossbacher was the first woman geologist to become a university president in North America. Her bimonthly column has appeared in the magazine EARTH (renamed from Geotimes in 2008) since 1988, and she has authored books on geology, science, and the media. In 1984, she was a finalist in NASA’s astronaut selection process. She is the past chair of the American Council on Education Women’s Network Executive Council and serves as a trustee of the Geological Society of America Foundation. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate and to the status of Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001; she was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2010. Her research interests focus on the role of water and water ice on the planet Mars, environmental risks, and higher-education leadership.

Mary V. Gelinas

Mary V. Gelinas, Ed.D. is the managing director of Gelinas-James, Inc. a consultancy that specializes in helping people collaborate in meaningful and inclusive ways within and among organizations and communities. She is also the co-director of the Cascadia Center for Leadership whose mission is to develop the ability of leaders in all sectors to effectively take on tough issues in concert with stakeholders at work and in their communities.

Mary has over 40 years of experience as an educator, trainer, author, consultant, process designer, facilitator and thinking partner. She works within and across multiple sectors including business, not-for-profits, education, government, and community. For the past ten years she has been investigating and synthesizing what we now know about the human brain, the impact of contemplative practices on it, and integrating these with the most current understanding of the design and conduct of human interactions.

She believes that, given the issues we face locally, regionally, nationally, and globally the need to bridge differences and talk better together has never been greater. She writes, “It seems we are creating a future no one wants. All of us must learn to interact constructively in diverse groups so we can have meaningful conversations about things that matter and create desired futures for ourselves and those who are yet to come.”

Mary helped design and facilitate two award-winning community-based planning processes in Northern California in 2010 and 2013. She holds a B.A. with honors in Liberal Arts from Northeastern University and an M. Ed. and Ed. D from the University of Massachusetts in Organization Development. Her forthcoming book, Bridging the Great Divides: Universal Tools for Moving Forward Together, will be available in 2015.

Elayna Kuster

Elayna Kuster is a 13 year old student at South Bay Middle School, and is originally from Humboldt County. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and playing roller derby. She wrote this talk because she feels very strongly about gender rights, and believes that everyone, no matter what, should have the same rights as everyone. When she grows up, she hopes to go to medical school.

Paul Gallegos

Paul Gallegos was born in Arlington,Virginia the ninth of eleven children. He moved to California to study economics at USC; after graduation he was hired by IBM to do finance. A few years later he went to law school at the University of LaVerne in L.A. Upon graduation he and his wife, Joan, started a private practice law firm in Claremont, CA. They they did not want to raise a family in L.A. and decided to move to Humboldt County. Here they opened Gallegos and Gallegos law office in Eureka. Paul acted as a circuit defense attorney in northern California. In 2002, Paul ran for and was elected as Humboldt County’s District Attorney. In 2003, he defeated a corporate financed recall attempt. In 2006, Paul was reelected to a second term. Paul and his wife Joan have three young children: Kjellen, Sophia and Kai.

Ron Samuels

Ron Samuels is the founder of Marimba One, an Arcata California based business that custom builds concert level marimbas. In over 50 countries, from the San Francisco Symphony to the Berlin Philharmonic, to universities and musicians around the world, his marimbas continue to define the acoustics and engineering of the modern day marimba.

Ron is self-taught in all aspects of marimba making, including wood working, metal working, and acoustics. He has attracted an ever increasing group of musicians who are passionate about his marimbas, and an expanding list of collaborators and co-workers that have become intrigued by the acoustics and engineering of these amazing musical instruments.

Sherae O’Shaughnessy

Sherae O’Shaughnessy has been a Humboldt County resident for a decade. She’s a host on the local alternative radio station 93.1/ 94.5 KSLG and was an integral part of the local standup scene during Humboldt County’s comedy resurgence of the past few years. Founding the comedy troupe BA-DUM-CHH Comedy Presents she was voted Best Comedian 2012 by the readers of the North Coast Journal. Currently she writes a weekly humor column for the Times-Standard titled, ‘Shut up, Sherae’. She is mother to a seven year old daughter, an advocate for tattooed people and still hopelessly disappointed that ‘Arrested Development’ was canceled.

Spencer Ruelos

Having left his hometown of Marysville, California in 2009, Spencer Ruelos moved to Humboldt County to figure out the meaning in his life. He graduated from HSU in 2013 with Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Critical Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. While attending HSU, Spencer developed a passion for all things relating to critical theory, social justice, and education. He is currently applying to various social science PhD programs on the west coast, hoping to continue his research on the ways in which LGBT/queer gamers seek to create community and solidarity in online spaces. A huge gamer himself, Spencer believes that exploring various roles, characters, environments, and worlds through gaming has the potential to be quite a transformative process.

Tamara Gehlen

Tamarah Gehlen LMFT, LADC is the Program Director of WINGS Treatment Center in Litchfield, MN and is an author, national speaker, therapist, and teaches at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels in Addictions and Mental Health in Minnesota. Her works can be found on youtube and Amazon. She provides humor and honesty when looking at issues and is passionate in speaking about women and children/adolescents as they pertain to addiction, mental health and societal issues.

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