Jody (Whittle) Raikowski
2017 Women’s Fair Keynote Speaker
“God Our Anchor”
AA English/Communications, Business Management, NPC
Hospital Healthcare Billing in Nevada and at Summit Healthcare
Publicity Chairman, WMNWM and White Mountain Senior Adult Fellowship
Holbrook for Truck Stop Ministries
Eleanor Ferry Resort Ministries
Jody (Whittle) Raikowski was born in Eastern New Mexico; spent her childhood in Plainview, Texas, where her father, Carlton Whittle graduated from Wayland Baptist College; then moved to Overgaard, AZ. She attended school at Snowflake High School where she was excited to be part of the Madrigal choir; she holds an Associates of Arts from Northland Pioneer College in both English/Communications and Business Management; and she will celebrate her 50th class reunion in the summer of 2017.
She retired from hospital healthcare billing in 2013 after 27 combined years in Nye County and Clark County, Nevada and at Summit Healthcare in Show Low.
Jody has two daughters: Anita Garrison from Lakeside, AZ and Michelle Wilson from Sunnyvale, CA.
Jody love serving the Lord within several groups including publicity chairman for both Women’s Ministry Network of the White Mountain and White Mountain Senior Adult Fellowship, serving Christmas dinner at Hopi Truck Stop, Holbrook for Truck Stop Ministries, cooking bi-weekly summer meals for the Eleanor Ferry Resort Ministries part of Desert Pines Baptist Association, and as an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Show Low.
“For the first time in my life, I have put the Lord first. I do love serving Him and the people whom He has put in my life. I have never been happier. He blesses me every day. I hope when I am asked, ‘How are you?’ that I will always remember, to respond with, ‘I am so blessed’, because I am!”
May you each have a very blessed day, as well.
Sarah (Francis) Susag
2017 Walk with Me, Speaker for Home Front Employment
Homeschooling for 6
BS Elementary Education, NAU
Sarah (Francis) Susag grew up right here in the White Mountains. She is a homeschooling mother of 6, who makes her home in Overgaard, and has been married to her amazing husband, Christopher, for 21 years. Sarah has been a teen mom, a foster mom, an adoptive mom, and a middle-aged mom. She is expecting her first grandchild in October! Sarah holds a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from NAU, and attends Burton Baptist Church.
2017 Walk with Me, Speaker for Medical Sector Employment
· BS Nursing
· MA Community Health and Wellness Promotion
· Medical Surgical Nurse
· Obstetrics Nurse
· OB Air Evacuation Nurse
· School Nurse at Whiteriver Elementary
· Lead School Nurse at Blue Ridge School District.
Graduating from Good Samaritan School of Nursing in 1968, Darla moved to the bustling town of McNary to begin her nursing career. It is there that she met the love of her life, Dick. They have been married now for 47 years & have two children and 10 grandchildren.
She has resided in this area for almost 50 years, and has attended Grace Church for over 30 years. She has worked as a medical surgical nurse, obstetrics nurse, OB air Evac nurse, school nurse at Whiteriver Elementary and for the last 16 years of her nursing career worked as the lead school nurse at Blue Ridge School District.
During her years of nursing, she returned to school to receive her Bachelors in Nursing and then a Masters in Community Health and Wellness Promotion. She is now retired, enjoying traveling with her beloved husband, being a grandmother, being involved in worship dance, healing prayer and Tuesday morning prayer at Grace.
Her Honor Michala Ruechel
2017 Walk with Me, Speaker for Public Sector Employment,
JD Arizona State University
Current Navajo County Superior Court Judge
Past Prosecutor, Navajo Co Attorney’s Office
Past Commissioner for the Superior Court’s Child Support Division
· Child Support Review Committee;
· Committee on Superior Court;
· Committee on Juvenile Courts; and the
· State, Tribal, Federal, Court Forum.
Michala Ruechel is a Navajo County Superior Court Judge. She was born in Portales, New Mexico into a family of farmers, ranchers and teachers. Her family taught her the importance of perseverance and service to others. Michala’s family moved to Tuba City when she was three years old. She lived in Tuba City until she graduated from High School. After High School she attended Arizona State University where she obtained her law degree (and her husband). She then returned to Northern Arizona to practice law. Michala currently resides in Holbrook, Arizona. She is married to Joel Ruechel. They are blessed to have three wonderful children.
In 1986 Michala began working as a Prosecutor for the Navajo County Attorney’s Office. In 1993, she became the Commissioner for the Superior Court’s Child Support Division and served as a Superior Court Judge Pro Tempore until 2006 when she was appointed as the Division IV Superior Court Judge. She has represented the interests of Navajo County residents by serving on several statewide commissions including the Child Support Review Committee; Committee on Superior Court; Committee on Juvenile Courts; and the State, Tribal, Federal, Court Forum.
Michala came to know the Lord while attending a small Baptist church in Tuba City. Her experience of being raised in a small mission church has shown her that it is not the size of a congregation that makes it purposeful; it is the relationship that the believers have with the Lord and their willingness to serve him. The Ruechel’s have been members of the First Baptist church of Holbrook for almost 30 years. Joel and Michala have taught Sunday school, VBS and children’s church for much of that time.
2017 Walk with Me, Speaker for Private Sector Employment
Vinnedge Signworks, co-owner
White Mountain SAFE House, Board of Directors
Rondi Vinnedge has been part of the White Mountain community since 1981 when she
and her husband, Ron, moved here from California. She graduated from University of
California Irvine with a degree in art and worked in the advertising world for several
years as an art director.
After moving to the White Mountains, Rondi and Ron opened their sign company,
Vinnedge Signworks, in 1983. Rondi has been involved in the community over the years
and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the White Mountain SAFE House.
The most important part of Rondi’s life is her relationship with Jesus Christ, serving Him
as the center of all the parts of her life.
Lynn Davis Deutsch
2016 Women's Fair Keynote Speaker
"Sisters Following in Our Mother's Footsteps"
R "Lynn" Deutsch MSN, RN,CRNI, VA-BC
Vascular Access Specialist
Seton Healthcare Family
Certified Registered Nurse Infusion
Vascular Access-Board Certified
CRNI of the Year 2015
Infusion Nurses Certification Corporation
Lynn was born in Niagara Falls, New York, and began her career as a nurse there. She is the mother of three and grandmother of four. Her husband is Hank Deutsch. Her sister is Nancy Stidham.
Lynn was married and had her first child at the age of 17. Two more children followed and her first husband did not support the family. She realized she needed to complete her education and begin working.
Following a divorce, Lynn moved to Arizona and then to California. A second marriage ended in divorce and her second child, a daughter, died of complications following brain surgery. Lynn moved to Texas where she met and married her current husband in 2005. In the years that followed, Lynn's story became one of God's deliverance and restoration power.
Lynn's life verse is Jeremiah 29:11. As the keynote speaker at the 2016 Women's Fair, she will share some of the times in which she found hope in the midst of sorrow and brokenness. She will demonstrate ways women can walk worthy of their calling both in the workplace and at home.
Nancy Stidham was born in Niagara Falls, New York, the daughter of a beekeeper from West Virginia. The family business meant growing up in two homes: a beautiful farm in western New York during the summers and a winter home on a lake in Sebring, Florida.
Nancy met Clay Stidham while attending Wheaton College. They were married in 1968 and moved to Clay’s home town, Lakeside, Arizona in 1971. They have three sons and two granddaughters and a grandson. Both Clay and Nancy are retired after teaching 30 and 35 years respectively at Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside, Arizona.
The Stidhams have pastored Cornerstone Community Church since 1997 and have been broadcasting on radio since 2003. Nancy was the journalism teacher at Blue Ridge and sponsored the yearbook as well as the TV show produced on campus. These skills now work for the Lord as she edits the church website and produces the radio show “Morning LIght” which is heard daily and Sunday on four stations over two major regional networks.
Nancy was only five when she first heard about God. Her father had been a Christian since he was 16 but her mother was converted at age 26. At 15, Nancy responded to the altar call at a local crusade.
Then at age 30, she experienced a true conversion in response to 2 Corinthians 5:17. In addition to serving with her husband at Cornerstone, Nancy serves on the Core Team of Women’s Ministry Network of the White Mountains. In that capacity, she works with many women from various fellowships to bring the gospel to the White Mountains.
Eleanor Dozier Ferry grew up in Alabama and moved from Demopolis, Alabama, to Snowflake, Arizona, in 1961. Her husband of two years, Bob Ferry, had taken an engineering position at the paper mill that was getting ready to begin operation.
She immediately became involved in the community. She was contacted by Josephine Goldwater Hospital in Show Low, now the site of Northland Pioneer College, about a bookkeeping job and after an interview, went to work in her chosen profession. Then she became active in the Snowflake-Taylor Women’s Club and spearheaded the music program sponsored by the Club. She organized a program for the high school students who competed to see who would represent Snowflake-Taylor Women’s Club at District and State. She also organized a “Night of Music” using music groups from the high school as well as other talent from the community to raise money for a Grand Piano at Snowflake High School. She sang with The Liberty Bells, a group of 35 women, who were organized by the Women’s Club to sing during the Bicentennial.
Eleanor organized a work program to provide jobs for teenagers during the summer. The program ran for three summers and, according to the gentlemen from the Juvenile Division of the State who helped set up the program, the delinquency rate dropped significantly in Snowflake and Taylor while the program was in place.
She served four years on the Snowflake School Board and was instrumental in getting the Board to build Highland Primary instead of a second K-6 school in Snowflake. This lead to the Board doing the same thing in Taylor several years later.
Bob and Eleanor had 3 children: Jeanne, Sean, and Amy. Each have degrees from Arizona State University in Tempe. Two of them have gone on to get their Doctorates. Two of her children and their families have moved out of state. Bob passed away in 1991.
Eleanor has remained in Snowflake and also been very active in her church, holding positions from teacher to music leader and treasurer. She served on the Executive Board of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and served as secretary for Desert Pines Baptist Association. She currently serves as the Director of Resort Ministry for Desert Pines Baptist Association.
Eleanor loves the Lord and loves serving Him any way she can.
Peggie and her husband, Ken, are the house-parents at Hope House Maternity home since 2009. They have been married over 30 years and all that time have had a performing, recording and often traveling “band” called CAVU, which has afforded them many good adventures as well as opportunities for ministry. They have 2 adult children, a son and a daughter, and a nice new son-in-law.
Peggie has had many different jobs in her life, but working for Living Hope Women’s Centers seems to be what she was being ‘groomed’ for over the years. God put many tests and experiences in the Balcoms’ lives to prepare them for this mission. Peggie’s passion is to learn what God’s Word has to say and practice it and teach it to her family of young women in a very real way. This is because she knows the Love of God, the daily power of the Gospel, and that God’s Word is a sure foundation.
Dee Scienski accepted the Lord 50 years ago. Since that time she has walked with the Lord, seeing His faithfulness in her life. She is the wife of Nick Scienski, Pastor of the Vernon Mission in Vernon, AZ. They have lived and served in Vernon for 25 years. Dee has two adult children and 9 grandchildren.
Dee has a commitment to the greater Body of Christ and Women’s Ministries in particular. Dee is a co-founder of WMNWM. Dee’s life message is that God is good, he is kind and gracious to His children. He is unchanging and always carrying each of us in His heart, therefore we must do our best to love as He loves, unconditionally.
Author, speaker, blogger Jo Russell keeps us laughing at every day challenges through her experiences as a single mom raising sons from diapers to adult. With humor, Jo reaches out to show others how to cope in all stages of life and stay sane. She posts a humorous weekly blog on http://www.button-to-god.com.
Jo Russell Lewis is a retired reading and building trades teacher. Her published writing spans more than forty years. Her inspirational stories, devotionals, and humor have been in dozens of magazines including Open Windows and Arizona Highways. Jo has won several national writing contests for humor. She is a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You (December, 2010), and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul (October, 2011.) Jo loves living in the White Mountains of Arizona.
Need bulk copies of the book for a study? Need a speaker for your event? Contact Jo Russell through her website at www.button-to-god.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For book excerpts, to hear a speech, and enjoy her weekly humorous blogs, check the entire website.
My husband, Marc Traeger and I moved to the White Mountains in 1989 after completing Family Practice residencies at U of AZ. I worked as a Family practitioner for the United States Public Health Service at Whiteriver Hospital until 1997 when I began doing medical research for Johns Hopkins University on the White Mountain Apache Reservation.
My presentation will be on The 5 Love Languages. I am not an expert, but do know that I have had my love tank filled and drained at different times and at different rates by my wonderful husband and our 4 children. I've learned that all relationships require an awareness of how people give and receive love. I've learned that each child is unique, and that what works for our biological children might not work for our adopted child. I hope the 5 Love Languages will be a useful framework that can be used to inspire communication among families, friends, and co-workers to strengthen those relationships.
Tami Walters is a native of California and has been a Christian for 30 years. The value of mentoring is a central focus in her ministry.
Tami and Randy, her husband of 22 years spent over 18 years in Youth Ministry. They have four children and have resided in Show Low for four years. She teaches at Mountain Christian School part-time, leads a Bible study weekly and heads up the mentoring ministry at White Mountain Bible Church.
Vanya Szabo, Johns Hopkins University Research Project, Whiteriver
Vanya was born and raised in a small village in Bulgaria where she met her future husband Tom Szabo. Szabo was a Peace Corps worker and Vanya was a local working on the community project. Tom and Vanya have two daughters, Mary and Lydia.
Dr. Becky Thompson
My family and I have lived on the Mountain for 15 years. I am child of God first, wife of Steve, mother of 4 kids, and doctor for the community.
My training includes a B.S. in molecular and cellular biology at U of A , 1 year of research, medical school at U of A, residency at Southern Illinois University, last year as Chief Resident.
I have served on the Governing Board of Summit Healthcare since 2009 encouraging our local caregivers to enter the next stage in healthcare.
I enjoy hiking, reading and, of course, doing algebra again with my children.