Our Host

Matt Jones has been telling stories his whole life. One of four boys in a family of talkers, storytelling was a competition and an outlet. As high school history teacher and football coach, he used this ability to bring the events of the past and the present to life for his students and players. Today as a father of four himself, an active Scout leader, PTA president, coach and friend he's still using that power to communicate with wit, humor and an ability tap into those human emotions that connect us all, to keep those around him active and engaged. 

A resident of Naperville for over ten years Matt has never forgotten his Virginia roots, his family, and the places he came from. 

Beth Basmajian

Beth Basmajian grew up in a small town in Michigan. She moved to Chicago in 1996 on a whim with no real plan other than to enjoy life in a big city. As fate would have it, she landed a job she enjoyed, met a cute boy, married the cute boy, had three kids, and in 2009 moved to Naperville. Beth is a stay-at-home mom. She enjoys exercising, baking, and reading. 

Clare Clayton

Clare Clayton's life has been constant motion. The daughter of an Air Force officer, her childhood was literally a spin around the globe.  Texas, Okinawa, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and more... While adulthood may have kept her more stationary, her life has not. Leaving her career behind and moving to the suburbs 8 years ago, the busy mother of two boys is still spinning as a Cub Scout and PTA leader, running an at home business, training dogs, dragons and a husband. Storytelling is just the next step in a life always discovering new things.

Betsy Leonard

Betsy spent her whole life trying to fit in, and now finds herself searching out places and spaces where she is the other. It’s a curious sort of midlife crisis, but less dangerous than riding a motorcycle and healthier than hot wings and hoppy beer. An Oak Park resident for the past 16 years, Betsy has found home after having lived in nine different states. 

Scott Potter

Scott Potter believes that stories can change the world. He has taken this belief and built a career out of finding stories and telling them through film. Scott holds a certification in the Muse Storytelling Process and is the owner and creative director of his own film company here in Naperville, Hidden Catalyst. Even though his work has won awards, he's most proud when his films push people to take action to make the world a better place. Scott lives in Naperville with his wife, his two small children that he is raising to become nerds and two dogs with geeky literary names. 

Karen Putz

Karen Putz is known as “The Passion Mentor.” She helps people unwrap their passion at any age.  She has a special talent: she can walk on water. 

Karen spent her entire childhood trying to fit in—but growing up hard of hearing meant that she could never measure up to people with normal hearing. When she became deaf, she discovered the blessings of standing out. 


Tom Reilly

By day, Tom builds learning software to help people get high paying technology jobs and he is still waiting for his high paying technology job.  In his spare time, Tom hangs with his teenage son and daughter, he serves on the TEDxNaperville Leadership team, and he writes and performs sketch comedy at Westside Improv Theater. 

Brii Welmers

Brii is a part time yoga instructor and full time weirdo. She spends her free time chasing the sun on a bike, on the yoga mat, or in the water.  She enjoys yoga, crocheting, cooking, writing, and crying over adoptable dogs on adoption websites, but most of all, chasing after a very fast 6-year-old.

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