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. 

Sheila Adamo

Sheila is married and a mother of 4 children living in Naperville.   Sheila is the co-owner of Building Parent Connections which provides education, guidance, and support to parents of children with special needs. She specializes in creating workshops, discussion groups, teleconferences and conference presentations that address the unique challenges parents may face when raising a child with special needs. https://www.buildingparentconnections.com

Mike Albrow

Mike grew up in England but settled in Naperville 27 years ago, after living in Switzerland and Sweden, where he was a professor at Stockholm University. Two years ago he retired from Fermilab (Batavia), where he did research in particle physics. Mike did acting at school and university, and at Wheaton Drama and Village Theatre Guild in Glen Ellyn. He writes a monthly Science Column in Positively Naperville and is working on a science fiction novel.

Chuck Cannon

Chuck grew up on his family's ranch near Spur, Texas.  After spending a year at a remote field station in the tropical rainforests of Indonesian Borneo, he discovered his love and deep fascination with trees.  Over thirty years later, he has worked with the Nature Conservancy, the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and numerous other NGOs and scientific organizations around the world to better understand how forests work, how trees live, and how we can best manage and conserve the incredible natural wealth and capital they provide.  In his current position as the Director for the Center for Tree Science at the Morton Arboretum, he is leading efforts to unlock the secret lives of trees and how people can better comprehend their value and wonder.http://www.mortonarb.org/science-conservation/scientists-and-staff/chuck-cannon

Jeannie Coe

Jeannie has spent most of her life in Naperville, with the exception of a few years in London and on a small island in Greece.  Every time someone tells her they moved here on purpose she’s always in awe because it's just her hometown. Jeannie is a wife and a mother with a full-time job, but never too busy to have one too many cups of coffee with a good friend or be an overachieving baker, canner, knitter, and runner. 

Lisa Hillman

When not schlepping her 5 children around in their 12-passenger van affectionately named Betty, Lisa is a mom-boss for a local fitness company called FIT4MOM Oswego-Plainfield-Shorewood-Yorkville, runs her own blog called The Hard Knox Motherhood, and is starting to dabble in public speaking.  Her husband and her slew of children live in Oswego.  She obtained her degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois, went on to get her Master's in Educational Leadership from Governor's State University and post-grad work from Emporia State University.  She has Group Fitness and Personal Trainer certifications and is a National Master Trainer for FIT4MOM.  She loves connecting moms, supporting moms, helping moms reach their fitness and health goals, and advocating for self-care in moms.  She supports dog rescue, public school teachers and loves a good IPA beer.  https://thehardknoxlife.wordpress.com

Ariel Isenberg

Ariel is a native of Naperville, moving back with his wife and three children five years ago. He's been an at-home dad for 10 years. Prior to becoming an at-home parent, Ariel earned his master's in elementary education. He likes to stay active in the community whether through coaching, scouting, and volunteering and teaching at Congregation Beth Shalom.  While comfortable talking, this is his first time storytelling.

Caroline Mooney

Caroline Mooney is a veteran road warrior, calling on consumer packaged goods companies from sea to shining sea. Having given up on ever having a semblance of a normal life, she now looks at daily disasters as opportunities for great stories. 

Shawn Shiflett

Chicago Lit 50 list, an annual ranking of top figures in the Chicago Literary scene. His essay, “The Importance of Reading to Your Writing” (Creative Writing Studies, UK) was published in 2013. His novel, Hey, Liberal! (Chicago Review Press, 2016), a story about a white boy going to a predominately African American high school in Chicago during the late Shawn Shiflett is an Associate Professor in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. His debut novel, Hidden Place (Akashic Books, 2004), received rave reviews from newspapers, literary magazines, and Connie Martinson Talks Books (national cable television, UK and Ireland).  Library Journal included Hidden Place in “Summer Highs, Fall Firsts,” a 2004 list of most successful debuts. He was awarded an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for his work and was a three-time Finalist for the James novel-in-progress contest, sponsored by the Heekin Group Foundation. New City Newspaper elected Shiflett to their 1960’s, has received acclaim from Booklist, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Review, Newcity Lit, Windy City Review, Mary Mitchell (Chicago Sun-Times), Rick Kogan (WGN Radio), and others.  Excerpts from Shiflett’s novels and short stories can be found in Hypertext Magazine, various issues of F Magazine, and other literary journals.  In 2018, he performed his oral story performance “How My Yo-Yo Could Have Gotten me Killed.” He is on the Chicago Writers’ Association Board of Directors and is also working on non-fiction, multicultural project: collecting oral stories concerning race. He lives with his wife, a couple of step-cats, and two English setters named Higgins and Gabby. https://www.shawnshiflett.com

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