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. 

Tiffani Desrosiers

Tiffani Desrosiers is an energetic mom of three who lives in Warrenville, Illinois. She graduated with a Broadcasting degree from Seton Hall University in New Jersey (where she met her husband), rounding out over 17 years of Catholic School education! After college, she spent a couple of years working in New York City at NBC Studios for The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Saturday Night Live and The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "It was the best job ever!" She's a huge Chicago sports fan and is the defending champion in both of her fantasy football leagues! She is the Assistant Director of Wesley Kids Day Out in Naperville and loves working with all the kids. Tiffani has performed stand-up and improv comedy locally since 2010 and started storytelling in 2017. Her stories are always comedic and full of energy!

Monica Eng

Monica Eng is a veteran Chicago reporter. Over three decades she has reported on food, culture, and health at the Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Tribune, and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She once sampled every single dish at the Taste of Chicago to evaluate them fairly for a Tribune story. Today Monica is WBEZ’s Curious City reporter and the co-host of a food and health podcast called Chewing, with Louisa Chu.

Melissa Gardner

Melissa is the mother of three feral children.  She is a Librarian who works with the greatest people at the Palatine Public Library. According to her son's preschool Mothers Day card she loves doing chores. Her loving husband who shares the burden of chores knows this is not the case. When she is not doing chores she enjoys being outdoors, creating art and talking to her cactus.

Gina Farella-Howley

Gina taught fifteen years in Illinois public schools.  The past twelve, she’s been freelance writing and tutoring for fun.  Her specialty: managing the crazy produced by and around her husband John and their beautiful boys Martin (12), Joe (10), and Tim (8).  She’s particularly excited to explore a new avenue in her life and share some of the many stories eternally dancing in her head!

Patti Minglin

With  a  degree  in  English  and  Communications,  Patti  Minglin  graduated  from  Ball  State  University  in  1992  being  able  to  do  two  things  really  well:    write  and  talk.    Those  two  skills  fed  into  Patti’s  passion  for  storytelling  and  not  only  helped  her  move  up  the  corporate  ladder  in  the  newspaper  industry,  but  also  led  her  to  launch  her  own  content  marketing  company,  Go  Girl  Communications.    It’s no surprise that Patti is an avid reader and writer, contributing regularly to publications and blogs including sharing her voice every month as one of the co-hosts of the Naperville Mom’s Network talk show on NCTV17 and appearing in the cast 2015 cast of Listen to Your Mother Chicago.Patti resides in Aurora with her husband, three children, and a dog. 

Nicole Zaccaria

Nicole is a Naperville resident who works as a special educator in District 204  and is active in her church's special needs ministry.  She is a single mom,  raising two (wonderful!) kids, so she doesn't have much free time. When she does, however, she is an avid reader and enjoys piling her kids into the car for impromptu road trips.  She has recently been exposed to Storytelling Events, which are quickly becoming one of her favorite experiences.  When asked why she is drawn to them, Nicole states, "I think loneliness and isolation can be epidemic in our society.   We lack connection to one another.  That's why there's such a phenomenon with the TV show, "This is Us".   Its writers aim to connect with each of its viewers at some point in the storyline.   Storytelling events allow for us to connect with one another in real life rather than with a character behind a screen.  I love it!"

Tony Ozzauto

Tony Ozzauto grew up in the South Suburbs of Chicago. Went to Columbia College to study television production and theatre. While attending Columbia his instincts told him to leave school and move to California. In the first month of moving, he got a job with a production company which required him to travel thru Europe for several months filming for a show the company was producing. He worked there for 6 years and decided to make a change to do live television. Tony became News Director of a financial television station. While at the station Tony produced 2 local talk shows. 


He moved back to Chicago and quickly got involved in the television production community winning several International Television Awards for producing corporate television programs. 


At the age of 58, Tony decided to make a career change and enrolled in cosmetology school. After graduating he teamed up with a company to became a platform artist traveling around the country performing on stage at trade shows and teaching seminars. That is when Tony enjoyed teaching the seminars. He is now teaching cosmetology in a western suburb. 


At the age of 63, Tony made some radical changes in his life. These changes opened up his world which allowed him to see things differently. These changes have opened his mind and talents to write and tell stories about his experiences.

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