Contributors

Meet our super awesome team.

We work with a variety of talented folks from across the Driftless (or related to the Driftless) to bring you positive and inspiring stories and content each quarter. We LOVE our contributors, and couldn’t make this community-minded magazine without them! Three cheers for all their hard work!

Kristine Kopperud

Writer + Photographer

Kristine Kopperud is a writer/editor, SBDC small business counselor, and end-of-life doula. When not cleaning her floors to avoid looming deadlines, she’s usually at the riding barn, watching her daughter’s horse lessons.

Sara Friedl-Putnam

Writer + Photographer

Sara Friedl-Putnam is a writer and community-supporter living in Decorah, Iowa, in the beautiful Driftless. When she’s not writing for Inspire(d), she’s putting together copy and photos for Seed Savers Exchange.

Sara Walters

Writer

Sara owns Creative Content & Consulting, a freelance writing and marketing business based in La Crescent, Minnesota. When she’s not writing for Inspire(d), she likes reading, running, collecting vinyl, riding her longboard, and playing with her three daughters. 

Renee Brincks

Writer

Renee Brincks is a freelance writer and editor working in media, content, and communications. She’s tasted her way through Alaska’s breweries, interviewed Sir Richard Branson, crafted ice cream package copy, penned a book chapter about Volkswagen bus enthusiasts, and explored five countries on inline skates. Read more of her work at reneebrincks.com.

Tallitha Reese

Writer

Tallitha Reese is a freelance writer and content manager based in Cashton, Wisconsin. She owns Words By Reese and you can find out more about her and her work at www.wordsbyreese.com.

Steve Harris

Writer

Steve Harris, a freelance writer and former Lanesboro innkeeper, is the author of “Lanesboro, Minnesota,” and has written for the Star-Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, Leadership Journal, and other publications. Contact Steve at sharris1962@msn.com or (952) 836-7904.

Olivia Lynn Schnur

Mental Health Writer

Olivia Lynn Schnur is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Yoga Teacher. She combines her passion for writing with her expertise in mental health, mindfulness, and yoga. The goal of her writing is to educate, uplift, and inspire readers to lead healthier and happier lives. To learn more, or to book a yoga session, visit her website: oliviaschnur.com.

Craig Thompson

Writer

Craig Thompson is a professional biologist and writer living in the Driftless blufflands north of La Crosse with two mischievous dogs and a yard full of cool birds (and his wife, Mary, at right). He started working in the conservation field when gas was 86 cents a gallon.

Mary Thompson

Artist + Illustrator

Mary Thompson has degrees in Fine Arts and Education. She has delighted in the creative arts since her first box of crayons. A dyed in the wool people person, she teaches art lessons to adventurous adults using a variety of media. 

Lauren Bonney

Illustrator

Lauren Bonney is an artist living in rural Decorah. She loves working with other people to help illustrate their stories, articles, books, or to do commissioned portraits. See her work at laurenbonney.com.

Erin Dorbin

Writer + Photographer

Erin is a Driftless adventurer and historian living and working in Houston County, Minnesota. She has turned down every rural backroad and small town Main Street she possibly can since receiving her driver’s permit. She also coordinates the Crystal Creek Citizen-Artist Residency: www.CrystalCreekCitizenArtist.com

Claire Sanderman

Illustrator

Claire Sanderman interned with Inspire(d) during Summer 2021. She illustrated the awesome Fall 2021 Inspire(d) cover. She is currently enrolled at Iowa State majoring in graphic design. 

Jennifer Opheim

Designer + Photographer

Jennifer Opheim is a graphic designer and photographer. Originally from Chicago she now lives in Decorah with her family, two silly dogs, crazy cat and carnival hermit crab. Her work can be found at www.opheimphotography.com.

Sammy Ferguson

Writer + Editor

Sammy Ferguson interned with Inspire(d) during summer 2022. She is a writer/editor and full-time student at Luther College. Sammy also works at Decorah Public Library as a Library Aide, is a Peer Leader through Luther College’s TRIO Achievement Program, sings in Luther College’s choirs, and is Vice President to one of Luther’s only sororities, Tau Delta Gamma.