Meet our Executive Team

Katie Lipsett

Owner

Katie is a Cedar Rapids area native who has a strong passion and desire for connection in her community. Mom to Hayden (5) and Hudson (1), wife to Curran, social media marketing business owner (Hello Digital LLC), volunteer, and cycling instructor, Katie is a busy mom who wouldn't have it any other way. Taking on the ownership of Cedar Rapids Moms in 2021 fuels Katie's desire to create a strong community and network between small businesses and local moms. Her mission for Cedar Rapids Moms is to give all mom-focused local businesses a strong voice and connect moms with the local community.

Valerie Earnest

Editor

Valerie grew up in Naperville, Illinois, and is a Midwestern girl at heart even though she spent 16 years in Phoenix. She moved to Marion in 2016 with her husband, daughter (16), and two sons (14 and 11). Valerie graduated from BYU with a degree in Instrumental Music Education. She is a former band director, a current substitute teacher and accompanist, and an avid reader and crafter.

Alyssa Wiliams

Sponsorship Coordinator

Alyssa is a proud wife and mama to two kiddos ages 10 and 1 1/2, and is expecting their third! Her Type A personality is evident through her color-coded Google Calendar and her never-ending lists. Along with her role as Sponsorship Coordinator for CRMB, Alyssa also runs her own marketing company and is a Firefighter/EMT. Her favorite family activities include riding bicycles, playing board/card games, and anything outdoors. In her free time you’ll find Alyssa trying a new recipe, writing a handwritten greeting card, or playing with her Cricut.

Meet our Contributors!

Alicia Tjelmeland

Contributor

Alicia is a stay-at-home mom to Claire (5), Drake (4), and Kate (1). After growing up in western Iowa, Alicia ventured east to attend the University of Iowa and graduated in 2014 with a Political Science degree, and a minor in English. When she isn’t chasing kids, she loves finding time for scrapbooking, going on walks around the neighborhood, and watching any and every home renovation show! Alicia loves staying involved in her community, mainly through spending time in her church and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters. With three kids under five, her advice to moms with young kids is: “prayer, coffee, and then a little more of each!”

Amanda Kirk-Smestad

Contributor

Amanda is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian along with her husband Chad and their seven daughters. She has been blessed by her littles at the ages of 21, 24, 32, 34 and again at 42. Her oldest two girls are now young adults and living their own lives, her middle girls are in their tweens and teens, and to round it all out, identical twin toddlers, four dogs and a house that is never empty. Amanda’s passion for her family sometimes creates its own adventures. She is the family photographer as well as the family genealogist and loves to uncover the stories and mysteries of her roots.

Amber Hoy

Contributor

Amber grew up Eastern Iowa. Coe College brought her to Cedar Rapids, but her love for the city and community made her stay. She and her husband of 15 years, Shannon, share a home in Marion with their two children (13 year old daughter & 10 year old son). Her passions include outdoor activities in our city’s many parks and trails, exploring unique, locally owned business, as well as all things creative. If you ask her about her bucket list, she’ll share endless travel destinations! Amber spends her days as the Director of Fundraising Marketing, leading a talented team of creatives for nearly 18 years. She is also a devoted advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other underrepresented causes.

Amy Lovseth

Contributor

Amy is a North Dakota girl who fell in love with Iowa when she moved to Cedar Rapids as a newlywed in 2006. She's an elementary teacher turned homeschooling mom of twin girls (2011) and little sister (2014). Her ongoing struggle, is keeping faith and family at the heart of family life, while still encouraging each of her girls to follow their passions and find their unique gifts. Awkwardly athletic with a large dose of nerd, Amy is a lover of words, winter sports, theater, and chocolate. As a recovering perfectionist, she strives to be present over perfect each day and is forever thankful there are no limits on grace. She hopes you find love and encouragement through the posts on Cedar Rapids Moms because mom-ing is always better together.

Amy Stouffer

Contributor

Amy Stouffer is a mom, a nature lover, a content creator, and Chief Freelance Illustrator at CustomColoringMom.com. She and her husband Teeg stay busy raising two young men: Goody (7) and Finn (5). After many years in the Pacific Northwest and Omaha, they moved to the Cedar Rapids area in 2017 to be closer to family -- and so far, so good! When she's not doodling with a Sharpie or chasing kids, Amy enjoys using her media and marketing backgrounds in various volunteer roles, and she's forever daydreaming about which business to start next.

Ashley Bass

Contributor

Ashley is a small town girl from Northeast Iowa who moved to the big city of Cedar Rapids after high school. A graduate of Coe College, Ashley is currently an AK & Kindergarten teacher who loves crew neck sweatshirts, chai tea lattes, and spending time outdoors. Her family enjoys hiking, camping, and enjoying campfires together. Ashley met her husband Mitch back in Middle School. They were married in October of 2009 and welcomed their first child, daughter Stella, in May of 2013 and their second child, Archer, in December of 2017.

Carly Hoeppner

Contributor

Carly is a true Iowan, born and raised. She’s a Pinterest fail type of single mom to six year old Stella, who enthusiastically dances to the beat of her own drum. For her day job you’ll find her with a cup of coffee in hand as a secretary at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. After hours, she’s bingeing her true crime podcasts, reading all the books, and having mini JoJo Siwa dance parties with her daughter Stella.

Christa Peterson

Contributor

Christa lives in Cedar Rapids but spent her formative years in Seattle, WA and Dubuque, IA. She is living out her dream of motherhood in a house full of amazing girls (ages 8, 7, 5 & 5) that she shares with her wonderful husband as well as several pets. The family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of their fifth girl this April! Christa is also a proud working mom who juggles the family's needs while also maintaining a full-time career. Her favorite activities are cooking, writing, recreational sports, relaxing, and finding creative ways to build memories with her family.

Courtney Dayton

Contributor

Courtney likes to describe herself as a lover of lists and post-its, all things nerdy, and as an all-around pretty awesome person. She lives in Marion with her husband, Jon, their two sons, and their two crazy cats. Both of her boys are rainbow babies, with Everett arriving in December 2013, and Hendrix in March 2016. Courtney is a Penn State graduate, and currently works as a team lead for a state agency. Aside from attempting to be successful at this parenting thing, she likes to go on adventures with her family that includes trying out all the local parks and ice cream stops. Courtney also likes to binge watch Netflix, attempt all things from Pinterest, and can be occasionally be found on her couch doing both.

Jess Wygle

Contributor

Jess is a born and raised Iowan who has lived in Vinton for the past 10 years. She has two children, 10-year-old Landon and 4-year-old Fynnlee. Jess attended Kirkwood and UNI and now operates an in-home daycare. She considers herself an independent author and has self-published a few eBooks. She enjoys attending Landon’s sporting events, spending time with her family, as well as writing and reading in her free time.

Katy Anderson

Contributor

Katy is a working wife and mother to three. She attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids (Kohawks for life!) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and English. Married in June 2014 to husband her Nate, Katy brought along her rescue dog, Sadie, and with Nate came two bonus kids. Nate and Katy welcomed their daughter, Zoey, in April 2016 and have happily completed their family. Well, until more dogs are needed. Currently working full time and supporting three active kids, Katy has a hard time squeezing in her own hobbies. But, when she gets a chance, she enjoys spending time with her family, being active, and reading.

Kristin Ristine

Contributor

Kristin is a single, working mother to two (9,4). She has lived in the Cedar Rapids area her entire life, though just outside Cedar Rapids in Atkins. She enjoys the small-town life and the relationships that come with it but enjoys being close to Cedar Rapids for recreation. She is currently working towards a degree from Mount Mercy University. When she is not working or doing homework, she enjoys watching her children play sports, watching Hawkeye Football, reading, writing, and binging Netflix.

Lindsay Talsness

Contributor

Lindsay grew up in Cedar Rapids and is surprised and delighted to find that she lives here as an adult. She's been married to a really great guy named Christian since 2007 and during that time, they've added three amazing kids to their family - Eadie (2010), Graham (2012), and Greta (2015). Lindsay has spent time working as a content strategist, freelance writer, stay-at-home-mom, and is now enjoying homeschooling her kids. When she's not reenacting the Boston Tea Party for her kids with stuffed animals and fruit snacks, she loves being active outside, watching baseball games, reading great books, and having friends over for any reason at all. At the end of the day, Lindsay hopes she consistently lives out her faith, builds a strong family culture, and encourages moms around her in a meaningful way.

Marla Hoy

Contributor

Marla is a lifelong Cedar Rapidian who met her husband, Shawn, at the local Dairy Queen in 2005 and married him in 2009. They have three beautiful and spunky daughters (8, 5, 3) who keep them on their toes. Marla is a stay at home mom who spends very little time at home. She loves children and has spent the last 8 years doing in-home daycare and spent 5 years doing foster care. Marla is an adoptive parent, a homeschooling mom, and a very active member of her local church. In whatever free time she can find, Marla enjoys reading a good love story or watching a chick flick.

Missy Drzycimski

Contributor

Missy is an Arizona native who migrated to Iowa on a whim and fell in love. She is a social worker by profession but stepped away from her career to be a pseudo-SAHM to her two girls: 8 year-old Selah and 2 year-old Mercy. She has been married for 10 wonderful years to her TV man husband, Andy, and Bo, the black lab pound puppy completes their family. Most days you’ll find Missy working part-time at a local non-profit, leading worship, and chasing after her children. In her spare time, she enjoys writing/composing music, connecting with other women who are also in the trenches of life, and finding time to get to the giant pile of laundry in the basement. Missy loves a good laugh, crime documentaries, coffee, and naps. She also writes about overcoming strongholds on her blog: Inching Toward Freedom.

Olivia Stoner

Contributor

Olivia grew up just outside of Cedar Rapids in Mount Vernon, IA. She moved to Pella, IA for undergrad and loved working in the library, so she continued her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned her Masters of Library and Information Science. She originally intended to be a higher ed librarian, but an internship at a public library working with kids convinced her to change her plans. After 9 years working as a full time children’s librarian, Olivia is now embarking on an exciting new chapter as a full time mama. She moved back to Iowa after graduate school to marry her highschool friend turned sweetheart, Chris, and they now live in Marion with their two, soon-to-be-three, kids and two cats. She enjoys reading, board games, podcasts, dancing, travel, and she recently earned her credentials as a 200 hour Registered Yoga Instructor.

Renee Bullis

Contributor

Renee was raised an Iowan before moving to Kansas City to play soccer in college and receive her doctorate of physical therapy degree. She and her husband moved back to Iowa a couple of years ago for her husband's residency at the U of I. Renee recently added "twin mom" to her life resume and is also a proud dog mom to her fur baby, Archie. She works as a women's health physical therapist in Cedar Rapids and has a passion for educating, empowering, and supporting women in all phases of life, especially through pregnancy and postpartum. A few of her other loves include a good cup of coffee, a craft brew, all dogs, the Great British Baking Show, and anything outdoors.

Renee Nelson

Contributor

Renee holds three titles that are of utmost importance to her: mom to Cale and Ian; wife to Andy; and Communications Director for Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Although she has a Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, her heart still shines cardinal and gold for Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree. Renee’s a foodie who loves cooking, travel, her friends, her family, the Oxford comma, and happy hour. Cheers!

Robin Hinrichs

Contributor

A good balance of part time fitness training at the Collins Aerospace Rec Center and stay at home mom life is what keeps Robin active. She is the mother of daughter, Bennett (4) and son, Brooks (9months). She met her husband, Robert, of 7 years on a blind date and it was movie like love at first sight but managed a long distance relationship until they became engaged and settled in Marion together after the wedding. You can usually find Robin and her family outdoors camping, fishing, hiking, and exploring. When they aren't outdoors they love musicals, sports, fun events in the area, and all things that include time with family and friends!

Sara Neuhaus

Contributor

Sara is a born and raised Iowan has lived in Marion since she was 6 years old. She and her husband Nathan are raising their two children, Finley (6) and Baker (2). Sara is a full-time barber in downtown Iowa City, but in her free time she loves spending time with her family and friends, hanging out outdoors, and watching tons of sporting events - especially the Hawkeyes!! She’s super excited to connect with all the wonderful moms in the Cedar Rapids area!

Thank you to Sarah Fridono of Sarah Fridono Photography for caputring our team's headshots!