Who We Are


Emily C. Skaftun took over the reins of this newspaper in January 2014, and has since seen it through two changes of URL, a near-death experience, and a change of name and frequency—while attempting to get up to speed in Norwegian. In her spare time (ha!) Emily plays roller derby and writes science fiction and fantasy stories. You can see links to a number of her published stories at her much-neglected website, www.eskaftun.com.


John Erik Stacy grew up in Wayzata, Minn., but soon moved to Oslo, Norway. He studied at the University of Oslo and married his wife, Robin, in Oslo. They became friends with Norwegians and American colleagues alike. In 2003, they moved to Seattle, Robin’s home town. They visit Norway often and participate in the Scandinavian community in Seattle.



Linn Chloe Hagstrøm (23) is from Bergen, Norway, and is currently part of the editorial team at The Norwegian American. She graduated with a double BA in Anthropology and Global Studies from Pacific Lutheran University in 2015. Her hobbies include volleyball, piano, and walking the dog.



Daytona Strong is The Norwegian American’s Taste of Norway editor. She writes about her family’s Norwegian heritage through the lens of food at her Scandinavian food blog, www.outside-oslo.com. Find her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OutsideOslo), Twitter (@daytonastrong), Pinterest (@daytonastrong), and Instagram (@daytonastrong).



Julia Andersen is a freelance writer based in New York. She is a Columbia University graduate and has a particular affection for Scandinavian films.




Melinda Bargreen is a Seattle-based writer and composer whose career at The Seattle Times began in 1977. Her choral works include the “Norwegian Folksong Suite.” Melinda contributes to many publications and is the author of Seattle Opera’s forthcoming 50-year history book. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the UW, and a doctorate in English from the University of California, Irvine.



Patricia Barry holds a computer science degree from Cornell and worked at IBM. She has written a family memoir and has extensive experience with newsletter editing. Though not of Norwegian descent, her family has developed a life-long love of Norway that began when hosting an exchange student through Youth for Understanding. She enjoys writing about her travels to Norway, where she visits her former exchange student and family and also her son who resides in Molde. She lives in New York State.


Terje Birkedal


M. Michael Brady was educated as a scientist and with time turned to writing and translating.





Carla Danziger


Gary G. Erickson





Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.



Christy Olsen Field was on the editorial staff of the Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012, and the Taste of Norway page was her favorite section. Today, she is a freelance grantwriter for small to mid-size nonprofits with her business, Christy Ink. Learn more at www.christy.ink.



Sunny Gandara has over 15 years experience in marketing and PR, both in the music and beverage industry. In 2008 she founded her own company, Fork and Glass, a food and wine event and consulting company, located in the Hudson Valley of New York. She now focuses on education, giving seminars and classes to private and corporate groups. Sunny, a native of Norway, is a professionally trained cook and holds a diploma in Wines & Spirits from the WSET.


Shelby Gilje is a longtime Pacific Northwest journalist who wrote for The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Bremerton Sun (now The Kitsap Sun), and The Anchorage Daily News.




Rosalie Grangaard Grosch was born into a Norwegian/American family in Decorah, Iowa. A graduate of Luther College, she taught music and English in American schools, taught English and developed a team teaching program at Trinity School, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was a drama/music/English teacher at Balob Teachers’ College, Lae, Papua New Guinea and Activity Director/Consultant for a long term care facility in St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN. She is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul and has written numerous articles for publication.


Kari Heistad is a senior English major at St. Olaf College, a small Norwegian liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota. Kari loves writing, coffee, theatre, and folk tales, and hopes to one day live in a house made of kransekake.


Victoria Hofmo


Leslee Lane Hoyum has been a reporter for versions of this newspaper since 2002. Born and raised in Minnesota, she attended the University of Minnesota and University of Oslo. An honorary citizen of Sarpsborg, Norway, she does PR for that city’s millennium committee. Leslee is or has been involved with almost every Norwegian-American organization, including Sons of Norway, Sons of Norway Foundation, Ski For Light, NAHA, Leif Eriksson International Festival and Mindekirken. Leslee is a co-founder of Lakselaget and a founding member of Norway House, and has been decorated by His Majesty King Harald with the St. Olav Medal. She currently lives in Rockford, Minn., with husband George.


Roy Jorgensen


Scott Larsen is a Roosevelt historian. He will be delivering talks about FDR and Crown Princess Martha in the Pacific Northwest. If your group is interested in having Scott speak, email scottlarsen@shaw.ca.




Born in Stavanger, Thor A. Larsen immigrated to New York City with his parents in 1948. Now retired from a 40-year career as physicist and engineer, Thor draws and paints, and writes travel and arts articles for a local publication. He’s been married to Arlene for 49 years, and they have two adult children and three grandsons.



Lexi is the owner and founder of the Old Ballard Liquor Co. in Seattle, which produces more varieties of aquavit than any distillery in the U.S. After growing up with the Scandinavian-American farming culture of the Skagit Valley and a three-year residency in Sweden, she settled back into Seattle life where she now operates the Old Ballard distillery and a Nordic café and fine dining Scandinavian restaurant called Tumble Swede, and travels the U.S. teaching classes on contemporary Scandinavian food and drink.


Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, DC. She values her Norwegian heritage.



David Moe was born in Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 1964 and received his M.A. degree from San Francisco State University in 1975. He spent four years in the Navy and 32 years in the insurance business. He is married to his wife, Thordis, and they have two daughters and four grandchildren. They now live in Sun City, California.



Maria Stordahl Nelson is a Seattle-area food writer, photographer, and recipe developer. She shares her love of all things sweet, savory, and sometimes Nordic at www.pinkpatisserie.net.




David Nikel is a freelance writer based in Norway. He runs the popular www.lifeinnorway.net blog and is the author of the upcoming MOON Norway guidebook.




Ken Nordan


Sada Reed is an assistant professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix. A former sports reporter, she specializes in teaching and researching sports journalism practices and organization. She earned her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees at the University of Minnesota.



Barbara Rostad, a North Dakota Norwegian, has been writing for The Norwegian American since 2014. A versatile writer with degrees in journalism and sociology plus teaching experience in sociology, English, and speech, Barbara has published articles and poems, edited newsletters, compiled a book about Ski for Light, and received writing awards from Idaho Writer’s League. A 45-year member of Sons of Norway, she’s often both newsletter editor and cultural director.


Rolf Kristian Stang


Judith Gabriel Vinje


Dianna Walla is a writer and knitwear designer living and studying in Tromsø, Norway. She writes about baking at cakeandvikings.com and about knitting at paper-tiger.net. Find her on Instagram at @cakeandvikings.



Larrie Wanberg writes features that draw on eight decades of life experience highlighted by three career recognitions: As a researcher through a Fulbright Scholarship to Norway in 1957; As a health care provider in behavioral science through a 27-year military career and awarded upon retirement in 1981 the highest non-combat medal, the Legion of Merit medal; As an educator, through a 50-year career in college education, culminating in the 2010 Public Scholar award at the UND Center for Community Engagement.