Who We Are


Nancy Michael, Executive Director


Nancy previously served as Development Director and Director of Annual giving for YouthLink and The Boys and Girls Club of Minneapolis, each with budgets near $2 million. In addition Nancy created and implemented a comprehensive performing arts program for Boys and Girls Clubs that won national awards. She served as an Arts and Education Training Associate for The Boys and Girls Club of America.

Nancy developed a theater arts program for St. Paul Community Education and has worked for nearly 20 years as a theater artist/director for children. Nancy was the original Director of Education for Stepping Stone Theatre, creating residency programs, classes, and collaborations with other local organizations. Nancy was also a trainer for the Beyond Racism Dialogue Series and worked as a freelance fundraising and program development consultant.

Nancy has a bachelors degree in theater arts, a mini-MBA from St. Thomas’ Opus School of Non-Profit Management, and she completed their Executive Leadership Institute.

She served on the council and various committees of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, sat on the St. Paul Inter-Faith Coalition for Racial Justice, and sits on the board of Stevie Ray’s Comedy Improv.

Contact: nancymichael@amazeworks.org

Robin Starch, Director of Education

Starch-Robin-250.pngRobin has been a classroom teacher for the past 20 years specializing in creating and teaching social skills curriculum for students with emotional & behavioral difficulties. Robin has served as a consultant helping teachers create classrooms that are safe and welcoming for ALL students with prevention and intervention strategies that build community and productive environments. She has her Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota and her undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University Mankato in Theater/Speech Education. Robin and her husband were foster parents for over 20 years. Robin is a founder of Black Dirt Theatre and manages their outreach/education program.

Contact: robin@amazeworks.org

Melissa Hendrickx, Program Manager

Hendrickx-Melissa-250.pngMelissa has taught social studies and language arts at the middle and high school levels. Currently, she serves as an adjunct English professor at the University of St. Thomas, where her courses emphasize the intersections between the arts, identity, and globalization. Melissa is responsible for developing and maintaining AMAZE’s infrastructure necessary for successful programming and outreach. She primarily works with the classroom dynamics and elementary curriculum.  She has Bachelor's degrees in English and German, as well as a Master's degree in English.

Contact: melissa@amazeworks.org


Meg Thomas
Meg Thomas,  Early Childhood Training and Program Development
Nora Montañez Patterson
Nora Montañez Patterson, Early Childhood and Spanish Language Training
Liz Loeb
Liz Loeb, Community and Organizational Development
Rebecca Slaby, Elementary and Middle School Training and Development


Judge James Cannon
Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings
Monzong Cha
Monzong Cha
Researcher, Amherst Wilder Foundation
Paige Johnson
Paige Johnson
Associate Account Executive,
Stone Arch Creative
Ryan Kroening
Ryan Kroening
Principal Consultant and Owner, Events by Lady K
Tina Soumare
Tina Soumare
Financial Advisor,
New York Life


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