Planning Committee Bios
We are parents of adopted children born in the Marshall Islands. After spending several weeks in the RMI, we all fell in love with the country and culture and are passionate about incorporating that culture into our daily lives. Our backgrounds include: education, business strategy, logistics, medical, and non-profit volunteer & board-of-director experience. This diverse professional expertise provides our committee with a mix of viewpoints and approaches to develop and execute a successful camp.
Kate Gjerstad Howd Kate and her husband Matt live in Minneapolis and have two Marshallese daughters, Esmé and Lucia. They traveled to RMI for 7 weeks in 2009 and again in 2013 for 4 weeks to finalize each adoption. Their adult son Max lives in Portland, OR. Kate was adopted as an infant and began volunteering as an adult in various aspects of the adoption community, which she continues today.
Claire Warren Claire and her family live just outside Minneapolis, MN. She and her husband Jeff spent 7 weeks in the RMI during the Summer of 2011 when they adopted their daughter Grace. During their extended stay, Claire spent many afternoons learning how to make Marshallese jewelry from Grace’s birth mom. In January of 2016, Cooper joined their family to make it complete. In December they traveled to Seattle to celebrate Cooper’s first birthday with his birth family and were honored to participate in a Marshallese Kemem. Jeff & Claire have two adult children and two granddaughters who also live in Minnesota.
Angie Salo Angie, her husband Dave, and their daughter Melia live in a suburb of Minneapolis. They spent 5½ weeks in RMI during their adoption in Nov/Dec 2011. One of their favorite memories of their time in Majuro was picnicking at Laura Beach with Melia's birthmother and extended family.
Kari Brych Kari lives in Duluth, MN. She and her husband, Jim, traveled to RMI in 2012 when they adopted their son Sam. In the spring of 2014 they returned to RMI for another four weeks for the adoption of their daughter Mina. During their second trip to RMI they were able to experience "life on an outer atoll" when the four of them traveled to Arno for a long weekend.