Meet Our Team

Board

Patricia Linderman: Member at Large

Literary editor Patricia Linderman has degrees in biology and German, and she helps empower women over 45 (especially expat women) as a health coach, teaches German on Zoom, and edits essays and books for Talesmag. She's studied in Germany and has also lived in Trinidad, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador and Mexico with her Foreign Service officer husband and two sons. To read her fiercely independent writing on wellness and weight loss, visit her blog at www.fierceafter45.com.

Patricia has also been quoted HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Molly McHarg: Co-Managing Director

Molly McHarg spent ten years of her early professional career in Qatar working for a number of American universities. During that time, she also held positions on the executive boards of Qatar TESOL and the Middle East North Africa Writing Center Alliance (MENAWCA). More about Molly can be found at www.mollymcharg.weebly.com.

Nicole Schaefer-McDaniel: Co-Managing Director

Nicole Schaefer-McDaniel is a "recovering academic" and current expert international move organizer. She's originally from Germany but now calls the U.S. her home whenever she is not living overseas. Her expat life has taken her to Canada, Brazil, Austria, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Nicole joined Tales from a Small Planet in 2013 as a post report editor and has enjoyed working with a fantastic group of writers and editors on both books published by Tales. You can even find some of her personal essays on the Tales website.

Susan Shirley: Member at Large

Member at Large, Susan Shirley is a cross-cultural leadership advisor, coaching and training individuals and teams worldwide. Susan started her expatriate life in 1990 when she moved to Egypt for a year and ended up staying for ten. After a few years in the US, Susan moved overseas as part of a Foreign Service family and has since lived in Caracas, San Salvador, Cairo (the sequel), Ankara, Vienna, and currently in New Delhi. Susan joined the Talesmag team in 2007, after using the site for making choices about cities and schools when deciding where to go next.

Kathi Silva: Secretary

Kathi Silva joined the Talesmag board in 2013 after being a huge fan of the site for years. She's been internationally mobile for longer than she can remember, changing careers to adapt to her circumstances. In addition to being a freelance author/editor and embassy contractor, she has a Masters' degree in international education and enjoys teaching English as a Foreign Language to all ages. Kathi and her husband have three kids who fear the question 'where are you from?' but appreciate the adventurous life they're living.

Kristi Zilbauer: Managing Finance Director

Kristi Zilbauer joined Tales in 2016 as Treasurer after having relied on the site for several international moves. Her background was in the travel industry prior to joining government service. She loves the nomad lifestyle and wants to help others experience it!

Other Volunteers

Jennifer Dinoia: Real Post Reports Editor

Jen Dinoia has been on the Tales volunteer team for many years, and officially joined as a post report editor in early 2018. She has been hopping around the globe with her family since her husband, Peter, joined the Foreign Service in 1998. Jen and Pete have raised their three children primarily overseas, and are currently enjoying life at their fourth (accompanied) post. Jen has been lucky enough to work in several different jobs abroad (both inside and outside the Mission), and is very excited to have just recently landed her dream job in Human Resources. When not working or editing, she enjoys writing, being outdoors, baking, and, of course, traveling.

Leah Evans: Literary Contributor

Leah Evans is a mother, history teacher, yoga instructor, and perpetual language student. She has worked as a Tales editor for the "A Cup of Culture and a Pinch of Crisis" book and has written a number of other publications for the international community. In 2011 she started a business providing education and relocation resources (including the "American-History-in-a-Box") to expats at www.afterschool.plans.com. Her family began living abroad in 2005 and so far, they have called Tbilisi, Quito, Kyiv, Asuncion, Mexico City, and Guatemala City their home.

Manon Fuller, Newsletter Editor

Manon Fuller has been regularly packing moving boxes ever since her graduation from high school in Germany. She has since lived in the UK, Egypt, Yemen, France, Norway and Austria and aims to add a few more countries to this collection. A journalist by trade, she switched to academia about 15 years ago and currently freelances in research and doctoral student support. That is, of course, unless she is busy taking her family on a new adventure abroad.

Mike Schwefler: Webmaster

Mike is a freelance internet developer. Currently living on Cape Cod, Mike has also called Warsaw, Banjul, Halifax, D.C., New Delhi and Paris home.

Submissions Panel

Sarah Fogarty: Submissions Panel

Sarah Fogarty joined the Tales team a decade or so ago as a post report editor when she was living and working abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands. She returned to the US in 2008 and shortly thereafter, took on a real job from which she has just recently retired. One of her great pleasures is reading the submitted essays Tales receives from hopeful writers who share their always interesting outlooks on their lives as expats. Deep in the Tales archives you can even find one of her essays and no, she never pursued that fledgling ballet career she wrote about.

Annette Hallowell: Submissions Panel

Annette Hallowell was one of the original members of Tales from a Small Planet representing the corporate ‘trailing’ spouse. Annette got her first taste of expatriate life in 1977 when she spent a year in university in Switzerland. She has since lived in 6 other countries and now lives in Merida, Mexico. Annette has worked remotely for 8 years as a content writer, course developer, corporate trainer and ESL teacher. She is presently launching an expat success course for first-time expatriates who are moving on their own.

Savannah Hobbs: Submissions Panel

Savannah Hobbs has worked as a Spanish teacher, translator and editor, blogger, wellness coach, and social worker, among numerous other professions. She’s spent time living in Spain and is lucky to have pockets of friends and family all over the world. She is currently working on her PhD in Nutrition, a profession she hopes will allow her to serve in all corners of the world. She’s loved working with Tales over the years and enjoys hearing others’ stories and experiences!

Sonja Keller: Submissions Panel

Sonja Keller was a newspaper reporter, then a political lobbyist in New York State for more than a decade before moving to Washington, meeting her husband and embarking on a 26-year cobbled-together “career” of part-time editing or having no fixed job at all. Newly retired in 2018, her home base is now in the US, after bouncing around to postings in the Central African Republic, Germany, Cambodia, Chile, Afghanistan, France, and then Germany again. Her three children both like and loathe their TCK status. At least the dog remained happy no matter where they lived.

Rachel Peterson: Submissions Panel

Rachel Peterson turned a college year abroad in Spain into a lifelong love of overseas HR/OD development work starting in Latin America, North Africa and the Balkans. She met her now husband in Bosnia in 1997 and since then they have following each other to Bangladesh, Jordan, Georgia, Armenia, Zimbabwe and now Kenya. Their collective short-term work locations alone would fill a page. Rachel has been an editor and contributor to Tales since her days in Bosnia and believes that the Real Post Reports should be read by everyone who travels to a new country! Her day job involves helping people in international leadership roles become more successful: www.RachelPeterson.com

Founders

Francesca Huemer Kelly: Co-Founder

Francesca Huemer Kelly has accompanied her husband, Ambassador Ian Kelly (now retired), to Milan, Leningrad, Moscow, Belgrade, Vienna (twice), Ankara, Rome, Brussels and Tbilisi, as well as to Washington, and now, Chicago. She has worked as a freelance writer (Salon, Family Circle and more) and an editor for Foreign Service Journal, and is currently a college application essay coach at essayadvantage.net. Classically trained as a singer, she has performed in professional ensembles overseas and in the U.S. for 40 years, and is the mother of four grown children.

Fritz Galt: Co-Founder

Fritz Galt has accompanied his spouse on numerous overseas assignments for the U.S. Department of State. He is happy that Talesmag continues to thrive, listening to the voices of a community of people who forge a life overseas. He wishes the website well and hopes it continues its spirit of openness, irreverence and interactivity.

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