Elaine Dalton ~ Former General Young Women’s President
Elaine was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in English from BYU. Elaine married Stephen E. Dalton in the Salt Lake Temple and they are the parents of six children. She enjoys reading, running and hiking with her family, and dancing with her granddaughters. Elaine served as the General Young Women’s President from 2008-2013 and has a deep admiration for the young women around the world.
Hank Smith ~ Religion Professor & EFY Speaker
Hank, a native of St. George, Utah, is known for his sense of humor and spiritual insight. He served a mission in California and is now a religion professor at BYU. He earned an MBA from Utah State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. Hank is well-known for his many Talks on CD like Do’s and Don’ts of Dating, Break Up With the World, and I Love My Friends!, all available through Deseret Book. Hank is a favorite speaker at EFY and Education Week. He enjoys running marathons and eating lots of ice cream (which is why he runs marathons). Hank and his wife, Sara, live in Mapleton, Utah with their five children.
Carla Jorgensen ~ Time to Blossom Co-Founder
Carla is co-founder of Time to Blossom. She is a certified Life Coach and has facilitated seminars, conferences, and retreats. Carla is a life-long learner and has recently taken classes in non-profits, marketing, drawing, computers, ballroom dancing, karate, and improvisational acting. She married her high school sweetheart, Kyle, and they have raised five children. Carla started a jewelry manufacturing business, where her jewelry is sold coast to coast. She has been a partner in a finance company and an active member of the Board of Directors for various companies. She read over 175 books in one year while she searched for her passion, and she found that passion to be Time to Blossom. She recently served as a Service Missionary for the church and created Time to Blossom’s sister site, My Time to Blossom.
Jef Rawls ~ Comedian, Actor & Charismatic Connector
Jef has been acting and performing in film, TV, video, commercials, and on stage for more than 25 years. Jef is the owner and producer of the Jester’Z Improv Comedy Show, where some of his favorite people to perform with have been the cast of Studio C, Lindsey Stirling, and Sean Astin. He is currently producing and hosting an interview show called “Inside the Laughter” and got the opportunity to interview Dick Van Dyke (from the movie Mary Poppins). Jef played the role of Judas Iscariot in the Mesa Easter Pageant and has done numerous other film projects with the Church (including Mormon Battalion in San Diego). Jef is the father of 6 kids: Jeferson Hunter, Lincoln McKay, Rosevelt Elizabeth, Pierce Monson, Ford Hinckley, and Truman Kimball.
Dr. Kris Heap ~ Dentist & Motivational Speaker
Kris is a dentist and motivational speaker from Mesa, Arizona. He is the creator of the popular self-improvement website Successify.net, where he gives practical advice for people looking to make positive changes in their life. Kris has traveled around the world providing healthcare services to impoverished people who don’t have access to care. His personal mission statement is, “To inspire the greatest amount of change in the greatest number of people.” He has served as the bishop of his ward and absolutely loves working with the youth. He is married to his amazing wife, Sarah, and they have four, overly-energetic children.
Michelle Gifford ~ Beauty Revived Founder & Mormon Mompreneur Co-Founder
Michelle is the founder of the non-profit photography movement, Beauty Revived, that shares the stories of real women with real beauty. She is also one of the founders of Mormon Mompreneur, a podcast and website dedicated to guiding the faith-filled mompreneur to create a business that succeeds and fulfills. She lives in Southern California with her husband and five children. Michelle loves taking pictures and eating guacamole (not at the same time) and will never turn down a dance party.
Julie Hout ~ EFY Speaker
David Bowman ~ Artist & Author
David was born and raised in the California Bay Area. He served a mission in the Philippines and graduated from BYU with a degree in Illustration. David LOVES working with the youth! He used to teach seminary full-time and currently teaches institute. David has been a counselor and teacher at numerous EFYs, youth conferences, and firesides. He wrote and illustrated the children’s Book of Mormon series titled, “Who’s Your Hero?” and his most recent kids books are “The Firmly Founded: Core LDS Doctrine Made Easy for Kids” series. He has also written and illustrated two books geared towards teenagers called, “What Would the Founding Fathers Think?” and “Dude, Don’t be a Lemuel”. David is the artist of the Christian fine art series titled “Expressions of Christ”. He lives in Snowflake, Arizona with his beautiful wife and five adorable kids (well, most of the time they’re “adorable”). David loves to golf, snow ski, long-board, camp, eat red vines, sing at the top of his lungs with the radio while driving, snuggle with his wife, and have “wrestle daddy time” with his kids.
Tiffany Cook ~ My Time to Blossom Author & Wardrobe Stylist
Tiffany is a certified Fashion Stylist and the style expert for the My Time to Blossom blog. Tiffany received her cosmetology license and in 2010 graduated Cum Laude from ASU. She has styled for commercial video projects and books, coordinated fashion shows, and helped women of all ages discover their personal style. She started her styling business, Grown Up Dress Up, to share an approachable take on runway trends and instill self-confidence in women by helping them discover their individual styles. Whether she is wearing high heels for a date night with her husband or ballet flats to chase after her two sons, Tiffany is an advocate of dressing well for every occasion. Learn more about Tiffany on her website or YouTube channel.
Ashley Johnson ~ My Time to Blossom Author
Ashley is a mother, a marathon runner, pro kitchen party dancer, recipe entrepreneur, and llama race blue ribbon winner. She hopes to spread joy, teach happiness, and start the occasional dance party. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from ASU. Ashley left a mission call in 2013 to marry her true love, Marc, and they have one little girl (soon to be two!).
Rhea Maynes ~ My Time to Blossom Author & Investment Manager
Rhea graduated from BYU in 2013 at age 20, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology, with plans to join the medical field. After choosing another career path, she began pursuing finance and now works for Goldman Sachs in Investment Management. With a continued love for science, Rhea volunteers at science fairs and as a Sterlings Scholar Semi-Finalist judge. In her spare time, she travels with her husband, studies basic photography, models, practices yoga, and reads. Rhea also enjoys styling, exploring world cultures, and teaching.
Melissa is a wife, mom to two beautiful, adopted children, personal trainer, Arizona weightlifting record holder, ultra marathon runner, and lover of ice cream. She loves helping others find joy in physical activity and watching as her clients accomplish their goals. Melissa has learned through personal experience that being healthy directly affects one’s ability to serve others. She has been able to serve in the Young Women organization and has loved watching and helping the youth gain strong testimonies of Christ. While serving others is Melissa’s everyday mission, her favorite people to help are her family. She and her husband, Aaron, have been married for 10 years and are so proud of their kids!
Aubrey Kashiwagi ~ My Time to Blossom Author & Calligraphy Artist
Aubrey is passionate about a few things: motherhood, healthy living, and creativity. She was married to her sweetheart in the Mesa Arizona Temple in 2013 and since then has had two children who teach her everything she knows! Motherhood is her favorite blessing, and she feels that it has been her largest growing opportunity yet. Aubrey recently created a small business as a freelance calligraphy artist. She loves it because it allows her to stay home with her kids and have an outlet into the world of art! Aubrey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Development from ASU and says that her degree comes in handy on a daily basis. She is always striving to become her best self and is a firm believer in the eternal nature of families, which is why she has been a lifelong member of the LDS church. In her spare time, Aubrey loves to journal and blog, and she is often found telling silly jokes or dancing in the bathroom to get her family to laugh. Learn more about Aubrey on her website, Instagram, and personal Instagram.
Gabrielle Rush ~ My Time to Blossom Author & Makeup Artist
Gabrielle is a writer and makeup artist who makes a living managing a medical practice. She is the loudest laugher in any group and loves making friends. She is a pizza connoisseur, mix tape maestro, and a pop culture aficionado. Some might call her a know-it-all, but she prefers the term “intellectual”. Someday she will be a helicopter parent to human children, but for now she’s the mother of two cats, Lemon and Hobbes. She lives with her husband/best friend in the city where she was born, Mesa, Arizona, and someday hopes to fulfill her lifelong dream of living in the Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland.
Shye Petersen ~ Etiquette & Hospitality Specialist
Shye owns and operates Cookies, Cakes and Creations…by Shye. She is passionate about creating delicious desserts, scrapbooks, hair pieces, and home interior design items. She has been in crafting and boutiques for the past 20 years. She has directed Teen Elect, teaching young men and young women manners and etiquette. She has served as a Relief Society President, Enrichment Leader, Primary Teacher, and in Young Women’s. Shye loves to serve and especially loves to help young women find who they truly are. She is the mother of five beautiful girls and a proud grandma to three grandsons.
Cindy Spencer ~ Team Building Specialist
Cindy is a cancer survivor of whose enthusiasm for life has always kept her involved in the community and local schools. A native of Salt Lake City, Cindy was head cheerleader at Skyline High School and later attended LDS Business College. After volunteering in the Emergency Room, Cindy decided to return to school to become a Registered Nurse. Cindy is married and has five children. She has been PTO President and has served as a Young Women’s leader for several years.
Julie Lerch ~ Drama & Piano Teacher
As a high school drama teacher in Tucson, Arizona, Julie founded Creative Kids Piano Studio, a private business teaching drama and piano. Julie has been a teacher for over ten years and has also been actively involved as a speaker and director at several Girl’s Camps, Treks, Stake Road Shows, Young Women’s activities, and Stake Youth Conferences. While growing up in a small farming community in Alberta, Canada, Julie studied piano at the Royal Conservatory. She graduated from BYU in Theatre Arts Education and served a mission in Northern England. Julie now lives in Gilbert, Arizona where she raises her four children.
Joyce Brinton ~ Life Coach & Author
Joyce lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband. She has four grown children, three are married and one is a recent BYU graduate. Her happy thoughts are six grandsons and two granddaughters; they bring her a great deal of joy. Joyce received her Master’s Degree in Counseling from BYU. She was a stay at home mom until her kids decided to grow up. Most of her work has been with empowering women to see their divine self and love who they are. In the past six years, Joyce has had the opportunity to teach at a women’s leadership academy in Henan, China called The World Academy for the Future of Women. It has become her passion and she has been five times. She will be publishing her book, “I Found Myself in China”, this year. Joyce is co-owner and teacher of the Muscle Testing Academy alongside her husband and has a life coaching practice. The majority of her work in the church has been in Young Women or Relief Society and she currently serves as a personal progress advisor. Joyce loves to teach, bike ride, hike, swim, and cook.
Young women participate in a large scale service project every year to help women and children in their community and the world. Past projects have benefitted African orphans, South American flood victims, the Child Crisis Center, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Banner Children’s Hospital, and Helen’s Hope Chest. The service project last year was at Feed My Starving Children. It was such a highlight of the week that we have decided to go back again this year.
Jester’Z Improv Comedy Show
Young women love to laugh and have fun so Jester’Z is always a crowd favorite. Jester’Z Improv Comedy specializes in clean comedy for all ages. They perform for local audiences every weekend, teach improv classes, and perform for corporations all across Arizona, Utah, California and Idaho. Jester’Z has been coming to the conference since the beginning and always puts on a great show.
Young women get to walk the runway in their favorite outfit and show the confidence and poise they have gained during the week. Participation is optional, but whether cheering from the audience or strutting down the runway, they have a fabulous time. DownEast Basics has sponsored the show and provided their latest fashions for some young women to model since the very first conference.
Young women are given many opportunities to learn new skills they can use throughout their lives. There are various craft projects throughout the conference so young women can use their creativity to make something beautiful and memorable. They make tissue paper flowers to decorate the main stage and walkway and have created fun things to take home like scrapbooks, wall art, and jewelry.
Young women get to release their energy before bedtime by dancing the nights away at the all-girl dance parties. After spending their days learning, serving, and making friends, the young women release all their energy while dancing to fun music provided by our favorite DJ’s from Prime Time Music. The parties are brought to the next level with a mirror ball, disco lighting, bubble machine, and sing-a-longs.