Meet the Team
I lead the Campfire team. I hold a Bachelors in Liberal Arts (Interdisciplinary Studies, woop) from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Education from the University of South Carolina. I now reside in St. Louis, Missouri overseeing Business Development for the Midwest at Washington University’s Olin Business School. Past Improviser. Son, Brother, and Uncle. Generally hopeful and optimistic human.
Campfire is an organization poised for exponential growth. Campfire is looking to bring on a Communications Lead to help shape Campfire into its next iteration of awesome. While we have used grit, savvy, and entrepreneurial passion to establish our physical presence and institutional foundation, but we yearn to reach larger (digital) audiences and have a grander cultural impact on our community as a whole. We’re looking for someone who wants to invest in us and our mission, someone who wants to grow alongside us, and someone who will help us build the systems, processes, and vision to guarantee our impact is more than emotional, but economic.
Operations and Engagement Lead
As a lover of stories told through books, podcasts, and long life chats, I make sure that the Campfire values translate into meaningful experiences for our audiences. Originally from Orlando, I made my way through Washington D.C. and San Diego before landing in St. Louis for graduate school in social work and business administration. When not staffing a Campfire live event, I hope to be found hiking, exploring one of St. Louis’ many free arts and cultural events/institutions, or wrapped in a blanket.
Special Projects Lead
I have never been good at telling stories but I always become captured by them, by the human experiences, and by the way people see their own world. With that energy I help get done the special things that Campfire needs to share stories with you. I was born in Connecticut, moved outside Philadelphia, and then picked up roots to put down in my second home, St. Louis. Home can never get too far because after leaving for a year and a half I have come back to St. Louis for graduate school.
I believe good facilitation creates connection. I have experienced this in classrooms, small groups, dinner parties, and my own Campfire storytelling experience. I have been fortunate to cultivate these skills in my professional life. I have over 15 years of experience in community engagement, international and domestic social work, civic engagement, higher education, training, and facilitation. Currently, I support the integration of theory and practice for social work and public health students. Through these experiences I cultivated a love of engaging people in sharing their experiences and supporting individuals’ in community engagement. You might also find me marveling at fireflies, hosting a scotch club, blowing giant bubbles, using one of my many kitchen gadgets, exploring local restaurants, or piecing together a quilt.
I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, and I’ve called St. Louis home for 14 years. Currently, I’m working toward dual master’s degrees in Social Work and Social Policy at Washington University, where I heed the advice of a trusted professor: “to foster justice, we must change the story.” Serving on Campfire’s Storytelling Faculty means that I get to foster healing and change in ourselves and in our world. When I’m not Campfire-ing, I’m studying, writing, obsessing over my cat, or out supporting the incredible queer art scene of St. Louis.
What is a Campfire Fellow?
- A Campfire Fellow discovers their own wisdom through answering the season question.
- A Campfire Fellows learn public speaking, storytelling, and group facilitation
- A Campfire Fellow shares what they’ve learned and invites others into the discussion.
- A Campfire Fellow supports the development and growth of Campfire.
What do we look for in a Fellow?
- Campfire Fellows must be first and foremost kind.
- To do good work as a Campfire Fellow you need to have a certain level of introspection.
- It’s necessary to be open to sharing your stories.
- It’s important for our Fellows to not only understand Campfire’s work but to also believe in it.
- An ideal fellow has the necessary time available to be able to fully commit.
- The ideal Campfire Fellow has a “sweet spot” of skills and is ready.
Born and raised in the super-cool city of Saint Louis, Delores Martin is an energetic community member, mother, and business woman. Having spent much of her life in insurance sales, she now has fun selling Mary Kay cosmetics. Delores is committed to helping Saint Louis youth. She volunteers for the city’s “ready reader” program in kindergarten classrooms, as well as with the Metro Leadership League where she empowers teen girls to make better life choices. She loves seeing the joy and spark in her listener when they identify with the story she tells.
Deborah Taffa moved to Saint Louis from Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2002. Originally from the Yuma Indian Nation in southeastern California, she is a late bloomer who received her undergrad and graduate degrees in creative writing after having five children. She currently teaches at Webster University and is working on a memoir about her childhood life on the reservation. Visit her at www.deborahtaffa.com