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Soheil Najm

Soheil Najm was born in Baghdad in 1956. He is author of Deflowering the Phrase and I Am Your Carpenter, Oh Light and editor of the anthology Flowers in Flame (2008). In addition, he has translated selections of work by Nikos Kazantzakis, Alasdair Gray, Ted Hughes, and José Saramago. Najm is currently the editor of the Althaqafa Alajnabia ["Foreign Culture"] journal in Baghdad and editor of Gilgamesh, Iraq’s cultural magazine in English.

Motoya Nakamura

Motoya Nakamura was born in Nagoya, Japan, and came to the United States two decades ago after falling in love with J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. He saved money by teaching windsurfing (“because I do not have to wear a tie”) and enrolled in the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri where he studied documentary photography. He has been working as a newspaper photographer ever since: “Working for newspapers gave me tickets to unknown worlds every day.” In 2000, Motoya joined the staff at The Oregonian, and lives in Portland with his wife and two sons.

Allen Nause

Allen Nause, Artists Repertory Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director, is a recipient of the 2003 Governor's Arts Award. He first came to Oregon in 1975 to act with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and joined Artists Rep as the company's first Artistic Director in 1989. Deeply committed to citizen diplomacy and the role of culture as a bridge, Allen Nause has previously directed Our Town in Bangalore, India, led two international tours to Africa and the Near and Middle East, co-directed a bilingual, bicultural production of A Midsummer Night’s in Vietnam , and co-directed Arthur Miller’s  All My Sons with the Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem

Ryan Neil

Ryan Neil’s development in bonsai began long before he made the commitment to a life with little trees. Born and raised in Colorado, Ryan spent his youth amidst the fantastic array of tortured and stunted trees that give the Rocky Mountains their splendid character. It wasn’t until Ryan was in high school that he found bonsai, but his passion for the art grew and led him to California. There he obtained an education in horticulture and met Mr. Ben Oki, who was the catalyst for organizing Ryan’s apprenticeship with world renowned master Mr. Masahiko Kimura. Six years after stepping into the shoes of a bonsai apprentice, Ryan is now a bonsai professional pursuing excellence in the art throughout the United States and abroad.

Hanna Neuschwander

Prior to joining WCR, Hanna Neuschwander wrote about the culture, history, and business of coffee for both mainstream and industry publications including Portland Monthly, The Art of Eating, Modern Farmer, the Oregonian, Roast Magazine and Barista Magazine. She is the author, in 2012, of a guidebook to west coast coffee roasters called Left Coast Roast and has toured the country speaking about coffee at public and industry events.

She grew up in Spokane, Washington and Washington, D.C., and received a degree in English literature from McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 2003. In Montreal, she began her career as a professional communicator working for a book publisher and as managing editor for an academic journal. In Washington, D.C., she worked as a medical editor for a cancer association, helping to translate the latest cancer research into language the public could understand. After moving to Portland in 2006, she worked as an editor for the Oxford Health Alliance in London, producing a comprehensive study of the economic effects of chronic disease in poor countries, and as a copyeditor for Portland’s largest alternative weekly newspaper, Willamette Week. Neuschwander became interested in coffee when she took a part-time job as a barista at Extracto Coffeehouse to meet people in her new hometown. She started writing about coffee for local newspaper and magazines, reviewing local cafes and the burgeoning coffee scene in Portland, whose dynamic food and beverage scene was just taking off.

Reverend Dr. John Nunes

John Arthur Nunes serves as president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief (LWR), a $42 million global organization. With a passion for service and deep commitment to LWR’s core values, John leads staff in 17 countries in working to end poverty, injustice and human suffering worldwide.

Prior to joining LWR, John served on the faculty of Concordia University Chicago as a professor of theology. He has also served as a management consultant, and as an urban parish pastor and community organizer in Dallas, Texas and Detroit, Michigan. A gifted public speaker, John is also a frequent keynote presenter.

“I believe deeply that God created everyone to live in justice, dignity and peace,” John says. “When people’s most basic needs, like food, water and shelter, remain unmet, they are unable to live out their true calling. By working alongside families and communities struggling to lift themselves out of poverty, LWR helps people around the world live into their full promise.”

John holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Mich.; a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada; and from theLutheran School of Theology at Chicago he holds both a Master of Theology and a Doctor of Philosophy with an emphasis in postcolonial identity. John has also received honorary doctorates from Concordia University, Ann Arbor and Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

He currently sits on the board of directors of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations.

John is the author of Voices from the City: Issues and Images of Urban Preaching and, with his wife Monique, the children’s book Little Things Make Big Differences: A Story about Malaria.

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