BRAVA Contributors


Laura Anne Bird

Mom, fundraiser, blogger and ardent reader, Laura is also a reviewer for Readers Lane. When she’s not helping people find their perfect book, she profiles local women and their literary choices in BRAVA’s “On Her Bookshelf” column. Check out what Laura is currently reading by following her on Instagram @laura_at_the_library.

Amy Carlson

Amy Carlson has been reporting the weather at NBC-15 for the past 30 years.  One of the best parts of her job is meeting the fascinating people who make the Madison area such a vibrant place to live.  Amy and her husband are almost empty nesters and look forward to exploring more of the Madison restaurant scene once they can reserve a table for just two.

Tina Hallis

Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is a professional speaker, author and founder of The Positive Edge.  She uses the science of positivity to improve morale, teamwork and ultimately productivity by teaching people how to shift the way they think about their jobs, colleagues and customers. The result is more resilience, less stress, improved relationships at work and at home and increased positive performance.

Erin Hueffner

Erin Hueffner is a writer who lives in McFarland, Wisconsin. A lifelong Badger fan, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Erin started her career with the Wisconsin Alumni Association. She loves our city, and you can often find her boating on Lake Mendota in the summertime.

Jeanette Hurt

Jeanette Hurt is an award-winning writer and author of a dozen books, including the critically acclaimed Drink Like a Woman (Seal Press 2016) as well as the upcoming The Cider Rules (Skyhorse Publishing 2019) and The Wisconsin Cocktail Book (University of Wisconsin Press 2019).

Emily Leas

Emily relishes the deep dive into a story, and has been a freelance writer for close to 15 years starting in Michigan, then Montana and now Madison for the last eight years. She also loves seeing new places with her husband, roaming the dog park with her puppy, Duncan and paddleboarding!

Molly Nagappala

Molly Nagappala is a writer, a lifelong Wisconsinite, an aspiring world traveler and a recovering bureaucrat. She lives in Madison with her husband and unfortunately-named cat, Isis. You can find her being an intersectional feminist killjoy on Twitter and a crazy cat mom on Instagram, both @sconniemolly.


Megan Roessler

Megan Roessler is a Madisonian who studied Art History at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Since graduating in 2017, she has worked as an intern with the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society, Taliesin Preservation, BRAVA Magazine and the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Megan is interested in environmental history and material culture. She writes and illustrates comics in her spare time.

Rae Sanders

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Rae Sanders is a freelance journalist inspired by women who ride the fringe and make a statement to the world. Rae has a journalism certificate from Madison College, and has written for Isthmus and In Business magazine. She also works in TV journalism with a focus on politics. Her hobbies include exploring the music scene and the great outdoors.


Hywania Thompson

Hywania is a copywriter and native of Chicago. She moved to Madison in 2005 to work as a radio news reporter. She enjoys volunteering, traveling and listening to live music.


Candice Wagener

Candice loves writing about great food, unique places and inspiring people, and is a regular contributor to BRAVA and Isthmus. A graduate of the UW J-School, she didn’t plan to settle in Wisconsin when she first moved from the Chicago area, but she fell in love and can’t think of a better place to raise her two boys. Follow her on Instagram @candicewagener.



Kaia Calhoun

I am a photographer that sees the beauty in life all around me all the time. It is my goal to capture my clients as they truly are and their beauty within that scope. I strive to serve them lovingly, creating a series of images they can cherish forever. I am also a fun-loving, bubbly kind of person, so we always have some fun!

Sunny Frantz

Sunny is a former BRAVA gal now using her marketing, graphic design and styled photography experience to help small businesses connect with their ideal audience. She lives with her husband and two kids on Madison’s West Side. They are mid-century modern enthusiasts and are always dreaming up their next big DIY house project. You can follow her work on Instagram @sunny.frantz.

Hillary Schave

Hillary is a coffee loving, hilarious pro photographer who always puts her left shoe on first. She loves spending time outside gardening, camping and exploring with her husband and son and looks forward to traveling worldwide with them someday soon! Her small business, Azena Photography, specializes in weddings, portraits and boudoir out of her beautiful studio on the east side of Madison.

Valerie Tobias

Valerie’s nearly 20-year career in photojournalism has put her and her camera in front of U.S. Presidents and celebrities, on the scene of major national events, and on the sidelines of countless Packers games. More importantly though, she has cherished the opportunity to visually tell the stories of thousands of everyday people across the nation. Valerie lives in Madison with her husband and daredevil son.

Shanna Wolf

Shanna is a freelance photographer with a background in advertising and communications, specializing in portrait, documentary and interior photography. Her style is bright and clean and she is drawn to simple aesthetics. She loves the storytelling of still photography and being a contributor to projects that are meaningful and positive. Her personal work is focused on travel and wandering, using her camera as her sketchbook.


Stacey AndersonStacey is a mom, wife, squirrel lover, graphic designer, illustrator and maker who loves a good old fashioned. She’s spent her 20+ year career doing everything from designing floats for the Rose Bowl Parade to creating toys and dolls for 5 to 10-year-old girls. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now lives in Mount Horeb with her husband, daughter and cat menagerie.

Katrina Simyab

Katrina is a stylist, model and the social marketing brains behind her business Inspo & Co. She uses digital content to explore fashion, beauty and talk openly about her own self-love journey. Born and raised in Madison, Katrina enjoys collaborating with other creative babes, traveling with friends and spending quality time with her parents and four younger siblings.