Alexis Thomas

Lexie Thomas - owner

Nickname: Lexie. No one really calls me Alexis. I just sign my name that way.

Write Place role: Owner of the Write Place. I lead project management and content strategy for our business clients and do quite a bit of writing. And when Michelle lets me (or more accurately, as workloads allow) I take advantage of opportunities to design. 

Family: Married to Jeremy. Two kids. Asher, nearly 8, and Shae, 3 going on 16. 

In my spare time: Volunteering and coaching for Asher’s sports teams. Squeezing in a run whenever I can! 

On my bookshelf: Lots of historical fiction. It’s hard to convince me to re-watch a movie, but I’ve read Gone With the Wind three times.

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: Something spicy from any restaurant. The hubby has placed a ban on spicy food at home, so I only get it when we go out!

If I were a type of shoe, I would be: Running shoes. Nothing else is comfortable for a full day running around a gym with a little sister at a wrestling meet. 

Sarah Purdy

Sarah Purdy - editor and publishing consultantWrite Place role: I am an editor and publishing consultant, as well as coordinator for the Book Place, our book publishing division.

Family: My parents are both from Ankeny, Iowa, which is where I grew up. I have one sister, who is two years and 364 days older than me.

Pets: I have a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Ally, who happens to be one of my best friends.

In my spare time: I love to read, which I suppose isn’t too surprising! I also like to run, watch a lot of Masterpiece Classic and BBC, and spend time hiking with my family. I have been involved in several community theater productions in Pella.

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: My favorite restaurant is Noah’s Ark in Downtown Des Moines. I love Italian food, and their spaghetti is delicious!

On my bookshelf: I have a passion for 19th century British literature. I have read everything by Jane Austen, and I am currently trying to read all of Charles Dickens.

If I were a type of shoes, I would be: A pair of Chuck Taylors. I love vintage clothes, and you can get them in so many awesome colors!

Michelle Stam

Michelle Stam - print and digital designer

Write Place role: I do print and digital design work and am the primary book designer for our publishing division. I also get to represent the Write Place in the community at Pella Area Community & Economic Alliance events. 

Nickname: I’m called ’Chelle by various family members.

Family: Parents, three brothers, three sisters-in-law, two nieces, and one nephew. As the only girl growing up with all brothers, I got teased a lot, but that made it fun and shaped who I am today. (If you notice I like to joke around with people–you can thank my brothers for that!) 

Pets: None currently. Growing up, we had two cats: Duchess and Mittens. Duchess was true to her name, thinking she should get everything she wanted. Mittens on the other hand was very laid back and didn’t seem to care about anything in particular, except for food.

In my spare time: I enjoy regularly volunteering for the organization Train to Inspire which helps make the seemingly impossible a reality for people with disabilities. I also do a lot of meal prepping (eating healthy takes work!), have some passion projects I work on, hang out with friends, and like to relax by reading or watching a favorite show/chick-flick.  

If I were a type of shoe, I would be: Comfortable heels. They are classy, but practical. I like to think of myself that way.

I cannot live without: God and my family. They are both such important parts of my life; I cannot imagine living my life without them. 

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith - Bookkeeper

Write Place role: Bookkeeping, payroll, human resources—a little of this and that.

Family: Husband, Steve, and two boys, Justin and Mitchell.

Pets: A black lab mix named Cleo.

In my spare time: I enjoy traveling with my family, helping my kids with their Boy Scout services projects (oldest son is an Eagle Scout), and I am attempting a new hobby of downhill skiing–which is recommendation from my kids!

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: Pizza and strawberry lemonade.

On my bookshelf: Lone Survivor. A recommendation from my oldest son.

If I were a type of shoe, I would be: Sandals. They are casual and remind me of summer—something we see a little less of in Minnesota.

I cannot live without: My family!

Our Founder

Carol Van Klompenburg

Carol Van Klompenburg - former owner

Write Place role: Retired founder, who enjoys watching the great and greater job the staff continues to do.

Family: Married to Marlo. Mother of three sons. Proud grandmother to three grandchildren. 

In my spare time: Flower gardening, learning Spanish, volunteering in Nicaragua and being shocked by how little Spanish I have actually mastered.

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: Favorite food—anything made by someone else. Favorite drink: decaf skinny hazelnut latte. Favorite restaurant at the moment: HuHot Mongolian Grill. Hmmm. There’s a paradox. HuHot required me to do half of the food preparation…

On my bookshelf: The obvious answer: a timeless collection of literature compiled as the Bible. Besides that, whatever I am reading at the moment almost always looms largest for me. One of my all-time favorite novels is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.

If I were a type of shoe, I would be: A horseshoe. People would believe I brought good events with me wherever I went.

I cannot live without: Placing words to paper to heal, to learn, to create, to share.