Meet the Team

Alexis Thomas

Alexis Thomas

Owner of the Write Place

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 11, and Shae, 6 going on 16.

In my spare time: Volunteering and coaching for the kids’ 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.

Write 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: None of my own, but I love to dogsit my parents’ corgi.

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 go hiking with my family in the Rocky Mountains. I am also very involved in the Union Street Players, Pella’s community theater.

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

On my bookshelf: There’s a lot of mysteries, nineteenth century British literature, and fantasy novels. Jane Austen is my favorite author.

If I were a type of shoes, I would be: A pair of fuzzy slippers. There is nothing better than a favorite pair of slippers, a cozy blanket, and a cup of tea at the end of the day.

Sarah Purdy

Sarah Purdy

Publishing Consultant + Editor

Michelle Stam

Michelle Stam

Print + Digital Designer

Write Place role: I do print and digital design work and am the primary book designer for our publishing division. I am also on the Pella Area Community & Economic (PACE) Alliance Business Development Council and am the Write Place representative in the community at PACE Alliance events.

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

Family: I grew up with all brothers, which meant I got teased a lot, but that made it fun and shaped who I am today.

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 volunteering for a couple of non-profits I’m passionate about and play in two community concert bands. I also do a lot of meal prepping (eating healthy takes work!) 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.

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 recommended by 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!

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith

Accounting + Client Services

Sarah Naberhaus

Sarah Naberhaus

Part-Time Print + Digital Designer

Write Place role: I work remotely and take on print and digital design projects as the team sends them my way. I also do illustrations and book design work when the opportunity arises.

Family: I am the seventh of nine children—four brothers and four sisters. I also have two brothers-in-law, two sisters-in-law, nine nephews, and two nieces. My siblings and I grew up on a farm outside Earlham, IA, and all but one of us currently live in the central Iowa area.

Pets: My cat Yona. I adopted her when she was eight years old from Furry Friends Refuge, and she is a lot of fun to have around.

In my spare time: I spend a lot of time drawing comics and artwork on my tablet. I also love to write stories for my sisters, ride my bike, and do puzzles on my living room coffee table. On the weekends I volunteer at my church’s café.

On my bookshelf: I mostly own sci-fi and fantasy series, nineteenth century British literature, and lots of manga. But half of my bookshelf is taken up by my collection of puzzles!

Favorite food, drink, or restaurant: I love all sorts of food (as long as it isn’t spicy). But my favorite foods are breakfast foods. I will never say no to pancakes!

I cannot live without: My Faith and my family. Both have gotten me through so many difficult times, and they have helped me get to where I am today.

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