Who is the TLA Network?


Members of the TLA network include poets, novelists, therapists and counselor, ministers, grant-writers, youth development workers, computer programmers, school teachers, English professors, master composers, and folks from many walk of life that want to connect to each other and support the development of language used for liberation, growth, and celebration. For more information about some of the individuals in our Membership, a great place to look is in the TLA Practitioners Directory & Map.

Managing Director

Hanne Weedon comes to TLAN with 20 years of leadership and program development experience in not-for-profit and government-funded organizations. A longtime community, arts and social justice advocate, she resonates with the goals and values of the TLA Network. A first-generation American, Hanne's ties to family and friends overseas run deep, and her appreciation for, understanding of and dedication to building representative, inclusive and diverse communities is a core aspect in all her work. To say her name (it's Norwegian): Hah-nah. 


TLA Network is governed by a council, the membership of which is arrived upon annually. In council, we come together as equals, all drawing on our gifts and working with our challenges cooperatively to forward the mission of the Network. The council convenes by phone regularly and in person at the annual meeting.

Council Members & Committee Chairs for 2019-2020 are Liz Burke-Cravens (Chair), Caleb Winebrenner, Joe Maldonado, Lyn Ford (classes committee), Brenda Magnetti (membership), Wendy Thompson (certification committee),  Beth Turner, Vanita Leatherwood (blog curator), and Lesley Dobis with ex-officio member Hanne Weedon. Additionally, Joanna Tebbs Young serves as Certification Chair and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is classes chair.

Liz Burke-Cravens is a poet, interdisciplinary educator, and writing coach passionate about narrative and arts-based approaches to personal and social transformation. She works with adult students, working-class identified groups, university faculty, LGBTQIA+ communities, women living with the aftermath of sexual assault and harassment, feminist activists, and poets/writers of all kinds. She serves as TLAN's Council Chair and on the Teaching TLA Certification Committee.

 Caleb Winebrenner is a storyteller, poet, and teaching artist who explores the intersections of the arts and humanities. He is fascinated by theknowledge and wisdom in a room when people gather to learn and create, and he believes that teaching is a form of TLA.He serves as TLAN's conference chair, on the classes and the Teaching TLA certification committees.

Joe Maldonado is a supervisor at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York and has a degree in counseling from Long Island University. A long-time TLA practitioner, he serves on TLAN's social media committee. He also does the TLA Network podcast series.

Empathy.  It’s a powerful experience to understand someone else’s condition from their point of view Brenda Magnetti has built a strong industry reputation for being one of the best brand experience planning experts to amplify the role of empathy in changing buyer behavior. She spent her most recent years developing award winning digital marketing and commerce strategies for Beltone, Glanbia Sports Nutrition, Michelin, Wrigley, J&J, Unilever and Mondelez International. As a life-long learning advocate, Brenda just finished advanced marketing strategy, analytics and technology certification from Northwestern.  And she recently earned her Brain-Based Coaching credentials from the NeuroLeadership Institute on her path toward ICF certification and her consulting practice.  These additional expertise areas amplify Brenda’s commitment to the power of words and her focus on Right Livelihood in both corporate and non-profit settings. 

Many titles, one big ol' heart, Lyn Ford is: a fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller; a teaching artist and story coach; an award-winning author; a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, and a great-grandma. Lyn has facilitated TLA online classes and Power of Words Conference workshops, and, through her "Heartworks,"  invests in the promise of empathy, creative thinking and world community.

Lesley Dobis: Writing stories about my dad lead me to my current work as a financial educator and coach.  Being a massage therapist for the last 20 years taught me the importance of money management to survive in any entrepreneurial profession.  In my spare time, I blog, share stories, and raise chickens on my Fabulous Farmette in northern New York state.

Wendy Thompson, MFA is an arts educator and freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest. A self-proclaimed ARTivist, she employs all the arts to facilitate transformation and healing. Her TLA workshops support a variety of communities including LGBTQ+, faith groups, folks in recovery, and children of immigrants facing deportation.In addition to the TLAN Council, she also serves on the TLA Certification Committee.

Advisor: Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg founded TLA at Goddard College and the Power of Words conference. The former poet laureate of Kansas, she is the author of over 20 books of poetry, memoir, and fiction, and offers workshops, coaching, presentations, and readings widely. With Laura Packer, she co-leads Your Right Livelihood.

Council photos (from the top): Liz, Caleb & Joe, Brenda,Lyn, Lesley, and Wendy. Please see the contact us page to get in touch. 

"The Transformative Language Arts Network" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 873 Lansdowne, PA 19050 USA

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