Jody has a profound appreciation for her diverse family history, which includes Icelandic heritage on her paternal side. Her own roots are in North Dakota, though she has spent the majority of her adult life in Minnesota. She has degrees in Health Education, Physical Education, French, and Coaching. Her first teaching assignment was in an international school just outside of Geneva, Switzerland (which allowed for her first trips to Iceland), followed by traditional public schools, health care systems and the American Red Cross (primarily WSI, Lifeguarding and CPR), all back in Minnesota. In addition to a life-long commitment to education, Jody has been a very active volunteer for many organizations and causes.
Life has fast-forwarded through years of marriage, two children, and now three grandchildren - one set close to home in Minnesota, the other further away in Iceland. Jody still marvels at all things Icelandic and is a 2012 alumna of the Snorri Plus program, parent of a Snorri 2013, was the 2016 Snorri West Minnesota coordinator, currently serves on the Icelandic National League of North America (INLNA) Board of Directors, and is the Snorri West Director for both INLNA and INLUS (Icelandic National League of the United States). In addition, she is a long-term member of the Executive Board of the Icelandic Hekla Club in Minnesota.
She reports her favorite aspects of being involved with the Snorri Programs are helping to bring the sense of wonder, belonging and understanding she experienced as a participant in the program to others. Additionally, she is eternally grateful for the incredibly amazing, giving people with whom she has come in contact and the friendships that have been created. Icelandic Roots has been a key partner with the Snorri Programs, especially Snorri West, and is a big reason they have been so successful at "strengthening the bonds between the people of Iceland and people of Icelandic descent in North America."