Our Writers & Contributors

Our contributor roster consists of uniquely gifted individuals who are passionate about what they do. We are always on the lookout for new writers. Please contact us if you would like to be featured as a guest contributor on this blog.


Jeff Velasco is a senior art director/digital designer
at Jeff Velasco, Inc. with an emphasis on photo art direction and retail advertising for both digital and print.  His client list includes Wunderman, Target (Weekly Ad), General Mills, and Edina Realty.  Check out some of his portfolio at Jeff Velasco, Inc. Jeff lives in Champlin, Minnesota with his wife Jen and is father of three girls. Follow Jeff on Instagram @superjv5 or email him at jeffvelasco@icloud.com.


Reuben Saltzman is a second generation home inspector with a passion for his work. He grew up remodeling homes and learning about carpentry since he was old enough to hold a hammer. Reuben has worked for Structure Tech Home Inspections since 1997, and is now co-owner and President of the company. Reuben lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota with his wife and two children. Follow Reuben on Facebook. Click here to Subscribe to Reuben’s Home Inspection Blog.


Kevin Yamaya is a mortgage consultant with Bell Bank Mortgage. Kevin believes in making the home financing experience as simple and hassle-free as possible, so that you can enjoy what really matters: Your home! With over 1000 loans closed in just the last 3 years, you can be sure he is well-informed with current industry standards and guidelines, which will allow you to avoid any pitfalls throughout the loan process. Connect with Kevin by email at kyamaya@bellbanks.com or visit his website at kevinyamaya.com.


David Hackett is a manufacturing engineering student at University of Wisconsin-Stout. He’s passionate about action sports and videography. Follow David Hackett on Facebook at david.hackett.330 or Instagram @davehack97.


Jon Speich is a licensed realtor with JP Willman Realty Twin Cities, specializing in buying and selling residential real estate. Jon is a 21-year resident of Champlin, MN, a grateful husband to a beautiful wife Dana, and father of three amazing daughters – Alexi, Paige, and Sidney. Outside of real estate, he has passion for the sounds of a great music playlist, DIY projects, ballroom dancing, soccer, the Minneapolis food scene, local IPA’s, the endless pursuit of the perfect burger, and the truth in God’s Word. Connect with Jon by email at jon.speich@jpwillman.com or visit his website at jonspeich.com.


Derrick Grow is a National Director of Field Strategies for Cru. Derrick’s role gives overall leadership both Regionally and Nationally in planting and growing spiritual movements everywhere so that every student and faculty knows someone who truly follows Jesus. Derrick lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota with his wife Julie and has three boys. Connect with Derrick by email at derrick.grow@cru.org or visit their website at cru.org.


Alexi Flood is a prolific writer and blogger. Her day job includes working as a behavior therapist at Lazarus Project. She lives in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, loves cheese and the sun and kids with autism and you, probably. Follow Alexi on Instagram @alexiflood or on her blog alexirae.com.


Tamara Schierkolk has a heart for the inner city. She’s also a freelance grant writer, writes contemporary fiction, and since 2012, she and her family have hosted twenty-eight children in crisis through Safe Families for Children. She lives with her husband of twenty-five years, their three teenage daughters, and their beloved pit bull in North Minneapolis, a high-crime, low-income part of the city, because that’s where God called them. She writes about her life and adventures in her blog, My Blonde Life in the Hood.


We are always looking for inspiring writers! Let us know if you would like to submit an article to My Neighborhood Journal: