Advisory Board

De Lee Dong Il Dr. Lee, Dong Il , , Executive Director of Global Arts Fesitval Seoul, South Korea

Dr. Lee is a Visiting Professor of Sogang University, Korea for the past 7 years. He is the Founder and was the Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts(Theatre Mu), Minneapolis, United States.

Dr. Lee has raised millions of dollars for dozens of Korea universities and organizations. He has a Ph.D. in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota and has a master in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota, United States. Dr. Lee is a recipient of the Minister’s awards from the Dept.of Education & Science, Korea; the Governor’s award, of ChungNam Province, Korea; the President’s award from the Ministry of Public Admin, Korea; the Post Doctoral Fellowship of Harvard University; along with dozen’s more.

Dr. Pak Jin Dr. Park, Jin , , Honorary Board Member Seoul, South Korea

Grand National Party, former member of Korean National Assembly.

Board of Directors

David Moschkau David Moschkau , , President Minneapolis, Minnesota

I was adopted at the age of 5 to a family in Minnesota. I grew up in the country on a small farm in a small town. Went to college and got my computer science degree and started working as a programmer. On Thanksgiving night in 1997 I got a phone call that would change my life trajectory forever. The woman on the other end spoke broken English and her first words were “Are you David? I’m your sister.” This began my journey to meet my birth family and to learn more about my Korean heritage.

I was on the board of AK Connection, the Korean adoptee group in Minnesota, serving as Vice President and then President for over 5 years. It was my passion to help others to find their own journey of learning about their identity and Korean culture and to find others they could relate to. I still have passion for the adoptee community but it was time for new and younger minds to move the organization into the future.

The reason I joined the board of Adoptee Hub is because I see a need for what the mission of the organization will bring to the adoptee community around the world. During my own birth family reunion and learning about others experiences, I realized that there is a huge need for post reunion services and education, beyond just family search services. I witness adoptees entering their own journey throughout the year and many have similar questions and needs. Adoptee hub will be the “hub” of all the available resources out there plus new services to continue their journey.

Matt Fetzer Matt Fetzer , , Vice President Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

I was adopted when I was nine months old by two Caucasian parents of German descent. My older sister, who is also a Korean adoptee, and I were raised in the suburbs in Minnesota. I currently live in Inver Grove Heights, just a few miles south of St. Paul, Minnesota. For the last nine years, I’ve worked in New Product Development at Thomson Reuters, where I’m currently a manager. I am also licensed to practice law in Minnesota.

I started the journey into my Korean heritage in my early forties. Because of that, I’ve come to recognize many of the things that make it difficult for older adoptees, especially those who are first exploring their heritage, to connect with the larger adoptee community. I want to make it easier for adoptees to connect regardless of age, identity or background. I believe that the Adoptee Hub can help facilitate these connections. I feel fortunate to have been supported by many wonderful adoptees since I started my journey, and I welcome the chance to show the same support to others.

Elizabeth Burt Elizabeth Burt , , Treasurer Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hello! 안녕하세요! Since 2015 I’ve been working for Target HQ as an I.T. tech support, with a background in managing consumer Telecom technology. I have an A.A.S. degree in accounting.

I am a Korean adoptee. I was guesstimated to be about 6 years old when I got adopted into rural Wisconsin. I attended a camp for adoptees known as Korean Culture Camp in Minneapolis, MN as a 5 & 6th grader, then to an overnight one known as Camp Tiger as a 7-8-9-10th grade student, with a stint as a counselor for one summer in my early 20’s at Camp Tiger. After high school, I moved to the Twin Cities to attend the U of M, where I got further introduced to a wider Asian American community and the adult Korean adoptee community. During my time here, I have attended/participated/volunteered at various events put on by local Korean adoptee groups and organizations, and I have made some great friends and met some amazing individuals. Most recently this year, I partook in learning to play the Korean gayageum instrument through MN ChangMi Drum and Dance Group as well.

My biggest event happened this April 2018, where my memories were validated, and my heart was filled-I was reunited with my birth family.

I believe in the mission of Adoptee Hub, where it will amass a home, a place of connection, a safe place to explore and learn, and collectively collaborate not just resources and services, but also as a venue to get to know our skin and be confident and proud of our cultural dimensions and know it is ok to be who we are, wherever we are in our journey to self-discovery.

Susan Jopling Susan Jopling , , Secretary Henderson, Nevada

My story begins in 1963 when I was adopted at the approximate age of 3 ½ years old in a closed adoption through HOLT Organization. I was an only child for two years before being joined by a younger adopted Korean brother.

I attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and have a BA in Business Communications with a Minor in Sociology. My most recent work experience was for the State of Minnesota for approximately 12 years. Currently, I am joyfully retired since May of 2017 and I live in Henderson, NV with my husband. We have been married for over 12 years. Neither of us have ever had any children. I continue to deal with the emotional and identity issues involving my transcultural placement. One of my fondest memories was my six years working with young Korean adoptees at a summer cultural camp. At camp, it was my goal to make a difference in the lives of adopted children from Korea to help them with the issues they will face in their life growing up in a society different from their birth country.

Today, my passions include writing poetry and articles for the Korean Quarterly.

Often, I ponder how far I have come from that little child in Korea, to where I am today. Although I have never found my birth family and it is a dream of mine to find them, I at least like to believe my birth mother would be proud of me at how far I have come. Hope remains that someday I will find her. My desire to work with Adoptee Hub continues my commitment to help other adoptees on their own journey.

Mari Lee Mari Lee , , Director of Public Relations Brooklyn, New York

Mari currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband Jeremy and their newborn son, Sawyer. She was born in Incheon, South Korea and was adopted by American parents at 4 months of age. She grew up in Westchester, NY and has lived in NYC for 18 years.

Currently, Mari is Assistant Vice President, Consumer & Digital Experience, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, headquartered in Manhattan. In her prior role as Head of Digital & Social Media she promoted the company, through its website, social media pages, and through digital advertising. She now focuses on consumer experience and digital strategy. Mari is also a member of AKA (Also Known As), a Korean adoptee organization based in NYC, where she has been a mentor to other Korean adoptees. She was also a camp counselor at Holt camp. Recently, Mari visited Korea in January 2018 to conduct a birth family search. After experiencing the many challenges of the birth family search process, she returned from this trip committed to helping other adoptees with their own birth searches and their adoption journeys. She is very excited to be part of Adoptee Hub to help bring much needed services to adoptees.

Tara Tenhoff Tara Tenhoff , , Director of Social Media Twin Cities, Minnesota

I was adopted at the approximate age of two in 1976 to the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities. My story, though similar to many, differed in the fact that my adoption was a private adoption and not through an Agency. Growing up I never knew anything about my Korean heritage or culture and had no exposure to anything more than Korean food once a year in my late teens. I had often heard Minnesota had the largest population of Korean Adoptees but had no exposure to this community until well into later adulthood.

In 2015 through the assistance of G.O.A.’L. Korea I was able to reunite with my birth family. It was through this journey and reunion I realized the lack of post adoption and post reunion services that are available to international Adoptees, specifically Korean Adoptees. I believe Adoptee Hub can help to bridge this gap for international Adoptees of all ages who are looking to connect with their heritage, culture, need assistance in birth family search, or post reunion services. Wherever we are on our personal journey, the journey is never ending and always changing. Adoptee Hub can be there to assist in whatever part of the journey the Adoptee is on. I am excited to be a member of this board as I look forward to giving back and supporting this community as it continues to grow and evolve.

Sara Salansky Sara Salansky , , Director of Fundraising Seoul, South Korea

At the age of 5, I was adopted out to parents in rural Iowa. My father was a farmer, my mother a teacher and two older brothers who were 2 and 11 yrs. older. Loving parents who I loved until the day of both of their passings; but even though I had a “normal” upbringing, and a family network that accepted me, I left it as fast as I could. After college, I pursued a career in the United States Air Force as a nurse and after 20 years, retired as a Communications & Information Technology officer. I managed and led a lot of people, met a lot of diverse people, but never really had a network of individuals like myself, a Korean adoptee. I did meet my husband in the service and we have 2 sons, but have always had a sense of being “alone” for close to 50 yrs.

This past year (2018), my youngest son “guilted” me into visiting my motherland, and had me even look at my records at Holt Post-Adoption (which I swore I’d never really had a desire to do). My son and I visited; I left there loving the country but still felt like a tourist. Two months later, I spent 2 months volunteering at Holt Ilsan Center working with the special needs residents; fortunate enough to meet Molly Holt and her sister, Linda, as well as meet Dr. Cho. While there, I discovered and visited the first place where I was an orphan, prior to being at Holt. I don’t have any recollection of these places prior to my arriving in the US, and I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but don’t know what’s blocking those memories. My third time visiting Korea in the past year was for the IKAA 2019 Gathering. There, I heard about Adoptee Hub and I met adoptees from all over the world… some with the same struggles as myself, not knowing any biological family background. I have always said to myself that my only real desire is to know a family medical history and not really care about meeting any biological family members; so I am prepared for the potentials; and I really wished to be able to no longer have to write “No Known Medical History” or “Unknown” on my medical forms. I’m not sure really how I’d react if somehow through DNA I were to discover my biological family members. I’m not sure if this will make me feel “whole” and not different, but I definitely won’t feel like I’m dealing with these concerns all by myself. Adoptee Hub intrigued me and I believe I’ve finally found my calling; help other Adoptees to find some level of fulfillment through the initiatives of Adoptee Hub. Just a year really into self-discovery starting in 2018, I am pretty much late in the game regarding post-adoption birth family searches and the whole Adoptee community; I’ve served for this country for 20 years, now it’s time that I serve my fellow Adoptees.

Yun-Sook Kim Yun-Sook Kim , , Board of Director L.A., California

According to my records, I was “found in Seoul” not long after my umbilical was removed. I flew to Chicago because at the time there were no flights from Korea to Michigan. I was adopted by a Catholic family from the west side of Detroit with a Native American foster sister, two biological sons, and later other step siblings. I always felt a profound longing for my biological family and motherland. Especially growing up and moving between urban, suburban, and later rural areas in a blue collar family of autoworkers. The Motor City, Motown, and the Murder City informed and shaped my identity from my early memories as “yellow” or “other” and always an “import”. Fortunately, my self-initiated opportunities to learn and embrace my heritage provided centeredness needed for my existence. As a child I spent many nights with tears looking up at the stars knowing my birth mom was somewhere under the moon too and that we at least shared this…

I always wanted to be in the human services in some capacity helping others not fall through the cracks. My interest and passion to gain higher education and to be in a position to attempt to address the broader issues of international adoption and empower underrepresented populations including my narrative as a transracial/transnational adoptee. In high school, I started my formal birth search in the states and later on TV and newspaper when I lived in Seoul the 3nd time. At 16, I started working at a wig shop on the east side of Detroit with my first pretend mom, Ms. Chin. She gave me “immigrant” tough love motivating me to never settle for what was presented before me and to cultivate my natural hustle and heart to make the world mine. As an undergrad I had another transformation. I officially changed my name back to my birth name so it would be on my diploma and to start my professional career…

Some of my adoptee community involvement includes: Holt International Summer School at Ilsan; Culture camp counselor in Michigan & Holt-New Jersey; presenting and moderating spoken word performances at KAAN in Seattle & Minneapolis; advocacy for Justice for Adoptees Campaign for Russell Green, International adoption worker for Lutheran Adoption Service; Search & Reunion Counselor for GOAL; and various KADS efforts in arts in advocacy in SF, LA, & Seoul. My commitment also lies in providing a link between the Korean diaspora and with KADS through my efforts in representation and participation in the larger Asian American and people of color communities through a career in the non-profit sector and community collaborations and organizing. My writing and poetry has been published and performed throughout Korea and the US. I’m a Clinical Team Lead and work with the chronically homeless in LA. I am working toward my license as a Clinical Social Worker, my first book, dual citizenship, always improving my Hangul, and raising my daughter to be a loud & proud Asian American woman. We’re one generation away from the motherland of a rich culture of 5,000 years of history. If you’re reading this you made it this far! I encourage the adoptee community to join us to learn, embrace, heal, expand, and explore all we have is each other. Everyone has a role; let’s build and celebrate our uniqueness!

Adoptee Hub Staff

Ami Nafzger Ami Nafzger , , Founder & CEO Mounds View, Minnesota

I was born in Korea and found in Challado Iksan. It is guesstimated that I was adopted at the age of 4, after which I grew up in Northern Wisconsin.

I received a B.A. in Social Work, Sociology, and a minor in Native American Indian Studies from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Since 2011, I have worked with the Department of Human Services, Minnesota. I currently serve as a Policy Program Manager for the State of Minnesota at The Department of Human Services. I work with systems modernization and data systems programs and its policies, processes and trainings for Children and Family Services.

Since 1993 I have been giving back to my community by volunteering on boards and as a leader. I have helped various organizations and have served on the Asian Governor’s board of Minnesota for 8 years.

I founded Global Overseas Adoptees Link (G.O. A’L) in Seoul, South Korea, in 1997 and served as its first Secretary General. I also founded Adoptee Hub on April 9, 2018.

I believe there is a lack of birth search services and disconnect with the birth country culture, language and policies for adoptees in the United States. Additionally, I believe it is important to have a physical space for adoptees to meet others who have similar background experiences, find a sense of belonging in a community to call their own, access support and resources to find their identity, their culture, language, history, biological family, and relate through studies, data, books, film, art and music, group counseling, and group therapy sessions.

Events Committee

Chae Norman Chae Norman , , Sartell, Minnesota

She has been a massage therapist for over 16 years and has her own massage business. She also loves to sing, play piano, cook and hang out with other adoptees. Chae is very passionate about helping other Korean adoptees, so when she was asked to be part of the Adoptee Hub organization and she signed up for it!
Photography courtesy of Allen Majors ©