2023 Queen of Snows Candidates

Dee Barrett, Sponsored by River Run Team of Remax Results- Greg Kuntz

Service, family, friends, and fun inspired Dee Barrett’s Queen of Snows candidacy. Dee’s life has been enriched through years of community involvement with her extended festival family. She hones her organization and leadership skills working with executives at Medtronic, while dedicating her time to organizations that align with her passions. Dee has fostered more than 350 dogs, raised awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and organized events for school, community festivals, and her church. Dee is always on the move and loves to walk! She has logged more than 4,000 miles including 5k’s and a Mud Girl Run. When she does slow down, you will likely find Dee at home in Fridley with her family, the wagging tails of her three dogs, and SO many supplies to fuel her crafting hobbies.



Emily Maestas, Sponsored by Hero Home Services

From caves across the U.S to the classrooms of Cottage Grove, you’ll find Emily chasing her love of adventure and her passion for teaching. Emily graduated in 2020 with her Associates degree in science for early childhood development and is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in education at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. For the past 7 years, Emily has worked as a paraprofessional for South Washington County Schools. When Emily is not in the classroom, she loves devoting her time volunteering for Gillette Children’s Hospital. Emily and her husband Nick live together in Woodbury with their two cats Binx and Moe. Some of Emily’s passions are reading, cave exploring, traditional Japanese dance, and sharing plenty of laughs with her family and friends.



Jocelyn O’Neill, Sponsored by Ideal Printers, Inc.

Traveling, reading, and volunteering are a few of Jocelyn’s passions. In 2018 she got her first taste of traveling when she studied abroad in South Africa. Since then she has been to 3 other countries and hopes to travel the world. When unable to travel by airplane she travels within the pages of a book. Some of her favorite books are the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games trilogy. Currently, Jocelyn is storing her books at her apartment in Forest Lake, Minnesota. In her apartment you can find her cat, Marina. Marina keeps Jocelyn busy by playing with laser pointers, running around the apartment, and demanding to be pet. When Jocelyn is not at her apartment, she is working as a Child Protection Social Worker. Being a Social Worker allows Jocelyn to help people as a career.



Kim Johnson, Sponsored by Mancini’s

Growing up in Northeast Minneapolis, Kim hopes to continue being a positive role model for all children. She resides in Apple Valley with her independent eight-year-old daughter Danielle and husband Bryan. Being involved with her community has been her focal point since High School; joining the military at the age of 17 and proudly retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard with honors after 20 years. With her assignments primarily in St. Paul, Kim adored the activities within the city. One of the rewarding factors she has received from being in her community is meeting Bryan and tying the knot. Kim’s career consists of being the Women Veteran and Gold Star Family Coordinator for the MN Dept of Veterans Affairs.



Liv Swenson, Sponsored by White Bear Country Inn & Rudy’s Red Eye Grill

Liv grew up in the St Paul suburb of Inver Grove Heights. To foster her passion for dance, education, and race and ethnic studies, she graduated from St Olaf College with a degree in all three disciplines. Her desire to improve higher education has led her to the University of Minnesota Foundation, where she works as an Associate Project Manager. Her hobbies can be described in three words: Books, Coffee, and Creativity. Liv can often be found lost in a good book and she one day hopes to categorize her collection as an official library. She has recently rediscovered her love of baking and enjoys creating and donating cakes to ‘For Goodness Cakes.’ Liv is excited to meet new people, connect with her community, and support the long-standing tradition of volunteerism through Winter Carnival.



Maija Johnson, Sponsored by Doodle Productions

Maija was raised in Saint Paul and currently lives in Woodbury, MN. She is attending Grand Canyon University online, pursuing a degree in elementary education and special education. She is looking forward to having her own classroom and teaching the next generation of students. During the summer she enjoys volunteering with several organizations including Camp Odayin and North Star Reach during the summer as a counselor. Maija has always loved music and began playing the violin when she was five years old. She studied the Suzuki method for thirteen but can still beat the devil in a fiddle match. Now, she is using her talent by playing at events and teaching beginner students. In her free time she loves spending time with her cat Laszlo and doing puzzles with her family.



Michaela Hingst, Sponsored by Gertens Garden Center and Nursery

The great Mississippi, rolling bluffs, lush forests, and incredible people! These only encompass a few reasons why Michaela loves Saint Paul! Always Happy to be outside, you can find her hiking, camping, or fishing any season of the year. Likewise, she is most in her element working as a shrub specialist at Gertens. Michaela attended Minnesota State University Moorhead and has goals to pursue a nursing degree. However, at this time, she is grateful to be in a gap year. After several years of chronic pain due to collegiate sports injuries, she is relieved to have the time and space to heal in all facets of life. Michaela is ecstatic to be a candidate this year. It is an opportunity to take part in something bigger than herself and give to those around her.



Molly Pettit, Sponsored by JTB

A small-town girl with big-city dreams, Molly was born and raised in Cokato but loves spending time in the great big city of St. Paul. Molly graduated from St. Cloud State University with a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling education in 2021 and since graduating, she has been serving individuals across the state suffering from work injuries as a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant. When not traveling for work, Molly loves spending quality time with her friends and family, completing art projects, and volunteering in the St. Paul community. Molly is excited to continue her volunteer experiences by participating in the coolest celebration on earth and being a part of the 137-year tradition of the St. Paul Winter Carnival.



Rahila Hungiapuko, Sponsored by Majestic and Silver Threads

“Scientia Potentia Est”, is a doctrine that Rahila believes in. As an educator within the St. Paul Public Schools, she has served as an English language specialist and currently teaches kindergarten. Since graduating from Bethel University in 2012, Rahila has enjoyed traveling the world and is a committed volunteer and mentor with multiple organizations locally and overseas. She is a master’s student at the University of Southern California. Although not a native Minnesotan, she is a fan of winter and the ever so popular sport hockey, Go Wild! She enjoys visiting museums around the country and attending musicals. Rahila is grateful to her sponsors.




Susan Pulcher, Sponsored by South Main Dental

Born and raised in Cambridge, Susan is a country girl with a big city heart.  Frozen is her favorite season followed by summer.  She has been a labor & delivery, post-partum, and NICU nurse for the past 23 years.  In 2021, she reached her goal of returning to college and graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Minnesota State University of Moorhead.  This past May Susan shifted her career path and became certified in Chemotherapy infusion and loving every minute of it.  Goals left to accomplish for her include jumping out of an airplane, being in time square for the ball drop on New Year’s Eve and winning the lottery.




Tessa Westlund, Sponsored by Party Time Liquor

Tessa’s response to most adventures is always “You betcha!” Growing up exploring Saint Paul, she fell in love with its rich history and the people who live in the area. A pandemic graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, Tessa learned quickly to never turn down an opportunity, for we never know when it could be taken away unexpectedly. Nowadays, you can find her working as a recruiter for Volt Workforce Solutions, where she strives to help individuals to grow in their career. Tessa considers herself; vivacious, humorous, and a thoughtful individual. She enjoys performing vocals in her car, partaking in historical reenactment with her grandparents, tying up her old ice skates, spending time as Aunt Titi, seeing new places and trying new things and just letting serendipity take its course.