Our Founders

season four board photo

Amanda Compton – Our Fearless Leader

Amanda Compton was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She graduated from Whitman College in 2002 with a B.A. in biology. After four years skiing and snowboarding in Jackson, Wyoming, she returned to Alaska.

Amanda worked as an environmental scientist in Anchorage. She quit her job, (sort of), in April 2011 and moved to Juneau in May 2011.

In Juneau, Amanda is a radio and print journalist and an environmental scientist. Amanda loves just about every sport, reading, writing, cooking and organizing her apartment. But she really loves a clean inbox.

Alida Bus – A Ray of Sunshine

Alida Bus was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska. She has a B.S. in natural resources from Colorado State University and an M.P.A from the University of Alaska Southeast. She works at the Department of Environmental Conservation. Alida wrote a food blog based around the Fiddlehead Cookbook. She loves scrapbooking, bicycle and kayak touring, ran her first (and last) marathon in 2011 and is a dual U.S.-Dutch citizen. She loves being involved with Mudrooms, as each story creates a stronger sense of place and community.

Story Board

The Story Board is a ragamuffin group of talented ne’er-do-wells and raconteurs who help find speakers and assist the hosts with organizing the Mudrooms storytelling nights.

Tom Cosgrove – Seasoned Storyteller, Brains and Brawn

Tom Cosgrove is a full-time dad, part-time computer programmer and an emerging storyteller. Tom escaped Chicago and a coat and tie over 20 years ago, and he’s damn glad he did. He completed a 3-month road trip across the U.S. with his family in the summer of 2011, and performed stories along the way. Tom helps coordinate the Mudrooms venue, set up for and clean up after the events, and he always has a handful of people he’s convinced to share a story.

Rich Moniak – The Dose of Introspection

Rich Moniak is originally from Massachusetts. After getting a degree in civil engineering there he migrated to the Pacific Northwest. He settled in Juneau in 1990 and retired from the Coast Guard in May 2014. While he writes a weekly column for the opinion page of the Juneau Empire and has even been seen on street corners protesting with “radical” groups like Veterans for Peace and Juneau People for Peace Justice, Rich prefers living in the shadows where he can quietly wonder about simple ideas like beauty, fate and the vast space between the stars populated by our stories and dreams.

Pat Roach – Super Power: Enthusiasm
Pat has dark hair, lives on a boat and smiles a lot. He joined the Mudrooms board just before the start of Season 3, in the fall of 2013. He moved to Fairbanks where he received a degree in English Literature. Before earning his Master of Arts in Teaching in Sitka, Pat worked as a grill cook in Cold Foot, Alaska, one stop shy of Deadhorse on the North Slope. He spent two years teaching English in Hooper Bay and then went on to China, where he served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. Pat is currently the Career and Technical Education teacher at Thunder Mountain High School, where he is dearly loved by his students.

Steve SueWing 

Steve grew up in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho and Skagit Valley, Washington. After graduating from Western Washington University in the spring of 1999 he was ready for a bigger adventure. Three weeks later he was on the MV Matanuska bound for Haines and his first Alaska memories. Steve lived in Skagway for eight years before moving to Juneau in 2008. Steve enjoys advocating for families and stronger communities and volunteers frequently throughout the community. He also enjoys camping, flying, fishing, hiking, kayaking, running, skiing, and loves to travel. Steve considers his diverse networks as one of his biggest life assets and strives to live a life full of diverse experiences. He has a very supportive partner and two sons he adores. Steve believes that stories are a primary way humans can connect.

Sara Hannan

Sara is a lifelong Alaskan and 30 year resident of Juneau. She has been a storyteller since she could talk and loves the Mudrooms experience. The first season she listened to the stories from her couch and then in season two realized that what she was missing by not being there in person. She is retired from being a high school teacher and finds time to laugh most days. She loves to travel and finds friends wherever she goes. The photo is from Nicaragua, as she prepares for volcano boarding, like sledding, in coarse volcanic debris. Yes, it was fun and the hike up and view was spectacular.

Melissa Griffiths

Melissa has been in Alaska since May of 2007, having chosen bears and the general unknown over returning to live with her parents after college. She was born in California and split her earlier years between there and Oregon, with a year abroad in Germany thrown in for adventure. She’s had more than a dozen jobs in Juneau, including newspaper reporter, bartender, campaigner and now communications director, with one common thread: stories. She enjoys writing, reading, art of many forms, hanging out with Beau the Dog, amateur photography and learning new ways to express ideas and stories.


Mudrooms would like to recognize support from other community members not on our story board.
Previous storyboard members: Amanda Compton (founder), Pat Race, Marc Wheeler, Clint Farr, Katie Spielberger and Kristen Stouder.
Current photographer Melissa Griffiths and former photographers John Hutchins and Colin Shanley.
The Rookery Cafe and Coppa for their generous edible support.