About Us


Norfolk Area Pride is a non-profit organization that provides services, community education, safety, awareness and support for LGBTQ+ individuals in Northeast Nebraska.

We celebrated our 3rd Annual Pride Festival!

Historic first Norfolk Area Pride Festival was held on September 18th, 2021!

Name Changed to Norfolk Area Pride.

Planning for the first-ever family-friendly Pride Festival in Norfolk - COVID-19 had other plans.

 Established as River Valley Pride.

David Cockrum, a physician with Faith Regional Health Services, knew Norfolk needed a Pride organization and that the Norfolk Area was ready to support one.

Our Board is made up of members of the LGBTQ+ Community, Mama Bears, and allies. If you are interested in being a board member, please email us

Jen Ippensen, President

Jen Ippensen (she/her) is originally from Worms, Nebraska and has lived and worked in many places, from New York City to large and small towns in middle America; she now resides with her family in Norfolk. Jen spent many years as an English/Language Arts educator, competitive speech coach, theatre director, and more before taking on her current role as Director of Library Services at Northeast Community College. She co-founded Vast Literary Press in 2021 where she is co-editor-in-chief of Vast Chasm Magazine, a publication dedicated to exploring the expansive human experience and celebrating complex, diverse voices. She is a teaching artist and a writer of literary fiction, creative non-fiction, and the occasional poem. In all these endeavors, Jen strives to create community, support truth and understanding, and help people feel welcome, safe, and respected.

Amber Windle, Vice President

Amber (she/her) was born and raised in the Midwest and has lived in Nebraska most of her life. She enjoys raising her two daughters through their final high school years. When Amber and her amazing wife, Tabitha, are not traveling or taking on a world of new projects around the house love spending time with their eight dogs. Amber is a Human Resources and training professional. As a lover of art and learning, she continues to strive for improvement in completing her current college educational goals. She continues to advocate for the LGBTQIA community and create a safe space for all. 

Mo Bailey, Past President

Mo Bailey (she/her) of Norfolk, NE is an Empowerment Coach, business consultant, captivating speaker, and the Lead Organizer of the Nebraska Organizing Project. The common threads through all of Mo’s work are personal growth, vibrant community, and story. Mo deeply believes in the power of story to connect, heal, and inspire people. Mo’s purpose in life extends beyond her professional roles. She deeply values creating safe spaces where all people feel worthy of belonging. Her work with CASA, the Rise Collective, and Norfolk Area Pride is her way of trying to make her corner of the world a better place. Mo lives with the four loves of her life: her wife, Angie; their baby, Beau; and their 2 dogs, Oaklie and Myla. Mo and Angie co-facilitate the High School Peer Group through Norfolk Area Pride.

Angie Bailey, Secretary

Angie (she/her) is an IT Asset Management Specialist. In 2020, she moved to Norfolk from Sioux Falls, SD, the largest city in SD with an established Pride organization and LGBTQ+ community. Angie immediately became involved in Norfolk Area Pride, which helped her adjust, make new friends, find a safe place and feel like she belonged in a new community. Angie also facilitates the organization's youth peer groups, alongside her wife, Mo. Angie strives to help individuals in the area feel like they can be their authentic selves and live in a safe community where they feel a sense of belonging.  Angie and Mo have one miniature dachshund, Oaklie and a mutt, Myla. 

Daniel Vosburg Jr, Treasurer

Daniel (he/him) is a workaholic that can be found either working from home as a Senior Software Engineer or working at his family’s store - V’z Oddz and Endz. Daniel moved to Norfolk against his will with his family when he was 6 months old. Although he has visited and lived in a few bigger cities he has always found Norfolk’s size, peace n’ quiet, and ability to drive through in 15 mins homey. Daniel is proud to be a part of Norfolk Area Pride as it reminds him of what his mother, Raylee Vosburg, taught him when he was little, everyone matters no matter their shape, size, color, religion nor who they love. 

Stella Ippensen, Youth Director

Stella Ippensen (she/her) is a bi student at Norfolk High School where she is involved in many activities, including: GSA, Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, Choir, and taking Honors classes. In her free time she enjoys being gay, spending time with her dog, Scout, and volunteering to help local organizations. Stella attends the monthly Pride teen peer group and is excited to be the first youth board member.

Steph Mattern, Director

Steph (she/her) was born and raised in Norfolk and enjoys the "small town" life. She works full-time as an emergency dispatcher and part-time as a florist. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, going to concerts, and cooking. Steph is married to Lester Maertins. They have two sons and two dogs. Steph is proud to be part of Norfolk Area Pride and wants to help make Norfolk a place that LGBTQ+ youth want to come home to. She co-facilitates the Parent Peer Support Group. 

Brooke Pelster-Hess, Director

Brooke (she/her) was born and raised in Northeast Nebraska. After living in Lincoln, NE, for nearly a decade, she returned to her roots in 2010. Brooke is a Mental Health and Addictions Therapist and values the unique journey of each individual. She believes strongly that the truth will get out, and that we each have a responsibility to shine a light on the truth whenever we encounter it. Brooke strives to make a difference through advocation and is grateful to have the opportunity to assist Norfolk Area Pride in making our little part of the world a more diverse, beautiful, and inclusive place. 

Jessie Peyregne, Director

Jessie (she/they) is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota and moved to Nebraska in 2015 to attend college at Wayne State College where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree and later Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health. She currently lives in Norfolk with her fiance, Katie, and works as a Mental Health Therapist at a local agency. While I have grown to love Northeast Nebraska and even consider it my home, the big city has always had my heart. I joined the pride board to become more involved in the LGTBQ+ community in and around Norfolk and have since loved my time on the board.

Dawn Phelps, Director

Dawn (she/her) is a wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and ally. Taking to heart Jesus' command in the gospels to "Love one another," she strives to follow His example of communing with and supporting marginalized people. She lives in Norfolk with her family.

Mark Shashikant, Director

Mark (he/him) was raised in Birmingham, AL. He is a physician and was trained in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA, and Boston, MA. While posted in Washington, DC as a combat veteran he was deployed overseas and continues to serve in the Army reserves. He moved to Norfolk in 2021 from Sioux Falls, SD. He is married with four children and three dogs. Some fun facts is that Mark enjoys 80's cars and music as well as fly fishing, bird hunting, and dog training.

Elizabeth Vosburg, Director

Elizabeth (she/her) grew up in Norfolk and was always keeping herself busy in school and outside activities. Now that she is grown, she spends most of her time working at her family's business, V'z Oddz and Endz. She recently got married this past December to her best friend Henry and loves getting him involved in the community. She can be seen helping with the Marketing and Social Committees and often anywhere else she is asked. While new to the board, she has always tried her best to give people the space to be themselves and lend an ear as needed. She looks forward to being able to do that even more.