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KeyNote Speaker 

Kristie Lee J


Kristie Lee J  is a published children’s author and illustrator. She resides in Northern Michigan. She graduated from Christ For The Nations with a degree in Theology, spending the next seventeen years in church leadership and director positions. 

She found herself having to face the realities of a home in crisis due to a narcissistic abusive husband. She had to focus on getting herself and three children out of the harmful situation. She literally had to start life over from nothing. She lost her profession, income, friends, and most coworkers in the process. As a single mom of three kids, she managed to move, go back to college, and graduate with a General Studies Degree and Certificate in Business in Art and Graphic Design in 2019.     

She also began her own business, UpNorth Chic LLC. Her love for the outdoors and capturing images with her camera became clear it was the foundation for all of her creativity and inspiration. She had always wanted to write a children’s book so she sat down and figured out step by step what to do. She taught herself the various software programs necessary to illustrate, format and edit. It is her sheer determination, persistence, and grit that she published her first children’s book in 2021. She has since authored two more books as well as illustrated and formatted numerous other children’s books for clients. She uses writing, drawing, and photography as a continual way to inspire others. Her personal story will be available soon to inspire hope, courage and strength to other women in abusive relationships. 

Kristie believes it was her years of being an athlete that gave her the foundation to begin life over. She knew what discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork looked like.  This helped her create a healthy family environment mixed with a lot of prayer and patience. She spent time coaching girls Junior Varsity basketball for several years as well as Junior Varsity volleyball. She continues to coach and mentor as well as play ball when opportunity arises. Her love for sports carried on into the great outdoors. She loves hiking and exploring new terrains, especially ones that lead to waterfalls. She is always ready for the next Adventure with camera in hand!

She received the Emerging Artist Awards 2 years in a row at Crooked Tree Art Center of Petoskey, Michigan as well as the Emerging Artist award at the Jordan River Arts Council in Boyne City. Her children’s books, artwork and photographs have been for sale in several businesses in Michigan stores over the years as well as nationwide through online marketing. 

She is a survivor.

She is an encourager.

She is a single mom.

She is living life’s big adventure…

one day at a time!

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