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Where Y'all Really From: Team

Meet the team behind the Where Y'all Really From Podcast.

Producers: Charlene Buckles, Dan Wu, Mae Suramek, Nima Kulkarni
Editor: Alex Cooper
Music: Kojin Tashiro
Graphic Design: Leanne Gan
Additional Assistance: Jalen McCoy
Executive Producer: Laura Ellis

About the Producers

Charlene Buckles (she/her/hers) identifies as a proud formerly undocumented Filipina-Kentuckian. Born in Marikina, Philippines in Metro-Manila, her family emigrated to the United States in 1991 and moved to Northern Kentucky in 1993. Former teacher turned fundraiser, she has been involved in social justice activism in Central Kentucky for many years. She is wildly passionate about immigrant justice, women empowerment, racial literacy in Early Education, delicious cookies, locally-sourced and sustainably grown floral arrangements, and her adorable children. She serves on the founding board of Neighbors Immigration Clinic and is the Development Director of the ACLU of Kentucky. She currently lives in Louisville, KY with her family. 

Ayna Lorenzo

Dan Wu (he/him/his) was born in China & moved to the US as a kid. Having lived in Fargo, ND, San Francisco, & New York, he calls Lexington, KY home. Dan’s professional cooking career was kickstarted by a stint on Fox’s MasterChef cooking competition show in 2014. Since then he has created his diverse repertoire of delicious food for private clients, street fairs, pop-ups, his own restaurant Atomic Ramen, and on the campus of the University of Kentucky. A fierce defender of immigrants & refugees & vocal advocate for restaurant & other small business owners, Dan uses his notoriety to fight for social justice in all its forms. He’s also an unapologetic comic book & movie geek, trivia nerd, podcast junkie, & potato chip connoisseur.

Mae Suramek (she/her/hers) is a reformed non-profit administrator turned social entrepreneur. She has worked as a human rights investigator, alumni director for her alma mater, and executive director of a regional rape crisis center. After 20 years managing non-profits, Mae opened a noodle shop on the main street of her small town of Berea, Kentucky, with the simple goal of “creating epic noodle bowls and changing the world.” Noodle Nirvana is committed to living wages, supporting local food providers, and significantly impacting the most pressing needs of the community. Now in its fourth year, the restaurant has raised over $120,000 for local causes and has consistently grown in sales. Along with their small batch, craft donut shop, Hole & Corner Donuts, Mae and her husband, Adam are also the only people crazy enough to open a new restaurant – Happy Jack’s World Sandwich Bar – in the midst of a pandemic. Mae has a B.A. in Psychology from Berea College and a master’s degree in Counseling from Eastern Kentucky University.

Nima Kulkarni (she/her/hers) is an immigration attorney and advocate, managing her own law practice since 2010. In 2013, Nima founded the New Americans Initiative, a nonprofit focused on educating, engaging and building awareness of our immigrant community. In 2018, Nima was elected to the State House of Representatives, and serves as the first Indian immigrant in the Kentucky legislature, representing District 40 in Louisville.

Where Y'all Really From is part of the Louisville Public Media Podcast Incubator. We get support from the Community Foundation of Louisville, Podchaser, Rankings.io and the Eye Care Institute's Butchertown Clinical Trials.