Kristen Chase, Publisher, Editor & CEO, is currently residing in Philly. By way of Atlanta. By way of Philly. By way of Mississippi. In her former life she was a published textbook author, musician, college professor and designer shoe glutton, all of which she’s traded for a satisfying new position as a work-at-home-parent of four. What she has not given up, however, is great taste, a wicked sense of humor, and her avid support of mom-run businesses and the online community of parents.
Kristen has been seen on The Today Show, CNN, CBS Atlanta and in myriad publications talking about shopping and parenting culture. She published columns on sites including BabyCenter, Mom.Me, and Lifetime Moms, and has starred in a popular web series on Cafe Mom. She’s also known for the hilarious and helpful book, The Mominatrix Guide to Sex based on her popular column of the same name.
Kristen tries to stay as cool as possible (in all senses of the word) while parenting her daughters Quinlan, Margot and Bridget, and her son, Drew.
Liz Gumbinner, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, is a born and bred New Yorker but without the accent. She has a background as a creative director in the Prada-mandatory world of advertising, writes some parenting columns here and there, has contributed to a number of non-fiction anthologies, and is frequently seen on programs like NBC’s TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Meredith Vieira, and local New York media discussing parenting trends, gear, technology and culture. Once she talked about her underwear.
Liz was recently included in Forbes’ list of 25 working moms to follow on Twitter along with idols of hers like Katie Couric and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; and named to lists of top online influencers by The Daily Beast, Nielsen, The New York Post, and Parents Magazine. In 2011 she was awarded the prestigious AWNY Game-Changers Award from Advertising Women of New York.
Liz is an avid supporter of global maternal health efforts through relationships with organizations like The UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, Friends of Baby Buggy, The White Ribbon Alliance for Safer Motherhood, and is a proud ONE moms ambassador for ONE.org.
She is equally at home in the boutiques of Fifth Avenue and the aisles of Target, but Liz can most often be spotted around her Brooklyn neighborhood grabbing a grilled cheese with her daughters, Thalia and Sage.
Cool Mom Eats Managing Editor Stacie Billis is one of our longtime favorite food bloggers–she’s the author of One Hungry Mama, the popular blog focusing on whole foods, nutrition, and lots (and lots) of family-friendly recipes. Now, she’s our very own. Stacie’s common sense approach stems from her Masters in child development, as well as her experience developing organic family food brand, ChowBaby Foods. But we like her just as much for her sense of humor, her amazing energy, and her non-judgy approach which does not preclude the occasional dip into the Nutella jar. Her Greek parents are mystified at the way she’s applying her advanced degree but since she’s provided them with two grandchildren they leave her alone. Check out her fantastically helpful food videos on her One Hungry Mama YouTube Channel, and follow her on Twitter at @CoolMomEats.
Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford spent more than a dozen years in marketing before leaving it behind to see if homeschooling three kids would be a fun way to spend her time. (Answer: Yes. Mostly. Sort of.) Residing south of Boston, she especially loves to run outdoors in the winter which balances out all the time spent sitting in the car driving kids to theater, ballet, and fencing practices. Christina loves finding great vegan handbags, last-minute dinners her son will actually eat, and the best indie bands with lyrics that she can play in the car, which is why she reviews most of our kids’ music submissions. She also longs for a hair style she can stick with for more than 6 months.
Associate Editor Kate Etue hails from Franklin TN, a hip little craft food and indie-music-loving suburb of Nashville. Prepare for more cool southern picks, readers. She’s worked in the book industry for more than a decade, and she is the author of over a dozen books herself. (Not too shabby!) When Kate doesn’t have her nose buried in a hardcover, she’s checking out the newest tech trends for kids for Cool Mom Tech, whipping up recipes for Cool Mom Eats, crusading for moms in Africa, sitting on the sidelines at soccer or ballet, and hitting the trails with her husband and gorgeous brood of red-headed children.
We think Delilah S. Dawson is the reason geek rhymes with chic. An Atlanta native, she loves adventure and is equally happy on horseback in skinny jeans and boots or exploring a new city in red heels. Once upon a time, she ran galleries, taught art, and painted murals. Now she writes paranormal romance and young adult fiction for Simon & Schuster and dabbles in comics. Her kids want to grow up to be a vampire and the Hulk, respectively. She couldn’t be prouder.
Stephanie Mayers is a Philly native now living in North Jersey and running her own PR firm, Mayers Consulting, focusing on family entertainment and saving the world through music. Her clients include the likes of Dan Zanes, Secret Agent 23 Skiddoo, and Spare the Rock Records, which will particularly impress fans of kindie music. She is a self proclaimed foodie who doesn’t get out to eat much but watches a lot of Top Chef and believes strongly in coffee, red wine and anything parmigiana. Before her music industry career she managed a gallery of artisan crafts that cemented her lust for handmade jewelry. When she’s not working, she is at home with her cranky dog, hippie husband, and scrappy 4 year-old daughter.
Caroline Siegrist is our resident cool aunt, in part because of her devotion to encouraging her five nieces’ growing obsession with Star Wars. (Essentially, she’s the sister that every parent wishes we had right around bedtime every night.) Caroline has applied her theology degree to her work as a hospital chaplain, and has written about religion, culture, children’s literature and yes, Star Wars. After living up and down the east coast and in Vancouver BC, Caroline settled in Nashville with her tech-nerd husband, and devotes her downtime to yoga, experimenting with international cuisine, following female-led indie rock bands, and encouraging the next generation of smart girls, Amy Poehler-style. Caroline unapologetically quotes Oprah, says “y’all,” and accepts favorable comparisons to Taylor Swift.
Los Angeles based Meredith Gordon is a recovered actress and stand-up comic who pens the humor blog, Bad Sandy. Meredith is an avid reader, a die-hard college music lover, and has a shoe collection that makes us all a bit jealous. But Meredith’s true happy place is not in her closet — it’s on an airplane bound for a travel adventure where she can watch her two kids stretching their own boundaries somewhere new. In addition to Cool Mom Picks, you can also find Meredith on her podcast, The Meltdown Moms Show or contributing to sites including Mom.me and Momtastic. Basically, any place with “mom” in the name.
Georgette Gilmore is a writer, social media junkie, food lover, avid reader, and binge-TV watcher. She was owner and Editor-in-Chief of Barista Kids, a parenting site in her town, for five years. Georgette currently writes about family travel on her blog Playground. She also writes for various websites about local happenings, food, & parenting, and works as a social media manager for local town events. Georgette lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband and two adorable Gilmore Girls. She will swear up and down that she’s not cool, but we all know better. You can find her on Twitter (@gmgilmore) and Instagram (@georgettegilmore), but not Snapchat…because she just doesn’t get it. And actually we kind of admire that.
OTHER IMPORTANT PEOPLE
Director of Ad Sales and Brand Partnerships Lisa Barnes is the first to admit she loves her job more than any person should. She’s seen advertising come a long way since her first job in radio pre-motherhood, and all things being equal, digital is more fun. After a long stint in SoCal, Lisa lives in Colorado with her husband and three children–all of whom are nearly taller than she is. Aside from working with our fabulous sponsors (and they are!), Lisa stays in shape so she can keep up with her kids, never says no to a volunteer request, and loves cooking and entertaining, especially when someone else cleans up. She’s also hilarious.
Content Editor extraordinaire and Brooklyn mom, Allison Micarelli-Sokoloff, has spent her career in publishing, working as a Managing Editor for websites including The Knot and Parents.com, along with stints at traditional pubs like Interview and Stuff. In addition to managing the content on Cool Mom Picks, Allison is also the editor of baby health website baby gooroo. She spends much of her non-editing time cheering from the sidelines at her son’s soccer games and perfecting her face-painting skills on her daughter who always wants to be a vampire the second the kitten makeup is dry. Guilty pleasures include The Bachelor, skinny jeans and obsessively reorganizing the toy bins. There is also coffee in her life. Much coffee.
Kari Dahlen saves our lives on a regular basis with all sorts of magical HTML coding know-how. She’s a dancer turned neuroscientist turned Northern California mother of two boys. She’s also a shoe-in for a role if Dance Moms decides to create a spin-off for competitive gymnastics, since she essentially lives at her son’s gym. (He’s amazing!) Kari has no Scottish in her blood, but lives for everything tartan.
Jon Armstrong is our digital strategist and developer, and he is an honorary cool mom in every way. Even if he’s actually a cool dad. He doesn’t get frustrated when he has to explain things like server load state or php function call to us six times. A talented photographer, he also works frequently as our events photographer and videographer. We love him.
Cassie Ballard is our graphic designer, so if you ever see images that looks prettier than everything else, that’s Cassie. With a BFA in Communication Design and an ad agency art director/designer background, she founded Veda House in 2010 and her client roster includes impressive brands from consumer goods to media properties, all of which value simplicity, honesty, approachability, and a do-good mentality — which is why we’re honored to be counted among them. One day, she dreams of working with an apothecary to launch a collection of natural living products, and we will be first in line to buy them. And invite ourselves along on the global photography assignment.
Laurie Smithwick of Leap Design made our pretty logo. We love her.