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.
Senior Associate Tech Editor Nicole Blades is a prolific writer, journalist, and author of Ms. Mary Mack, a blog that brings a whole lot of compassion and common sense to discussions about parenthood. She’s also a gadget junkie, with a collection of iDevices, and a serious dSLR with serious lenses that get a serious workout photographing her ridiculously cute five-year-old son, which is why she’s a Senior Associate Editor at Cool Mom Tech. She’s currently working on her second book, called Nope! Not the Nanny: Stories of Race and Motherhood based on a spectacular column she published for xojane. Nicole lives in Connecticut by way of Brooklyn by way of Canada which means she’s not only cool, she’s very polite. And she’s funny. Read her posts, you’ll see.
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.
Associate Tech Editor Jeana Tahnk is a seriously geeky mom, who loves finding helpful new tech for parents. She’s been immersed in tech for more than 15 years both as a PR executive and a tech writer for pubs including Mashable, Parenting, Huffington Post and…well, Cool Mom Tech. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children who, thankfully, are not yet old enough for social media.
Jane Maynard is known for sharing smart, simple menu planning ideas for families on her hugely popular website, This Week for Dinner, and her new podcast of the same name. She’s also a freelance food writer for pubs like Parade, Cosmo and Huffington Post. While she lives in San Diego with her genius surfer dude scientist and three kids, she has a thing for east coast bagels. Also chocolate chip cookies. Possibly too many of them. (As if that were possible.)
PJ Feinstein speaks fluent pop culture, prefers to buy instead of DIY, and once had a style question printed in Lucky Magazine. Now, she answers them for us. She started blogging in 2007 after moving from NYC to Nebraska and has been writing for websites like The Neighborhood, Lifetime Moms, and Better Homes & Gardens ever since. Her personal blog, A Girl Named PJ, explores what it means to live an authentic, fulfilling life—with two young boys in tow. She recently moved back to the East Coast (and into her childhood home!) with her former military-officer husband, their kids and a dog named after a Law & Order character.
When Serena Norr is not writing about style, baby gear, and healthy living, she’s off on adventures with her three girls in and around NYC, making homemade soup (seriously, she has an entire blog dedicated to soup) or pinning cool ideas for her new house in the burbs. While she’s written for a ton of parenting and lifestyle publications, we may be most intrigued by her job a former editor for the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. In other words, if you want to know the difference between a French Press and a Chemix, she’s your gal.
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.
After working for 10 years as a magazine editor and elementary school reading teacher in New York City, contributor Kristin Mahoney headed for the hills (or sometimes just slight inclines) of suburban New Jersey with her husband and two young daughters. She’s currently an author of picture books and middle grade novels, when she’s not leading Girl Scout meetings, sneaking vegetables into meatballs, and watching impromptu dance performances in her living room. Her idea of a balanced life is one that incorporates nights at home reading Little House books to her kids and nights out singing karaoke with friends. Ideally both of which include red wine. For her, not the kids.
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.