Meet the Cool Mom Picks Team

PUBLISHERS


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 publishes columns on sites including BabyCenter, Mom.Me, and stars 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.

Follow her on twitter at @CoolMomPicks, @CoolMomTech, @ThatKristen

 


Liz

Liz Gumbinner, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, is a born and bred New Yorker but without the accent. She has a successful side career 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, 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.

Follow her on twitter at @CoolMomPicks, @CoolMomTech, @Mom101

 

ASSOCIATE EDITORS


Christina

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.

 


Delilah

We think Associate Editor 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.

 

 

 


Associate Editor Jeana Lee Tahnk explores anything and everything that makes her life more organized, efficient, stylish and/or fun. As a full-time working mom of three, she’s always looking for handy shortcuts and helpful products, specifically one that will fold laundry. She has been in the tech PR industry for 15 years and also writes for awesome outlets like Cool Mom Tech (yay!), Mashable, Parenting and Daily Candy Kids. In her spare time, she loves being outside with her kids, eating out, and scouring Pinterest to find crafts that are actually doable. She also admits to reading trashy celebrity tabloids and watching terrible reality TV–and we love her for it.

 


Kate

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, 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.

 

 

CONTRIBUTORS


Stacie

Stacie Billis is one of our all time 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 food columnist. 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.

 


Stephanie S.

Stephanie Slate is Canadian, but never says “eh.” Before kids she was the book buyer for a national toy retailer. Now she spends her days as the book reader for her three bibliophile children, and as a contributor to People.com’s Moms & Babies. Which means she knows more than you’d ever want to about strollers of the rich and famous. Don’t let the chic exterior fool you though–she’s the kind of crunchy that gives the thumbs up to home-birthing, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding until children are 47. And, yes, she makes her own granola.

 

 


Stephanie M.

Stephanie Mayers is a Philly native now living in North Jersey and commuting daily to Brooklyn to help save the world through music–Stephanie has a sweet gig as Dan Zanes’ manager, and was an executive producer of the Kindiefest family music conference. 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.

 


Melissa

Melissa Schweiger Kleinman has not had a good night’s sleep since her second son was born in 2011. Until that day comes, she has learned the merits of a really good concealer and really strong coffee. Melissa has written about beauty and fashion for tons of national magazines and websites like Marie Claire, Shape, New You, InStyle, AOL Stylelist and Elizabeth Street and is the recent author of Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom and Baby to help moms make smarter choices when it comes to buying stuff for their families. After living in the big city for nearly 20 years, she recently convinced her family to leave the boroughs for the burbs. She can now watch her two rambunctious boys jump in leaves from the comfort of her kitchen window.

 


Esther

Esther Chen is a native Texan who’s still adjusting to life without great BBQ the NYC area with her drooling infant son, husband and two loveable mutts. New to the mom scene, she authors the personal blog Tot By the City and is always on the hunt for great fashion, gadgets, stationery, gear and basically anything she and her baby can’t live without. Having worked in PR for more than a decade, she considers herself incredibly fortunate to have worked with brands like Martha Stewart, Harry Potter and PEOPLE magazine. So yeah, she knows her stuff. Including food, which is why she spends way too much time pinning a million recipes on Pinterest even if she admits she will never have time to make any of them.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT PEOPLE


Julie

VP of Operations and writer extraordinaire Julie Marsh is a mom of three, a project manager by trade, and a triathlete for fun, which means that she could use a nap. A military veteran and survivor of the music industry, she reluctantly moved to Denver from New York and subsequently discovered that she actually likes playing outside. When she’s not ensuring that CMP staff are toeing the line, she’s sewing, vacuuming, or getting lost in nature (sometimes literally). She also likes rap music and skateboarding fashion.

 

 


Director of Ad Sales 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. Lisa lives north of San Francisco 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.

 


Titania

Social Media Manager Titania Jordan is an essential part of our social media team, but oh so much more. Besides being ridiculously adorable, and not looking a day over 19 even after having a beautiful son (not that we’re jealous or anything) we’re not sure we’ve ever seen her stop smiling. When she’s not helping to manage website communities, Titania is a weekly Atlanta radio personality on WSTR-FM, a national TV personality on programs such as EcoSense for Living, and still finds time to help her city become a little greener which she documents on her blog, Atlanta Green Mom. In her downtime Titania makes jewelry, builds LEGO cities, and catches up new books via Audible. She says that she loves Atlanta and doesn’t want to move to a hemp hut with a huge organic garden out back, but we think she secretly does. As long as it gets good Wi-Fi.

 


Kari

Kari Dahlen saves our lives on a regular basis with all sorts of magical HTML 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. Kari has no Scottish in her blood, but lives for everything tartan.

 

 

 

Jon Armstrong is our digital strategist/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. We love him.

 

Laurie Smithwick of Leap Design made our pretty logo. We love her.