Kristen Chase, Publisher, Editor & CEO, is the original mastermind behind Cool Mom Picks and if any mom knows about tech as an organizational lifesaver, it’s Kristen. She’s balancing her role here with personal blogging, an addiction to online shopping, writing columns for publications like Baby Center, and hosting a popular web series on Cafe Mom.
Kristen has been cited by Parents Magazine as one of of the Top 10 Power Moms, and she appears on Babble’s 2010 list of the 50 Best Twitter Moms. Kristen has been featured on The TODAY Show and CNN, and in local and National publications discussing shopping and parenting culture.
Kristen tries to stay as cool as possible (in all senses of the word) while living in the Philly burbs and 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 successful side career as a creative director in the Prada-mandatory world of advertising, and co-founded Cool Mom Picks with Kristen.
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. She’s been named to lists of top online influencers by The Daily Beast, Nielsen, The New York Post, Babble, and Parents Magazine, and in 2011 she was awarded the prestigious AWNY Game-Changers Award from Advertising Women of New York. Liz can frequently be seen on programs like NBC’s TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show, HLN, and local New York media discussing parenting trends, gear, technology, social media and culture. Once she talked about her underwear.
She is equally at home in the boutiques of Fifth Avenue, behind a fat red shopping cart at Target, and in the aisles of tech stores (especially the ones with the gaming demos!) but Liz can most often be spotted around her Brooklyn neighborhood grabbing a grilled cheese with her daughters, Thalia and Sage.
Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford endured more than a dozen years in marketing and now spends her time outside Boston with three children who love sushi and impromptu disco dance parties. 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 while reviewing all of our kids’ music submissions. She is on a mission to prove homeschooling can be cool and knows the best sites for cool, free printables like nobody’s business. And boy, she’s good at making lists. Lots and lots of lists.
We think Atlanta mom and Associate Editor Delilah S. Dawson is the reason geek rhymes with chic. 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. She knows every reference to Star Wars, Dr.Who, Harry Potter and Twilight that you can throw at her and is constantly correcting our spelling of the word Wookiee. Her kids want to grow up to be a vampire and the Hulk, respectively. She couldn’t be prouder.
Associate Editor Jeana Lee Tahnk is a self-proclaimed techno-geek and has been immersed in the technology industry for approximately 15 years, or since Mark Zuckerberg was in 7th grade. As a mom of three young kids, she often thinks about the impact that tech will have on their lives and has already started lecturing them about the dangers of texting while driving – regardless of whether the youngest even knows what texting is. She is a high-tech PR consultant and freelance writer for sites like Mashable, The Huffington Post, Daily Candy Kids, and Cool Mom Picks (yay!). In her spare time, she loves being outside with her kids, eating out, and scouring Pinterest to find crafts that are actually doable.
Cool Mom Tech Associate 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. 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 lives a pretty simple life in Franklin, Tennessee, a hip little suburb of Nashville. And yes, coastal-dwellers, they do have broadband and indoor plumbing. She’s a writer and book editor and mother of three gorgeous red-headed children who occasionally take breaks from soccer practice and dance recitals to throw down at the Wii. Kate is just starting to travel with her brood and is actively seeking tech to keep them engaged and happy. She, like so many parents, is grateful for every single app on her iPad.
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.
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 on Cool Mom Picks, and keeps her eye out for apps and smart appliances that can help us in the kitchen. Or better, get us out of there faster.
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, as a longtime writer for Cool Mom Picks, 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. She lives to find things that will make parents’ lives simpler and more organized. So we’re lucky she does it for us.
OTHER IMPORTANT PEOPLE
Senior Tech Editor, 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. She spent ten years wrangling tech projects for the military and the music industry, and can remember when the Motorola two-way was cool. She loves fitness gadgets, math and science apps, and staying three steps ahead of tech-using tweens.
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.
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 listen to books on Audible and help her city become a little greener–an endeavor she documents on her blog, Atlanta Green Mom. 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 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. We love her.
Jon Armstrong is our staff photographer, as well as 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.