Working Moms Against Guilt is powered by these wonderful women, each representing her unique perspective on parenting, career, guilt, and life. Learn more about the women who make up our team of WMAG contributors, and feel free to connect with us via the links and contact information provided.
Susan Wenner Jackson
Susan Wenner Jackson cofounded Working Moms Against Guilt in 2006 with three of her working-mom friends in Cincinnati. She’s been a writer as long as she can remember, and a blogger and mom since 2006. She lives in West Chester, Ohio (a northern suburb of Cincinnati), with her husband, Jerry, and two children (ages 9 and 6).
Susan earned a master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Miami University. She’s VP of Content Partnerships for Ahalogy, a Cincinnati-based startup that’s helping the world’s top brands and blogs win on Pinterest. Susan serves as editor of WMAG, and contributes to the Family Friendly Cincinnati blog and iBlog Magazine.
Micaela Alpers spent the last nine years in higher education and is currently president of Career TEAM‘s Education division. Prior to this role, she served as National Director of Sales for McGraw Hill Education.
After years of successful development with her own coach, Kathy Milburn, Micaela completed the ICF accredited, Accomplishment Coaching Leadership and Coaches training program. She’s also a certified trainer in the Aha! Process, Bridges Out Of Poverty program. She strongly believes that education is the gateway to empowerment, self-confidence and most of all — choice!
Micaela and her husband, Nick, are both San Diego State University graduates, and describe San Diego as “living in nature’s playground.” They share a passion for travel, and can’t wait to expose their son, Kai, to different cultures around the globe. Her personal mission is to support people in creating fulfilled and abundant lives.
Marcia is a married mom of three (one toddler boy/tornado and two elementary school girls/fairies/artistic directors) who believes that women are half of the sky and they should be able to create (and fully enjoy) lives that actually fit their talents and life aspirations.
She prefers “and” to “either or.” She focuses on creating more “and” opportunities for women around the world.
She offers training consulting to companies and like to support women wether they are friends going through the ups and down of life or women who want to increase their effectiveness and joy for life through leadership and personal development.
“I want to create bridges between seemingly detached worlds (family and work, developed and emerging, for-profit and non-profit, masculine and feminine etc), because I believe that building a more inclusive world will allow business and people to thrive,” Marcia says.
Connect with Marcia:
Jacquelyn is proud adoptive mother to her 3-year-old son, J, and wife of 11 years to her college sweetheart, Matt. While not a professional writer by trade, Jacquelyn is a fierce supporter of adoption and working moms everywhere. When not hard at work in her career in digital as a Sr. Director of Business Innovations at Rockfish, Jacquelyn blogs about the trials and tribulations of mothering a toddler with severe ADHD, navigating the crazy world of adoption, and striking a balance between career and family.
Connect with Jacquelyn:
Sara Bennett Wealer
Sara is an author, copywriter and live event producer who blogs when she’s not working on a new novel or spending time with her two children. Sara started her career as a newspaper reporter. She went on work on the websites of major consumer brands before taking her current position as a scriptwriter and producer for an experiential marketing firm.
Sara’s first novel for young adults, RIVAL, was released in 2011 by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins. Her next book, RUSH, comes out in 2016 with Bloomsbury Spark. Sara earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas.
Connect with Sara:
Kristi Mader Blust
Kristi and her husband are the parents of a deliciously mischievous girl, P, born in 2012, and a handsome little fella they call E, born in 2014. Her days are spent working as a school psychologist in rural Pennsylvania.
When she’s not working, you can find Kristi chasing her children around the local library, trying to prevent her son from playing in the toilet, and/or simultaneously drinking merlot and binge-watching Netflix.
By blogging, she hopes to offer some much-needed comic relief to her fellow warrior mamas, as well as generate some thoughtful discussion about work, life, raising children, and trying to maintain some sanity in the process.
Connect with Kristi:
Dara is a married mom with two wonderful kids (ages 8 and 11). She is a time management strategist based out of the Cincinnati area. Her personal motto, learned from Daddy (yes, she still calls him that), is “Did I follow the 7Ps?”
Dara began a career break from corporate marketing when her kids were young. She relaunched with a new professional focus once both kids started school.
She has successfully executed numerous workshops, and one-on-one personalized solutions focused on time management and productivity. Her simplified “you can do it” approach is engaging, friendly, and actionable.
Jacqueline is an aspiring minimalist, especially when it comes to work and life. She helps busy working moms unfuss their lives and daily routines, keeping things so simple, the single ladies crane their necks wondering, “How do they do it?” She has worked in management consulting and communications for more than a decade and writes everything from speeches for CEOs, to proposals winning billions of dollars. She currently lives just outside of Chicago, where she has the support of a bearded husband, two kids, a dog, a cat (and she hates cats), no house plants, and most of her sanity.
Jacqueline’s personal website is JacquelineFisch.com.
Connect with Jacqueline:
Monica is a working mom who lives in Buffalo, NY, and has one daughter who was born in 2012. She has a fantastic husband, Rob, who has encouraged and supported her through the tough transition into working mommy-hood. Her passion is to empower other women who choose to work after having kids and to bring attention to the antiquated policies that plague working mothers in the United States. In April 2015, she traveled to the White House to provide feedback on how current policies impact working moms in a small roundtable with President Obama’s senior advisor.
Monica has worked at a Fortune 100 tech company since she was 20 years old. She started while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in legal studies with the intention of going to law school. She ultimately decided to achieve her MBA and is currently a Marketing Manager supporting vertical markets. She enjoys taking time off to have mommy-and-me days with her daughter and spending quiet nights watching late night TV with her husband to unwind from a long day.
Monica’s personal blog is Redefining Mom.
Christie is a working mom. She’s also got this side gig called a professional career where she does a bunch of creative stuff in Corporate America. She actually loves public speaking (freak) and is a published author of faith-based women’s fiction. She graduated with a degree in English from Eastern Kentucky University and attended graduate school at DePaul University.
Her road to motherhood was like the rest of life, hard and unpredictable, but she wouldn’t change that journey or the perspective it brought her. Being a working mom makes her a better mom, period.
Connect with Christie:
Kathy Holsonbake became a mom much later in life. She married her high school sweetheart 17 years after the couple first met and inherited her daughter by another mother when she was 35 and her daughter, Kelsey, was 10. She gave birth to her son, Levi, at 36.
She spent 10 years as a television news reporter covering the Oklahoma City bombing, Margaret Rudin murder trial, and crime in Las Vegas. Her rural home is a world away from Sin City, but it’s the dream she thought would never come true. She is the proud owner and operator of a Stihl gas chainsaw, and makes treasure from trash. Kathy’s also an above average cook, champion of the elderly, and an ever-improving mother.
She and her husband are recovering prostate cancer survivors. She hopes what they have learned from their journey will help other couples navigate the roller coaster ride of recovery.
Connect with Kathy:
Winning the lottery has been the theme of Umeda’s life—starting with literally winning a lottery to come to the United States. She’s married to an amazing man through an arranged marriage 10 days after she met him. She gave birth via C-section to premature twin girls after an experimental fetal laser surgery and 30% chance of survival. Later, she experienced natural childbirth with her son 28 months later.
Umeda earned an MBA focused in strategy while typing reports with kids on her shoulders and reading strategy books as bedtime stories. Currently she manages a tech company which she transformed from a minimally viable software to more than 22 implementations across the U.S., revenue over $100K the first year, a full team, grant funding up to $100K, and collaborations with Fortunate 500 companies.
She hungers for balance, spirituality, personal development, expressing myself creatively, fitness, financial stability, minimalism, and the scent and touch of a baby.
She also feels passionate about supporting, mentoring, and empowering women to aim high while maintaining balance; getting out of your comfort zone, being the best you can as women, wives, mothers, and entrepreneurs; never stop developing; being independent; and finding excitement in your pursuits.
Julie is married with two young daughters. The oldest, her sweetness, is both sweet and gentle with a bit of wacky and rambunctious thrown in. The baby, her happiness, is a snuggle bug and also a serious daredevil. Julie has found being a mother has brought more joy and more challenges than she could have ever anticipated.
Julie is a registered nurse, working full-time in an outpatient clinic. Writing has always been one of her passions and it’s a lot of fun to get to write all about the adventure of motherhood.
Julie’s personal blog is Don’t Lick Your Sister.
Connect with Julie:
Neha is a grateful product marketer at Linkedin, a sustainable MBA student and a restorative yoga teacher, a happy wife and a mom to a curious little toddler.
She has been blogging extensively for the last two years on her personal website and a few other websites. Sharing her stories, journey and lessons via the digital world has given her an incredibly container to stay in touch with myself and create something that can contribute positively in the world.
Neha is honored to be a part of this community, primarily to spark conversations and inspire women to keep their dreams alive. We live in a culture where we are reminded to follow our passions and make our dreams come true. Yet, as parents we tend to put our hearts deepest desires at the last. We nurture everyone else’s dreams and even invest in our careers but our true callings and purpose is often asked to wait till the kids leave the house and Neha wants to change that. She wants to empower women to believe that life can be more than work, kids, spouse and their to-do list. She believes there is a space in our hearts to start tending to our dreams without giving up our jobs, compromising on the family or going broke.
Lori Mihalich-Levin, JD
Lori is the founder of Mindful Return and creator of the Mindful Return E-Course, which helps women plan for and make the transition back to work after maternity leave. She runs the 4-week, online course every two to three months, and women from all over the world have joined the supportive Mindful Return community to reduce their stress in the maternity leave and return period.
Lori is also a Partner in the Health Care practice group at an international law firm called Dentons and is also mama to two beautiful red-headed little boys.
Jenny is a working mom of one adorable child and one (usually) adorable husband, both with whom she resides in Northern New Jersey. By day she works in higher education and occasionally teaches writing.
Since becoming a parent, Jenny spends too much time googling and on Facebook, seeking out that which constitutes “normal” about parenting and babies. To date, she has discovered a lot of conflicting information.
Connect with Jenny:
Lauren sometimes admits that she is a lawyer, but she mostly likes to talk about being a wife to her college sweetheart and a mother to two amazing little boys, born in 2009 and 2012. She has often considered leaving the oh-so-glamorous legal life for the Washington Ballet for all of the times the men in her life keep her on her toes.
Connect with Lauren:
Geographers, analysts, and programming professionals call her Benita. Her former students were fond of calling her Mrs. Staples (…and a lot of other names she won’t mention here). Her husband, family and friends call her BJ. And her newest moniker, which she hears over and over again from the most adorable and inquisitive little girls on this rotating earth, is Mom.
As a contributor to Working Moms Against Guilt, Benita brings a little bit of all these versions of herself to the party. She happily shares her experiences, opinions and analysis of what life is like for a woman who loves to work just as much as she loves being a mom.
Connect with Benita:
Stephanie is a coffee drinker, a music lover, and a runner. Living just outside of Orlando, Fla., she can often be found spending time at the happiest place on earth with her family. Stephanie has two daughters, both brought into this world through the miracle of IVF.
Professionally Stephanie works in higher-education helping traditional universities develop, deploy, and grow online degree programs. She’s motivated by innovation, collaboration, and execution.
Connect with Stephanie:
We also have a terrific roster of writers who wrote for Working Moms Against Guilt in the past, and have since moved on. Please see our Previous Contributors page for links to their articles.