Whether we’re running a corporation or running errands, as moms we all play the most important role in our kid’s lives. But as parents, we look to our peers for ideas and motivation. We happen to live in an amazing city where moms are leading the way in business, media, non-profits and more. Read on for our list of Seattle Power Moms and be ready to get inspired.
Shauna James Ahern
Back when Seattle resident Shauna James Ahern was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005, hardly anyone had heard of the term. Since then, Ahern’s turned her experience with gluten intolerance into the blog Gluten-Free Girl. Ahern writes witty, wry accounts about finding love, surviving motherhood, and, of course, learning how to eat well sans gluten. Ahern’s blog has garnered accolades as one of the best food sites on the planet by the London Times and Gourmet.com. Her first book, now in paperback, is Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food That Loves Me Back and How You Can, Too. She followed it up with in 2010 with Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story in 100 Tempting Recipes. Look for Ahern’s next title, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, to hit the shelves this April.
Chief Running Officer, Running Evolution
You’ve probably pushed your stoller past Beth Baker as she loops around Green Lake with a group of runners whether you’ve known it or not. A certified personal trainer, Baker launched Running Evolution after picking up running as a hobby in her adult life. The “Chief Running Officer” has personally completed almost ten marathons and twice as many half-marathons. She also leads by example: Baker weighed in at more than 200 pounds during her pregnancy and got fit through exercise and eating right. Baker has coached more than 1,000 jogging novices (including a slew of new moms) as they’ve become avid runners who’ve gone on to complete races ranging from 5ks to marathons.
CEO + Co-founder, Next Door Media
Next Door Media CEO and co-founder Kate Bergman knows a thing or two about the power of community-fueled news. Selected as one of TechFlash.com’s “top 100 women in Seattle tech,” the longtime reporter cut her teeth at Evening Magazine and filled the post of Assignment Manager of Northwest Cable News. Bergman served as producer of KING 5 Morning News before launching MyBallard.com in 2007. Following that site’s success, she worked alongside her husband Cory to launch hyper-local community blog hub Next Door Media. She’s since started neighborhood blogs covering Fremont, Queen Anne, Phinneywood and Magnolia.
Community-based Non-profits leader
A dedicated supporter of community-based non-profits, Alexandra Brookshire sits as Chair of the Board of Directors of Treehouse, an organization celebrating its 25th year providing critical education support and other childhood experiences for foster children. She also launched a new charity StolenYouth to help combat child trafficking in the Seattle area and directs VillageReach, an organization working to better vaccination education and distribution in Africa. Earlier in her professional life, she served as a partner at Perkins Coie in the corporate securities area and as General Counsel for public software company Wall Data, Inc. She launched her career at in Manhattan at a large Wall Street firm after finishing law school. Even though she grew up at sea level on the Gulf Coast, Brookshire learned to appreciate the higher elevations and is an avid skier.
Margo Jarvies Engberg
Margo Jarvies Engberg has had a busy last few years. As owner of area cupcake chainlet PinkaBella, the Kirkland mom has grown her love of baking into a thriving business operating stores in Alderwood, Southcenter, Redmond Town Center and Bellevue Square. Named 2013 Alumna of the Year by Seattle Pacific University, Engberg formerly served as a residence life director on campus. Prioritizing giving back, Engberg donated more than 40,000 sweet treats to various area non-profits. And rumor has it she’s being vetted for a reality TV show.
Founder, Cupcake Royale
Kids might recognize Cupcake Royale founder Jody Hall as the woman behind their favorite lemon drop or salted caramel cupcakes. But the former Starbucks marketing exec and mom is also known around town as an advocate for employee benefits. In 2011, she committed almost $70,000 to cover 75 percent of health insurance for qualifying Cupcake Royale employees. Hall also met with President Obama in 2010 to discuss ways his administration can do more to back the efforts female business owners. She regularly supports Pride events around town and recently donated hundreds of celebratory cupcakes to Seattle City Hall on the day Washington State first legalized gay marriage. Hall launched the first Cupcake Royale shop in Madrona before the trend exploded back in 2004 and operates six thriving area locations.
Entertaining + Lifestyle Expert
Seattle-based entertaining and lifestyle specialist Alexandra Hedin is on a mission to build lovelier days. Her first book Entertaining at Home was released in 2010. It features custom menus, recipes, crafts and party ideas that make any event a little bit cooler. Balancing parenting two kids with her busy career, Hedin writes about food and entertaining in each issue of 425 Magazine. In addition, Hedin has been featured on Seattle’s ABC, FOX and CBS affiliates, in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens and on Design*Sponge.
Reporter, KING 5
The most followed local female TV journalist on Facebook and Twitter? Check. Emmy winner? Check. Mom? Check. Seattle KING 5 personailty Jenni Hogan inspires us to be better time managers and offers up ways to embrace technology to make life easier. Forbes named Hogan the “Socially Savvy” TV Journalist. In addition to hosting Connect, a bi-weekly show she launched this year, Hogan established next generation media firm Jenni Hogan Media. In addition, she co-founded the GoGirl Academy, a non-profit helping young people secure career advancement opportunities.
Mimi Jung joined the KING 5 news team more than a decade ago as a general assignment reporter. She’s since become a familiar on-screen face in thousands of Seattle living rooms. A National Asian American Journalists Association member, the Syracuse University grad grew up in Puyallup. Jung talked to Red Tri about her role as a mom in this article from 2010. In addition to delivering daytime news as the KING 5 News at Noon anchor, Jung is a mother of two and enjoys taking pictures and playing piano and violin.
Party Planner, Invisible Hostess
Chances are, party planner Sheena Kalso has a job you fantasize about. She spends her days planning eco-chic events, including weddings, corporate parties and mitzvahs through her business the Invisible Hostess. She also coordinates specialized Trophy Cupcake event delivery. Kalso has worked in event planning for the past decade, learning the tools of the trade from expert planners and completing a stint coordinating events at the Washington Athletic Club. The mother of two, Kalso launched the Invisible Hostess in 2006.
Executive Director, PEPS
In Seattle, we’re lucky to have access to PEPS, a resource and support organization that connects parents of young children. Laura Kussick serves as PEPS Executive Director and works with the group’s board members to bring leadership and vision to PEPS programming, which includes Baby Pepper and PEPS for dads. Kussick graduated from Brown University and has participated in Seattle’s “Leadership Tomorrow” program. She also balances work life with quality time at home with her husband, son and their Portuguese Water Dog.
Rachel Hart Rios
Editorial Director, Seattle Magazine
Seattle Magazine Editorial Director Rachel Hart Rios might just turn on prime time TV and see Grey’s Anatomy doctors flipping through the pages of her magazine. Hart Rios took the helm at Seattle Magazine in 1997 and has served as Editorial Director of parent company Tiger Oak Publications’ Seattle office for almost a decade. She also works as a Writing and Editing Consultant. A Wisconsin native, Hart Rios launched her career as Associate Publisher and Features Editor of Madison Magazine. She lives in Ballard with her husband and two sons.
Co-Anchor, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News co-anchor Angela Russell has interviewed and covered some of the most important stories of our generation. She’s had an especially busy last few years: In 2009, Russell co-moderated Seattle mayoral and King County executive race debates. She traveled to Haiti in 2010 to cover the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and recovery efforts. And here’s a memory to share with her future grandkids–in 2011 Russell conducted a one-on-one White House interview with President Obama. A member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Russell is the mother of two girls and a self-proclaimed foodie.
Founder, Parent Map
Alayne Sulkin launched local family magazine Parent Map almost a decade ago. Since then, she has grown her staff to more than 20 while generating annual revenues topping well over $1 million. Under her leadership, Parent Map has earned numerous Parenting Publications of America Editorial & Design Awards. Sulkin has also expanded onto the web and established a book publishing arm of her company. The Mercer Island-based mom has sat on the board of the Foundation for Early Learning.
Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson
Doctor + Blogger
In addition to treating kids as a practicing pediatrician at the Everett Clinic in Mill Creek, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson blogs on the wildly popular Seattle Mama Doc blog. A firm believer in finding and trusting our instincts as parents, Dr. Swanson is the mother of two boys. She also serves as a Clinical Instructor at the UW Department of Pediatrics and is on the Seattle Children’s medical staff roster. An American Academy of Pediatrics fellow, Dr. Swanson earned a Doctor of Medicine and a Masters in Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Field Manager, Young Survival Coalition
When Nicole Taylor was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at age 34, she decided to turn her journey into an experience to inspire other young women fighting the condition. The Young Survival Coalition West Regional Field Manager organizes volunteers and cultivates opportunities for survivor support. Before joining the Young Survival Coalition, the Seattle-based mother of two also worked in volunteer management for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Puget Sound. A trained educator, she also served for a decade as a teacher in public schools.
President + Founder, SagaCity Media, Inc. and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine
Seattle Metropolitan Magazine and SagaCity Media, Inc., President and Founder Nicole Vogel is a thriving entrepreneur. Alongside her brother Scott, Vogel launched Portland Monthly in 2003. Three years later, Seattle Metropolitan hit the newsstands. Earlier in her career, the Seattle-based mother served as Vice President of Move.com and Vice President of Strategic Planning at Turner Broadcasting. In 2007, she garnered a nod as Oregon Entrepreneur of the Year.
Executive Director, WestSide Baby
Nancy Woodland serves as Executive Director of WestSide Baby, a local non-profit that provides kids and baby items to families in South King County. She oversees a variety of programming, including the WestSide Baby annual diaper-donate-a-thon donation drive. The non-profit management professional once worked as a lawyer for the state attorney general and graduated from a child advocacy law program at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. And we bet her kids loved it when she was named Grand Marshall of the West Seattle Grand Parade in 2012.
There are tons of women out there who are power moms. Who else do you think we should add to our list?