Mighty Summit Attendees

Mighty Summit | Attendees

Mighty Summit attendees are writers, painters, photographers, online influencers, designers, leaders in media and technology, and more. Past attendees have included New York Times bestselling authors, Emmy award-winners, TED speakers, and other inspiring women in media and beyond.

Top images courtesy Maile Wilson of Epiphanie Bags.

2012 Attendees

Anne Sage (@citysage) is the co-founder and Executive Editor of Rue Magazine, an online interiors and entertaining publication with a fashion and lifestyle sensibility. She also founded The City Sage, a blog that features daily inspiration for fashion and interior design. She lives in San Francisco.

CATIE NIENABER wants to visit Greece, make a pie crust from scratch, perform in a drag king show, learn to play the drums, and have a piece of writing published in Vogue.

Catie Nienaber (@cuffington) is based in San Francisco and has been blogging about fashion for the past six years.  Her writing and styling work has appeared in many national and regional print and online publications (Elle.com, Refinery29, 7×7, Big Up, the Huffington Post, WORN). Two years ago Catie founded Dronning Vintage, an online clothing boutique dedicated to women’s apparel and accessories from the 1930s through the 1970s. Catie was a featured speaker on the art and science of vintage apparel business ownership at this year’s San Francisco Zine Fest. She is a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday style pages, profiling fashion designers and business owners from around the country.

CHRISTINE KOH wants to learn to throw pottery, make a guest appearance on Sesame Street, wear a couture gown somewhere, ride a bicycle of her very own, create a family tree, learn how to dive and do flip turns, and settle in a home with a view of water (perhaps in which to dive and do flip turns).

Christine Koh (@bostonmamas) is a music and brain scientist turned writer, editor, designer, consultant, and impassioned conversationalist. She spent a decade in academia and was about to become a professor when she decided to hang up her academic spurs in favor of more flexible and independent ventures. Christine is the founder and editor of the stylish parenting resource portal Boston Mamas, the graphic designer behind Posh Peacock, a digital strategist at Women Online, and co-founder of The Mission List (a network of women passionate about using their influence for social good) and Pivot Boston (an event series geared towards helping women follow their passion and make their lives awesome). Her first book –Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less – will be published March 2013. Christine lives in the Boston area with her rock star husband and delicious daughters Laurel and Violet. Lesser known facts: Christine was a White House intern during the Clinton administration, used to play solo violin recitals from memory, and can sing the 50 states in alphabetical order.

DANA LARUE wants to play the lead in a Brock Wilbur film, drive a vespa through the streets of Rome, make preserved lemons, and hug Oprah.

Dana LaRue (@brokeassbride) is the founder and CEO of Broke-Ass Media, and editor-in-chief at her award-winning blog, The Broke-Ass Bride, and forthcoming lifestyle brand, The Broke-Ass. With a mission to empower folks to use creativity as currency in order to craft bad-ass weddings and lives without breaking the bank, her site is the go-to spot for a practical, irreverent, and outside-the-box approach… helping couples create weddings that reflect their personality and celebrate their unique love story. Her wedding expertise has been featured in countless publications, and she was recently named one of the Top 10 Social Media Influencers in the Wedding Industry by WedBiz Journalm, and will be publishing her first book with Random House/Clarkson Potter in December 2013. LaRue has lent her business development, branding and social media expertise to a wide range of fields, from financial corporations to women’s website networks to creative artists and actors too.  Basically, if Oprah and Suze Orman had a baby, and Carrie Bradshaw and Mary Poppins had a baby… and their babies had a baby? Yeah, she’d be that baby.

ELIZABETH STARK wants to learn to hunt, visit Easter Island, type really fast (or at least using all of her fingers), someday have a real garden, and finally admit to the world that throwing rocks into bodies of water is one of her very favorite things to do.

Elizabeth Stark (@brooklynsupper) is a writer, photographer, and recipe developer, and has been chronicling her (mostly) seasonal, local cooking and baking adventures since 2008 on Brooklyn Supper, a blog she co-writes with her strikingly handsome husband Brian Campbell. Since 2010, she’s been a regular contributor to Babble.com’s Family Kitchen. Brooklyn Supper has been featured online on Food52, Fine Cooking, and Gourmet Live, and Elizabeth’s work has appeared in print in the Chicago Sun-Times. Elizabeth is also a fine artist with an MFA in painting and is an adjunct instructor in the Wagner College art department. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

FIONA TANG wants to float in zero gravity, bowl a turkey, successfully grow vegetables, spend a year living abroad, and see the gigantic manmade boulders in Costa Rica.

Fiona Tang (@yayfiona) is the co-founder of Signal Camp, a consulting company built to help tech startups with their marketing and community programs. With her strong marketing and communications background, Fiona has helped set strategic marketing programs for companies ranging from Foodspotting to the Computer History Museum. She has published magazines, managed large scale events, and developed community and PR programs. Fiona holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree from Santa Clara University, hails from Sydney, plus has a fondness for cheese and knitting.

JESSICA ZOLLMAN wants to have a mobile photo printed in a magazine or newspaper, go to space, and drive down route 66 in a convertible.

Jessica Zollman (@jayzombie) a social media professional & photographer from San Francisco. She has been a part of the Community team at Instagram since 2011, and she’s formerly held positions at Formspring and Linden Lab. She’s also the co-creator of 1197, a mobile photography conference.

JESSIE CHAR wants to become a decent bartender, own 200 dresses, set up a personal media server in her apartment, and get good at doing accents (for comedic purposes).

Jessie Char (@jessiechar) started out her professional life as a cellist. Working as a teacher, in a street performance group, and in a wedding quartet, she shared the stage with many talented musicians and once performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. But while in music school she realized the impending doom of starving artistry and dropped out. A long time nerd, she found her footing in the tech industry starting as a Mac Genius and working for small companies including Delicious Monster and Mule Design. She recently co-founded Pacific Helm, a small design studio with a growing list of clients, where she manages all business operations, negotiations, projects, and anything else that must be wrangled. In her spare time she cooks for her friends, accidentally buys too many dresses, and occasionally writes sardonic tech commentary on her blog, Char*.

KATE NICHOLSON wants to eat a steaming bowl of Pho in Hanoi, wear more hats and be a part of a Mardi Gras Krewe with the express purpose of roaming the streets of New Orleans throwing plastic beads and doubloons to strangers who yell with a blind frenzy in her face while she safely rided a 4-wheeled, tractor pulled papier mache float.  

Kate Nicholson is the co-founder and lead-writer of Modern Baby where she dispenses parenting advice – along with style tid bits – to today’s busy moms.  She works as a professional photographer as well, and has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, New Orleans and Aspen.  She excels at squandering her time on random things trying to be a DIY-er, most notably for her two young daughters who fill her life with smiles and chaos.

KATHERINE STONE wants to go glamping, celebrate Christmas in the Swiss Alps, see a live volcano, and increase the percentage of women who get treated for PPD from 15% to 50%.

Katherine Stone (@postpartumprog) is the founder and editor of Postpartum Progress, the leading blog on postpartum depression, and a columnist for Disney’s Babble.com.  She’s also the founder of Postpartum Progress Inc., a national nonprofit focused on vastly improving support for women with PPD. In 2012,Katherine was named one of the fiercest women in America as part of More magazine’s annual Fierce List. She also was listed among the top ten most influential mom bloggers in 2011 by Babble, and has been selected as a Health Hero by WebMD. She has been featured by the Huffington Post, Yahoo, AOL, PBS, The Today Show, HLN, ABC News and the Washington Post, among others. Katherine often speaks publicly at such events as SXSW and BlogHer, and was recently a keynote speaker for Coca-Cola’s Conversations With Coke social media conference. Prior to joining the world of posters and tweeters, she spent seven years in marketing at The Coca-Cola Company.  She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

KATHLEEN SHANNON wants to become a witch doctor (or maybe just plant an herb garden), restore a vintage Airstream and road trip across the USA with it, subscribe to a Sunday paper and read it … on Sunday, live in a tee-pee, and eat a coconut fresh off a tree after surfing all day.

Kathleen Shannon is a branding and visioning consultant for creative entrepreneurs as a co-founder of Braid Creative. She is a nationally award winning art director turned free spirited champion for business-minded creatives. Her “don’t-just-dream-it-do-it” style pervades everything from her work to her life, home, food and adventures at Jeremy & Kathleen, which has been featured on Glamour blog, A Practical Wedding, Making It Lovely, A Cup of Jo and We Like We Love.

KELLY BEALL wants to open a no-kill animal sanctuary, drink a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby, cage dive with great white sharks, and design a piece of furniture.

Design Crush has been Kelly Beall’s love letter to the design community since 2007. She’s a graphic designer and creative consultant by trade who doesn’t make or sell anything other than perception, but she’s passionate about supporting those who do. Giving them a voice and spreading their names and talents far and wide is what she does best.

KRISTIN APPENBRINK wants to learn calligraphy, ride in a helicopter, and learn to make fresh pasta so she can feed all of her friends.

Kristin Appenbrink (@kristinapp) is a web editor, currently at RealSimple.com where she oversees money, technology, and etiquette content; the Simply Stated blogs, and the brand’s social media presence. When not at her computer, you’ll find Kristin making homemade ice cream in her sunny Brooklyn kitchen. Mint chocolate chip will forever be her favorite flavor.

LILY STOCKMAN wants to interview a poet she admires, take falconry lessons, visit the Papunya Tula Aboriginal artist coop in Australia’s Western Desert, ride a horse across America, found a  fully-funded artist residency for women, restore a mid-century homestead cabin in Joshua Tree with her husband, and buy herself a 1965 El Camino SS in cherry red.

Lily Stockman (@LilyStockman) is an internationally exhibited painter and artist, and, behind the scenes, a seasoned traveler, writer, feminist, amateur botanist and photographer under the guise ofbigBANG studio. Her research on the painting and textile traditions of Central and South Asia has taken her across eastern Mongolia on horseback as a National Geographic youth grantee, and to Rajasthan, India, where she lived for the past year studying the ancient art of hand block printing and the more recent art of negotiating auto-rickshaw fares. A frequent contributor to Kinfolk Magazine, her feature essay on restoring a ’78 Scamp travel trailer and hitting the open road with her Harvard graduate, Iraq War veteran husband and less accomplished dogs appeared in Volume III. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches undergraduate painting at NYU.  (Photo credit: Nicole Franzen)

Maggie Shipstead (@MaggieShipstead) is a novelist and short story writer. Her debut novel, “Seating Arrangements,” was a national bestseller and is currently longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. This past winter she was a resident at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris. Maggie’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tin House, The Paris Review Daily, VQR, American Short Fiction, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. Her story “La Moretta” was a 2012 National Magazine Award finalist. Right now she’s more or less based in San Diego, and she has a super cool dog named TyTy.

Meg Biram (@megbiram) has been sharing her take on fashion, art, interiors and more on her blog MIMI+MEG since 2007 (soon to be megbiram.com). She has been featured in the Washington Post,ElleDECOR Magazine online, Rue Magazinekate spade new york blogRefinery29KC Magazine andHighGloss Magazine. Recently, she was named one of Washingtonian’s 10 top bloggers to watch in 2012. Meg has a journalism degree from The University of Missouri — Columbia, specializing in advertising and magazine. She was a senior designer and directed photo shoots at Hallmark Cards for five years prior to moving to Washington, D.C., and being a full-time blogger, creative collaborator, and social media/digital marketing/online branding consultant for advertising agencies, businesses, and bloggers.

Meredith Sinclair (@Hoo_dee_Hoo) is the creator and chief vlogger at Hoo-Dee-Hoo.com where her focuses are style and beauty, and the pursuit of more PLAY in the lives of both kids and their parents. Meredith has a Masters Degree in Education and has taught pre-school through fifth grade. Pre-kids, Meredith worked as the Educational Consultant for a major PBS station, helping to develop national programming and working on-air during their infamous pledge drives.Meredith now writes two monthly columns for Chicago Parent magazine and is the host of the style and beauty video series “Trending” on ChicagoParent.com. Meredith also does frequent, family centered segments for Chicago-based and National daytime talk shows. She has been featured on Windy City Live, The Today Show, and The Steve Harvey Show.

RENA TOM wants to ride rollercoasters in Ohio, do the drive to Hana, raise chickens, get some cowboy boots, and properly sew an invisible zipper.

Rena Tom (@rena_tom) is a strategist for creative business owners. Her consulting business assists small, innovative designers and shopkeepers with the intricacies of small-batch manufacturing and boutique retail. Rena’s latest venture is a unique coworking space and clubhouse for creative freelancers, Makeshift Society. It is scheduled to open in September 2012. Previously, she owned Rare Device, a boutique and art gallery with locations in Brooklyn and San Francisco that was renowned in publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Lucky, Real Simple, Food and Wine and Martha Stewart Weddings. Rena has also operated a successful jewelry design and invitation design business; during the first Web boom, she was a web content management consultant.  She lives in San Francisco.

SARA URQUHART wants to play a significant role in 10 campaigns, go on a bison run, hike Havasupi, and watch sunrise on New Year’s Day for a decade.

Sara Urquhart is the founding director of Alt Summit, a premier business conference for bloggers. She has a Master’s Degree in emergency management. She trains municipalities, politicians and EOCs throughout the western states on the best uses of social media. Sara is married and has four fabulous teenagers.

Sarah Lane (@sarahlane) produces, hosts, and edits various shows across the TWiT network. She co-hosts “Tech News Today” every weekday, and hosts weekly shows “iFive for the iPhone”, “The Social Hour”, and “iPad Today”. She used to work in television but now thinks IPTV is where it’s at. Sarah lives in San Francisco with her two cats and her dude. You can find her taking long meandering city walks, drinking tea coffee tea coffee, iPad-swiping, or obeying the wishes of her overlords.

Stephanie Brubaker (@stephmodo) is a Seattle-based lifestyle blogger who enjoys posting about all things practical and pretty on her website, Stephmodo.  When she is not making something special in the kitchen, exploring local hot spots, or dreaming up her next homespun party, Stephanie daydreams of going over to France with her husband and four young children to revisit their recently renovated Medieval cottage–a life-changing project for her family.  She was featured as a Top 50 Design Mom Blogger by Babble and also writes for other home design and food-related websites.  Stephanie’s work has been featured on Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy and the Martha Stewart Weddings blog.

Tiffani Jones Brown (@ticjones) is an academic turned writer, editor and content strategist. She currently works at Facebook, where she designs content for mobile, news feed and Facebook Stories. She has spoken about content and design at South By Southwest and Build, and written about it in The Manual, Offscreen Magazine, DesignSponge and more. Previously, she co-founded a design studio called Things That Are Brown with her husband and freelanced through Second and Park. Her clients included 826 Valencia, The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Benchmark Capital, Professional Bowler’s Association and more. Tiffani has an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago and dual undergraduate degrees in psychology and religious studies.

Jordan Ferney is an event creator and genius behind Oh Happy Day, the go-to spot for DIY party projects, party planning ideas, interior design, weddings, letterpress, invitations, and all things design. More importantly, she has impeccable taste and knows what’s next before what’s next even knows what’s next. She’s worked (or currently works) for Anthology Magazine, Apartment Therapy, Cookie Magazine.com, Babble.com, Project Wedding, and iVillage. And she now lives in San Francisco where she’s plotting what’s next.

MAILE WILSON wants to throw away all her inauthentic clothes, draw pencil sketches of her children, create a line of greeting cards, shoot a gun, create ten new Epiphanie designs, and visit the wreckage of the Titanic aboard a submarine . Read the rest of her Life List.

Maile (@Maile_Wilson) is an entrepreneur who created Epiphanie Camera Bags after years of wrapping her expensive camera in a towel and stuffing it in her purse. When she realized no purse camera hybrid existed, she made her own. Maile has been a professional photographer for sixteen years and has owned three successful studios in California, then in Texas. Her work can be found at the Relish Portrait Studio website and on her blog Daily Relish. She is a frequent guest on the local morning show San Antonio Living, and a regular contributor at Shutter Sisters.

Amber Doty (@amber_doty) spent six years as a pharmaceutical scientist advancing research and developing medicine to treat asthma and COPD. In 2012, she left the field to pursue a career in writing, editing, and internet wizardry. She writes regularly for Babble.com, Curvy Girl Guide, Your Tango, and Cafe Mom. She is also the managing editor of Go Mighty. She records her daily musings on her personal blog, The Daily Doty.

LAURA MAYES wants to learn how to make tortillas from scratch, to attend a Seder dinner, and to own a 1971 beat up truck that barely runs but hauls ass. 

Laura Mayes (@lmayes) is an Emmy-winning writer and a co-founder of Go Mighty, the Mom 2.0 Summit, the Mighty Summit & Camp Mighty, as well as Kirtsy. She has curated national art exhibits and installations,  run nationwide programs to educate women about social media, thrown charitable and celebratory events across the country, and edited the book, Kirtsy Takes a Bow: A Celebration of Women’s Online Favorites. She speaks regularly at smart gatherings including SxSW, ALT Design Summit, TribeCon, and Interactive Strategies. Laura records her daily adventures at Blog con Queso.

MAGGIE MASON wants to take a road trip across the U.S., taste 1,000 fruits, do two pull ups, and attend the sky lantern festival in Thailand. Read the rest of her Life List here.

Since 2000, Maggie Mason’s lifestyle site Mighty Girl has drawn hundreds of thousands of readers a month. Her Mighty Life List has been sponsored by Fortune 500 companies, and she is a co-founder of Mighty Events, which hosts Camp Mighty and the Mighty Summit. Mason pioneered the shopping blog space with Mighty Goods, named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Cool Sites of the Year and Best Shopping Site by Forbes and BusinessWeek. That site was acquired by Staircase Ventures in 2010, along with sister sites Mighty Haus and Mighty Junior. Mason is author of No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, and a two-time SxSW Bloggie nominee for lifetime achievement. She keynotes and speaks regularly at conferences including SxSW, Mom 2.0, the ALT Design Conference, and Blogher. She is a member of Intel’s social media advisory board, and her work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday, in The New York Times, and Elle Magazine among others. Maggie is a co-founder of Go Mighty. She lives in San Francisco with her son.

Sarah Bryden-Brown (@sbbinnyc) was the director of content and community at kidspot.com.au in 2005, a start-up that sold to News Corp in 2011 for $48M and the VP of content and community at Babble.com in 2009 which sold to Disney in 2011. In 2011, she founded Blogstar, a register of 550 (and growing) female bloggers. Sarah is also a co-founder of Go Mighty. She has authored two books: Lost Art of Childhood (Random House); Dad and Me. (Harper Collins)

Willow has a background in graphic design, nonprofits, and editing, having worked on projects for TechSoup Global, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the World Affairs Council of San Francisco,Chronicle Books, SFMOMA, and Global Philanthropy Forum. She is American but spent half her childhood in Taipei, Taiwan. She enjoys working with Maggie on Mighty Girl in San Francisco, where she lives with her small family.

2011 Attendees

ANNA BETH CHAO wants to compete in a darts tournament, eat a rice burger in Taipei, do a front double-full off a diving board, win an adult spelling bee, and sing a duet with Kenny Rogers.

Anna Beth Chao (@abchao) is AB Chao is a writer, decorator, and stylist based in Louisiana. Her work has been featured in Apartment Therapy, Anthology Magazine, Bon Appetit, The Etsy Blog, eBay’s The Inside Source, Television Without Pity, Dooce.com, and on your television. She has been blogging since 2001, and recently left her job as a communications writer to focus on writing and decorating full-time.

ESTHER CRAWFORD wants to learn how to use my sewing machine, be in a local stage production,  stand up on a surfboard, conquer her bungee jumping fear, and visit all of the continents.

Esther Crawford (@EstherCrawford) is the co-founder of GLMPS, a start-up whose mobile photo-video app is currently available on iOS and a founder of ShePosts.com, a news magazine site that covers the female blogging space. She’s a social marketer who has directed campaigns for companies such as Kmart and works as a consultant for some of the largest digital agencies in the world targeting women and moms online. She is a national spokesperson for Weight Watchers and currently appears in a national advertising campaign alongside celebrity Jennifer Hudson. Esther is a graduate of Durham University in England with a Master’s degree in International Relations but her highest achievement to date is being a mom of two through birth and foster adoption.

GRETCHEN RUBIN wants to study the life of Napoleon, do her part to help launch a new-and-improved organ-donor registry in New York State, figure out a way to do something interesting with scratch-n-sniffs, and order new business cards.

Gretchen Rubin (@gretchenrubin) is the author of the #1 New York Times and international bestseller, The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. The Happiness Project is more than a book and a blog, it’s a movement. Happiness Project groups have sprung up around the world; hundreds of book groups have discussed the book; and rights for more than 30 foreign editions have been sold. A graduate of Yale and Yale Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, Rubin started her career in law, and she was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she really wanted to be a writer. Her next (and sixth) book, Happier at Home, will hit the shelves in August 2012. It was inspired by a line from Samuel Johnson: “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, www.happiness-project.com, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness.

HELEN JANE HEARN wants to own a helium tank, play craps confidently in Vegas, take piano lessons, pay for a stranger to attend college and purchase box seats for all my friends at a Packer game.

Helen Jane Hearn (@helenjane) is the Director of Content Operations at Federated Media. This means she creatively benefits brands and bloggers at the forefront of the independent web. Helen Jane has written at helenjane.com since 1998. A home entertaining enthusiast, Helen Jane is also a certified specialist of wine and founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nation-wide cheese tasting club (featured in Food and Wine magazine). Helen Jane has spoken at SXSW, Mom 2.0 and was a keynote speaker at this year’s EVO conference. Helen Jane is also a co-captain of her bocce team, Joanie Loves Bocce. She lives and plays in Napa Valley with her husband and two toddler daughters. Inspiring creativity through celebration is what she was put here to do.

ISABEL KALLMAN wants to learn to make a batch of fried green tomatoes, take a biking trip with her family along the Natchez Trace, return to Portugal to visit family, attend a football game for the first time, and host a dinner party at her home without having a nervous breakdown in the process.

Isabel Kallman is the founder and chief at Alpha Mom, an online parenting website. Isabel and Alpha Mom have been featured by leading national media such as USA Today, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Forbes anointed Alpha Mom one of the Top 10 Mommy Hood Gurus and Parents Magazine named Isabel one of the ten “Power Moms.” Before launching Alpha Mom, Isabel spent a decade at a leading Wall Street firm working in international investment banking and equities where she worked on capital raisings for companies and advised large mutual funds and pension funds on their portfolios. Isabel lives in New York City with her husband and eight-year-old son. When she grows up she wants to be Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights.

JOANNA HAUGEN wants to ride in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti, ride with a crewe in a Mardi Gras parade, and travel to as many countries as she is years old.

JoAnna Haugen (@joanna_haugen) is a creativity connoisseur, idea inventor and freelance writer with a professional background in copywriting. A former Peace Corps volunteer and avid world traveler, she is the community news editor for WorldView, the publication for the National Peace Corps Association; managing editor for Journey Beyond Travel, an online guide about travel in Morocco; and the Las Vegas travel guide writer for WhyGo Las Vegas, a branch of the independent travel network, BootsnAll. JoAnna’s writing has appeared in more than 40 print and online publications including American Way, WestJet’s up!, Pathfinders Travel, TravelSmart, Diamond Resorts International Magazine, NextStepU Magazine, Six78th, Cheer Biz News and Dance Teacher Magazine. When she’s not on the road or writing about travel, JoAnna also works as a ghost writer and blogger, copywriter and editor for clients and projects spanning a variety of genres. JoAnna also writes the popular travel blog, Kaleidoscopic Wandering.


KATHRYN STORKE GRADY wants to put fun doorknobs on every door in her house, try glass blowing, learn to apply liquid eyeliner, see wild horses, and create 100 traditions. 

Kathryn Storke Grady is the creator and editor of Snippet & Ink, where she has been blogging about weddings since 2007. She has been quoted in Martha Stewart Weddings and CNN Living, and listed as a top wedding blog by publications such as Elle UK and Town & Country Weddings. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops for both the design and wedding communities.


KATIE SPENCE wants to go surfing in Costa Rica, take a class on Xeriscaping, develop a mediation practice, and learn how to properly cut hair.

Katie Spence (@spenceke) publishes yournewfavorite.com. What began as a pop culture blog in 2005 eventually became a space to develop and share her photography. Today it is a chronicle of two years of daily photos and still counting. While in college at The University of Texas, her goal was to work in the business of music, but once she got a job at a major record label in New York City, she realized that was a terrible idea. In 2008, she co-founded XOXCO with her husband, where she runs day-to-day operations and oversees the design and development of web products.  She lives, plays and works in Austin, Texas.

KAYLA CAGAN wants to do the splits, surprise firefighters with sweets for working so hard, read her dad’s records at the VA Hospitals, make a damn good coffee cake, and stop apologizing.

Kayla Cagan  is a dramaturg and writer. She has written plays, comic book stories, essays, novels, and creative content for the non-profit sector.  Kayla’s work is also featured in the anthology, Dirt: Writers on the Quirks, Habits and Passions of Keeping House, by Seal Press.  She is a member of The Dramatist’s Guild, as well as LMDA, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. Kayla is the recipient of the Emerging Grace Award from the Three Graces Theater Company and was the head writer of Impact Teen Drivers, a Print Magazine Award winning website. Current and upcoming projects include comic book stories in Womanthology, by IDW Press and Unite and Take Over: Comic Stories inspired by the Smiths, Spazdog Press, and essays in Dear Teen Me and Girl Crush Zine. She is the current head-writer and content creator of a social advocacy website for young girls that launches globally October 1st, in coordination with Sterling Publishing, Barnes and Noble, and The Girl Scouts of America.


KIRSTEN GROVE wants to eat sushi for breakfast, create an app that styles your wardrobe every day, grocery shop with Jamie Oliver, learn how to flip on the monkey bars, and give someone who has a crappy car, a brand new car.

Kirsten Grove has been an active Interior Decorator and Stylist for 8 years and is founder of Simply Grove, a design and decor blog.  Her work has been featured in several prominent websites and publications, including Lucky Magazine, Real Living (Australia), The Nest, Elle Decor.com and Design* Sponge.  Kirsten spent 2009/2010 designing re-purposed and restyled furniture and accessories sold at Brass Razoo, in Idaho.  She is also a regular contributor to La Petite Magazine, Pure Green Magazine and Mom Inc. Daily.  She makes her home in Boise, Idaho with her husband and two children.

Kristen Howerton (@kristenhowerton) is the author of the blog Rage Against the Minivan, a space dedicated to chronicling the self-discoveries of motherhood, one embarrassing indignity at a time. For the past year, Kristen has also acted as managing editor for ShePosts, a news magazine covering the news, scoops, and top content of the female blogging space. Kristen is a trained psychotherapist, and was in private practice for ten years. With the addition of four children in four years, she realized that she preferred the solitude of writing over solving the problems of others. She keeps one foot in the field as a part-time professor of psychology, and is an advocate and frequent speaker on adoption and orphan care issues. In addition to her own blog, Kristen is also a contributor to MamaPop, the Curvy Girl Guide, and Foodie Parent. Kristen has been interviewed on The View, The Today Show, CNN, and (making her mother most proud) The 700 Club. She lives in Orange County with her husband and four loud and lovely children.


LAURA MAYES wants to carve a pumpkin that she grew and make a pie out of it, drink whiskey at a pub in Ireland and scotch at a pub in Scotland, take painting lessons, and re-do her great grandmother’s house.

Laura Mayes (@lmayes) is an Emmy-winning writer and a co-founder of the Mom 2.0 Summit, the Mighty Summit & Camp Mighty, as well as Kirtsy. She has worked with Kirtsy to curate national art exhibits and installations, to run nationwide programs to educate women about social media, to throw charitable and celebratory events across the country, and to publish the book, Kirtsy Takes a Bow: A Celebration of Women’s Online Favorites. She speaks regularly at smart gatherings including SxSW, ALT Design Summit, Evo converence, TribeCon, and Interactive Strategies. Laura records her daily adventures at Blog con Queso.

LORI MCLEESE wants to make a perfect paella, learn the stories of the constellations, ride on the Orient Express, milk a cow, and learn to play the harmonica.

Lori McLeese (@loriloo) loves to laugh, travel, and write. She’s been fortunate to visit 42 countries and looks forward to exploring more. She loves hearing people’s stories and having the opportunity to live a day or two in their reality. Professionally, she helps make great companies even better through human resources and operational work. She’s currently working with the wonderful folks at Automattic (best known for WordPress.com). Previously, she was at Room to Read, Mervyn’s, CMP Media, and Oracle.

MAGGIE MASON wants to take a road trip across the U.S., taste 1,000 fruits, do two pull ups, and attend the sky lantern festival in Thailand. Read the rest of her Life List here.

Since 2000, Maggie Mason’s lifestyle site Mighty Girl has drawn hundreds of thousands of readers a month. Her Mighty Life List has been sponsored by Fortune 500 companies, and she is a co-founder of Mighty Events, which hosts Camp Mighty and the Mighty Summit. Mason pioneered the shopping blog space with Mighty Goods, named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Cool Sites of the Year and Best Shopping Site by Forbes and BusinessWeek. That site was acquired by Staircase Ventures in 2010, along with sister sites Mighty Haus and Mighty Junior. Mason is author of No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, and a two-time SxSW Bloggie nominee for lifetime achievement. She keynotes and speaks regularly at conferences including SxSW, Mom 2.0, the ALT Design Conference, and Blogher. She is a member of Intel’s social media advisory board, and her work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition Sunday, in The New York Times, and Elle Magazine among others. She lives in San Francisco with her son.


PAMELA RIBON wants to hug a koala, sing Karaoke with Dave Grohl (Song: “Summer Nights”), wash an elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand, give a kid a surprise candy-shopping spree, and throw an office surprise party in a closet (complete with a DJ.). 

Pamela Ribon is a TV writer and best-selling novelist. She’s been in comedy rooms for both network and cable television, most notably the Emmy award-winning SAMANTHA WHO?.  She has developed original series for ABC, ABC Family, Sony and 20th Century Fox Productions, some of which included adaptations of her own novels. She’s currently writing an original feature script for the Disney Channel in addition to developing Lauren Conrad’s LA CANDY as a television series with Lauren Conrad, Gerber Pictures and Warner Bros. Studios. Her fourth novel, YOU TAKE IT FROM HERE, will be released next summer through Gallery Books.  She was a flagship contributor to TelevisionWithoutPity.com and a recent contributor to Oprah.com.  Pamela is a former Austinite with a BFA in Acting from the University of Texas.  Visit her popular, long-running website pamie.com to learn more, like how she was recently entered into the Oxford English Dictionary under the word “Muffin Top.”  That is not a joke. You can follow her @pamelaribon, where she somehow writes even more.


RACHEL COLE wants to figure out how to best preserve/display her mother’s letters from the Peace Corps, learn to make killer margaritas, have a fig tree, travel Alaska by water taxi, and own a Welsh terrier who she will name Wendell ‘Le Beouff’ Cood.

Rachel Cole is a fiercely loving, wise-beyond-her-years, gap-toothed life coach and creative project maven. The common ingredient all of Rachel’s varied endeavors is a passion for inspiring people to craft well-fed, compassionate, and connected lives. Her driving question for all of us is “What are you TRULY hungry for?” She keeps a digital journal, over on her site Rachelwcole.com, that includes bits of wisdom she’s collected, words that trigger deep reflection, interviews with well-fed women, and a smattering of things that make her heart go pitter-patter. Rachel can be found creating and coaching from her kitchen table in Oakland, California.


SARAH BRYDEN-BROWN wants to build a business from scratch, paint a wall, buy a theatre subscription and attend every play, live somewhere with room for a labrador, and do a good deed every day.

Sarah Bryden-Brown has been a newspaper reporter and editor (The Australian), a magazine editor (donna hay and Family Circle) and an author (The Lost Art of Childhood, Random House, and Dad and Me, Harper Collins), but she ditched old media for new and joined the online start-up kidspot.com.au, which sold to News Corp in July 2011, before moving to New York with her husband, Rob, and two kids Monte and Lucy to become VP content for babble.com In April 2011, she was inspired to go out on her own and launch Blogstar, a commercial community for bloggers.

STACEY FERGUSON wants to make a piñata out of papier mache, drive a racecar, produce a televised awards show, lobby Congress for free preschool options and paid maternity leave, and fix the broken sugar bowl in her grandmother’s silver tea service and host a tea party.

Stacey Ferguson (@justicefergie) known online as “Justice Fergie,” is a technology attorney, veteran lifestyle blogger, and co-founder of the celebrated Be Blogalicious community and yearly conferences for multicultural women social media enthusiasts.  She has appeared in Southern Living Magazine, on NPR, XM Radio and Mashable, among other places, for her roles as a personal brand and digital visionary, and was recently named as one the 2011 People of Color Impacting the Social Web. In addition to writing at Life IS the Party, her lifestyle blog, she is a contributing editor for Babble, SheKnows, The DC Moms, and Yahoo! Shine, and regularly serves as a brand ambassador for major companies. Stacey is a seasoned speaker and has presented at a number of social media events including BlogHer, Mom 2.0 Summit, Alt Summit and Type A Parent. Look out for her next project: hosting a series of lifestyle adventures via her Life IS the Party brand.

STACY MORRISON wants to speak Turkish, Spanish and Italian fluently, get her license to drive 18-wheelers and take a payload somewhere, learn how to make a perfect macaroon, live in Marfa and have a bookshop and herbal-remedies store, and start and finish her son’s infant scrapbook before he graduates from high school.

Stacy Morrison  is an editor, writer, media/content strategy consultant, blogger, mother, and author. Morrison is author of Falling Apart in One Piece: One Optimist’s Journey Through the Hell of Divorce. In reaction to all the emails she received after it was published, Morrison turned her book website into a community where people going through divorce can find comfort and guidance in letting go with grace. Her book was optioned by Lorne Michaels/NBC (after she wrote this article for the Modern Love column in the New York Times), and Morrison really hopes they get around to making it into a TV show. (She doesn’t care who plays her.) Before going digital fulltime, Morrison was a magazine editor for 20 years, serving most recently as editor in chief of Redbook magazine (2004-2010), Modern Bride (1998), launched the short-lived, award-winning, venture-funded design magazine One: Design Matters (2000), and was the managing editor for the launches of Time Out New York (1995) and Condé Nast Sports for Women (1997). From 2000-2004, she was Executive Editor of Marie Claire. Morrison has been a regular guest on NBC’s Today for four years and has also appeared on CNN Headline News, CNN Moneyline, Good Morning America, The Early Show, and many other national programs. Her most recent project is editor of BlogHerMoms, a new web destination about the journey of motherhood, featuring great writing from women bloggers all around the web. She also is a contributor to the new website FoodieParent, and she writes at her own personal blog at FillingInTheBlanks. She lives in Brooklyn with her 8-year-old son and boyfriend.


VICTORIA SMITH wants to wear her hair in a beehive, dance in a flash mob, sleep in a tree house, learn how to keep bees, and host an outdoor movie night in her backyard.

Victoria Smith (@sfgirlbybay) is a san francisco-based blogger, photographer, photo stylist, design junkie and bonafide flea market queen. She is editor of sfgirlbybay, one of the West Coast’s leading interior design blogs, featuring new product reviews, shopping tips, including art, photography and design resources, as well as home entertaining and lifestyle stories. A fixture in the design blog community, sfgirlbybay has been an online favorite of independent design since 2006. When not blogging or incessantly tweeting, Victoria can be found running around the city with her dog Lucy, and snapping photos of the city and its inhabitants at an increasingly addictive rate. She is strangely fascinated by bees, loves sushi, NPR (mostly Ira Glass) and riding her bicycle.


VICTORIA GRAND wants to grow beautiful lettuce, read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, take a sushi class and host a sushi-making party for friends, take her mom to a World Cup, and go to Burning Man, ideally with ab muscles.

Victoria Grand is Head of Communications & Policy at YouTube, where she spends her days evangelizing the wacky inventiveness of the YouTube community and reckoning with its dark underbelly. A graduate of Middlebury College and Berkeley Law School, Victoria started her career teaching bilingual first grade with Teach for America and working as an educational consultant in underprivileged schools in rural communities and Native American reservations. After graduating from law school, Victoria practiced law for a few years before jumping to Google where she’s held a variety of communications and policy roles over the past five years. Victoria lives under an avocado tree in sunny Potrero Hill with her husband Sean, whom she recently married in a ghost town in Colorado.


WILLO O’BRIEN wants to get really good at making fresh salsa, see an aurora borealis, take singing lessons, grow wheatgrass, and have a dual or triple head shower. See the rest of her Life List here

Willo O’Brien has made acareer out of creativity. As an artist, entrepreneur, social supercollider, and self-described geek for over a decade, Willo has a passion for empowering fellow creatives. Willo shares her expertise advising startups, coaching creative small business owners and speaking at events around the country. Recently she premiered WilloToons Connect, a video series dedicated to featuring fellow successful artists whose passion or craft has evolved into a small business. With an emphasis on self-care at every stage, the goal is to empower people to find and follow their passion, while creating the business of their dreams and successfully balancing the two.

2010 Attendees


HEATHER ARMSTRONG wants to climb Mount Everest alone, have her own office leprechaun, comedy roast Brad Pitt during sacrament meeting, apologize.

Heather (@dooce) is among the most popular “mommybloggers” in the world. She has more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter and was recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 30 most influential women in media, along with Diane Sawyer, Kelly Ripa and Oprah Winfrey. Time Magazine has twice listed her website Dooce as one of the 25 best blogs in the world. She has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and she’s appeared as a guest on Oprah, The Today Show and CNN. Armstrong is the author of the 2009 New York Times bestselling book, It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita.

NICOLE BALCH wants to break a world record, visit Brunelleschi’s dome, write a song, make enough money to support her family, launch a magazine, and keep a houseplant alive for at least a year.

Nicole (@makingitlovely) is a designer whose blog, Making it Lovely, documents the process of transforming her so-so house into a lovely home. Making it Lovely was named one of the 50 World’s Best Design Blogs by the London Times Online and has been featured in Everyday with Rachael Ray, ReadyMade, Time Out Chicago, the Chicago Tribune Magazine, and CS Interiors among others. Nicole also runs a stationery business at Pink Loves Brown.

ALLISON CZARNECKI wants to collect sea glass from fifty beaches, design a line of clothing for women size 10-14, ride a street car in San Francisco, read every book in her home library, and sleep in a castle.

Allison (@petit_elefant) is the founder of Petit Elefant, a modern online parenting magazine. She is the co-founder of Social Luxe Lounge, a large-scale annual party for women bloggers. Her work has been mentioned in the New York Times, NBC Chicago, and the Utah Daily Herald, among others. She’s a frequent speaker at industry conferences, including Mom 2.0, Evo, and the ALT Design Summit.

HELEN JANE HEARN wants to throw an amazing surprise party; own exceptional luggage; and play craps confidently in Vegas. Read the rest of her Mighty List.

Helen Jane (@helenjane) is a writer and lifestyle expert who publishes her entertaining tips online at helenjane.com, and at #HJEntertains on Twitter. She is a founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nationwide wine and cheese club based in Napa, which was recently featured in Food and Wine magazine. She is also the founder of Maplevine, a design company and consultancy that specializes in helping corporations differentiate their brands on the internet.

DANIELLE HENDERSON wants to sit in the conductor car of the N train as it rises from the tunnel into Queens, float in Wayne Coyne’s concert balloon, do The Robot in/on 15 different landmarks, swing on a trapeze, and record 100 favorite sounds. Read the rest of her Life List.

Danielle (@alaskadanielle) has been blogging at Knotty Yarn since 2003. She’s a dedicated feminist, freelance writer and (at the age of 33) a full-time, non-traditional college student. Her first book, Tales from Fish Camp, was published in 2004, and her writing has been featured in several publications including Cringe: Teenage Diaries, Journals, Notes, Letters, Poems, and Abandoned Rock Operas, Rivet Magazine, and Kitchen Sink Magazine, among others. She was a featured speaker at Blogher’s Community Keynote, and is particularly passionate about women’s issues. She has driven across the United States three times, and James Sime once called her “the Johnny Cash of girls.”

MEG KEENE wants to drink mint tea in Turkey, swing upside down on a trapeze, live in a house with a red door, shoot a handgun, learn how to slow down without feeling blue, and launch the 1,000 brides in pants project.

Meg (@practicalwed) blogs at A Practical Wedding & Reclaiming Wife. She has been quoted by CNN and Glamour Magazine, and her work has been cited by ReadyMade, NPR, and Feministing.com, among others. Recently, she contributed to Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides. Meg attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and previously worked in New York in Off-Broadway theater management. She once had Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary sing her childhood favorite, “Blowin’ In The Wind,” in his living room to raise money for a show she was producing. That was a good day.

CECILY KELLOGG wants to only do things she loves to earn a living, go on a cruise with her husband and daughter, have a beach vacation with my women friends, learn just the right thing to say when people are happy to meet her, and get her sex drive back. Read 100 more things about her.

Cecily (@CecilyK) is social media consultant and memoir blogger at Uppercase Woman. Her writing has won several awards, and Cecily has blogged professionally for the Silicone Valley Moms Blog (Philly Moms branch), 23andMe (a DNA mapping company), Gruntlings.com, and others. She began writing online in 2004 to chronicle her struggles with infertility, and in June of 2006 her daughter Tori was born. Cecily blogs about life, politics, being sober and her unusual spirituality. She also swears constantly, and is looking forward to many parent/teacher conferences as a result.

LEAH (it’s not her real name!) wants to grow a full set of fingernails, take her mom to Mount Rushmore, discover the secret to immortality (if not for humans then for cats), and learn to think bigger.

Leah (@agirlandaboy) is a book editor and harried mom by day and a writer and harried mom by night. She contributes to the websites Work It, Mom! and Style Lush, and she has practiced “writing what you know” on her personal website, A
Girl and a Boy
, since 2003. She enjoys sushi, taking photographs, eking an extra ten minutes of sleep, exceeding expectations, and defending the serial comma.

ERIN LOECHNER wants to build a parade float and ride atop, give a keynote, picnic in a canoe, draw a mustache on her husband while he’s sleeping, and drive a tractor. Read the rest of her Life List.

Erin (@erinloechner) publishes Design for Mankind, which was honored as one of the London Times‘s top 50 design blogs in the world. Her work has been featured in Glamour, Lucky, Dwell, Readymade, Nylon, Print Magazine, Apartment Therapy, and The Huffington Post, among others. She currently hosts a renovation column on HGTV.com, where she catalogues her experiences as an impromptu interior designer.

MAGGIE MASON wants to wear a sequin bikini to Carnival in Trinidad; taste 1,000 fruits; and christen a boat. Read the rest of her Mighty List.

Maggie (@Maggie) is the author of No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for your blog, an award-winning online publisher, and a Twitter power user (@Maggie). Her personal blog, Mighty Girl; was nominated for a SxSW Lifetime Achievement Weblog Award; she was named one of Silicon Valley’s Top 50 Influencers by Now Public, and a Top 50 Mommy Blogger by Babble. She pioneered the shopping blog space with Mighty Goods, one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Cool Sites, which was also named best shopping site by both Forbes and BusinessWeek. She has since launched a network of popular shopping sites that includes Mighty Haus and Mighty Junior. Her Mighty Life List has been sponsored by Intel and Verizon, and has inspired hundreds of other women to create their own lists. That last part is the best part.

AMBER MARLOW BLATT wants to officiate a wedding ceremony, snuggle a manatee, learn to throw pottery, see the world’s largest ball of twine in Minnesota, catch fireflies in a jar on a summer night. Read the rest of her Life List here.

Amber (@theambershow) is the host of Hey, Brooklyn, a weekly podcast with Brooklyn-based creatives. She publishes online at the The Amber Show, where she has been chronicling her life for the last six years. Amber is also a freelance photographer and enjoys hosting parties, drinking good beer, watching The Peoples Court and going to state fairs.

LAURA MAYES wants to take painting lessons; learn to do more with less; and write every day. Read the rest of her Mighty List.

Laura (@lmayes) is an Emmy-winning writer who records her daily adventures at Blog con Queso. She is a co-founder of the Mom 2.0 Summit, and is gearing up for the third annual conference in New Orleans this February. She also co-founded kirtsy.com, a user-generated content aggregator for online news from 30 editors and an awesome community. Kirtsy sponsors nationwide programs to educate women about social media and released a book last year titled Kirtsy Takes a Bow: A Celebration of Women’s Online Favorites (Bright Sky Press).


Aubrey (@aubs) is a Senior Marketing Manager for AOL, where she is responsible for the company’s social media strategy. Previously, she was the Marketing Manager for Digg, where she led all of their marketing initiatives including organizing events for thousands of attendees. She was a Senior Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, held various roles during her nearly five years at Google, and was an Online Marketing Manager at Ask.com. Aubrey got her start as a freelance writer, and has written about everything from relationships to RAM, fashion to food.

ROXANNA SARMIENTO wants to become an early bird, sell an article to Vogue and Vanity Fair, take cooking lessons in France, take singing lessons, donate my hair to locks of love, and teach my boys Spanish. Read the rest of her Life List here.

Roxanna (@miguelina) has an MBA from the Darden School and
worked in the beauty industry before leaving it all behind to live the glamorous life of a blogger. She publishes online at Everyday Treats, a lifestyle blog with a focus on fashion, beauty, decor and food. She is a contributing editor for Blogher, and her work has been featured in The Boston Globe and iVIllage. She recently spoke in the Voices of the Year Keynote at Blogher ’10.

ANDREA SCHER wants to live in Barcelona for three months, meet Alanis Morrisette, be in a flash mob dance routine, make panna cotta, and tell a great story on This American Life.

Andrea (@andreascher) is an entrepreneur, writer and life coach living in Berkeley, California. Through her company Superhero Designs and award-winning blog Superhero Journal, Andrea inspires other creative souls to live authentic, colorful and extraordinary lives. Andrea first introduced the Mondo Beyondo concept on her blog in 2004, and has since launched a series of online classes about dreaming big.

HEATHER SPOHR wants to have red hair, prank call the Vice President, perform a puppet show with marionettes, stay on a mechanical bull for seven seconds, and see the swallows return to Capistrano.

Heather (@mamasphor) is a writer and philanthropist who blogs at the award-winning blog The Spohrs Are Multiplying. She is a Momversation panelist and a top fundraiser for the March of Dimes, the President and Co-Founder of “Friends Of Maddie,” a charitable organization that supports the families of critically ill babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. She has spoken at numerous conferences, on CNN, and before members of Congress.

LIZ STANLEY wants to learn to cook four Indian dishes from scratch, sew a shirt without a pattern, volunteer at an orphanage in a third world country, backpack through the desert of Escalante, and own a Land Cruiser from the late ’80s.

Liz (@lizstan) was born and raised a New Yorker, but now perfectly happy to call the fairytale city of San Francisco home with her husband and son. She blogs daily about beautiful things and creations over at Say Yes to Hoboken when she’s not digging for treasures at local thrift stores, working on a new craft, or picnicking in Golden Gate Park. She also writes for Momtastic and AOL’s Holidash on crafts and decorating ideas.

MARGARET GOULD STEWART wants to spend a week making cheese, be dressed for a red carpet event by a real designer, knit her dad argyle socks, see the cranberry bogs during harvest, own a pickup truck. Read the rest of her Life List.

Margaret (@mags) manages the User Experience Team for YouTube, recently overseeing the redesign of the YouTube player page. She came to YouTube after two years leading Search and Consumer Products UX at Google. Margaret has consulted with media companies such as the New York Times, Time-Warner and Scholastic to develop many of their first forays into the web. Over the course of her career, she has managed the user experience of five of the top 10 most visited websites in the world. She is a TED speaker, and publishes online at Fountly.

MENA TROTT wants to go one a cross-country trip in an RV, go on an archaeological dig, complete my genealogical record up to five generations across the board, and learn how to crochet.

Mena (@dollarshort) co-founded Six Apart in 2001 and helped bring blogging to masses. During her stint at Six Apart, she has appeared on the cover of Fortune, spoke about blogging at TED, and helped grow the company from 2 to over 150 employees. During an extended maternity leave, Mena discovered a love for sewing and can now be found sewing and blogging at The Sew Weekly. By the end of the year, she will only be wearing clothing she’s sewn herself. She’s thinking about her next big thing.

KAREN WALROND wants to drive an 18-wheeler, sing blues in a bar, taste 50 kinds of rum, learn how to properly twirl a baton, and photograph an active volcano. Read the rest of her Life List.

Karen (@chookooloonks) left a law career and her job as Chief of Staff at a Fortune 200 company to pursue a career as a photographer and writer at Chookooloonks. She is the author of the upcoming book The Beauty of Different, a Momversation panelist, and a founding contributor to Shutter Sisters. Karen has been quoted on CNN, and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

TARA AUSTEN WEAVER wants to cycle the west coast from Canada to California, visit the tea plantations in India, attend the Flamenco academy in New Mexico, write the story of my family’s immigration, catch a jarful of lightening bugs.

Tara (@tea_austen) is author of The Butcher & The Vegetarian: One Woman’s Romp Through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis. She is a writer and freelance book editor who publishes the food, travel and adventure blog Tea & Cookies. She splits her time between Seattle and San Francisco, because she has commitment issues with cities and cannot choose. She loves
old maps and small boats and following backroads to see where they lead.

ELIZABETH WEIL wants to take a typography course, cook lobsters at home, write a living trust, and build with legos again.

Elizabeth (@elizabeth) is the product marketing manager at Twitter. She originally joined Twitter to start its Corporate Development team and head-up acquisitions. By night, Elizabeth is a letterpress printer and designer (www.paperwheel.com), who has run 37 ultramarathons and marathons. Before joining Twitter, Elizabeth was a venture capitalist with the Sand Hill Road firm, Institutional Venture Partners. Prior to IVP, Elizabeth worked at Menlo Ventures as an Investment Analyst and held marketing positions with online gaming company Xfire (acquired by MTV/Viacom) and eBay drop-off company, AuctionDrop. Elizabeth has a Masters in Management Science and Engineering and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University, where she was a Mayfield Fellow and Buck Scholar.

KELLY WICKHAM wants to visit Milan and delve into fashion without even the slightest trace of irony, have need for an outrageous ball gown, spend a week in Amsterdam drinking beer and visiting bookstores, and perform an entire routine with the Rockettes. The routine should be set to something by Stevie Wonder. Read the rest of her Life List here.

Kelly (@mochamomma) has blogged at Mocha Momma since 2005. She has been quoted in Bitch Magazine and writes for Teaching Tolerance. That pretty much sums up the two worlds in which she resides. Kelly is an assistant principal at a technology magnet middle school, which automatically qualifies her for sainthood. She blogs about school, her quest for America to educate children better, and her role as a teenage mom who also placed a child for adoption. That’s teen mom twice for those of you counting. She reunited with her adopted daughter two years ago and is proud to say that she is a “mom of four.”

MAILE WILSON wants to throw away all her inauthentic clothes, draw pencil sketches of her children, create a line of greeting cards, shoot a gun, create ten new Epiphanie designs, and visit the wreckage of the Titanic aboard a submarine . Read the rest of her Life List.

Maile (@Maile_Wilson) is an entrepreneur who created Epiphanie Camera Bags after years of wrapping her expensive camera in a towel and stuffing it in her purse. When she realized no purse camera hybrid existed, she made her own. Maile has been a professional photographer for sixteen years and has owned three successful studios in California, then in Texas. Her work can be found at the Relish Portrait Studio website and on her blog Daily Relish. She is a frequent guest on the local morning show San Antonio Living, and a regular contributor at Shutter Sisters.

ANDREA WISHOM wants to cry at the Opera, say a prayer inside the oldest churches in the world, learn to play poker, be a vegetarian for a year, make butter, and organize her kids artwork.

Andrea (@hydeparkmom) is a Senior Supervising Producer and 17 year veteran of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the number one daytime talk show for the past 24 seasons. Since then she’s produced some of the shows most high profile interviews and highly rated large scale productions ( Wildest Dreams Come True, Welcome Home Olympic Athletes, Oprah’s After Oscar Party) She’s also helped create three Primetime Specials – “Oprah’s Legends Ball” “Oprah’s Inaugural Celebration” “Oprah’s Primetime Oscar Special 2010″ and “Christmas at The White House.” Aside from producing memorable and top quality programs for Season 25 (the farewell season of TOWS), she is also responsible for overseeing high profile bookings, including headliners, newsmakers, celebrities, best-selling authors and top selling artists.

Prior to joining Harpo, she attended The University of California at Berkeley and spent a summer at the famed Radcliffe Publishing Course in Cambridge Massachusetts. She serves on the board of Celebrity Chef Art Smith’s Common Threads — a non-profit organization that teaches low income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals while they learn the importance of nutrition and overall well-being. Andrea lives with her husband and three children in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.

ALLI WORTHINGTON wants to swim with dolphins, go diving in the Great Barrier Reef, build a microfinanced charity project that helps women achieve their dreams around the world, host her own daytime non-snoozer TV show, and build a greenhouse to grow her own food year round.

Alli (@AlliWorthington) is the publisher of Blissfully Domestic, an online women’s magazine. Her newest project is Bliss Reads, a daily best of the web by and for women. She is the co-founder of BlissDom Events and BlissDom Canada. Alli and her husband have five sons, ages 2 through 11 and live outside Nashville. She shares her experiences and daily snapshots of life on Mrs Fussypants.

2009 Attendees

This is Heather Champ. Heather likes film cameras, chihuahuas and a good glass of Riesling. Heather dislikes self-entitlement, wet hair, and raw fish.

Heather is very much enamoured with personal publishing on the web, having launched her first home page in ‘94 while working at Princeton University. Previously, she curated the Mirror Project and co-founded JPG Magazine with her husband, Derek Powazek. An award winning web designer, Heather abandoned her career as a pixel pusher to join the Flickr team at Yahoo! as Community Manager in May 2005. At the end of the day, she’d much rather be outside taking photos.

This is Evany Thomas. She likes baby hippos; hot-hot baths; and the sun, shining on her face. She dislikes tailgaters; chicken-themed gifts; and the sun, shining on her face.

Evany Thomas is the author of The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions (described as “hugely entertaining and smart” by O Magazine). Her work has been featured in print publications (including McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Fray, Horses for Juniors), on websites (Sundance Film Festival, Television Without Pity, The Morning News), and in anthologies (Welcome to Wisteria Lane, The Ex-Files). KUOW, Playboy Radio, and Michigan’s Mix106 Morning Madhouse have all featured Evany as a guest on their shows, and she has educated audiences far (Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival, the NYC comedy reading series
How to Kick People) and wide (San Francisco’s NoisePop Festival, McSweeney’s The World Explained show) about the true meaning of a person’s chosen sleeping position. Evany lives in El Cerrito with her baby, boyfriend, cat, dog, and crabby-crabby turtle.

This is Asha Dornfest. She likes mangoes, earlobes and enthusiasm. She dislikes peer pressure, flaccid handshakes, and the word “bleat.” Asha is the founder of Parent Hacks, a site that has been described as “MacGyver meets parenting.”


This is Kelly Wilkinson. She likes growing vegetables, traveling by train and the smell of new tennis balls. She dislikes mysterious hair in sinks, rude people and steamed artichokes.

Kelly’s professional work straddles craftiness and journalism. Your can hear her reporting and anchoring on NPR and the San Francisco NPR affiliate, KQED. She also writes a craft column for the Washington Post, and is developing a craft show for public radio. Her projects have been featured in major websites and national magazines.

Kelly blogs at Make Grow Gather.


This is Chris Jordan. She likes hummus, crisp white bed linens, and hand sanitizing gel. She dislikes ironing, perfume samples in magazines and rude people.

Chris is a writer who recently moved from the frigid tundra of New England to Austin, TX. She has more children than you can count on one hand and yes, she finally figured out what causes it. Previously she wrote for BlogHer, AOL, and Babble. She currently writes for Work It, Mom and Handipoints. Her personal blog, Notes from the Trenches, is updated almost daily.

This is Jean Aw. She likes stunning design, gadgets and champagne. She dislikes bad design, negativity and boredom.

* JEAN AW Founder of NOTCOT: Concept, Content & Creative, Editor-In-Chief of the NotEmpire*. . . Design Addict + UX Designer + Shopaholic + Tech Connoisseur + Design Writer + World Traveler *NotEmpire = not an empire, composed of NOTCOT.com, NOTCOT.org, NotCouture.com, and Liqurious.com

This is Mimi Smartypants. Well, this is a penguin. Mimi Smartypants blogs anonymously, but she likes penguins. She also likes Earl Grey, public transportation and puppets of all kinds. She dislikes baseball, okra and braggarts.

Mimi Smartypants is the nom de Internet of a Chicago writer and editor. Professionally, she is the managing editor for several scientific and medical journals. Nonprofessionally, she keeps her diary online at mimismartypants.com and has done so since 1999. Parts of that diary were published, through no fault of her own, as The World According to Mimi Smartypants (HarperCollins).

This is Sarah James. She likes carousels, ocean breezes on her face and road trips. She dislikes eggplant, arguing for the sake of argument and potty training.

An avid freelance writer and blogger, Sarah James can be found regularly contributing her musings on parenting, fashion, beauty and green living at Parentdish, Work It Mom, Mopshots and Brita’s FilterForGood website. Since 2005, Sarah has been entertaining readers with her humorous outlook on life at her blog Whoorl, as well as authoring the popular beauty website Hair Thursday. Her personal blogs have been featured in The New York Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Nightline and the Rachael Ray Show.

This is Megan Reardon. She likes hoppy beer, poofy skirts and perfect spheres. She dislikes run down batteries, keys that stick and orange zest.

Megan Reardon documents her domestic failings at notmartha.org.

This is Gabrielle Blair. She likes really good ideas, pear Jelly Bellies and cities. She dislikes pain, all olives expect California Black and poorly executed pedicures.

Gabrielle Blair is a founder of Kirtsy, designer and mother of five. Her blog Design Mom was named a Top Parenting Blog by The Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple Magazine.

This is Laurie Smithwick. She likes french fries, cooking for people older than 7 and jumping into cold water without feeling it first. She dislikes sweets in her entrées, wet hands (her own) and being the first to leave.

Laurie is a founder of Kirtsy who occasionally blogs at Upside Up, and runs LEAP Design, a can-do graphic and web design studio in North Carolina. She was nominated for a Grammy award in 1998. She didn’t win, but she got to wear an awesome purple velvet dress that made her feel real girly.

This is Melissa Summers. Melissa likes a good eyebrow shaping, her 50mm lens and the smell of the car on the way home from a day at the pool. Melissa dislikes whining, squirrels and green beans

Melissa Summers is a writer living just outside Detroit with her robotic husband Logan and her two kids, Max and Madison. She has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and The Detroit News, among others. Her website, Suburban Bliss, has been around since 2003 and is updated almost always every day.

This is Jordan Ferney. Jordan likes picnics, balloons and Parisian macaroons. Jordan dislikes long lines, low quality ice cream and stubbing her toe.

Jordan Ferney is a San Francisco based event planner and has worked for several years for former San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown and the party planner Stanlee Gatti. She enjoys spending time printing on her 2,000 pound letterpress and blogs daily at Oh Happy Day. Jordan lives on Nob Hill with her husband Paul and her son Moses.

This is Holly Burns. Holly likes gold shoes, vintage globes, and a nice glass of champagne. Or even a not-so-nice glass of champagne. She isn’t fussy.

Holly dislikes inappropriate use of the apostrophe, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, and people who claim not to shop at TJ Maxx even when you’ve seen them there. Several times, actually.

Holly Burns is a writer and editor for a travel company in San Francisco, where she lives with her almost-husband and two large cats. She blogs at Nothing But Bonfires. Writing almost-husband just then totally gave her a thrill.

This is Jenny Lawson. She likes Chamboard slushies, Alan Rickman and Victorian bustles. She dislikes when you leave a towel in the washer too long but you don’t think it’s mildewed because it smells only slightly odd and so you dry it and it smells fine when it comes out of the dryer but later when you wash your face it gets wet and smells like a wet dog that’s been dead a bit and now your face smells just like that. Wow. That was a really long one. Can I just do one?

(Yes Jenny, yes you may.)

Jenny has personal problems but in spite of herself she has managed to keep up with several surprisingly readable blogs/columns. Her family pretends they don’t exist.


This is Gwen Bell. She likes salsa dancing, stage diving at karaoke and clothing swaps. She dislikes cheap tequila, British winters and raw eggplant.

Gwen recently taught a course on Social Media at The University of Colorado – Boulder. She’s a partner at Kirtsy. Her recently published (along with fellow entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau) Unconventional Guide to the Social Web is a fabulous airplane read.

This is Zan McQuade. She likes malted milkshakes, wool blankets, the sound a needle makes when it reaches the end of the record. She dislikes humidity, stubbornness, static electricity.

Zan McQuade is an editor, writer, photographer, and occasional translator of Latvian fiction. She currently lives in New York City and blogs at A Cup Of Tea & A Wheat Penny.

This is Eden Kennedy. Eden likes kettle corn, photography books on Christmas morning, and men who giggle. She dislikes sauerkraut, misogyny, and cold feet.

Eden’s formidable presence can be felt throughout many of the Internet’s most vernacular web sites, including fussy.org, yogabeans.com, nablopomo.com, and lets-panic.com (with Alice Bradley). Eden is a former editor and bookseller. She used to be a cat person but is now a dog person.

This is Alice Bradley. Alice likes lemons, slapstick and her dog’s velvety ears. She dislikes whistling, weak coffee and sand in her shorts.

Alice Bradley is a writer. She has written for many journals, magazines, and anthologies. In addition to Finslippy, she is the co-creator of Let’s Panic About Babies, which she writes with the brilliant Eden Marriott Kennedy.

This is Kristin Darguzas. She likes rocketing off powder covered cliffs on a Burton Custom snowboard, the smell of A535, and forgotten 20 dollar bills in the pocket of last year’s jacket. She dislikes fuzz that grows on forgotten cucumbers, close-talkers, and responsibility dodgers.

Kristin Darguzas is a digital media advertising executive, freelance blogger, and no- longer single Mama of a pretty wicked 4-year-old sidekick.

Kristin writes regularly at Work It, Mom! Bodies in Motivation, and Better Now. Previous web appearances include stints at ParentDish, That’s Fit, and Literary Mama.

Kristin was profiled in the 2007 book Blogging Superheroes: Interviews with 30 of the World’s Top Bloggers. She’s still not sure why, but she’ll take it.

This is Susan Wagner. She likes sharp cheddar, dry chardonnay, vintage cashmere. She dislikes polyester, bologna, sunburns.

Susan Wagner is a freelance writer and professional blogger; she writes about fashion and parenting and how the two are absolutely not mutually exclusive pursuits.


This is Dorothy McGivney. She likes travel, broads and summits. She dislikes subway delays, perished produce and creepy seatmates.

Dorothy McGivney started jauntsetter after leaving Google, where she worked for almost six years. After spending the better part of a year visiting destinations like Argentina, Japan, India, Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia, she decided to turn her online experience and passion for travel into jauntsetter.

This is Rebecca Woolf. She likes goat cheese, kindness and vintage hats. She dislikes red meat, meanness and trucker caps.

Here is Rebecca’s professional bio:
Author of Rockabye: From Wild to Child, Rebecca Woolf has been working as freelance writer since the age of sixteen. She blogs at Girl’s Gone Child and Babble.com’s Straight From the Bottle and is a panelist on Momversation.com.

Currently trying with all her might to sell a television pilot, Rebecca has also authored one short film, dozens of articles, essays and short stories for web and print and many unpublished works of Fiction.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two small children, Archer and Fable.

For more… http://rebeccawoolf.com

This is Maggie Mason. She likes tap dancers, writing longhand, and singing with the radio. She dislikes tupperware with old food inside, dark and unfamiliar rooms, and surgery stories.

Here’s her professional bio:

Maggie Mason is the author of No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for your blog, award-winning publisher, and a Twitter power user (@Maggie). Her personal blog, Mighty Girl; was recently nominated for a SxSW Lifetime Achievement Weblog Award, and this year she was named one of Silicon Valley’s Top 50 Influencers by Now Public. She pioneered the shopping blog space with Mighty Goods, one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Cool Sites, which was also named best shopping site by both Forbes and BusinessWeek. She has since launched a network of popular shopping sites that includes Mighty Haus and Mighty Junior. She’s also an advisor to Plinky, a writing tool for bloggers.

This is Aubrey Sabala. She likes warm grilled cheese sandwiches, sundresses, and good lyrics. She dislikes waiting, passive-aggression, and sand in the sheets.

Here’s her professional bio:

Aubrey Sabala is the Marketing Manager for Digg, where she leads all of their marketing initiatives including organizing events for thousands of attendees. She was a Senior Consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, held various roles during her nearly five years at Google, and was an Online Marketing Manager at Ask.com. She got her start as a freelance writer, and has written about everything from relationships to RAM, fashion to food.

This is Helen Jane Hearn. She likes cheese, bocce, and morning naps. She dislikes ball point pens, the word Blouse, and beer flavored with something other than beer flavor.

Helen Jane Hearn is the founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nationwide wine and cheese club based in California’s Napa Valley. She is also the owner of Maplevine, a web design company and consultancy that specializes in helping corporations differentiate their brands in the social media space.

This is Laura Mayes. She likes New York, design magazines, and carbs. She dislikes sporks, queues, and people who refuse to capitalize anything.

Laura Mayes is an Emmy-winning writer who joined two friends she met through design blogs to start kirtsy.com, a user-generated content aggregator for online news from 30 editors and an awesome community. Kirtsy also created and hosts the Mom 2.0 Summit in February and has launched a nationwide “Hands-On Social Media” program to educate women about social media. Kirtsy is releasing a book, Kirtsy Takes a Bow: A Celebration of Women’s Online Favorites in October.