Allison Karl O'Kelly, CEO and Founder
Allison Karl O’Kelly is the founder of Mom Corps and an award winning entrepreneur. Allison founded Mom Corps in 2005 to help other working moms find flexible work in their fields without sacrificing the needs of their families.
Since that time, she has grown Mom Corps to a loyal talent network of over 160,000 job seekers and has placed thousands of them in flexible work opportunities. As such, she has become a sought after expert in workplace flexibility. Allison has been recognized in the news media (TODAY Show, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes) and awarded on a national level (Ernst & Young Winning Women, Working Mother, Inc. 500, Conference Board).
Most recently, Allison launched Mom Corps YOU, an online coaching and learning portal for professionals seeking flexible work. Allison hopes that through this portal, professionals will find the tools and resources they need to achieve their own work-life satisfaction.
Before founding Mom Corps, Allison was in a fast track management program at Toys “R” Us, where she had various roles including launching the original Babiesrus.com web site and running an $11 million Toys "R" Us Store. She began her career in public accounting at KPMG Peat Marwick. Allison received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BBA in Accounting from the University of Georgia, Cum Laude. Allison is a CPA, licensed in Georgia, and the mother of three little boys who appreciate their mom’s flexible schedule. Find her on Twitter @allisonokelly
Maria Goldsholl, COO
Maria comes to Mom Corps with an extensive background in organizational and talent development, culture management and work/life program implementation. Before joining Mom Corps, Maria served as Director of Organizational Development for The Weather Channel, where she had been since 2002. Prior to that, she was a Partner and Managing Director for the executive search firm The Right Brain Group, Inc. Maria has also served as Director of Human Resources for such companies as Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. and National Video Center. Maria has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of La Verne in Athens, Greece and a master’s degree in Organizational Behavior from Brooklyn College in New York. She is the mother of two young boys who are always teaching her something new about life.
Shoshana Kariuki, Controller
Shoshana comes to Mom Corps after spending 10 years as a Controller working in the government contracting industry, most recently at Catapult Technology. During that time, she implemented accounting standards that improved efficiencies as well as automate accounting procedures. She also worked as the Director of Finance for a non-profit, Alliance to Save Energy. Prior to that, Shoshana was a Staff Accountant for a business management firm managing finances for high net worth individuals. Shoshana has a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a CPA. She is the mother of one young boy who has changed the way she sees the world.
Mary Kai Macken, Director of Corporate Business Development and Operations
Mary Kai joined Mom Corps in 2011 bringing extensive experience in staffing and executive search to the team. Mary Kai began her career in the staffing industry 20 years ago working for TRC Staffing Services, Pro Staff Personnel and PIC Marubeni Group, providing skilled personnel to independent power producers and utilities worldwide.
Mary Kai transitioned from staffing domestic and international large scale projects to executive search while serving as Director at Wyndham Mills International. During her tenure, Mary Kai cultivated and managed a portfolio of retained executive searches for key accounts nationwide and traveled extensively, managing client partnerships, providing consulting services and successfully implementing human capital acquisition strategies.
In her free time, she enjoys tennis, travel and most importantly spending time with her husband and three children.
Trista Wearing, Director of Special Projects
Trista joined Mom Corps in 2006. She has extensive experience in staffing and recruiting with an expertise in applicant tracking systems, operational support and project management. Trista serves as our business process lead with responsibilities encompassing technology and special projects. She supports operations, compliance and legal. Additionally, Trista collaborates with the franchise relations team and is often a liaison between franchises owners and corporate staff.
Trista received her bachelor's degree in human ecology with a minor in business administration from The University of Tennessee. As the mother of two young boys, she appreciates our core value of responsible flexibility.
Melissa Caouette, Franchise Relations
Melissa joined Mom Corps in 2009, serving an imperative role as Mom Corps' Office Manager - supporting both the corporate team as well as franchise owners to make sure their needs were addressed. Melissa handled all payroll and compliance measures, processed unemployment requests and constructed territories for new franchises. In 2011, she transitioned into franchise relations where she assists new franchises in all aspects of growing their businesses.
An integral part of our Mom Corps team, Melissa has a BA in International Relations from the University of Connecticut and is excited to work for a company that enables to her to spend more time with her two amazing boys.
Renee Spurlin, Marketing Director
Renee joined Mom Corps in October 2013 with a background in digital marketing and public relations. Prior to coming to Mom Corps, she served as vice president of client services for a marketing communications agency, where she led award-winning email, experiential and interactive marketing and media relations campaigns for brands in a variety of industries.
Renee graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business, and completed her master's in corporate public relations at Boston University's College of Communication. She is an active member of the Atlanta chapter of the American Marketing Association, where she serves as president.
Nadia Foster, Director of Partnership and Affiliate Relations
Nadia joined Mom Corps in February 2014. Her extensive professional experience spans across various industries such as e-commerce (B2B and B2C), digital media, higher education and career development, all with the common theme of partnership management and client services. By seeking out strategic relationships she has a track record of creating win-win partnerships by aligning company and client goals to provide mutual growth. Most recently Nadia held a partnership role at a career services website focusing on flexible work options and enjoyed exploring collaboration opportunities with like-minded companies.Nadia will be building out the affiliate program for Mom Corps YOU.
She received her undergraduate degree from UCLA in Psychology, and continued on to get her M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. She has also taught Organizational Behavior at Cal State University. She lives just north of Los Angeles County with her family and is a strong supporter of workplace flexibility and the work-life balance it provides.
Karoline Brennan, Communications Specialist
Karoline joined Mom Corps in 2011. She has an extensive background in the cable and communications industry with a focus in human resources and advertising sales. Prior to Mom Corps, Karoline worked for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., The Weather Channel and most recently Fox Sports. Karoline is the right hand of the Marketing Department, assisting with internal communications and franchise needs.
Karoline has a bachelor's degree in Journalism with a concentration in PR. She is the mother of three young girls and has come to appreciate the beauty of work/life balance!
Mary-Lee Austin, Social Media Coordinator
Mary-Lee manages social media for Mom Corps. She started her career in advertising at Ogilvy and Mather in Chicago. As a Media Planner, she was responsible for planning and negotiating print, television and radio. Following her time in media, she joined the company’s account team, developing brand strategy and strategic marketing platforms. Mary-Lee left the agency business in pursuit of advertising sales and joined Gruner & Jahr Publishing. As Midwest Account Manager, she represented Family Circle Magazine, their eight lifestyle publications and the Family Circle Tennis Cup Tournament.
Mary-Lee enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters.
Nicole Siokis, President, Mom Corps Atlanta
Nicole Siokis owns and operates the North Atlanta franchise of Mom Corps. Prior to Mom Corps, Nicole was an Associate Partner with Bell Oaks Executive Search, where she was responsible for developing strategic relationships with senior business leaders to design and implement talent strategy. She counseled a portfolio of national clients that ranged from marketing service to consumer goods to high tech. Nicole began her professional career in the Army's Signal Corps as an officer supporting United Nations troops during the United States' presence in Somalia. Nicole earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Clemson University on an Army ROTC scholarship. Nicole enjoys being involved with her community, traveling internationally and raising money for charity. She lives in Marietta, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, with her husband and daughter.
Nadia McKay, President, Mom Corps Boston
Nadia McKay is the owner of the Mom Corps, Inc. franchise in Boston. Since 2007, she has served as the organization’s Regional Vice President using her 20 years of agency and client-side experience in staffing, advertising and client service to grow the Mom Corps presence in the Boston market and beyond. Prior to joining Mom Corps, Nadia spent 14 years at Digitas, a global marketing services firm. In her role as Vice President/Director of Staffing, Nadia served as a key business partner and advisor to the EVP of Strategy & Analysis, translating the company’s business objectives into appropriate resource allocation strategies to exceed financial and organizational goals. Prior to that, Nadia held various account management roles at Digitas, Nets, Inc. (formerly AT&T New Media Services and AT&T Interchange Network Company), Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, and Ingalls, Quinn and Johnson. Nadia is a frequent speaker at conferences, educational forums, and business and working mother networking groups, and has appeared on Cable TV and in the local media providing her expertise on topics such as returning to the workforce during a difficult economic climate and how flexible work arrangements can increase productivity, creativity and company loyalty. Nadia has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Vermont. She lives in Milton with her husband and two sons who appreciate her flexible schedule.
Bonnie Ceran, Principal, Mom Corps Charlotte/New York
Bonnie Ceran owns and operates the Charlotte, NC franchise of Mom Corps, Inc. After working for more than 16 years as a Human Resource Executive, Bonnie along with two of her former colleagues re-opened Mom Corps in Charlotte. Prior to Mom Corps, Bonnie was the Vice President and National Staffing Director for Wachovia Corporation's internal contract staffing division. She managed ten geographically dispersed sites supporting manager's contract hiring and was responsible for providing leadership, direction, and financial oversight to the each location including over 35 employees. Prior to Wachovia, Bonnie spent ten years in the temporary staffing industry working with two of the top five national companies: Adecco and Manpower as a Regional Branch Manager and Director of National Accounts. Additionally, she started Career Management Services, a consulting firm specializing in direct placements and human resource consulting. Bonnie graduated with honors from University of Phoenix and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. She is an active participant in initiatives related to women including: United Leadership Initiative, Moms at Work, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Bonnie and her family live just outside of Charlotte, NC.
Stacy Keefer, Principal, Mom Corps Charlotte/New York
Stacy Keefer owns and operates the Charlotte, NC franchise of Mom Corps, Inc. After working for more than 16 years as a Human Resource Executive, Stacy along with two of her former colleagues re-opened Mom Corps in Charlotte. Prior to Mom Corps, Keefer spent 16 years with Wachovia's Human Resources Division as SVP and Managing Director of Contingent Staffing. She joined the organization in 1993 with the challenge of developing and implementing an internal contingent staffing function to support the corporation. Keefer expanded the function to a $220 million line of business with three operating divisions, 13 service locations and over 3800 actively working contract associates. Previous experience included six years with Norrell (now Spherion) Corporation as an Operations Manager in Chicago, and two years with Management Recruiters International. Keefer holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina. She currently chairs the board for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Academic Internship Program, and is an active member of the Charlotte chapter for Women Executives and the United Way Women's Leadership Initiative. Stacy and her family live in Charlotte.
Gretchen Rost, Principal, Mom Corps Charlotte/New York
Gretchen Rost owns and operates the Charlotte franchise of Mom Corps, Inc. After working for more than 16 years as a Human Resource Executive, Gretchen along with two of her former colleagues re-opened Mom Corps in Charlotte. Prior to Mom Corps, Gretchen joined the Human Resources Division of Wachovia in 1993 with the challenge of developing and expanding the internal contingent staffing division, FirstPlace. Under her leadership of the operations, technology and client services functions, the division grew to a $220 million line of business with three operating divisions, 13 geographically dispersed locations and over 3800 contract associates. Prior to Wachovia, Gretchen spent three years with BDO Seidman as an HR Consultant. Gretchen is PHR certified, attended the University of North Carolina and is an active member of the Society of Human Resource Management, Charlotte Area Professionals, Moms at Work, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Gretchen and her canine pack live in Charlotte.
Leanne Berry, President, Mom Corps Chicago
Leanne Berry is Owner and President of Mom Corps Chicago NW and is thrilled to bring Mom Corps to the Chicagoland area. Leanne is a CPA with extensive experience in financial reporting and tax. She has a degree in Accounting from Loyola University and began her career working for Arthur Andersen LLP in Chicago. After working in public accounting, she obtained her CPA certification and moved into the private sector working as a financial controller for firms specializing in construction, architecture and real estate development. Throughout this period, she gained the skills to provide financial and operational reporting and guidance to senior management and was an integral part of hiring, developing, and training the financial department staff. After having her second and third babies (twins), she decided to leave her full-time job and started her own independent consulting firm specializing in providing value added accounting and tax services to a variety of companies and CPA firms. In addition, she worked as an adjunct faculty member teaching managerial accounting in the evening at Oakton Community College. Having a strong commitment to giving back to the community and for women's issues, she served for five years on the Board of Directors for a non-for-profit called The Harbour which provides essential services to homeless, runaway and neglected girls acting as Treasurer and eventually serving as Board Chair. She continues to volunteer and is actively involved in her children's school. She resides in Park Ridge with her husband and three children. Her hobbies, include but are not limited to, cycling, golf, cooking and entertaining with family and friends.
Lynn Danen, Recruiting Consultant, Mom Corps Cincinnati
Lynn manages recruiting for Mom Corps Cincinnati. She has more than six years of recruiting and HR experience both with Robert Half International and ProBusiness. Her experience includes sourcing, pre-screening, interviewing and placing qualified candidates with a variety of clients. Lynn is available to speak with audiences about re-entering the workforce, work-life balance, and tips for finding flexible employment opportunities.
Lynn has a BS in Psychology and a BS in Philosophy from Northern Kentucky University. In her free time she coaches a Girls on the Run team and volunteers with Wyoming Schools. Lynn lives in Wyoming, OH, and is mother to two daughters.
Nancy Keyser, Business Development Manager, Mom Corps Cincinnati
Prior to coming to Mom Corps, Nancy spent 9 years at Towers Watson, a Global Human Resources consulting firm, with her last role being an Account Director in its Cincinnati office. Nancy also spent 5 years at KPMG’/Bearing Point as a Senior Manager in their HR Strategy and Technology practice. Nancy also directed HR technology for Nationwide, a Fortune 500 insurance company based in Columbus, Ohio. Nancy earned her MBA at the University of Dayton and her Bachelor degree in Business with a minor in Economics at Penn State. Nancy is a Board member of the Greater Cincinnati Compensation and Benefits Association, and assists GCCBA with programming.
Brigid Lipps, Recruiter, Mom Corps Cincinnati
Brigid Lipps brings over eight years experience in Recruiting. Prior to Mom Corps, Brigid was a Senior Human Resources Representative for nearly six years with Great American Insurance Group, a Fortune 500 company. There, she handled nationwide Corporate Recruiting, New Hire Orientation and On-boarding, Career Counseling, the Service Award Program and much more. Prior to Great American, she worked in Recruiting for Adecco, a world leader in workforce solutions. Brigid has extensive experience with formal presentations and speaks to college and high school students regularly about Professional Etiquette, Interviewing, and Resume Building. Brigid earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Mount St. Joseph. She received professional accreditation in the human resources field by achieving the PHR designation and HR Generalist certification. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resource Management and GCHRA. Brigid is born and raised in Cincinnati and she and her husband, Tim, live in Delhi Township with their two young daughters.
Cindy Yared, President, Mom Corps Dallas
Cindy Yared is president and owner of Mom Corps Dallas. After working for more than 20 years as broadcast sales and marketing executive, Cindy decided she wanted to expand her horizons outside of broadcast media with a challenging career that also allowed her balance work with family and life. After discovering Mom Corps, Cindy was attracted to the concept of advocating for professional women like herself among companies who need access to exceptional, on-demand talent but are progressive enough to consider flexible work arrangements. Mom Corps is a premier national search firm that provides companies access to an untapped pool of top tier, on-demand job candidates to meet their changing business needs and fluctuating market conditions. Mom Corps finds flexible work arrangements for professionals, many of whom are moms, seeking a challenging career and better work/life balance. Cindy identified a strong need for the Mom Corps concept in the Dallas area where, until now, many talented professional and stay-at-home and moms have been largely overlooked by traditional staffing firms or have not had access to companies offering flexible work arrangements. With the launch of Mom Corps Dallas, Cindy hopes to connect high caliber moms and professionals in varying stages of their career with progressive companies looking for on-demand talent as the need arises, becoming the go-to agency for top-tier professionals looking for full-time, part-time or contractual work. Prior to Mom Corps, Cindy was Chief Marketing Officer for Disiere Holdings, Qeo Group in Dallas, where she developed the launch and marketing strategy for a new personal auto insurance product. Before that, she was National Sales Manager for Clear Channel Communications in Dallas, where she worked for 11 years selling radio advertising and managed 8 National Offices and 25 Sales Representatives across the US. Before joining Clear Channel, Cindy worked in radio broadcasting sales at a variety of other stations including CBS Radio and Cap Cities/ABC Broadcasting in Dallas and several broadcast stations in St. Louis, MO. Cindy holds a BA from Baylor University in Business Administration and Finance. She is an active member of the 85 Broads, Baylor Alumni Association and St. Alcuin Montessori School Capital Campaign and Annual Fund Committees. Cindy lives in Dallas with her husband and two children.
Lauren Sveen, President, Mom Corps Denver
Lauren Sveen is the owner and President of Mom Corps Denver, and is thrilled to bring Mom Corps to Colorado. She holds an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School and a BA, magna cum laude, in Public Policy from Duke University, and is a respected entrepreneur with extensive experience in strategic marketing, new business acquisition and consumer insight. Launching her corporate career as a critical marketer, Lauren held numerous brand management positions at American Express, Clorox and James River, where she launched several new products. Her corporate career culminated in NYC as VP-Marketing and BD at Hill & Knowlton, before realizing that she needed a more flexible career while raising her young family. As an independent marketing consultant, Lauren specialized in strategic and creative development, positioning and communication strategies for companies such as Ford Motor, Lever Brothers, Remy Amerique and Penske. And in 1999, Lauren founded Kid-e-sport, a catalog and internet retail business which she later sold to a branded apparel company. Lauren’s experiences in both the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds convince her that there is tremendous opportunity for Mom Corps in Denver, with its progressive, leading edge companies and highly educated work force. As President of the Wharton Club of Colorado, Lauren also believes there is a significant untapped pool of talent among highly degreed and experienced women looking for work-life synthesis. Lauren resides with her husband and three children in Denver, where she lives the Mom Corps dream: pursuing a challenging business endeavor while enjoying all that the great Colorado life has to offer.
Laura Wildman, President, Mom Corps Kansas City
Laura is the President and Owner of Mom Corps Kansas City. After working in professional services for over twelve years in both traditional and flexible roles, Laura's goal is to improve the quality of talent for progressive companies, and the quality of life for Kansas City professionals. Prior to starting Mom Corps, Laura held several senior leadership positions at Service Management Group (SMG) including Director of Client Services, Director of Product Management and Director of Marketing. Before SMG, Laura was a Consultant at Deloitte where she worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies both domestically and internationally. Laura is a Kansas City native and lives in Prairie Village with her husband, Matt and two young children.
Julie Lacouture, Principal, Mom Corps Los Angeles
Julie Lacouture is the Co-Owner of the Los Angeles franchise of Mom Corps. After working for over 12 years in marketing, advertising, non-profit finance, and general management, Julie decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of running her own company and open a Mom Corps franchise in Los Angeles with business partner Kate Pletcher. Julie and Kate together identified a strong, unmet need for the Mom Corps concept in the Los Angeles area where so many of their talented friends, associates and colleagues are looking for more fulfilling career opportunities that also provide some flexibility. At the same time, Los Angeles is a hotbed for so many progressive start-up, mid-size and large companies with fluctuating staffing needs who can benefit from better access to high caliber, on demand talent not found through traditional employment channels. Before launching Mom Corps Los Angeles, Julie served as Senior Director at DonorsChoose.org in Los Angeles, where she developed cause-related marketing partnerships with companies such as Disney, Experian, and Paramount Pictures. Previously, she worked in strategic marketing, management and leadership roles for a number of other corporate, academic and non-profit organizations including Sempra Energy Utilities and UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Management Fellows Program in Los Angeles, Oscar Mayer in Madison, WI, Sawtooth Advertising Group in Woodbridge, NJ and Teen Action Campaign, Inc. and Peace Games, Inc. in Boston, MA. Julie graduated Summa Cum Laude with a dual BA in Advertising and Psychology from Syracuse University and an MBA from UCLA. An active member of the UCLA and Syracuse University Alumni Associations, Julie also serves on the Advisory Board at PACE’s Women’s Business Center where she teaches marketing classes to entrepreneurs. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Ben.
Kate Pletcher, Principal, Mom Corps Los Angeles
Kate Pletcher is the Co-Owner of the Los Angeles franchise of Mom Corps. With an entrepreneurial spirit and over 10 years of sales, marketing and strategic business development expertise across a number of industries including advertising, consumer products, publishing, and entertainment, Kate was looking into starting her own flexible staffing firm in Los Angeles when she discovered Mom Corps. Prior to launching Mom Corps Los Angeles, Kate most recently served as Director of Global Brand Licensing for Skechers USA, sourcing and managing licensing programs on behalf of the $2 billion brand around the world. Kate received her BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and her MBA from UCLA Anderson. She serves on the Advisory Board of SPARK, provides sales workshops for a number of individuals and institutions, and is an active member of a number of Los Angeles community organizations. She lives in Venice, CA with her husband Erik and dog Kirby.
Lori Smudsky, President, Mom Corps San Francisco
Lori Smudsky is the owner and President of Mom Corps San Francisco. Prior to Mom Corps Lori worked in public relations for two of the nation's biggest PR firms, Ketchum Public Relations and Edelman Public Relations. At both agencies Lori helped run the food practices and was responsible for strategic and creative program development, new business, team hiring and development and client and internal budget supervision. Her work ranged from product introductions to award-winning crisis management and in the early days even touring the country with life-sized California Raisins! A New Yorker by birth, Lori moved to San Francisco for "a few years," 25 years ago. One foot off the plane and she was hooked on the Bay Area. Eventually her young family headed for the suburbs. Now with those "babies" reaching for the car keys, Lori decided to pursue her life-long dream of owning her own business. Mom Corps' focus on flexible employment seems a business tailor-made for San Francisco's progressive, leading-edge companies both large and small.
Jennifer Bainbridge, President, Mom Corps Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia
Jennifer Bainbridge owns and operates the Washington D.C./Northern Virginia Mom Corps franchise after spending more than 13 years in IT Leadership in the telecommunications and financial services industries. Jennifer has extensive experience in all areas of the software development lifecycle with an emphasis on Agile practices and software quality. With this expertise, she has regularly led seminars and classes on evolving IT technology during the past four years. She also has extensive international management experience including offshore and nearshore IT staffing solutions. Bainbridge graduated with an MBA from the College of William and Mary and a BA from Barnard College.