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COVER STORY | Fifteen 30-Something Moms, Vote Today!


WEST SUBURBAN CHICAGO – Featuring 15 west suburban moms who are 30-something and all things fabulous! Click here to vote for your favorite mom. She could win a $150 gift card to a favorite local area boutique.

Comfort in Moms Groups Darci Ridge, Plainfield

When Darci Ridge had her first daughter eight years ago, she and her husband decided she would stay home from her teaching job. Living in a new area with a new baby and not knowing many people was hard. She found a welcome place in a local mom’s group and now is Co-Leader of Mom’s and More and an integral part of their resale committee. She loves to volunteer within her community, is active in the school PTA and is the Girl Scout leader for both of her daughters’ troops. Darci also insists on teaching her girls to give back and involves them in various service projects every year. –MK

Tykes and Teaching Annie Forest, Downers Grove 13 years of teaching has taught Annie all about how kids learn and how important it is to be patient as kids figure things out. As a teacher and instructional coach in Berwyn South, you can imagine how being organized and patient has helped when it comes to parenting her 2-year old and 9-month old! Annie loves her 30-something life because she is established in her career and became a mom! Being in her 30s gives Annie confidence about herself and her life that she didn't have in her 20s which allows her to explore new experiences with the kids at the zoo, the parks, library story times, and the farmers market. –KK

Real Estate Mom Bridget Carroll, Glen Ellyn

Every day is different for Bridget Carroll, a top producing real estate agent for the last 12 years and mother of four children eight and under. Although the best part of her career is having flexibility, it can be challenging at times to balance office work, appointments with clients, school drop-offs, swim lessons, driving to practices and somehow still make dinner. Bridget also makes sure to carve some time out to volunteer at the school and with Cub Scouts. “I am passionate about real estate. I truly love it,” says Bridget. “I feel honored to be a part of someone’s large emotional life decision.” –MK

Vegetarian Dance Mom Tory Bergeson, Yorkville

This vegetarian mom doesn’t consider herself more extraordinary than any of her friends, but others would tell you she juggles her many life activities with kindness and a smile. While building her realtor business with Kettley Realtors, she devotes a lot of her time being a dance mom for her daughter, Izzy (9), who has 10 dance classes a week. Tory volunteers with the studio’s set production, performances, conventions. Her oldest daughter, Mady (15) made the choice to be a vegetarian, so Tory is as well to support her. Along with her children’s activities, Tory finds time to mentor children at Kidshope and teach at KidCity at her community church. –MK

The Mentor Mom Shanda Vaught, Naperville

Shanda Vaught spends a lot of her time mentoring young people. She is a valued volunteer at the Rhea of Hope Foundation in Aurora, an organization that is focused on supporting underserved, at-risk girls, adolescents and young women through a coaching program. She also mentors youth through an internship program at her husband’s practice, Health on Earth Wellness Center, through programs at her church and previously at Naperville North High School. Her greatest job though, is mentoring her three children, Tyson (17), Elana (9), and Asia (5). Her hope is that by watching her, her kids will carry on the passion of serving and empowering others. –MK

Making A Difference Kristen McAvoy, Naperville

A 5th grade teacher in Geneva District 304, Kristen McAvoy has been making a difference in the lives of students and families for 15 years. She is also mom to a 4-year-old named Parker, who was diagnosed at 6 weeks with CMV (Cytomegalovirus). CMV is the most common viral cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities. Kristen and her husband, Patrick, spend days juggling busy work schedules to attend Parker’s therapy sessions as he is still dealing with the residual effects of the virus. Four years ago, Kristen started her own business as a Rodan + Fields independent consultant mostly to help recover from their medical bills. She loves to coach and empower other women to reach their goals. –MK

Soapy Endeavor Beth Jurkowski, Naperville

As a mother of a special needs child, Beth Jurkowski has a lot of passion for helping special needs families find the support they need. She serves as the 2nd Vice President for the Indian Prairie Special Needs PTA and works to make sure children in the program participate and enjoy activities as much as typical children do. Along with raising her two younger children, Barrett (5) and Maddie (2), Beth assists her autistic daughter, Lilly (6) in running her own soap making business - Lavender and Lilly. They participate in craft fairs and hope Lilly can inspire other children to embrace what they love and challenge themselves. –MK

The Best of Both Worlds Julie McCann, Glen Ellyn

Wanting to be successful for her family, as well as successful for herself, Julie has found working outside her home provides a sense of fulfillment, ultimately making her a better mommy to her 3 children under 3! Julie started her young career as Nordstrom’s Regional Visual Merchandising Operations Manager for the Midwest states. Although she loved her job, she traveled 70% of the time and with a growing family it became harder and harder. So at 36, she decided to join her husband as a Realtor at McCann Properties, allowing them both more time to take the kids to the Morton Arboretum, the DuPage Children’s Museum, and every park in between! –KK

Mom of Multiples Samantha Behr, Wheaton

A 4-year old, plus 1-year old twins keeps 35 year-old Samantha very busy, especially since the first 78 days of their premature life was spent at the NICU followed by months of therapy to help them thrive. Now that they are doing so well, Samantha reflects to how her career working as a nanny and as a Preschool Teacher fully prepared her for motherhood by fostering the development of patience and understanding while working with small children. Samantha treasures the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom and realizes how an incredible support system is invaluable. She looks forward to soon connecting with a local moms group and discovering all the community has to offer. –KK

Mompreneur Stephanie Norris, Naperville

Stephanie brought The Bar Method to DuPage County and opened the Naperville studio when she was 32 years old. The business was her “first baby” where she learned the importance of multi-tasking and many other skills which transitioned to motherhood well. Raising her 9-month and 3 year old daughters has been easier with the benefit of creating her own hours and the ability to bring her girls to the in-studio childcare center. Stephanie always ensures her days are filled with giggles and smiles and playtime at Centennial Beach, DuPage Children's museum, walks on the Riverwalk, and playing at the park. –KK

Math Mommy Sarah Schmerer, Carol Stream

At 31 years old, Sarah knows first-hand the feeling of emotional and physical exhaustion from 10 years of teaching math classes at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn and raising her three children under the age of 5; however, she deeply values the great rewards of each job - the growth, smiles, laughter, and inspiration. She credits her husband’s constant support for learning to appreciate every moment while taking nothing for granted. When free time allows, Sarah loves to take the kids to Brookfield and Cosley Zoo, Cantigny, the Morton Arboretum, the drive-in, Centennial Beach, Rockin’ Jump, the Carol Stream library, the movie theatre, the Treehouse, and local parks. -KK

Family Creativity and Service Amy Hamilton, Geneva

Amy Hamilton, volunteer Girl Scout Leader and President of her church’s Sunday School Program for children, is always looking for service opportunities for her husband and three young children to get involved with, including their own creation of #14actsoflove every February where they perform acts of kindness each day leading up to Valentine’s Day to spread love. The Hamilton family celebrates everything at their house from major holidays to National S’more Day and even have a Shark Party every year to celebrate Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Last summer, they chose a different country each week to learn about their cultures and foods and then held their own Cul-de-Sac Olympics during the summer Olympics. –MK

Banking, Beauty and Babes Jennifer Dexter, Elgin

Since working full time for one of the top 10 largest financial institutions as a treasury management sales officer in business banking and raising her two children, Jennifer has also recently started a beautycounter business because she believes in safer products for babies, kids, and adults. Jennifer wants to show her kids that life can be very rewarding but you have to work for it, and then reap the benefits of playtime.Jennifer loves taking her brood to Goldfish swim, Santa’s Village, Goebbert’s, Yu Kids, the carousel and train at Stratford Mall, and grabbing ice cream and Auntie Anne's. Jennifer loves the financial independence of being a career girls and the fulfillment of being a mommy. –KK

Parent to Board President Amanda Rooney, Geneva

From preschool teacher, to admissions counselor, to mom of 4 year old Madeline, to Board President of GiGi’s Playhouse, at 34 years-old Amanda would say she is living a perfect life! She gets to spend her days giving back to GiGi’s Playhouse of Fox Valley while watching her daughter grow and learn new things every day. No matter how busy or how stressed Amanda gets taking on larger responsibilities - like planning the annual Chicagoland GiGi’s Playhouse, “I Have a Voice” Gala hosted this past month, Madeline always brings her back down to earth and reminds her to take a minute to just slow down and enjoy the little things.–KK

Juggling A Global Career Reneé Konzelman, Glen Ellyn

At 6 in the morning or after the kids are in bed in the evening, Reneé Konzelman, mother of three, will be logged on and taking conference calls with China, India or Malaysia. She works all day, but also takes these odd hour calls as Global Human Resources Director for Honeywell UOP located in Des Plaines where she manages and mentors a number of HR professionals. Along with juggling all her mommy duties, Reneé volunteers with the Glen Ellyn Junior Women’s Club and Newcomers Club as well as serves as VP of her homeowner’s association. “Whenever I feel like I don’t have it all together,” says Renee, “my kids remind me that what I think is mediocrity is still their amazing.”

–MK

#GlancerMagazine #Lifestyle #KidsTeens #30SomethingMoms #KristenKucharski #MindyKyle #April2017 #LocalWomen

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July 2020 Features

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