HealthMinder Day at BlogHer '13 Speakers


Rollover images for a quick look at the speaker's bio, or click the speaker's name to be taken directly to their profile.
A'Driane Nieves
Writer & Artist

A’Driane Nieves is a USAF veteran, writer, artist, speaker, and postpartum depression and anxiety survivor living with bipolar disorder. A'Driane's writing, focusing on the intersections of life, motherhood, art, music, faith, race, and mental health, has been featured on BlogHer, UpWorthy, EverdayFeminism, Postpartum Progress, and the 2015 Austin Listen To Your Mother ensemble. In 2014, she was a BlogHer Voice of the Year. In 2015, she was nominated for an Iris Award for Most Thought Provoking Content. An activist with a heart for serving, social good, and mental health advocacy, she believes art and words can foster dialogue and serve as a catalyst for personal growth and responsibility.

Amie Valpone

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of; she is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple gluten-free and dairy-free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook. Amie recently healed herself from six years of chronic pain, exhausting every doctor in the country and Mayo Clinic; she shares her story of how Clean Eating saved her life and inspires you to Clean up your food, too. Amie lives in Manhattan, NYC where she cooks for a variety of clients including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles who enjoy healthy, fresh food. Amie's work appears on Martha Stewart, Fox News Health, WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Food Network, Glamour Magazine, Clean Eating Magazine and many others.

Anna Hartman
Content Creator, In The Next 30 Days
Anna Hartman
Content Creator, In The Next 30 Days

Anna Hartman is a blogger, writer, designer, photographer, and creative. Drawing on her belief that there is strength and inspiration in community, she began In The Next 30 Days, where a single 30-day challenge can lead anyone toward brighter, shinier, and happier. Challenging her health, abilities, imagination, or bliss in a different way each month, Hartman has discovered that her capabilities stretch miles farther and her world is much bigger than she first imagined. She has been featured in Skirt! Magazine and on and She is a flip-flop wearing, hot-yoga loving, beach-going super Mom and lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and two children.

Anne Thériault

Anne Theriault lives in Toronto with her husband and young son. She spends her days teaching yoga, reading in cafés, and trying to figure out how to negotiate in toddler-ese. When she's not busy contorting her body into strange shapes, she writes about books, nostalgia, mental health and feminism.

Arnebya Herndon

Arnebya is a writer, blogger, and speaker. A technical editor by day, she is the writer behind the parenting/lifestyle blog What Now and Why, which she started in 2008. A winner of Washington DC's Larry Neal Writer's Award for fiction in 2006, Arnebya has been a BlogHer Voice of the Year twice (2012 and 2013, op-ed) and was a member of the 2013 Listen to Your Mother DC cast. Her work has been featured on various parenting blogs and in The Washington City Paper's annual fiction issue. An advocate for mental health awareness and self care, Arnebya spoke at HealthMinder Day at BlogHer ’13 on Self Care and Social Health: Mental Health in the Online Space.

Ashley Hicks
Co-Founder, Black Girls RUN!

In 2009, Ashley Hicks along with her friend, Toni Carey, created Black Girls RUN! in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners.

Ashley is a lover of all things creative and outdoors. When she isn’t working, you can find her scouring the shelves of Home Depot for new home improvement projects or experimenting in the kitchen.

Ashley Koff

Ashley Koff, RD (, seeks to improve the quality of nutrition choices available and consumed. A Qualitarian, Koff believes that better quality nutrition choices are key to optimal health. Koff created the “Ashley Koff Approved” (AKA) list as a tool to help consumers, media, and healthcare practitioners choose better quality groceries, dietary supplements, and prepared food. Koff maintains a private practice working with patients of all ages to achieve their personal health goals.

Koff regularly appears as an expert on TV, print, radio, and online including "The Dr. Oz Show," ABC7, The New York Times, O! The Oprah Magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Redbook, The Huffington Post, and EmpowHer.  Additionally, she writes freelance articles for many of these outlets. She is currently a contributing editor for Natural Health and Prevention magazines, and on the editorial advisory boards of Fitness and Prevention magazines, and the California state ambassador for First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Koff is the co-author of Mom Energy:  A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged.  Based in Los Angeles, Koff maintains an international private practice and is faculty at NYC's Beth Israel Integrative Medicine Center The Continuum Center for Health and Healing.

Aunt Becky

Bored by her constant yapping, Becky Sherrick Harks was plugged into a blank Wordpress blog in 2004 by her husband, The Daver. Confused by the idea that anyone would be interested in what she had to eat for lunch that day, she slowly pecked out a blog post, riddled with spelling and gramatical errors and hit the publish button. Several years and a couple of kids later, she started a new, more family-friendly blog, Mommy Wants Vodka, where people actually began to read the words that she wrote. EVEN THE MISSPELLED ONES.

Today, she pollutes the Internet six days a week while imagining a fabulous life married to men from television. It's probably not what Al Gore envisioned when he invented the Internet, but it's too late now.

Aurelia Cotta

Aurelia Cotta is the online pseudonym of a Canadian who has been blogging since 2006 about physical and mental health. She is experienced in leveraging social media to combat isolation, spread accurate information, and amplify unheard voices. A powerful advocate for patients in the health care system, she is skilled in researching complicated and interacting conditions and in explaining medical topics accessibly to others. Individually and structurally, she encourages physicians to focus more on listening to patient experience in coming to clinical decisions. This bottom-up approach will continue to grow in importance as populations age and disability of all kinds becomes more mainstream and better measured.

Aurelia has specific experience in ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, infertility, high risk pregnancy, parenting special needs children, and living with chronic health conditions individually and as a family. Known for her outspokenness on topics ranging from politics to parenting, she has a strong first-person understanding of online privacy issues in relation to health care advocacy. An empathetic and integrative listener with a strong focus on inclusion, she has built a large and loyal following on twitter. She is experienced in helping people articulate their concerns about physical and mental health, advocate for themselves or loved ones with medical professionals, and find pathways to doing things of which they had not thought themselves capable.

Overall, she finds social media to be an effective means for not only sharing experiences and connecting people, but also for cutting across traditional silos to encourage change in government, industry, media and the world at large.  "On twitter we rehearse what we would like to say in real life."

Cathy Steinberg

The principle of being Fearless is not living without fear. It is knowing what to do when it matters most. Once you are aware, confident, and knowledgeable you tend to fear-less the unknown.

Cathy Steinberg has dedicated her life to personal safety.  For many years she has taken steps towards gaining the knowledge needed to understand the criminal mind and developed personal safety strategies to help women lead safer lives.  
Her first step was to learn self-defense, ultimately achieving a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Cathy then focused on the studying and understand the criminal mind. She felt the only logical choice for true insight was to go straight to the criminals themselves by becoming an officer at a maximum security prison, then a mental hospital for the criminally insane,  and ultimately a death row prison for women. She spent countless hours speaking to violent criminals to identify how and why they pick their victims in a quest to help other women reduce their chances of becoming victims.

During her time at the mental hospital, Cathy studied and observed the behaviors of the criminally insane. At the women’s prison, she spent time understanding why these women committed crimes and the factors that lead them to become criminals. She spent many evenings working with death row prisoners such as Aileen Wournos (character for the movie Monster played by Charlize Theron) and Judy Buenoano, the infamous Black Widow.
Cathy wrote a book called The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Being Fearless.  In this book she shares tips and techniques she has learned during her many years working with criminals.  It is her gift to her fabulous girlfriends.  You are all fabulous.  Your safety matters, your family's safety matters and together we can and will make a difference.  

According to the FBI, 1 in 4 women will be a victim of a crime in her lifetime.  Cathy is going to change that... WE are going to change that.  All it takes is awareness, knowledge and practice.

Come join Cathy to become Fearless & Fabulous!

CeCe Olisa
Plus Size Princess

Once upon a time, there was a Plus Size Princess Named CeCe who left her West Coast kingdom to live on the magical island of Manhattan.

She soon discovered that New York life as a curvy girl had its ups and downs. Can CeCe fulfill her passions, love her body, find love, and score the perfect pair of wide calf boots? In New York City, anything is possible… As seen on Wendy Williams, Refinery29, FOX, CNN, Marie Claire, Huffington Post, NPR and more!

Cecily Kellogg
Double Good Media

Cecily is a writer and content creator and principal of her company, Double Good Media, a web content business offering consulting and copy. She also writes for a number of publications and clients on a wide range of topics, including technology and social media for Babble Tech and family movies for Fandango.

Somewhat Internet famous for her raw tone and humor on various social media platforms, Cecily writes about whatever she darn well pleases on her own blog, Uppercase Woman.

Cecily lives in the Philadelphia area, is happily married, is mom to a fierce and amazing daughter, has polarizing pink hair, and has occasionally been called a bad ass.

Christina Shaver
Founder, Hopeful Parents

Christina Shaver is a mom, wife, writer, musician, family business owner, and a lover of bacon but often vegan. In 2009 she started Hopeful Parents as a way for parents raising children with special needs to to reach out to each other.

She has used blogging as one platform to create awareness for special needs, the voices of parents, and the afflictions of those who suffer from mental illness. Through blogging, she has been able to amplify her message on National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Associated Press, and multiple news outlets in Chicago.

Diane Lang (aka Momo)
Social Media Manager, BlogHer

Diane (aka Momo) is the Social Media Manager for BlogHer, the premium cross-platform media network and publisher for women. A former lunch-lady, and self-taught social-media professional, she is proof that you can change your life at the age of 40.

Diane has been featured in Ladies Home Journal, Columbus Monthly Magazine, and Babble's List of the Top 100 Mom Blogs in 2011 and 2012. She was a BlogHer Voices of the Year Finalist in 2010, the BlogHer Voices of the Year Niche People's Choice Honoree in 2011 and was recently named a Favorite Central Ohio Mom Blogger by the James Thurber House. When she isn't tweeting, posting to LinkedIn, or pinning for the BlogHer Community of 55 million, Diane can be found blogging at Momo Fali, where she writes about her sports-fanatic husband, teen daughter and her special-needs son.

Dr. P.
Founder, Black Diabetic Info

Dr. P. is one of the most prominent African American Type 2 diabetic bloggers. As a university professor in the Humanities, she has a passion for educating others and her blog provides a creative and fun resource for anyone interested in knowing more about life with Type 2 diabetes.  She was diagnosed on April 15, 2011 after passing out in her bathtub on Valentine’s Day. Following that experience, she knew that her symptoms of extreme fatigue, thirst, and frequent urination were more than a coincidence and that something was seriously wrong; despite her physician’s inability to confirm her suspicions. The next morning when Dr. P. was unable to walk unassisted or remain awake for fifteen consecutive minutes, she had a friend drive her to the ER. The triage nurse informed Dr. P. that she was not only diabetic but that her glucose was so high that she was slipping into a coma.

Since her diagnosis, Dr. P. has been a trailblazer for bettering her health—she now lives a med-free life (managing her diabetes with diet and exercise) and using her second chance at life to inspire others. Managing diabetes is a daily battle and it has not been easy to ditch the medication, especially after initially requiring insulin injections around the clock. She began blogging almost immediately. As the only diabetic in her immediate family (parents, uncles, aunts, and 1st cousins) and the only young diabetic in her extended family (2nd and 3rd cousins), she felt alone. Through blogging, she was able to connect with other diabetics (predominately Type 1) through social media and is now an active member of the D.O.C. (Diabetes Online Community). In 2012, on her first “Diaversary,” Dr. P. started Black Diabetic Info, a website dedicated to providing culturally competent information about diabetes within black communities. Her goal was to create a web-presence that showcases friendly and informative content about diabetes rather than daunting statistics about race, weight, and diet.

Dr. P. lives by her motto “Diagnosed Not Defeated.” She’s been interviewed by DSMA’s Blogtalk Radio Show, won the 2012 Volunteer of the Year award for her community outreach work with the United Way of Cumberland County, and recently attended Valeritas first Type 2 Blogger Summit. She travels extensively and is currently a 2013-2014 Fulbright Core Scholar grantee to the UAE.

Elena Sonnino

Elena Sonnino is a freelance writer, digital content strategist, an advocate for social good, a runner, a cancer survivor and a dream chaser. After a successful 12 year career in teaching and educational leadership, Elena took a leap of faith to chase her dream to empower herself and audiences to make every moment matter at

Elena does more than just talk the talk about self-sufficiency, empowerment and dreaming big each day. Learning to find balance and cultivate her passion is a daily journey that Elena strives to navigate. As the Director of Internal Community Relations at TravelingMom and as an advocate to social good campaigns for the UNFoundation Shot@Life campaign, ONE Moms and the American Cancer Society, the hallmark of Elena’s work is her authentic voice and ability to inspire action. Her work has been published by Huffington Post, Technorati, BlogHer and I Am Modern magazine and as a member of the 2012 DC Listen to Your Mother cast.

Ellen Seidman
Love That Max

Ellen Seidman is an editor, blogger, web content consultant, special needs advocate and proud mom of two. She has held senior positions at Glamour, SELF, Redbook and Good Housekeeping, and done freelance projects for Martha Stewart Living, Allure, People StyleWatch and In Style. She's currently a contributing editor for Health magazine.

Ellen writes Love That Max, an award-winning blog about kids with special needs who kick butt. Max is her son, he has disabilities and, yes, he kicks butt. Love That Max has been featured on,, The New York Times' blog The Motherlode, Yahoo,, and The Daily Mail, as well as in Redbook, Real Simple, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day and Family Circle.

Ellen also blogs for, and, and writes for publications. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, Redbook and All You, among others. Essays of hers are featured in the books The Elephant in the Playroom, Minimalist Parenting and Good Enough Is The New Perfect. In addition, she's done web content projects for Disney's BabyZone, and USAToday/BlogHer.

A Social Good Fellow for the United Nation Foundation's Shot@Life campaign, she also sits on the board of Family Member, a nonprofit that works to ensure people living with special needs and disabilities are represented fairly and accurately in news, entertainment and social media.

Honors include being a two-time BlogHer Voices of the Year honoree, a Babble Top 100 Mom Blog for three years, and one of Parenting magazine's 50 Must-Read Moms. Plus, her children think she makes really good spaghetti.

In her spare time, Ellen enjoys biking, binge-watching TV series and breathing.

Erika Nicole Kendall
A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss

Erika Nicole Kendall is the author of the fitness and food blog A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss, where she chronicles her journey of losing well over 150lbs, and what she has learned along the way to help her lose and keep the weight off.

Erika’s blog is a hilarious and personal mixture of everything from emotional eating to body image to exercise to eating “clean” to what she calls “the photoshop diet” and something peculiarly called “booty paint.” Her readers are passionate about health, wellness, and positive body image, as they have built a community around supporting and cheering on fitness newbies into full on fit-stars. Erika, now a certified personal trainer, has built a reputation for being a shameless truth-teller, and her readers trust her to bring equal amounts of passion and resources to every topic.

Erin Kotecki Vest

Erin Kotecki Vest is BlogHer, Inc.’s Social Media Strategist but is currently disabled due to Lupus. She is a mother of two elementary school aged kids who keep her busy, even when she has treatment...apparently basketball and karate and horseback riding stop for no disease! She has a wonderful husband who tries to keep the house in order while she has an IV in her arm, and always over-do it trying to to be SuperMom. Before Erin got sick and long before she became a blogger, she spent ten years as a broadcast journalist in Los Angeles, Orlando and Detroit winning six Golden Mic Awards with LA news institution KFWB. Erin continues to blog on her personal site Queen of Spain Blog, and can be found tweeting as @queenofspain.

Heather King
Freelance Writer/Blogger/Director

Heather King has been writing at The Extraordinary Ordinary since 2007. She is the creator of Just Write, a weekly writing meme that encourages bloggers to free-write their stories, allowing a theme to appear through the exercise of detailing experiences. Heather's story and writing have been featured in Redbook Magazine, Minnesota Parenting Magazine and on Fox 9 Twin Cities News and NBC News With Diane Sawyer. Heather is the director of Listen To Your Mother Austin and lives there with her husband and three children.

Jen Lee Reeves

Jen Lee Reeves is passionate about social media and advocacy. She is the national social communications trainer at AARP and is the founder of a special needs community, Born Just Right. Reeves trains how to use social media and communicate across platforms. She also shares stories and lessons as a parent of a child who was born with a physical difference. Reeves regularly speaks on the power of social media in business, journalism and the higher education world. She often focuses on ways to improve digital literacy across all generations.

Reeves is married with two kids and a new puppy. She is a fan of technology, running, travel and photography.

Jenni Prokopy

Jenni Prokopy is Founder/Editrix of, where she draws on her experience with fibromyalgia and other conditions to teach women to build incredible lives in spite of illness. She tweets @ChronicBabe, speaks onstage across the country, consults with amazing clients, and wants YOU to have FUN even if you’re sick!

For 22 years (the past 11 as an entrepreneur), Jenni has enjoyed success as a writer, editor and consultant to hundreds of organizations worldwide, helping them craft and share their messages. She focuses on working with health care organizations—sharing stories of strength, wellness and inspiration in the face of adversity.

Many young women with chronic illness—especially invisible illnesses, like many autoimmune diseases—feel that they don’t have a voice in the healthcare conversation. In fact, women are far under-represented in conversations about law, finance and social issues surrounding healthcare. Jenni’s work on Chronicbabe and other related projects is meant to help strengthen women’s voices and help them be heard about the reality of life with chronic illness.

Jenni has worked with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, wellness organizations, non-profits, media outlets and individuals to give sick chicks a voice. She loves partnering with other individuals and organizations to create awareness about the struggles of life with chronic illness—and the paths to feeling better in spite of it.

Jennifer Myers
Founder, Thinking Person's Guide to Autism
Jennifer Myers
Founder, Thinking Person's Guide to Autism

Jennifer Byde Myers is a writer, editor, and parent of a child with autism. She has been writing since 2003 at, chronicling her family’s journey from diagnosis to daily living with her son’s special needs. She is a founder and editor of Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, and the director of Myers-Rosa Foundation. Her writing has been featured in Family Circle Magazine, and, Autism Speaks,, as well as in several books including My Baby Rides the Short Bus, and Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. Jennifer has been interviewed by Michael Krasny for NPR, by The Washington Post, the Public Library of Science, and has appeared on BlipTV, and several BlogTalk radio programs. She is a Must-Read Mom, a Top 10 Autism blogger at The Stir and a regular contributor at Dandelion. She Jennifer regularly speaks about her roles as advocate and parent in classrooms and at professional conferences. She lives on the San Francisco peninsula with her supportive husband, two wily children, and a dog named Gus. Follow her on Twitter at @jennyalice.

Jennipher Walters
CEO and Co-founder of Fit Bottomed Girls, LLC
Jennipher Walters
CEO and Co-founder of Fit Bottomed Girls, LLC

If there's one thing Jennipher Walters believes, it's that "diet" is a four-letter word and that a number on the scale should never determine your self-worth. After struggling with her own emotional eating issues during high school and college and overcoming them, she is passionate about helping others to embrace a healthy lifestyle as a way to feel good -- and have fun!

Jennipher is so passionate about these issues and helping women to find their inner and outer confidence that she co-founded the popular healthy living websites in 2008, in 2010 and in January with her friend Erin Whitehead. Through product reviews, personal blogs, workout music playlists and more, these sites give women the encouragement, tips and the tools to live a healthy and fulfilled life. In 2012, Jennipher began teaching online "Fit Bottomed Girls Life" classes that take women on a virtual journey to eat, work out and live like a Fit Bottomed Girl.

In addition to sharing her personal experience with health and wellness, Jennipher has several fitness credentials under her belt to give advice, too. She is an ACE-certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach, and advanced health and fitness specialist, and an AFAA-certified group exercise instructor. In fact, Jennipher has been working in and writing about the health and industry for a little more than a decade. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a MA in health journalism from the University of Minnesota, she has also written for numerous online publications including Shape magazine and SparkPeople.

Although she no longer trains clients, she worked for many years as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, in addition to being a senior associate editor for the trade health club magazine Club Industry and working as the fitness program director/marketing director at WellSpring, a health and wellness career school in Kansas City.

In her free time, Jenn can be found challenging her husband Ryan to a wicked game of MarioKart on the Wii, chomping on kale (her all-time favorite veggie), updating her 1960s-decorated home in Kansas City, Mo., doing CrossFit-inspired workouts and running with her rescue pup Siena. She also enjoys cooking, trying new recipes and kicking back with the quieter side of exercise, including yoga and meditation. While easy going by nature, she is a fierce competitor when it comes to skeeball and tennis.

Jory Des Jardins
President of Strategic Alliances, BlogHer
Jory Des Jardins
President of Strategic Alliances, BlogHer

Jory Des Jardins co-founded BlogHer, Inc. in 2005 with Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone, and serves as the company’s President of Strategic Alliances and lead evangelist to top revenue partners. With Jory’s leadership, BlogHer has developed its own distinctive, brand of strategic partnership, helping to facilitate constructive dialogue between some of the world’s major brands and women who are social media leaders and their readers.

Jory frequently gives private presentations and training sessions to Fortune 500 companies and their internal and external strategy teams, bringing community insights and case studies directly to companies and agencies that are navigating the social media space. Leveraging her prior experience in both print and online media, Jory works within brand teams to deconstruct media models and to develop messaging and campaigns that resonate with bloggers, blog readers and brands.

BlogHer’s integrated sponsorship model, which combines live events and media channels, has grown to revenue of eight figures trailing for the past two years, during which BlogHer, Inc. was named among the AlwaysOn OnMedia Top 100 for 2011 and Global 250 for 2010, and as one of America’s Most Promising Start-ups by BusinessWeek. BlogHer’s flagship site,, was named one of the Top 100 Websites for Women by Forbes in 2010.

Jory is BlogHer’s representative on the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Board of Directors, and serves on the advisory board of start-ups FeedBlitz and Juno Baby.   Jory also represents BlogHer at public speaking engagements, having keynoted such events as ad:tech Chicago and the Marketing to Moms Conference, and spoken on panels at events for the IAB, ANA, AMA and WOMMA and at Web 2.0, SXSW Interactive, BlogWorld Expo, the Monaco Media Forum, Girls in Tech and CES.

Prior to co-founding BlogHer, Jory helped high-technology start-ups Pluck and Rojo develop the models to launch successful blog syndication initiatives and served as producer as Third Age transitioned from traditional web destination to a network of bloggers.

Together, BlogHer co-founders Lisa, Elisa and Jory have been named among the most influential women in Web 2.0 and technology by Fast Company (2008, 2009 and 2010), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalists (2010) and among the seven most powerful people in new media by Forbes Magazine (2009). In 2011 they were jointly awarded the PepsiCo Women’s Inspiration Award and in 2008, the Anita Borg Institute Social Impact Award. Jory lives in the Bay Area with her husband Jesse and their young daughters.

Julia Roberts
President, Speaker, Writer, Publisher

Julia Roberts is an innovative builder of communities both physical and virtual, and is an adept communicator in both realms. She owns a traditional marketing firm, is a writer, speaker, and advocate. Mom to two cute kids with special needs including kidney failure, dialysis and kidney transplants for both. Mix in some medical trauma with mental illness and this is the reason she is tired most of the time.

She's a marketing professional, co-founder of a site for special needs parents, blogger, mom, wife, friend and wrangler of doctors, resources and kids. I'm co-founder of Support for Special and 9 year blogger of Kidneys and Eyes.

Lisa Leake
100 Days of Real Food

Lisa Leake is a wife, mother, foodie, blogger, and (future) author who chronicles her family’s journey on as they seek out the real food in our processed food world. What started as a simple pledge has turned into a valuable and practical resource that’s now read by millions around the globe. Lisa has appeared on Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, and CNN.

Lisa Stone
Co-Founder and CEO, BlogHer

Lisa Stone co-founded BlogHer, Inc. in 2005 with Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins, and serves as the company’s CEO. With Lisa’s leadership, the company has grown from an idea for a grassroots conference into a diversified media company and a Top 5 women’s network  online, according to comScore, with 2,500+ premium blog contributors, the world’s largest in-person events for bloggers, and an award-winning social hub at As principal architect of BlogHer’s distributed, cross-platform media business, Lisa developed innovative models for profitable, premium online media, and for recognizing and compensating a new wave of content creators.

Lisa has shepherded the company to revenue of eight figures trailing for the past two years, during which BlogHer, Inc. was named among the AlwaysOn OnMedia Top 100 for 2011 and Global 250 for 2010, and as one of America’s Most Promising Start-ups by BusinessWeek. BlogHer’s flagship site,, was named one of the Top 100 Websites for Women by Forbes in 2010.

A traditional journalist who left CNN for the Internet in 1997, Lisa began developing new social media business models during her tenure as the first Internet journalist awarded a coveted Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University in 2002. Lisa first blogged as part of her 2004 election coverage for the Los Angeles Times, the same year she developed and launched the first sponsored blog network for Lisa’s expertise and vision has led to numerous innovations in the social media space.

Prior to the Nieman Fellowship, Lisa was among the early drivers of some of the most successful online communities and interactive programming for women. As the executive producer and Editor in Chief/VP, Programming for, Lisa grew the 18-channel network to a Top 30 site and oversaw all original programming and the development and integration of content community initiatives with Hearst and Rodale magazines, E! Television/Online, HBO’s Sex and the City, Bloomberg, and Gallup and Knight Ridder. 

Together, BlogHer co-founders Lisa, Elisa and Jory have been named among the most influential women in Web 2.0 and technology by Fast Company (2008, 2009 and 2010), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalists (2010) and among the seven most powerful people in new media by Forbes Magazine (2009). In 2011 they were jointly awarded the PepsiCo Women’s Inspiration Award and in 2008, the Anita Borg Institute Social Impact Award.

Lisa has been honored among the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company (2010), the Most Powerful Moms in Media by Working Mother Magazine (2010), AlwaysOn Top 25 Women in Tech (2009) and the Influencers of Silicon Valley by the San Jose Mercury (2009). She is a frequent speaker at leading industry events, including the Montgomery Technology Conference, Online News Association Annual Conference, EconWomen Summit, Fairchild|WWD Summit, Web 2.0, SXSW Interactive, Supernova and the AlwaysOn Summit.

As the co-founder of a mission-based for-profit organization, Lisa is a member of the Advisory Boards for both the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships and the Knight Digital Media Center of the USC Annenberg School for Communications. She lives in Silicon Valley with Christopher Carfi and their children.

Louise Kinross
BLOOM Editor

Louise Kinross is editor of BLOOM, a magazine on parenting children with disabilities. BLOOM gives voice to the joys and challenges of special-needs parenting and promotes the concept that every child ‘blooms’ in his or her own unique way. The BLOOM blog reaches readers in 136 countries and has been picked up by the New York Times, Huffington Post and AOL Online. Louise has an 18-year-old son Ben, who has a rare genetic disorder

Pamela Merritt
Activist and Writer

Pamela is a graduate of Brandeis University, where she studied Anthropology, African American History, and Women’s Studies. Pamela Merritt is a member of the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Health Leadership Network and a founding member of the Trust Black Women Partnership. Merritt is a staff writer for the award winning RH and has been a featured contributor to National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin.  Merritt’s writing has been published in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Guardian and Salon.  Pamela Merritt blogs at, named one of the world’s 50 most powerful blogs by the Guardian in 2008.

PK Fields
PK Fields

PK Fields is the proud parent of two amazing, grown sons and a brilliant and beautiful daughter-in-love. She grew up in Los Angeles in a wonderful family with every opportunity that one could wish for. This can be a blessing or a curse depending how you choose to use it, and it took her awhile to get smart.

PK has traveled an amazing road that has included: climbing Machu Picchu, giving away shoes for TOMS’ deep in South America, giving her Grandma morphine to subside her pain, hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim, climbing Mount Whitney, and mountain biking in Moab. She has rafted the entire Colorado River, kayaked the Salmon River, heli-skied the Monashees, Adamants and Revelstoke, motorcycled with Steve McQueen (okay his kids - they were following him). Her mom took her to march for Pro Choice in DC; she was so proud to be there and so proud to learn that you should find your cause and step in to help.

She is still an avid cycler, skier, hiker, Dodger fan, and friend to the aging – they touch her heart.

PK has worked in film production: Crimes of the Heart, Poltergeist II,
Glory; in music: Billboard Entertainment Marketing, Billboard Music Awards, opened Billboard Live on the Sunset Strip; and in hospitality: created and ran the Internet divisions for Mirage Resorts (Bellagio, Treasure Island, Mirage, Gold Nugget, Gold Nugget Laughlin, Beau Rivage and Caesars Corporate – Bally’s, Hilton Gaming properties, Paris Las Vegas, Flamingo, and Caesar Palaces). While in Las Vegas, she did the first deals for Priceline, Expedia and Travelocity in Las Vegas, and she is a former board member of U.C.L.A.’s Center on Aging.

Now, PK is focused on launching RTime to help people with their aging loved ones. is “Yelp for eldercare.” RTime is dedicated to being a one-stop solution for those seeking quality eldercare services, facilities and information, and it is the most fun and hardest work PK has done out of all the events in her life.

Rae Lewis-Thornton
Rae Lewis-Thornton, Inc.

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award winning AIDS Activist. She rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with HIV/AIDS in a cover story to Essence Magazine in 1994. Rae travels worldwide in an unending crusade in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Rae Lewis-Thornton has been featured in countless magazines such as, Glamour, O-The Oprah Magazine, Jet, Ebony, Woman’s Day, Emerge, Black Excellence, Heart and Soul WOE, Poz as well as, many newspaper outlets. She has been featured on national television shows and on-line news outlet ssuch as Nightline, Dateline, Black Entertainment Television (BET) The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Montel Williams Show, Huffington Post Live, AOL. She received an Emmy Award for an on-going series of first-person news reports on her life of Living With AIDS, for CBS-Chicago.

RLT launched a line of fashion bracelets, RLT Collection in 2009,

Rae is a pioneer in using Social Media to educate and challenge stigma around HIV/AIDS and to promote issues around self-love. Her integrated use of Social Media has gained her national acclaim. She was featured on BET News, and in a cover story for the Chicago Tribune, that was picked up by the Associated Press .
Her award winning blog Diva Living With AIDS has had unprecedented success. ( She won the CBS Most Valuable Blogger Award in Health and Wellness in 2010, the Black WEBlog Award in Health and Wellness in 2012. She was named a top 10 Social Maker in HIV/AIDS in 2014 by ShareCare, Dr. Oz’s interactive wellness site.

Rae Lewis-Thornton blog is syndicated at, and She also blogs at ChicagoMoms. Rae can be found educating on Twitter daily @RaeLT in 2010 she won the British Academy of Golden Tweet Award in Public Service.

Rae  has published two books, Amazing Grace: Letters Along my Journey and The Politics of Respectability. She received the Distinguished Alumnae Award from her alma mater Northeastern Illinois University in 2011, as well as, countless other awards for her work around HIV/AIDS. She is an ordained minster. Rae received her Master of Divinity Degree in 2003 from McCormick Theological Seminary. She has done Ph. D Studies in Church History at the the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Rae Lewis-Thornton has lived with HIV for 31 years and AIDS for 22. She continues to use her life and story to enrich the lives of others.

Roni Noone
SkinnyMinnyMedia LLC

Roni Noone used her blog, Roni’s Weigh, to shed 70 pounds, start a running habit, get over a fear of weight training, complete her first marathon and run seven Tough Mudders, yes, seven. In 2011, she published her first cookbook based on recipes shared on the popular GreenLiteBites and brought the fourth annual FitBloggin’ conference to Portland, Ore., bringing together new and seasoned health, wellness, fitness and weight-loss bloggers for knowledge, personal growth and networking.

Recognizing the power of blogging, she also started a supportive online community called BlogToLose where more than 6,000 users are blogging to reach their own weight-loss goals.

Roni has represented and consulted for a wide variety of clients in the health and fitness industry including: Kellogg, The Laughing Cow, Liberty Mutual, HumanaVitality, Weight Watchers, Kraft, Vitalicious, Subway, Johns Hopkins University, Quaker, Nutrilite, ALDI and Pom. She has also been featured in many media outlets including CNN, the Today show, Inside Edition, Ladies Home Journal, Everyday Health, Women’s World, Woman’s Day, and Wired.

Roni is doing one of three things at this very moment: Blogging, cooking or traveling.

Shannon Carroll/Mr Lady
Content Marketing Manager, BlogHer

Mr Lady is seldom a mister, and never a lady. She gave up a life of making martinis and babies - both mostly in bars - after becoming somebody's mother (x3) and somebody's wife (x1) (working on X2). She kills hamsters and cookies with ruthless efficiency, and sometimes drinks with Communists. She was also deported from Canada once. That was fun.

She's been exploiting her three children and her mommy issues online since 2005 on her personal blog, Whiskey In My Sippy Cup Shannonigans {dot} co, yo. She's been involved with BlogHer at the speaker-level since 2008, and now serves as the Content Marketing Manager at BlogHer. She fills her idle hour(s) sitting on the Board of Directors of Violence Unsilenced, a domestic violence awareness non-profit and devising digital communication strategies for companies who are terrified of the internet. 

Stephanie Quilao
Founder and Chief Storyteller, Thriving Media
Stephanie Quilao
Founder and Chief Storyteller, Thriving Media

Stephanie Quilao is the Founder and Chief Storyteller of Thriving Media. She is well-known for her (now retired) healthy living blog Back in Skinny Jeans, and healthy eating blog Noshtopia. She has produced two mobile apps on iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile, and is launching In October 2013 an iPhone food photo editing app. Her personal blog is

Recently, Stephanie made the move from Phoenix, AZ back to Silicon Valley to pursue her dream of building mobile health apps to help spread healthiness through smart devices.

Stephanie's blog work has appeared in iVillage Diet and Health, Livestrong, AOL Diet & Fitness, FOX News Health, USA Today, Reuters,, Lifehacker, Clicked, TechMeme, and Yahoo Tech. She has been written about in Wall Street Journal Digits, LA Times Food Blog, Women's Health, CNBC "On the Money," and PBS Media Shift.

Stephanie is the author of the books, "Back in Skinny Jeans," "Be Awesome on Twitter," and "Death of a Road Warrior."