Meet the Work it, Mom! Team

Nataly Kogan, Co-Founder & CEO

Prior to launching Work It, Mom! Nataly was a Managing Director with an early-stage venture firm based in New York City. She focused on investing in digital media and software start-up companies, had her share of great successes and dismal failures, but most importantly, learned one thing – she wanted to build companies rather than invest in them.

Nataly is a mom of a three year-old daughter and she has struggled to juggle work and family since her daughter was born. Some of the most useful advice she has gotten came from other working moms but she found that she had precious little time in her busy schedule to actually meet many of them in person. Work It, Mom! was born to allow professional moms to connect with each other online and share their ideas, stories, and real-life advice with each other.

In her prior career life Nataly worked in operations and business development at several early-stage technology companies, some of which even managed to survive through the dot com bust. She began her career as an analyst with McKinsey & Company in New York. Along the way she started a publishing company together with her husband, eventually selling the book series they published to Perigee, an imprint of Penguin, and wrote a book for women that was published by Hyperion in 2006.

Nataly has recently moved to Boston with her husband and daughter, but she remains a New Yorker at heart.

To see Nataly’s profile on Work It, Mom! click here.

Victoria Grace, Co-Founder & President

Prior to launching Work It, Mom! Victoria was a Partner for seven years at an early-to-mid stage venture firm in New York City. Victoria was responsible for investments in enterprise software, wireless technologies, security, storage, retail and digital media companies. While she thoroughly enjoyed working with start-ups and the inherent volatility associated with them, ultimately she wanted to run her own business.

Victoria and her husband have been looking forward to starting a family and she started to explore new career opportunities outside of venture capital, where travel and intense schedules are a norm. Victoria and Nataly had known each other for years, having met through venture capital ties and become friends. Working together to build a company that benefits working moms as well as aspiring moms was just the type of career move Victoria was looking for – one that was challenging but more flexible.

Prior to her career in venture capital, Victoria was an investment banker with Salomon Brothers. In her academic years, Victoria was active in medical research having done cancer related research at the National Institutes of Health. She has been published and remains very passionate about the field.

Victoria lives with her husband and son in New York City and are genuine New Yorkers!

To see Victoria's profile on Work It, Mom! click here.

Lylah Alphonse, Managing Editor

Lylah has been an editor in various departments at The Boston Globe since 1994. She writes a monthly column called "Good to Go," about gear and gadgets, for the Globe's Travel section, reviews books for their Living/Arts section, and occasionally writes for their Sunday Magazine, Food, and Sidekick sections. She blogs about her freelance work at Write. Edit. Repeat., and writes The 36-Hour Day here at Work It, Mom! Before coming to Boston, she was an editor at The Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y., and a freelancer and general-assignment reporter at The Princeton Packet in her hometown of Princeton, N.J.

Lylah fell in love with Work It, Mom! after she wrote a profile on Nataly for The Boston Globe Magazine. Soon after the piece came out, she and Nataly became friends. Then Lylah started hanging out at Work It, Mom!. Next thing she knew, she was blogging here. Now, she's joined our team as our managing editor.

Among the things she loves about Work It, Mom!, she says, is that working and parenthood aren't presented as an either/or situation, and our members don't blithely insist that women can always "have it all." "Whoever said women can have it all was either lying or not female," she quips. "It's not about having it all. It's about juggling your life. Work It, Mom! gets that."

When she's not at the office or writing, she's holding down the fort at her home on the outskirts of Boston, which she shares with her journalist-extraordinaire husband and their five (yes, five) kids.

To see Lylah's profile on Work It, Mom!, click here.

Bibi Estlund (a.k.a. mamajama), Community Moderator

For Bibi Estlund, becoming a mother was just the next step in what is turning out to be a lifelong juggling act. In the past two years she has gotten married, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a Bachelor of Science in Linguistics from Truman State University, moved to a new city, had a baby, and begun to work from home. Her current projects include moderating for Work it, Mom!, freelancing as a translator, updating her blog, and taking care of her daughter (a.k.a. babyjama). All while her husband works full time.

Before finding Work it, Mom!, many days felt like being torn in too many directions. Knowing that other women are facing the same challenges to find a workable and fulfilling balance between career and family helps keep Bibi going every day. Getting advice from other mothers and getting a glimpse of their daily lives is just the icing on the cake.

To see Bibi's profile on Work It, Mom! click here.

Diane Rixon, Community Moderator

Diane Rixon is a busy work-at-home mom who splits her time between freelance writing and parenting her 18-month-old daughter. In addition to her contributions to Work it, Mom!, Diane is a blogger for the site DIY Life, which is part of the AOL-owned company, Weblogs, Inc.

Diane hails originally from New Zealand. She came to the US back in 1998 to further her studies in religious history, but stayed on, got married, and pursued a career in the museums field. From there, she gradually moved into freelance writing, research, and editing. She has helped to compile and edit museum catalogues, and has also authored a number of catalogue and encyclopedia articles, as well as numerous magazine articles. Although they now reside in sunny Florida, Diane and her academic husband have also lived in Illinois, Connecticut and Georgia in recent years.

Diane joined the Work it, Mom! team in October 2007 and she thrives on the daily interaction with other working moms. She loves that the site’s content is largely defined by the members themselves, allowing the astounding diversity of working moms’ lives to shine through.

To see Diane's profile on Work It, Mom! click here.

Angella Dykstra, Social Media Rock Star

Angella Dykstra is Chartered Accountant by trade and an amateur writer and photographer by passion. Once Angella and her husband started having kids she no longer wanted to spend forty hours a week away from home. She moved to the education side of accounting which allows her to take short-term contracts to keep her mind sharp without keeping her away from her family for extended periods of time. Her husband is also self-employed and they are one of those rare families in which the parents truly share all household responsibilities equally, whether it be earning an income or changing diapers.

Angella and her husband have two boys and a girl, the oldest of which is not yet six years old. Yes, they are busy, but would not have it any other way. Most days.

Angella is firmly entrenched in the blogging world. She started her personal site over three years ago as a means for her mom to see her kids. She soon realized that she had a passion and a knack for both writing and connecting with other bloggers and has built an online community that continues to amaze her daily with its power to encourage and uplift. Work It, Mom! fits into all that Angella has realized is wonderful about online community and she is excited to work with such an excellent group of people.

To see Angella's profile on Work It, Mom! click here.

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