Jeannie Ralston has long followed the maxim, “Write what you know.” Soon after she graduated from college, newly out of her teens herself, she became editor-in-chief of TeenAge magazine in New York. Later, after a stretch spent freelance writing for Time and Life magazines, she became a contributing editor of Allure, a beauty magazine—which conveniently coincided with her glamorous 20s and early 30s in Manhattan.
Marriage and a move to Texas came next and soon after the birth of her second child, she took on a new more appropriate position—contributing editor of Parenting magazine. During this time, she and her husband began the first commercial lavender farm in Texas and eventually wrote a memoir—The Unlikely Lavender Queen, published by Broadway Books—about her transformation from a Manhattan journalist to a lavender-farming mom in the rural reaches of the Lone Star State.
Once they built the business into a profitable enterprise and sold it, Jeannie and her husband moved to Mexico so that their sons could become bilingual. Four years later, they took off for a stint of homeschooling and traveling that landed them in 16 countries around the globe and resulted in an e-book, The Mother of All Field Trips. Jeannie and her husband now live outside of Austin, Texas. Learn more about Jeannie on her website.
Born a Chicagoan, Lori Seekatz moved to Texas to attend college when she was 18, and landed in Austin in her ‘20s. That was 30 plus years ago. In the meantime, she became a food broker, sales manager, design lover and helped build a bootstrap business into an international company. Married with three kids and three dogs, she thinks too much–mostly at 4 in the morning.
Marketing and Advertising Manager—Ellesor Gray Holder
Ellesor Holder has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and public relations that all started in Atlanta, Ga. She has worked in all areas of the industry for more than 30 years from ad agencies to freelance writing to sales, marketing and event management. She possesses advanced skills in branding, marketing leadership, social media integration, strategic planning and event planning. Ellesor is a Certified Festival and Events Executive (CFEE) by the International and Festival Events Association. She is also a public speaker and educator providing informative workshops on the latest in workplace technology, productivity and social media. Although she loves the marketing world, she loves more her husband Lee, their 14 year old daughter, their two dogs and life on Lake Greenwood in South Carolina. Contact Ellesor about sponsorships and partnerships: Ellesor@NextTribe.com.
Senior Editor—Janet Siroto
Janet Siroto’s work is always driven by her curiosity about culture. She’s currently a marketing consultant and trend-tracker at BrainReserve, a future-focused strategic agency in Manhattan. She also has deep expertise in content strategy, having served as editorial director of Match.com, as well as journalism: She held the Editor-in-Chief position at Time Inc.’s Family Life magazine, as well as senior editorial positions at Cosmopolitan, Redbookand Good Housekeeping. As a writer, her work has focused on women’s lives and cultural trends, and has appeared in New York, The New York Times, Vogue and many other publications. She lives in the NYC area with her husband and has two college-age sons.
Carol Rumbolt began her career in magazine publishing. A move to Atlanta landed her in the advertising world designing an array of marketing communication materials for clients like Georgia Pacific, IBM and Shell Oil. Now headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, she works for clients both large and small. Her work has encompassed all facets of communications: branding and corporate identity, web design, print, television, packaging, book and magazine design, illustration and new media. Her style is one of simplicity that clearly and effectively conveys the client’s message to the end user. Carol, the mother of two grown sons, is an avid mountain biker and heads out to local trails with her husband, Shawn, as much as she can.
Copy Editor—Heather O’Keeffe Gardner
Our NextTribe Advisory Board
Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 50-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. Find her at: judycollins.com.
Sandra Dewey serves as senior vice president, head of business affairs, for Turner Entertainment Networks and Cartoon Network Originals. In this role, Dewey leads business affairs and production for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) originals, including scripted and unscripted series, long-form limited series, movies, documentaries, specials and comedy festivals, as well as new media and advertiser-sponsored initiatives. Dewey also leads business affairs for truTV and for Cartoon Network Originals. She was part of a team that brought terrifically popular activist comic Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal to TBS, and she has long mentored young women. Over the last three years, she has helped add 400 women as directors, writers, show runners, set designers, and other professionals in order to better diversify TNT, the Turner network with the highest female audience. Last summer Dewey helped devise the company’s jubilant Feminist Fridays.
Suzanne Braun Levine
Suzanne Braun Levine is a writer, editor and nationally recognized authority on women, families, and changing gender roles. She was the first editor of Ms. magazine and the first woman to edit the Columbia Journalism Review. In her recent work Levine has celebrated a new stage of life – Second Adulthood – and she reports on the ongoing changes in women’s lives in her books, in media interviews (including Oprah! Charlie Rose and NPR) and lectures, and in frequent blogs for AARP, Encore.org, Huff/Post50, and Next Avenue. She was a presenter at TEDx Women in 2011 and was honored on MAKERS.com – the largest video collection of women’s stories – for Women’s History Month 2014. She is on the Advisory Council of The Women’s Media Center and a WMC SheSource expert on women, media and family issues. Find her at suzannebraunlevine.com.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has a distinguished history of accomplishment in the public arena, and for the last decade in the private sector. She has been a Managing Director at the Rock Creek Group, a leading, highly respected global investment and advisory firm that provides investors with solutions to achieve their return and risk objectives.
She is also the Founder of the Center of Research Initiatives at Georgetown University, where she serves as a Research Professor. She was appointed Chair of the Governor’s Retirement Security Task Force for the State of Maryland.
As the State of Maryland’s first woman Lieutenant Governor, Townsend was in charge of a multimillion dollar budget and had oversight of major cabinet departments, including Economic Development and Transportation, State Police, Public Safety and Correction and Juvenile Justice. Prior to being elected Lt. Governor, Townsend served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States. In that role, she led the planning to put 100,000 police officers into the community and she initiated the Police Corps, a program to give college scholarships to young people who pledge to work as police officers for four years after graduation.