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—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.
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.