CEO and founder of Joy of Mom, author, guru of all things parenting, children’s product creator, and above all else, mother of three, Vicki Reece has spent the last 25 years creating positive, confidence-building products for children of all ages, including software games, music, and videos. Her passion for uplifting children and inspiring moms has lead her to her current platform, a destination to inspire and empower moms. It’s an all things mommyhood from A-Z, lifestyle to eco-friendly home goods, fashion to finding balance, and, always what’s best for mom and her children.
This Mother’s Day, Vicki’s book “Joy of Mom” will be released. Although this Vicki’s first book, out of 35k manuscripts submitted hers was one of two chosen; Vicki and Deepak Chopra. “Joy of Mom” celebrates the real moments in our most important and sacred journey women will ever travel – Motherhood. For the past four years, Vicki has curated photographers that moved her to tears. Each a mom, each living her passion and sharing her gift to capture the love, the essence, and the bond of mother and child.
Vicki’s own journey to become a mom was anything but smooth. After two miscarriages and then infertility, she changed courses and took a natural route and was blessed with her first of three children. When her kids were toddlers, she saw and was shocked by how negative the products and media marketed to children were. Not one to side on the sidelines and complain, Vicki took action. With no resources, know how, money, or experience she hunkered down and built from the ground up, learning each necessary part along the way, software, music and video to inspire, enrich and empower children. With zero marketing budget or help, she told her story to big box retailers, educational stores, catalogs, computer companies and singlehandedly sold 500k units by word-of-mouth, or as Vicki feels “word-of-mom”.
She witnessed first-hand the impact she was having on the lives of children, and needed to take her labor of love and platform deeper and wider. She created www.joyofmom.com to give moms an authentic place and a trusted resource to help them navigate their most important journey – being a mom. Vicki’s passion, authenticity, and range is what draws people to her.
Today Vicki reaches and engages with millions of moms daily, and often 17M a week. Her community shares her passion and, as such, has an engagement that’s in the “top 10%” of pages around the world, according to FanPage Karma. Vicki’s following looks to her to provide daily inspiration, guidance and support, which she gives effortlessly and from her heart because after all, she is a Mother first.
A native of Canada, Dr. Shepherd received her undergraduate degree from University of Oklahoma in 1998. She obtained her M.D. degree from Ross University in 2005 and then did her OB/GYN training in both her Internship and Residency at Drexel University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2005-2009. In 2011, Dr. Shepherd completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Endoscopy and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the University of Louisville where she also completed her Masters of Business Administration. Dr. Shepherd joined the OB/GYN Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 and has created a following among the community in offering patients laparoscopic surgical procedures that may not have been offered in their past. Dr. Shepherd is a Junior Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and has served as District V Chair as well as Committee Member for the Gynecologic Practice Committee for 2010-2012. As an avid member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, she serves on the ad hoc review committee for the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. She has been awarded the prestigious IRCAD award in 2010 and was the 3rd place recipient of the Jay M. Cooper Award that same year.
Her multiple publications include a book chapter on Prevention and Management of Laparoscopic Complications as well as a medical expert in various journals including Women’s Day, LifeScript.com, Heart and Soul, Best Health and WebMD. She also appeared on the local news in Chicago and Indianapolis to discuss women’s health issues. She has been able to learn from her patients in her practice that women’s health issues are not discussed enough and that there is a need have conversations on these matters that affect us. Women’s health spans physical, emotional and spiritual positions and she will attempt to address as many of these topics as she can with her new outreach venture her viewpoint.
Most recently, she started a new venture that will reach out to women to address their health issues and allow them to voice their concerns. She started Her Viewpoint in February 2013 which will showcase awareness on health for women. They have launched their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites and will shortly be launching their website. She has also been chosen to be the Public Affairs and Minority Advocacy Chair on the Executive Board for the Pass the Pearls. Dr. Shepherd is actively involved in patient care, teaching residents and research.
As the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at UIC, she specializes in endometriosis, fibroids and surgical approaches to these diseases. Her training in advanced laparoscopic surgery has made her an advocate for educating women on their options for minimally invasive surgery. Her goals are to increase her patients’ awareness of their choices and alternatives. She is particularly interested in fibroids in the minority population and is in the initial stages of a study on fibroids and its effect on women with Dr. Rick Kittles of UIC. She has given lectures nationally and internationally on fibroids and myomectomies and is motivated to treat many of these patients with a minimally invasive approach. She is a regular contributor to Dr. Oz, Sirius XM Doctor Radio, WGN, WCIU TV (she occasionally hosts the morning show) and CBS Up to the Minute.
David Singer debut film Advantage: Weinberg was selected for the prestigious Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival and received numerous prizes at festivals across the US. He is about to start production on his first feature film, Imperfections.
David is also a celebrated composer, having scored projects including Broadway’s August: Osage County (winner of five Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize) and this year’s critically acclaimed revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd. His five solo LPs have found their way onto the Albums of the Year lists of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, No Depression, Huffington Post, and the prestigious Village Voice “Pazz & Jop” poll. Greg Kot of NPR’s Sound Opinions describes David as “one of the city’s most evolved pop craftsmen of the last decade.”