About the contributors

Reace Alvarenga Smith, APR, juggles a husband, two children ages 9 & 7, one dogs, two cats, a full-time job, church, and several volunteer activities. Despite the crazy self-imposed schedule, she feels that all these activities help her be a well-rounded person. Reace balances her overprotective instincts with some free-range parenting. She strives to keep a decent work-life balance and believes that she works to live, not the other way around.

Megan Brooks leaped into the tumultuous world of step-mothering in 2008 and has never looked back. She adores her 12-year-old stepson, Brendan, and welcomed her son, Jacob, in November 2011. She is a Senior Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources. She loves stumbling upon interesting stories, meeting inspiring caregivers, and learning new things in health care every day.

Chandra Caradine and her husband are busy raising two young girls, along with balancing work and church activities. Despite the demands and responsibilities, they are enjoying every minute of being loving parents. Neither knew the unconditional love they would have for one person or how a simple smile and giggle from a baby could brighten their day until the birth of their child. Chandra is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist and has been with Texas Health since 2006.

Jordan Echols, along with his wife, Lauren, welcomed son Elliot into the world in March 2011. They had the honor of providing both of their families with the first grandchild…and all the pressure that goes along with it! Neither has prior experience around babies, so they are definitely learning as they go. Jordan is a Communications & Image Zone Manager for Texas Health Resources. 

Jennifer Erickson hasn’t yet joined the ranks of Moms everywhere. But as a newlywed facing the baby boom of her friends, “gentle” nudging from her Mom and Mother-in-Law, and working around babies each day who knows when that will change. As a Senior Public Relations Specialist at Texas Health Resources, Jennifer delights in finding great patient stories and sharing information about healthy lifestyles each day. 

Laura Johnson is a single mom and freelance communicator who lives in East Dallas with her 12-year-old son, dog, hamster and three fish. Whether she’s on a conference call in the carpool line, searching for Wi-Fi at her son’s football practice or begging her son and his friends to “be-quiet-this-is-an-important-business-call,” she somehow manages to (usually) keep the train on the tracks. Laura is a frequent contributor to various Texas Health projects.
Amy McCall is a full-time Marketing Manager for four Texas Health hospitals and a full-time mom for her 3.5-year-old daughter. She loves both jobs, is thankful she doesn’t do either of them alone, and believes God created children to teach their parents instead of the other way around.

Makala Pollard is a 37-year-old stepmom of Josh, 15 and Nathan who is 12, Makala and husband, Brett, went through a six year journey of infertility. However, they found success and welcomed Miss Shelby Faith Pollard to the family on February 16, 2012.  As a Senior Marketing Specialist for Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Makala gets the chance to lift up the Texas Health brand and also let consumers know about some of the advanced technology and services her hospital offers the community.  

Mindy Keegan Seals is the wife of Aaron and the proud mother of Lily (3) and Logan (7mths.) Outside of motherhood she enjoys blogging, photography, bargain hunting and interior design.  Mindy has ten years of experience in sales and marketing and has worked for Texas Health Resources the last three years in Information Technology. She trains and supports the physicians and clinical staff on the electronic health record at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford.

Julie Daneman is a Team Leader for the Tax and Accounting division of Thomson Reuters in Fort Worth, TX. More importantly, she's wife to Bryan, stepmom to Jacob and Caleb, and mommy to Sam. Her resume also includes chauffer, short-order cook, boo-boo kisser, story reader, homework helper, runner and reader.