Meet The Mamas
Manda Aufochs Gillespie is a consultant, writer, environmentalist, and mother. She has been featured as the green parenting expert in numerous media sources: from the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, EcoParent Magazine to TV programs such as The Lazy Environmentalist (Showtime) and Save My Planet (ABC’s Live Well HD Channel).
In 2007, Manda founded The Green Mama to bring green living information to parents and businesses. She has worked with Chicago’s premier green stores, the country’s first green daycares, and with corporations trying to truly live green. Her writings have been published on the Vancouver Observer, Alternet.org, Mindful Metropolis, and in EcoParent, EcoCity Cleveland, Conscious Choice. In 2009, she expanded the business to include other green mamas and cover the West Coast and parts of Canada. The Green Mama team provides interactive and upbeat workshops focused on living green, consulting to individuals and businesses going green, and numerous on-line resources. The popular Green Mama Blog has been syndicated in Chicago and Canada and The Green Mama can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and in your email inbox.
Manda holds a degree in environmental studies and politics from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before The Green Mama, she worked with EcoCity Cleveland bringing green practices to community design and managed one of the country’s first urban ecovillages. Today, she can be found riding her bicycle with her two daughters in tow, carrying home food from the local farmers market, while talking on her phone about the merits of green.
Cecelia Ungari, Green Mama Educator, Writer, Reviewer
Cecelia Ungari has been teaching sustainable lifestyle choices for more than 5 years in the Chicago region. Two projects that she is particularly proud of are the Right Bite sustainable seafood awareness program and the Green Initiative, which she spearheaded while working at the John G Shedd Aquarium. Besides her work with The Green Mama, Cecelia can be found at Northwestern University in Evanston. Cecelia is also a trained doula focusing on the complete spectrum of maternity support: preconception, pregnancy, labor and post-partum stages.
Cecelia brings her interest in conservation, human biology, and the history of chemicals to all of her jobs. Known to friends as the queen of concoctions, Cecelia is constantly mixing, blending, or brewing local, organic foods to eat, drink or put on her skin. She's most proud of her experiments and recipes for deodorant, hair conditioner and carrot cake cookies: ask her and she just might share a concoction or two! Cecelia had her first baby in 2012.
Insiya Rasiwala-Finn, Writer & Reviewer
Insiya Rasiwala-Finn is a writer, yoga-teacher and new green mama who lives between Ucluelet, BC and Los Angeles, California. Formerly the marketing director at lululemon athletica, she currently runs a yoga lifestyle business with her partner called Blissology, whose mission it is to inspire people to connect their yoga practices with the awe we feel in natural, wild places. When not busy navigating life with her new baby, she currently scours the web researching (and coveting) green baby products! She is thrilled to be a part of the Green Mama team. You can read more of Insiya's work at yogue.wordpress.com
Vanessa Filley, Reviewer & Photographer
Vanessa Filley is foodie, textile artist, and the founder of Moira & Obbie craft clothing line. Along with her many other talents, Vanessa is also an amateur photographer and many of her beautiful photos can be found on the green mama site. She has two young daughters and they can all be found biking around Evanston, IL, in any weather and posing in font of other people's barns and garages.
Renée Bosman, Reviewer
Renée interned at the Environmental Protection Agency while pursuing her Master’s degree in Library Science. There she worked with scientists who came in for research assistance on everything from the dangers of pesticides to why we should avoid microwave popcorn. But like many mamas, it was the birth of her first child, in 2007, that really pushed Renée to make a concerted effort to rid her home of ugly chemicals and toxins. She put those librarian skills to work researching everything from cloth diapering options to BPA in baby bottles. Greening her house has been a gradual but rewarding process and Renee is pretty excited about some of her DIY developments, like homemade yogurt and laundry detergent.
Renée lives in the Chicago 'burbs with her husband, three little ones, and two big Treeing Walker Coonhounds. When not taking care of her houseful, you can find her knitting, and desperately trying to get to the end of a row before the baby wakes.
Carly Fauth, Reviewer
Carly is Chief Mom and head blogger at thredUP.com, an online consignment shop. She’s also the proud parent of a spunky little boy named Ryker. Becoming a mom has inspired Carly to live a more sustainable lifestyle and she’s always on the lookout for new ways to involve Ryker in “going green”. Originally from NJ, Carly attended the University of New Hampshire and fell in love with New England. She now resides in Milford, MA. In her free time you can find Carly enjoying the great outdoors with Ryker and her husband (Tim), practicing hot yoga, or in the kitchen cooking a feast for family and friends!
Donna DeForbes, Reviewer
Donna DeForbes is a graphic designer and writer by profession; she spent eight years educating others about marine pollution while working for Save The Bay® in Rhode Island. During that time, Donna became a mother, which motivated her to delve deeper into natural health and green living. Donna as her own blog at Eco-Mothering and has published articles in Bamboo, Skipping Stones children’s magazine, and writes a parenting column for her local newspaper. Donna is a Philadelphia native currently living by the bay in Rhode Island. She enjoys hiking, reading, zumba, yoga, sharing meals with friends, and exploring new places with her husband and daughter.
Laura Smith, Reviewer
Laura earned her degree in Natural Resource Management and Engineering from the University of Connecticut and has long been a steward of the environment. She became a high school mathematics teacher and now resides in her hometown outside of Chicago. Laura is a local activist participating in events with the Sierra Club, Going Green, Hands Across the Sand, and more. Her mom is an environmentalist too, but the two people most influential to Laura's interest in a cleaner and more sustainable world are her two young daughters. She spends most of her free time with her girls: playing, laughing, and learning.