Category Archives: women's

Nat’l Women’s History Proj

Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet

Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet

2009 Theme: Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet

In 2009, the National Women’s History Project honors women who have taken the lead in the environmental or “green” movement. We are featuring Rachel Carson, the founder of the contemporary environmental movement, as the iconic model of the theme. Rachel Carson’s work provides an admirable model for comparison. The 2009 Honorees are scientists, engineers, business leaders, writers, filmmakers, conservationists, teachers, community organizers, religious or workplace leaders or others whose lives show exceptional vision and leadership to save our planet.
This year we are recognizing one-hundred 2009 Honorees who demonstrate women’s leadership in protecting the environment on a local, state, or national level. The 2009 Honorees are representative of women from across the country who have taken or are taking the lead to save our planet.

*below is a list of the 2009 Honorees and a brief bio*

Honorees: 2009 National Women’s History Month

This year’s theme, Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet, encourages the recognition of the important work of women in the on-going “green movement.” To acknowledge women in communities and states throughout the country, we are including all the women nominated as 2009 Honorees. Please consider recognizing women in your own community as you plan for National Women’s History Month events.

The 2009 Honorees include scientists, engineers, business leaders, writers, filmmakers, conservationists, teachers, community organizers, religious or workplace leaders or others whose lives show exceptional vision and leadership to save our planet.

These brief biographies of the 2009 Honorees were submitted by the person who nominated the woman. Web referrals are also included to provide more information about each woman.

Wendy Abrams
b. 1965
Founder and President of Cool Globes

Illinois USA
Wendy Abrams founded Cool Globes, a non-profit organization established to raise awareness of global warming, and to inspire individuals and community leaders to embrace solutions. She also demonstrates her commitment to a healthy environment a member of the National Council of Environmental Defense, the National Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Resources Defense Council C4 Action Fund.

Mary Arlene Appelhof
1936 –2005
Biologist, Worm Farmer, Educator, Publisher, and Environmentalist

Mary Appelhof advocated using the lowly earthworm to recycle food waste into usable fertilizer. In the early 1970s she turned her basement worm container into a career designing composting bins, marketing worms, and authoring Worms Eat My Garbage. As “Worm Woman,” she introduced thousands of schoolchildren and home gardeners to the fascinating, environmentally-significant activity of vermicomposting.

Roswitha Augusta
Entrepreneur, Filmmaker
Roswitha Augusta, is an entrepreneur, naturalist, and environmental filmmaker. In 1980, she established Augusta Properties, an apartment management company. Her profound love of nature prompted her to learn filmmaking and produce the award winning documentary, Preserving the Future, about the conflict between preserving our environment and urbanization. Additionally, she hosts a cable television program about local environmental issues.

Stephanie Avery
b. 1975

Director of Special Projects, YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear and Leave No Trace Master Educator
North Carolina
Ms. Avery developed ECO CAMPS on YWCA property. She personally built nature trails through the wetlands using the best practices of “Leave No Trace,” spearheaded the identification of the flora and fauna, and created a tent classroom. She continues her work in conducting workshops and running ongoing ECO CAMPS and striving to help the community form habits to protect and preserve the environment.

Mollie Beattie
1947 – 1996

Forester, Conservationist and Government Official
Mollie Beattie was the first woman to head the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which enforces wildlife laws and administers the Endangered Species Act. Beattie oversaw the successful reintroduction of the gray wolf into northern Rocky Mountains. To recognize her extraordinary work in the field of conservation, Congress named a wilderness area in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in her honor.

Rebecca Bell
Environmental Education Specialist
Rebecca Bell has provided outstanding leadership in embedding environmental issues into the Maryland State curriculum for all public schools. Honored as the Maryland Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, Ms. Bell was selected in 2008 to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea program to help scientists monitor changing ecosystem. Rebecca also serves on the Governor’s Climate Change Commission.

Rachel Binah
b. 1942
Community Activist

Rachel Binah mobilized her Fort Bragg in California community to stop oil drilling off California’s North Coast.  Federal hearings were attended by 5000 people with 1400 signed up to testify!  As Chair Emeritus of California Democratic Party’s Environmental Caucus, and Democratic National Committeewoman, Rachel continues to advocate for Earth’s environment, alternative energy, and ocean protection to Democratic candidates, elected officials.

Jenny Blaker
Outreach Coordinator, Cotati Creek Critters
As Outreach Coordinator for the Cotati Creek Critters (CCC) in Cotati, California, Jenny Blaker has involved hundreds of volunteers in planting a mile of native trees and shrubs alongside the city’s Laguna de Santa Rosa waterway. CCC’s community education program has helped to raise awareness and nurture a sense of environmental stewardship. Although Ms. Blaker is a British national, she was awarded the Cotati Citizen of the Year Award, 2007.

Arlene Blum
Bio-Physical Chemist, Mountaineer, Environmental Activist

Arlene Blum is best known for leading the first American, all-women’s ascent of Annapurna. Blum’s research was instrumental in banning Tris and Fyrol, two cancer-causing chemicals used as flame retardants on children’s sleepwear, and the pesticide DBCP. Today, Blum is fighting the use of flame retardants in every-day products such as upholstered furniture. She is the author ofBreaking Trail: A Climbing Life.,,

Margrett (“Gretta”) Boley
Forest Supervisor, Kisatchie National Forest

Superintendent Boley was first in the region to implement Biomass Plant which produces energy from wood chips for district office, parking lot lighting and other energy needs. A leader and role model in reducing the carbon footprint, she began an office campaign for recycling paper, batteries, disposal of tree marking paint, oil, other items that are harming the environment.
Additional information can be obtained from the public information officer, Jim Caldwell, Kisatchie National Forest, (318) 473-7160, ext. 7168

Barbara K. Byrd
b. 1949
State Secretary of the Oregon AFL-CIO

Barbara Byrd coordinates the Oregon Apollo Alliance, a labor-business-environmental coalition that promotes clean energy and good jobs. In 2007, she attended the United Nations Climate Change Convention in Bali, Indonesia. Her participation in the first labor delegation to the Western Climate Initiative stakeholder meetings in 2008 which resulted in documenting labor’s stake in the climate change.

Helen Caldicott
Physician, Author, Speaker

Helen Caldicott, physician, pacifist, and anti-nuclear activist, has worked for over 35 years to educate the international community on the medical and environmental hazards of the nuclear age. As “the single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises,” Dr. Caldicott was named by The Smithsonian Institute as one of the most influential women of the 20th Century.

Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D
Founder and Editor, Earth Negotiations Bulletin
New York

Pamela S. Chasek has for 22 years demonstrated her passionate commitment to working to save the planet in her writing and in her work planning a climate change awareness campaign for the National Wildlife Foundation in the 1980’s. She founded the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in1992, created an environmental studies major at Manhattan College, and continues working each day to create a green campus.,

Lynne Cherry
Author, Environmental Appreciation and Education Books

Lynne Cherry is the author/illustrator of The Great Kapok Tree and thirty+ other award-winning children’s books that teach respect for the earth. Flute’s Journey: the Life of a Wood Thrush focused national media attention on conservation efforts to save the 60 acre Belt Woods in Md. when Lynne and students were featured on Sunday Morning News With Charles Osgood.

Gillian Christie
President and Owner of Christie Communications

As CEO of Christie Communications, a full-service, organic marketing company exclusively helping ethical businesses, socially conscious organizations and charities broaden their impact through effective communication services, Gillian Christie has been helping organizations make peace profitable. The agency’s non-profit arm, Christie CommUnity Foundation, helps businesses partner with developing nations to facilitate growth, health and economic prosperity in communities such as Sudan, Sri Lanka and Rwanda.

Mary Cleave
Environmental Engineer and Astronaut

New York District of Columbia
Dr. Cleave was a mission specialist at NASA and flew on space flights in 1985 and 1989. Her extensive research is in the field of soil and water pollution with a special focus on the need for minimum river flow to help maintain certain game fish. She served as NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission and also managed NASA’s Ocean Color Satellite Program in Washington, DC.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
b. 1947
Secretary of State

New York USA
While serving in the United States Senate, Senator Clinton worked to secure federal legislation to protect the environment both on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee and as the senior Democrat on the Fisheries, Wildlife and Water subcommittee. She co-sponsored the Petroleum Consumer Price Gouging Protection Act and Close the Enron Loophole Act to enable the President to declare an energy emergency and trigger federal gouging protections.

Mignon Leticia Clyburn
b. 1962

South Carolina Public Service Commissioner (6 th District)
South Carolina
Mignon Clyburn was elected and presently serves as Commissioner of the South Carolina Public Service Commission since 1998. In 2002, she was elected as Chair of the Commission. Prior to her role at the Commission, Ms. Clyburn served as editor, publisher, and general manager of the Coastal Times Newspaper. She is very active in both Richland and Charleston county communities.

Ellie M. Cohen

Ellie M. Cohen, Executive Director of PRBO Conservation Science (founded as Pt. Reyes Bird Observatory) has over 30 years of non-profit and for-profit management, fundraising, and policy expertise. Ms. Cohen brings her perspective as a scientist and public policy advisor to the topic of climate change. PRBO is an award winning center for bird ecology research advancing biodiversity conservation on land and at sea.

Madie Collins
Founder of P.A.W. Animal Sanctuary
In 2003,
Madi gave up her corporate job in New York to return to her native community of Caye Caulker, Belize in 2003. Beginning with caring for one, sickly, abandoned cat, Ms. Collins became determined to help all the island’s cats. Facing mountains of obstacles, lack of funds, and opposition from people, she was able to accomplish her dream of establishing a cat sanctuary.

Mary S. “Mimi” Cooper
b. 1943
Teacher and Environmental Activist

Mary S. “Mimi” Cooper is an activist with a burning desire for positive change who has acted as an “environmental conscience” in many situations. She helped start a Baltimore hazardous waste day, is a director of Rachel Carson Council, was on the National Conservation Committee of the Garden Club of America, and has taught at the Irvine Nature Center.

Tammy Cromer-Campbell

Knowing that environmental justice issues are not limited to Winona, Texas, Tammy Cromer-Campbell documents how communities struggle with environmental injustice. She starts with Winona, Texas, then Seattle, Washington, Houston and De Berry, Texas. It’s her hope that revealing these injustices real change will occur. To tell this story, she created With Fruit of the Orchard | Environmental Justice in East Texas as a film and as a book.,,,,, short 10 minute film:

Dr. Margaret Bryan Davis
Behavioral Biologist
Margaret Davis was named Regents Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavioral Biology at the University of Minnesota in 1983. Her groundbreaking study of the history of the migration of forest communities during the past 14,000 years has significant implications on various theories of global warning. Her memberships include the National Academy of Sciences and the International Association for Vegetation Science.

Betsy Damon

United States China
Betsy Damon, an environmental artist and activist focusing on water, is a practical visionary and founder of Keepers of the Waters (in1991) which supports collaborations between artists, scientists, and citizens to restore, preserve, and remediate their water sources. The Living Water Garden ( Chengdu) and the Olympic Forest Park ( Beijing) are two of her most well known projects.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas
1890 – 1998

Marjory Stoneman Douglas distinguished literary career encompassed her work as a true naturalist, discouraging the ever growing commercial development in South Florida. In 1947, she published one of the best known conservation books to date, “The Everglades: River of Gras.s” Her successful preservation campaign resulted in the establishment the Everglades National Park and in 1969 she helped found the conservation organization, Friends of the Everglades.

Caitlin Alexandra Dunbar
1989 –2004

Caitlin Dunbar’s lifelong interest in nature and the outdoors lives on in the Caitlin Dunbar Girl Scout nature center established in her name by family, friends, and the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland following her sudden death from leukemia at age 15. This nature center offer stewardship activities on rescued wildlife and “hands on” environmental opportunities for Scouts and visitors to enjoy and appreciate.

Kathleen Eagan
Mayor, Community Activist, Funder

Kathleen Eagan founded four organizations to protect the Truckee River in Truckee. She fought powerful state and federal interests who tried to destroy the flow of the River. One of her colleagues commented, “they never had a chance.” She has led the restoration of hundreds of acres of meadow, wetland and stream habitat. Kathleen’s work demonstrates the power of each of us protecting the place we love. “If we don’t, who else will?”

Sylvia Alice Earle
Oceanographer and Environmentalist

New Jersey Alaska Hawaii
Sylvia Earle was the first woman chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She led the investigations of the impact of the burning of Kuwait’s oil fields and the devastation caused by the Exxon Vladez in Prince William Sound in Alaska. With a group of other women scientists she lived underwater for 2 weeks to study marine environment and the effects of isolation on humans.

Sister Claretta Easter
Science and Ecology Teacher

Sister Claretta taught at various Catholic elementary and high schools. She was instrumental in the formation of the Department of Outdoor Education in Grant County, Wisconsin. The mapping out of nature trails and their naming and signing were evidence of her interest in education. A registered certified tree farmer, she planned and first planted a tree farm in 1971. Contact Susan Scott at for additional information about Sister Claretta Easter.

Ilia J. Fehrer
1927 – 2007

Ilia Fehrer was one of the strongest pro-preservation voices in Maryland, heard not only when Assateague Isalnd’s future was in question but also when ecosystems beyond her own coastal bays were threatened. It is because of her vision, advocacy and tenacity that we can and future generations will enjoy the Assateaque Island National Seashore almost as our European ancestors found it.

Laura Capon Fermi
Science Author and Community Activist

Laura Capon Fermi joined with other women to form the Cleaner Air Committee of Hyde-Park Kenwood ( CAC), near the University of Chicago. From 1959 to 1972, the CAC lobbied and educated the public about the dangers of pollution from coal-burning furnaces and cars. The results were local building shifting from coal to cleaner gas or oil furnaces and a ban on the burning garbage in apartment buildings.

Caroline Rose Foster
1877 – 1977

Farmer; First County Deputy Sheriff; Community Organizer; Benefactor
New Jersey
Caroline Rose Foster created and donated the first outdoor living historical farm in New Jersey, which remains a strong place for learning thirty-years after her death. An environmentalist, she worked to preserve the historic places within the County of Morris, New Jersey including the Morris County Park Commission which preserves 38 county parks and over 17,500 acres of land in northern New Jersey.

Matilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen
1888 – 1969
New Jersey

Matilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen, was a philanthropist of the New England Conservatory of Music and a supporter of the Masterworks Chorus. She donated the land for the establishment of the Morris County Free Library. She donated her Whippany Farm Estate of 127 acres so that future generations would be able to enjoy and appreciate the beauty that surrounded what she considered the ‘golden age.’

Pamela A. Frucci
b. 1932
Retired Teacher, Community Activist, Township Trustee

Pamela A. Frucci has been a waste-not addict since reading Cheaper by the Dozen_as a teenager and marveling how the efficiency-expert father cut down on waste. She served on the Michigan Resource Recovery Commission before waste reduction and recycling caught on. In 1983 she founded the Downriver Recycling Center. The Fruccis put out almost zero trash and recycle the rest, even recycling lint into pillows.

Lois Marie Gibbs
Executive Director, Center for Health, Environment & Justice

In 1978, a young housewife named Lois Gibbs discovered that her child’s elementary school was built on top of a toxic-chemical dump. Determined to do something, she organized her neighbors into the Love Canal Homeowners Association, which worked for more than 2 years to have the community relocated. In 1981, Lois created the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, (CHEJ), an organization that has assisted over 10,000 grassroots movements.

Jane Goodall
Wildlife Researcher, Educator , and Conservationist.
Great Britain   Africa    USA

A young Jane Goodall went to Africa to study chimpanzees and soon became their leading crusader. Her research work expanded to include numerous conservation efforts in Africa and worldwide. Her global nonprofit Institute empowers people to make a difference for all living things, by creating healthy ecosystems, promoting sustainable livelihoods and nurturing new generations of committed, active citizens.

Amy Goodman
b. 1957

USA International
As a journalist for Democracy Now Amy Goodman has interviewed leaders throughout the world about the pressing issues of war and peace as well as global warming and its related impact. Coverage of war and peace as well as human rights movements have caused her to brave some of the most intense world crises. Her goal as a journalist is inform her audience about the threats to the planet.

Sunshine Goodmorning
b. 1974
Facilities Maintenance Specialist

Sunshine works for the Washington DC National Park Service Maintenance Office from her home. While at Yosemite National Park, she served as chair of the EEO Committee during which she presented an outdoor showing of “Iron Jawed Angels” with a picnic dinner. El Portal is where she remodeled a historical building and chaired the 100th community celebration.

Dr. Alice Hamilton

Occupational Safety and Health Pioneer
Hamilton was the first person to document the danger of industrial poisons like lead, phosphorus, and other chemicals in the work place. Her work at Hull House gave her the opportunity to fully investigate hazardous working conditions that led to accidents, deaths, and chronic illness. Her unprecedented work resulted in laws protecting workers and improving working conditions in this country and internationally.

Ann Hancock
Executive Director of Climate Protection Campaign

With over 25 years in community leadership, education, and fundraising, Ann Hancock has spearhead the most progressive climate protection campaign in the US, resulting in a comprehensive Plan to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2015 throughout their county. In 2001, she co-founded the Climate Protection Campaign and has been a sustainability planner for the County of Marin.

Julia Butterfly Hill
Environmental Hero

On December 10, 1997, 23-year-old Julia “Butterfly” Hill climbed into a 180 foot California Coast Redwood tree to prevent loggers from cutting it down. She put her own life on the line to save the life of a forest that was under immediate threat of destruction. She spent two years on that tree-top and attracted world-wide attention for her non-violent action in defense of the forest

Linda M. Hiltabrand
b. 1953

Environmental Protection Specialist, IL Department of Natural Resources, Office of Mines and Minerals
For 30 years Linda Hiltbrand has been employed by the Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals representing the state regulatory authority in northern Illinois. Her work with the sand and gravel producers to make sure they are following their approved reclamation plans has resulted in several sites winning awards for their innovative post-mining land uses.

Mary Hultman
Educational Naturalist

Serving as one of the first naturalists for the Stark County Park District in Ohio since 1986, Mary Hultman has been instrumental in educating thousands of local school children. She has pioneered the use of live wildlife in the classroom, and has mentored hundreds of Boy and Girl Scouts. She also established the Sanders Wildlife Rehabilitation Center that treats more than 1,300 animals per year.

Martha Brookes Hutcheson
1871 – 1959
Landscape Architect
New Jersey

Martha Brookes Hutcheson was one of the first women landscape architects in America. She incorporated native plants in all of her designs and blended the surrounding areas with formally executed gardens. In 1923, she published The Spirit of the Garden, a book about gardens primarily using those she had designed to illustrate her principles of landscape architecture.

Dr. Roz Iasillo
Environmental Science Educator

Dr. Roz Iasillo developed the first environmental science class taught at the secondary level in Illinois. She has influenced and inspired thousands of her students to live sustainable lives and be good stewards of the earth’s resources by volunteering at community clean-up days, prairie seed collecting, and the yearly removal of non-native plants from local forest preserves. Her enthusiasm and commitment to our earth is boundless.

Pam Iorio
Mayor of the City of Tampa

Mayor Iorio is committed to making tangible improvements during this decade that will protect our natural environment for future generations. The programs and services are designed to be economically viable, environmentally sound and socially equitable to become a green city. The opportunity to partner with all residents in making changes to ensure our city is ready to meet future challenges.

Marietta Pierce Johnson
1864 1938
Progressive Educator
Minnesota    Alabama

Marietta Johnson was one of the early pioneers of progressive education. She was a charismatic speaker who lectured all over the world on her unique philosophy of Organic Education. Organic Education is dedicated to creating an environment that fosters freedom of expression, love for learning, and tolerance. In 1907, she founded her Organic School of Education in Fairhope, Alabama where she worked until her death in 1938.

Victoria Johnston
b. 1953
Renaissance Woman

Victoria Johnston is the Project Facilitator for the Salmon Creek Falls Environmental Center in Occidental, California, which provides educational opportunities for students and the greater community fostering eco-sustainability. This innovative enterprise seeks to inspire a revolution in building design and teach environmental green principles. It will be the first building in Sonoma County and California public K-8 school to obtain a LEEDTM Platinum Certification.

Elizabeth Donnell Kay
Nurse, Businesswomen, Charity Worker, Environmentalist

New Jersey Florida
In 1924, Elizabeth Donnell Kay, started a home-based herb mail-order business. By 1932, she was teaching about the importance of preserving native plants and educating farmers about the harmful practice of setting fire to their fields each year after harvest. In 1960, Elizabeth and her husband created the Pine Jog Environmental Sciences Center, which today under the auspices of Florida Atlantic University, 16,000 children visit annually .

Eryn Klosko
Assistant Professor, Physical Sciences
New York      USA

Eryn Klosko teaches the science of global warming and sustainability. She spearheaded Westchester Community College’s participation in Focus the Nation in 2008. She has published extensively for New York Science Teacher, Computers and GeoScience, and Geophysical Research Letters and has worked for the SCEC E-cubed project. She also advises a club of students engaged in sustainability efforts.

Anne Bowes La Bastille

New York
Ecologist Anne LaBastille studied a flightless bird, the great pied-billed grebe, which survived in spite of living in a wildlife refuge, earthquakes, and polluted streams likely to make the species extinct. In the early 1970s Dr. La Bastille moved to a cabin in New York’s Adirondacks. Her solitary life led her to write Woodswoman. In 1980, she profiled 15 women naturalists in Women andWilderness.

Osprey Orielle Lake
Sculptor, Public Speaker, Teacher

Osprey Orielle Lake, one of the world’s few female monument makers working in allegorical and abstract images. She utilizes the power and beauty of nature-themed images and narratives to inspire people to learn about and care for the earth. Her international art projects bring attention to protecting the environment by enlivening the urban landscape with statues that celebrate nature.

Abbe Land
Mayor Pro Tempore City of West Hollywood

Abbe Land, California, has initiated several of West Hollywood’s landmark environmental policies, including its Green Building Ordinance, the nation’s first mandatory program for commercial and residential buildings. Because of her efforts, the City’s new library will be a certified LEED Silver building. She co-sponsored a Heritage Tree Preservation Program to protect the City’s trees and increase its urban canopy.

Lora Ledermann

Advertising, Marketing and PR Agency Owner and Creative Director
Lora Ledermann acts on her commitment to protecting the environment through business
practices such as aggressive recycling programs and efforts to reduce waste
and is contributing her professional skills by taking on pro-bono clients
such as the one-year Save the Poles expedition to the North and South poles
and Mount Everest to raise awareness of global warming and develop
educational materials. and

Donna Lewis
Curator of Biology, Dayton Society of Natural History
As a life-long environmental educator, Donna Lewis has dedicated her personal and professional life to creating an understanding of all animals. In addition to innovative public programs, her children’s books focus on introducing animals that tend to be under-appreciated, like bats and crows. As an active wildlife rehabilitator, Lewis has also traveled locally and globally in her efforts to educate others and rescue injured wildlife.

Hunter Lovins
Founder and President of Natural Capitalism

Hunter Lovins has worked diligently for decades to develop solutions that would help human beings maintain and sustain the environment in which we live. Hunter has proposed that…“Citizens, communities, and companies, working together within the market context are the most dynamic problem-solving force on the planet”. She is Time Magazine’s millennium “ Hero of the Planet”.

Dr. Meg Lowman
Forest Conservation Biologist/Science Educator

Pioneer of treetop exploration, Lowman is affectionately called “Grandmother of canopy research” by colleagues. Author of 100 publications, 6 books including both definitive texts and she has chaired three international canopy conferences. She has also “starred” on National Geographic television; runs a foundation for tropical forest conservation; and has mentored over 10 million students via distance learning. “No child left indoors” is her personal mantra.;

Joanna Macy
b. 1929
Eco-philosopher and Writer, Scholar of Buddhism, General Systems Theory, and Deep Ecology

Joanna Macy has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change. She has written many books and led workshops for thousands of people around the world. Her “Work that Reconnects” brings a new way of seeing the world, helping to transform despair and apathy, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, into constructive, collaborative action.,

Judy Kellogg Markowsky
Environmental Educator and Activist

Judy Kellogg Markowsky, environmental educator and advocate, was the primary force in founding Maine Audubon Society’s Fields Pond Nature Center and “green” facility. Thousands of students have benefited from her “Secrets of the Forest” programs. A Rachel Carson devotee, she speaks frequently about Carson. She led a successful opposition to Walmart’s building near Penjajawoc Marsh, a unique wetland in Bangor.

Sharon Rose Matola
Maryland     Florida    International

Sharon Matola worked in Belize where she became the prime mover in arousing consciousness of citizens and the Belize government to the fears of extinction of the country’s wildlife and removal of wilderness areas. In 1991, she was founder and director of the Belize Zoo, which uses the zoo’s wildlife preservation area to save at least 4 tapir species which faced extinction.

Mary Eliza McDowell
Social Reformer

Mary Eliza McDowell was known as “The Duchess of Bubbly Creek” for leading the efforts to clean up the South Branch of the Chicago River, a stinking and unsanitary waterway into which was dumped animal waste and carcasses from the nearby slaughterhouses. From 1894 to 1923, she led the University of Chicago Settlement House and pressed the city government build incinerators in place of open garbage dumps.

Rose Marie Williams McGuire
Artist Educator Poet & Illustrator
Rose Marie Williams McGuire as artist, educator, poet, and illustrator has worked in several mediums for fifty-four years teaching the spectrum of ages.  Her sculptures and printed works reflect the recycled objects in everyday use. Found Objects is the central them of her art, which is on exhibit in THE PETTIE HOUSE GALLERY in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Jeannie McLain
b. 1960
Research Microbial Ecologist

A research microbiologist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Jeannie works to develop methods to increase the safety and efficiency of using recycled water to replenish dwindling water supplies throughout the world. She works with local and regional community organizations to increase public confidence in recycled water, and provides yearly internships to young women interested in research careers in environmental science.

Donella (Dana) Meadows
Scientist (Biophysicist) Author, Leader in the Sustainability Movement

Donella Meadows pioneered research regarding the human impact on the global ecosystem-examining trends in population, environment, and economics. As lead author of “Limits To Growth”, she stirred worldwide thinking and dialog about sustainability. An inspiring teacher, gifted author, and exemplary leader, she is also the founder of the Sustainability institute and co-founder of the International Network of Resource Information Centers.

Tanya Narath
b. 1963
Executive Director & CEO, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy

Tanya Narath is the Executive Director and CEO of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy. Under her collaborative and inspiring leadership, the Institute’s Leadership Training for a Sustainable Future program has developed a network of over 250 powerful leaders who are creating public policy that is environmentally friendly and socially equitable for a healthy economy and a sustainable community.

Shirley Nelson
Health Promotion /Disease Prevention Coordinator

Ms. Shirley Nelson leads the Navajo Nation Trash Taskforce, a group of volunteers,
government officials and concerned citizens, who have a common interest in educating the public about the Nation’s solid waste problem. She works to educate communities on ways to become proactive in solving the solid waste issue in their communities and providing technical assistance that is otherwise lagging on certain parts of the Navajo Nation.

Roberta J. Nichols
Research Engineer

Roberta Nichols began research for alternative fuels at Ford Motor Company in 1979. She and her team developed ethanol-fueled engines and she oversaw the building of 27 natural gas trucks and worked on sodium-sulfur technology for batteries and electric vehicles. Nichols was the first woman elected to the Society of Automotive Engineers. She earned Aerospace Corporation’s Woman of the Year and Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award in 1988.

Dr. Sharon Nunes
Vice President, Big Green
New York

Sharon Nunes leads an organization created to identify and launch new businesses for IBM focused on using IBM’s information technology expertise and IBM’s materials & processing expertise to solve critical problems around environmental issues. IBM’s approach to this initiative is focused on collaborative innovation, highlighting the need for multiple parties to come together to solve the world’s important problems.

Lorrie Otto
Founder of Wild Ones Natural Landscapers

Through her passion as a founder and leader of the natural landscaping movement for the last 50 years, Lorrie Otto has educated, inspired and mentored us to see the transformation of our lifeless lawns into natural landscapes as not mere gardening, but as a conservation effort to help restore habitat for a diverse community of species. Her legacy “grows” with each passing season.

Rebecca Otto
Minnesota State Auditor

Rebecca Otto’s commitment to a greener planet is demonstrated by her family’s passive solar, wind-powered home. As a Minnesota State Representative she worked to protect ecosystems, limit mercury emissions, protect groundwater, promote the development of commercial wind poser, and ban the use cancer-causing arsenic-treated wood in playgrounds..

Linda Petee
Sustainability and Risk Management Coordinator for Delta College
Linda started the recycling program at the college many years ago. Under her leadership the college has adopted a triple bottom line approach that incorporates financial, environmental and social benefits in all college decision making. She has created a green cleaning program for the custodial service and has encouraged conservation through out the college. Ms. Petee organized an eco-friendly style show at a local art center.

Agnes Baker Pilgrim
Siletz Tribal Member

Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim is one of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers who are part of a global alliance; to work together to serve both their common goals and their specific local concerns. Their traditional ways link them with the forces of the earth. Their solidarity with one another creates a web to rebalance the injustices wrought from an imbalanced world. The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers

Val Plumwood
Eco-Feminist Philosopher
Australia    International

Val Plumwood was highly influential in defining and promoting a feminist environmental philosophy. She was an inspiring role model whose work and life embodied the principles of honor and respect for the environment. Her classic work, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature is essential reading to understand the cultural, historical, and philosophical issues involved in the environmental crisis that threatens our survival.

Dr. Diana Post
Executive Director/President of the Rachel Carson Council, Veterinarian, Author, Environmentalist

Inspired by Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, Dr. Post became an expert in pesticide toxicology and has been at the forefront supporting regulations to protect people and animals from pesticide poisoning. She has authored extensive publications on pesticides, public health and the environment. Dr. Post is deeply committed to working for a healthier planet.

Tobey Silbert Schein Prinz
Teacher, Union Organizer, Community Activists

Tobey Silbert Schein Prinz working with other community activists she organized the Rogers Park Community Council (RPCC). In 1954, RPCC successfully blocked condominium development of the Lake Michigan beachfront in the Rogers Park neighborhood, preserving the beach as public space. As a teacher and union organizer, she also fought for racial integration and tenants’ rights.

Roxanne Quimby
Founder of Burt’s Bees, Visionary and Philanthropist

From a humble back-to-the-land émigré to Maine’s North Woods, through her remarkable determination and entrepreneurship in forming the enormously successful cosmetics, Burt’s Bees, for more than a decade she has turned her attention to purchasing and preserving many thousands of acres of Maine’s forest land, protecting them in perpetuity from exploitation and development.

Amanda Quraishi
b. 1974
Freelance Writer

Amanda authors a blog called “Fashion, Evolved” that focuses on eco-friendly and sustainable fashion

Torrey Reade
Owner/Operator Neptune Farm
New Jersey

This former Wall Street businesswoman looks right at home on her 126-acre organic farm. Torrey “uses grass-fed animals to bring her soil back to life”. This advocate of sustainable farming serves as a mentor for new agronomists; establishing strong partnerships with local restaurants, providing her own produce and meats, and tips to prepare them to their maximum culinary potential. Learn more.

Ellen Swallow Richards
Richard was the first American women to earn a degree in chemistry, a pioneer in applying scientific principles to domestic situations such as nutrition, physical fitness, sanitation, and efficient home management, and creator of the field of home economics. She undertook the first scientific water quality studies in America and is called the founder of ecology.

Sally K. Ride
b. 1951
Scientist, Astronaut, Founder of Sally Ride Science
California      USA

Sally was the first American woman in space and established nationwide Sally Ride Festivals for Girls. As a scientist addressing Global Climate Change, she has published many resources addressing the topic for schools. Her professional conference during the summer of 2008 brought together leading scientists and educators which provided a phenomenal setting for awareness on the earth’s environmental concerns.

Elsie Roemer
Retired Teacher

California Mrs. Roemer was a conservation list who aided and established the guidelines for the preservation of Alameda and San Leandro Bay marsh lands. Her study, care, and well-being of endangered birds was recognize by the East Bay Regional Park District by naming a bird sanctuary on the Alameda Bay tide lands in her honor.

Mary Rozmajzl
National Park Service Midwest Regional Environmental Specialist

Michigan Wisconsin     Wyoming     Colorado     and Nebraska
Mary Rozmajzl has been an Environmental Educator in Michigan, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Colorado. Through her work she has instilled a love for nature and the environment in the minds of both young and old. Through her current work, Ms. Rozmajzl has created an all-encompassing office recycling campaign and spread her “Go Green” attitude to all of the parks in her region.

Maxine Lazarus Savitz
Organic Chemist
Maxine Lazarus Savitz earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from MIT in 1961. She taught at the University of California, Berkeley where she strongly encouraged women to enter engineering fields. Her research includes work on free radical mechanisms, anodic hydrocarbon oxidation, fuel cells and improved use of energy in buildings. Her work resulted in the development of energy saving electrical technology and alternate fuels for cars.

Carolyn M. Scott
Founder and Executive Director of Turtle Island Films

Carolyn Scott is an environmental activist, writer, filmmaker whose mission is to bring “green” films and media to a large audience. Turtle Island Films is developing a visionary project: REEL GREEN, which uses sophisticated web technologies to distribute award winning films and activist toolkits to lead organizers for catalyzing events. A founding member of the Biofuels Research Cooperative in Sonoma County, Carolyn runs her car on organic, carbon neutral biodiesel.;

Kate Shackford

Vice President, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. & Director, Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment
New York

Ms. Shackford leads environmental initiatives and programs. She has been able to lead the Bronx as the foremost “green” borough in New York City and has assisted the entire City in becoming more socially and environmental conscious. She has the ability to prove that she can take on any task and make it successful, while simultaneously exhibiting her dedication to the community.

Mary Belle King Sherman
Conservationist, Advocate, Clubwoman

Mary Belle King Sherman (1862-1935) is known as the “National Park Lady” for helping to create the National Park Service in 1916. As Conservation chairman of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (1914-1920), she promoted programs that resulted in six new national parks. In 1918, as the sole woman on the National War Gardens Commission, she established National Garden Week.

Ellen K. Silbergeld
Environmental Toxicologist and Research Scientist

Ellen Silbergeld is an environmental toxicologist and researcher who was the person primarily responsible for having lead, a major environmental and health hazard, removed from gasoline. She has been an activist in addressing lead contamination in water and has worked for the Environmental Defense Fund, the University of Maryland Medical School, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.;;

Sandra Smith
State Farm Sales Associate

This great woman has organized a program based out of Leland Mississippi called: H.O.M.E.(Helping Others Means Everything) where senior citizens are adopted and afforded the opportunity to share with other senior citizens of the community. Every 5 th Saturday a meeting is held with the members and the adoptees to come together, eat, share, and reflect upon the beauty of the senior citizens that have been adopted. Her goal is to go worldwide with the program because she truly believes that everyone, especially senior citizens need to be shown how much they are loved and cherished.

Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN
1931 –2005
Educator, Activist, Environmentalist

Sister Dorothy Stang, who was an American nun murdered in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest because she opposed the illegal loggers and cattle ranchers who were clear cutting the forest for pasture. Sister Stang was an educator and activist, who worked tirelessly for the right of poor farmers to acquire land for sustainable farming. After her death Brazil increased its protection of its rainforest. bio

Marion Stoddart
Environmental Pioneer and Activist
During the 1960s, the Nashua River made the top 10 list of most polluted rivers in the U.S. Then Marion Stoddart got involved, building a citizen coalition that changed laws, attitudes, and restored the river. In the process, Marion won the United Nations Global 500 Award, was profiled in National Geographic, and had a widely-read children’s book written about her.

Robyn (Staup) Sweet
b. 1976
Senior Coordinator Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Dayton, OH)

A former high school science teacher, Robyn Sweet is an environmental science educator who uses hands-on field research to inform her work with the public. A Master Teacher at the Ocean Sciences Leadership Institute, Sweet was also selected as a Polar TREC Teacher in 2007, where she was paired with a researcher for a five-week study of the Bering Sea ecosystem.

Kathleen C. Taylor
b.1942 Physical Chemist

Kathleen Taylor, physical chemist, worked with her co-workers at General Motors to invent a catalytic converter to convert nitric oxide into nitrogen gas. This improved catalytic converter was introduced in 1975, help reduce smog emissions. She directed General Motors’s Materials and Processes Laboratory and the Physical Chemistry Department. In 1988 Dr. Taylor received the Garvan Medal of the American Chemical Society, sponsored by Olin Corporation.

Anne P. Teller
Owner/Manager of Oak Hill Farm

California Montana     USA
In the early 1980’s,Anne Teller began growing vegetables primarily for her family and friends at Oak Hill Farm in Glen Ellen, California. Today, all farming is done under a sustainable agriculture/organic farming model. Ms Teller continues to prepare thousands of annual seedlings for spring transplant into the fields, propagating perennials, and nurturing plants all over the farm from transplant to harvest.

Tina J. Terrell
Forest Supervisor, Sequoia National Forest, USDA Forest Service

Tina Terrell is the Forest Supervisor on the Sequoia National Forest for the USDA Forest Service. She has worked to diversify Forest Service personnel and the forestry profession, and to educate young people in urban areas about natural resources. She is also very active in the Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences,

Laurie Tippin
b. 1955

Director of State and Private Forestry, USDA Forest Service

Laurie Tippin is the Director, State and Private Forestry for the USDA Forest Service. She is a forester by profession and has a solid experience in forest management, stewardship contracting and fuels reduction; has provided national oversight to timber sale litigation. She has an exemplary reputation for professionalism and for dealing with difficult issues by finding common

Nichole Trushell
b. 1955
Founder and Retired Director of the Highlands Center for Natural History

In 1991, Nichole began developing experiential learning, educational activities, helping children discover nature and become wise caretakers of the land. Under her leadership in 2007, HCNH constructed a premier, regional, over $3 million gold-rated LEED campus (on 80 acres of National Forest land) which showcases green building strategies, drought tolerant landscaping, fire-wise living, water conservation, and a waste management-constructed wetlands.

Lillian Wald
Mother of Public Health Nursing & Pioneering Social Worker

In 1893, when NYC’s Lower East Side was the world’s most crowded slum, Lillian Wald founded Visiting Nurse Service of New York, becoming the “mother of public health nursing.” Recognizing needs of the urban poor that eclipsed health care, Wald added social services. She fought child labor and helped secure creation of the federal Children’s Bureau. Wald was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. Learn more.

Alice Waters
Founded Chez Panisse Foundation
Alice Waters is a pioneering cook, restaurateur and food activist. In 1996, she launched Chez Panisse Foundation to inspire students to choose healthy food and help them understand how their choices affect their health, their communities, and the planet. The programs include replacing school cafeteria canned fruits and vegetables with fresh fruit and vegetables, and developing school yard organic gardens where students cultivate food that they also prepare, serve and eat.

May Petrea Theilgaard Watts

Teacher and Author
Teacher and author, May Petrea Theilgaard Watts, served as a naturalist from 1942-1957 at the Morton Arboretum west of Chicago. Her educational programs were used as models for other institutions. She founded the Illinois Prairie Path, a foot and bike path of almost thirty miles also west of Chicago, and led efforts to transform old rail lines into public trails.

Elizabeth Coleman White
1871– 1954

New Jersey
Elizabeth Coleman White grew up on her father’s cranberry farm and developed an interest in commercial agriculture. She pioneered the cultivation of the blueberry. Collaborating with Fredrick Coville, she developed develop a commercial blueberry based on the sweetest and hardiest of the wild varieties of blueberries growing in the NJ Pine Barrens. She also helped start the NJ Cooperative Blueberry Association.;

Janice S. Wiles
b. 1956
Executive Director, Friends of Frederick County ( Maryland) Programs of Land and Cultural Preservation Fund, Inc.
Brazil     Maryland
In 1984, when a fledgling Brazilian democracy opened the door to free speech and organization, Janice Wiles provided support and guidance for Brazilians about managing and conserving natural resources. Today, many of those young conservationists hold positions of national leadership. In Frederick County, MD, Janice leads a grassroots movement encouraging sustainable growth, preservation governance and citizen involvement in decision-making.

Ann Wilson
Superintendent of Environmental Services

Ann Wilson’s commitment to a greener environment and her ability to bring people together has resulted in the success of several environmental projects. Theses projects include: recycling Christmas trees for coastal restoration; organizing household hazardous waste collections; creating non-point source pollution awareness projects, litter-free Mardi Gras parades; and protecting drinking water sources by implementing the Well Head Protection Program.

Diane Wilson
Environmental Activist

Diane Wilson is a fourth-generation shrimper, who began fishing at the age of eight. Her environmental activism began when she learned that Formosa Plastic dumping toxins into the bay made her home of Calhoun County, Texas the number one toxic polluter in the country. Although she was threatened by thugs and despised by her neighbors, Diane insisted that the truth be told.;

Esther Yanai

New Jersey
Esther Yanai was a giant in New Jersey’s conservation movement. A founding member of Save the Environment of Moorestown (STEM), which preserves and protects the community’s open space, she was the driving force behind the creation a natural resources inventory (NRI) for the Township and an open space inventory for Moorestown’s first Open Space Committee and later the Moorestown Environmental Advisory Committee.

Courtesy of National Women’s History Project –

The Library of Congress @ Women’s History Month

Mark your calendar – August 26 – Equality Day

1 Comment

Posted by on March 21, 2009 in News, women's


Tags: ,

Searching 4

 Cover Image
Rene D. Schultz
ISBN 10: 0979203031
ISBN 13: 978-0979203039
Light Sword Publishing LLC by Rene Schultz

 Things sure have changed, dating in the 21st century requires much more than a cute outfit and a winning smile – a mix of computer geekism, nerves of steel, the confidence of high powered, Wall Street wheeler-dealers, the patience of Jobe and the ability to laugh as hard at yourself as you most assuredly will at others. In her debut novel, “Searching4MrRight.ComRene Schultz shares her personal journey from frightened divorcee to online dating extraordinaire.

Married at the tender age of 19, Rene’s portrait of wedded bliss was developed inside TV studios, on the sets of family hits, such as “Leave it To Beaver and Father Knows Best.” Back then there was a ‘formula’ for a successful union…Dad goes off to work every morning and Mom stays home, happily cleaning, cooking, shopping and caring for the children. It is important to keep in mind that during this time the emotional side of marriage was a non issue. Hind sight being 20/20 it is easy to see that failing to include the mental health of the marriage in the formula led to many divorces. Such would be the case for Rene, after 24 years and two wonderful children, her marriage ended.

Rene compares her experience to that of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz – divorce being the tornado that spun through her life, destroying her well manicured facade, ripping her from her comfort zone and propelling her into a strange, new world. After a few months of self imposed isolation, she was absolutely sure of one thing…that she was not prepared to spend the rest of her life alone! Rene wanted to find someone, the next question was where? Friends encouraged her to get out there and meet new people, however, none of them knew any single men, so blind dates were crossed off the list. Of course there was the whole bar scene, but she wanted to avoid that – seeing as how alcohol severely blurs both the vision and one’s moral compass. Then there was the computer, for the fast-paced, hurry and hustle single, the Internet was quickly becoming the must have tool for dating in the 21st century. From the privacy of her own home she could surf, sort and select potential dates from literally thousands of single men, now that sounded like a win-win and Rene decided to dive into the wild-wide-world of Internet dating head first.

It is her dating experiences that comprise the meat and potatoes of this insightful and heartily entertaining book. From the log-in Id’s to the individual dates, everything is presented as it was experienced. Beginning with the introductory email, the reader absorbs the dialogue and is immersed in the story, step by step with Rene. The anxiety and excitement, as well as, nervous apprehension and old self-doubts, that fill the atmosphere of any first date are related so well that the emotion transcends printed words and is felt the reader.

Straight-forward, unabashed and unapologetic, you can’t help but root for Schultz to find her prince charming, while at the same time, the novel is so entertaining you secretly hope she’s taking notes and keeping a diary of all the frogs she had to kiss a long the way and that she will share those in “Searching4 part two.” Candid, heartfelt and humorous, Rene Schultz has delivered a genuinely good book. Pick up a copy, get comfy and enjoy!

 Happy Reading,
    – RJ  🙂 

Low prices on books


   “Don’t judge a book by the cover” has never been more true than with this book. Although most would never admit it, many readers will pass on a book simply because of the cover art…to do so with would mean missing out on a truly entertaining, personable and well written novel.

Cover Image by Rene Schultz


Tags: ,

Wife In the Fast Lane by Karen Quinn


Wife In the Fast Lane
by Karen Quinn
Fiction/448 pages
Touchstone (a division of Simon & Schuster)
ISBN 10: 0743293967
ISBN 13: 978-0743293969 

 Ever wondered what it would be like to have it all? Of course, we all have…Karen Quinn’s novel, “Wife In the Fast Lane” provides a front row, often harried view of the glamorous life, that to the average person seems far-fetched and outlandish, at best. Quinn invites us to sit back, relax and see the world from the platinum side of the coin for a few hours. Christy Hayes knows the meaning of hard work and dedication, however, winning two Olympic gold medals did not prepare her for the cut-throat world of commerce. As founder and acting CEO of Baby G, an athletic shoe company, Christy needed to reinvent herself to look the part. Following the advice of her best friend and Baby G’s second in command, Katherine, she moves to an apartment, with the “right address,” a new wardrobe and haircut complete the transformation from athlete to successful athletic company owner. Well, superficially anyway…Christy is a beautiful, strong woman, but her lack of education and inexperience force her to rely on Katherine more and more.

Christy joins countless high profile, money makers and trend setters in Davos, Switzerland. Famous for hosting the annual World Economic Forum and global political and business elites, she looks forward to rubbing elbows with and learning the secrets of successful CEO’s. Christy is a fish out of water and finds herself star-struck at every juncture, especially with the gorgeous, media mogul, Michael Drummond. An evening of talk and sipping champagne and it is obvious Christy is in love. This whirlwind marriage creates a corporate power couple that would make others green with envy. Even with help at home from Maria, Christy’s maid and dear friend, she is unable to keep up with the demands of being CEO. So, she unwittingly turns the reigns over to her best friend, which plays right into Katherine’s diabolical plan to oust Christy from Baby G.

When Maria dies unexpectedly, Christy honors her friends’ last wish and adopts her 11 year old granddaughter, Renata. She soon discovers that cut-throat, backstabbing isn’t confined to the executive board room, there’s trouble brewing everywhere… It seems a newspaper reporter wants to have more than her eyes on Michael and the PTA leader of the private school where Christy enrolled Renata is bordering on psychotic.

From the Upper East Side of Manhattan to the luxurious village of St. Tropez, to the resorts of Aspen and Davos, readers will journey to glamorous locales, meet outrageous characters and laugh out loud more than once. Although the central theme is balanced atop a heap of coincidences which may be difficult for some, this is a good read, with light, quick wit, a few shadowy characters to add just enough shadiness to have you cheering for Christy and talking aloud, as you try to warn her of things to come. So, if you’re reading this one on a plane, subway or train don’t be surprised if, from time to time you catch the other passengers looking at you quizzically…You would do the same if the person in the seat next to you was having a conversation with their book.   🙂

I recommend “Wife In the Fast Lane” to anyone who enjoys a book that’s simply a lot of fun to read! Quinn’s quiet style and evocative characters delivers a truly distinctive reading experience. With only two novels to her credit readers are in for a real treat as she hones her craft and continues to develop that extra special something that defines a novel as a Karen Quinn original. I am on board for the long ride and anxiously await her next novel!

Happy Reading!
 -RJ Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn

Cover Image

The Ivy Chronicles
by Karen Quinn
ISBN 13: 978-0641784095
ISBN 10: 0641784090
Fiction/352 Pages
Penguin Group USA 

We get by with a little help from our friends has never been portrayed with such an ingenious mixture of passion, humor and what could only be defined as sheer female empowerment. Author Karen Quinn takes us inside one woman’s journey from the top, to the bottom and back to the top again.

Ivy Ames…devoted wife and loving mother of two, was living “the good life.” With a combined annual income of two million plus, the Ames’ family had all the luxuries and perks of the social elite. Eight months ago, Ivy’s husband, Cadmon, lost his job and instead of cutting back on expenditures, they continued to revel in the lavish lifestyle they had grown so accustomed too.  On a typical, all too hectic morning, Ivy had barely managed to get herself to the bank on-time, when she is caught off guard by a note summoning her to the boss’ office. You could have knocked her over with a feather when she heard him say “human resources has your package, a car will take you home…”  The words kind-of-faded into a blur. After a day filled with indignities and humiliation, she longed for the warm, sympathetic embrace of Cad’s arms. But that was not to be…As the smell of orange bubble-bath was wafting through the air, she opened the door to the bathroom, only to find her husband bathing a naked woman. It was Sassy!  The wife of the man that had caused her to lose her job! Enraged, embarrassed and deeply hurt she ordered Sassy out of the house, threatening to drop a hair dryer into the bath water if she did not leave immediately. Refusing to let Cad she her cry, she turned and with all the strength she could muster, she gave him his walking orders as well.

It is this one devastating day that lays the foundation for the rest of the novel. With her life in shambles, Ivy embarks on a new career, setting up a business that caters to parents that want their children in the most elite kindergarten programs on earth. A wonderful idea that just needed a boost to get off the ground. Her best friend, Faith, was wealthy and more than willing to help in any way possible. With a few well placed phone calls to her high society acquaintances, Ivy’s referral box began filling up. There’s a host of outlandish, colorful personalities that make up Ivy’s clientele, each adding their own unique flavor to the story. There’s a single father with mob ties; a mixed religion couple; a mom who tries to bribe the board at every school; a gay couple with a wheel-chair bound adopted son; etc. Ivy endures an ongoing cycle of nerve-racked parents having mental-melt-downs during the application process and crazed parents bombarding her with verbal assaults. She quickly discovers these parents do not recognize the morally accepted boundaries of right and wrong…when it comes to securing a slot on the kindergarten-roster of their choosing, anything goes!

Snooty, snobbish, egocentric and over-the-top, Karen Quinn’s novel “The Ivy Chronicles” is a tongue-in-cheek read that delivers exactly what was promised…a light hearted read, filled with quaint characters and quick wit. While criss-crossing moral and ethical boundaries in hopes of being accepted to an elite kindergarten is wrong on so many levels, it it is the catalyst propelling the humorous insanity. Putting the idea of elite, prep-style kinder-care into perspective for these folks would be impossible. But then again so was the concept of downsizing for Ivy, as she continued to carry her Barney’s shopping bag everywhere, hoping to portray that up-town image she missed so desperately. 

 If you’re looking for a Saturday afternoon read that doesn’t require a lot of thought…that you can just read for the light and fluffy experience…The Ivy Chronicles is a good choice. Fun and seemingly far-fetched, I couldn’t help but wonder with Quinn’s insider knowledge, how far did she stretch the characters, if at all? I am anxious to see what Warner Brothers does with this zany cast of characters, as the book has been optioned and Catherine Zeta-Jones will be starring in the movie!

Happy Reading!
– RJ
somerights20.png Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

If Truth Be Told

Hover over cover to activate Amazon Information box or
Click to visit Amazon's product page for this title: Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Gospel According to Sidney Welles

Sidney Welles is assigned the Catholic Church image overhaul campaign and sets out to give the church a face lift of sorts…what ensues is a hilarious stumble through questions of faith, love and self discovery.
Read the rest of this entry »


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Re: With or Without You by Carole Matthews

Hover over cover to activate Amazon info box or
CLICK to visit Amazon's product page for this title: 

With Or Without You
Carole Matthews
Romantic Comedy/Chic Lit/Womens Lit
ISBN-10: 0-373-89545-3
Red Dress Ink

International best selling author Carole Matthews delivers a heart-warming tale of personal growth and rediscovery in With or Without You. In the heroine’s misdirected attempt to make herself irresistible to an ex-lover, the hiatus from her comfort zone sets in motion a transformation process, to which the reader is given a front row seat. What ensues is quite different from the cookie cutter romance many readers might expect based on the cover art. From the detailed exploration of one woman’s emotional and cultural awakening, to the quick wit and what goes around comes around karma, With or Without You is a well written novel that’s a pleasure to read!

Whether because her sister, Edie, is a regular fertile myrtle with six children, her position at a baby magazine or because she envisions the clicking of some demonic biological clock, Lyssa is convinced that her very happiness depends on the changes that accompany having a baby. Jake, her live-in-boyfriend of fours years, was making plans for big changes too, but his didn’t include a baby or Lyssa. Needless to say she is shocked when after a fourth failed invitro attempt she expected to be consoled, instead, he announces his need for space, walks out, and closes the door to their relationship. This wasn’t a temporary split….she had been dumped! And for Jake’s adventure seeking coworker that’s evidently perfect in every way and climbs Everest in her free-time. Lyssa decides, anything Neve can do, she can do better! If climbing a mountain is what Jake wants – she will climb the mountain, regain her man and live happily ever after.

After taking a leave of absence and making the necessary arrangements, she trades her stilettos for hiking boots and heads off for a month long trek that will bring her into the most remote villages of Nepal. Lyssa finds much more than she ever anticipated, for starters, her gorgeous, American tour guide Dean! During her journey of self-discovery, she begins to re-evaluate her priorities, as well as the direction of her life. For the first time she sees all that had been missing, not only from her relationship with Jake, but her life in general. Returning to Britain, she is filled with new found confidence, as well as, a bit of trepidation. For what began as an act of revenge had effected change in every aspect of her life, the enormity of which expanded her emotionally and culturally. Could she go back? Would she?

Developing the central character as part of the main plot line puts the reader at the table, as an invisible guest and can be a risky literary move. Yet, in Matthews capable hands, the story reads as if being shared between girlfriends over lunch, a true testament to the author’s imagination and ability to convey depth and dimension. The reader experiences a wide array of conflicting emotions throughout the novel. While in the beginning Lyssa appears weak and difficult leading you to feel empathy for Jake, this changes dramatically as facts are revealed. The journey presented by Matthews is entertaining and thought provoking, filled with everything an astute reader of contemporary romance could ask for. If you’re headed to the beach or just enjoy a good read on a lazy Summer Saturday, take this one “with you”!

Happy Reading!
3Rs-Reading Den ©


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Re: Welcome to the Real World by Carole Matthews

Welcome to the Real World 
welcome-to-real-world-c-matthews.jpgCarole Matthews
Romantic Comedy (Chic Lit)
ISBN-10: 0-373-89590-9
Red Dress Ink

Carole Matthews tenth novel, Welcome to the Real World has been short listed for the 2007 Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year. A lighthearted novel filled with quick wit and totally unrealistic developments that will have you rolling your eyes and laughing at the same time. Welcome to the Real World is built squarely upon the foundation established by the romantic comedy genre – it is an escape from the gloom and doom, stress filled world where dreams are crushed quickly and no one believes in happy endings!

With the popularity of American Idol soaring, believing regular people can achieve astronomical success is no longer a crazy dream, but an expected season finale. Capitalizing on this phenomenon, Welcome to the Real World weaves Fern Kendal’s singing aspirations and a short lived opportunity to perform on Fame Game into the fabric of this fantasy tale that could only take place within the real world of Matthews creative imagination.

When Fern Kendal, barmaid and wanna-be singer lands the temporary job placement assignment of a life time, as the personal assistant for opera singing sensation, Evan David, what ensues is a genuine collision of polar opposites. While Fern has very little, lives in a shabby flat, works slinging lagers at a local pub, David rides in limosines, sipping champagne. Yet, they have much to learn from each other. Throw in all the complicating factors of Fern’s family problems, asthmatic nephew and a best friend that has loved her since their teens, and there’s a lot going on throughout this novel, much of which will take the reader by surprise.

Welcome to the Real World is one of those absolutely unreal, happily ever after stories that entertains the reader with quick humor and flaky characters. The only drawback is the lack of true interaction between the leading characters, Fern and Evan, making their relationship feel forced and contrived. However, Carole Matthews is one of todays premiere chic lit authors and with the upcoming release of The Chocolate Lover’s Club, fans are sure to be delighted as she once again provides readers with the sugary sweet conconctions romantic comedy lovers just can’t do without.

Happy Reading!
3Rs-Real Reader Reviews©

Pre-Order: (Release date) February 5, 2008 *in the US* Chocolate Lover’s Club


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: