Experts, Influencers, Entertainers & More
The Chicago Baby Show features an array of programming content designed to educate, inform, enlighten, and entertain. Through a combination of expert speakers (discussing everything form gear, to parenting tips, to safety and other hot topics for new and expecting parents) to influencers (providing opinions and recommendations on products, parenting, and more) and entertainers to keep kids happy and engaged, our content provides tremendous value to attendees. Make sure you plan your time to take full advantage of this hallmark component of our event.
2018 Keynote and Featured Speaker
Keynote Speaker: Jamie Grayson, The BabyGuy
Jamie Grayson—known as the BabyGuy—is a nationally beloved expert in baby products and is the founder of the BabyGuy Gear Guide.
Special Featured Speaker: Dr. Harvey Karp
The legendary Dr. Karp is a top baby expert and one of America’s most-beloved and trusted pediatricians, and is the creator and author of the landmark books and DVDs series “The Happiest Baby On The Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block.”
Daniella Brown, UPPAbaby Car Seat Advocate, Instructor – CPST-I
As a parent of three young children, child safety is of utmost significance to Daniella Brown. Dedicated to educating people on the importance of child passenger and car seat safety, Brown has been a Car Passenger Safety Technician since 2008, and an Instructor since 2014, which has allowed her to cultivate her passion and serve as a resource and educator. Having worked in the juvenile products industry since 2007, specifically in the car seat field, Brown brings her seasoned experience of the manufacturing and development process to the UPPAbaby team. She currently serves on the board of the Manufacturers Alliance of Child Passenger Safety (MACPS).
Marissa Cabrera Borda, Babywearing International of New York City
I wore my 11 year old briefly but really got into babywearing when my now 4 year old was born: Relocating from Florida to NYC, it became a necessity! We started out with the Moby and soon after switched to woven wraps that was our choice of carriers. I’m still wearing my 1 year old on a daily basis and we like to use all types of carriers.
Shari Criso, My Baby Experts
Shari Criso brings 25 years of experience as a nurse, midwife, lactation consultant, and Evenflo Feeding’s national spokesperson and expert to help moms reach their personal breastfeeding and pumping goals.
Natalie Diaz, Twiniversity
Natalie founded Twiniversity, the world’s leading support network for multiple birth families, in 2009. She’s become the global influencer for this small niche community. Reaching over a million families a week through Twiniversity’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube channels, moms and dads of twins flock to Twiniversity to find resources, ask questions, explore new products, and find community and support from other twin parents. Natalie is a true connector, bringing parents from all walks of life together, breaking past cultural differences, to share in the highs and lows of parenting twins. Natalie’s book, What To Do When You’re Having Two, is a global bestseller in Twins & Multiples Parenting.
Chad Ekstrom, Kanga Care
Chad Ekstrom has been changing cloth diapers for over 11 years. Fathering 5 amazing kiddos has proven to make Chad a bit of an expert in the cloth diaper community. From soup to nuts, Chad has supported Julie (wife to Chad, founder and CEO of Kanga Care, and owner of multiple diaper patents) from the early days of cutting and tracing fabric while making diapers at home, to current day developing of Kanga Care’s international presence by partnering with distributors near and far.
Nicole Feliciano, Momtrends Media
Nicole Feliciano is CEO and founder of Momtrends Media, a NYC-based company providing lifestyle content for moms. Her first book, “Mom Boss: Balancing Entrepreneurship, Kids & Success,” is packed with solutions for women who have big ideas, but are struggling with how to fit it all in with family.
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Debra Flashenberg, Prental Yoga Center
Founder and Director of the Prenatal Yoga Center, Deb is a certified labor support doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, certified prenatal yoga instructor, and mother-of-two.
Eirene Heidelberger, GIT Mom
Eirene is a nationally-renowned parenting expert and founder of GIT Mom (Get It Together, Mom!). Through GIT Mom’s 7-step method, Eirene empowers mothers and mothers-to-be by teaching a “mom-first” parenting approach. She is the only parenting coach in the country who advocates parenting techniques that puts the mother’s needs center stage.
Sheena Hoar, Babywearing International of New York City
I started babywearing when my first son was born in 2012. I started with a K’Tan and graduated to a ring sling as he got a little bigger. When I was pregnant with my second son, I became wrap curious, but had an unwilling participant in my first, so had to wait for my second one to become acquainted with wrapping. I pretty much primarily wrapped him once he was born and he still is worn every now and then, but mostly by my husband because our little girl gets jealous. Now the 3rd, the little sister, has been wrapped and slinged and buckle carried even more so than the boys since we have been in New York! I am also an RN and have worked primarily in the adult and pediatric oncology world.
Alison Jacobson, First Candle
Alison Jacobson, Executive Director and CEO, has been involved with First Candle for over 17 years following the loss of her first son to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1997. For six years she served on the Board of Directors and continued to play a role as spokesperson and consultant. Ms. Jacobson assumed the role of Executive Director/ CEO in 2016 and has since guided the organization through a rebranding and renewed focus on collaboration with local partners and outreach efforts into the lower socioeconomic communities who are most at risk. This has led to a pilot program that was launched this year, Straight Talk for Safe Sleep.
Rose L. Moon, Babywearing International of New York City
The ability to use a carrier with my baby–and later, my toddler/preschooler–has been a gift, a tool, and a source of deep personal empowerment. I currently lead our monthly Queens meetings, assist in coordinating babywearing outreach partnerships with parent and maternal education programs throughout NYC, and recently became the Vice President of Education for BWI of NYC. I hope to see the lofty mission of making babywearing a “universally accepted practice” come to fruition!
Rebecca Michi is a Children’s Sleep Consultant, who prides herself on becoming the youngest Childcare Manager in the United Kingdom for a national childcare chain by the age of 23. Since then, she has worked in a number of different childcare settings with children between the ages of 6 weeks and 8 years old, quickly advancing from Nursery Nurse to Officer in Charge (Manager).
Melinda Nicci, Baby2Body
Mel is CEO and Founder of Baby2Body. As a mom of two, Sports Psychologist, and an innovator in the world of health technology, Mel is not only the brain behind Baby2Body: She’s the heart of the company. It’s her passion for well-being, fitness, nutrition, and female empowerment that fuels what we create. It’s her mission to create a generation of healthier moms, and a generation of healthier children, which is what drives what we do every day.
Brendan O’Melveny, Chief Aquatics Officer, Imagine Swimming
One of Imagine’s most experienced and versatile instructors, Brendan has been teaching swimming to infants, children, and adults for over 18 years. As Imagine’s Chief Aquatics Officer, Brendan oversees the Flagship Facilities and Staff Development departments, where he seeks to constantly improve the overall aquatic experience of students and their families. He has been featured as an Aquatics expert numerous times on ABC News, Fox & Friends, and local television and has presented at the United States Swim School Association conference. A lifelong swimmer himself, Brendan has completed eight Ironman triathlons, including the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
Jessica Pallay & Kaity Velez, Well Rounded
Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez are the founders of Well Rounded, an online destination focused on modern pregnancy and urban parenting. Well Rounded provides the latest and greatest inspiration and information to help you not only deal with your pregnancy and parenting experience, but also navigate it, revel in it, and most importantly, celebrate it.
Marianne Ryan, Marianne Ryan Physical Therapy
Marianne Ryan is a physical therapist and board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist with over 30 years of experience treating pregnant and postpartum women. The Clinical Director of Marianne Ryan Physical Therapy in New York City, she is also a former spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. She is the author of “Baby Bod – Turn Flab to Fab in 12 Weeks Flat,” and also created an online version of her Baby Bod Coaching program.
Jada Shapiro, Birth Day Presence, boober
Jada Shapiro, founder of Birth Day Presence, NYC’s most trusted Childbirth Education Center, Doula Matching Service, and on-demand Lactation Service, is a DONA-trained birth and postpartum doula, certified KangaroulaSM, a Lamaze-trained and Birthing From Within trained childbirth educator, a certified lactation counselor (CLC), birth photographer, and mother to a 9-year-old. Jada is also the founder of boober, the on demand, in-person, lactation support network.
Lance Somerfeld , City Dads Group
Lance Somerfeld is Co-Founder of City Dads Group. He lives with his wife and two children in New York City. He frequently contributes to the conversation about modern fatherhood, work-life balance, shifting gender roles, and brands’ marketing to dads. He has appeared on local and national television, including CNN, Fox News, Today and Katie. He has been quoted by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Out Kids, GQ, Parenting, and The Atlantic.
Diana Spalding, Motherly
Diana Spalding, Birth Expert, and Digital Education Editor at Motherly, is a midwife, pediatric nurse, and Motherly’s Birth Expert and Digital Education Editor. She is also founder of Gathered Birth in Philadelphia. She loves all things birth, and is passionate about empowering women to trust themselves and embrace their inner rockstar. Diana lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three amazing, goofy kids.
Katie Ulin, Babywearing International of New York City
I started wearing my daughter shortly after she was born in summer 2015–she only wanted to nap in my arms and our stretchy wrap was such a lifesaver. We traveled to Guatemala when she was a few months old and my in-laws helped to get me started on a love of back wrapping. Since then we’ve been on a mission to try every kind of carrier and wrap out there. Living in a 5th floor walk-up I appreciate the ease of leaving the house without lugging a stroller, and I love helping caregivers find a better fit on their current carrier or exploring new fun options.
Allison Walsh, LCCE, IBCLC, Lamaze International
Allison is a past president of Lamaze International® and co-director of the NYC Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program. She currently works as a Lamaze childbirth educator and lactation consultant, and enjoys supporting new and expecting mothers and their partners in their childbirth and breastfeeding journey.
Michelle Muller, Little Spoon
Michelle Muller is a passionate wellness advocate with over eight years experience in the health-wellness and CPG spaces. She is the co-founder and Chief Mom of Little Spoon, a fresh baby food nutrition company shipping nationwide in the US. Outside of Little Spoon, Michelle focuses on normalizing traditionally controversial conversations around modern parenting, marriage and divorce in order to shift perspectives and bring people together. Michelle is a proud NYC resident for over 13 years. In her downtime, she can be found spending time with her three sons (Pearce, Rylan and Brandt), running in Central Park and traveling the world. There is always something cooking in her kitchen.
Alisa Baer, MD, The Car Seat Lady, LLC
Dr. Alisa Baer is a board-certified pediatrician, nationally certified child passenger safety instructor, and co-founder of The Car Seat Lady. In her 20 years in the field she has consulted with many of the leading car seat manufacturers in the design and development of their car seats, helped create programs that change how children travel in urban environments to include designing Uber’s car seat program, and helped parents install more than 15,000 car seats. She also manages The Car Seat Lady’s popular social media – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube – in addition to editing the website.
Rachel Gorton, Motherly
Rachel is the Motherly Sleep Expert, a certified infant and Toddler Sleep Specialist and Motherly’s Sales Partnerships Manager. She is passionate about educating families on the importance of rest and providing the encouragement to overcome sleep challenges. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and children. Follow her on Instagram.
Robin Gibson-Douthit, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
Robin has been educating and supporting pregnant women and their families as a childbirth educator for over a decade. She has taught childbirth preparation and newborn care classes in hospitals, pediatric offices and privately. As a Lamaze International certified educator, Robin is passionate about teaching Lamaze’s Healthy Birth Practices that are the foundation of Lamaze’s philosophy. Her desire is to empower and inspire women who are preparing to give birth in a way that allows them to advocate for themselves with confidence and reach for the best birthing experience possible. Robin is also a Certified Birth Doula through DONA International and a Certified Lactation Counselor through the Healthy Children Project.
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