Partial List of Contributors

Ellen Miller Arad

Hazzan Ellen Miller Arad is on the faculty of the HL Miller Cantorial School, as an Adjunct Instructor. In addition, Ellen wears many hats including Choral Director of Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle, High Holiday hazzan at First Hebrew Congregation in Peekskill, NY, educator, concert artist, scholar in residence, and most recently chaplain at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Ellen holds a BA from Brandeis University, an MA from NYU in Communications, an MA in Jewish Education from JTS, as well as an MA in Sacred Music from the Miller School. She is married to Graham, and has 2 sons, Max and Alexander.

Ronna Benjamin

After 28 years of practicing real estate law, Ronna Benjamin realized how much she loved writing and how much she hated lawyering. She jumped into the world of writing at Better After 50 and never looked back! She is loving her "second act" as Partner and Managing Editor at Better After 50. Ronna writes humorously about the things BA50s are concerned about - personal experiences with adult children, the quirks of aging parents and in-laws, and her own emotional and physical health issues (i.e., insomnia, anxiety, and bulging waist lines). A native Bostonian who loves to spend time with her husband and three adult children, Ronna also enjoys sailing, cooking, running, and biking-and she tolerates skiing so she is not left home during family vacations. Check out her new book "We Are Better After 50 Because..." co-written by Ronna and her BA50 Partner Felice Shapiro, a perfect gift for the birthday girl in her 50's!

Marla Choslovsky

Marla Choslovsky is the Director of Development at MIT Hillel, pleased to be back on the campus that brought her to Boston for grad school, and where she met her husband. She is also the mother of three wonderful people. She admires the women who worked through all the years of child rearing, and sometimes wonders how they did it. When she's not schmoozing in person or on e-mail, she can often be found doing a crossword puzzle.

Gretchen Dock

Gretchen Dock grew up on a working farm in Maine. For the past 30 years, she has worked as a marketing consultant in the Boston area specializing in brand development, marketing communications and marketing publications. She and her partner recently retired to a 29-acre farm in central Massachusetts where her days are filled with an abundance of chores, community activities and fresh air.

Jill Ebstein

Jill grew up as one of six children that helped her parents in their small family-run kosher grocery store. This experience made her value customers, college and the path it might pave to move beyond grocery stores, and ultimately business. Jill received her MBA, has 3 kids, a husband and a dog that is by far the favorite family member. She lives in the Boston area and can be found on the tennis court when not working or dog walking or yes, baking scones - her favorite food.

Judy Elkin

Judy Elkin is a professional certified coach living in the Boston area. She and her husband have three adult children and she considers her hobby savoring wine, food, and decaf soy lattes with loved ones.

Alyson Ferranti

Alyson holds a Bachelor's degree in both Psychology and Sociology from Rutgers University, and is certified in Market Research by the University of Georgia. After working in research in a variety of arenas, on both the client and vendor sides of the business, Alyson now owns her own strategic market research practice servicing other small market research companies as well as direct end clients. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. When work and home life allow for a break, she enjoys traveling, redecorating and sampling new wines. She also helps to moderate an online community of nearly 5,000 local moms, in which members can buy, sell, trade their items and get support and resources from their peers.

Lee Gardenswartz

Lee Gardenswartz is a management consultant based in California who for the past 35 years has provided training, organizational assessment and consulting in areas of personal and professional growth as it relates to diversity and inclusion, team development and leadership. Ten years ago, with two partners, she created a model of emotional intelligence in the context of diversity, exploring how people deal with differences. Lee has co-authored numerous books, among them are: The Global Diversity Desk Reference; Emotional Intelligence of Managing Results in a Diverse World and Managing Diversity in Health Care. When Lee is not working, she can be found hiking, pruning roses and coaching her many nieces and nephews through life's challenges.

Natalie Goldfein

Natalie Goldfein is an entrepreneur living in Chicago. An avid biker rider, traveler and knitter, she loves spending time with her fabulous nephew and niece. A lifelong student of personal development and growth, she has recently launched My Habit Upgrade, a system to improve how one feels, functions and fulfills in their lives.

Megan Laufman

Megan is a Los Angeles native who attended UC Santa Barbara for college where she majored in Communication. Due to her varied interests, she has pursued work in advertising, commercial real estate and executive search consultant. She is married to her husband Randy and has two kids, Jaden and Mara. Outside of work, Megan loves to do yoga, read, travel, wine taste and spend time with family and friends.

Kim Lorusso

Kim Lorusso grew up Northern New Jersey, and made her home in the burbs of Boston after receiving her B.S. in Marketing from Bentley University. She learned the ropes of marketing at SunGard Trading and Risk Systems while pursuing her MBA part-time at Northeastern University. She has held various marketing roles at Novell and GE Healthcare IT. She currently owns Marketing Possibilities, an integrated marketing consulting firm and teaches marketing courses at Emerson College in Boston. Out of the office Kim enjoys spending time with her 2 children and husband, and always looks forward to the next adventure.

Melissa Ludtke

Creator/Author: "Touching Home in China: In Search of Missing Girlhoods". In her four-decade, award-winning career as a journalist, Touching Home in China's iBook author and producer Melissa Ludtke reported at Sports Illustrated and was a correspondent with Time, and editor of Nieman Reports at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Her lifelong engagement with girls and women's issues led her to write "On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America" published by Random House in 1997. Along with producing Touching Home in China as a cross-platform digital book and project, she is writing a narrative social history of the 1970s American women's movement as seen through her own experience as the plaintiff in the well-known federal legal case, Ludtke v. Kuhn (1977-78). With this legal action, she secured equal access for women reporters to report, as male colleagues already did, in Major League Baseball's locker rooms.

Laurel Mintz

With a background and education in business and law from Rutgers University, and a passion for food, wine and lifestyle brands, Laurel's expertise in marketing has been built through her work with prestigious restaurateurs and major brands across the nation. She founded Elevate My Brand in 2009. She now sits on the board of directors for the Fender Music Foundation, One With The Water, Ten X, and the British American Business Counsel. Laurel is also on the Social Committee for the Network of Executive Women, a Recipient of the Los Angeles Business Journal Women Making A Difference Awards 2014, Keynote speaker for the Women and Business Enterprise Conference 2014, and runs her own exclusive networking group, "The Taste Salon".

Ellen Morton

Ellen Morton spent 20 years writing primarily about food safety and foodborne illness outbreaks, prompting her to avoid supposedly healthy foods like alfalfa sprouts and raw milk. She and her food microbiologist husband, Dale, recently purchased a small farm ('Ellendale') in rural Bull Valley, IL. They have put in a small vineyard, an orchard and an enormous vegetable garden, and may soon get chickens if for no other reason than to entertain their hyperactive border collie. It is their fervent hope that someday when they sell their goods at the local farmers market, they don't cause a foodborne outbreak.

Jeanette Kuvin Oren

Since 1984 Jeanette Kuvin Oren has created commissioned art for more than 350 organizations around the world. She works in fiber, paper, glass, metal and mosaics. Jeanette lives in Connecticut and Jerusalem.

Anita Rowe

Anita Rowe, Ph.D. is a management consultant based in Los Angeles who for 35 years has worked with client organizations to build workplaces of inclusion where all staff can thrive. The books she has co-authored, among them Managing Diversity: A Complete Desk Reference and Planning Guide, Third Edition, Diverse Teams at Work and The Lending and Diversity Handbook, form the foundation of her training and consulting work. When Anita is not working, she can be found reading, enjoying the serenity of her garden or visiting the coast of Montenegro.

Jill Kerner Schon

Jill has worked in some aspect of Communications, including graphic design, throughout her career. She is the daughter of a professional musician and daughter-in-law of a renowned sculptor. Jill raised her three daughters with an appreciation of the arts and all graduated with a Fine Arts degree. Though not a painter herself, Jill and her daughter Jackie brought the necessary skills to the table to open The Paint Bar in 2010 - the first business of its kind in the Greater Boston area.

Peninnah Schram

Peninnah is Professor Emerita at Yeshiva University's Stern College. She has authored 12 books of Jewish folktales, including Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another, and her forthcoming book is Jewish Stories of Love and Marriage: Folktales, Legends and Letters (co-authored with Sandy Sasso). She has also recorded a CD, The Minstrel and the Storyteller, with singer/guitarist Gerard Edery. Peninnah is the recipient of a Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator and 2003 National Storytelling Network's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Evelyn Starr

Evelyn is a marketing advisor who uses her keen powers of observation and insight to assess underperforming marketing efforts and course-correct them to increase sales for her clients. She specializes in working with Brands in Adolescence, brands that have stalled after their initial success. Evelyn earned an MBA in Marketing from Boston College's Carroll School of Management and graduated with honors from Vassar College with a BA in Economics and French. Living in Metrowest Boston, her passions include travel, reading, writing, yoga, tea, dark chocolate and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in both her husband and her two children.

Lisa Pierson Weinberger

Lisa is the very proud mom of two adorable, fun, and sweet children. In the rare moments when she is not running all over Los Angeles with her kids, or working for her clients, Lisa can be found sitting by a pool with a wonderful book in one hand and a cosmopolitan in the other! Lisa loves to laugh with her friends, hates to exercise, and still thinks getting dressed up for a date with her husband is one of the most fun ways to spend an evening.