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Founder & MEO
MEO (Mom Executive Officer) Melissa Moog is the entrepreneur behind The Belly. The idea for Itsabelly Baby Planners was conceived when Melissa was pregnant herself and searching for the all-important car seat. After a trip to her neighborhood big-box retailer, she quickly realized (after viewing the mountain of choices) that buying one that was safe, comfortable, durable and affordable might require more research than a college thesis. After doing said research, Melissa concluded that she probably wasn?t the only one overwhelmed with these sorts of choices for their babies and toddlers. Thus Itsabelly Baby Planners was born a few months after Melissa's daughter.
Essentially, Melissa has turned her passion for motherhood and all things baby and toddler into a successful business that coaches new parents through all the tough stuff, so they have the time and peace of mind to concentrate on what's important. Melissa began Itsabelly in 2006 when baby planning was not yet an industry. Because of this, Melissa, like any good mom, organized, pulled her resources and founded the International Baby Planner Association (formerly known as NBPA) so that professional standards could be set for the future industry, which it now has become. The International Baby Planner Association is also a forum for networking and developing solid resources.
Because of Melissa's true love for teaching and mentoring others, and her vast knowledge on resources, child proofing and baby products, she has become the voice of authority in her industry. She is the baby planning expert for The Bump, a sister site to The Knot, providing the ultimate local guide to pregnant living. She's also the baby-planning guru for ParentingWeekly.com, pregnancy-planning expert for BizyMoms.com, a featured blogger for DrGreene.com & Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association (JPMA) and the "New Mom Editor" for Portland's BetterTV. In addition, Melissa has been featured in the media all over the country in The Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, WeTV's Platinum Babies, AP, FOX, ABC, MSNBC.com, San Jose Mercury News, View from the Bay, KGO, Pregnancy magazine, KIWI, AM Northwest, KathyIreland.com and CoolMomPicks, among others.
As the co-author of Itsabelly's Guide to Going Green with Baby, Melissa has also become the leading authority for baby planning with an eco-friendly twist. Itsabelly Baby Planners is the first baby planning business to secure Co-Op America's green seal of approval. Melissa has passed the Home Hazards Test as administered by the International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS) and offers child proofing services. She has taken the Child Passenger Safety Technician course through Safe Kids Worldwide.
Prior to her Itsabelly success, Melissa was a human resources director for Kensington and worked for Intel. She's earned a master's degree in human resources/organizational development from the University of San Francisco. But even with her laundry list of accomplishments, at the end of the day, Melissa's biggest success is as Mom, watching and helping her daughter grow. And if there is an occasional free minute in her life, Melissa can be found enjoying quality time at the gym, traveling with her husband, daughter , twins and two golden labs or curled up on the sofa with a good book.
Meet the Other Belly Mamas
Czar of Corporate Relations
Czari Anulao brings her creative mind and more than 10 years of working experience in the biotechnology industry to Itsabelly Baby Planners. Czari coordinates product reviews, fosters corporate relationships and dabbles in social media marketing. Outfitted with a master's degree in organizational management, Czari is all about making work fun, which translates to great customer relations. In her free time, she loves to cook, try new restaurants, travel and participate in half marathon and dual-athlon races to stay fit.
Right Hand Mama
What doesn't Joan DePalma do as Itsabelly's senior administrative assistant or our Right Hand Mama? With 14 years of project management through effective leadership, organization and consistent communication, Joan keeps the Itsabelly team on-task and organized. After becoming a mom, Joan discovered that finding balance between work and life brings harmony to her family. And experimenting with new recipes or reading a good book keep Joan balanced.
Jennifer Lo Prete
As marketing manager for Itsabelly Baby Planners, Jennifer Lo Prete focuses on getting the Itsabelly Baby Planners name and mission in front of new or expecting parents, through media contact and her ever-popular blog posts. Raised in an eco-friendly home herself, Jennifer is the co-author of Itsabelly's Guide to Going Green with Baby. Jennifer can truly hold the title of Itsabelly's Green Geek because of her vast knowledge on organic living, breastfeeding, natural birth, cloth diapering and babywearing. Before becoming a mom herself, Jennifer earned a master's degree in marketing communications from Northwestern University, worked in a congressional press office and managed advertising for major manufacturers of children's products.