Archive for 2014

Philanthropic Moms: A Year in Review

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Philanthropic Moms Logo

Another year — off it goes. And ahead of us lies amazing and endless possibilities for using our power for good.

Before we begin 2015 it seems an ideal time to stop an take a look at some of our past Philanthropic Moms. The honor roll from 2014 is made up of amazing, awe-inspiring women who fill our hearts and our spirits with the way in which they bring energy, enthusiasm and care to all they do.

One of the most fortunate aspects of Forty Weeks is working with such admirable women who balance their roles as mothers and their careers with a passion for giving back to their communities. Philanthropy comes in many shapes and forms — and is directed in as many directions as there are women committed to making difference. And, as 2014 comes to a close, I’ve looked back through this list with awe and excitement and wanted to share the buzz and the love.

Well worth noting, Leticia Barr has brought to life a remarkable way to keep all of us focused and mindful as 2015 begins. The idea of a deed a day, not only of the big but especially the small, meaningful gestures — the kindness that we extend to each other — makes all the difference. Join all of us as we step up and bring life to this remarkable concept. For me — I will be buying a bracelet for my kids and my staffers — hoping that that together we will make a real difference in real time!

Here are the fantastic women Forty Weeks highlighted as Philanthropic Moms for 2014:


Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll: Brianne Manz

Friday, December 19th, 2014

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Brianne Manz is a bit of a magical creature. She is a beautiful muse in fashionably flowing frocks with cascading hair and captivating eyes. Brianne appears as though she was put on earth to inspire — and inspire she does.

I’ve known Brianne for years, we’re connected through New York City social media circles, though our friendship seems to have no beginning or end. Ask Brianne what is new and she shares openly and fills your heart with tales of her family, friends and the myriad of ways she is deeply connected to the world around her. She will quickly rattle off a healthy list of current projects that connect and care for the world. Brianne joins each philanthropic and social responsibility initiative with passion and a clear sense responsibility for both doing well and doing good — she is in it for real.

Brianne works with dedication and drive — never complaining and always super confident that she will complete the task at hand — advancing the cause and leaving everything she touches better than she found it. Brianne does not move mountains, she moves people. She rallies those around her and brings her friends, family and community to all she does. While Brianne is quite busy with her three adorable children, family and career, she always has time for a moment with friends, a celebratory meal, or quick catch-up call. She values what is precious and prioritizes care.

Meet my friend and this week’s Philanthropic Mom, Brianne Manz:

Brianne M

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom?

When I started my blog, Stroller in the City, I never anticipated the scope of the platform it would evolve into, allowing me to voice my opinion and actually become an influencer for all things baby. The greatest thing about my job is the number of unique opportunities I experience with my children, while contributing to our community. I am able to collaborate with companies, such as Every Mother Counts, Baby Buggy, Shot At Life, and R Baby Foundation to raise awareness about their organizations. My kids have learned the importance of giving back and do so on a daily basis by donating toys and participating in runs/walks within our community. I will now also be participating in a recycling your pump campaign with the Ronald McDonald House in the new year.

What is an early or stand-out memory of community service, philanthropic commitment or another way in which you felt strongly connected to an issue in the bigger world?

When I was younger I went on a class trip to a senior citizens home, during the holiday time to sing and bring cheer to them. Visiting that home moved me, and I can still see their faces light up watching us. After that, I asked if I could volunteer once a week, and I did so for the remainder of the school year. I still visit sometimes when I go back home and bring them special baked goods.

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence?

I would say my biggest influence is Christy Turlington. What she has done for others moms in third world countries by giving them a chance to raise a healthy baby is beyond amazing, and resonates with me, even more so now that I am a mom.

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud?

I’m so proud that my children, as young as they are, are understanding about their surroundings living here in NYC and realizing that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. A few weeks ago, a homeless man walked onto the train asking for money and food, my son Ryder quickly opened his snack bag and offered him a banana. My heart exploded!

What is the legacy of change you want to leave behind?

I hope that everyone comes to realize that even a little bit can make a huge difference. A lot of people I talk to always express concern that they don’t have enough money to donate, but it’s more than that. It’s about volunteering and believing that you can make a change.

What would your children say about all of this?

I think my children will be proud that their mom has such an active part in our community, and they will hopefully have been excited to be a part of my influence.

An Outstanding Week of Caring for all Mothers

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Thank you Team Forty Weeks for the amazing work with Daphne Oz with whom we contributed much needed product from our beloved clients, Medela, Inc. and Bravado Designs to benefit Baby Buggy! Well done!!!!

The end of another ABC

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Team Forty Weeks is leaving Las Vegas with another #ABCKids in the rear-view mirror. What a treat to see old friends, make new and get good and ready for what’s next.

It’s Working Project

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

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Our commitment continues. The It’s Working Project is committed to helping the private sector successfully bring new mothers back to work with ease, as a matter of course and with a sense of pride.

Visit us, join us and be a part of the shift…


Forty Weeks is Hiring in Bethesda, Maryland — are we looking for you?

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Want to join Forty Weeks as a Senior Project Manager? Are you equal parts efficiency and exuberance? Able to manage our amazing team, clients and deadlines and still be a confident, contributing and yes energetic part of of a remarkable team? Are you looking to use your smarts, laugh along the way and consider mid-day espresso a part of the routine? Here is what you will need to know:


Job Description


Forty Weeks, the leading strategy firm in the expectant and new parent space, is looking for a Senior Project Manager to oversee and manage all projects and staff. We handle a carefully curated list of top-tier clients including foundations, media and manufacturers within our highly vertical space.


The ideal candidate has significant experience leading teams, scoping projects, and liaising with clients. In addition, we are looking for someone who is highly organized, energetic, and a motivated self-starter — equal parts cheerleader and taskmaster. We’re building something incredibly exciting here at Forty Weeks, and we want to find a team player who is willing to think big and value small – someone who isn’t afraid to take charge, but also isn’t afraid to get dirty hands. Our work style is focused on efficiency and addressing clients’ needs expediently.


Responsibilities will include:

  • Creating and managing workflow
  • Leading team meetings and managing all staff responsibilities
  • Assisting as needed with strategy and new business development
  • Overseeing all digital projects
  • Leading all special projects
  • Managing all ongoing programs and client work
  • Expanding our new Mothers @ Work initiative
  • Client communication and reporting



  • Extensive project management experience. PMI certification a plus, but not required
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, and a track record of timely and well-presented deliverables
  • Confidence to manage clients while keeping project deliverables on time and within budget
  • Problem solver with ability to listen, assess, and quickly respond and react to challenges in real time
  • Experience with corporate social responsibility campaigns or familiarity with the space
  • Experience managing digital teams and projects on multiple platforms
  • Knowledge of social and other media platforms
  • Reliable self-starter
  • Innovative thinker
  • High energy
  • Team player; willingness to do the detail work, not leaving all the work to others
  • Proficiency in PowerPoint, Excel and Word
  • Experience working at a communications, strategy, or PR firm a plus


We offer flexible office hours and a part-time schedule in our Bethesda, Maryland offices.


Please send cover letter and resume to Ruth Turoff at

Philanthropic Friday – Philanthropic Moms Honor Roll

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Eating is so intimate. It’s very sensual. When you invite someone to sit at your table and you want to cook for them, you’re inviting a person into your life.

Maya Angelou

And this is exactly how Sandie Angulo Chen and I got connected – food…

Sandie and I were introduced via a mutual and dear friend, Amy Oztan. When Sandie moved south, Brooklyn’s loss was DC’s gain. And, as the fierce winds of Hurricane Sandy began to blow – I sent out an offer via Twitter, asking who might appreciate some great cheeses and give them a home (as I was vacating my house-taking shelter from the storm)? Sandie said yes, trekked out in the dark pre-storm hours and gathered up my goodies. She was not fazed by the storm, in fact, she was set for the adventure. So off she went, cheeses in hand and ready to take whatever came her way. She and her family enjoyed the cheeses through the storm. A fact that still makes me smile…

Sandie and I were fast friends – she came with an irresistible and bubbly passion for things I hold quite dear: books, food, community and yes, people. One of the first things that struck me about Sandie, she was well versed at the art of people  - she knew how to connect with others and she did so with total grace and much laughter.  Sandie has a big, brave heart that gives and gives. She creates instant comfort and connection — a rare gift.  She sees, she reacts and it is all a matter of fact (yes that rhymes, but she is a literary soul, after all!).

Sandie has an amazing world view coupled with the most incredible tools for sharing her perspective. One of which is her writing. She writes in an approachable, open and honest way. People are drawn to her writing – it, like Sandie,  is at once compellingly realistic and at the same time, highly optimistic. Those who follow her writing (movie reviews on Common Sense Media for example) appreciate that Sandie lives in the real world. And it is from there she sets out to make it better. Be it rolling up her sleeves or encouraging those around her to jump in and make a difference – Sandie is present and certainly accounted for. She is leaving a mark in all the best ways.

And now, meet my friend Sandie Angulo Chen.

Sandie Angulo Chen


TeenLitRocks &  The DC Moms 

What makes you a Philanthropic Mom? I’m a Philanthropic Mom, because I believe in living with a spirit of kindness, of generosity, of loving others. Those beliefs are rooted in my faith and my community, and I believe it’s part of my duty (and joy) as a mother to raise my kids to believe they can make a difference, help others, and be a force of good in the world.

What is an early or stand-out memory of community service, philanthropic commitment or another way in which you felt strongly connected to an issue in the bigger world? I grew up in a multi-generational household incredibly close to my grandmother and great-aunt, and I vividly remember being in sixth grade and horrified to find out that many elderly have no family  to care for them or visit them. I helped my elementary school organize regular visits to a local senior citizens’ home. We were all 11, so at first it was awkward, but eventually the kids relaxed, the residents relaxed, and we started to look forward to our older friends. That was the first time I felt committed to community service.

Who was your biggest philanthropic influence? My grandmother, may she rest in peace. She taught me that philanthropy and kindness should be a personal and sometimes quiet endeavor, not something to boast about or put on an application. I was not-quite 13 when she died, but she lived with me and had a profound influence on my life. Her example of a life well lived will stay with me forever.

What about being a Philanthropic Mom makes you most proud? That being a mother only deepened my desire to be philanthropic — to give unconditionally.

What is the legacy of change you want to leave behind? That there’s an indescribable joy in being part of your community, of being a believer in hope and change.

What would your children say about all of this? My children have a commitment to helping others too, whether it’s through Scouts, our church, or in our own family. They understand that even the youngest of kids can still be kind, selfless, and generous.

What Holiday?

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

This short week is about as power-packed as I’ve seen. White House Summit, FDA, and other things that make DC pulse.

YES you May

Monday, May 5th, 2014

May 5 is now you MAY day — the day we got a green light for a project that will forever change the game for mothers. Stay tuned, this one will move quickly!


Saturday, April 5th, 2014

I think we have made it!  The birds chirping, the blue sky — all means we are here – Bump Season. Look around, you will see what I mean…expectant, glowing women  are everywhere!