Wendy Xiao, Co-founder
@home: Wendy is the first mother amongst her friends and lives in Manhattan with her husband, Rodrigo, and their two year old son, Tyler. She grew up in Michigan, where she spent a lot of time trying to escape the cold until she finally gave up and took up snowboarding. She moved to NYC and became a huge fan of eating at restaurants where it’s too dark to see your food. She loves spending the day in Central or Prospect Park, watching her husband toss Tyler up in the air really really high.
@work: Wendy graduated with an MBA from Columbia, where she focused on entrepreneurship and venture capital. Prior to business school, she spent 4 years as a management consultant with Accenture and A. T. Kearney. She now works at Northzone Ventures in NYC. She cares deeply about disruptive technologies and parenting.
@CoHatchery: For Wendy, balancing full-time business school and building a business with being a new mother is just short of impossible. However, she finds herself extremely fulfilled. She knows that it is possible to “have it all”, and she wants to help parents, who constantly feel pulled apart by career and family, redefine societal norms requiring separation thus compromise of the two.
Work-Life Integration Advice: There is no such thing as complete balance. Spend some time figuring out what mix makes you happiest, and then stick to it. Draw hard lines without dwelling on pressures from either side. Reassess often to prevent yourself from slipping.
Susann Friedrich, Co-founder
@home: Susann was born and raised in Germany. She moved to NYC for business school and to move in with her now fiancé, Mario. Their pre-matrimony days mostly revolve around cooking and traveling to places with warm weather. Her favorite journey so far has been to Hawaii, because a) hey, it’s Hawaii and b) she made friends with fish and other sea life after becoming scuba certified in Maui.
@work: After graduating from college, Susann worked in marketing for a beauty brand and in advertising. She then went on to spend 4 years in management consulting, focusing on developing growth strategies for digital media and technology clients across EMEA and the US. She is now getting her MBA at Columbia where she is very connected to the entrepreneurial community. Following her passion for tech and entrepreneurship, she worked with several startups in the city and is currently interning at a VC fund.
@CoHatchery: Susann’s mother (and biggest role model), a single working mother, always told her daughter she could become whatever she wants. As Susann grew older, she realized that not every girl is being encouraged like this, and she has since made it one of her life goals to help change that, and help young girls and women achieve whatever they want to achieve.
Work-Life Integration Advice: Set priorities, and try to not to spend time on anything that does not contribute to these!
Jamie Krenn, Chief Learning Officer
@home: Jamie is a very goofy mother who lives in Westchester County with her husband, Steve, and daughter Emma. She grew up in Upstate New York, where she spent her days riding ATVs, picking wild raspberries and running cross-country. Before Westchester, she lived in NYC and liked to eat at fancy restaurants and taco trucks. She likes to play with Emma until she is exhausted, eat baguettes with grass-fed butter, and do mommy and daughter yoga. She loves cooking, fairness in play, tasty food and telling jokes.
@work: Jamie holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Cognitive Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also holds three Masters degrees in developmental and cognitive psychologies as well as a Bachelor of Science in Art Therapy. Jamie leads the “Children & Media: Analysis & Evaluation” area of focus at Teachers College, Columbia University, which focuses on research and theories relevant to learning and the development of educational materials for children. She is also a Media & Curriculum Consultant for Maker Studios (overseen by Walt Disney Studios). Her research interest includes cognitive media processing, creative preschool curriculum preparation and culinary cognition.
@CoHatchery: Jamie is one of the few mothers who found a way to almost have it all. She homeschooled Emma for 2 years while teaching at Columbia and working as a part-time consultant. She knows firsthand that there aren't many tools out there to support those in her position. She hopes to share her experience with the CoHatchery community.
Work-Life Integration Advice: Make a schedule for work AND play. And be mindful and present in both (i.e. If you are scheduled to play, put the smartphone under your mattress).
Justin Hoyng, Lead Teacher
@Home: Justin was born & raised in very small town (technically a village) of 2,300 in Ohio where he lived with his parents, two sisters & two dogs. He was a typical middle child with a big personality and excitement for life, which hasn't changed. Growing up, he loved being outdoors, playing volleyball and performing theatre. He now lives in Park Slope where he spends his free time biking in Prospect Park, painting and exploring the neighborhood one restaurant at a time.
@Education: Justin graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelors degree in Strategic Communication and a minor in Design. Upon graduation, he took the leap and moved to New York City, after living in Ohio his entire life, to follow a career in corporate retail as a buyer/merchandiser. He began babysitting during college for families in Columbus, Ohio and continues to do so while living in the city in his spare time while also doing events like Project Play date. After years of experiencing life with a demanding career, he decided to trade in his corporate hat to focus on childcare which would also allow him time for painting & art, truly living the CoHatchery mission.
@CoHatchery: Justin lives the CoHatchery mission on a daily basis, wearing many hats throughout any given day, from teacher to painter to babysitter. In college, he worked as many as 4 jobs at once on top of school and still had time for himself. He thrives on being busy but balanced - not allowing the busy to become stressful. He hopes to impact the CoHatchery community by allowing parents to embrace balance and encouraging a positive & happy environment for the children.
Work-Life Integrative Advice: Work to live, not live to work. Allow yourself to be as busy as you want while still being happy and making time for life! If you find yourself stressed often, you're over-doing it and should evaluate how you can cut back. Life is too short not to be happy!
Xinxin Yu, Lead Teacher
@Home: Xinxin was born and raised in Northeastern China. She spent time in London and New York for undergraduate and graduate schools. She enjoys both metropolitan cities, as well as slow and peaceful nature adventures. She is always up for exploring new things and ready to meet people with great stories to tell. She lives in the moment and embraces every beautiful moment.
@Work: Xinxin discovered her interest in education during her undergraduate studies when she was volunteering in rural China. She has written about migrant children’s educational access and outcome. With a passion for improving the quality of education for all children, she went on to graduate school at Teachers College, Columbia University to study Economics and Education. She has focused her studies on learning about resource allocation, international education development, and other teaching innovations. She loves kids with every inch of her heart and aims to build a career in providing children high-quality education at every stage of development.
@CoHatchery: As a single and independent young professional, Xinxin enjoys freedom as well as self-empowerment. She feels strongly about maintaining inner peace and outer balance with family and work. She wants to contribute to work-life balance by taking part in CoHatchery's first summer program.
Work-Life Integration Advice: Communicate well and share your responsibilities if needed. Know your priorities and be focused.
Rachel Vining, Lead Teacher
@Home: Rachel grew up in the beautiful and historic Hudson Valley in the city of Kingston, NY. She was fortunate enough to have much of her extended family within an hour's drive. She loved art-making and exploring in nature from an early age. Rachel spent a lot of time making dirt and berry soup in the backyard, playing make-believe with her little sister, writing stories, drawing and sewing. One of her favorite activities as a kid (and as an adult) is eating pasta! Since finishing undergraduate school, she moved to Brooklyn and has been living in Park Slope for 10 years. Rachel first fell in love with the neighborhood when she stepped off the subway for the first time at 15th Street and saw the park in full bloom. She loves knowing so many friends around the neighborhood. Park Slope feels like a small town within a larger city.
@Work: Rachel has been working/playing with kids for the better half of her life. She babysat from high school into college and was a nanny full time for several years after moving to NYC. She always balanced her work in theater, fashion, and art with working with children. Her background includes preschool, art, and special education. One of the highlights of her graduate education was the opportunity to visit the Reggio-Emilia preschools in Sweden, and share what she learned with NYC students and teachers. This June, she completed her K-12 Masters in Art Education and will begin teaching art this fall.
@CoHatchery: From her many years of working closely with children and their families, she understands the struggle to juggle all areas of life as a parent. While not a parent yet herself, for the past few years grad school has necessitated that she wear many different hats, as a teacher, student, friend, employee & scholar.
Work/Life Integration Advice: One piece advice I have is not to be too hard on yourself. Sure you want to do your best in every area of your life all the time, but it's not always realistic. Look for small moments of success and pat yourself on the back for those. Those little moments can lead up to major shifts over time.