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Contributing Editors | Cooney and Jones

Contributing Editors

Patti Callahan Henry , NYT Bestselling author
NYT Bestselling author of eight novels: Losing the Moon, Where the River Runs, When Light Breaks, Between the Tides, The Art of Keeping Secrets, and Driftwood Summer and The Perfect Love Song. Her latest novel, Coming Up For Air will be published by St. Martins Press on August 15th, 2011.

Patti has been hailed as a fresh new voice in southern fiction. She has been short-listed for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and has twice been nominated for the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Fiction Novel of the Year. She is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups where she discusses the importance of storytelling and anything else they want to talk about.

After earning her Master’s degree in Child Health, Patti worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist until her first child was born. Patti is a full time writer, wife and mother living with her husband and three children in Mountain Brook, AL where she is working on her next novel.

Christine Velez-Botthof
, Emmy-award-winning journalist
Christine is an Emmy-award-winning journalist from New York City. She’s walked a thousand miles in a journalist’s shoes, covering stories as far away as Cuba and as heart-wrenching as 9/11. It took the tragedy of the Twin Towers collapse to help Christine understand the value of family. That’s when she made the decision to start one of her own.  She’s now a part-time journalist and full-time mom and wife living in the South with her husband and two children.

Susan Dosier   Susan Dosier is our resident Southern foodie. A cookbook author, former magazine food editor, and co-founder of DK Communications Group, Susan celebrates the best of the Southern table (but without breaking a sweat!) A mom and busy entrepreneur, her quick and easy tips are perfect for today’s busy woman.

Victoria Volpone Owner/ Director – COASTAL WEDDINGS by Victoria LLC
A native of  New York, Victoria earned her degree in Interior Design. She has been designated a Professional™, by the prestigious Association of Bridal Consultants since 2003.  Victoria has been married for 30 years, to husband Perry, “the love of her life.”   The couple resides in Carillon Beach, FL.

Victoria is known as the driving force behind Carillon Weddings, the company she started in 2003.   She has designed and implemented one of the most successful wedding programs in the Panhandle.  Within 5 years, this area has become  known among brides as a premier wedding location, and was voted one of “the Top Ten Most Talked About “ venues in the state of Florida by The Knot.  Victoria’s weddings are regularly featured in many national and area bridal magazines and blogs.

Coastal Weddings by Victoria came about in response to frequent requests from brides, who wanted the planning services of Carillon Weddings, at other coastal venues.  Victoria brings her reputation for planning and directing flawless events, and the same passion and commitment to her brides, as Coastal Weddings by Victoria.
When planning a wedding, Victoria “Uses my skills as a designer, to help the bride visualize her event.   It’s important to listen to what she has to say, the wedding should reflect her own unique style, and the personalities of the couple and their relationship.  I think an event can be classic and elegant, and still have a young, modern feeel

Trish Bogdanchik is a self-professed nerd, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Chemistry and Anthropology. She was a Harold Jeskey scholar at Southern Methodist University, where she was published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry as an undergraduate. She entered the workforce as a chemist, but quickly found her talent was in teaching. She headed to inner city Dallas, TX schools to teach middle school science. You would think the exposure to hormonal teenagers would have ruined her desire to have kids, but alas, it did not. She had her first son and never looked back. Everything clicked, but the desire to connect was still there. Thus, BirminghamMommy.com was born. She is now the mother of a Lego-loving boy and a girly-girl. She is a believer in not completely losing your identity when becoming a mother, only adding to it.

Angie Cleland   is a proud Mom to 3 beautiful girls – A single and a set of identical twin girls – that translates to busy. Very busy. Her background is in Sales and Marketing, and she never knew how useful that training would be when marketing a fruit or vegetable as yummy or successfully selling the idea of pooping in the potty to a toddler. Angie never realized her talent for writing until she started blogging to document her life as a mom. She quickly had a following of readers with her witty and candid take on parenthood. Angie felt the need to reach out and conquer the isolation that happens when you’re a new mom, so she created and maintained a very successful moms group. With over 80 members, a full activity calendar, and numerous community projects, Angie was well-prepared to take on her role at BirminghamMommy.com.

Andrea Pokorny writes about becoming financially secure at MainstreamMom.com. She has been published in Reader’s Digest and contributes to websites like Cozi.com. She is passionate about delivering tools and resources to help Moms pay off debt and change their financial life.  Visit her site and receive her free workbook titled 7 Simple Steps to Managing Your Money {That You Can Actually Do}

Dr. Corey Hartman is the founder and medical director of the Skin Wellness Center of Alabama in Birmingham, Alabama.  He is Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Alabama. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Hartman attended Emory University graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  After earning a doctorate of medicine from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, he completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Tulane University Medical Center and a residence in Dermatology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine.  Dr. Hartman is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Hartman has a special interest in General Dermatology, Dermatologic Surgery, Cosmetic Dermatology and Ethic Hair and Skin Disorders.  He frequently speaks on hair disorders and cosmetic procedures in darker racial skin tones at meeting around the country.

During his training, Dr. Hartman traveled to study at several other institutions including UCLA and Howard University, where he was an apprentice with experts in cosmetic procedures for all skin types.  This knowledge has provided the basis for expertise in tailoring dermatologic surgery and cosmetic procedures that are safe and effective for patients from many diverse backgrounds.


Megan LaRussa created Southern Femme as a way to share her fashion adventures, inspirations, and her most coveted style tips with Southern women.  At an early age, Megan had a keen eye for fashion and an undying passion for wardrobe styling.  Her mother often laughs that Megan would come home from elementary school with her tunic tucked into her leggings, wanting to give herself a truly unique look on the playground.  Throughout Megan’s formative years, there were shopping trips with her fabulously supportive family to stylish hubs such as Paris, London, and Florence.  The moment Megan stepped foot on the Rue de St Honore in Paris, amidst her friends-Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi, and of course Colette- she knew she would live and breathe STYLE forever.

After studying a combination of French and Art History in college, Megan moved to the land of all things fashion: New York City. In the fashion capital of the world, her eye for style was honed further working for a famed Trend Forecaster. There she learned to analyze the runway collections and even predict ‘the next big thing’ in fashion. To take her fashion knowledge to the next level, Megan pursued a Masters from Parsons School of Design, where many of her favorite designers (i.e. Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and Proenza Schouler) also studied.

But the South was wooing her back with its’ slower pace, picturesque landscape, and yes m’ams and no sirs. Megan’s biggest aspiration upon moving back to the heart of Dixie was spreading her insurmountable love for fashion with her fellow Southern women. Southern Femme spurred from this desire to educate her favorite women in the world on both the dream world of haute couture, high-end fashion, as well as your oh so important day-to-day wardrobe.  Megan savors the ‘ah ha’ moments of her Style Coaching clients when they discover new outfit combinations in what they thought was their ‘boring’ wardrobe, or lighting up when that perfect outfit for their daughter’s wedding comes to life.

Megan is constantly inspired by the women she has the pleasure of lovingly coaching, as well as the creative juices that are allowed to flow when styling and producing fashion shoots for magazines, such as Birmingham Magazine, Alabama Magazine, and Seventeen. Megan still can’t quite believe she is living her dream of spreading the fashion gospel with those she cherishes most: Southern women.


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