Bringing TiffinTalk to life has involved the efforts of many wonderful and talented people. Here are some of them.
Artist - Heart2Heart
In 2006, Keri West stopped painting. Despite being a graduate of Tyler School of Art, a prolific artist and having frequent shows in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, art began to fade away from her life. "I couldn't see it any more. The life was bleeding out of my own paintings until the figures were mere ghosts. The greatest works in the world didn't move me anymore. I thought it was over." But in 2016, West was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy and everything changed. With in a month of starting medication, she began painting again. "It wasn't like flipping a switch. It was a slow process to get all my neurological functioning back. But it was an amazing gift. I thought I was going to spend my life unmoved by art, by beauty. Instead, I got to watch it regrow; nurture and feed it. I met every element over again; discovering it all for the first time. And it's absolutely breath taking."
West continues to work in the Philadelphia area and plans to release a new body of work in 2017. More of her work can be found at http://www.keriwest.us .
Intern of Everything
Talia Steinmetz handles assembly and organization as well as working with social media. Her passion, however, is in all things video: filming, producing, editing. She dreams of having better equipment and better performers but works with us anyway.
Talia grew up on TiffinTalk cards and is a walking testimonial of how close they brought her to her mom, Kat, and how much they helped in her critical and creative thinking skills. She’s loaning those skills to TiffinTalk as she trains her service dog, Rory, before she continues to pursue film production in college. Rory's role on the TiffinTalk team? She's contracted for film and photography; but mainly she is a member of the Talia-Rory team – together those two will be world travelers, telling stories through film.
Dr. Chris is a retired family doctor, mother & stepmother of 5, grandmother of 6, bonsai amateur (in all the meanings of the word,) bird watcher, gardener, and -- as obvious from her photos -- an avid world traveler. She loves languages and getting her hands dirty.
Rose is a retired lawyer who enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling to Paris, and playing with her cat.
Amy Fantalis (MS, MSW, LCSW) specializes in counseling adolescents and families. She has been in private practice at Building Bridges in Media, Pennsylvania, since 1999. Prior to that, she directed a mental health agency, provided therapy to inner-city youth and families, worked with teens in residential treatment, and conducted home studies for families seeking adoption. Her photos for TiffinTalk feature not only nature scenes, but also distinctive shots of everyday life and -- of course -- more than a few furry family friends.
Isabelle Fantalis-Gross is a freshman in high school. She enjoys acting, golf, and photography. She has a pitbull named Riley.
Maurah’s funky sense of humor allows her to laugh even as she is deep into her university studies. As an Environmental Studies and International Affairs double major with a German and Mandarin double minor, she plans to travel and work globally. She has become an amateur photojournalist recording her experiences along the way.
Ellen Rothwax has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and has been designing and developing websites for over 10 years. Employing her creative and programming skills, she concentrates on designing and developing websites, logo designs, graphic arts layout and design as well as photo retouching and manipulation. She enjoys meeting with clients to discuss their marketing objectives and makes every effort to guide her clients to the most economical means of achieving their goals. She especially enjoys captivating a client’s visualization of their ideas and creating the finished product.
Bronte Reidinger, Maurah Steinmetz, and Talia Steinmetz were instrumental in the initial research for the TiffinTalk tidbits. Critical to this work was triple checking facts and not relying on sources that then all relied on a single source making it not incredibly reliable! Also critical: writing to the level of the age group. And finally, most critical: No plagiarizing. These students got us going, provided more themes and it has taken off to critical acclaim.
Additional and heartfelt thanks to the following people and organizations:
Carol Block is part of the TiffinTalk family team – literally family team. But she’s not just mom and grandmama, she’s a believer. She’s seen the results of the thousands of cards and the resulting chats that her daughter, Kat, had with her granddaughters. She helps to organize, assemble and fold, fold, fold. On top of all that, she puppy sits and checks in on cats. If she would accept a company title, it would be "Rescuer" because she always comes to our rescue to do whatever needs to be done.
Francis Shields, our former SCORE mentor and now Advisory Board member, guided us down the path of making a dream into a viable and important business, complete with formal business plans and a damnably complete P&L. There was no escaping his careful scrutiny and no amount of appreciation can be expressed in return. In Fran's words, "If you are not in pain while you are developing your startup, then you are not doing it right." Fran, I think we got it right . . . and owww!
Bronte Reidinger ruled the roost as Social Media Intern and Helper Extraordinaire. Innovative and outspoken, Bronte easily saw the potential for TiffinTalk and decided she wanted to be part of the team. She recently took a full time job (elsewhere!) and is redesigning her life as she approaches college with a skill set many would envy. But she continues to volunteer and cheer.
Rachel Kimmel holds a web design certificate from Sessions College and has completed studies in Google Master Certification with MarketMotive. She noted our first site and had the incredible chutzpah (thankfully!) to ask us "What in the world were you thinking?" but she was so subtle and polite that we realized we needed her guidance urgently and were thrilled to have her in those first makeovers; she saw what we were too close to see. She has been working in web design and marketing for over 10 years and is the owner of MICRON.492 Web Design and Marketing, LLC. Working alongside her clients at every step of the design process allows Rachel to better reflect their unique vision while helping them rise above the competition with search engine visibility. End result: beautiful design that is data driven, yet customer focused.
Marc Goodchild bore witness to those first bareboned cards at a cafe in London. He envisioned a marekt beyond "lunch notes" and gave us the encouragement to create a global company.
Thanks also to . . .
. . . the many mental health professionals who reviewed not just the concept but the content and gave us the thumbs up time and time again.
. . . our families and friends who stood by us as we divided our time quite unevenly between business and family and continued to support our work with TiffinTalk. They love us and still talk with us.