Meet the team that brings you chambanamoms.com. Our team consists of local parents that have a passion for connecting families to all of the amazing activities, classes and resources for raising a family in Champaign-Urbana.
Mom-in-Chief: Laura Weisskopf Bleill is the co-founder and CEO of chambanamoms.com. A former sportswriter who has two journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Laura founded chambanamoms.com in 2009 after being frustrated by the lack of information for families in our community (you can read more about that here). Laura has worked in academic communications and marketing for the past 10 years; some of you may know her as the Director of External Engagement at the University of Illinois Research Park. Laura is a social media junkie who loves to laugh with friends and travel. She spends most of her free time running around town with her three daughters.
Managing Editor: Tony Bleill. Tony is not the first dad to work for chambanamoms.com, but he is the First Dad. Editor, content manager, and account executive, Tony is managing multiple aspects of the site. He spent 20 years as a sportswriter at three daily newspapers before joining Mervis Industries for three years, leaving in April 2015 to join “the family business.” A graduate of Ball State University, he spends his free time teaching the finer points of Chicago Blackhawks hockey to his three daughters while simultaneously picking winners of thoroughbred races.
Chief Content Strategist: Amy Cunningham. Amy has checked the chambanamoms.com event calendar nearly weekly since becoming a mom – only years later to become the site’s calendar editor. Two years later she has grown into a position that touches every aspect of content produced by the team. Amy spends her time with her husband, son and daughter — preferably outdoors — and enjoys planning (and taking!) trips with her family. You can also find her teaching fitness classes throughout town.
Chief Operations Wizard: Mindy Borden. Mindy works with businesses and organizations to coordinate our Playdate Series and customized events. She also ensures fulfillment of advertising campaigns and multifaceted packages. She holds degrees from Indiana University (occupational therapy) and the University of Illinois (education). She works part-time for Champaign Unit 4 as an occupational therapist. Mindy loves living in Champaign-Urbana and enjoys spending time with her husband, two girls and the family parakeet, Mr. Pickles. Her favorite place to be is at the beach with her family.
Chief Social Strategist: Kathy Richards. Kathy moved to Chambana with a medically fragile infant in tow. She embraced the challenge of making a home here for her family — which now includes two teenagers and an entitled dog — and was an original chambanamoms fangirl. As an elected member of the Unit 4 Board of Education, Kathy started and maintained a blog to help unite the community behind the goal of funding and building better schools. Since joining chambanamoms, she manages the team’s social media presence as well as writing content. Away from the computer, she works in the garden of her historic home, photographs nature, and looks forward to the day when she can return to performing in area musical groups.
Calendar Page Editor: Courtney Malcolm. Courtney credits Chambanamoms.com as a big part of why she and her family chose to move to C-U in 2017, when she was avidly researching the areas surrounding the law schools her husband was considering. As the calendar editor, she is hopeful that other parents researching our area will be swayed by the many family events and activities Central Illinois has to offer! Courtney worked full time in marketing and communications before making the shift to her favorite job yet: Being the full-time stay-at-home mom to a wild toddler! In her “free time (a.k.a. “during nap time”), Courtney takes graduate classes in the iSchool at the University of Illinois, enjoys cross-stitching, and loves learning about gentle parenting and Montessori-based play from parenting Instagram.
Business Manager: Amy Armstrong. Amy is the numbers brains behind our operation. She is our one-woman accounting department who invoices clients as well as pays our bills.