About the Queens Mamas

Photo_081709_014 Queens Mamas is an online guide to Queens published by parents for parents. It was founded by Leni Calas a Queens mother of two who was frustrated by the lack of links to Queens on the Web. She decided to create Queens Mamas as a gateway for families to connect with Queens through the internet.IMG_5459

To families and visitors of Queens, Queens Mamas is an online supply of information relating to growing happy and healthy families here in the borough.

What you will see here: All things Queens. Events, local businesses, resources in Queens, classes, parks, schools, you name it. If there is a resource in Queens we want to know about it.

So Who are the Queens Mamas?

Leni Calas Leni Calas – Mama

Leni is a born and raised Queens native who now raises both of her daughters in Astoria. “We are a very Queenscentric family, if I have to leave this borough it better be for something fantastic”. After over 10 years in the Film and Television Industry, Leni decided to leave her cushy film job and jump into operating QM full time. Her passion for writing and sharing resources has lead her to dedicating her time to making Queens Mamas a valuable source for Queens on the internet.

Leni is the 2010 1st place winner of the Queens Economic Development Corporations StartUP! Business Plan Competition. In addition to Queens Mamas, Leni also contributes to Mommy Poppins in their Queens section and consults on blogging with She Blogs.To contact her please email mama@queensmamas.com

Randi Madrid Randi Madrid - Advertising Genius and Party Girl

Randi was born a Manhattan girl, raised in Greenwich Village, and moved to Queens when she was old enough to know better.  She lives in Kew Gardens with her sweet husband and very adorable 2 year old daughter.  With a BBA from Baruch College, Randi has worked in sales for most of her adult life, more recently as the VP of Sales at Bridge to Bali, a small women’s clothing company based in the east village.    Randi’s dream has always been to have an office with her baby’s crib in it.  Now that she has a daughter, she realizes how incredibly insane that is, but is thrilled to be a mom working from home with the crib in the next room!

The most important lesson that Randi has learned about mommy-hood is that it is exponentially easier when you have a support system of other parents around you.  So, for mostly selfish reasons, in her two years as a mother, Randi has created a music class from her home called “Homemade Music” and an online group for the parents in her area.

To inquire about advertising, marketing and events opportunities with QM, please email her at randi@queensmamas.com

Rodney Sterbenz Rodney Sterbenz – Contributor and Queens Daddy!

” If I had a time machine, I would go back to my 7 year old self and make me take piano lessons. Not just a few, but stick with it. And learn how to fix cars. Not at 7, really, because that’s a little young. But tell him it will be a valuable skill when we get older. Like Spanish. I’d have us learn Spanish, too. That way, we’d be waaaayyyyy too busy to ever get in trouble for things like lighting fireworks off in the kitchen and giving the dog a Mohawk.” Rodney contributes here and also writes his own hysterical Daddy blog at Daddy Is An Idiot.

Stella Gilgur COok Stella Gilgur-Cook – Know it All Parenting Expert

Stella is the voice behind License to Mom our series on parenting in the borough…

In the past 15 years, I have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology (with a minor in Theatre), a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and licensing from the State of New York to practice Clinical Social Work.  I have worked with: infants and toddlers in a clinical setting (doing standardized testing and running a clinical study on the effect of praise on a child’s ability to perform a task); teenagers living in a state-run group home who were either awaiting adoption or reunification with a family member; kids and teens in psychiatric care at a New York City hospital; an after school program aimed at engaging kids into spending time off the streets; a Junior High School where every single student had been removed from mainstream public schools; and adoptive families where the majority of my work has been to prepare families for the adventure of parenting a child born overseas.

I can’t wait to tell you about all the great parenting ideas, techniques, and skills out there!  You’d probably figure out some of this stuff out on your own sooner or later, but why reinvent the wheel?  Come along with me to the ongoing reflection, assessment, and decision making that goes into being the type of parent most of us would like to be, and most of our kids would like to have. (Although, don’t worry – I’m sure they’ll still find something terribly embarrassing or annoying about you!) contact Stella at stella@queensmamas.com

Klc Kiersten Carlson- Product Review Mama

Kiersten is a former resident of Forest Hills and currently lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and four children (born 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009). Before becoming a mommy full time, she worked in magazine publishing at Art in America and The Magazine Antiques, ran Pleather Records in Chapel Hill, NC and has an MA in Media Studies from The New School. Kiersten’s personal site is LissendenFrost.com and she can be found on Twitter as @LissendenFrost.


Esti with hat Esti Berkowitz – Contributing Queens Mama

Esti Berkowitz is a nice Jewish girl from the Midwest who turned around one day and had become an observant Jew, had moved to New York City via Jerusalem, found a mensch and married him, and noticed she had three kids under three. Esti blogs about dating, marriage, pregnancy, kosher cooking, and parenting after 35 at Primetime Parenting.

 Sarah Bricker – Style Guru and Mystery Shopper

Sarah was born and raised in Queens. A lover of all things fashion related, she majored in Fashion Design, and Buying & Merchandising at F.I.T.  She was lucky enough to study abroad in Florence, Italy for 2 of those fabulous years. Here she picked up fluent Italian, an amazing sense of style and some priceless life lessons. Sarah is obsessed with knitting and her 2 adorable poodles Maggie & Meester. She currently co owns a fabulous boutique “Stella Gialla”, which you guessed it, is located in the heart of Queens ! She’d love you to pop in for visit if you’re in the neighborhood.To contact Vanessa email her at sarah@queensmamas.com

Jesseca Stenson – Contributing Queens Mama

Jesseca Stetson Jesseca is a good juggler. Between being a writer, her full time job, being a full time mom, and being a full time wife, she can almost join the circus. Well, maybe not the circus, but definitely the sideshow. Writing makes her happy, second only to her family. She lives in Queens, where she was born and raised, with her fantastic husband, daughter, and parents. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and she is the Long Island Family Examiner, where she writes about all things family, on http://www.examiner.com/family-in-long-island/jesseca-stenson