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Four Questions for the Marketing Manager

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Updated: Saturday, December 10, 2016

Melissa McKenzie is PAMP’s Marketing and Communications Manager. Her job involves social media, marketing and communications.


“I handle all marketing and communications efforts including developing the PAMP voice, developing/updating marketing collateral, social media and social media analytics,” says Melissa. “I also work with the board  working on the communications plan and creating graphics.”


Overhauling the Facebook/social media pages (we're now on Twitter and Instagram as well) was a fairly big undertaking and continues to be a work in progress for Melissa. She's always open to suggestions from members as far as what they'd most want to see on our page. Her goals for the future are creating a social media community where PAMP interacts with members and gets some great conversations started about all things PAMP.


“One of the really great things about working with PAMP is being able to work with other parents,” Melissa says. “As the mom of an infant, sometimes it's hard to get out and do things, but working with people who completely understand all of the struggles and difficulties that come with being a first (or second) time parent is great. I love talking to members and learning about their wants for PAMP, and I hope to get out to more events in the near future. It's always nice to know that no matter what you do, your kid(s) are welcome.”


Melissa lives in Santa Clara with her husband and son. Her husband, Phil, is a paramedic, paramedic preceptor and field training officer for Santa Clara County EMS. Their son Colin is almost one year of age. “We also share our lives with four different four-legged furballs who have adjusted quite well to having an infant around,” she says.


1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? In the theater? It was when I was pregnant and I went with two friends to see How to Be Single. At home, the last blockbuster movie I watched was Deadpool, but the last non-Hollywood film was an ESPN 30-for-30.

2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? I am a transplant. Phil and I moved up here from the Orange County area of Southern California in 2010 after I was offered a job at a local newspaper.

3. What’s at the top of your to-do list? For PAMP, it's thinking about the 2017 communications outreach and marketing plan. Personally, it's finding the time to get outside more and being more active -- something that I completely lost during the latter half of my pregnancy and the past 7 months.

4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Oh my gosh. We're not at the TV stage yet, so I honestly have no idea which characters are still part of the show. I remember, as a kid, loving the old Cookie Monster, but I know he's become more health conscious since my childhood. I have to be honest though, even though I watched Sesame Street I was really more of a Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Reading Rainbow kid.

Each month we train the spotlight on someone who works behind the scenes for PAMP. Interested in hopping on board? Browse our open volunteer positions and join the fun!


Tags:  spotlight 

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Five Questions for a PAMP Board Member

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Updated: Monday, September 26, 2016

There are so many wonderful people working behind the scenes at PAMP, and Jennifer Wang is one of them. Jennifer has been a PAMP member for seven years and on the board of directors for over two years. She started out as Director of Engagement and is now Director of Community Outreach.

“I’ve been on the board of directors for PAMP for two years now, and as a resident of Palo Alto, I have been thinking a lot about how to raise my kids to be good citizens of the earth and of our community, not to mention get involved myself in giving back to this beautiful place we live in.”

To that effect, her job as Director of Community Outreach is to find and work with organizations within the community where PAMP can partner with on meaningful events, causes and services related to families.

“There are so many wonderful community organizations out there. In fact I would love to hear from our membership about other organizations that they are involved with, where some sort of partnership would be of interest to our club.”

And when she says partnership, it could be as simple as just exposure to a great event that the organization is holding to a reciprocal sponsorship of events.

In addition to the specific job of Community Outreach, as a member-at-large on the board of directors of PAMP she meets with the other leaders on a regular basis to discuss and lead programs that encourage members to engage. She is active in helping with all PAMP events and with the online forums as well. Jennifer also represents PAMP to the wider community through active cross-postings to her own circle of friends, her children’s school mailing lists, Facebook and Nextdoor.

“I research and reach out to community organizations to have discussions about possible partnerships. I also receive inquiries from the community or from our membership about PAMP getting involved with them,” Jennifer says. “I do have to vet these requests so that the focus remains on community partnership and not promoting businesses or services.”

At the beginning of her term, she set a goal to partner with 3 organizations this year. At Family Day in July, PAMP partnered with 10 Books a Home, a fabulous non-profit that provides an early-literacy tutoring program to high-poverty preschoolers in East Palo Alto. The second partnership was PAMP participation at California Coastal Cleanup in September.

“I researched and selected a site that would be convenient for my family as well as other PAMP families to join, and then spread the word about this fun event,” Jennifer said. “I really wanted to give my kids an experience to increase their awareness of the environment and instill in them a sense of stewardship of the earth. Our family alone collected 4 bags of recycling and trash from the San Francisquito Creek.”

Jennifer and her husband both work in high-tech software. They met while working together at Netscape Communications Corporation, and she convinced him to move to the Bay Area from England in 2000. They have two children, ages 7 and 5.

“I love PAMP because it’s given me so much support, starting from when I had a newborn,” she says. “My kids are now 5 and 7, and I think our club of parents and families are in a strong position to not only help ourselves, but to help others around us.”

1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw?

Wild - the movie about Cheryl Strayed, who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.

2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant?

Transplant. I grew up out east in West Virginia, went to college in Chicago and then ended up out here in 1997 to work for Netscape.

3. What’s at the top of your to-do list?

Planning our vacations and travel schedule for the next 6 months - I just booked tickets to Hawaii! Also, I have a big landscape project we are about to embark on.

4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?

Big Bird!

5. Why are you a PAMP volunteer?

I’m a people person, and meeting other people in our club enriches my life as a parent and a resident of Palo Alto. I love to spread the word about our great club and have fun while I’m at it. Plus, volunteering for a non-profit helps to round out my life experiences -- it’s a great complement to my work in the corporate world, my work running a household with my husband and my work as a parent.

Each month we train the spotlight on someone who works behind the scenes for PAMP. Interested in hopping on board? Browse our open volunteer positions and join the fun!




Tags:  spotlight 

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Five Questions for a Playgroup Coordinator

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Updated: Monday, August 22, 2016

Ginny Badros is the PAMP Playgroup Coordinator for the North Los Altos Playgroup. Her job involves administering the group, coordinating member events and moderating the group’s forums and postings.

This playgroup uses Facebook groups to communicate about activities. “I post park or home playdates to encourage company for my kids and others,” she says. Playgroup members also post their own playdates, events and other topics. Ginny often organizes and communicates regular Mom’s Night Out events for the group as well.

“What I love about being the PAMP North Los Altos Playgroup Coordinator is experiencing myself and my children meeting and making new friends and lasting friendships,” Ginny said.

Telling us about her latest accomplishments and goals at home, Ginny says, “Teaching my 3 ½ year old his first knock-knock joke – now he won’t stop telling it; potty-training my two-year-old; getting back into playing piano and performing at my first recital since fifth grade! My mid-term goal is to complete building our family’s Los Altos Hills forever home by mid - 2017!”

Ginny lives in Los Altos and has been a PAMP member for almost four years. Her family consists of Jax (3.5 years), Alexis Jade (2 years), Baby #3 coming next year and two adults who are kids at heart!

1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).

2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? Transplant. I was born in the big city of Guangzhou, China, then immigrated to the small city of Duluth, GA, and transplanted to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area in 2006.

3. What’s at the top of your to-do list? Making a decision on the toilets to install for the forever home that I’m building in Los Altos Hills.

4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Cookie Monster -- so obstinately focused and goal-driven while being incredibly huggable at the same time … what’s not to love? Plus, he is perpetually surrounded by delicious cookie treats - Yum!

5. Why are you a PAMP volunteer? I view it as a wonderful opportunity for myself and for my kids to meet and make new friends and to establish lasting friendships.

Tags:  spotlight 

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Four Questions for the Events Manager

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2016

Brittany Campbell is the Events Manager for PAMP. She not only manages a team of volunteers who host PAMP’s small events, she also plans and schedules the day-to-day activities, classes and workshops found in the events calendar, and does the planning for PAMP’s large events. She’s the queen bee behind the upcoming Family Day as well!

“I really like connecting with our volunteer hosts,” Brittany says. “Without them we could never run all the events we do.”

Some of her day-to-day tasks include scheduling small events like soccer, swim, gym, music and messy play classes, scoping out local businesses to partner with on new events and helping volunteer hosts prepare for Parents’ Night Out, Hidden Villa Tours, Firehouse Tours and Mommy-to-Be Meetups.

After coming back from maternity leave following the birth of her baby boy, Brittany says, "My most recent accomplishments included having a shower, getting out of the house in a clean shirt and picking up sushi takeout for dinner." Asked about her upcoming goals, she laughs, "Finishing a book, making a healthy dinner and getting more than 4 hours of sleep in one stretch.”

Brittany has been married to her husband for 5 years, and in October of last year they welcomed a wonderful baby boy named Cameron into the family.

1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? Depends on whether you think the latest Star Wars movie is a kids movie.
2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? Transplant -- from Ottawa, Canada.
3. What’s at the top of your to-do list? Travel, always.
4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Cookie Monster.

Tags:  spotlight 

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Five Questions for a Blanket Babies Host

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Updated: Sunday, April 24, 2016

Have you been to a PAMP Blanket Babies home playdate? New parents bring their young infants and gather together in the comfort of a member’s home.

Kate Babington is one of the parents volunteering to host Blanket Babies. Kate says, “Moms of young infants, some first time moms and some veterans, gather to talk about the joys and stresses of the early months while sharing about their activities, travel, baby products, family, doctor visits and any number of things.”

"It's a good way to meet several new moms and build relationships with those you have most in common with,” Kate continues. “And it's a very forgiving environment, should your baby be out-of-sorts or extra sleepy, or should you need to arrive late/leave early, pump, or breastfeed."

Kate has been a member of PAMP for about a year. She and her infant son Anders enjoy connecting with Blanket Babies families at other activities, too, like music classes and swimming lessons. When Kate returns to work, she says she “will enjoy connecting with the mothers I have met on my days off."

1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? Nell.

2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? Transplant.  I've lived here 10 years.

3. What’s at the top of your to-do list? Savor the rest of maternity leave!

4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Snuffleupagus.
5. Why are you a PAMP volunteer? I enjoy spending time with other moms and look forward to the programs continuing.

These super fun home playdates have become quite popular. Be sure to RSVP to save your space if you plan to attend!

PAMP is always looking for other members to host playdates. It’s super easy, and it’s a great way to make new friends. Email for more information.


Tags:  spotlight 

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Support PAMP by Shopping on Amazon Smile!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Getting ready to do your Holiday Shopping? Did you know that simply by shopping online you can support PAMP? Amazon Smile is a program that runs where a small percentage of every purchase made is donated to a charity of the buyer’s choice. This is a great program that gives everyone the chance to support their favorite charity while shopping.

All you have to do is use the “” site instead of the normal “” site. Your account is the same, all of your amazon history is there and all of the same products are available. To support PAMP, simply click here and you will be taken to the Amazon Smile site and asked to confirm that you want to support PAMP.

Tags:  spotlight 

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PAMP Playdates – Mixed Ages Offer Something for Everyone

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 5, 2016
In a split second, peaceful play at the McKenzie Park sandbox turned into tug-of-war. Of course, my son Jax, is in the middle of the brawl – what two and half year old boy is going to ignore the temptation to seize someone else’s brand new shiny bulldozer toy?

When it seemed a toddler pileup was inevitable, I jumped into conflict resolution: “Jax, let’s try to find something to offer in exchange – maybe a dump truck to trade for some time with the bulldozer?”

After a few minutes of tense back and forth deal-making, we made an agreement. Everyone returned back to playing peacefully. With a sigh of relief, I gave the kids some space hoping that someday soon, my children will have the ability to share with others without needing my intervention. Well, as the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”

That’s one of the wonderful benefits of our mixed age playgroup – regular opportunities for the children to sharpen their social acumen while interacting with kids of varying ages and stages of development. In particular, it is a special opportunity for parents like me who have multiple children of different ages to find a social environment for all of their children at the same time with just the right amount of interest and surprise.

Andrea, a Los Altos mother to two boys, describes the charm of the mixed age environment precisely. “With ages always varying, each play date is unique and that keeps it fun and interesting,” she says.

In addition, there is always the refreshing opportunity for the grown-ups to have an exchange of ideas, neighborhood news and stimulating adult conversation. Nina finds the grown up exchanges useful. “It is great to get advice from those with older kids, as well as help out those with younger kids than my own,” she says.

Nina, a local mother of three energetic boys, started the PAMP North Los Altos Playgroup in 2011 so that her oldest (and then only) son would have regular organized playdates to attend within walking distance of their Los Altos home. When Nina reached out for someone to take over the group coordinator role, I wasn’t immediately compelled. I was pregnant with my second child at the time and my first had just started walking – I knew that life for me was about to get busy, but I decided to go for it! I know now that I made the right decision. My children and I have met and made so many wonderful friends through the group.

The PAMP North Los Altos Playgroup membership consists of over a hundred moms and dads in the Bay Area. The group, formerly on Yahoo, now stays connected about playdates, local events and child rearing advice using Facebook’s group platform. Helen, a newcomer to the Bay Area describes the group platform. “I really like the new Facebook platform. I check Facebook on a daily basis and I find the UI very user friendly when it comes to organizing and accepting events and engaging with other members of the group,” she says.

There is also the occasional Mom’s Night Out, typically every other month, where the grown-ups can gather at a local restaurant after the kids are put to bed to have lighthearted discussions over a glass of wine. Lisa, a mother of two in Palo Alto, describes the advantage of having an occasional grown-up’s night out. “I like how there are opportunities to come together with our kids and without them. It’s refreshing to go out on a weeknight without a diaper bag,” she says.

These days, Jax will prepare a stash of toys prior to every playdate. The bag of toys grows larger week after week. I asked Jax the other day, “This is a large bag of toys – why do you choose to bring all of these toys?” Without skipping a beat, Jax responded, “I want to share them… with my friends!”

Maybe the day of sharing will come sooner than I had hoped!

Ginny Badros is the group coordinator for the PAMP North Los Altos Playgroup. She left her occupation as an insurance geek to be the full time Chief Operating Officer of the Badros household. Her primary responsibilities include managing the expectations of some hard-to-please customers – 3 year old Jax and 1 ½ year old AJ. You can often spot Ginny, Jax, and AJ enjoying a stroll to the Los Altos Library or watching Little League baseball at the Hillview Community Center.

For more information about the PAMP North Los Altos Playgroup and play dates, contact Ginny.

Tags:  child development  spotlight 

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Five Questions for a Parents’ Night Out Host

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Nerene Fayers is a part of a group of members who volunteer their time to organise Parents’ Night Out (PNO) events. These adult-only events are held once a month and give PAMP parents the opportunity to meet and socialise with fellow members. “This position allows me to search for new and exciting events to offer our members,” says Nerene.

The role entails working with local businesses to arrange an event. Sometimes this means negotiating pricing, doing a write-up of the event description for publication and then hosting the event. Nerene says, “The day of the event is fun, as I get to meet fellow members while giving my time to help a great non profit.”

Nerene continues, “I love the flexibility I have in the events we can offer. The opportunity to give parents some adult time while pampering themselves or learning something new is definitely rewarding.”

Besides volunteering as a PNO Host, Nerene is also currently filling in as Events Coordinator while Brittany is on maternity leave. As the interim Events Coordinator, Nerene spends her time managing the events program to ensure classes operate as contracted and assist members with event-related matters. Some duties include assisting new sign-ups and training volunteer event hosts, working with community partners to provide new and exciting classes and assisting with communication and marketing for events.

Nerene and her husband are both from Perth, Australia and have been living in California for nine years. They recently moved to San Carlos after spending eight years in Menlo Park. They have a three year old son who puts a smile on their faces everyday. “I am a stay at home mother who is blessed to be a part of a very active mother’s group, as our days are kept busy,” she says.

What is the last non-kid movie you saw? Mad Max: Fury Road.

Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? A transplant from Australia.

What’s at the top of your to-do list? To dust off my bicycle and get back into road biking.

Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? We are more of a Wiggles household.

Why are you a PAMP volunteer? I am a PAMP volunteer because I want to give back to this great organization which provided the platform for me to meet and make a wealth of amazing friends. I also want to give fellow members opportunities to engage with others while continuing to build a network of support and friendship.

Each month we train the spotlight on someone who works behind the scenes for PAMP. Interested in joining the ranks? Browse our open volunteer positions and apply today!

Tags:  spotlight 

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Five Questions for a Membership Committee Volunteer

Posted By Communications Manager, Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Alix Pora is a volunteer on PAMP’s Membership Committee. Her job involves helping recruit and welcome new members, and developing strategies for growing PAMP. Alix says, “I help the committee with its mission by promoting PAMP in the community, provide input regarding recruitment and membership retention and research potential resources for PAMP.”

Tasks tend to vary, but Alix does her best to attend as many PAMP events as possible to engage with new and current members and get feedback regarding what they hope to get out of PAMP. She also distributes PAMP flyers and material around the community and researches ways PAMP can grow.

Alix most recently helped the committee in developing strategies for welcoming new members. She will also be starting a subgroup or two to help promote relationships and networking opportunities within the PAMP community.
“I really enjoy working with the other PAMP volunteers and directors who have been extremely receptive to hearing ideas and exploring new avenues of growth,” says Alix. “Since I joined the committee, I have met many great people who are enthusiastic and motivated.”

Alix joined PAMP earlier this year after moving to Los Altos from the North Bay. She and her husband have a three-year-old boy and are expecting another boy very soon. She says, “I was actually a third generation circus performer in my family’s unicycle, but I escaped to a more academic life. I moved out to the Bay Area eight years ago to get my graduate degree in translation and interpreting. My husband has been gradually converting me into a pseudo-techie.”

1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? I have probably watched it 100 times but I love the French film “Amelie”.

2. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? A transplant from the other coast.

3. What’s at the top of your to-do list? Ha! Considering I am in the middle of moving across town and it looks like the baby isn’t going to wait until his due date, I guess my goal is to just get through the next couple of weeks with sanity.

4. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? I haven’t watched it in ages, but Snuffaluffagus was my favorite as a kid.

5. Why are you a PAMP volunteer? Due to the fact that I have moved around a lot it has become increasingly difficult to meet people and build relationships, especially after having kids. But by volunteering for PAMP I get to be a part of a dynamic community and meet some great people from a wide range of backgrounds. I think PAMP has enormous potential for building a strong community to support parents and I am excited about being a part of it.

Each month we train the spotlight on someone who works behind the scenes for PAMP. Interested in joining the ranks? Browse our open volunteer positions and apply today!

Tags:  spotlight 

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Five Questions for the Development Manager

Posted By Communications Manager, Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Jacqui Marchessini is the Development Manager for PAMP. In this role, she is responsible for securing sponsorship and locking down advertisers. She says, “I manage and cultivate existing relationships with sponsors to secure and expand recurring revenue streams.”

On a day-to-day basis, Jacqui answers questions about PAMP’s sponsorship offerings to interested potential new clients. She works with sponsors to ensure creation of a sponsor/advertiser package that works within their marketing budget and needs.

Acting as a PAMP ambassador, Jacqui also works closely with the board of directors in their community outreach role. “I like the flexibility and the opportunity to meet local small business owners interested in reaching out to our membership of families and parents,” she says

About her latest accomplishments, Jacqui excitedly exclaims, “We were able to secure eight key sponsors for Family Day!”

Jacqui lives in Mountain View and is a proud mom to an amazing seven-year-old daughter.

  1. What is the last non-kid movie you saw? Pitch Perfect 2.
  1. Are you a Bay Area native or transplant? Native.
  1. What’s at the top of your to-do list? Return calls.
  1. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character? Cookie Monster.
  1. Why are you a PAMP volunteer/staff? I like working with local small business to help them enhance their marketing strategy and get their product or services in front of a targeted market.

Each month we train the spotlight on someone who works behind the scenes for PAMP. Interested in joining the ranks? Browse our open volunteer positions and apply today!  

Tags:  spotlight 

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