The Mommies Network is a 501c(3) non-profit founded in April of 2005 by Heather Fortune, founder of our first chapter CharlotteMommies, with two other members. By the end of the year, The Mommies Network had eight chapters in four states and had formed a partnership with Carolina Parenting, the publisher of three parenting magazines in North Carolina. By our first anniversary, we had a total of sixteen chapters in seven states, and by the close of 2006, we had grown to 27 chapters. The next year our network grew to over 60 chapters, and by the end of 2008, we reached our current size of about 100 chapters.
In 2011 we have focused on ensuring our chapter members are engaged and our chapters are responsive to the needs of our members. While continuing to open new chapters, we have merged other neighboring chapters together. Something new and exciting for 2011: we have realized our long-time goal of opening a National Forum , where any mom, even if she doesn't have a TMN local chapter, can join and receive the support and friendship our local chapter members enjoy.
Board of Directors / Executive Officers
Michelle Dyszelski, Chairman of the Board Michelle Dyszelski is married to Daniel Dyszelski III and mom to Gabryela and Danny. Michelle is employed by her husband’s company, Charlotte Mechanical, and is responsible for overseeing all Human Resource activities, including training and development, staffng, employee practices, payroll and compensation, employee benefts, as well as safety and labor laws. Prior to joining Charlotte Mechanical in 2005, Michelle worked in the mortgage industry and also in childcare for six years. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is also a Notary Public for the state of North Carolina. Michelle recently joined forces with Jennifer Spitzer to start a networking group for women in her area, Lake Wylie Women in Business. The goals of the group are to provide networking, professional development and community service for women. They currently meet once a month and have over 20 members.
Heather Fortune, Founder & President Heather co-founded CharlotteMommies in 2002 and founded The Mommies Network in 2005. Heather has two beautiful daughters: Caroline Grace and Catherine Elizabeth. She has a B.A. in English Literature. She grew up in Ohio and Pennsylvania and moved to South Carolina when she was ten. Today she and her daughters live in Charlotte, NC. In her free time she enjoys reading and writing. Heather is our visionary and is passionate about reaching out and connecting with our membership and with the world outside TMN. She is responsible for the overall day-to-day management of TMN.
H. Reese Butler, Secretary Reese Butler founded the Kristin Brooks Hope Center and the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE after losing his wife, Kristin Brooks Rossell, to suicide on April 7th 1998. When the federal government tried to take over control of 1-800-SUICIDE by force in 2006 Reese launched a campaign that took on Health and Human Services, the FCC and the Veterans Administration. Reese believed that the government had no business owning much less operating a suicide hotline. On December 3rd 2010 the US Court of Appeals ruled against the Federal Government as having been arbitrary and capricious. The order reversed the FCC ruling and instructed the FCC to return 1-800-SUICIDE to the Kristin Brooks Hope Center. Since 1998 when Reese turned his focus to the prevention of suicide, he has helped launch several other organizations: the National Council For Suicide Prevention, the California Suicide Prevention Advocacy Network (SPAN-CA), and the Virginia Suicide Prevention Council. Reese serves as member of the Steering Committee of the Iris Fund Alliance. Reese never graduated high school and was a millionaire at age 21. He founded the Connecticut Law Tribune in 1975 at the age of 19. By the end of 1977 he was publishing a daily law newspaper and the Hartford Tribune a daily newspaper of general circulation. He went on to start 20 more newspapers and periodicals over the next twenty years.
Megan Marks, Treasurer Megan Marks holds a Master of Science in Accountancy and a Bachelor of Science in Business/Accounting. As an Accountant for the County of Fresno, she currently interprets California Code Sections to maintain the distribution of all Court Ordered Debt monies due from Probationers originating from and transferring into or out of the County. When she is not performing those tasks, she performs audits for other County entities and assists in preparing the County's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. Megan has been active with and held many positions within The Mommies Network since April 2007. Megan has been married to IT professional Jeff for seven years. They have two children; Tristen, 6, and Bella Dae, 4
Heidi Fortune Heidi Fortune holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Arts Administration from Winthrop University. At Boys & Girls Clubs of the Upstate, Heidi wears two hats, one as a development professional and one as an teaching artist. On the development team, Heidi directs the Annual Campaign, serves as an event manager for major fundraising events, creates and manages marketing campaigns, and writes and administrates grants. As a teaching artist, Heidi has developed programming for youth ages 6 to 18 in theatre, flmmaking, creative writing, and music. She currently teaches over 120 elementary age youth each week. Before joining BGCU, she appeared professionally as an actress in theater, flm and television. Favorite roles include: Puck from A Midsummer Nights Dream, Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, Millie from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Mary from Jesus Christ Superstar, and Mae from Fool for Love. While working as an actress, Heidi taught private acting and musical theater classes in the New York City area. Heidi lives in Spartanburg, SC with her 5 year old daughter and rock star boyfriend.