Southside Super Moms | Cleveland Southside Moms

Southside Has Some Powerful Super Moms!

In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight some game-changers in our community that are truly inspiring!

Jen Kontur

Meet “Miss Jen”.  She is the owner of Learning Ladder Gymnastics in Northfield, Ohio.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Childhood Education and was a Title 1 Teacher for several years before becoming a mom of three.  Jen has been teaching gymnastics since 2003 and started her own business in 2016, while she was pregnant with her second child.  Learning Ladder began as a mobile business where Jen went into local schools and other facilities to teach classes.  In 2021 she embarked on a new journey and opened her own facility, growing the business with three small children in tow.  Learning Ladder Gymnastics is all about teaching children to love physical fitness. Children as young as early walkers can participate and enjoy the sport.  They offer weekly educational classes, summer camps, and other fun monthly events.  They believe in teaching proper form and technique and skill progression to give each child the tools to reach their fullest potential.  At Learning Ladder the teachers are dedicated to make each individual child’s experience enjoyable and worthwhile so that they feel valued, gain self-confidence and leave with fond memories that will last a lifetime.  When Jen is not teaching she is enjoying time spent with family and friends as well as traveling.  Her family’s favorite vacation spot is Disney World.  Jen is your typical busy on-the-go mom who you might run into at your local Target or at school pick up.  Teaching is her passion and she feels truly blessed to have a place of her own for children to laugh, learn and grow!

Caitlin Lagnese

Caitlin Lagnese is a 32 year old stay-at-home mom and mental health & wellness blogger based outside of Cleveland. She is a passionate supporter of wellness, who has dealt with mental health issues, aiming to make a difference for others struggling to be perfect in an imperfect world. After years of therapy and self-discovery, her life and perspective changed, leading her to help others in their path to wellness.

ReelChat was developed by the guiding principles of trust, open-mindedness, and acceptance. This tribe exists to support and uplift fellow “chatters” and provides a safe place to voice your struggles and seek guidance from others who have experienced the same. ReelChat provides commentary from subject matter experts and professionals, giving you an outlet for trusted information. From fitness and organization to anxiety and depression, ReelChat brings you meaningful content and a safe place to participate in raw and meaningful conversation. Together we will ditch the highlight reel mentality one post at a time!

Lisa Stewart

Renowned beauty industry expert Lisa Stewart is a trusted skincare expert whose passion and tireless efforts have earned her a place in the market as one of the country’s most beloved and most sought-after skincare professionals. She is the guest beauty expert for Fox, The Doctor’s, writer, and advisory board member for Skin Inc; she is the founder and owner of Solia Spa in Brecksville and Peri Skin Care and is a co-host for the national TV show, Lite It Up TV.

In April, Lisa will bring a dream to fruition by launching her nonprofit, Michael’s Promise. Michael’s Promise is to help children and young adults overcome trauma from sexual abuse. They have created a safe space to offer love, support, and transformational tools to help heal. Survivors deserve to live a beautiful life without fear and shame.

Rachel Malec

Rachel Malec is a mom to two boys Roman (4yo) and Jude(19mo) living in Brecksville.  She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and founder of Hope For Hydro, a nonprofit dedicated to improving lives and supporting those suffering from the incurable brain condition hydrocephalus.  

In 2018 her firstborn son was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and she went from planning his birth to preparing for brain surgery and a lifetime fight against this incurable condition.  After the initial shock and devastation of his diagnosis, she vowed she could not let this disease steal her family’s happiness and decided to fight back.  In 2020 Hope for Hydro was founded and has since donated over $20,000 toward hydrocephalus research.  Hope For Hydro also provides resources and a network for parents and patients.  Rachel founded Hope For Hydro to fight for not only her son but all sufferers worldwide.  There is so much to learn about managing this lifelong disease, from knowing symptoms, different treatment options, therapies needed, specialists to see, and even navigating school needs as children get older.  She vows to fight for a cure and better advocacy until she takes her last breath and is happy to help any parent advocate for their child’s medical needs.  

Claire Firrell

Claire moved from UK with her husband’s job in 1999. She had three kids and got divorced when the kids were 2,4 and 6 years old.
As a full-time working mom, she was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2015. Surgery, chemo, more surgeries, radiation, chemo, thyroid cancer, surgery, and now she has been on chemo three days every other week since April 2018. She was given three years to live at that point and has been on disability since then. She has kicked ass and is still here living an awesome life with her kiddos! She took the kids to Australia for three weeks in July 2019. Then, did a quick trip to Kanab, Utah last year. She has participated in Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s Velosano Bicycling fundraiser since 2018 raising $60k+.  “Don’t wait for the perfect time to do anything – it will never be here -do it now!” She said.

Jennie Levak

Jennie Levak, lives in Peninsula, with three children, two girls ages 15 and 8 and one boy aged 12. Jennie worked hard after her divorce to transition from a stay-at-home to a licensed therapist.   Although this wasn’t the life she dreamed or envisioned, she has taken her difficult journey and turned it into something that she uses to help others. She is the most active mom, keeps herself in phenomenal shape, and is constantly out playing with her kids and involving them in something active and fun. She has advocated in her local school district for the rights of children and has done so without fear for her own reputation or what others might think. She educates herself on the cultural issues at hand and stands firm for what she believes.  She has been an amazing friend and support for other women going through devastating divorces, and she has done all this while holding firm to her Christian faith and love for Jesus.

Erika

Erika is a fierce professional who is a passionate mama to her two little ones. She works for the legal system and deals with the ugly side of humanity daily.   She works hard and still manages to be the sweetest and most intentional mom to her two littles. Erika is an amazing friend who has also provided unwavering guidance to other women dealing with toxic relationships and how to manage these relationships in the best interest of the children. Erika takes excellent care of her health and is a force to be reckoned with. She has suffered many losses in her life, which has caused her to embrace each day and each loved one with a love and passion that is unparalleled.   She is a strong woman of faith with a gangster heart.

Wendy Becerra

Wendy currently owns two Jazzercise Fitness Centers, one in Wadsworth and one Medina, and loves instructing at both locations. Learning new routines to new music and putting fun, heart-pounding sets together for her classes is what she enjoys most. Sharing fitness with those on their journey to better health and wellness is something she does not take lightly. She remembers how exercise got her through so many stressful moments in motherhood.
 
Wendy strives to be an excellent franchise owner and leader to her team. They work hard to hit levels that matter to Jazzercise and have worked equally hard to create an environment for their customers that allows them to come to class, be themselves and escape the worries of the day. 
 
 It’s very rewarding joining in on events within our Jazzercise community. Most recently they worked together and collected items for women and children who are victimized by sex trafficking by donating much-needed personal care items to the RAHAB Ministry out of Akron/Canton. (rahab-ministries.org)
 
When she is not at the fitness centers, she is walking her dogs or hanging out with my family. She also enjoys helping lead a local women’s Bible study and volunteering at One of a Kind Pet Rescue in Akron.  
 

Amy Morton

Amy was given 6 months to live and is now alive and loving life one and a half years later. She is working to heal her body from stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She includes many protocols that have been working to improve her quality and quantity of life, such as natural, alternative, integrative, supplemental, and more to accompany western medicine. She was the perfect storm before this diagnosis, she said. At the moment of diagnosis, she determined to find her joy and peace while appreciating every moment, regardless of what came her way. Amy says to value the time versus getting stuck in anger, disappointment, frustration, perfectionism. Even though she is human and falters she succeeds in it more now. She said she wants to scream it from the rooftops so each person can live their best life now, experiencing joy and peace. Amy lives in Macedonia. She has 3 sons, a grandchild, and one on the way. She said it is God’s grace that she is here to meet her granddaughter and she looks forward to meeting her next grandchild. 

Join The Cleveland Southside Moms Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around The Cleveland Southside Moms community with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.

Join Our Community!

Get monthly event highlights, exclusive offers, invites, and more sent directly to your inbox!

Thanks for joining us!