Smart + Stylish Mom Spotlight: How to Manage Multiple Careers
Today’s smart + stylish mom is Kerri Yoder Hubbard, a 39-year old non-profit executive by day and actress/writer/producer/social entrepreneur all the time. She lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Bryan, son Blake (17 months) and stepson Kyle (20 years old).
Kerri is a graduate of Yale (BA in Economics) and the London School of Economics (MA in Health Policy, Planning & Financing). Most recently, she’s worked in major gift fundraising for the sciences & entrepreneurship/non-profit development at UCLA. She’s currently transitioning to hospital philanthropy/nonprofit development for Providence Health & Services to raise money for local hospitals in the South Bay (including the hospital where her son was born!).
In 2011, Kerri founded Youth Health Watch (YHW), a non-profit organization that empowers youth to be healthcare leaders and agents of change in their homes, schools, and wider communities.
Youth Health Watch fitness day at New Designs Charter School 
For most people, that would be enough, right? But, no, not Kerri. And that’s precisely why she’s so incredibly awesome and so incredibly busy too. Smart, gorgeous, talented and the woman is B-U-S-Y!
I met Kerri in 2001 when we were both graduate students in London. One of the best things about studying abroad, and particularly in London, was the time we had outside of the classroom. Imagine being in class for only a few hours a week and then having the rest of time to study, travel, live and explore the world. Since most of my friends didn’t own TVs, the time we would have spent watching the tube was often used to catch live theater, which was cheap and extremely accessible to students.
In Kerri’s case though, she wasn’t just going to the theater, she was performing in it too! During her time at the London School of Economics, Kerri was also enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
For those of you who don’t know, this is a pretty big deal. Each year, for the past hundred or so, the Academy has selected the most talented actors, designers and technicians from among thousands of applicants who audition for spots to receive the Academy’s coveted training. Ever heard of Sir Anthony Hopkins, Maggie Gyllenhaal or what about Clive Owen? Yep, they’re all Academy alums and so is Kerri.
She’s also studied at the Woolly Mammoth and Shakespeare Theaters in DC; has appeared in numerous film, TV, and theater productions in the US and abroad; and has several TV and feature film scripts in development (check out the impressive list below).
In our interview, Kerri shares with me how she juggles all of her real-life roles, including her most recent and most important role as a mom.
Riche: What's your favorite part of being a mom?
Kerri: Watching my son experience and explore the world with pure joy; and the look he gives me to make sure I am watching him experience ALL that the world has to offer. Children seek that validation from their parents and the confidence that ensues from experiencing what validation feels like.
Riche: What's your favorite thing to do with your son?
Kerri: I just love to watch him play, laugh, and be kind to others. Daycare drop-offs and pick-ups are also fun, as I love to watch him interact with other children. Trips to the beach are also fun!
Riche: Health care advocacy is a big part of your life, both at work and home. What advice can you give to other moms who are looking for ways to be better health care advocates for their children?
Kerri: Exercise with your children and encourage healthy eating and a low-sugar diet from an early age. I love to take Blake out on the jogging stroller with me, and he loves to stretch with me and do yoga. Also, when we go to the grocery store, I love to teach him about the various fruits and vegetables, colors, and textures that natural un-processed food has to offer. I also remind him how replenishing and refreshing water is! He makes the "aaaaaaahhhhh" sound like Mommy does after a nice gulp of water.
Riche: You’re also a stepmom to 20-year old, Kyle, who you have a great relationship with. Can you tell me more about how you’ve bonded with him over the years?
Kerri: I have always listened to and supported Kyle, and never attempted to take the place of his mother, who is very much present in his life. At my wedding to Bryan, Kyle gave an extemporaneous speech proclaiming that, "It's because of Kerri that I became closer to my Dad." I helped "raise" Kyle through his critical teenage years, age 14 to high school graduation. Now, I am proud to say that he is a biology major, studying pre-med at UC Irvine and on a track scholarship. I used to give him the advice my Dad (a math teacher) would give me: "Study tight and right, not long and wrong." When he started to quote this back to me and tell me that he has shared this with other kids, I knew I had done something right.
Riche: What's the smartest decision you've made since becoming a mom?
Kerri: Learning to "let go" and the wisdom that comes with understanding that “we can do it all, but we don't have to do it all right now.” I just try to make incremental steps every day on my dreams while remembering that balance - eating properly, exercising, and getting enough sleep is essential to being a well-balanced individual (mom, wife, sister, aunt and friend).
Riche: How would you describe your mommy style (e.g., chic, classic, trendy, etc.)?
Kerri: I'd like to say I'm a combination of classy-chic, which is also my fashion style. I love classic fashion and parenting styles, with a hint of spice and modern flair.
Riche: What's your secret to being a great mom and looking great too?
Kerri: I try to get sleep and squeeze in exercise, and make a little time for myself. Time with girlfriends is important too! It's also important to continue to pursue your dreams/passions. Asking for help is also key! Outsourcing duties on the homefront helps (laundry, cleaning). ;-)
Riche: What's your favorite thing to do when you have some much-needed alone time?
Kerri: I love to run, do yoga, meditate, and work on my many creative pursuits.
Riche: Speaking of your creative pursuits, can you tell me about more about what you’re currently working on?
Kerri: Right now, I’m working on developing/shopping to scripts/films:
"Painful Price of Gold," is about the life of Tommie Smith and the road to the 1968 Olympics and what happened to him afterwards (Tommie is known for the iconic black power fist; misnomer is that he is a black militant; but he prefers to call himself a human rights advocate).
"For My Country," (which I'm co-writing) is about an African-American Vietnam war veteran-turned-deserter. He escaped war via a Japanese-Swedish based movement called "Behrein" which he learned of via a Japanese woman he fell in love with while on medical recovery in Yokohama, Japan. He deserted because he was told he would be going home after winning a Purple Heart, saving his platoon, and being critically wounded. In actuality, he was told that he would be sent back to the front lines. He didn't understand why he was fighting anymore. His lover helped him escape; and, in the end, his mother helped him gain amnesty back in the US.
I’m also developing two TV shows: "You Marry the Family," about an uber-wealthy dysfunctional family and a daughter trying to break free of the shackles of co-dependency by falling in love with a flower delivery guy AND "Trauma Squad," a comedy about a team of trauma surgeons - think Reno 911 meets Scrubs.
I still act, model, etc. (when I can)...
Riche: So, I have to ask…what’s next for you?!
Kerri: Well, since you asked (smile:-) here’s my wish list:
1) Expand YHW to schools across the US and eventually abroad;
2) Establish Community Health Watch - a think tank/foundation dedicated to providing technical assistance and consultant services to community health worker programs to help them build sustainability and growth;
3) Open up community health clinics, possibly called "Mother Hubbard Clinics"; and
4) Start a production company, possibly called "Mother Hubbard Productions."
Hey Haute Mamas! I'm Riche Holmes Grant, a modern mom + mompreneur who designs smart + stylish products that make your mommy gig easier.
When I'm not busy taking orders from my #miniboss, I'm contributing to MarthaStewart.com or in the kitchen whipping up delicious family-friendly creations in my BambiniWare Apronini.
Get my FREE book on How to Make the Best Food for Your Baby here!
I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband and daughter. Follow our adventures on Instagram via @BambiniWareLife!
- Riche Holmes Grant