Meredith Bodgas: Editor-in-Chief, Working Mother magazine

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Bio:

Meredith Bodgas was named Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother magazine and Workingmother.com in December, 2016. Prior to that, she oversaw the relaunch of Firstforwomen.com and Womansworld.com as executive editor at Bauer Xcel Media, helped Hearst's WomansDay.com become an online powerhouse as senior editor, and served on the staffs at magazines, including Parenting, Babytalk, and local editions of Brides, published by Conde Nast. She has also worked at The Knot's national and regional magazines and Ladies' Home Journal, and websites, like Whattoexpect.com and Businessweek.com.

She served as a speaker at the She Runs It ‘Working Mothers of the Year” event for media executives, and bridal expos, on behalf of the major wedding brands she represented. Meredith has been interviewed by major media and has also contributed to books published by Harper Collins, Penguin and Clarkson Potter. Meredith was born in Manhattan, where she lived with her working parents until they moved to Staten Island, NY. She attended the borough's public schools and was offered the Presidential Scholarship at Brandeis University, in Waltham, MA. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in American Studies, and a minor in journalism. Meredith has written for many national outlets, including Nytimes.com, Glamour, Redbook, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan.com and Mensfitness.com. She had a popular blog on Glamour.com for nearly two years.

What do I do best?

Drawing from personal experience to candidly tell stories and connect with an online audience. It’s counterintuitive, but I’ve found that the more specific and open I am about my feelings—on everything from weddings to getting pregnant to parenting—the more universally relatable the topic becomes.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Using setbacks to spur me forward. It’s so easy to wallow in despair when a job doesn’t go the way you had hoped, but when it’s happened to me, it’s made me think, “OK, what went wrong here? What parts were my fault? What parts were out of my control and how could I have recognized those sooner? What do I want from my next role that this didn’t afford me? How can I make sure I get it?”

What are my aspirations?

On the personal front, I want to retire early. I love the work I do, but nothing makes me sadder than hearing about people who die within a year or two of stopping working. My husband and I live fairly frugally in hopes of achieving this.

On the business side, achievement unlocked! Ever since I was starting out in magazines, my goal was to become the editor-in-chief of a brand I admire and with which I identify. So now I want to get good enough at it that my team and I start winning awards.  

My Biggest Success?

Landing the editor-in-chief position at Working Mother magazine and workingmother.com, hands down. I had VERY big shoes to fill—two sets, in fact. But getting to revitalize the brand to become a haven for millennial and younger Gen X moms has been a dream come true.

My Most Challenging Moment?

When I’ve had to cut out people who wanted me to be someone I’m not. Recognizing that folks who have been in your life for years don’t actually support you is hard and humbling. Making a clean break from them is impossible in the Internet era, but limiting contact is, and can be so restorative. There have even been times when the separation has led to a better understanding of each other and a more civil coexistence.

My Motto?

If it doesn’t move the needle, it’s not worth doing. I mostly apply it to my professional life, as my team can attest. Whatever work isn’t going to help us meet goals, I’ll always deprioritize it to make time for the work that will get us closer to where we need to be. The mantra has personal applications too, especially when it comes to my son. If an activity or event is not going to make his life better, even if there’s pressure to attend, I’m probably going to skip it for the family’s collective sanity.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My paternal grandmother. She survived the Holocaust, losing a child, losing a husband and being a single mom with little support in New York City. Whenever my life feels tough (my second pregnancy is currently making me feel sick nearly 24/7), I think of what she endured and it reminds me how manageable my first-world problems are.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

The Tuscan countryside. I hope to get to a point financially and professionally where I can spend a few weeks with my family in a villa, just eating good food and enjoying each other’s company.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

My maternal grandmother’s wedding band. It doesn’t really go with my engagement ring, but since I lost my actual wedding band when I pulled it off on a train because pregnancy had caused my fingers to swell, it’s been a sentimental stand-in.

My Current Passions?

Karaoke. I don’t get to do it very often. When I do, though, I put my all into it. The result is far from professional-quality, but I like to think at least some people who watch me think it’s fun to witness.

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