EqualPlay founder and CEO Katie Carlin wants working parents to have it all. A mother of three, a California attorney, a consultant, and a scientist, Katie has spent her entire professional career juggling the demands of family and the demands of work. Attending law school and starting her career while also serving as the primary caregiver for two energetic young boys, Katie found herself troubled by a system that makes it almost impossible for women to be empowered professionally and still happily connected to their kids.
In 2017, Katie earned a Master’s degree in Decision Science from the Minerva Schools at KGI. The program’s focus — finding straightforward solutions to complex global problems — inspired Katie to create The Garden. A hopeful intervention in a system that currently leaves mothers spiritually, economically, and emotionally drained, the concept behind The Garden is deceptively simple: accessible, flexible coworking space and high-quality childcare at the same location. It’s an easy fix that allows parents to continue on their professional paths while maintaining a warm bond with their children.
Because working parents need a better way.
Tien Teng serves as Head of Caregiving at EqualPlay, overseeing operations and ensuring that the children who spend time here feel safe, important, and genuinely respected. A magna cum laude graduate of UCLA, Tien believes in supporting and celebrating the intimate and unique bond between children and their parents because these relationships shape the foundation of a healthy, just society.
Tien has completed 21 units of early childhood education coursework and brings to The Garden three years of experience working with children in various settings, from nursery co-ops to traditional preschools. She also brings us her deep knowledge of communications and a natural savvy for operations from her former life in technology public relations. The mother of two wonderful kids, Tien is thrilled to be cultivating something that will make a real difference for working families like hers at The Garden by EqualPlay.
Susie Meserve is our staff writer and Communications Director here at Equal Play. She is responsible for the great pieces you can read on our Medium page about the joys and challenges of parenting in this tech-driven economy. Susie also handles our social media.
Susie is a writer, mother, and college writing professor. Her personal essays appear in Girlboss, Elle, Salon, Offbeat Families, Washington Post's On Parenting blog, and The New York Times Motherlode blog, and have been syndicated on Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping, and more.
Born and raised outside of Boston, Susie is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She lives with her husband and two young sons in Berkeley, California.
Growing up in a large family, MaryEllen Hodge always knew that she wanted to work with children. Beginning in high school, she volunteered in elementary school classrooms, worked as a Girl Scouts camp counselor, and provided nurturing, attentive care as a nanny to Peninsula families. She loves watching children express their individuality, supporting their learning as they grow and flourish.
MaryEllen earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Cañada College. She worked as a summer preschool teacher at Andrew’s Preschool in San Bruno and at The Carey School as an afterschool caregiver, while also investing in her love for animals by helping to manage a local Pet Food Express. (We’re not kidding about her love for animals: She cares for her two dogs, two parakeets, goldfish, and a small flock of hens at home!) MaryEllen is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders at San Francisco State.
MaryEllen is proud to be a part of the caregiving team as Head Caregiver at The Garden in San Mateo, bringing her sunny disposition and love of art projects to children every day.
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