About Us


Btweens Co-Founders

Valerie Foster, Publisher

In 1980 Valerie began her career in publishing at Runner’s World, Fit, and Swimwear Illustrated magazines. She was involved in all aspects of sales, marketing, PR, promotions, and developing local and national events.

In 1993, recognizing that publishing was her passion; Valerie addressed an unmet need for quality information for women over 35, by founding éternelle magazine. éternelle, a women’s lifestyle publication, focused on issues relating to health, fitness, beauty, family, finance, and career. éternelle and Valerie garnered numerous awards for excellence in bringing quality information to women.

In conjunction with éternelle, Valerie produced an annual, non-profit run and walk benefiting a number of charity and special interest groups, including: breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and battered women awareness organizations. The fitness event attracted nationally known celebrities, Olympic athletes, and multi-national corporate sponsors to support the event.

In 1998, the American Business Women’s Association lauded Valerie as “Most Outstanding American Business Women” and in 1996; she was the recipient of the prestigious “Women of Achievement Award” for Excellence in Communication, awarded by the Women’s Fund and the San Jose Mercury News.

Since the sale of éternelle in 1999 to a Forbes magazine affiliate, Valerie has been working as a marketing consultant. In addition, in 2009, recognizing the need to help young girls understand the many changes and challenges confronting them, she has come full-circle and teamed up with Kelly Braun and Terry Price to co-found GurlTrendz.com.  

“Throughout my life, I have been passionate about helping to inspire and educate women about the importance of feeling good and living healthy. Now, in the latest chapter of my life and a grandmother of tween girls, I have shifted my focus to young girls hoping to help them become more confident and develop into healthy, young women.” — Valerie Foster


Kelly Braun, PhD, Director of Product Development

Kelly is the Director of Product Development for Btweens.com. She is also the founder of Braun Gordon Research LLC, a product experience research firm that focuses on delivering customer insights to successfully grow business results while providing a winning customer experience.

Kelly has been involved in the human-computer interaction field for over 30 years as both a computer scientist and cognitive psychologist. Kelly holds a BS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Duke University.

Kelly spent 10 years leading user experience research teams at eBay and PayPal. Earlier in her career, she worked at both Oracle and Bell-Northern Research. Throughout her career, Kelly has participated in numerous professional conferences, panels and papers and is a co-author of the book “Usability: The Site Speaks for Itself”.

While Kelly was a student at Georgia Tech she became the first female editor-in-chief of the school newspaper The Technique. That year she also won Best Editorial from the Georgia Collegiate Press association. She has since been honored as one of Georgia Tech’s “Fifty Firsts” celebrating 50 years of woman at Georgia Tech. Kelly is still active with her alma mater and is on the Advisory Board for the College of Computing at Georgia Tech.

Kelly’s passion and greatest joy is her 11-year-old daughter.



Terry Price, Creative Director

A well-rounded art director and graphic designer with over 15 years of experience, Terry specializes in developing brand marketing materials for print, publishing, web, and interactive media. Her ability to manage multiple projects and visualize the big picture while keeping the details in focus makes Terry an important contributor to our success.

Her diverse career experience as a digital design and multimedia instructor, publication designer and art director, and web designer is invaluable to our team.

Terry has worked with notable agencies such as: Halleck Design; Pulse; and Corsi, Carter, Israel; along with well-known publishing companies and corporations including Sunset magazine; Renaissance Publications; Time, Inc.; Intuit; and Semi Corp. As Art Director at Renaissance Publications, Terry oversaw feature articles and monthly department layouts for San Jose Magazine, Home Digest, and Bay Area Lawyer.

In 2008, Terry received the prestigious San Francisco Peninsula Press Club Award for magazine layout design.


Btweens Executive Team

Hope Patricia Daly, Marketing & Public Relations Director

Hope is a Public Relations specialist who believes in the power of public relations, media, and creative partnerships. She owns and operates a full-service agency specializing in lifestyle public relations with emphasis in small business, luxury products, fashion, health and fitness, medical and day spas, juvenile products, talent and events.

Her unparalleled energy, hands on approach, and imaginative thinking is fueled by her innate creativity. Hope positively impacts her clients’ business through development of strategic media and communications programs, and partnerships that resonate with a media savvy public perceptive to her clients’ contributions in the world of lifestyle.

Hope has a proven track record of success creating recognition by delivering top-tier media placements for both established and emerging brands and clients alike.

In addition to her contributions in the world of PR, she is a non-stop contributor to a myriad of philanthropic causes and events, and donates countless hours of her creative time to causes both large and small. hope@hpdpr.com


Erin Parisi Simmons, Web Technology Director

Erin graduated from UC Davis in 1992 receiving a BA in International Relations and Economics.

She has worked within internet marketing organizations since 1993 and spent the majority of her career as a web development engineer and manager. Erin’s expertise includes having a good eye for design, leading complex design projects, and building them into coded product. Erin has worked with many high profile companies including: Intel, Netscape, and eBay.

Currently she is Principal for circle8media.com and is leading various projects for her own company’s success. Erin loves to travel and manages a household with her husband and two young boys that are learning French and Spanish at school and at home.


Btweens Experts

Linda McCarthy, Internet Security

Linda McCarthy is an accomplished author and computer security expert with 20+ years experience in security auditing, consulting, and training. The former Senior Director of Internet Safety at Symantec, McCarthy’s corporate experience has included positions as VP of Professional Services at Recourse Technologies, and Manager of Security Research and Development at Sun Microsystems. She also founded the front-line security firm, Network Defense. McCarthy received the prestigious Women of Influence award for computer security from CSO Magazine and Alta Associates, an award honoring outstanding achievement in security, privacy and risk management. She has also written extensively on security topics. McCarthy’s published works include IT Security: Risking the Corporation and Intranet Security: Stories from the Trenches.

Seeing the shift in attacks moving from corporate networks to home networks around 2004, McCarthy developed an internet education outreach program for teens at Symantec, working under the Office of the CTO. In 2006, she then published Own Your Space: Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online, a book specifically written for teens and their families.

Realizing that every family needs access to computer security training, McCarthy published the expanded and fully updated 2010 edition of Own Your Space under Creative Commons Licensing. With the help of corporate sponsors, Own Your Spaceis now available worldwide for free download from various corporate, non-profit, and social networking sites, including Facebook and MySpace.

While continuing to update and expand the Own Your Space project, McCarthy appears frequently as a guest blogger on various sites and continues to work with companies around the globe to help educate families about security.


Btweens Contributors

StorySnoops, Book review website

The StorySnoops are four moms from the San Francisco Bay Area. Passionate readers ourselves, we each strive to foster a life-long love of reading in our children, who run the gamut from the truly voracious to the most reluctant of readers. After a meeting of the minds and a pooling of talent, StorySnoops was founded to help other parents seek out books that reflect the interests and experiences of their own children. Our search features identify tween and teen fiction for every type of reader. Curious about content? Our book reviews from a parent’s perspective will give you the scoop.


Kristine Carlson, Author

An unyielding believer of living in the moment and finding happiness in life, Kristine has been featured on national radio and television broadcasts, including: The Today Show, Empowered Living Radio, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Kristine is an internationally known author of the national bestseller Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Women; An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love; and her newest title, Heartbroken Open: A Memoir Through Loss to Self-Discovery.

She is co-author with her husband, the late Dr. Richard Carlson, of the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff series, and co-author of the national bestseller Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love.

Kristine is a devoted Mother of two dynamic girls and Nana to her wonderful grandson. She prides herself on creating healthy life-long relationships and personal growth.  www.kristinecarlson.com


Morgan Mendonca, High School Freshman and GurlTrendz Fiction Writer

Morgan has been involved in dance for most of her life. She was on a competition team for a year and participated in her school’s dance production for three years. She is looking forward to trying out for her school’s dance team next year. She recently picked up the hobby of playing the guitar and while she has been playing for less than a year, she is excited to learn more.

Morgan has always been academically focused. She has maintained excellent grades, and at her eighth grade graduation, she received the President’s Award for Academic Excellence for her outstanding performance throughout middle school.

When Morgan has free time, she loves to be with her friends, listen to music, shop, and be with her family.


Stephanie Grace Lim, Photographer and Illustrator

Fueled by high-octane pigtails and a steady diet of frozen yogurt, Stephanie Grace Lim is a photo-illustrating design machine. Winning hundreds of top industry awards, she has been nationally recognized for her photography, illustrations and design. Among them; acclaim from Nikon, Society of News Design, National Press Photographers Association, the California, North Carolina & Michigan Press Photographer Associations, Associated Press, National Headliner Awards, as well as winning Michigan College Photographer of the Year and a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

Sherpas have scaled the mountain of toys in Stephanie’s cubicle at eBay. Other heroic expeditions have taken place at the San Jose Mercury News, Charlotte Observer, Ann Arbor News and the University of Michigan. Her work has been featured in Life Magazine, People, Ebony, Photographer’s Forum and Print, as well as being chosen to design the 17th Annual San Jose Jazz Festival poster.

In addition to being a graphic artist at Apple, Principal Creative Designer at eBay, and Features Design Director at the San Jose Mercury News, she’s been a hip-hop dance teacher, taiko drummer, wushu ninja, and a jet-setting creativity seminar speaker. In her spare time, Stephanie can be found hugging fat kitties, animating googly-eyed creatures and training to be a world-famous sumo wrestler.

Her work can be seen at www.stephaniegracelim.com and www.stephaniegracelimphotography.com


T, Photographer

Teresa — affectionately known as “T” — has been enamored with color, imagery, and artwork from her first coloring books at age three to her first pictures taken on a Kodak instamatic (thanks to baby-sitting money) at age 13. After experimenting with cameras for nearly two decades, T found her calling in the high-end world of digital cameras and computer technology. Honing her graphic skills — on a Mac of course, T ultimately sealed her fate as the intensely passionate photographic artist we know and love today. Although highly technical, T keeps from getting bogged down with f-stops and apertures by devoting herself to capturing the authentic expression of her subjects the moment the expression happens right in front of her. Moved deeply by dance, music, and the intimacies she quietly observes between friends and families, the multi-faceted beauty of T’s subjects is exactly what shows up in her lens . The resulting photographs never cease to deeply move T’s clients as she somehow, consistently, captures the essence as well as the image itself.

Excited to bring the fun and joy of these foto-journalistic sessions to more and more of the community, | FOTOS BY T | has opened its own Bay Area bricks-and-mortar, turn-of-the-century-buildling-slash-super-hip studio. This unique, late 18th Century vintage Queen-Anne studio offers more than just a place to get some photos taken. It is an experience just walking the grounds and seeing all the options. Come see for yourself. Visit us at: 2828 South Bascom Ave., San Jose, CA 95124.  www.fotosbyt.com 408 316 1613


 Whitney Randall, Nutritionist

Whitney is a registered dietitian who graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. She has a passion for health, wellness, and most importantly child nutrition. Whitney is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the School Nutrition Association. She works for Network for a Healthy California to motivate children to eat more fruits and vegetables and enjoy 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

She is also the nutritionist for a non-profit organization called Kid’s Walk Across America. Kid’s Walk Across America provides a free fitness, education, and nutrition program to help kids of all ages walk, connect, and discover healthy choices for life. Whitney has experience working with and providing nutrition education to children, adults, and patients with eating disorders. She finds nutrition to be a fascinating and evolving field of study and would like to raise awareness on the topic.


Jennifer Hadley, Intern

Jennifer graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism with a focus in health science. While at SJSU she served as managing editor for the student magazine Access, which was a first place winner in the Online Magazine category in the 2010 Student Magazine Contest of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

She has also been a reporter, arts and entertainment editor and features editor for SJSU’s student newspaper the Spartan Daily. Jennifer is currently managing editor of SHiFT, a student-run magazine focused on innovating for the common good.

Aside from writing and editing, she also has passion for working with kids and Btweens. She has nannied for several families for the last three years and loves doing art projects, going to the park and playing games.


Heather Roberts, High School Senior and Intern

Heather Roberts is currently a high school senior in San Jose, CA. She has played on the Mitty volleyball team for the last 3 years including this year’s National Championship team. For the last 7 years Heather has played volleyball on her school and club teams and loves it!

Although it can be challenging to juggle school and a varsity sport, throughout high school Heather has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll. For the last two years, she volunteered two weeks each summer to work with children at Walden West Summer Camp and distributes food and clothing to needy families at Sacred Heart Community Center.

In her spare time, Heather loves going to the beach, hanging out with friends, listening to music, baking delicious desserts and reading magazines for fashion ideas!


Alex Ware, Book Correspondent

A self-proclaimed nerd, Alex Ware spent her childhood traveling the world with her military parents. She developed a passion for the arts early on, most notably with music and literature. Alex can almost always be found with tea in her hands, and in her spare time she enjoys listening to live music, reading, dabbling in board sports, playing video games, shopping, baking, and exploring!


Lisa Cagliostro, Master Stylist and Makeup Artist

Founder and owner of Sono Bellezza Rejuvenation Studio, Lisa has been in the beauty industry for over 25 years. She has worked with Olympic athletes, politicians, television personalities and many non-profit organizations.

Lisa loves bringing out a person’s natural beauty, helping them look and feel confident.  www.sonobellezza.com


Ed Gordon, Photographer

Ed is a 20-year veteran of Silicon Valley in both engineering and sales. For the last 6 years Ed has been a stay-at-home dad for his now 9-year old daughter.

Ed became interested in photography after buying a digital camera when his daughter was born. His favorite photo subjects are his daughter and flowers. Ed enjoys growing roses and began photographing some of his favorites. He is now pursuing a business selling his photographs of roses and other flowers on his website and at craft fairs.

He has, also, armed his daughter with a digital camera of her own. She took this photo of him. www.edgordonpix.com


Todd Francini, Photographer

For seven years at Tankersley Studio in San Francisco, Todd digitally retouched and assisted large photo shoots with such clients as Apple, Nike, Macy’s, Method, Benefit Cosmetics, Cost Plus, and Ford Motor Company in production of product and catalog shots.

Todd is currently working on a photography collection focusing on the ever evolving world of urban art and graffiti writers. As an avid traveler, mountain climber, and surfer; adventure and sports photography is where his heart lies. Todd’s photo capturing the catch of Barry Bonds home run to tie Babe Ruth’s record was featured in sports pages across the country. From shooting Mayan pyramids deep in the Guatemalan jungle, to L’ Aquila, Italy for a wedding photo shoot, Todd’s camera is always in hand.

Todd’s clients have included: the Legion of Honor, de Young Museum, Planet Granite, éternelle magazine, and USA productions. He has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Climbing, Rock and Ice, and éternelle magazines. His photography is featured in the Legion of Honor and Planet Granite for their brochures.  www.toddfrancini.ifp3.com


GurlTrendz Advisors

Mark J. Young, Finance

Mark, a former financial consultant and manager at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc. and H&R Block Financial Advisors, Inc. for more than a decade, is assisting in our operational business planning and development.

For 7-years, Mark served as an advisor for éternelle magazine, a women’s lifestyle publication, in restructuring production, distribution, circulation and fulfillment operations. Additionally, Mark managed legal, licensing, and trademark activities, secured startup funding, and eventually negotiated the sale of éternelle to a Forbes magazine affiliate. mjyoung2@comcast.net

Mark is the grandfather of two tween girls, and loves that they laugh at his jokes!