About the Authors
Kori Reed and Mike Becker
MIKE: As her life partner for nearly twenty-five years, and an experienced dad, I can say that it takes a person who possesses a strength in creating harmony and a stable environent in the wake of her whirlwind, as well as a great sense of humor to handle and balance it all. Over the years, she promoted me from family manager to household CEO as I improved budget skills, demostrated the ability to take on more duties—from organizing the carpool to the household moves—and successfully led four people through the infant to young adult phases, parenthood with a purpose.
Kori’s professional career spans four states and Fortune 500 companies over nearly twenty-five years—most recently in Nebraska as a corporate Vice President at ConAgra Foods, a $16 billion household brand company. In her ten years leading strategic cause and social investments for the company, Kori earned recognition as an expert on domestic hunger, corporate philanthropy, and cause branding. She also served as Chairman for the Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals, a membership and professional development organization for more than 120 peer corporate professionals.
MIKE: I managed four moves, four states, and we added a new child born in each state; this included managing multiple moving companies as well as finding new schools, doctors, and friends who might understand why a man was at home during the day. In Illinois, I was instrumental in starting an at-home dad playgroup, a safe place where, “people would not think the dads were stalking their children because we were watching our own.”
Prior to her role in philanthropy, Kori spent fifteen years in corporate communication, earning progressive responsibilities at other Fortune 500 companies—Quaker Oats and PepsiCo (pre- and post-merger) and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Her communication experience encompassed managing an award-winning, daily, electronic newsletter, coordinating communications during a large company merger, and managing communications during labor work stoppages. She has been recognized with a CEO Award, Chairman-Award, and Spirit Award at the respective companies where she worked.
MIKE: I have been recognized in a Chicago suburb newspaper for my “Paternal Instincts” and in a subsequent article titled “A Man Among Moms: Stay-at-Home Dads Have Full-Time Reminders of Their Future.” My wife also wrote children’s books with me as the centerpiece and our family as the subject.
Kori has an innate curiosity about life that fuels her creativity, balanced by a willingness to be vulnerable and learn from others. Reed earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri–Columbia and a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
MIKE: A degree in marketing from Michigan State University –Go Green!—prepared me to do sales and marketing promotion for the first few years of our adult and early-married life… when I was fighting against what I promised Kori I would be when we were sixteen years old—I didn’t mean it!
Married with four children, Kori’s favorite thing to do while not in the office is to enjoy the pleasant chaos of the household she and her husband Mike created. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, they currently reside in Omaha, Nebraska, as children, one-by-one, leave the nest to build their own stories.
Kori, a natural communicator and storyteller, values authenticity and demonstrates that in her raw, tell-it-like-it-is prose with the purpose of helping people see things in new and creative ways that ultimately build a sense of commonality and community. She is a mom, willing to confess that she forgot the diaper bag if it makes someone feel connected versus alienated at times of self-inflicted inadequacy.
In the face of challenge, it takes vision to see the possible and pragmatism to make it come to life. As Gary Rodkin, former CEO of both ConAgra Foods and PepsiCo Beverage & Foods said, “Kori Reed has the amazing blend of passion and practicality that not only inspires, but actually makes wonderful things happen with a great sense of accountability.”