Kate Hall, 39 

Founder, RichmondMom.com

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST

What motivated Kate Hall to found RichmondMom.com was a narrowly averted tragedy. While the mother of three was fixing lunch, her 2-year-old knocked an infant sleeping in her car seat off the counter. The baby wasn't snapped in, and after an ambulance ride, two nights in the hospital and six months of follow-up, finally she was pronounced just fine.

But the experience left its mark. "I felt really guilty," Hall says. "I felt like a horrible mother. It was then that I thought I needed to do something with the experience. So after we knew she was fine, I started sketching out what I wanted the blog to look like." She worked on it from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., after the children were in bed. In January 2009, the site started with the intention of providing Richmond parents a place to share challenges, stories and information.

Hall expects the site to reach 170,000 unique visits this year. Her aim is to keep things positive and not advocate for any particular style of child rearing. "Let's try to help each other out," she says, "and not get into the mommy-war thing."

Also busy as full-time project manager at Capital One, Hall credits her staff with keeping the site successful. "I feel like the writers and the content manager really helped get us to where we are today," she says. "The site belongs to every single person who reads it, and the writers, as much as it belongs to me."

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