Allison Karl O’Kelly
CEO and Founder, Mom Corps
A great job, a great husband, a great baby—Allison Karl O’Kelly had it all. But she wasn’t happy. So she gave up the chance
to become the first female district manager for Toys “R” Us in the Southeastern United States to spend more time with her firstborn child and her husband.
That was in 2003, before flextime became a common business practice. But O’Kelly thought there might be other women just like her. “We do want to work,” she says. “But we want to work in a way that makes sense for our families, however we define that.”
She started hiring moms to help with an accounting business she’d started, then found others with expertise in marketing, finance and human resources. “There was so much talent in the stay-at-home-mom pool,” O’Kelly says. “My focus turned
to finding employers who could use that talent.”
Mom Corps launched in 2004 as an online service matching professionals with employers. O’Kelly, her husband and their three children now live in Fort Washington, where she oversees the 10 regions with franchises—and she does it all from home.
There are 170,000 freelance professionals enrolled with the service. “Not all of them are moms,” says O’Kelly. “Stay-at-home dads make up about 10 percent of our workforce.”