KZOOKIDS Turns 10! Meet the Team Supporting SWMI Families


KZOOKIDS Celebrates 10 Years as the #1 Resource for SWMI Families

Started in 2013 by founder Jill Piwko, KZOOKIDS has become the one-stop-shop for families in SW Michigan.

From local events to preschools to the best doctors and playgrounds, our brand (and team) has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade.

We pride ourselves on being the “hyper local” experts for our readers in Kalamazoo, Portage, Battle Creek, Schoolcraft and beyond in Southwest Michigan.

Joining the GRKIDS & Co Team

In 2018, Jill sold KZOOKIDS to Grand Rapids Kids founder Melody Vanderwide and we joined the GRKIDS & Co family.

Along with HeyGR, Lansing Family Fun and Hey Michigan, we connect with readers across the state.

Meet the Team

Ever wonder who works behind the scenes at KZOOKIDS?

Consider this your backstage pass to meet the local moms of KZOOKIDS and GRKIDS & Co that power Kalamazoo Kids. We are passionate about supporting local families and are so glad you’re here!

PS: Looking for new or different content? My inbox is always open- I would love to hear from you!

— Liz Delonis, Editor

GRKIDS & Co Founder

Starting with Grand Rapids Kids in 2009, Melody transitioned from chemistry teacher to small business owner and now serves as the Creative Director of GRKIDS & Co.

Melody VanderWeide

Creative Director

INFJ. Mom of three. Idea chaser-People believer-Inspiration seeker. Together we make GR amazing – Let’s go!

Editorial & Copy Writing

Liz Delonis


Liz is native to the Mitten, having grown up in Metro Detroit. As a Kalamazoo transplant, this mom of two is passionate about connecting parents to find their villages. She enjoys working outside, using nerdy technology, and consuming more Twizzlers than necessary.

Sara Weeks

Copy Writer

Sara is a mom of two and a preschool teacher. Originally from Metro Detroit, she settled into her old green house in Marshall after moving across the country with her husband a few times. When she’s not driving her kids to their activities, you can catch her reading, baking cookies or planning their next family trip.

Jamie Woodburn

Copy Writer

Jamie is a Starbucks-addicted, pun-loving mother of eleven-year-old twins. She lives in Portage with her husband (who she met during a one-week free trial for an online dating site), said twins, and three Boxer doggos named LuLu, Dipper, and Mabel.

Katie Russell

Copy Writer
Newsletter Editor – KZOOKIDS, HeyGR, GRKIDS

Katie is a mom to three wild boys. She loves to travel, go camping and do DIY projects with her husband. She is always in the action with her kids, whether it’s coaching sports or volunteering at their school. At the end of the day, you can find Katie reading a book with a Diet Coke in hand.

Katie wears multiple hats for GRKIDS & Co, supporting both writing and social media.

KZOOKIDS Nightly Newsletter

Our emailed newsletter comes twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday evenings) and is short and sweet with local events and updates.

Sales & Marketing

Kelly Dentler

Sales & Marketing Coordinator, GRKIDS & Co

Kelly has a diverse background that has led her many different directions in her life, with her current combination of mom and GRKIDS & Co team member being her favorite. From 911 operator to box salesperson to interior decorating, her life experiences have taught her to “never say never” and always be open to new experiences.

She lives in Alto with her husband and two children and loves meeting new people and exploring new places.

Amy Newport

Client Sales, KZOOKIDS

When she’s not working with local businesses that enrich our community, you can see Amy embracing the great outdoors with her family by her side (with a backpack full of snacks to keep the adventure going strong!) Hiking, skiing, camping, golfing- you name the outdoor adventure she’s there! 

She also loves traveling, whether it’s embarking on a new local travel adventure or taking on longer journeys to experience diverse cultures around the world. When not traveling she finds solace in the garden, and loves exploring a variety of new projects to try on Pinterest. Amy is a mother of two wonderful kids, and lives with her husband in Portage. 

Social Media

This team helps spread the word on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Crystal Vriezema

Social Media Manager, GRKIDS & Co

As a mom to 3 crazy kids, Crystal’s life is busy, but she always finds time for her favorite hobbies. When she’s not working on a new painting or decorating a cake, she can often be found exploring the nearby hiking trails or spending time near the water. Crystal loves to travel and experience new things, and she has taken her family on many adventures over the years.

Cassandra Mickel


Cassandra is a native Michigander with a love/hate relationship with Michigan weather. Raising three boys and a husband is quite the adventure, spending time outside is a must for this family. Cassandra is a book lover who loves the escape of the page. She is passionate about her friends and family and bringing people together.

Katie Weyenberg


Katie Weyenberg is a freelance professional with experience in digital marketing, sales, content creation, and social media management. She currently lives in Texas Corners with her husband and two children. Outside of work, Katie enjoys dance, yoga, Pilates, and spending time in nature, including relaxing at her cabin up north.

Katie Russell

Instagram, KZOOKIDS
Lead Gen Manager, GRKIDS & Co

Katie is a mom to three wild boys. She loves to travel, go camping and do DIY projects with her husband. She is always in the action with her kids, whether it’s coaching sports or volunteering at their school. At the end of the day, you can find Katie reading a book with a Diet Coke in hand.

Katie wears multiple hats for GRKIDS & Co, supporting both writing and social media.

Kristine Fluker

Social Media Ads
Client Analytics

Kristine is a Michigan native and loves exploring our great state while camping with her husband and two teenagers. If she has any time to herself, you will probably find her curled up with a good book.

GRKIDS & Co Administrative Team

Erin Russell

Office Manager

Erin is a musician who attempts to balance out her right-brained career choice with some left-brained office management and organization here at GRKIDS & Co. During the lulls in her active schedule, Erin enjoys time with her family, cottage time by the lake and trying out new recipes for healthy meals. She live in Grand Rapids with her husband and two children.

Keri Siemens

Ad Manager 

Keri is a wife and mom of four who loves exploring new spots around GR, but is equally happy enjoying “pizza and movie nights” at home with the family. When she is not managing ads for GRKIDS & Co, chauffeuring children, or trying out a new crockpot recipe, you can probably find her attempting to enjoy a cup of coffee before it gets cold.

Tiffany Kamphuis

Giveaway Manager
Calendar Coordinator

Tiffany is a wife and mom to three active, hungry, growing boys. She thrives on organization, cooking and baking healthy food, as well as time spent with family. She lives in the Lakeshore area and enjoys all that West Michigan has to offer, but loves to travel, explore different areas, and photograph all of their adventures.

Christie Tidd

Graphic Designer 

Christie is a Chicago native, turned Michigander.  She’s a freelance graphic designer, wife to Gary and stay at home mom to three pretty great kids!  When she’s not being the social director, crossing off all 50 states with her family, she enjoys time at the lake, organizing anything, watercolor painting, enjoying a good hard cider and volunteering at school and church.

The KZOOKIDS Team is Ready for the Next Decade

We are thrilled to be a part of the SWMI community- stay tuned to see what’s next at KZOOKIDS!