Mandy Majors: Founder and Executive Director
Mandy’s parents divorced when she was three. After overcoming many bad teenage decisions, she graduated from Indiana University with a BA in political science and criminal justice and a minor in psychology. Mandy has now been happily married to her husband, Matt, for 18 years, and they’re raising two kids (ages 13 and 10) in a quaint little Texas community. Mandy has worked in the legal field for more than 20 years. For the past 12 years, Mandy has also volunteered at her home church.
This whole nextTalk adventure started in 2013 when Mandy’s older child—then 9 years old—asked a highly sexualized question. She didn’t know “this” existed until college. Mandy discovered that another fourth-grade child had watched a pornographic video on his own phone and shared specific details with her daughter. This was a lightbulb moment because her daughter didn’t have a phone, and Mandy thought she was protected. She wasn’t. That question set Mandy on a new path. She created a moms’ group that grew from 20 to 200 within three short semesters. At the same time, her online group exploded to more than 1,600 moms from all over the world. And this with no marketing—just word of mouth! Mandy was then asked to speak on television and radio.
As Mandy continued on this journey, she recognized we’re in unchartered territory. Parenting has undergone a seismic shift in this new digital era forcing us to address issues previous generations never encountered. Cyberparenting isn’t only about rules and restrictions; it’s about the relationship. She discovered the key is a simple solution—open communication. But the process of achieving such a rapport is complicated and time-consuming. Parents need to begin relationship-building early, even before their children’s tween years hit. Mandy often continues to mess up as a parent, but she is finding valuable lessons in those mistakes. She’s awake and alert now, ready to face the complicated questions we face today that are caused by early online exposure. Mandy explores all these issues (including, but not limited to: transgender, sexuality, social media, sex, cyberbullying, suicide, addiction, etc.) and shares personal stories/conversation starters in her book, TALK: A Practical Approach to Cyberparenting and Open Communication, available here.
Mandy’s time is split between researching, team building, speaking, writing and talking to her family about everything. And she’s completely addicted to Diet Coke.
Kim Elerick: Director of Operations
Kim graduated from the University of Hawaii with a dual degree in broadcast journalism and family resources with the intent of using media as a way of bringing information and resources to families. She spent 15 years in radio production, with 10 as a morning-show host on The Fish, 95.5 FM. She was the promotions director for various radio stations and worked in sales and marketing for Salem Communications in San Antonio, Texas. Kim was the marketing director and tour guide for a travel agency that took her around the world. She also acted as a sales and counseling trainer for Jenny Craig. She has been in ministry leadership at her home church for more than 10 years, and she has volunteered her time to create marketing campaigns for various organizations including the American Heart Association.
Kim and her husband, Charles, of 16 years were part of a pre-marital counseling team that created and led marriage conferences for New Hope, Oahu (one of the largest churches in America). She is passionate about teaching practical tools for a healthy marriage based on open communication and reducing the stigma of counseling.
Kim has three children (ages 9, 6 and 2). She enjoys the challenges and rewards of homeschooling. Kim is a self-proclaimed foodie and dance-party mama; she is comfortable with the fact that coffee is her non-Jesus-life-force.
Megan Perkins: Accountant and Administrative Coordinator
Megan earned her Bachelors of Business Administration and Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She developed the tax department at Rackspace, Inc., and managed it for six years. Megan also has an extensive volunteer background in the San Antonio community, including the board of directors of the YWCA, the Witte Museum and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Megan is passionate about ensuring moms have access and support for starting open communication when their kids are at an early age. Megan and her husband, Michael, have been married for 13 years and are raising three children (ages 8, 6 and 3).
Believe it or not, her eyes actually light up when she starts talking spreadsheets and budgets! Megan is detailed, practical and one of the kindest women you will ever meet. She loves traveling, photography and being organized. Megan is very thankful that she is able to use her professional background as an accountant to serve families through nextTalk.
Stacey Schuetze: Community Care and Recruitment Coordinator
A former elementary teacher, Stacey has her BS in early childhood education from Texas State University. She served on the technology committee while teaching and has an extensive volunteer and leadership background including coordinating our largest face-to-face mom’s group.
Stacey has been married to her husband, Joseph, for 14 years. They are passionate about protecting innocent eyes from pornography and act as advocates and mentors for families dealing with pornography abuse and addiction.
Raising a boy and girl (ages 12 and 9), she is the quintessential soccer mom! Stacey is blessed with a heart of joy and the gift of hospitality. She “calls it like it is,” asks the hard questions and doesn’t mess around when it comes to the truth.
Holly Cole Bristol: Research Coordinator and Photographer
Holly graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS in journalism. She spent a number of years in health care, nonprofit public relations and national event/conference planning. When she married her husband, Rando, she spent the next 21 years as a military spouse, which included countless hours volunteering in a rainbow of capacities. After moving to San Antonio, she ultimately found her niche as a MOPS Mentor Mom and Bible-study leader/teacher/coordinator. Holly is also a graduate of Proverbs 31’s She Speaks leadership course.
Holly and Rando have been married for 23 years and have two amazing daughters ages 22 and 18. Holly is a professional photographer, traveler, writer and college football junkie. She has a passion for teaching parents the realities of growing up in this high-pressure, digital age.
Holly is our “senior” member and is knee deep in teenage and young adult/college life challenges. She takes her role as a mentor seriously and loves to remind us to stay reality-based and mindful about what the world is bringing to our kids’ lives. She has the gift of teaching (with a quirky sense of humor) and is a self-proclaimed book-aholic.
Kim Nichols: Volunteer and Events Coordinator
Kim Nichols graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, which she applied towards her 12-year career as a 2nd and 3rd-grade teacher.
Kim and her husband of 22 years, Derek, were passionate about the power of open communication in their family from day one. They raised their now 19, 17, and 12 year old with the understanding that no conversation is off limits.
Kim has worked on numerous personal and volunteer endeavors that allow her to hone her passion for connecting with people on an emotional and spiritual level. She is particularly called to mentor working moms and moms of young adults as they navigate motherhood. She spent time as a Bible-study leader and coordinator, which led her to connect with nextTalk.
Kim loves to laugh, is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, enjoys her music, and is a movie junkie who can hold her own with anyone when it comes to quoting movie lines.
Mellisa Exstrom: Group Coordinator
Mellisa is a registered nurse by trade, and worked several years in pediatrics. After her son was born, with two kids under the age of two, she quickly realized that her children would only be “little” for a short amount of time and made the decision to stay home with them 8 years ago and has never looked back.
Mellisa and Ryan have been married for 14 years and are busy raising their 3 kids, ages 10, 8 & 4 in Loudoun County, VA. They have moved across the country several times during their married life and grasp both the excitement and stress that often accompanies big “change” in a family.
Mellisa got connected with nextTalk, 3 years ago, while they were living in San Antonio, TX. Her oldest was 7 at the time and she felt the importance of getting a grasp on this new era in parenting. She truly believes that it is never too early to begin conversations with your kids and stresses the importance of setting boundaries early. She and her family moved back to Virginia in 2017 where she began several small groups using the nextTalk curriculum.