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Series: Arizona Moms in Business

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Rachel Roland is a mom on a mission - exploring beautiful Arizona (and beyond!) with her two little companions, Jeremiah and Sarah, in search of the best restaurants, attractions, and products for you and your children. See what she has in store for your family today!

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Today, I'm featuring Erica Galos Alioto, who is the Vice President of Local Sales for one of my favorite websites - Yelp.  (Actually, I think I use their app more, but still - I love it!)  I wanted to interview her because she started with Yelp in 2006 - before it was the 'go-to' site to see if a restaurant - or anywhere - was worthy of your hard-earned dollars.  She's also a Mom, and I was interested in her perspective on being a working mom of toddlers.  

How do you balance your life as a business professional and being a mom?

I think most working moms will tell you that finding the right balance is a struggle - and I certainly haven't perfected the art of finding it - but it seems to get easier every day. I am very fortunate that I work for a company that trusts me to work fairly independently and allows me flexibility when I need it. I feel very grateful to have found a company that allows me the ability to successfully manage my career and a family. 

I also have a husband who is very helpful around the house and with the kids. There has been a big focus lately on the partners of women with successful careers, and how who women marry can affect their ability to move up in their careers - Businessweek even made it their cover article a few months back. While he is by no means a house-husband - and his career is just important to him as mine is to me - he recognizes that for both of us to have successful careers, there has to be a balance at home as well.
 
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What do you love about working for Yelp?
 
To start, I work with an incredible group of people. A number of the people I work very closely with are people who were at Yelp in the early days of the company. We were all here when the company only had 30 or 40 employees and have essentially grown our careers here. When you work with the same people for 5 or 6 years - and this is especially true when you all worked at the company when it was a small, tight-knit group - there is a lot of support for each other and little to no friction in the workplace. 
 
Our Scottsdale office is, in my opinion, the best office in the company. We have 450 people in the office, and every day I get to walk into work and see hundreds of smiling faces. The office has music  playing all day long and is filled with energetic, hard-working individuals who also happen to be genuinely great people to be around. And because we are growing so rapidly, I get to watch a lot of these individuals grow their careers. There is great satisfaction in seeing someone who works hard meet their career goals. And of course, the fact that we have a nap room with massage chairs doesn't hurt. (Um, jealous!!)
 
What is the favorite part of your day? 
 
My favorite part of the day is the morning. I used to dread the mornings because trying to get an infant and a toddler ready for school and out the door in order to get to work on time is not always easy, especially when you have a very independent and opinionated 3 year-old whose taste in food and clothes changes daily. But then I realized that by doing some extra prep work at night (making lunches, laying out the kids' outfits for the next day), I can free up time in the mornings to go for a run and think about my priorities for the day, then come home and spend quality time with my kids before heading off to work. These days, morning dance parties are a regular occurrence in my household. There's nothing like starting your day with a dance party with a one and a three year-old. By the time I walk into the office in the morning, I am full of energy and ready to take on the world.
 
Thank you so much, Erica, for taking the time out of your busy day to chat with me!  

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Photo courtesy Red Phoenix Photography

I'm Rachel - a mom, wife, and 'green' blogger at Small Steps On Our Journey.   If you want me to come visit your place of business, have any questions on this article or suggestions for a future article, you can email me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , tweet me at @rachelroland, or connect with me on Facebook.

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