About

Our Story

No doubt, you have heard the age-old proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But what if you don’t have a village? These days, most of us don’t have our family or close friends nearby. You’re not alone, and Via The Village believes you don’t have to do it alone.

We’ve create a platform for families and nannies to come together to build your own personalized villages within your local community to find safe, reliable childcare through your trusted connections.  Nannies can do the same as you search for desirable employment relationships.

The average family struggles with the rising cost of childcare, while the average nanny often has to settle for less than an ideal wage. By facilitating nanny sharing, Via The Village helps make quality childcare more affordable, while helping compensate nannies better.

With nanny shares, families save thousands per year, while nannies make thousands more! Plus the children are happy because they get a little playmate. Everybody wins!

For those who are not currently seeking a nanny, nanny share, or employer, Via The Village helps build your childcare community in other ways:

Families can find other families near them for childcare exchanges, kiddie carpools, play dates or new neighborhood friendships. Nannies can find other nannies near them for play-date meetups and also for backup when they need time off. And you can find yet more support through our shared blog and community forum.

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The Team

Emily Louange

Emily Louange, a registered nurse, has been caregiving for two decades, including being a nanny herself for a short time.

She grew up in a small town in Michigan, where a sense of community was strong. When she became a mother in 2012, she found herself craving that kind of community once again, but in the urban area where she lived, it was not as easy to find for her new family. More specifically, they needed childcare, preferably recommended by someone they trusted, and also affordable. Nanny sharing was the answer—but there were no efficient platforms dedicated to setting up a share. She started a nanny-sharing Facebook group that organically grew into the thousands. She felt a strong calling to create a better tool to help families and nannies connect. Hence, Via The Village was born!

Emily would like to express gratitude to her own village for all the support and encouragement. Special thanks to her husband, Anthony Louange.

Bharat Walia

Bharat Walia began his career at CDW in technology sales primarily focusing on the datacenter and cloud, then moving to LinkedIn where he worked with the Executive Leadership to help implement social selling strategies to achieve their revenue targets. After LinkedIn, Bharat moved to Manhattan to work with an early stage startup called Mast Mobile to build their go-to-market strategy and business development efforts.

Currently he works with startups as a go-to-market Strategy consultant.

Additionally, Bharat serves on the Board of his alumni association at the University of Illinois Chicago and the Illinois Advisory Board of US Global Leadership Council.

In his free time, Bharat teaches meditation.

Kimberley Roberts

Kimberley Roberts has been a professional nanny for 17 years and has over 20 years of experience with children. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher, reading specialist, newborn care specialist, and caregiver. In 2014, she received the title “Mama,” and began to bring her son, Simon, to work with her.

Kimberley chose to be a part of Via The Village because she is a passionate advocate for nannies, and it is her desire to elevate the nanny profession through education, networking, and marketing.

As a mother, she knows the value of having a village to turn to for help, advice, camaraderie, and recommendations. As a nanny, Kimberley has often wished that there was a platform that offered these same resources to herself and her fellow nanny “colleagues.” At Via The Village, she is able to find BOTH!

Hiren Variava

Hiren has over 20 years of experience in technology industry designing, developing and managing software products and leading technical teams. He has held progressively responsible positions at Motorola, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and American Express before founding his own boutique software development firm, Infonius Solutions.

Hiren has helped organizations of various sizes in achieving their technology goals related to:
– Growing and managing outstanding technical teams
– Flexible and scalable system architecture designs including service-oriented architecture, microservices architecture, and event-driven architecture
– Design and development of cloud and mobile based software products

Hiren primarily works with startups on building products and providing technical mentorship. He has a keen interest in technology startups, AI, ML, and BigData.

Hiren spends his free time with wife Nikita and two young kids, Ria and Rudr. Hiren has also practiced a 10-day Vipassana meditation.

Glenn McGraw

Glenn has spent the past decade immersed in the digital landscape, where he’s scaled multiple different platforms from infancy to several million monthly active users each. From preconception to development to marketing strategy, he’s versed himself in the end-to-end holistic execution of creating and growing digital properties.

As the current Vice President of Digital Operations for Chicago-based sports media network Stadium, Glenn oversees digital operations, audience growth strategy, and development in a quickly emerging and changing space. This includes owned and operated properties and distribution, including web, mobile, and OTT.

Prior to Stadium, he oversaw the development and strategy transformation of Campus Insiders, scaling the platform from zero to several million monthly users within a year of strategy implementation.

Glenn got his start in the digital space by launching and scaling his own publishing-focused startup shortly after college, also growing it to several million monthly users. This was following a brief stint as a civil engineer (where he actually used his college degree!).

When Glenn isn’t working on taking over the internet, he spends his time immersed in all things music.

Why Not You?

We are looking to grow our team! If you are interested in being a part of our mission to elevate the childcare industry and bring families and nannies the innovation they deserve, email info@viathevillage.com. Let us know your skills and talent. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Acknowledgements and Appreciation

It has taken a village to bring Via The Village to fruition. Thank you to all who contributed. Special acknowledgements to Lana Ast, Jill Dudones, Carolyn Engelmann, Diana Goldman, Joel Gruber, Kelsey Heitz, Infonius Solutions, Liza Johnson, Elizabeth Kipp, Nikki Kman, Judith Raskiewicz, Three Engines, Hiren Variava, Vikram Waghela, Drew Whiting and to all the families and nannies from Via The Village Facebook Group who came out to be a part of the photo shoot.

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Kickstarter Kudos

Sincere gratitude to the 105 backers who made our crowdfunding campaign a success!

THANK YOU

Gold Level Backers

Mirella Alexis (Childcare Advocate & Doula), Baby PhD at Hyde Park Neighborhood Club,

Mary & Walter Boyer, Emily Lonigro Boylan, Jeremy & Sara Grossenbacher, Bruce & Paula Gruber,

Aubrey Joy King, and Judith Raskiewicz.

Silver Level Backers

Cathy McNair and Bharat Walia

Bronze Level Backers

Randi Caldwell, Bryan & Kenna Collette, Sanjay Dhamija, The Insurance People, Alexandra Eidenberg,

Co-Founder & President, Madan Law PLLC, Karla Thomas – Urb & Burb Realty, and Anita Opdycke.

*Named with permission or by selection of “Kickstarter reward” tier