Meet the Founders

Founders

Finding the right classes and camps for your kids can be painful, time consuming and exhausting. Our founders know. They’ve been there. Meet the moms, best friends, and ”recovering attorneys” who decided to help ease the pain.


Meet Ilene Miller
Activity Rocket Co-Founder

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In an effort to make better use of her time, Ilene once wore the pants that needed hemming to the drycleaner. Which totally made sense until she realized she’d have to leave them behind. But, hey, these things are bound to happen when you’re keeping up with two young boys who are involved in everything from guitar and glee club to hockey and swimming. Oh, and claymation. And tae kwon do. And drums, soccer, chess, baseball, ice skating…you get the point. Her boys, Max and Mark, keep her busy.

That’s why Ilene decided to co-found Activity Rocket when her oldest son was in second grade. After eight years of nothing more than endless web searches and peer recommendations to guide her ongoing quest for the best kids camps and classes, she decided it was time for an all-in-one website that would empower parents to find kids enrichment activities with a few clicks.

In her previous life, Ilene was:

The executive director of a national cancer foundation and a fundraising and programming advisor for non-profits. She also lobbied for a prominent national public relations and lobbying firm in Washington, DC.

Close to her heart is:

The abundance of special needs classes featured on Activity Rocket. She’ll never forget being turned down by camps because of her son’s epileptic seizures due to a rare brain tumor. Since that experience, she’s been an advocate for kids with special needs and medical conditions. She believes no child should be excluded because of misinformation, and ensures Activity Rocket is filled with options for all kids.

Lots of people regard her as:

Smart. She has a BS in communications from Boston University (where she graduated Magna Cum Laude), JD from Catholic University, and—as if that weren’t enough— LLM from Georgetown University.

But close friends and family really know her as:

Somewhat clumsy. (As a teen, she dropped her baton while marching in the Orange Bowl Parade for all to see on national TV.) And, more commonly, a woman with a heart of gold. She not only co-founded Hope for Hypothalamic Hamartomas, a non-profit dedicated to research and support for hypothalamic hamartoma patients, but is helping to transform it from an unknown condition to recognizable form of epilepsy.

Her all-time favorite family activity is:

Ga ga. No, not as in “Lady.” It’s an Israeli version of dodge ball. Or, by Ilene’s standards, a sport so awesome it warrants building a gaga pit in the woods behind your house. She also loves being outside with her kids and husband—hiking, roller blading, white water rafting, zip lining, swimming, kick boxing, and doing mud runs.

Meet Lisa Friedlander
Activity Rocket Co-Founder

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Lisa was secretly relieved when her son decided to give up baseball to pursue other more exciting sports. “So boring to watch and the games took forever,” she says. Understandable for a mom whose days are filled with three kids’ worth of football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, volleyball, hip hop dance, art, gymnastics and tae kwon do, plus brief attempts at Spanish and piano.

But she spent more time finding and scheduling all these activities than she did actually watching and cheering her kids on. When Google searches rendered nothing useful whatsoever, she’d camp out in front of her computer, hopping from one provider website to another and trying to remember the latest recommendations she’d received from friends. So for her, creating Activity Rocket has been even more freeing than being done with boring baseball fields.

In her previous life, Lisa was:

A telecom attorney for a national law firm founded by Bill Gates Senior, as well as vice president and general counsel for a satellite telecom company serving the military.

Close to her heart is:

The nonprofit community and its tireless dedication to helping youth in need. Especially dear to her is The Heartsongs Fund, which she founded to give back to Children's National Medical Center after her oldest daughter Jaclyn spent her first three months of life there after being born a mere pound and a half.

Lots of people regard Lisa as:

Very put together. Even though she once spent an entire morning unknowingly wearing two different boots (one black, one brown) to her daughter’s preschool Thanksgiving feast.

But close friends and family really know her as:

Authentic, caring and humble. You’ll never hear her brag about her B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania or Summa Cum Laude JD from American University Law School (which is why we do it for her.)

She’s crazy about:

Her "older (only by 9 years...but who's counting) but strikingly handsome husband,” three beautiful children (Jaclyn, Cole and Camryn) and their riverfront home that’s a revolving door for friends and family who love to swim, boat, fish, crab, tube and relax near the Chesapeake Bay.