MICHAEL SHAPIRO Fatherhood means new priorities, new career.

Michael Shapiro, father, and CEO of TheAlternativePress.com.

AGE   34

HOMETOWN   New Providence, NJ

NUMBER OF CHILDREN   One

DAY JOB   CEO and Publisher, TheAlternativePress.com

RELATIONSHIP STATUS   Married

@TWITTER @TheAlternativeP

ON THE WEB  www.TheAlternativePress.com

FAVORITE CHILD *if applicable   My son.

HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY? 

Since the time I was young I had always been involved in the community.  But once I started my legal career—as a commercial litigation and white collar defense attorney in New York—I couldn’t be.  I was working 15+ hour days and commuting from New Jersey.  When my son was one year old, and I was in my fifth year of practice, we learned that he needed open heart surgery. It made me rethink my priorities. I had barely seen him during his whole first year of life.

My wife and I asked ourselves: What could we do that would make a positive difference for our community, enable me to spend more time with my family and allow me to do something I’d really like?  In October 2008, after my son’s successful surgery, my wife and I started TheAlternativePress.com, an all-online, daily local newspaper.   Shortly thereafter, I left my job as an attorney to work on TheAlternativePress full-time.

At the time people thought I was nuts—because we didn’t have any reporters or columnists or advertisers—and barely any readers.  Today, TheAlternativePress.com is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, serves fourteen towns (and growing!), we have over 200 paid freelance reporters on staff as well as 30 columnists, and 400,000 absolute unique users came to the site during the last year.  And we’re profitable!

Now, I am able to spend more time with my wife and son.  Typically we have dinner together every night, a rare luxury when I was working in the city. We spend our weekends together, and I get to see them both before they go to school and work, and again when they get home.  It’s also enabled me to have a stronger relationship with my wife, which has also created a more positive environment for our son.

WORST PARENTING MOMENT

My worst parenting moment happened when we were out for dinner with my mentor from high school, who I hadn’t seen in years, and his wife. My son, two at the time, gagged on something he was eating and projectile vomited.  My high school teacher and his wife politely asked the waiter to wrap their food to take home.

BEST PARENTING MOMENT

My best parenting moment was when I visited my son’s pre-school class and saw him patiently teaching the other kids how to share and how to use the potty.  He’s come a long way…

Lisa D

Lisa Duggan is the founder of The Modern Village, and publisher of TheParentduJour.com and TheMotherHoodBlog.com.

2 thoughts on “MICHAEL SHAPIRO Fatherhood means new priorities, new career.

  • July 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm
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    Michael, Congratulations!

    Reply
  • August 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm
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    Taking that breath to say ‘what really matters…” it seems like an easy thing to ask ourselves, but following through on the answer…that’s the tough thing. Congrats to taking the leap and starting something new – and congrats on having a son who wants others to learn to use the toilet…!

    Reply

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