Cast Spotlight: Producer Jennifer Hicks

by stephaniejankowski on April 19, 2016

Who knows if Listen to Your Mother would’ve come to Pittsburgh when it did if it weren’t for Jennifer Hicks. Our producer and this year’s emcee, Jen was absolutely instrumental in bringing the show to da ‘burgh, and we are eternally grateful for her hard work and passion!

JenJennifer Hicks is the writer behind Real Life Parenting. With sass, smarts, and a big mouth, she keeps it real writing what most people think but are afraid to say out loud. Tackling the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes the very funny in life and parenting, she’s often inspired by her two teens: the Boy and Girl. She’s been featured on multiple sites on-line and went viral on The Huffington Post with her piece “Dear Mom on the iPhone: You’re Doing Fine” where she was named Best of Huffington Post Parents in 2014. Jennifer is a contributing author in I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone and The HerStories Project. This year she joins the BlogU Steering Committee and is on Faculty teaching Purposeful Writing: Blogging for Good.


Q: Who IS Jen Hicks?
A: I’m an Ohio native and enthusiastic Pittsburgh transplant. I’m a teacher-turned-writer since moving to the area nearly four years ago with my hubby and two teens. I’ve fallen head over heels for this city!


Q: How did you discover LTYM?
A: I’d heard about the show and thought it sounded amazing. When I saw the call for applications to bring LTYM to a city near me, I sat down and put together a big ol’ list about why this city would be such a fantastic hub for the show. It was a surreal moment to get the email from Ann Imig saying she agreed with me: Pittsburgh needed LTYM! And the rest is history! 😀

Q: What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written? (provide a link if applicable)
A: Because I’m all about Keeping It Real, being vulnerable, and speaking my truth, it felt really good to write this one: I Miss Myself.

Q: What do you wish most for your children?
A: My greatest wish for my kids is happiness—with who they are, what they do, where life takes them, and the people around them who celebrate their successes and comfort them when they struggle and fail. I want them to be confident and brave enough to pursue their true happiness. I also want them to live next door to me so they can have me over for dinner all the time. 🙂

Q: What do you love most about Pittsburgh?
A: The people, hands down. Since moving here, I’ve been overwhelmed by the small feel of this big city and it’s all because of the people—their kindness, loyalty, and willingness to help. Also, as a long-time Steelers fan, I’m wrapped in a warm blanket of Black and Gold and that feels like home!


Jen and kids

Q: If you could only ever eat at one restaurant in the ‘Burgh, what would it be and why?
A: My husband has declared 2016 the Year of First Saturdays; we’ll be spending the first Saturday of each month going on dates which will include checking out lots of the amazing eateries in this city. So, I’ll get back to you! (I’ve never been happier to do research to answer a question!)

Q: If you were mayor of Pittsburgh for a day, what law would you enact/change/do away with and why?
A: I’d love to never see another stop sign at the end of an entrance ramp to the highway. It feels like every kind of wrong to come to a complete stop when you’re supposed to be accelerating to the speed of traffic as you merge. Of course, that would require on-ramps that are longer than my driveway too.


Though you won’t get to hear Jen’s story this year, take a look at her performance from our inaugural 2015 show HERE. Oh, and if your kiddos are in their senior year of high school, grab a box of tissues before watching!

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