Erin Callan Montella was the CFO of Lehman Brothers in the months before it collapsed in 2008.  After leaving Wall Street, marrying and having a daughter, she wrote a memoir, Full Circle, about the balance between work and family.  She and her husband have created a foundation to help practice that philosophy and help new mothers achieve that balance in their own lives.

Under The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, new mothers are allowed a minimum of 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave to care for and bond with their children, but many employers compensate their employees for only a small fraction of that time.  As a result, many low- and moderate-income mothers are forced to return to work early.

To avoid that Hobson’s choice, Erin and her husband Anthony Montella created Life Balance Foundation.  Through needs-based grants of up to $15,000 for new mothers, Life Balance Foundation helps ensure that mothers can enjoy their full maternity leave without having to worry about financial burdens like rent, grocery bills, and car payments.  Maintaining a healthy balance between work and family life requires ongoing effort, but Life Balance Foundation offers new mothers a start during the first fragile months of motherhood.

We assisted the Montellas by incorporating the foundation, drafting its bylaws, and obtaining tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status for it.

Erin spoke about Life Balance Foundation, Inc. and its goal of helping people establish a balance between work and family life in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.