Jill Fales

OCSS contributor, author Jill Fales, is an Orange County native and remembers the days when orange groves were still in abundance, Fashion Island boasted a J.C. Penny, and cows roamed the hills that today are known as Newport Coast.  While the OC has developed and changed quite a bit, Jill still loves the heart and soul of her hometown.

Jill is best known for “Mom’s Voice,” her weekly column in the Newport Beach Independent newspaper.  Her writing has also be featured in Coast Kids Magazine, Coastal Real Estate Guide, Orange County Local News Network, and the Newport Mesa Daily Voice.  She recently won an essay contest about her 3 month cross-country trip during which she “homeschooled” her four kids on the road.

Jill lives with her husband and kids in Costa Mesa.  Her first book, “My Laundry Museum & Other Messy Gifts of Motherhood” debuted in 2012 to rave reviews.  Contact Jill


Barbara Foster 

As a native Californian, Barbara cherishes all that this state and especially Orange County has to offer. As an OCSS contributor, Barbara is passionate about sharing her experience as a community leader and philanthropist herself.

Barbara founded Insights Worldwide Research and continues to assist clients in uncovering valuable market insights while contributing to OCSS.

Barbara calls Laguna Niguel home, is past president and current member of the Laguna Niguel Rotary; is an active board member of the Pacific Symphony and supports other worthy causes. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys playing golf, downhill skiing, and dining at the many wonderful restaurants in OC.  Contact Barbara 


Petrina Friede, Chief Contributing Writer

Veteran society writer, Petrina Friede, currently serves as Chief Contributing Writer to

Petrina is a de facto OC native who pursued impressive parallel dual career paths both as an educator and a journalist. She graduated from Santa Ana College to continue at UCLA, graduating with a major in history and English. She then received her MA from Cal State Fullerton in German Literature and Linguistics followed by an MSBA from Cal Poly, Pomona. Petrina is Professor Emeritus of Saddleback College where she taught Business Communications, Business English, Oral Business Techniques and German language and culture for 33 years.

In addition to her educational duties, Petrina was a contributing writer for the Newport Beach 714 for 10 years and more recently a writer for the Riviera Magazine for 10 years.

Petrina lives in Irvine and loves to swim, walk the hills and seashore, and generally stay physically active. She enjoys attending social and charity events that support worthwhile causes.  Contact Petrina



Deirdre Michalski

Contributor and founder of, Deirdre Michalski, brings over 25 years experience in hospitality, resort marketing and public relations to OCSS, and her writing focuses on the topics of  Travel, Resorts, Spa, Cooking, Restaurants, Lifestyle and Wine.

Deirdres spa reviews can be viewed on Spas of, and her restaurant reviews and events have been published in the Les Dames d’Escoffier Quarterly and Bay Window Magazine .

Deirdre graduated from UCLA, and resides in Irvine with her husband and Joe Elkind, Mr. Riley. Their son is currently in college, majoring in Industrial Design.

When not working on her website or attending events, Deirdre enjoys writing, traveling, entertaining, gardening, gourmet cooking, boutique wines, knitting and supporting her husband’s passion for vintage cars and Formula One racing. They are working through their bucket list, one trip at a time. She is an active member of Les Dames d’Escoffier for the LA/OC Chapter.  ContactDeirdre


Vanessa Showalter

Ever since OCSS contributor Vanessa Showalter can remember, she always wanted to live and work in Orange County.  Finally, about five years ago, she moved to Mission Viejo where she founded V/S Communications – a public relations/marketing firm.  Over the years, she has helped build awareness for a variety of OC businesses, non-profits and events.

Before launching V/S Communications, Vanessa was Vice President for a public relations firm based in Los Angeles for more than nine years.  Prior to that, her passion for writing landed her an editor position for a trade magazine where she completed columns, features and opinion articles for the publication.  If you don’t see her at OC events, she is spending quality time with her husband and two adorable sons.  Contact Vanessa


Shelly Volner

OCSS Manners Matter contributor Shelly  Volner is an old-school girl in a modern world, and her goal is to make manners the new black.

Shellys education in social etiquette began with the hands-on schooling from her elders.  She traded in her white gloves and Mary-Janes of cotillion for the white gowns and St. James bows of her debutante ball.  Today she continues to refine the art of gracious living as a professional executive assistant specializing in the planning and protocol of her clients extensive travel and entertaining needs.

Shelly’s written work has appeared in the Newport Mesa Daily Voice and the Daily Pilot, as well as thousands of unpublished thank you notes. She lives in Newport Beach with her husband, son, daughter, and two high maintenance English Bulldogs.  Contact Shelly