The Work and Play Staff

Deborah Engel

Founder & President

Deborah conceived the idea in 2010, shortly after her first child was born, while she was living the daily grind of commuting into the city with her best friend and worst enemy, the breast pump. She loved working in an office surrounded by colleagues, but wished she could nurse her infant throughout the day.

Two years later, in 2012, after daughter number two arrived, Deborah left her job as Vice President of public relations firm, The Lippin Group, to freelance from home. Before long, she grew lonely “hiding” in her small home office all day long. She started attending networking events, met other entrepreneurs and talked about her idea for a flexible workspace, that would also offer customizable child care.  Inspired by the support and ideas given by the community, Deborah closed on a fixer-upper in South Orange weeks before delivering her third child on “Thanksgivukkah.”

Deborah loves meeting fellow working parents to chat about balancing careers and children. She also still dabbles in PR, is a Director on the South Orange Village Center Alliance’s board, and consults with other coworking space owners who are interesting in combining coworking with childcare at their existing or proposed spaces. 

Vibeke Guterman

Director, Early Childhood Education

Vibeke believes that children should learn through play, that their natural inquisitiveness drives all learning, and that everyone learns best in a fun, nurturing environment. She loves to find ways to bring the natural world into the classroom and help even the youngest children build confidence in their ability to explore the world.

Vibeke has a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Kean University and has a decade of experience working with young children as a teacher, head teacher and administrator in local pre-schools and camps. In addition, Vibeke has bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology and has a passion for gardening. In her previous life she was a Bone Marrow Donor Coordinator prior to discovering her love of teaching when her two children were in preschool.

Vibeke has lived in Maplewood for twenty years and has a son 20 and a daughter 17.

Sarah McNamara

Chief Operating Office

Sarah McNamara, our COO, is the one most likely to greet you at the front door.

After 12 years of staying home with her kids while creating, managing and directing a new ultimate frisbee league for the Maplewood Recreation Department, Sarah returned to the workforce and joined Work and Play as our community manager in 2106. Now she runs daily operations.

Prior to having children, Sarah worked in finance and compliance, and owned and operated two start up businesses. She lives at home with her husband Brian and visits her two sons regularly at college and graduate school.