Who’s behind The Rebellion?
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren (Chris & Mike) have been leaders in the virtual-work / work-from-home movement since 1999. They presented at the United Nations a vision that virtual work could transform individual lives, families, and economies all over the world.
Since then, through their training company Staffcentrix, they designed the first virtual-career programs for the US State Department, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Their virtual job-finding workshops have been given at community colleges and churches, for organizations for people with disabilities, for military spouses and veterans, and many more.
They appear often in the media as experts on working from home, and support it as a key way to fight climate change.
“The second of six children, I grew up in a rural New England town on a small family farm.
Over the years, I worked a series of jobs – hotel chain housekeeper, grocery store cashier, administrative assistant, professional clown (yes, a clown), and others. There were positive aspects of each job, but they were just not “me” (well, the clown was pretty close to “me”). After having my children, I realized I’d be happiest working from home and set my sights on making that happen.” ~ Chris
Before co-founding Staffcentrix and Rat Race Rebellion, Chris was the CEO of the Internet’s first denominated “Virtual Assistant” practice, which was launched in 1995.
Chris is frequently hired to keynote and present at a wide variety of venues including dozens of US Air Force bases around the world, the DOD Spouse Employment Conference, Chase Bank, DOL Workforce Innovations, NY State Vocational Rehab, and many others.
Named “America’s Ultimate Work at Home Expert” by Woman’s World Magazine, Chris has been honored for her entrepreneurial leadership by Ernst & Young (EOY nominee), Working Woman Magazine (Entrepreneurial Excellence Award), and Chase Bank (“Working Woman of the Month”).
On behalf of the company, Chris has appeared in/on Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper, The Tyra Banks Show, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Woman’s Day, Women’s World, Fortune Magazine, ABCNews.com, MSNBC, Fox Business, Forbes, USA Today, The Washington Post, and many others.
Durst is a Connecticut native, born and raised in the “Quiet Corner” of the northeast, where she shares her home with “The Bean” (her fat cat). With all of that said, Chris is, above all, the proud mother of a grown son and daughter, Zach and Laura.
“I grew up in a log cabin on a horse farm in rural Virginia till I was 6. Almost all of my friends had four legs. They commuted from stalls to the field. No road rage, though there was some field rage; usually the stallions.
“Then we moved to a nearby town of 300 people. A busy place! Every 3 or 4 hours, a car would move, or a dog. Small town, quiet, surrounded by farms. You knew your neighbor, and you were (almost always) glad you did. When you went to the general store, you chatted. It’s not ‘wasting time.’ It’s living.
“Home-based work helps restore communities, lets people spend more time with loved ones, and helps the environment as well. Chris and I work from home offices, and we want to help others, and the planet, reap the benefits, too. That’s why we’re here at RRR.” ~ Mike
Like Chris, Mike, an Army veteran, has worked in a variety of jobs — selling flowers on the street, ice cream man, farm hand, ditch digger, Wall Street lawyer, starving writer in Paris — and appears often in the media, including CNN, Forbes, Businessweek and many more. He is co-author of The 2-Second Commute and Work at Home Now.
Mike co-founded Staffcentrix and RRR, and heads Staffcentrix’ Washington, DC Metro office. He earned his B.A. at Georgetown University summa cum laude, and his Juris Doctor at the University of Virginia School of Law. He’s also the proud parent of Travis, a Navy veteran and radio exec with iHeartMedia in Charleston, SC, and Jazz, future equine veterinarian and high school student in Northern Virginia.