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Elaine Snrka, editor of Virtuoso Life magazine

Travel is the name of the game for Elaine Srnka. If you are frequent flyer (know your AAdvantage number by heart) of the Dallas-Fort Worth based American Airlines, you’ll no doubt recognize Snrka from her monthly column in American Way, the clever magazine beckoning from the seat backs (she served as an editor there for 12 years, along with the first-class magazine Celebrated Living).

Now, as the editor of the luxury travel magazine Virtuoso Life, she continues to add to her impressive passport with stamps from Singapore, Cambodia and Russia (lookout, Greece is next). But the globetrotting doesn’t end at the office. Srnka’s husband, Dave, with whom she is celebrating 20 years of blissful marriage, is also a jetsetter: He logs countless hours crisscrossing the skies as a pilot for American Airlines.

And, with such well-traveled parents at the helm, the couple’s children — Sydney Rose, 7, and Samuel Robert, 5 — can’t help but be intrigued by the operations of the world, as well. “I try to call home every night [when I’m traveling] — or morning, depending on the time difference — regardless of where I’m at, and the kids get a kick out of finding out what time it is where I’m at versus the time at home,” remarks Snrka.

What She Does

When the longtime Dallas resident (who recently moved to Cowtown) took over the reigns at Virtuoso a year and a half ago, she was able to continue to meld two of her life’s passions into one successful career: travel and magazines — on a mommy schedule. “Since I was a young girl I knew I wanted to be in the magazine industry,” Srnka reveals. “I’m proud of myself for achieving that goal — and proud to set a good example for my children.”

With days filled with brainstorming sessions, photo shoots and trips overseas, Srnka, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday, knows that living her dream is creating a positive image about work and family for Sydney and Samuel. “I don’t want to send the message to my children that work is somehow bad,” she affirms. “I really love what I do, and that’s a positive message for children: Do what you love.”

How She Does It

Despite a contagious, sunshiny disposition, Srnka does concede there are sacrifices to be made on all fronts. “I definitely struggle with guilt pangs. I tend to be hard on myself in all aspects of my life, and work/life balance is no exception.”

But Srnka’s self-reproach is countered with her ability to successfully intermingle the demands of career and motherhood, of which she owes in part to an incredibly flexible work schedule (she rotates time in the office with laptop hours at home), a network of family who help with childcare and a team approach to parenthood (shared cooking duties, adjusting calendars to fill in for the other, etc.). That’s not to mention the support of the very first mom friends she made through Lakewood Early Childhood PTA.

“I always knew I’d have children, but it’s even more rewarding than I ever imagined. I also always knew I’d be happiest being a mom while maintaining my career,” Srnka shares. “I strive to find the balance between being that idealized milk-and-cookies mom, which was my own amazing mother, and a career woman.”