Now: Roehm, 40, is patiently rebuilding her career. "You try to hold your head up and go out and do what you know you're good at," she says, "knowing there is nothing to be ashamed of."
She has built a consulting practice with clients like Credit Suisse and ADP (Time Inc., parent of Fortune, was an early client) and blogs about auto marketing for AOL.
But she's interviewing for a full-time job. "What I care most about is the culture of the company," she says. "I think it's really important to find a place where you fit in."
She still lives in the Wal-Mart headquarters town of Bentonville, Ark., with her husband Mike and two kids, but they've put the house up for sale and hope to move to the Northeast.
By Ellen Florian