Anna Belle Abraham
U.S. Manager of Multilingual and Multicultural Marketing & Communications, Genera Interactive
Anna Belle Abraham is U.S. Manager of Multilingual and Multicultural Marketing & Communications for Genera Interactive, a Spain-based company that has been developing mobile content for nearly 10 years. Previously based in Sevilla, she is dedicated to developing brand awareness and international market position for Genera brand Playtales, leading multi-platform interactive bookstore for kids for Smartphones and Tablets. She works closely with key marketing teams from top publishers, content owners and wireless providers such as: Disney, Top That, Verizon, Felix the Cat and more in coordinating multi-tiered marcom efforts.
USA Country Manager & Partner, Panarea Digital
As the USA Country Manager, Emiliano is responsible for driving new partnerships, and also responsible for Panarea’s Digital Publishing division.
Emiliano has over 15 years of experience in the technology and software development industry. He started his career at Accenture as a consultant and then helped many successful technology start-ups become a reality. He holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and speaks fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese.
President, East Coast, Alloy Entertainment
Joshua Bank is Alloy Entertainment’s President, East Coast overseeing the company’s publishing and digital business.
Bank has overseen the creation of multiple hit properties including The Luxe, Pretty Little Liars, Private, Gossip Girl, The Clique and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Additionally, he leads the company’s digital entertainment slate including development, production and working directly with distribution and finance partners on each series. He serves as executive producer on all of Alloy Entertainment’s digital series including 2010’s First Day, Hollywood is Like High School with Money and 2011’s Talent.
Bank holds a bachelor’s in creative writing and history from Sarah Lawrence College.
Todd R. Brekhus
President, Capstone Digital Solutions
As President of Capstone Digital a business unit of Capstone, Brekhus leads the digital product vision and strategy as the organization continues to expand its digital solutions in the education market.
Capstone Digital launched myON reader in January 2011. myON reader has won several awards in the first year, including SIIA Innovation Most Likely to Succeed. myON is exceeding first year expectations as over 700,000 students have been reading over 3 million books online.
Director, Product Management, NOOK Kids, Barnes & Noble
Wendy Bronfin is the director of the kids’ digital products group at Barnes & Noble.com, where she lead the development and launch of NOOK kids, the first digital reading platform especially designed for children. She and her team have produced hundreds of digital children’s picture books including beloved classics like Go, Dog, Go and The Little Engine That Could, as well as new favorites including Olivia, Fancy Nancy, and Llama Llama Red Pajama.
Founder and Marketing Consultant, Get Creative, Inc.
Lori Culwell, founder and president of Get Creative, has worked on some of the best-known websites in the world. She served as writer and content manager for several startups in San Francisco, a content strategist and usability specialist for US Web/CKS, where she consulted on sites for Apple Computer, Sega, Harley-Davidson, Mattel, and Sun Microsystems. She has worked on websites for Johnson & Johnson since 2001. She is an expert in usability, SEO (search engine optimization), and conversion testing.
Literary Agent, Laura Dail Literary Agency, Inc.
Laura Dail graduated from Duke University and received her Master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College. She has served on the board of the Association of Authors Representatives (AAR) and currently chairs the AAR Royalties Committee.
Over the years, her agency has represented just about every kind of book. They’ve sold hundreds of books and represented dozens of bestsellers. Laura’s now especially interested in historical and high-concept fiction, funny YA and middle grade, and serious non-fiction.
President, Scholastic Media, and Executive Vice President, Scholastic, Inc.
Deborah A. Forte is President of Scholastic Media (SM), Executive Vice President of Scholastic Inc. and an award-winning producer of mutli-platform children’s media based on books, including movies, television programming, video games, software, applications and web sites and a leading marketer of children’s brands. Created by Ms. Forte in 1997, Scholastic Media, is the only full-scale digital production, branding and merchandising division in the children’s publishing industry that successfully develops, produces and markets children’s cross platform media and brands for the global marketplace. Ms. Forte is its lead creative and business executive. Her productions have been distributed in over 60 countries and have won hundreds of awards including Emmys, Webbys, Humanitas, a Peabody and an Oscar. Among her successful productions are award-winning television series such as Magic School Bus, Goosebumps, and Clifford; the feature film, The Golden Compass, the award-winning I Spy game franchise for NDS and Wii platforms as well as book and game apps. Ms.Forte’s latest initiative is leading the development and production of Scholastic’s eReading software platform and eBooks.
A proven leader in the children’s media landscape, Scholastic Media ranks as one of the foremost producers of quality, family-oriented multiplatform content and is an award-winning global marketer of children’s brands. Ms. Forte oversees Scholastic Media’s three main divisions: The Digital Products Group, Scholastic Entertainment, Scholastic Marketing & Consumer Products.
VP of Publishing Services at RR Bowker
Kelly Gallagher serves as VP of Publishing Services at RR Bowker. In this role he manages the implementation of a host of Bowker business intelligence services, including the PubTrack consumer research panel reaching over 40,000 ‘e’ and ‘p’ book consumers. For the past year, he has been leading a team of researchers on a three-year initiative for the Book Industry Study Group to study consumer attitudes toward e-devices and digital content. This long-term trended study looks at consumer purchases on a quarterly basis as it seeks to understand the rate and shift to digital content. In addition to managing the consumer research panel, he oversees sales data collection and analytics tools for the higher education and religious book markets for Bowker. Beyond his role at Bowker, Kelly also serves as Research Chair for the BISG.
President, Egremont Associates, LLC, and President, Board of Directors, Association of Educational Publishers
Neal Goff, founder of consulting firm Egremont Associates and President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), has more than a quarter century of experience in publishing and business leadership. Neal founded Egremont Associates, which provides marketing and product development support to publishers and educational technology companies and helps them develop strategic partnerships, in 2010 after serving as President of the Weekly Reader Publishing Group for five years.
Earlier, Neal was President of Scholastic Library (formerly Grolier) Publishing, President of Prentice Hall Direct, and COO at R.R. Bowker. Neal was elected President of the Board of the AEP in June 2011. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Urban Education Exchange.
President, Disney Publishing Worldwide
R. Russell Hampton, Jr. was named President of Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) in May 2006. In this role, he is responsible for worldwide operations and strategic direction for DPW’s publishing businesses around the world, including books, magazines, digital and Disney English.
Under Hampton’s leadership, DPW has maintained its position as the world’s largest children’s publisher. Hampton was instrumental in the creation of Disney English, an English language learning initiative which now encompasses 20 learning centers throughout China as well as a global retail licensing program. Hampton oversees DPW’s digital businesses, including eBooks and mobile apps, and also provides leadership for DPW’s core business of vertical and licensed books and magazines.
Executive Director, Author & Publisher Relations, Copyright Clearance Center
Michael Healy is currently the Executive Director (Author and Publisher Relations) at the Copyright Clearance Center. Prior to joining CCC, Michael was Executive Director of The Book Rights Registry, where he was responsible for establishing the organization to be the lead body in the administration of the Google Book Settlement. Michael was also the Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), a New York-based non-profit membership organization dedicated to improving the efficiency and the effectiveness of the U.S. book industry through the development and maintenance of standards, research, education and information.
VP Digital Publishing, Business Development, HarperCollins Children’s Books
Corinne Helman is the VP of Digital Publishing and Business Development for HarperCollins Children. In that capacity, it’s Corinne’s job to find new ways of making money using HarperCollins Children’s beloved brands and creating new brands that can be leveraged beyond the printed page. As such, Harper Collins Children’s now has a digital only imprint and is looking for new ways to go to market to support new properties as well as existing franchises.
Prior to HarperCollins, Corinne was VP of Business Development for Scholastic, where she launched The New York Times Best Selling series The 39 Clues, the first cross-media, interactive story telling project in the Children’s Book Industry. Corinne has an MBA and a Masters of Engineering from Columbia, neither of which could have prepared for the interesting turns of events life has thrown her way!
Vice President of Youth Insights, C&R Research, YouthBeat
Amy Henry, Vice President of Youth Insights, serves as thought leader for C+R’s youth and family insight service, YouthBeat®. For over 14 years, Amy has helped companies and organizations including Nickelodeon, MTV, Scholastic, Crayola, “The Joan Ganz Cooney Center” and Boy Scouts of America uncover insights to help them develop offerings that successfully meet the needs of youth and their families. Amy received her B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
She currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two sons, where she is also pursuing a PhD. In Childhood Studies at Rutgers University.
CEO and Founder, Fourth Story Media
Lisa Holton is the founder of Fourth Story Media, a digital media company that invites kids to participate in the stories they read. She speaks regularly about the reading experience for 21st century kids. Previously, Holton was President, Trade and Book Fairs at Scholastic, and SVP Publisher Disney Global Children’s Books. She serves on the board of the New York Women’s Foundation and is a trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
President, Oceanhouse Media, Inc.
Michel Kripalani is President of Oceanhouse Media, Inc., a leading publisher of apps for Apple, Android, NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, Kindle Fire and HP TouchPad devices. The company has released more than 280 apps and secured licensing agreements with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, HarperCollins, Random House Children’s Books, Hay House Publishers, Zondervan, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Mercer Mayer and others. Kripalani gained notoriety as founder and CEO of Presto Studios, creators of The Journeyman Project series and Myst III: Exile games still on the market today. He was also a former Director of Business Development for Autodesk.
Advisor, Open Road Media & Strategic Innovations Advisor, Penguin US
Barbara Marcus is considered a leading business and marketing strategist in the areas of children’s content and distribution. Barbara is currently Strategic Innovations Advisor to Penguin Books USA focusing in the area of new ventures and new publishing opportunities and Strategic Advisor of Young Adult digital ventures for Open Road Integrated Media. Ms. Marcus is on the Board of Knowledge Adventure, a children’s software and technology company and Media Source, a children’s books direct marketing company and publisher of Library Journal and School Library Journal. Prior to that, Barbara was President, Scholastic Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution where she was responsible for children’s consumer book publishing and distribution in the United States. After acquiring J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for publication in the United States in 1998, Barbara led the publishing effort for six out of the seven Harry Potter titles.
President, EPM Communications, Inc. & Publisher, Youth Markets Alert
Ira is publisher of the newsletter Youth Markets Alert, and oversees publication of EPM’s other newsletters and research studies including “How Teens & Tweens Use Social Media,” “Tween Sensibility, Spending & Influence” and “How Mobile Devices Are Changing The Way Americans Shop.” Ira was a rock and roll critic from 1970-1990. He is the author of “The Electronic Mailbox” (Hayden) about the wonders of e-mail—published in 1987!; and travel guides to New York, Montreal and London (Fodor’s). Ira is adjunct professor of marketing at NYU, and holds an M.A. in Media Ecology (NYU) and a B.A. from Hunter College.
Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Bookigee, Inc.
Bookigee is a Miami-based company developing a wide range of applications and services for helping the publishing industry transform itself in the digital age. As Bookigee’s ringleader, Kristen oversees all aspects of company vision, team building, capital fundraising, development strategy, industry partnerships, and the cheering-on of Bookigee’s talented team. Before founding Bookigee, Kristen spent seventeen years in publishing in a wide variety of roles including her most-recent position as the Executive Director of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC), a non-profit trade association that networks the children’s book market. Under Kristen’s leadership, ABC merged with its larger sister association, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) in 2011, where its work continues. Kristen holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and has done graduate work in Graphic and Industrial Design at Massachusetts College of Art. Kristen also edits Bowker Pubtrack’s bi-annual consumer study of the children’s book market, Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age.
Author, Fancy Nancy and Nina, Nina Ballerina
Jane O’Connor is a children’s books editor at a major publishing house in Manhattan. She is the author of more than seventy books for children, including the Fancy Nancy series, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, of which six titles have been #1 New York Times bestsellers. Jane has also written one adult novel, Dangerous Admissions: Secrets of a Closet Sleuth. She has two grown sons, Robby and Teddy, and her sister Jill Abramson is the Executive Editor of the New York Times. Jane was born, bred and still lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband Jim and their canine companion Arrow.
Director of Business Development, Content Acquisitions, NOOK Kids, Barnes & Noble
With almost twenty years of experience in kids’ media, Kevin O’Connor has worked virtually every aspect of the biz – research, TV production, toy development, licensing, touring, promotions, music and now eBooks.
Kevin joined Barnes & Noble in 2010 to head of Content Acquisition and Publisher Relations for Kids’ eBooks. So he’s can finally discuss the finer points of Richard Scarry and Huckle the Cat vis a vis Anglo-American conceptions of village life with the average four-year-old. An alum of Sesame Workshop, Kevin has hilarious stories about the Muppets which can’t be told in mixed company. But he’ll hint at ‘em.
And although he’s earned 9 Gold records in his position in charge of business development at Kidz Bop… you don’t want to hear him sing. Seriously.
Jennifer A. Perry
Vice President Global Publishing at Sesame Workshop
Jennifer A. Perry is the Vice President of Worldwide Publishing at Sesame Worksop. She manages all editorial content and business initiatives for both print and digital publishing.
Jana Kerr Pettey
Publisher/Editorial Director, Justine Magazine
Jana Kerr Pettey (a self-prescribed teenager at heart) has worked with thousands of teen girls over the past 20 years in various leadership and mentoring programs. Her proudest work achievement has been the founding of Justine magazine, the national girl teen magazine, whose mission is to inspire and motivate teens to be their best selves. Prior to Justine, she worked with her sister’s company—Pat Kerr, Inc.—in every capacity possible marketing beautiful antique lace wedding gowns to the world. Although she has not landed in her ideal job (wanting to be a librarian in the 5th grade and reading all day long), she is connected to the book world through Justine’s involvement in the YA genre.
Marketing Director, Children’s Publishing Division, Simon and Schuster
Lucille Rettino is the Director of Marketing for Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing. She is responsible for cross-imprint marketing initiatives and acts as key liaison between the sales force and the marketing and publishing staff. She is also involved in marketing campaigns for high profile authors including Ellen Hopkins, Cassandra Clare, Jodi Picoult, and Richard Paul Evans. At S&S Lucille launched Pulse It, an online social networking site for teens. She has also spearheaded a number of digital initiatives focused on building communities of readers. Lucille has been in publishing for 20 years working in both adult and children’s marketing.
CEO, Footsteps 2 Brilliance
Ilene Rosenthal is CEO of Footsteps2Brilliance™, a breakthrough early learning mobile game platform that accelerates student achievement by uniting the power of mobile game technology with the latest in cognitive research. Footsteps2Brilliance™ recently won the prestigious SIIA award for “Innovative Company Most Likely To Succeed.” Ilene previously served as President of Strategic Initiatives for Achieve3000, and co-founded Lightspan, an educational software company that successfully bridged school and home using videogame technology. She is recognized as a leader for her innovative work using game methodology to increase time spent on learning and accelerate student achievement.
VP Digital Content Development, Penguin Group USA
Adam Royce is the Vice President of Digital Content Development for the Penguin Young Readers Group. In this position, he oversees all of the digital products for the company, including apps, E-books, E-picture books, and new initiatives.
Before his foray into the digital world, he acted as the Executive Art Director for Grosset & Dunlap and Price Stern Sloan at PYRG, where he was fortunate enough to work with some of the most beloved names in children’s publishing and licensing, including Eric Carle, Anna Dewdney, Judy Schachner and brands like Star Wars, WWE and Poptropica.
Adam has lived in New York City for the best part of 5 years, but he is proud to call Australia his home.
Woody’s knowledge of the consumer and mobile technology industries has proven essential to the growth of the company’s digital publishing platform. After co-founding FrogDogMedia, the company’s iStoryTime digital publishing grew tremendously, leading to a merger with Germany-based zuuka GmbH, resulting in the world’s largest publisher of mobile children’s books. Under the name zuuka, the newly formed company utilizes the largely successful iStoryTime name as its flagship label and joint brand. Woody earned an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and a B.A. from the University of Colorado.
Market Partners International, Conference Chair
Lorraine Shanley is President of Market Partners International, a consulting firm that specializes in traditional and digital publishing in the US and internationally. One of the top recruiters in the industry, MPI also works with publishers, brands, cultural institutions and associations, and technology firms on various aspects of content development and distribution. Shanley is a member (and past president) of Women’s Media Group, and is on the Advisory Board of New York University’s Publishing Program and the board of Fourth Story Media, a New York-based web development company. She graduated from the University of Rochester and received her M.A. from the University of Virginia, where she serves on the Jefferson Fellowship selection committee.
CEO and Founder, Storybird
Mark Ury is the cofounder and CEO of Storybird, the world’s largest publishing platform for art-based storytelling. An experience architect by trade, Mark has advised brands such as Nike, Starbucks, BMW, and Apple on digital strategy, service design, and product development.
Founder/CEO, Loud Crow Interactive, Inc
Calvin Wang is Founder and President of Loud Crow Interactive Inc., a digital book developer specializing in publishing innovative, interactive children’s books. He spent 15 years in high tech before his daughter and a movable book inspired him to establish Loud Crow. At Loud Crow, Calvin’s mission is to produce the highest-quality interactive reading experiences in the digital age. He previously worked as a development director on a AAA racing franchise at Electronic Arts. Prior to EA, he was CTO and Co-founder of a public unified communications company.
President, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Jon Yaged is President & Publisher, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Prior to Macmillan, Jon was COO of social media marketing company House Party.
Jon joined House Party from The Walt Disney Company, where he held a series of increasingly responsible positions in Disney’s consumer products and publishing businesses, becoming VP & U.S. Publisher, Disney Book Group.
Prior to joining Disney, Jon practiced entertainment and technology law. He has a JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a BBA in Finance from George Washington University. Jon began his career as business manager for the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.