Advisory Leadership Circle
Kent S. Johnson – Highlights for Children, Inc.
Kent S. Johnson is chief executive officer of Highlights for Children, Inc. and a member of the corporation’s board of directors. The company, which publishes educational products for children, including the popular children’s magazine Highlights, has grown to include multiple wholly owned subsidiaries. These include magazines, book clubs, a children’s trade book publisher, a domestic and international licensing business, an educational curriculum publisher, a publisher of professional development books and videos for teachers as well as a company that provides direct training seminars for teachers. Kent is only the third CEO in the history of the company, which Garry Cleveland Myers, Ph.D., and Caroline Clark Myers, founded in 1946. He is the great-grandson of the founders, and a member of the fourth generation in the family-owned enterprise. Previously, he served as a corporate vice president of strategic management. Kent received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his doctorate in Physics from Harvard University. Prior to joining Highlights, he served in various roles in research and development, manufacturing and operations. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Marketing EDGE, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and COSI Community Board. Kent lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and two young sons.
Ira Wolfman is a thought leader and hands on changemaker in the magazine, children’s, educational, and digital media industries. He is the author of four books, a literacy champion, and key advisor to MagazineLiteracy.org. Ira capped eight years with the Weekly Reader – a childhood reading favorite and important educational resource for 110 years – as Senior Vice President for Editorial, navigating its 11 periodicals into the digital age. For over ten years prior to that Ira served as Editorial Director, Vice President, and Group Publisher at Sesame Workshop, overseeing a broad and innovative portfolio of magazines for children, parents, and teachers, including Sesame Street, Kid City Contact Kids, Sesame Street Parents, Padres de Sesame Street, and Creative Classroom. He is currently the Founder and President of POE Communications and serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Educational Publishers.
Hervey Evans – National Wildlife Federation
Hervey Evans is Executive Publisher for National Wildlife Federation, which publishes National Wildlife, Ranger Rick, and Ranger Rick, Jr. magazines. He has been a long-time advisor and champion of MagazineLiteracy.org. Prior to his current position, Hervey was president of Erasmus, Inc, Publishing Consultants in Saint Paul, Minnesota and a publishing professional with over 25 years of publishing and consulting experience. While General Manager of Cricket Magazine, he started Ladybug magazine. Clients include Ratchet and Wrench, Science & Spirit, Poetry Magazine, Obit Magazine, Sunday/Monday Woman, Adoptive Families Magazine, Experience Life Magazine, Authentic Living, Advancing Suicide Prevention Magazine, among others. For the past fifteen years, he has worked with individuals and businesses starting magazines and with established magazines that want to grow and become more profitable, providing business planning, strategic circulation planning, and outsourced circulation management for both controlled and paid magazines over all platforms. Hervey has specialized in magazine start-ups and developing and implementing growth strategies for publishing companies.
Hervey is a graduate of Duke University and holds an MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves on the board of Voyageur Outward Bound School in Minnesota where he is a lifetime trustee and a former board chair. He is a former member of the board of the Minnesota Magazine and Publications Association and a recipient of the Greg Carey Award for service to the industry. He also serves as the moderator at Olivet UCC and has served on the board of the PDV Foundation.
Linda Ruth – President & CEO, Publishing Dojo
Linda Ruth offers advice on the keys to marketing at retail and online. She is one of the original founders of Exceptional Women Publishing and Women in Digital Media and a current board member. Linda is President of Newsstands of America, the coop of independent booksellers. She has over 20 years of experience in magazine marketing, and has held management positions at McGraw-Hill and IDG Communications. Her books, Internet Marketing for Magazine Publishers, Secrets of SEO for Publishers, and How to Market your Newsstand Magazine can be found at Amazon.com.
Satish Babu – Managing Director, Tech-Mark Pte. Ltd.
Satish Babu is providing outreach and operational leadership to start-up our literacy services in India. He has been serving various industries as an entrepreneur for the past two decades. Tech-Mark is a technology enabler that solves business challenges with technology solutions to drive positive commercial outcomes for global clients. Satish also serves as a management consultant to India’s largest children’s content holding, R&D, and features syndication company – Star Features Pvt. Ltd. Satish has been an advisor to Star Features for the past decade, helping the company take shape. As management consultant, he is responsible for the business strategy of Star Features and drives the efforts to grow national, international and digital presence of their products with content that engages consumers, irrespective of their location and devices. His focus is on the strategy for syndication and other product sales and distribution, specializing in children’s features and features of general interest to newspapers, schools, magazines, web portals, mobile outlets, and news organizations, nationwide. Satish is the founder of YuvBharat – a project of Tech-Mark Training India, which builds entrepreneurs. Tech-Mark Training India hosts one of the largest entrepreneurship events in India – Global Startup Workshop, Congress & Expo. Satish also serves as the Founder and Managing Trustee of the Lucy Molnar Wing Memorial Charitable Trust, which was founded in 2016 in the loving memory of his beloved friend Lucy Molnar Wing, who passed away following a long battle with cancer. The Foundation carries out its mission by educating people through cancer awareness lectures, extending financial help to the poor who cannot afford medical treatment, and providing food, shelter, and clothing to the elderly and widows, and food, shelter, clothing, and Education to poor and orphan children.
Melanie Spencer-Ayar – Comag Marketing Group
Melanie Spence-Ayar is currently employed by Comag Marketing Group LLC and is responsible for managing the newsstand distribution of a high profile collection of magazine titles for a major client publisher. In 2007, she was introduced to MagazineLiteracy.org by business contacts who understood she had mutual interests in both literacy & magazine recycling.
Melanie has since identified opportunities to connect MagazineLiteracy.org with publishing decision makers in an effort to increase both awareness for the cause and channels of support. Her desire to promote growth for literacy continues as she helps to explore new avenues for development within the publishing community.
Joe Quint – Owner and Creative Director, Quint & Quint
Joe Quint is the owner and Creative Director of Quint & Quint – a NYC-based direct marketing design and copy agency. He has over 20 years of experience in producing effective, attention-getting print and digital creative for such clients as Time Inc., Hearst, National Geographic, The Economist and many more. Out of the office, in addition to extensive volunteer work with a number of non-profits, Joe is also a passionate documentary photographer and is currently at work on his first book. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their young twins.
Sarah Jack – Owner Transformational Business Coaching
Sarah Jack is a Business and Executive Coach, working with leaders to improve the health of their businesses. Sarah is a former magazine publishing executive, having held a number of leadership roles at Time Inc., as well as an expert in behavioral change and motivation. Sarah is committed to providing the resources to individuals that will allow them realize their fullest potential. She sees literacy as one of the first gateways to opportunity, leading to understanding of one’s self and of the world.
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa – Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa has teamed with MagazineLiteracy.org to mobilize a national magazine literacy harvest to inspire individuals and businesses to support inner city youth learning to read. He knows a thing or two about harvests. Read about the incredible journey that Dr. Quiñones has taken from laboring in the fields as a migrant farm worker, learning English, attending community college in California, then graduating from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Quiñones is now a leading neurosurgeon and brain cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.
…Quiñones pulled weeds in the cotton and tomato fields outside of Fresno. He spoke no English and, at 19, wondered if he’d made a mistake. One day he told a cousin that he wanted to go to school, learn English and leave the farms forever. “He looked at me and said, ‘Are you crazy? This is your future…” This, Quiñones says, was a wake-up call…
– Hopkins Medicine Magazine, Winter 2007
Chuck McCullagh has been a friend and advisor to MagazineLiteracy since its inception. His career has taken a remarkable trajectory through some of the most iconic magazine, media, and technology brands in the world. Currently a principal in two mobile start-ups, he has served as SVP and Editorial Director at Rodale, Managing Director at DeSilva & Phillip, VP, Development and Acquisitions at Hachette Filipacchi Media, VP and Managing Director, International at Scientific American, and SVP, Member Services and Technology Outreach at the Magazine Publishers of America. There Chuck was instrumental in facilitating promotions and partnerships between our two organizations that helped to fuel our magazine literacy mission.
Frank Rosner, a media, periodicals, and publishing expert and entrepreneur with deep roots in newsstand circulation and sales at powerhouses such as Marvel Entertainment, and Source Interlink, is a great friend and champion of the MagazineLiteracy.org mission. Frank has been generous and instrumental in helping us to focus our mission and message so that we can inspire the support we need from among all magazine publishing stakeholders – to reach our full promise as the nation’s and the world’s first and only magazine industry-wide literacy campaign. He is innovative and full of passion and energy – and most important a love for the magazines that we know consumers love to read and to share as incredibly powerful resources for literacy programs.
Mike DeBartolo has had a distinguished career in media with leadership roles at several of America’s largest magazine publishers. Mike is past Publisher and EVP of Sales with Parade, America’s most circulated magazine. Previously, Mike held senior leadership roles with Fairchild Publications, Glamour magazine, Reader’s Digest and TV Guide. Mike has a vested interest in reading literacy having formed “Read Aloud” programs with ad industry colleagues in New York City and with his family in Portchester, NY.
Carole J. Trone, Ph.D.
Carole is an education leader who is also currently serving as a grantwriter and communications consultant in the field of higher education retention and completion policies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From time to time, Carole has taught history and philosophical foundations of education in the UW-Madison Department of Educational Policy Studies. Carole came to Madison, Wisconsin for graduate school after growing up in Bethesda, Maryland. From 2006 to 2012, Carole directed a statewide organization that provided counseling, college admissions advice, accelerated academic programming and online learning for high ability students. Notable programs developed by Carole included an American-Chinese residential university campus-based program focusing on Sustainability and Games-Based Learning and a Computer Science mentorship program for high school-aged students. Carole’s policy expertise ranges from K-12 to higher education, with appointments in the office of UW-Madison Chancellor David Ward and in the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE). After a short stint in New York City in the publishing industry, Carole started her career in the early 1990s as a project manager for Planet Propaganda (Madison, WI), developing their first computer-based cost-tracking system. The connection with graphic design, advertising and public relations proved to be a rich experience, bringing lifelong friendships and an ongoing curiosity about how popular communications feed our learning experiences in formal and informal ways. Carole earned a BA from Wesleyan University (CT) in English Literature and an MA and PhD in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin.
Volunteerism and service are important to Carole, stretching back to her high school years helping in Mother Teresa’s Washington DC soup kitchen and Gift of Peace house alongside her mother. In college at Wesleyan University, Carole was recognized with the Limbach Award for Community Service for extensive work with the English-language learners in Middletown, Connecticut. Here in Madison, Carole volunteers in food pantries and the Luke House community meal program.
Carole belongs to a variety of professional and community organizations, including the Grant Professionals Association, A Fund For Women, Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission, and serves as a distance mentor in the new transnational project for American Studies students being launched this year by the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.
I have been involved with non-profits and service groups in many ways but I’ve never been so excited about the blending of technology and mission that I see in MagazineLiteracy.org. This is a savvy group of dedicated and talented individuals, focusing time and energy on getting more magazines to readers using the tools of the 2.0 World. I have always loved magazines—I’ve even studied the history of magazines! This project has the potential to inspire individuals on so many levels: the publishers, the volunteer distributors, our partnering food pantries, and most importantly, the families and children who are the reason for our efforts.
Lorraine Phillips attended Jackson State University, where she acquired an MBA in business administration and a BS in computer science, graduating both programs with honors and distinction. She later went on to acquire an AA in graphic design from Bauder College and was elected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges for outstanding merit and accomplishments.
Lorraine is a creative information technology professional with over twelve years’ experience in planning, developing and publishing print and Internet projects. After serving as editorial director of SisterPower Online for nine years, she then launched SisterPower Magazine and was able to go directly from idea to newsstand after landing three distribution deals on the very first attempt. Lorraine then decided to pen the book Publish Your First Magazine as a practical guide for potential publishers that demonstrated her process and provided the details on exactly how she did it.
Performing a highly strategic Internet campaign, Publish Your First Magazine became an Amazon Top 100 seller in its category; was rated five out of five (excellent) by Writer’s Digest; and was selected as a “Highlighted Title” by Independent Publisher, where the book was honored and recognized for exhibiting superior levels of creativity and originality as well as high standards of design and production quality. The title is also being used as a teaching aid at a number of universities and colleges throughout the U.S.
Lorraine is currently CEO and founder of 360 Books, where she coaches and advises publishers, entrepreneurs and business leaders on the best practices for online marketing and promotion through the smart, strategic use of today’s technologies; specializing in social media marketing, web content strategy development, branding and design. She is available for consultations, speaking engagements, lectures and seminars anywhere you might be across the globe.
John Mennell – Founder
John’s professional career spans Capitol Hill, Wall Street, Main Street, and the Information Superhighway. He is an entrepreneur recognized for innovation, leadership, and public service. His ideas have been lauded by the Benton Foundation and the prestigious ComputerWorld/Smithsonian Award program for leveraging technology to improve the effectiveness of human service delivery. In 1992, John received a Governor’s Volunteer of the Year award for organizing large-scale domestic hunger relief efforts and a United Way Eureka Award for opening a shared office and co-working incubator for non-profit agencies in partnership with a local volunteer bureau. Building on that, John engineered a national, toll-free telecommunications network that connected over 50,000 calls from hungry people to community food pantries. His project plan resides in the permanent research collection of the Smithsonian Institution and has served as a model for other national hunger relief hotlines. Along with the director of a community volunteer clearinghouse, John also co-founded an innovative shared office facility for human service collaboration that was spotlighted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
John earned his Public Policy degree from Cornell University, where he was elected Chairman of the campus government and selected by his peers to be President of the Quill and Dagger Senior Honorary Society. Prior to that, John co-founded, with a high school friend, the Arnold’s East Teen Center to serve as an alternative to alcohol and drug abuse for kids in his hometown. During a summer at Cornell, John helped teens in a nearby rural town launch their own community newspaper. After college, John worked as a press secretary and legislative aide for education and employment issues on Capitol Hill, and as a software engineer and information technology consultant in the financial services, telecommunications, and human service industries.
He is a member of the International Reading Association and a board member of Reach a Child, which gets books to first responders to give to children in crisis.
My interest in founding the MagazineLiteracy.org stems from a life-long joy reading magazines and also my experiences as a mentor. Two compelling lessons have been especially inspiring. First, the awareness that a child cannot do well in any school or life subject unless they know how to read. A child who reaches the upper grades without knowing how to read is a child lost. Adults unable to read where once children who didn’t learn how. The second lesson comes as feedback from teachers and other literacy agents who say that, without help from programs like this, they would not be able to provide wonderful magazines to children and families learning to read. Our mission is to share favorite magazines to get them into the hands, homes, and hearts of children and families who want to learn and love to read them. Feed a person, so they have the strength and the dignity to learn how to fish. Next, teach them to read!
Phanindra Palety – Technology & Operations Consultant
Daniel Johnson – Literacy Marketplace & Engagement Coordinator, Social Media Team
Daniel has been instrumental in developing our SEO and search advertising campaigns and managing our Arctic Airlift to deliver comics and magazines requested by schools for Inuit children north of the Arctic Circle.
Andrew Shell – Technologist
Andrew Shell has been a great asset to the Magazine Publishers Family Literacy Project since he joined our team. He plays a vital role in helping us with our technological strategies, and has lent his talent for computer programming and his tech-savvy skills to help MagazineLiteracy.org become the site that it is today.
Andrew has worked full-time as Chief Technology Officer for Pinpoint Softwares, Inc. since 2011, and before that he worked as a software engineer. Andrew also occasionally works as a freelance developer. Andrew has worked for Architect Magazine, has contributed to various websites, and has worked with different companies to help with individual web-based projects, ranging from staff directories for the University of Wisconsin, to helping a start up company, Date Check Pro, build their website from start to finish.
Andrew attended Herzing University in Madison, graduating with a major in Technology Management, as well as a degree in Computer Information Systems. He is also an organizer for the Madison PHP Meetup group, which is a group dedicated to discussing common interests and PHP related topics. Andrew continues to lend his hand at helping us keep our website and blog running smoothly, as well as keeping it current.
Jenna Palmer – Media and Campus Coordinator
Jenna is helping to coordinate our public relations for literacy events and is organizing a student team on the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus. As a sophomore UW-Madison, Jenna plans to major in English and complete a certificate in Global Health. Giving back to the community is an important part of Jenna’s life. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, at nursing homes and hospice centers. She hopes to continue giving back to impact the lives of many.
Being a part of MagazineLiteracy.org is a fantastic opportunity—I get to do what I love for an organization that makes a huge difference in the world. I hope to have an impact in helping to serve literacy needs. Thus far, this internship has taught me the importance and need for literacy throughout the world. It has also shown how I can help others by writing to promote the MagazineLiteracy.org marketplace. I’m excited to continue discovering the ways MagazineLiteracy.org impacts the world.
Tammy Littel – Program Administrative Assistant
Board of Directors
John Mennell, Chairman
Melissa Cocci Luckett, Esq., Secretary
Melissa is currently a Partner of the Tenenbaum & Saas Law Firm in Chevy Chase, Maryland and is active in the Washington DC community. Melissa has previously lived in Columbus, Ohio where she gained extensive legal experience in the public and private sectors as sole corporate counsel for an Internet start-up, SubmitOrder, Inc., contracts counsel for a publicly traded software company, and deputy counsel for the Governor of Ohio. As deputy counsel, she was involved in education and educational initiatives as an adjunct professor of legal courses at the college level and as the legal counsel for state-wide education reforms. It was her time in the Governor’s office that left an indelible impression of the importance of education in the lives of children.
Melissa is an active member of the District of Columbia and Ohio Bar Associations and holds an escrowed license in Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio and Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Melissa appreciates the need to encourage children to read by making reading enjoyable and relevant. As a child she was identified as a slow reader and required to participate in remedial reading and special reading classes – neither of which were fun or encouraging. Nonetheless, she was very fortunate to attend great schools and have some fabulous teachers (thanks, Prof. Hickok, Mrs. Henry, Miss Moss, Mrs. Cedarstrom, Mme. Davis) who helped shape her interests, future career choices and goals.
Christopher Luckett, Treasurer
Chris is currently an executive recruiter specializing in the financial services and accounting industries. Prior to this he served as the Financial Officer for Stewart Title Group, LLC, which is an affiliate of the multi-national corporation Stewart Title Guaranty. There he was charged with the management of all funds received and distributed as well as compliance with local and federal laws for monetary transfers. In his free time, he is involved in private tutoring, in-class instruction and teacher training for post-graduate testing programs through Kaplan, Inc., which provides him an opportunity not only to help students but also hone his skills in the areas of math, reading, and logic.
Chris has also served as a Special Assistant to the Ohio State Treasurer. His duties included oversight of broker compliance and bond underwriter qualifications. He also assessed the financial impact of prospective and newly implemented Office initiatives. Chris began his career as a small business underwriter for Commerce National Bank in Columbus, Ohio where he gained invaluable experience in financial statement analysis. His background in the public and private sectors, including the banking industry provides a comprehensive base of financial knowledge.
Chris attended the University of Cincinnati where he studied Architecture and International Economics on his way to a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration in Finance. He comes from a large family that made great sacrifices to reinforce the importance of excellent education. He is very excited to use his financial background and his enthusiasm for learning to ensure the fiscal strength and responsibility of the Magazine Publishers Family Literacy Project.