Meet the faces behind Pioneer Valley Books.
Pioneer Valley Books President Michèle Dufresne needs little introduction as the heart of our company and a founding member. She is a former Reading Recovery Teacher Leader. She started writing books when working with some of her first Reading Recovery students who needed some extra motivation. She is passionate about helping teachers with their mission of helping children learn to read and write and love books. One of her favorite things about working here is getting letters from teachers and children. She has four grandchildren: Jaxson, Harper, Mae, and Simon. She loves sharing books with them and watching them grow as readers. In her spare time she loves to take her dogs for walks on the beach in St. Augustine, Florida.
Lauri Yanis, Senior Vice President, is wildly proud to be a part of the Pioneer Valley Books team, focusing on bringing our excellent books into the lives of teachers and young readers all over the world. Lauri is proud to lead the customer-facing teams of our company and often reminds the teams that we may not be saving lives with our books, but we get to change lives. After more than 18 years with PVB, Lauri would rather not choose a favorite character because she'd hate to make any of them feel badly about themselves.
Chris Sullivan, Vice President of Business Administration, is excited and proud to work for a company that promotes children's literacy. She's a secret hoarder of school supplies, and in that same vein, her favorite piece of advice is to learn something new every day. When she's not working, she loves to spend time with her husband, three sons, and two dogs. She also enjoys hiking, boating, and feeding all of her pond friends (koi, turtles, and frogs).
If Michèle is the heart of our company, then CFO Bob Dufresne is its soul. (He also makes sure all the bills get paid.) In his spare time, Bob likes to work on Physics problems. If he had a superpower, it would be to make sure everyone who needed a great cup of coffee had one. If an actor were to play him in a movie, it would be George Clooney (Michèle may have filled this out for him).
Lisa Ahlstrom, Senior Manager of Accounting and Payroll, oversees and executes the financial transactions of the company. She loves working at Pioneer Valley Books for many reasons, chief among them its mission to promote children's early literacy. In her spare time, she reads cooking magazines, gardens, and tends to her human and animal family. The best piece of advice she's ever gotten? "Make hay while the sun shines."
Jim Coyne is our Staff Accountant, and like any self-respecting money man, his favorite fictional book character is Bruce Wayne. He appreciates the great people and welcoming environment of Pioneer Valley Books; considering his Patronus is the Grinch, that's high praise indeed! In his off hours, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching movies, and working out.
Ann Rutkowski is our Senior Purchasing Agent. Ann’s role is evolving, changing and growing daily, with the aim of helping PVB develop a process to aid us in maintaining our inventory levels and get the most bang for our buck. Ann would love to be able to time travel so that she can visit different parts of the world during a variety of eras: Paris in the ‘20s, California in the ‘60s, Amsterdam in the 1700s, etc. Her favorite Pioneer Valley Books character is Jasper the cat “because he likes to eat and sleep, two of my favorite things.”
Account Compliance Coordinator Lindsey Litwak's cinematic doppelgänger is most definitely Rose McGowan, and Rose McGowan as Katniss Everdeen, Lindsey's favorite literary character, is the perfect combination. Her PVB favorites are Clarence the Dragon and Little Knight. When not at the office, she loves watching movies, hiking, yoga, and hanging out with friends and family. The best advice she's been given so far: "Keep moving forward and the rest will fall into place."
Rochelle Newbert, Senior Payroll Coordinator, makes sure everyone at PVB is paid correctly and on time. She loves working with people who love reading. As someone who's always up for a good mystery, she's a big fan of our Spy Busters! series. Her list of secretly hoarded items is unexpectedly lengthy, but since children's books are among them, we can't complain. However, she's hard-pressed to pick a favorite fictional character: "I can't pick just one best friend."
HUMAN RESOURCES, HEALTH & SAFETY
Glen Bertrand, Safety and Business Coordinator, is committed to promoting a safe and healthy work environment for everyone at PVB. Happy to work for a local business that provides such a meaningful service, he also digs Bach, Coltrane, and Jesus.
Patty McCormick, Human Resources Business Partner, describes her role as supporting organizational growth through fair and effective human resources practices. Her chocolate hoard is an ill-kept secret—she can always be counted on to share. When it comes to good advice, her favorite comes from a professor who suggested she go into HR when she decided not to pursue teaching after completing her undergraduate degree in Education. Considering her background, Patty is glad to have the opportunity to do work that supports educators and literacy.
Nick Dufresne, Chief Technical Officer, makes sure the internet is working and leads all the in-house software development. When he's not at work, he's spending time with family, running, biking, and swimming. He's also a local swim coach. He secretly hoards spare computer parts that will never be used by anyone.
Chief Operating Officer Matt Dufresne provides support to the executive team on a daily basis, wherever he is needed. Currently his primary focus is working on our websites and the Digital Reader platform. His favorite Pioneer Valley Books character is Oliver the Cat. Best advice he’s ever gotten? “Don’t be afraid of being a beginner.”
Andy Klepacki is our Director of Operations and IT (just DoIT!) Andy spends his time supporting the great PVB team while they're doing all the things that they need to do. Andy would love to have the super power of time travel; after all, who wouldn't love to have more time?! When Andy is away from PVB, he spends his "spare" time staying active outdoors, playing baseball and enjoying a range of two-wheeled fun, such as bicycling, mountain biking, and motorcycling. Which would explain his no-longer-secret hoarding habit of hoarding bikes!
Nate Garland is our Junior Software Engineer, working on the Literacy Footprints Digital Reader, internal business tools, and many new software projects to come. If a movie was made about him, his theme song would be "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al, and he'd be played by Meryl Streep, because "Meryl Streep can play anyone." His preferred superpower is super speed: he could accomplish more per day, travel for cheap, and catch his microwave at 1 second before it dings every single time. His favorite PVB character? Rusty the Robot, naturally.
Software Engineer Veaceslav (V) Falceanu, as part of a team that improves and develops new paths to education through technology, is involved in all the processes related to planning, designing, writing, and testing code. V spends his free time with his family visiting parks and exploring new places, and loves to fish with his son. His favorite Pioneer Valley Books character is Oliver the cat.
By day, Senior Software Engineer Mike Giver works to improve and add features to the Digital Reader, but in his off hours he enjoys woodworking, baking bread, and playing synthesizers. If a movie was made about him, its theme song would the one from "The Price Is Right," and he'd be played by Tom Selleck, circa 1989. He votes for Oliver the Cat as his favorite PVB character, and notes that one of the best perks of working here is having access to so many excellent resources once his daughter is old enough to start reading.
Justin Dufresne is our Principal Software Developer, spending his days writing and testing code to help enhance the Digital Reader. Justin loves to ski, hike, and bike, and is teaching his three daughters to enjoy the same. Naturally the superpower he'd opt for is the ability to fly, so that he could get to the top of the ski mountain faster. The best piece of advice he's ever gotten is, "Stop starting. Start finishing."
Senior Software Engineer Lauren Ball describes her role as "supporting the development of the Digital Reader application and making cool things." If a movie was made about her, its theme song would heavily inspired by 80s synth music, and she'd be played by Miss Piggy. She spends her spare time gaming (both video games and also tabletop games, like D&D), and also likes programming, baking, and cross-stitching. Her favorite piece of advice is, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Julia Les, Software Engineer, is part of our talented team of developers working to support the Digital Reader application. She appreciates the professional development time given each week to explore new avenues and ideas for enhancement. In a movie about Julia, she'd be played by actor Eddie Redmayne, and its theme song would feature a hurdy-gurdy. In her off hours, she enjoys reading, playing video games, nature walks, swimming, folk dancing, and spending time with her chickens. Her favorite fictional character is Samwise Gamgee.
Jordan Bailey, Helpdesk Technician, works behind the scenes making changes that improve everyone's lives. When it comes to things he loves, Jordan's a sharer, not a hoarder. He would prefer Leonardo DiCaprio play him in a movie about his life, but concedes Michael Cera is the likelier choice. When he's not working, he splits his time between video games, designing and making clothes, and enjoying a good beer with friends. The best piece of advice he's ever gotten is, "Skill is not genetic."
Robyn Elliott, Product Owner
Molly Dolben, Senior Manager of Production (aka Schedule Wrangler), leads a talented team of creative and accomplished professionals. When she's not here, Molly rides horses and listens to lots of music. Her favorite Pioneer Valley Books character is Rusty the Robot and the best piece of advice she's ever gotten is "Do or do not. There is no try."
Ann Caranci, Senior Designer, helps make the books and materials we publish find their inner awesomeness. What's extra awesome is that Ann is the illustrator of many of our beloved characters, including Princess Pig, Marshmallow the Pony, and Marvin Pig. Her Patronus is the sea turtle. Her desired superpower: "I would love the power to snap my fingers and motivate people (3 boys in particular) to do the most right and helpful thing."
Briana Charbonneau, Designer, stays busy keeping up with all the latest PVB design styles, as well as lending her own artistic influence. A self-admitted hoarder, she collects movie tickets, letters, and, of all things, Victoria's Secret shopping bags (she's worked there for years!). Briana loves the tasty food and inspiring atmosphere here, her favorite PVB character is Quack, and her Patronus is "probs a sloth." We think Bri's a go-getter, but we embrace her—and our—inner sloth-ness, too!
Katelyn E. Reynolds, Senior Designer, makes the books we publish look pretty. It's an open secret that she hoards clothes, and would benefit from Cher's clothes system in the movie "Clueless." In her spare time, Katelyn loves to travel, and especially enjoys live music shows. Her favorite fictional character is definitely Madeline, and her favorite PVB character is probably Oliver the Cat, "because what's better than a cat in a sweater?"
Gina Mercieri is our Senior Print Production Coordinator. She manages the reprint process and provides much needed administrative support to the Production team. When she's not working, Gina enjoys trips to the beach, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family. If she could have any superpower, she'd want to be able to teleport so she could go anywhere at any moment. Gina's favorite Pioneer Valley Books character is Quack the Duck. The best advice she's ever gotten? "Don’t trip over something that’s behind you.”
Sue Schroeder, Customer Service Supervisor, works hard to make sure that all of our customers have a positive experience with PVB. Her favorite part of working here? “Reading the fabulous letters the kids write to Bella and Rosie and all the other characters. I’m so proud to be part of a team that makes such a positive impact on the literacy skills of young children.” When not in the office she can be found on the dock of a pool playing with her big jumping, water-crazy Australian Shepherd G.G. (G.G. stands for Good Girl, not Galaxy Girl, although she does fly through the air!) Sue can also be found training both of her dogs, G.G. and Macy (Macy is Clever, The Contest), in the sport of odor detection.
Senior Sales Representative Colleen Sculleigh Osman loves being surrounded by books all day here at PVB. She simply and directly describes her job helping customers, saying "I help people get what they want." When she's not answering a myriad of questions for teachers, Colleen is happiest galloping through the woods on her mare. She's a dedicated rider, which may also be why her favorite PVB character is Marshmallow the Pony and she'd love to have the power to tame a wild mustang without fettering its spirit.
Melanie Salvaggio, Sales Representative, spends her days here connecting people with products they need and working on the group-participation crosswords in the office bathroom. During out-of-office hours, she likes to spend time with her family, try out new recipes, and watch awful reality TV. Melanie always has a secret stash of chocolate hidden somewhere (good to know!). Her favorite PVB characters are the City Mice, whose street smarts keep her connected to her former life as a city girl.
Grace LaChapelle, Senior Customer Service Representative, brings a bright spark of enthusiasm to her role with the company, inspiring joy in her co-workers and customers with her optimistic perspective and focus on gratitude. When she is away from the Reception area at PVB, she enjoys collaging vision boards, meditating each morning, coloring mandalas, finding inspiration in nature, connecting with friends, reading healthy food blogs and experimenting in the kitchen. Grace’s first job in high school was as a Library Page in the Children’s Room, so her professional circuit came full circle when she joined the team at PVB. She enjoys spending the day with hard-working, fun-loving people, and our occasional Thursday company lunches!
Kristen Gernux, Senior Sales Administrator, describes her day as providing support to the Sales and CSR teams and promoting the mission of PVB. She kindly requests teleportation superpowers so that she's able to travel to as many destinations as possible without the hassle of TSA lines and empty bank accounts. She particularly appreciates that furry friends are welcome in the PVB office and that there are usually treats in the lunch room. Kristen spends most of her spare time with friends and family, either adventuring to new places, getting outside, or cooking up something fun in the kitchen.
Customer Service Representative Mackenzie Cox lives in the moment, and loves getting to hear the responses from teachers and parents on how much they love our company and products. In her spare time, she likes to bake, coach youth cheerleading, and sing at her local faith establishment. She considers Clarence the Dragon her Patronus, because he is kind, generous, and loves chocolate chip cookies. Her favorite quote comes from Walt Disney: "Around here we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Amy Bowlin, our Literacy Support Specialist, supports sales, marketing, and customer service with literacy queries. She loves being on the cutting edge of educational literacy development while simultaneously sharing space with Gilbert, Bella, and Rosie! In her spare time she likes to garden, hike, kayak, and play games with family. Amy secretly hoards dark chocolate, a delight that might help with her desired superpower, the ability to heal broken minds and bodies. The best advice she's received is, "Work toward progress—NOT perfection.”
Bernadette Smith, Customer Service Representative, works to assist in any customer engagements, from sales orders and phone calls, to email inquiries. Bernadette wishes it to be known that her favorite fictional character is Severus Snape, calling him "the deepest (fictional) person I know." Somehow that seems in line with her yen for tea sachets and the ability to stop time. Ever a dog-lover (her current canine companions being a Golden Retriever and German Shepherd), her favorite PVB characters are Bella and Rosie.
Customer Service Representative Catherine Rivard spends her day answering questions, putting in sales orders, and helping customers in whatever way she can. If a movie were made about her, she'd be played by Emma Stone, and the theme song would be "Break My Stride" by Matthew Wilder. Her favorite Pioneer Valley Books character is Rusty the Robot. A lover of the outdoors and hoarder of tea, she also can be found watching her share of bad movies in her off hours.
Alison Garcia, Sales Administrative Assistant, provides support to the sales team. If there's a common thread connecting her personal theme song ("Happy" by Pharrell Williams), her favorite literary character (Anne Elliot from Jane Austen's Persuasion), and her joy in fabric and fiber crafting, it seems tied to the best piece of advice she's ever received: "Be present." She hasn't chosen a favorite PVB character, but since her Patronus is a cat, Oliver the Cat and Jasper the Cat are the primary contenders.
Beth Millerschin, Customer Service Representative, values the opportunity to work remotely for PVB doing something she's passionate about. A former kindergarten teacher, if a movie was made about her, she'd be played by Sandra Bullock, its theme song would be "ABC" by the Jackson 5, and she'd sit down to watch it eating Rice Krispie treats from her secret stash. Her favorite fictional character is Corduroy, and at PVB, Bella and Rosie have won her heart. The best piece of advice she's gotten is, "Remember who you are."
Hailee Kibbe, Customer Service Representative, loves the feeling of community at PVB, and that in her role she can spread the joy of reading. She's kept every birthday and greeting card given to her. In her off hours, she enjoys traveling and camping with her husband and two kids. While her Patronus is the decidedly earthbound otter, her preferred superpower is the ability to fly—free airfare! Matilda is her favorite fictional character, and here at PVB, she's all about Sally the Cow.
Kim Gray, Customer Service Representative, considers her co-workers a big perk of working for PVB, though she also enjoys working from home. If a movie was made about her, she'd be played by Jane Fonda, and the theme song would be "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught," by James Taylor. She's an amateur photographer in her off-hours, and she loves dogs: Kim considers Lily the Golden Retriever to be her Patronus, and her favorite PVB character is Reginald the Stinky Dog.
DIGITAL READER CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Digital Reader Support Supervisor Kelly Kwiecinski would love to be able to communicate via telepathy, which would definitely add some shortcuts to her role here. She thinks the deer is her Patronus, because anytime she is unsure about something, when there’s a big decision to be made, or a big event in her life, one or more deer appear. If a movie was made about her, its theme song would be "Uncharted," by Sara Bareilles, and her love of travel would be a big highlight. The best advice she's received is, "Stand tall in your truth, and lead with empathy and kindness.”
Susan Ahlstrom, Digital Reader Specialist, supports teachers and other users of the Digital Products to make the most of the amazing powers of the DR platform and tools that support teaching and learning. If a movie was made about her, Susan would be played by Sally Fields, with a theme song by the Beatles, "All You Need Is Love." When she's not working, she enjoys spending time outside with her grandson and adult children, and exploring the expressive arts (writing, painting, etc.).
Kendra Howard, Digital Reader Support Specialist, describes her role as "the system access granter, and newbie problem solver." She considers working with a great team a definite perk of being with PVB, along with having access to amazing books for her littles. Her off hours include running, swimming, mountain biking, road cycling, and paddle boarding. Kendra's favorite fictional character is Frog from the book Tuesday, and here at PVB she favors Quack the duck.
Sham Manka, Digital Reader Customer Support Specialist, is excited to be a part of the PVB DR support team. She likes to make people laugh and is a bit of a prankster—we'll consider ourselves warned! If a movie was made about her, its theme song would be the soundtrack from "The Piano" (1993) by Michael Nyman, and she'd be played by Batman. The best advice she's received is, "Live life now, be grateful every day, stay positive and always be kind to others and be kind to yourself." In her spare time, she likes to read, watch movies, work out, and cook.
Allison Rebello, Educational Events Manager, helps to plan, organize and present educational events. Allison enjoys the opportunity to present our books and products and talk about them to help teachers and other educational leaders understand what they need to help their students thrive. When Allison is away from her role with PVB, she loves to do anything outdoors. She enjoys paddling as the “engine room” on the local Dragon Boat team, but also enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking and photographing nature. Her favorite PVB character is Clarence the Dragon. The obvious connection to her Dragon Boat team is just one aspect of her affinity for Clarence. She is especially drawn to his kindness and adventuresome spirit.
Alora Heffernan, Educational Events and Travel Coordinator, spends the day building and organizing our educational events and talking about her favorite story characters. Due to his sweet and helpful nature Rusty the Robot is her favorite. During her free time, she enjoys reading, shopping for fabric to complete her latest sewing project, and spending time with her animals including her seven chickens. She secretly hoards baking recipes and baking pans.
Sloan Friedhaber, Educational Events Assistant, assists with planning and organizing educational events. Like many of her PVB colleagues, she'd like to have the superpower of flight, but her reasons trend from the norm: she'd love to never have to eat airplane food again. She has a big sweet tooth, and can be counted on to have a secret candy stash at her desk. Sloan enjoys spending time with her family, writing, and making fun of "The Bachelor" every Tuesday night.
ART, BRANDING, AND MARKETING
Brand and Marketing Manager and resident font fanatic Heather Rush takes first drafts, brainstorms, stories, and conversations, and (with an amazing team) spins everything together with strong design. She is Bella, Rosie, Jack, and Daisy's personal photographer. She spends as much time riding horses as she can. "I am happiest with hay in my hair and a peppermint horse treat in my pocket."
Our Senior Marketing Designer, Sarah Curran, designs and creates marketing materials and content to distribute to our PVB fans. Unbeknownst to her co-workers, Sarah collects cookie cutters, which give her an opportunity to use fun shapes in multiple ways. When she’s away from the office, she likes to watch movies, bake and decorate cookies, and have adventures with her husband and son. While her favorite literary character is Hercule Poirot, the detective of Agatha Christie fame, she has come to love Marshmallow the Pony, especially for his skill at sniffing out apples.
Our Marketing Project Editor, Marie Gauthier, shepherds marketing materials and content from conception through design and editorial, and then out the door to fans, old and new. Marie loves magazines, and spreads them out around her home in the hopes that no one will notice their copious numbers. She has learned that a fun benefit of working at PVB is the bathroom-stall crossword puzzles that allow for leisurely restroom breaks. The best advice she has ever gotten? "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
Naomi Shadix, Customer and Marketing Communication Specialist, has a light step, a calm energy, and a bounce in her voice as she answers customer questions and supports the team here at PVB. She loves reading the adorable books, especially her personal favorite, Rusty the Robot. Naomi takes ballet classes in her spare time and hoards leg warmers and fabric to make more leg warmers. The best piece of advice that she feels she has gotten is “Nobody’s perfect!”
Senior Managing Editor Laura Angel keeps the editorial process churning with her eagle eye and consistent ‘can do’ attitude. When she isn’t focused on developing and editing PVB content, she can be found hovering around the industrial Keurig with her tea-buddies. In her time away from her role here, she enjoys yoga, reading, tea drinking, painting, and chasing after her five children. If she could have any superpower, she’d love to be able to fly, just like her favorite PVB character, Clarence the Dragon!
Justin Wellman is our Digital Projects Specialist. His Patronus is a crow, and his favorite fictional character is Seregil í Korit Solun Meringil Bôkthersa, the lead character of Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner Series. He hasn't thrown his allegiance behind a specific PVB character yet, but he appreciates that PVB is "truly a mission-driven company that makes real and lasting change in the world."
Marlee Gaffey, Editorial Associate, describes her work here as being a small integral part of a much larger whole. Her days include copyediting, managing teacher reviews, formatting manuscripts, processing invoices, drinking tea, and so much more! She enjoys the welcoming atmosphere of the company and the perk of crossword puzzles in the bathroom stall. The best piece of advice she's ever gotten was from her mom: "Kindness matters."
Patty Paine, Copy Editor, spends her days copyediting, proofreading, or fact-checking content for the editorial department. Appropriately enough for an editor, Patty (not-so) secretly hoards Post-its. In a movie about her, she'd be played by Rachel McAdams, and the theme song would be "New York" by Alicia Keys. When it comes to working for PVB, Patty loves the friendly atmosphere, not to mention the surprise desserts that appear almost daily in the kitchen.
Julia Richardson, Senior Editor, loves to read, so she's thrilled to get to be part of instilling a passion for reading in generations to come. She claims to be an open book, with nothing to hide. In a movie about her, she'd be played by Jennifer Lawrence, and the theme song would be "Let's Dance" by David Bowie. Her favorite literary character is Bilbo Baggins, and Daisy is the PVB character who's won her heart. The best piece of advice she's received came from her mother: "This too shall pass."
Robin Tutt, Senior Project Editor, organizes things for fun. Her lists have lists. Her superpower of choice would be teleportation, or flight—anything to help procure her vice of choice (chocolate) that much quicker. She's not sure a movie about her merits a theme song, since it would primarily consist of her cleaning the kitchen or reading on the couch. She'd rather the actor playing her be someone new on the scene, in need of a break-out role. Her favorite PVB character must be Jasper the cat, an illustrated companion to her own cat, Jaspurr.
Copy Editor Kimberly Capriola spends her work day copyediting, proofreading, fact checking, and developmental editing. In her spare time, she likes to read, write, watch films and TV, and photograph her travels—"any way to absorb, record, and document stories." The best piece of advice she's gleaned comes by way of Madeleine L'Engle: “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
Susan Roberts, Associate Editor, helps edit digital assets, and provides support to the Editorial team. In her spare time, she likes to hike with her dog Bowie and play with her cat Winnie. She also rides horses and plays polo. Books are her hoard of choice, and her favorite book is The Phantom Tollbooth. To Susan, one key perk of working at PVB is that "the work we do helps children fall in love with reading!" Her favorite kernel of wisdom comes by way of "The Lord of the Rings": "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."
WAREHOUSE AND FULFILLMENT
Warehouse Manager Jerome Maczka spends his days solving problems, keeping track of inventory, moving boxes of books, and doing pretty much anything that needs to be done. If you're looking for a blue Sharpie or box cutter around here, chances are that Jerome has a stockpile secretly stocked away. He likes the flexible schedule at PVB because it gives him time for his favorite activities outside of work: hiking, running, and traveling. If he had a superpower, Jerome would want to fly (so he could get anywhere at anytime for free!).
Austin Rego, Warehouse Assistant, makes sure that customers get what they want by fulfilling orders and prepping them for shipping. He especially appreciates our office coffee machine for making mornings easy. Asked to pick the theme song of a movie about him, Austin names Dave Matthews Band's "Warehouse" (see what he did there?). He devotes much of his free time to music by playing guitar, listening to bands, and going to shows as much as he can.
Jim Burke, Freight Coordinator, likes having different tasks to do, which is convenient since he picks orders, restocks inventory, builds kits, and more here at PVB. His favorite fictional character is Jonas from The Giver and he wishes he had the power to immediately learn and speak a new language. Away from work, Jim is often found outside fishing, hiking, biking, camping, snorkeling, or rock climbing.
Matt Goggin, Senior Warehouse Associate, is the "Kit Meister" in Fulfillment, and puts together many of the large collections that we specialize in. If it comes to you with lesson plans and an assortment of books, chances are he put it together for you and your students. Matt is known as the origami master around here, and is responsible for original folded works of art scattered around the office.
Sandra Bucan, Fulfillment Supervisor, openly, unabashedly, hoards boxes; one perk of working at the PVB warehouse is the unending supply she can add to her cache. She wishes she had the ability to travel back in time, and has a particular time period in mind, but is more secretive regarding those details. She likes to watch movies and bike, and can be found drumming the theme song to "Mission Impossible" while cooking at home. Her favorite PVB character is Clarence the Dragon.
Julinette Vazquez-Pacheco, Lead Receiving Clerk/Assembly Facilitator, counts boxes and books, drives the forklift, wrangles pallets, and more, all to ensure that when the customer makes an order we have it in stock. If her life were a movie, its theme song would be “lovely” by Billie Eilish (with Khalid) and she’d be played by Sandra Bullock. Her favorite fictional character is Harry Potter (“I’m Gryffindor btw.”), and when it comes to PVB characters, Rusty the Robot has her heart.
Donne K. Boumekpor, Warehouse Associate, assembles kits and collections. When he's not at work, Donne likes cooking and cleaning. If a movie was made about him, his theme song would be "Circle of Life" from The Lion King, and he'd be played by Chuck Norris. The best piece of advice he's ever gotten is "Be yourself."
David Gagnon, Warehouse Associate, assists fulfillment, assembly, and receiving. When he's not at work, David spends time on his art and photography, and plays bass. If a movie was made about him, his theme song would be "Short People" by Randy Newman, and he'd be played by Robin Williams. The best piece of advice he's ever gotten is "Do what needs to be done."
Rene Venne, Assistant Warehouse Manager / Inventory Manager, is responsible for setting up product locations and monitoring inventory levels as well as supporting our purchasing group. Someone who enjoys hiking and wood crafts, his affinity for the fictional character Huckleberry Finn is well-placed. He hoards "special rocks"—but he hasn't shared what qualities are required for a rock to be deemed "special." Rene loves the work environment at PVB, as well as the awesome books he's eyeing for his new grandchildren!
Jeff Collins, Picker/Shipper, spends his days picking orders and prepping them for shipping, and his nights (and other spare time) drawing and hanging with his family. If a movie was made about Jeff, its theme song would be "Superstition," by Stevie Wonder, and he'd be played by Steve Carell. He loves working close to home. He'd love it even more if he had the ability to fly, because then he wouldn't even have to drive.
Warehouse Associate Bernie Ewig's job entails picking orders and restocking the warehouse shelves. Bernie likes to spend his off hours doing yard work and home improvement projects, hiking, and playing with his grandkids. His favorite fictional book character is Old Yeller; our version of Beauty and the Beast are his PVB favorites.
Assembler Edna Ivette Santiago enjoys the nice work environment here at PVB. Eda's preferred superpower is the ability to heal people, and candy is her stash of choice. When it comes to other favorites, Ponyboy ranks highest of fictional characters, and Pickles is her favorite PVB character. She likes to spend her off hours listening to music.
Warehouse Associate/Shipper Sophie Haras-Yekel considers her team (and the snacks) some pretty big perks of working at PVB. Sophie would love to have the ability to shape-change, and names the newt as her Patronus. In a movie made about her, Sophie would be played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the theme song would be "My Heart Will Go On," by Celine Dion. In her spare time, Sophie enjoys riding her bike and painting.
Warehouse Associate/Assembly James Hicks spends his PVB time assembling kits, and enjoys walking along trails in his off hours. When it comes to superpowers, James would like to be able to manipulate probability, so that the chance of his acquiring another superpower would go up 100%. The best advice he's ever gotten is, "Think it through," and it's clear he's taken that to heart. His favorite PVB character is Spaceboy.
Lorilee LaBarre, Warehouse Associate/Shipper, believes in treating others as you would like to be treated. She loves the environment here at PVB. She is a hoarder of blankets, feeling you can never have enough, and living in New England, she's not wrong. When she's not working, Lorilee likes to go on adventures with her family. Her favorite fictional character is Harry Potter, and her favorite PVB character is Rusty the Robot.
Warehouse Associate/Assembly Samantha Rivera describes her role as crucial for the accuracy of shipments, and we agree. If a movie was made about her, its theme song would be "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys, and she'd be played by Jennifer Lopez. She enjoys the peaceful work environment here, and in her spare time likes to play video games and spend time with her family. Her favorite PVB character is Bella.
Warehouse Associate/Shipper Jonathan Duke Velez is "one useful piece of the PVB puzzle." If he could choose a superpower, he'd opt for the power of foresight so that he could prevent tragedies before they happened. When he's not working, Jonathan likes to play video games, and his favorite PVB character is Oliver the Cat. The best piece of advice he's ever received is, "There's a difference between doing what's easy and what's right—wisdom is knowing the difference."
Warehouse Associate/Assembly Tom McLaughlin appreciates the awesome work environment and great people at PVB. If he could have a superpower, he'd choose flying because he loves to be up in the mountains and in the clouds. His secret stash tends to be Twix candy bars, which he burns off hiking, skateboarding, and playing PS4. His favorite fictional character is Severus Snape, and his favorite PVB character is Quack the Duck.
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND CONTENT DEVELOPMENT
Senior Literacy Specialist Karen Cangemi describes her role as "multifaceted," as she writes and develops content for lessons, Professional Learning opportunities and presentations, webinars, and more! True to the adventurous nature of her favorite literary character, Anne of Green Gables, Karen enjoys traveling to places she's never been. To her, the best part of working for PVB is being surrounded by extraordinary people who deeply care about the important role literacy plays in children’s lives.
Allison Jurado, Literacy Specialist, supports the professional development and curriculum learning team. If she could have a superpower, she'd like to be able to fly—perhaps to quickly procure additions to her secret hoard of sugary coffee drinks. She spends her off hours with family and friends, playing with her dogs, running, playing soccer, and doing CrossFit. The best piece of advice she's ever gotten is from her grandma: "This too shall pass."