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. One of her favorite things about working here is getting letters from teachers and children. Her favorite fictional book character is Scarlett O'Hara and in her spare time she loves to take Bella, Rosie, Jack, and Daisy for walks on the beach in St. Augustine, Florida.
FINANCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES
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, Manager of Finance, 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.
Margie Serkin, our Accounting Associate, handles receivables and generally offers support to the finance team. In her spare time, Margie loves to read. While her favorite fictional book character is Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden, there are many others she loves within her secret hoards of books, and at PVB she favors Jack and Daisy. Her favorite part of working at Pioneer Valley Books is the people!
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!
Nick Dufresne is our IT/Operations Manager. He makes sure the internet is working and does all of 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.
Nate Garland is our IT and Web Content Support. He makes sure others can do their jobs "without interruption or frustration from evil internet demons." 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.
Molly Dolben, 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, one of our talented Graphic Designers, 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, Junior Graphic 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!
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.”
Graphic Designer Joanne Delphia needs a clone. She wishes she could be everywhere doing everything at once; it's natural when you’re creating lots of literacy learning materials each day and also love spending time with your family. She also enjoys European-style board games and hanging out with her mastiffs Bella and Chili (though maybe not all at once!). At home, she has a secret stash of classic film DVDs.
SALES AND MARKETING
Lauri Yanis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, is the proud captain of our sales team, focusing on bringing our excellent books into the lives of teachers and young readers all over the world. She walks in the 3-Day walks for breast cancer (18 years and going strong) and trains year-round for them, walking 10-30 miles every week. She is also a rower and competitive coxswain. After more than 16 years with PVB, Lauri would rather not choose a favorite character because she'd hate to make any of them feel badly about themselves.
Sue Schroeder, Customer Service Coordinator, 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.
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.
Kristen Gernux, Sales Administrative Assistant, 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.
Alora Heffernan, Customer Service Representative, spends the day helping people place orders 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.
Grace LaChapelle, 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!
Naomi Shadix, Customer Service Representative, 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!”
Molly Gowa, Customer Service Representative, fields customer calls/questions, processes orders, and talks about book characters all day. Pronouncing "crunchy snacks as the best kind of snack," she hoards Triscuits and Lime Tostitos. Appropriately enough, in a movie about her life, her theme song would be "Biscuits," by Kacey Musgraves. Her favorite parts about working for Pioneer Valley Books are the friendly coworkers, the frequent presence of homemade baked goods in the kitchen, and the mission to promote children’s literacy!
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.
Kathy Ronaldson, our Events Planning and Sales Assistant, helps Allison coordinate all the events and activities for Pioneer Valley Books. She'd like super speed superpowers to help her clear that full plate even faster. She secretly hoards handbags and shoes, so obviously the perfect actress to play her in a movie is Julia Roberts. As for her favorite PVB characters, it's Bella and Rosie who have won her heart.
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 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 Projects Specialist, 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."
Our Manager of Editorial, 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!
Senior Editor, Beth Honeyman, crafts and writes our content, stories, lesson plans, teaching materials, and more, all while angling to get an office cat (please?) and playing the role of the staff Crossword Fairy. In the wordsmith’s free time, she loves to read, watch movies and documentaries, and build puzzles and LEGO creations with her kids. Her favorite fictional book character is Anne of Green Gables. About PVB, Beth says, "Everyone is so dedicated to working together and putting out the best materials we can."
Laura Gomes, Project Editor, contributes to our editorial team with lots of copyediting and shepherding projects through editorial and on into the Production department. Her Patronus is a dog, because she loves them a lot and also loves to nap, be given treats, and get her belly rubbed. She’s excited about working at PVB because of the extra perk of getting to bring her cocker spaniel, Bella, to work with her. As far as the best advice she’s ever been given? She’s still waiting for it!
Marlee Gaffey, Editorial Assistant, 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."
WAREHOUSE AND FULFILLMENT
Warehouse Manager Matt Dufresne provides support to the management team on a daily basis. He does everything from watering the plants to running big projects. His favorite Pioneer Valley Books character is Oliver the Cat. Best advice he's ever gotten? "Don't be afraid of being a beginner."
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!).
Glen Bertrand, Corporate Safey Officer and Injection Molding Lead, keeps our books traveling to where they belong, whether that be a location in a district warehouse, an elementary school classroom, or a customer's front door. Glen is happy to work for a local business that provides such a meaningful service. He also digs Bach, Coltrane, and Jesus.
Assembly Team Lead Pearce Pierce helps create the many kits we sell and keep the machine running in our warehouse. His spirit animal is a lion, and he says the best advice he's gotten is to "Give respect, get respect, and have a plan." In his spare time, Pearce likes to watch movies, coach basketball, and play video games (though he says he has way too many). His favorite PVB character is Super Sam, but if he had his own superpower, he'd choose to be like Wolverine.
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, Warehouse Associate, 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.