John Quattrocchi is the President and co-owner of Albert Whitman & Company. John and Patrick McPartland, friends since first grade, purchased Albert Whitman in January 2008. John’s global business expertise acquired over 25 years include strategic planning and execution, supply chain management, finance and accounting, and operations. John considers himself one of the luckiest people in the world because he works with an incredibly dedicated and talented team of people.
Vice President and co-owner Pat McPartland is celebrating 25 years with Albert Whitman & Company in 2014! He loves going to trade shows (no joke!) and has been friends with co-owner John Quattrocchi since the 1st grade. When he’s not at Albert Whitman slinging books, you can find him on the golf course or at home with his wife Laura, Buddy the cat, and Buttercup the dog.
Joe Campbell has held a lot of different positions—customer service rep, supervisor, operations manager, and now business director—at Albert Whitman since he started in 1993. Currently, he is responsible for AW’s contracts, purchasing, royalties, accounting, and distribution. His claim to fame, aside from being a no-holds barred reader of acquisitions manuscripts, is that he got the first PC in AW history (that’s how old he is) in 1995.
Wendy McClure was named for the Wendy in Peter Pan, so it figures that she works in children’s books. She has a poetry MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She won’t say how long she’s been at Whitman, but more than seventy Boxcar Children Mysteries have been published since she started and she can tell you what every single one of them is about.
Eliza Swift spent her childhood reading books when she wasn’t supposed to—at the dinner table, tucked into textbooks at school, under the covers with a flashlight. After college, she worked in the entertainment industry in LA and secretly read YA books at her desk. She soon realized that she should move into publishing and now has the incredible joy of reading at work for work. Eliza spent several years at a book packager in New York before joining the inspiring team at Albert Whitman.
Annie Nybo is an Editor at Albert Whitman who spent her childhood rewriting five chapters of a novel before realizing she was born to edit, not write. She was previously an Associate Editor at Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster and an Editorial Assistant at Clarion Books. She’s been honored to work with many talented creators such as Catherynne M. Valente, Jason Gallaher, Patrick Weekes, Susan Cooper, William Alexander, and Hilary McKay. When not reading, Annie plays video games and embroiders—sometimes at the same time.
A complete bookworm, Andrea Hall knew in middle school that she wanted to work in the wonderful world of publishing. After attending Miami University in Oxford, she spent the next seven years working at Pearson Education before joining the Albert Whitman team. Andrea is also a former ARA of the Central and Southern Ohio Chapter of SCBWI. Children’s books are her first love and she’s always looking for the next book that pulls her in and won’t let go.
Led by his two faithful redbone coonhounds, Jon Westmark spent his childhood roaming the muddy river bottoms of the Oklahoma Ozarks in search of adventure. Well…okay, that’s not quite true. He actually grew up in flat, oft-frozen Minneapolis and had just one dog—a Lab—which rarely left the yard. But Jon learned early on that books could send him anywhere. Now he edits stories he hopes will transport the next generation. Before joining AW in 2016, he spent two years editing children’s nonfiction. He formerly interned at Graywolf Press and Coffee House Press.
At five, Sue Tarsky read her first Eloise book, which necessitated a visit to the Plaza Hotel. The staff told little girls, “Miss Eloise is out but we’ll tell her you called.” One week later, a postcard came from Eloise, thanking Sue for coming. Eloise is partially why Sue is a children’s book publisher. Although a New Yorker (and Yankee fan) at heart, Sue lived and worked in London for many years. Now home, she feels incredibly fortunate to do what she loves, in a thoughtful, exciting company (and living in a 1930s apartment on the beach isn’t bad, either!).
Ellen Kokontis was born in Chicago and grew up in the city’s southwest suburbs. Throughout high school, she cultivated her interest in drawing and writing in classes at SAIC and Columbia. Ellen went on to Knox College, where she majored in art history and English literature and was the editor-in-chief of Catch, Knox’s award-winning literary magazine. She worked for various children’s publishers in the Chicago area before joining Albert Whitman in 2014.
Morgan Beck’s love for children’s books began as a child, when her mom and dad would read her stories every night. Though she was set on becoming a dolphin trainer by day and a professional snowboarder by night, her love for stories, drawing, and creating eventually got the best of her. After getting her Graphic Design degree from Iowa State University, Morgan sought out Albert Whitman & Company. Now she gets to kern text, look at cute illustrations, art direct, and help make children’s books for a living!
Alex Messina-Schultheis has always loved children’s books and has continued to read YA fiction far beyond its age-appropriateness. After receiving her BA from DePaul University in English and creative writing and an MA in writing & publishing, she knew she would always surround herself with beautiful stories. She is thrilled to be working as the production editor for Albert Whitman and among the kindest individuals in the industry. Now she can unabashedly read YA fiction all she wants.
After completing the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, Annette Hobbs Magier knew one thing: she did NOT want to work in the magazine publishing world. Landing her first job in the subsidiary rights department at HarperCollins Children’s Books opened the door to a wonderful world of wild things, fancy gals named Nancy, the poetry of Shel Silverstein, and Boxcars, and she couldn’t be happier!
Laurel Symonds has been destined for a career in children’s books since her Halloween costume in second grade was a book that she had written and illustrated herself. After college and several internships, Laurel landed in the editorial department at a major New York publishing house for five years. In 2015, she made the transition both to Chicago and the marketing department at Albert Whitman. When not caught up in a book, Laurel enjoys cooking, baking, and traveling. She has been known to plan trips around visiting literary landmarks.
A forever fan of trolls, Polly Pocket, and all things 90’s, Tracie Schneider has remained a kid at heart. While she always longed to be a cashier when she grew up, her dreams shifted at an early age when she discovered the magic in children’s books and became enthralled by the power of a good story. She soon began to pen stories of her own at her little white desk, and her love for writing and children’s books never faded away. She’s now thrilled to be a part of a creative team that’s dedicated to entertaining and inspiring little ones!
Lisa White’s world has always been surrounded by words, from penning her first book in the third grade (a fascinating tale called All About Whales) to working at multiple media outlets in Chicago. Lisa previously worked at DNAinfo Chicago, Time Out Chicago, Chicagoist and Gapers Block, which led to such adventures as co-writing a hot dog column to interviewing a slew of musicians, fulfilling her teenage rock journalist fantasy. The first chapter book Lisa ever read was The Boxcar Children, so it feels like her life has come full circle working at Albert Whitman.
Kiki Schotanus had no idea she was going to go into publishing when studying philosophy at Michigan State University. After staying home for ten years with four children, she finds herself here in the Purchasing Department. She coordinates with our vendors both domestic and abroad. No need to ponder the existence of life when she is happy to be part of the wonderful community here at AW!
Sue Funari is Albert Whitman’s accounts receivable, collections, and credits wiz. She’s been making the one-hour-and-fifteen-minute commute from practically Wisconsin to Albert Whitman & Company’s offices since September 1990! Sue likes reading, cooking, and being outdoors (she even teaches snowmobile safety classes!), and especially loves spending the weekends with her hubby on their motorcycle.
Min Huang was born in Guangzhou, China and moved to Chicago in 2004. She likes traveling and trying new and exciting foods from all over the world. She is currently responsible for business analysis and purchasing at Albert Whitman & Company. She enjoys what she does and is thrilled to be a part of the AW family to create books that make a difference for children.
Caity Anast was thrilled to find a children’s book publisher in her own backyard almost twenty years ago. She has always loved reading and writing—so much so that she once attended the Anne of Green Gables Festival on Prince Edward Island. Working for a small company has allowed her to do a variety of tasks from sales and promotions to contracts and metadata.