Who's Who at Albert Whitman

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John Quattrocchi

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.

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Pat McPartland

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.

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Joe Campbell

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.

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Sue Funari

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.

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Kiki Schotanus

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!

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Wendy McClure

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.

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Andrea Hall

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.

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Lauren Michalczyk

Lauren has always loved books and sports. Fast-forward a few years and Lauren decided to earn her MAE at DePaul University. She moved to Chicago and worked odd-jobs until she decided that the world of children’s books was for her. Lauren was thrilled when she joined the Albert Whitman team as a Customer Service/Sales rep. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, watching reality TV, and winning fantasy football leagues.

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Alexandra Messina-Schultheis

Alex 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.

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Caity Anast

Caity Anast came to Albert Whitman more than 17 years ago after realizing she could no longer write about conveyor belts and giant mixers for a baking trade magazine. Reading and writing have always been her passion, so she was thrilled to find a children’s book publisher not far from home. Working for a small company has allowed her to do a variety of tasks from shipping and returns to sales and promotions.

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Jordan Kost

Creative Director Jordan Kost has always known that she wanted to tell stories with pictures. After a childhood spent doodling her favorite cartoon characters (and making up a few of her own), she went on to study Illustration and Oil Painting at the American Academy of Art. Now, with over a decade of experience as an Art Director and Illustrator, she continues to love every step of the creative process in Children’s Books.

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Ellen Kokontis

Ellen 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.

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Morgan Avery

Morgan Avery’s love for children’s books began as a child, when her mom and dad would read her stories every night. After getting her Graphic Design degree from Iowa State University, she sought out Albert Whitman & Company. Now she gets to kern text, look at cute illustrations, and help make children’s books for a living!

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Annette Hobbs Magier

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!

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Danielle Perlin

Since third grade, Danielle Perlin knew she wanted to have a career in writing. She graduated with a BS degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois (Go Illini!) and still loves to write. Now, she thoroughly enjoys marketing Albert Whitman’s diverse children’s books online!

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Tracie Schneider

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!

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Laurel Symonds

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.

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Min Huang

Min 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.

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Jon Westmark

Led by his two faithful redbone coonhounds, Jon 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.

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Eliza Swift

Eliza Swift spent her entire childhood reading books when she wasn’t supposed to—at the dinner table, tucked into textbooks at school, under the covers with a flashlight. At age twelve, her mother encouraged her to stop reading “kids’ books,” and Eliza wisely ignored her.  After college, she worked in the entertainment industry in LA and found herself reading YA books at her desk during downtime. She soon realized that she should move into publishing and now has the incredible joy of reading at work for work. She spent a few years at a book packager in New York before returning to her hometown of Chicago to join the inspiring team at Albert Whitman.