Sarina Simon: Influences and Influencers | Influence and Influencers in Digital Media
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Influences and Influencers Insights from Digital Media Insiders

Jessie Woolley-Wilson is Chair, President, and CEO of DreamBox Learning, Inc., the company that pioneered Intelligent Adaptive Learning™. She has 20 years of experience in K–12 e-learning and has held several leadership roles in prominent education companies. Before joining DreamBox Learning, Jessie was President of Blackboard’s K– 12 Group where she led the company’s growth for the virtual and blended online learning market. Prior to Blackboard, she was President of LeapFrog SchoolHouse where she established SchoolHouse as a leader in ed-tech and one of the fastest growing educational software producers in the U.S. Jessie also held leadership positions at collegeboard.com, the…

Joanne Roberts is an entrepreneur, you might say a serial entrepreneur, who’s been working in the media business for more than 30 years. She’s created three successful TV series, run several businesses and worked in new media since 1995. Her focus has been creating programming for kids, teens and women and most recently, she co-founded Now Next Media, LLC with her business partner Peggy Doyle.  They’re currently 100% focused on growing WHAT NOW WHAT NEXT, a collaborative network for women entrepreneurs, 40+. Joanne is also the mom of a 16 year old daughter and spends her time juggling the full…

The woman with the glowing smile is Ellen Bialo,  CEO, President and Co-Founder of Interactive Educational Systems Design (IESD), an educational market and product development research company recognized in K-20 publishing as a leader in research and analysis. She also founded the DOLS, a professional women’s organization that helps women who work in the business of education help one another.   1. I believe you began your career as a classroom teacher and later segued to the business of education. Can you explain how and why you made this transition? Yes, I was actually a middle school and high school math…

Paul Gartner has spent the last 18 years in software development—much of that time running software testing teams. Paul has tested everything from ecommerce, education and content management systems to complex order management and financial software. In the recent past he spent 12 years with K12 Inc. running their software quality assurance department. Now he is at the National Geographic Society where he runs the software engineering team. He has also worked in startups like OneSoft and Etensity as well as large development shops like Ciber. 1. You came to software engineering and quality assurance with a degree in Communication and…

Cynthia Neiman has spent most of her 30-year career in marketing, driving growth for Fortune 500 companies as well as internet start-ups. The majority of her career has been focused on consumer products & services that target families and kids.  And she has been very involved in technology including educational & video game marketing, web/e-commerce site development, and digital marketing. I believe that CEOs in many industries will tell you that one of the hardest hires to find is a great marketer.  Mattel, Ikea, Ergobaby and more have been several of the lucky companies to have found just that in…

Lina Chen Lina Chen—Innovator and “Strategic Hedonist” Lina Chen is the Co-founder & CEO of Nix Hydra, which makes mobile games and applications for young women aged 13-28. The company has more than $5.6M in funding and made the hit virtual pet game, Egg Baby, which has about 11 million downloads.  Lina was recently named one of the top 50 People to watch in Southern California’s tech industry. Lina manages company strategy, people, and money. Previously, Lina negotiated international mobile deals for Grooveshark, a streaming music startup, worked at the William Morris Agency, one of the largest entertainment agencies in…

Ariella Lehrer Ariella Lehrer is a 30-year veteran of the games business. As a female, she is a rarity and a much admired pioneer.  She has founded and managed three companies,  all of which were involved in the design, production, and marketing of interactive games. Currently she is the CEO of Legacy Games, which is based in Los Angeles, with development studios in Hungary and Poland. Legacy began 16 years ago making medical simulations like Emergency Room, graduated to adventure games such as Law & Order, which morphed into hidden object games like Murder, She Wrote. Currently, Legacy is focused on casual…

An Interview with Michael Chanover, Chief Creative Officer, Fingerprint Play Michael Chanover is the Chief Creative Officer at Fingerprint, a mobile start-up that is the first learning and play network for kids and their grown ups. Prior to Fingerprint, Michael was VP of Product for the Alsop-Louie portfolio company, Kidlandia. Prior to Kidlandia, he was Global Creative Director of Web & Brand at the educational toy company, LeapFrog Enterprises, where he directed products and programs that converge user experience, brand, strategy, Web, and print technologies. Before that, he spent four years in the San Francisco and New York offices of frogdesign, as Executive Producer and General Manager. In addition, Michael was…