Our People

Our people make the difference.

Mascot’s staff is experienced in the various disciplines that converge in the world of publishing. From industry strategists, to marketing gurus, to creative types, to grammar nerds, to bean counters, we have the right people in the right positions to help authors navigate the nuances of the publishing marketplace.

We Love Books

While Team Mascot is composed of individuals offering unique backgrounds and skill sets, there’s attributes that we all share: We’re passionate about books. It’s this appreciation for the written word that provides important context and perspective to our work and enables us to offer knowledgeable direction to our family of authors.

Acquisitions

Ben Simpson

Director, Acquisitions

As an Acquisitions Director at Amplify Publishing Group, Ben is responsible for communicating with a variety of authors about APG’s publishing services and the industry as a whole. He loves the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of genres and subject matters and enjoys talking with authors about their goals and how APG can help achieve them. A native of Herndon, Virginia, and an avid reader of history books and comedy memoirs, he was thrilled by the opportunity to work in publishing in the same town he grew up in. He received his B.A. in communications with a concentration in media production and criticism from George Mason University.

Jess Cohn

Director, Acquisitions

Working with books is Jess’s dream job. Ever since she was little, she knew her passion in life was to help authors publish their stories. She graduated University of North Carolina Wilmington with a B.F.A in creative writing and a publishing certificate. Her concentration was in fiction, which helped her develop APG’s imprint Subplot. As Acquisitions Director, she spearheads the imprint while continuing to acquire a variety of excellent stories in many other genres. She loves spending her days reading manuscripts, chatting with authors about their work, and exploring the wonderful Northern Virginia area.

Production

Production Editors

Lauren Magnussen

Director, Production

Lauren has been working and playing with the written word since she was only a few years old, and a love of the art and substance of the English language has been at the core of her personal and professional ambitions for decades. Since her early forays into the realm of writing, she has worked on all sides of the process: by furiously researching, analyzing, and copy editing, Lauren helps writers create polished, original books. She believes in the power of communication to get things done, and throws herself into every project to make sure it is better than when she began it. She has a B.A. in English from The College of William and Mary and is currently pursuing her M.A. at George Mason University.

Brandon Coward

Senior Production Editor

Brandon is a veteran editor whose experience in publishing includes helping bring New York Times bestsellers of all kinds to life at a top New York publisher and literary agency. His favorite part about working with authors is making their dreams come true. Prior to entering the world of books, he helped lead the production and copyediting operations of a daily newspaper. In his spare time, he enjoys playing racquetball and taking his daughter to Washington Nationals baseball games.

Jenna Scafuri

Senior Production Editor

From a young age, Jenna has drawn inspiration from heroines in books of all genres, and her passion for reading led her to enjoy a career in writing and editing for more than ten years in the aerospace, corrections, and education industries. Jenna is a proud Spartan, having earned her B.A. in English from Michigan State University, where she studied publishing, creative writing, and professional writing, and worked for several literary journals on campus. Jenna lives with her husband in Northern Virginia where they can usually be spotted at one of the many local wineries, enjoying a night at the theater, or taking to the skies flying small airplanes and hot air balloons.

Myles Schrag

Senior Production Editor

Myles has been helping authors tell their stories for more than twenty years, in acquisitions and as a developmental editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. He has authored or edited eight books himself and is grateful for the variety of genres and topics that he encounters every day with Amplify Publishing Group. Myles has a B.A. in English and minor in communications from Goshen (Ind.) College and an M.S. in kinesiology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He loves living the outdoor life in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Rachel Applebach

Production Editor

Rachel is a big believer in the power of editing. At Amplify Publishing Group, she is eager to help authors realize their vision through the process of polishing and publishing their manuscript. Her passion is for books of any kind: from academic nonfiction to memoir, science fiction to historical romance. Rachel graduated from Emerson College with an M.A. in publishing and writing, and from Christopher Newport with a B.A. in English literature and minors in leadership and writing.

Aditya Desai

Production Editor

Aditya Desai comes to APG after a decade-long career as a writing teacher, literary editor, and freelance book consultant. He loves the chance to connect with an author’s vision and voice and sees his work as being a tour guide through the publishing process. Aditya has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has also published extensive fiction and nonfiction pieces at online venues. When reading for leisure, he dives into socially-conscious fiction and nonfiction from around the world, but also enjoys the occasional podcast.

Gillian Barth

Assistant Production Editor

Ever since Gillian was little, she’s always enjoyed reading books. She didn’t always know that publishing was the career meant for her, but now that she works at Amplify Publishing Group as an assistant production editor, she can’t imagine working in a different career. Gillian received bachelor of arts degrees in history and English at Virginia Tech, where she helped publish her senior history seminar’s monograph on women’s history and worked as a student editor for the history department’s student-run academic journal. After Virginia Tech, Gillian completed the Columbia Publishing Course where she earned her certificate in publishing.

Tyler Brown

Production Assistant

Before becoming an assistant production editor, Tyler Brown worked as an intern for Amplify Publishing Group. Now, she collaborates with children’s picture book authors to help their dreams and passions become a reality. It is her deepest desire to help facilitate story creation, and she is always excited to see an author’s work on bookstore shelves. Tyler has a B.A. in English from Christopher Newport University with a concentration in literature and a writing minor.

Creative

Graphic Designers

Caitlin Smith

Senior Graphic Designer

Caitlin is a graphic designer hailing from Roanoke, Virginia. She is also a proud overachiever and a firm believer in the transformative power of good design. She first fell in love with print media and letterforms during a college typography course, which gave her the opportunity to design her very first book. The experience changed her life and would (eventually) lead her to Amplify Publishing Group, where she gets to put that same passion to use every day. Caitlin has a B.F.A. in graphic design from Liberty University and an A.A.S. in communication design from Virginia Western Community College. When she isn’t experimenting with various Adobe programs, she can be found curled up on her couch playing indie games or re-watching Disney movies. Or possibly both.

Matthew Gonsalves

Graphic Designer

Matthew is an innovative graphic designer and digital painter, best known for his abstract covers and work in Photoshop. He graduated from the Art Institute of Washington with a B.A. in graphic design and began toying with personal projects, which included designing his neighbor’s book. He soon found he had a knack for it and decided to pursue a career in the world of books. Today, he creates unique designs catered to each individual book he comes across at Amplify Publishing Group.

Shannon Sullivan

Graphic Designer

Shannon is a graphic designer from San Diego, California, who moved to Northern Virginia to join Amplify Publishing Group and fulfill her longtime goal of working in publishing. As an enthusiastic reader, she always dreamed of designing books from cover to cover. When not designing or reading, Shannon can be found volunteering as a dog walker for a local animal rescue or trying a new coffee shop.

David Marvin

Graphic Designer

David grew up adventuring with his three older brothers in a small, rural town in northwestern Pennsylvania. While most of his childhood was spent climbing trees, playing football in the backyard, and finding new ways to get in trouble, he’s always had an appreciation and passion for art. He took a special interest in publication design while pursuing his B.F.A in graphic design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. After graduating in 2019, he knew he wanted to work in publication and, after a long search, found his place at Amplify Publishing Group. In his free time, he enjoys sports, movies, music, board games, and visiting museums.

Marketing

Sky Wilson

Director, Marketing

Sky is thrilled to lend a hand to authors on their publishing journey with Amplify Publishing Group. She has a passion for curiosity and love of storytelling that influence her work as marketing manager for a wide array of titles. A Virginia native, Sky graduated from James Madison University. She possesses a professional background in writing and arts marketing with an emphasis on public relations and digital marketing strategies. When not working, Sky can be found browsing local bookstores.

Heather Orlando-Jerabek

Marketing Manager

Heather Orlando Jerabek is a graduate of the Columbia University publishing course, received a M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Central Florida, and a B.A .in English literature. She has worked with publications such as National Geographic, TV Guide Magazine, and The Florida Review in editorial and marketing roles. Most recently, Heather worked with Macmillan Publishers, coordinating publicity campaigns for numerous New York Times bestselling authors.

Michelle Garcia

Marketing Manager

Michelle is a writer, author, and multimedia artist born and raised in Northern Virginia. Her passion for storytelling led her to Amplify Publishing Group, where she works directly with clients to market their literary works. In 2021, Michelle independently published her debut memoir of poetry and creative nonfiction, Cul-de-sac Angels, which empowered her to pursue a career in book publishing, marketing, and building relationships with other emerging writers. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in English, Literature, and Creative Writing, as well as a B.A. in communication science and social inquiry. When she’s not writing or reading multiple novels at a time, you can find Michelle snail-mailing pen pals, baking desserts, attending indie music concerts, and hanging out with her cat and goldendoodle puppy.

Taylor Curry

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

Taylor is the social media and content manager for Amplify Publishing Group. She loves connecting people and sharing stories through social media and websites. Reading has always been a passion for Taylor, and she is excited that her day job now lets her read books, talk to authors, and help share their books and the publishing process with others. Taylor graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in art history and journalism and has an M.A. in art history from American University.

Caitie Merico

Retail and Distribution Manager

A born and bred Marylander, Caitie graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a B.A. in media and communications and a minor in psychology. During her time at UMBC, she became involved with the campus musical theater club where she did everything from singing and dancing to writing and directing. She was even in a student-written and student-led parody musical about a popular Disney TV show. In her position at Amplify Publishing Group, she is thrilled to help connect people to great books.

Kat Craft

Retail and Distribution Administrator

Kat has been creating and telling stories since before she could read. Growing up, she always had a pen and notebook nearby to document all of the stories and ideas she came up with. In college, she was hired as a writing coach at Johnson & Wales University’s writing lab and as an English TA to help students strengthen their skills and become more confident in their writing abilities. When she wasn’t working or studying, she strengthened her own skills in the Mixed Martial Arts Club. Kat always had an interest in publishing, so she is excited to be part of Amplify Publishing Group today. When she’s not working, you can find Kat working on her novel, playing Dungeons & Dragons, cooking, or traveling.

Bookkeeping/Admin

Alison Krylowski

Senior Bookkeeper

Alison was born and raised in Reston, Virginia, and studied Spanish at George Mason University. After graduating, she spent six months teaching English in Spain, which was a great life experience. While Spanish was what she studied in school, her twenty years of work experience have been in bookkeeping, using some Spanish along the way. She comes from a family of readers, so she is excited to be part of APG. In her spare time she likes to read mystery novels, watch crime shows, cook, and work in the garden.

Helen Frank

Bookkeeper

A Fauquier County native with over a decade of bookkeeping experience, Helen assists authors with the financial side of their books. A voracious reader, her favorite place to be is surrounded by books. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in the mountains, crafting, and taking pictures of local fungi.

Soukkhy Drumm

Bookkeeper

Soukkhy loves working with numbers and people, making her position at Amplify Publishing Group the perfect fit. In her free time, she enjoys leisure traveling, gardening, walking, and venturing outdoors, such as in parks and mountains. She also likes reading cookbooks and trying to cook up some of the recipes she finds.

Emily Willett

Administrative Assistant

Stories and books have been a part of Emily’s life for as long as she can remember. Both her great-grandmother and grandmother had careers as librarians, her grandfather was a journalist, and her mother writes detective stories. Emily herself earned a B.A. in English from James Madison University. After graduating, she moved across the world to South Korea where she spent two years teaching English at a private academy. After returning to America, she wanted to continue working in an environment that shared her belief in the importance of words and their impact. When the opportunity to work at Amplify Publishing Group materialized, she knew it was a perfect fit! Emily enjoys being part of a team that supports storytellers and is happy to assist our authors in any way she can.