Loading...

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.


Naren Aryal
CEO and Publisher
Josh Linkner
Chairman
Eric Schurenberg
Editor-In-Chief
Mel Robbins
Board Member
Gary Shuman
Fractional CFO
Nina Spahn
VP, Production
Kristin Perry
VP, Operations
Jess Taylor
Director, Acquisitions
Ben Simpson
Director, Acquisitions
Will Wolfslau
Director, Editorial
Carissa Villagomez
Acquisitions Assistant
Lauren Magnussen
Director, Production
Jenna Scafuri
Director, Production
Brandon Coward
Senior Production Editor
Myles Schrag
Senior Production Editor
CW Patrick
Production Editor
Rachel Applebach
Production Editor
Gillian Barth
Associate Production Editor
Tyler Brown
Assistant Production Editor
Danny Moore
Creative Director
Caitlin Smith
Senior Graphic Designer
Matt Gonsalves
Graphic Designer
Shannon Sullivan
Graphic Designer
Caitlin Schultheis
Graphic Designer
Heather Orlando-Jerabek
Senior Marketing and Publicity Manager
Michelle Garcia
Marketing and Publicity Manager
Annette Mims
Marketing and Publicity Manager
Anthony LaSasso
Marketing and Publicity Manager
Lindsey Dunn
Marketing and Publicity Manager
Caitie Roewer
Retail and Distribution Manager
Jen Miller
Retail and Distribution Administrator
Debbie Nosil
Director, Bookkeeping
Soukkhy Drumm
Bookkeeper
Helen Frank
Senior Bookkeeper
Emily Willett
Bookkeeper
Graham Tidlow
Publishing Assistant
Naren Aryal
CEO and Publisher

As CEO of Amplify Publishing Group (APG), Naren advises industry experts and thought leaders on the opportunities and challenges that exist in the ever-evolving world of publishing. He launched the company with a single title in 2003 and guided it to what it is today—one of the fastest growing and most respected hybrid publishing companies in the world.

APG is home to five genre-focused imprints: Amplify Publishing, an imprint for business and thought leadership titles; RealClear Publishing, a joint venture with RealClearPolitics; Subplot Publishing, a home for excellent fiction; Mascot Kids, a space for children’s literature; and the flagship, multi-genre imprint, Mascot Books.

Prior to entering the world of books, Naren worked as a lawyer, advising technology companies in the Washington, DC, area. He is a frequent speaker on all things publishing, including content development, book production, retail distribution, marketing, and author branding.

Josh Linkner
Chairman

Josh has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. He’s an internationally recognized expert on innovation and is the author of four books on the subject, including the New York Times bestsellers Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention.

Josh is passionate about starting and building companies. He’s the co-founder and managing partner of Muditā Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm, and was previously the CEO and founding partner of Detroit Venture Partners. Over the last thirty years, he’s helped over one hundred startups launch and scale.

Today, Josh serves as chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, training, and consulting firm. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a recipient of the United States Presidential Champion of Change Award.

Josh is also a passionate Detroiter, father of four, and professional-level jazz guitarist.

Eric Schurenberg
Editor-In-Chief

Eric Schurenberg is a media executive and award-winning journalist now dedicated to fighting toxic misinformation and polarization. Among other related efforts, he co-hosts the podcast In Reality with Joan Donovan of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. 

Most recently, Eric was the CEO of Mansueto Ventures, the owner of Inc. and Fast Company media properties. Before becoming CEO, he was editor-in-chief of Inc., during which time the magazine won a National Magazine Award for general excellence. Before joining Inc., Eric was the founding editor of CBS MoneyWatch.com and the editor-in-chief of BNET.com for CBS Interactive.

Prior to CBS, Eric was managing editor of Money magazine, which won the Time Inc. Luce award for service journalism in each of the four years it was eligible. Other roles include deputy editor at Business 2.0, assistant managing editor at Fortune, and vice president at Goldman Sachs. He was a regular commentator on Nightly Business Report on PBS and Marketplace Radio on NPR, as well as a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, Today,and Good Morning America. 

Outside of work, Eric is a private pilot and club tennis player.

Mel Robbins
Board Member

Mel Robbins is one of the most widely booked and followed podcast hosts and authors in the world. She’s trusted by the world’s leading brands and medical professionals who use her research-backed tools and strategies in clinical and corporate settings. She’s amassed millions of followers online, with her videos going viral almost daily.

A New York Times bestselling author and self-publishing phenom, Mel’s work includes The High 5 Habit, The 5 Second Rule, and the #1 Education Podcast in the world—The Mel Robbins Podcast.

143 Studios Inc, her female-led media company produces provocative and award-winning content with unprecedented results: millions of books sold, billions of video views, seven #1 audiobooks, and original courses and programming for clients like Starbucks, JP Morgan Chase, Linked In Spotify, Headspace, and Audible.

Her work has been translated into 41 languages, her podcast is syndicated in 194 countries, and Mel’s TEDx Talk is one of the most viewed of all time. Most importantly, her science-backed tools and relatable advice have changed the lives of millions of people worldwide. 

Despite all this, Mel is one of the most down-to-earth and caring people you’ll ever meet. The person you see every day online is exactly the same in real life. She lives in Vermont with her husband of 26 years and their three kids, and she is and will always be a Midwesterner at heart.

Gary Shuman
Fractional CFO

Gary Shuman has held financial, sales, and strategy leadership roles in both large companies, such as Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation, and more recently as CFO of ePrize and Moxy Eats and SVP of Sales for various digital marketing start-ups. He has a passion for creating business plans, building companies, and recruiting and nurturing talent.

Presently, Gary is a Partner at Muditā Venture Partners, enabling him to help grow and sustain their portfolio companies. Muditā is a $40 million VC fund that invests in mainly early stage software companies where they can actively make an impact beyond their capital input. Muditā seeks investments that can drive oversized returns while improving the world in the process.

Gary is an avid bowler, golfer, pickleball player, and Detroit Lions fan in his spare time.

Nina Spahn
VP, Production

Prior to moving to the Washington, DC, area and joining Amplify Publishing Group, Nina worked in editorial at a New York publishing house. There, she worked on multiple USA Today and New York Times bestsellers spanning a variety of genres. Nina now specializes in a number of narrative nonfiction genres including business, memoir, self-help, topical nonfiction, and essay collections, and oversees the full production department at APG. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in writing and a BA in communications and attended New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute before beginning her career in publishing.

Kristin Perry
VP, Operations

As VP of Operations at Amplify Publishing Group, Kristin helps drive a variety of business development initiatives, ensures each author's transition from production to book launch is strategic and seamless, and leads the company's marketing and publicity team. With nearly a decade of experience in publishing, she is an expert on the industry and the marketplace factors that contribute to a title's success. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in English and a BA in psychology.

Jess Taylor
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 from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BFA 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.

Ben Simpson
Director, Acquisitions

As 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 BA in communications with a concentration in media production and criticism from George Mason University.

Will Wolfslau
Director, Editorial

As editorial director at Amplify Publishing Group, Will helps our authors to develop and position their books for maximum impact. He draws on over a decade of experience in the publishing industry, having begun his career at storied literary publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He then joined Crown (a division of Penguin Random House) as an acquiring editor, where he worked with a Nobel Peace Prize winner and on a dozen New York Times bestsellers. A native of Southern California, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter, and an elderly dachshund.

Carissa Villagomez
Acquisitions Assistant

As acquisitions assistant at Amplify Publishing Group, Carissa aids the acquisitions directors with reading manuscripts, communicating to authors, and guiding writers along their unique creative journeys. She has experience at top New York literary agencies, trade imprints, and small independent presses. Her genre interests include children’s books, adult fiction, and big idea nonfiction. Carissa graduated magna cum laude from the University of Chicago with a BA in English Literature and a minor in human rights.

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 BA in English from The College of William and Mary and is currently pursuing her MA at George Mason University.

Jenna Scafuri
Director, Production

Jenna is a seasoned editor and writer with a passion for turning ideas and manuscripts into printed books. With nearly fifteen years of experience in editing and publishing, Jenna specializes in advocating for her authors and making sure their unique voices are reflected in their prose. At Amplify Publishing Group, she enjoys guiding authors through every step of production and demystifying the publication process along the way. Jenna has a BA in English from Michigan State University, where she studied publishing, creative writing, and professional writing, and worked for several literary journals on campus. Before joining APG, her love of the written word led her to enjoy an editorial career in the fields of aviation/aerospace, corrections, and education.

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.

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 BA in English and minor in communications from Goshen (Ind.) College and an MS in kinesiology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He loves living the outdoor life in Flagstaff, Arizona.

CW Patrick
Production Editor

As a seasoned writing and communications professional, CW brings over twelve years of experience in freelance writing, editing, graphic design, photography, and photo editing—all fueled by a lifelong passion for creativity and storytelling. At heart, CW is a storyteller, driven by an insatiable curiosity about the human condition. From a young age, she was fascinated by the power of words and the stories they can tell. This passion for understanding led her to become a ghostwriter, specializing in memoirs, and eventually solidified her career in publishing. CW believes everyone has a unique story that not only deserves to be told but needs to be heard. Her goal is to help tell these stories, fostering a deeper understanding of one another.

Beyond her artistic endeavors, she is a seasoned leader with more than twenty years of experience in training, management, sales, and business development. Her journey has been characterized by an unwavering commitment to client service, building productive relationships, resolving complex issues, and winning client loyalty. These experiences have been instrumental in achieving high-reaching standards and goals, demonstrating her ability to thrive in chaotic environments while maintaining a well-organized, professional grace.

As a proud military spouse to a now retired Army Colonel and mother to three precocious children, CW’s journey has been marked by adventure and resilience. Originally from the New York area, she traded the chill of the north for the endless summer of St. Augustine, Florida.

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 MA in publishing and writing, and from Christopher Newport with a BA in English literature and minors in leadership and writing.

Gillian Barth
Associate 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 anywhere else. Gillian received her BA in history and BA in English from 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
Assistant Production Editor

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 BA in English from Christopher Newport University with a concentration in literature and a writing minor.

Danny Moore
Creative Director

Working with Amplify Publishing Group since 2004, Danny’s contributions include award-winning illustrations, print and web designs, covers, ebook conversions, web games, and app development. He graduated from Auburn University with a BFA in graphic design and illustration.

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 BFA in graphic design from Liberty University and an AAS 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 rewatching Disney movies. Or possibly both.

Matt 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 BA 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.

Caitlin Schultheis
Graphic Designer

Caitlin is a graphic designer from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She has a BFA in Graphic Designer from Moravian College. She has worked with brands ranging from restaurants groups, local businesses and non-profits, big box stores and even large tech groups. All her work intersects through strong typography and powerful storytelling. As a highly organized person, she uses that to visually translate words into strong, conceptual design. Caitlin lives and breathes design. So much so that she’s organized most things in her life by color. 

When she’s not creating visual hierarchy through design, she’s most likely roller skating, taking a road trip, or watching movies anywhere she can—from her favorite classic New York theaters to the local drive-in (or all of the above). 

Heather Orlando-Jerabek
Senior Marketing and Publicity Manager

Heather Orlando Jerabek is a graduate of the Columbia University publishing course, received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Florida, and a BA 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 and Publicity 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 BA in English, literature, and creative writing, as well as a BA 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.

Annette Mims
Marketing and Publicity Manager

Annette comes from a rich literary background having worked in both public and academic libraries, the National Archives, and both academic and hybrid publishing. Her passion for cultivating a love of learning and reading among all individuals gives her a sharp insight into marketing strategies. She received a dual MA in Library and Information Sciences and History from Queens College. She currently resides in New York with her husband and daughter. In her free time, Annette enjoys playing soccer, reading, cooking, and attempting to learn K-pop choreography.

Anthony LaSasso
Marketing and Publicity Manager

A New Jersey native, Anthony Wm. LaSasso graduated with a BA in journalism from Rider University, with a concentration on public relations and a minor in advertising. His first job out of college was editorial assistant for noted author and journalist Gail Sheehy (Passages, Pathfinders). Being a lifelong book lover, it was a natural fit for him to move into book publishing. Having more energy than he knew what to do with, he quickly gravitated to marketing & publicity where he loves speaking with authors about their passions and spreading their message as far as possible. Most recently, Anthony was publicity director for Steerforth Press. Prior to that, Anthony worked both marketing and publicity at Union Square & Co. (Barnes & Noble’s publishing arm) and publicity at Bloomsbury USA where he handled campaigns for New York Times bestselling authors. He is usually found reading multiple books simultaneously, as close to a body of water as possible, or in a bookstore adding to his never-ending pile of books to read.

Lindsey Dunn
Marketing and Publicity Manager

A book lover and writer, Lindsey is a seasoned communications professional with a background in product marketing, PR, and publishing. With nearly ten years of experience in marketing, Lindsey specializes in creating holistic marketing plans for her authors, ensuring that their message reaches their intended audiences. She enjoys working with authors from all walks of life, collaborating with them on building the concept and messaging behind their marketing campaigns, and seeing their books resonate with readers. Lindsey has a BA in Technical Writing from Utah State University and an MS in Digital Marketing from Liberty University. Outside of work, you can find Lindsey in the kitchen trying out a new recipe, out on a hike with her dogs, or at a café reading a good book.

Caitie Roewer
Retail and Distribution Manager

As the retail and distribution manager at Amplify Publishing Group, Caitie works to make sure books are available to retailers and distributors, online listings are up-to-date, and buyers have access to stock. She also helps facilitate direct orders with buyers as well, including special bulk sales. Caitie received her BA in media and communications from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is currently working on her master's degree at Old Dominion University. She is a born and bred Marylander. When not working or reading, she can be found crafting, binge-watching TV, and playing with her dog.

Jen Miller
Retail and Distribution Administrator

Jen has loved reading and writing since she was a kid and always wanted to work with books, so she is very excited to work with Amplify Publishing Group! She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in English and minors in Creative Writing and Sociology. She is currently pursuing her MA in English Literature with a Publishing Certificate from George Mason University. When she’s not reading, she’s probably writing poetry, crocheting, or going on a hike!

Debbie Nosil
Director, Bookkeeping

Debbie has been with Amplify Publishing Group for over ten years and set up the policies and procedures that helped the company stay organized during a time of incredible growth. She spends her days interacting with authors, vendors, and retailers, and overseeing the bookkeeping team at large.

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.

Helen Frank
Senior 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.

Emily Willett
Bookkeeper

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 BA 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.

Graham Tidlow
Publishing Assistant

Graham has been working with books for the last five years as a freelance editor, writer, and beta reader. Now with Amplify Publishing Group, he’s excited to help many more authors bring their ideas to life. As publishing assistant, he aids with tasks at all stages of the publishing process from acquisition and outreach to publication and publicity. He graduated from The College of William and Mary with a BFA in English and is an alumnus of the Columbia Publishing Course. When he isn't at work, you can find Graham playing with his cat or writing short stories at the nearest cafe.