ESEC Project Team

The Endangered Species, Empowered Communities Team is a group of talented individuals who develop strategy and manage key overhead functions for the Project. 

Nic Buckley (Director of Product Development, Creative Writing Curriculum Design) brings both creative and business experience to Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books, having worked in the television industry and most recently, as a management consultant at L.E.K.  Consulting.  While at National Geographic Kids TV, Nic helped to develop children’s programming including Mama Mirabelle, an educational, savannah-themed animation for young viewers aired on PBS/BBC.  Nic studied cultural anthropology and East Asian studies at Harvard, and is especially interested in global storytelling, conservation and children’s writing.  Nic oversees the design and implementation of Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books’ writing workshops and she is managing the development of Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books’ Endangered Species, Empowered Communities book series.

Vanessa Birch (Director of Public Relations and Marketing) is the chief marketing officer for Dickinson Wright, a multi-service North American law firm.  Vanessa has many years of experience overseeing all aspects of public relations and marketing needs for corporations, including a company that publishes textbooks and children’s books.  This, along with her experience as the author of four children’s books about animals and nature, makes Vanessa a valuable asset as Dot to Dot Children’s Books’ director of PR and marketing.  Her long list of credentials includes a master’s degree from Northwestern University in Integrated Marketing Communications along with a degree from the University of Michigan’s Honors Creative Writing program, where she received a Hopwood writing award.

Jan Bachman (Layout and Design) completed the layout and design for our book On My Way School.  She formerly represented and showed the work of local artists at Jan Bachman’s Studio in Boulder before turning to publishing as Devenish Press.  As a publisher, Jan has produced several award-winning books.  She enjoys traveling, always on the lookout for subjects to photograph or paint.  Jan will direct the layout and design process for each of our books. 

Victoria Kelly (Creative Writing, Product Manager) graduated from Harvard with a degree in English, earned her Master of Philosphy in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin where she was a U.S. Mitchell Scholar, and then earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  Her stories have been published in Colorado Review, Fiction, and The Greensboro Review. Victoria currently teaches creative writing at Old Dominion University.

Anna Ludeke (Web Design, Communications, Creative Writing) graduated from Northwestern University and worked in the IT industry before traveling to Lesotho to serve as a volunteer in an AIDS clinic.  Anna has been working on her own children’s books to fill her passion for creative writing.  As a part of the Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books team, Anna will be combining her web design experience with her passion for writing to help us in a variety of important roles.  

Joe McCaffrey (Creative Writing, Finance) holds a master’s degree in English and Publishing from Rosemont College.  He is a retired CPA with over thirty years of public, government, and international tax experience, including a stint as treasurer of Lower Merion Township (PA).  He is currently working on a novel that explores the morals and ethics of sportsmanship and obsession in society and has written a political column for Main Line Life newspaper.  Joe’s expertise in finance and writing will be serve Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books efforts in several important ways.

Jason Park (Consumer Research, Sales Strategy) is an operations manager at McMaster-Carr, a leading industrial distribution firm.  He is also pursuing an M.B.A.  at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business after earning a sociology degree from Harvard University.  Jason is the author of Making Rapid Response Real: Change Management and Organizational Learning in Critical Patient Care, a Harvard-sponsored study of process implementation in hospitals.  During the spring semester of 2010, Jason is leading a group of M.B.A.  students in market research for Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books.

Margaret Trissel (Creative Writing, Product Manager) is finishing her master’s degree in education at Bank Street College in Manhattan after graduating from Wesleyan.  She also been teaching full time for the past three years in second, third and fourth grade classrooms.  Margaret is currently writing, illustrating, designing (and hopefully publishing) a children’s book for her master’s thesis .  She completed a similar project as her undergraduate thesis at Wesleyan.  Margaret’s skills and experience will be instrumental in the development of our books and educational materials.