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The Team

David Neil (“Dave”) – co-founder and CEO

Dave is responsible for overseeing Little Green Dreams, LLC (“The EcoSeekers”).   He has produced each of the titles published by the company.

Dave is Chief Leasing Administrative & Legal Services Officer at The Durst Organization, a world leader in the development of environmentally conscientious commercial and residential property.

Dave was previously the Chief Operating Officer of New York Water Taxi / Circle Line Downtown.   He also previously oversaw the U.S. expansion opportunities of a European-based ‘green’ real estate development company, and served as the Director of Special Projects in the CEO’s office of ShoreBank, North America’s first and largest community development and environmental bank.  Once upon a time, he worked at a philanthropic foundation called the Nathan Cummings Foundation, where he was well known for inadvertently setting off the office’s alarm system and then forgetting the password.  In 1995, he created and led for six years a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the elimination of prejudice and discrimination in local communities.

Dave received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and B.A. from Vassar College with honors in Sociology.

Dave was born in Chicago, Illinois, and currently resides in Nyack, New York, with his wife Laura and three sons, Elijah, Miles, and Henry.

 

Deanna Neil (“Dee”) – co-founder and Author

Jackson Hole Book Signings 2008|107Dee helps her brother run The Ecoseekers and is currently writing the company’s Book Collection.  Time Magazine for Kids selected her as one of its six 2008 ‘heroes for the planet.’  In 2008, she was the winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Best First Book, a silver medal winner in the category of pre-teen fiction, and a finalist for the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Children’s/YA Book for The Land of Curiosities: Adventures in Yellowstone.  More recently, Deanna was a Mom’s Choice Award silver medal winner in the category of Juvenile & Young Adult Historical Fiction.

She previously worked as a full-time writer for cosmetics entrepreneur Trish McEvoy until moving into radio production at Air America Radio, where she worked as a Segment Producer for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Associate Producer for The Mike Malloy Show. She continues to freelance in radio.

As a professional actor and singer Dee has appeared in dozens of shows across the country. Vocal awards include 1st Prize, Wesleyan Concerto Competition and IES vocal scholarship for study in Milan, Italy. Deanna currently teaches theater with Opening Act, which provides arts education for teens in underserved New York City schools. She is also a professional storyteller for kids, and a Maven Mentor for Storahtelling, helping kids and adults translate biblical text from Hebrew using theater.

Deanna received an Honors Degree in American Studies with a focus in literature from Wesleyan University in 2003 and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. She has kept a dream diary since she was 13 and constantly struggles between her desire to take long showers and conserve water.

 

Christy KinghamEducational Director

Christy is leading the effort to develop lesson plans for educators and a curriculum revolving around The EcoSeekers Book Collection, as well as coordinating the emerging grassroots network of EcoSeekers educators around the world.

As a 7th Grade English Teacher, Christy was inspired by David and Deanna’s drive to create a network of kids and adults who want to learn about the history of environmentalism while making positive changes in today’s world. When the brother sister duo shared their first book with her, Christy immediately wanted to become involved in whatever way possible. With the belief and hope that this grassroots movement will be a powerful tool for educators, Christy signed on with EcoSeekers as the Educational Editor and, more recently, as Educational Director.  As a teacher of young-adult literature, Christy recognizes the connections across many disciplines and the vast opportunities for encouraging mutli-subject literacy.

“My students were inspired to become involved outside of the classroom experience, after reading The Land of Curiosities Book 1 and meeting the author.  By providing a text as a framework for meaningful discussion, my students were propelled to action.”

Christy is a 7th Grade English teacher in Bedford, NY. She graduated from Teachers’ College Columbia with an M.A in Teaching English, and received a B.A in English Literature from Georgetown University.

 

Paula WinicurCreative Director, Graphic Designer, Consultant & Beyond…

Paula started working with the EcoSeekers from the beginning, helping to shape its creative direction. Being a part of the EcoSeekers combines a few of her greatest passions: art direction, children’s books, Yellowstone, and helping the environment.

“I spent a summer working in Yellowstone when I was in college, and the experience changed me. It’s a magical place, and I’ve never seen anything like it. That’s one reason this project is so important to me; I want to bring that experience to kids in some way, to help them understand the awesome power of the natural world around them.”

Not only does Paula work to create the look and feel of the series, but she also acts as project manager. Her experience with books comes from years working in trade children’s books in New York City, at houses like Simon & Schuster. Paula now works in educational publishing, and runs a freelance graphic design business. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, Chris, their baby, Tess, and their big yellow dog, Maisy.

 

Keith Glantz - Design, Logo & Beyond…

Keith Glantz designed The EcoSeekers’ logo, letterhead, initial website, and provides consultations on a wide range of issues including eco-friendly design packaging for products.

Keith is 50% strategy, 50% creative and 100% dedicated to exceeding expectations. His favorite color is green and he has a passion for recycling which has been his family’s business for three generations. He loves collaborating with the EcoSeekers as it allows not only for great work, but more importantly a self fulfilling experience.

Keith currently runs his own company in which he wears many hats. Sometimes it’s the business hat (how can I get a better ROI?) and sometimes it’s the designer hat (can you create a website, logo, advertisement or brochure for my company?) Keith Glantz received a dual business (BSBA in Marketing Strategy) and art degree (BFA, with honors, in Graphic Communications) simultaneously from Washington University in St. Louis. He has won awards, made companies richer and has seen what it takes to keep clients very happy.

He currently resides in Evanston, IL with his wife and his three beautiful daughters.

 

Tom Newsom - Illustrator (cover art for LAND OF CURIOSITIES & illustrator of TIME FOR NATIONAL PARKS)

Tom first started doing children’s book work while in school in the 1960′s and has continued this line of work all through his career.  For over 30 years, Tom has been proudly represented by Joe Mendola at Mendola Artists in New York City.  Tom and his wife (also an illustrator) both work for many publishers and ad agencies, particularly for kid’s book outfits like Avon and Scholastic.  Tom has illustrated well over 300 paperback book covers, in addition to many picture books.  In 1983, Tom was asked to be a member of the NASA art team; his art work was recently on a touring show for the space agency.

Tom received his degree from the Art Center College of Design in California in 1971, with a major in Illustration. Tom was born in La Grange Texas, and currently resides in the mountains of Colorado in Kittredge.  His two sons, Andy and Philip, are both artists like their parents.

“I’ve been to Yellowstone and Jackson Hole several times. What an incredible place! My family and I have backpacked through the wilderness areas there, marveling at the hot springs, the buffalo  herds, the raw untouched western landscapes. We saw the devastated burn areas, swam in freezing cold streams, and camped out with an uneasy eye peeled for hungry grizzlies! We even took a canoe ride on Yellowstone lake, and looked down in amazement at hot springs bubbling below us in the crystal clear lake water…

As a guy who’s been around a long time I have witnessed what our careless treatment of the Earth can do. I have to admit I’m pessimistic about efforts to stop or reverse the damage humanity has done to the environment.  But maybe books like these will help turn things around, by making kids mindful at an early age of their responsibility for being good stewards of the Earth. Hopefully my art can contribute to their awareness in a small way.”

 

David Erickson - Illustrator (interior art for LAND OF CURIOSITIES)

Erickson Book Signing|95David grew up in a family that took summer trips to many of the U.S. national parks. From one end of the country where the trees are older than Shakespeare and big enough for trucks to drive through, to the other end where the ocean water is warm, clear and alive with gorgeously colored animals, the beauty and vastness of our country is deeply appreciated by David. Thanks to his parents, he is glad to know what it feels like to be alone in the ocean and have a dolphin swim up to you (it feels scary), or to sit on a cliff edge in the Grand Canyon (also a little scary). That’s one of the awesome things about our national parks. They contain countless places where a person can actually be scared. A good kind of scared. The kind to remember and tell others about. Now that David is a dad, he looks forward to seeing his two boys feeling a little scared too.

Jaime Horn – Publicist

(bio lost in cyberspace – coming soon)

Sandra Winicur – Editorial Services (Books 1 and 2, Land of Curiosities)

Sandra is a retired biology professor from Indiana University South Bend. She has always been keenly interested in the ecological issues of biology, and done a lot of writing and editing in these issues. Some of her favorite hours involve time spent on the California shore and camping in the Sierra Nevadas. She received her biology degree from the California Institute of Technology.

It is with great sadness to inform you of Sandra’s passing on Dec. 8, 2012.

David F. Chapman – Editorial Services

David F. Chapman is a Chicago-born theatre director, writer and teaching artist now based in New York. Every summer, he teaches and directs for the National High School Institute (Cherubs) at Northwestern University. He has also taught for the Youth Onstage! in New York, the College of Stage and Cinema in Vietnam, the Phnom Penh Players in Cambodia, Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago, and elsewhere in the US and abroad. David has directed and assistant directed plays and musicals for theatres in New York, Chicago, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Chapel Hill (N.C.) and elsewhere. As a writer/editor/proofreader, David has worked for the English-language Vietnamese newspaper Thanh Nien, the Embassy of France in Vietnam, the International Theatre Institute / UNESCO in Hungary and France, Orion’s Mind, Inc. in Chicago, and Meredith Publishing in New York. As a playwright, he has had plays produced in New York, Edinburgh, Montreal, Chapel Hill, Chicago, and Budapest.

David holds a BA with Highest Honors from UNC-Chapel Hill and is a former Fulbright Scholar and Henry Luce Scholar. After having lived all over the world in the last few years, he is happy to be “settling” in New York for the foreseeable future. His parents and brother wish he would have landed back home in Chicago.

“I’m honored to be a part of the EcoSeekers team. I loved working on Book 2. I was hooked by the story and the characters, and I enjoyed learning about the history of Yellowstone. I visited Yellowstone as a kid, during a cross-country road trip with my family. I seem to remember more about the long hours in the car than the Park itself – I wish I’d had this book on hand to help me connect to what I was experiencing!”

Rachel Billow – Editorial Services

Rachel Billow launched her editing career during college by reading over friends’ essays in the dorms at Wesleyan University. From there, she became a university writing tutor and went on to edit a monthly publication from the UCSF AIDS Health Project. Editing aside, Rachel is a social worker in Chicago and has enjoyed taking advantage of her National Parks annual pass on two cross-country road trips. Her first visit to Yellowstone was with author Deanna Neil. Rachel looks forward to returning to the Land of Curiosities someday soon, but in the meantime will live vicariously through the adventures of James, Tom, and Alice.

Janice Phelps Williams – Editorial Services (book 1)

Janice Phelps Williams has provided editorial assistance to publishers since 1998 through her own company. “The Land of Curiosities is a wonderful mix of American history, environmentalism, a love of nature, and the bond between a brother and sister-it was a joy to be a part of the development of this book.”

Naomi Newman – Editorial Services

(short bio lost in cyberspace – coming soon)

Daniel Frohling – Attorney

Partner and Office Administrative Partner, Chicago Office, Loeb & Loeb.

Daniel Frohling represents clients on a variety of intellectual property issues.  Mr. Frohling spends much of his time on dispute-related matters, including civil cases, administrative proceedings and alternative dispute resolutions (ADR). He also extensively advises and assists clients with the creation, acquisition, evaluation, maintenance and licensing of intellectual property.

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