Young Professionals Network
The Young Professionals Network is a community of young leaders that aims to expand and amplify LitWorld’s impact through fundraising, advocacy, and community-building initiatives. We represent a broad array of professional expertise and personal passions, but we are unified by our belief in the LitWorld mission. The Young Professionals Network is led by the YPN Board, a governing body of committed leaders responsible for setting and actualizing the network’s goals season-over-season.
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Meet our 2018-2019 YPN Board!
Olivia Chase, Chief Culture Officer
Olivia Chase is currently an English teacher at the Avenues School, and she has been working a member of the YPN Board since 2014. She previously taught in France and China. Her favorite children's book is A Wrinkle in Time, but really, favorites are impossible and it's an unfair question.
Caelyn Cobb, Gala Chair
Caelyn Cobb is an editor for nonfiction books on global history and international politics at Columbia University Press. She has been working with LitWorld since 2015 and traveled to visit their programs in Haiti as part of her graduate studies at NYU. Her favorite books growing up were Ella Enchanted and anything from the Nancy Drew mystery series.
Eric de Lemos, Secretary
Eric de Lemos is a human being recently returned to New York City and is very excited to join the YPN Board in 2017. His favorite children’s book is Singularity by William Sleator.
Angela Januzzi, Outreach and Community Coordinator
Angela Januzzi has spent her career in publicity, marketing, and internal and external communications for the worlds of book publishing and non-profit development (in education reform and environmental conservation). She also writes and makes things under a few different names, which she might tell you if you ask. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, as a kid her favorite books almost always seemed to be about mysticism, good witches, the natural world, and social justice. Some things never change.
Lily Lovinger, Stand Up for Girls Event Chair
Lily Lovinger works in fundraising and special events at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is a self-described ballet nerd, and is happiest when at the beach with a good book. Her favorite part about getting old is having more friends with young children for whom she can buy all of her favorite children's books, such as Chester's Way and The Sailor Dog.
Jessie Paddock, HerStory Event Chair
Jessie is a children’s book author (Gemini Academy, Scholastic, Inc. 2018), mostly-retired actor, and a lifelong soccer enthusiast who can always make time to read Calvin & Hobbes. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children and Young Adults from The New School and in addition to writing, Jessie works as a teaching artist in public schools throughout the five boroughs. Her first favorite book was Goodnight Moon.
Anxhelina Prenika, LitWorld Staff Liaison
Anxhelina Prenika joined the LitWorld staff in 2017 as Director of Operations and HR. At her core, Anxhelina is a facilitator with a passion for operations management, who enjoys challenging and impactful work that strives to make a difference in the community. In her free time, she enjoys learning languages, traveling, volunteering and mentoring youth social innovation programs. Her favorite children's book is The Little Prince.
Samantha Siegal, Co-Chair
Samantha Siegal works in global marketing & strategy for PepsiCo, where she's learned more than a normal person would ever care to know about beverages since joining the company out of business school. She’s been part of the YPN since 2015 and is thrilled to serve as co-chair. When not exploring, yoga-ing or brewing beer, she loves rereading her favorite children's book: The Phantom Tollbooth.
Ilana Solomon, Fundraising Coordinator
Ilana Solomon is the Development Associate at LitWorld and joined the YPN Board in 2016 after completing her MPA Capstone with LitWorld. A proud Hufflepuff, her favorite children's book series (and now adult book series) is Harry Potter.
Megan O’Brien is a proud new member of the YPN team. She lived a previous life as an administrative minion everywhere from construction companies to a law enforcement agency before finding her place in publishing. Currently serving as the Foreign & Subsidiary Rights Associate at W.W. Norton & Company Inc., she is also an aspiring children’s author with a MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from The New School. Megan is a proud Slytherin and the first book she fell deeply, completely, irrevocably in love with was L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.
Julia is a buyer for a major off-price retailer and thus, she knows way too much about kids clothing and fashion trends. In her spare time, Julia enjoys traveling, skiing, running, and re-reading Harry Potter. She is excited for her first year with the YPN!
Ozi is a native Bostonian and graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is a vice president in high yield municipal trading at Citigroup. Growing up in Boston as the son of two Israeli immigrants, Ozi’s first language was Hebrew and credits numerous resources he had growing up to mastering the English language. He fondly remembers reading his favorite children book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
Deedi Brown, an Upstate New York native and Hufflepuff, is a content writer for a feminist financial services company. She also runs her own lifestyle blog and a book review blog (her go-to "fun fact" is that she read 100 books in 2016!). Her favorite book recommendation is The Giver Quartet — all four of them. You're never too old for a great story with an even better lesson.
Kristyn Dorfman is a native Brooklynite and avid reader. She is currently a school librarian at The Nightingale-Bamford School. She previously interned for LitWorld in the Fall of 2010 and is happy to have found her way back. She is the mother of two amazing little humans who are also bibliophiles. It is very difficult for her to think of a favorite book.
Alexis Kuzman is an associate sales representative at HarperCollins. She is excited to be joining the YPN Board this year. Her favorite modern day children’s book is The Lines on Nana’s Face and her favorite classic is A Bad Case of Stripes.
Lourdes Avila Uribe is a writer living and working in New York City. Her work covers a variety of topics that include beauty, style, culture, health, wellness, politics, women's issues, literature, and more. She is on the editorial team at Novella – a writing salon and storytelling club for women, and creates content for the American Museum of Natural History. Lourdes is equally passionate about eating cheese as she is about any of these topics, if not more. Her favorite childhood book is Matilda by Roald Dahl.
Ben Armel was born in Krum, Texas and moved to New York City in 2014. He works at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a consumer compliance bank examiner ensuring banks provide equal treatment and do not discriminate against their customers. He lives in the Upper West Side with his partner and their dog. His favorite children’s book is The Little Prince and his favorite grown-up book is A Little Life.