Young Professionals Network
The LitWorld Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a community of people who believe that the time we spend networking can also change the world. Our different backgrounds and shared desire to make a difference bring us together in both community and service. Together, we learn, grow, and amplify LitWorld's work to strengthen global communities through literacy and the power of personal stories.
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Meet our 2018-2019 YPN Leadership Team!
The YPN Leadership Team is a group 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’re unified by a belief in the LitWorld mission.
Caelyn Cobb, Co-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.
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 of the leadership team. When not exploring, yoga-ing or brewing beer, she loves rereading her favorite children's book: The Phantom Tollbooth.
Eric de Lemos, Secretary
Eric de Lemos is a human being recently returned to New York City and was very excited to join the YPN leadership team in 2017. His favorite children’s book is Singularity by William Sleator.
Anxhelina Prenika, Treasurer
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.
Ilana Solomon, Volunteer Coordinator
Ilana Solomon is the Development Associate at LitWorld, but she joined the YPN leadership team 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.
Ben Armel, Co-Chief Culture Officer
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.
Olivia Chase, Co-Chief Culture Officer
Olivia Chase is currently an English teacher at the Avenues School, and she has been working as a member of the YPN leadership team 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.
Alexis Kuzma, Co-Coordinator, Annual Appeal
Alexis Kuzma is an associate sales representative at HarperCollins. She is excited to be joining the YPN leadership team 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.
Ozi Sander, Co-Coordinator, Annual Appeal
Ozi, 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 he credits numerous resources he had growing up to his mastering the English language. He fondly remembers reading his favorite children’s book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
Deedi Brown, Co-Coordinator, Communications
Deedi Brown, an Upstate New York native and Hufflepuff, is a content writer for a women-focused 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, one of which was her favorite book recommendation, The Giver. Actually, make that the whole quartet — you're never too old for a great story with an even better lesson.
Angela Januzzi, Co-Coordinator, Communications
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, Co-Coordinator, Gala Event
Lily Lovinger works in fundraising and special events at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is a self-described ballet nerd, and she 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.
Megan O’Brien, Co-Coordinator, Gala Event
Megan O’Brien is a proud new member of the YPN leadership 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 an 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 Buckman, Co-Coordinator, Milestone Events
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 leadership team!
Kristyn Dorfman, Co-Coordinator, Milestone Events
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.
Jessie Paddock, Coordinator, Network Outreach
Jessie is a children’s book author (Gemini Academy, Scholastic, Inc. 2018), a 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. In addition to writing, Jessie works as a teaching artist in public schools throughout the five boroughs. Her first favorite book was Goodnight Moon.