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Advisory Board

Marilyn Alexander

Marilyn Alexander is a sought-after consultant to senior executives on brand strategy and development, business planning, communications, process, and organizational issues. She serves on the board of DCT Industrial Trust, an industrial real-estate investment trust headquartered in Denver, CO, where she chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Nominating/Governance Committee. She also serves on the boards and Audit Committees of Tutor Perini Corporation, a major U. S. construction company, and Torchmark Corporation, an insurance holding company headquartered in Texas.

Prior to that work, Alexander served as a managing consultant for Towers Perrin. She later became vice president of financial planning and analysis at Marriott Corporation where she directed the major financial processes for the company. Alexander then went on to serve in the Walt Disney Company as vice president of finance at Walt Disney World and vice president of destination marketing and brand management at the Walt Disney Resort in Florida. She was instrumental in developing and implementing brand management, hotel build-out, yield management, theme park pricing, and operating strategies that generated outstanding growth in revenue and income. She finished her tenure at the company as SVP and CFO of the Disneyland Resort in California, with revenue of $1.4 billion. 

At Chapman University, Alexander is a member of the Board of Governors and the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees, along with the Board of Regents for Brandman University, where she chairs the Marketing and Enrollment Committee and serves on the Finance Committee. 

Alexander was awarded a George F. Baker Scholarship and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University, in Washington, DC, with a degree in Philosophy. She earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania and is a licensed CPA in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Leanna Landsmann

Leanna Landsmann is a nationally recognized education writer and editor who currently writes a weekly column for parents titled, "A+ Advice for Parents," which appears in newspapers across the nation. She is also chairman of the board of GreatSchools, a national nonprofit that empowers parents with tools to support their children's education.

Landsmann graduated from St. Lawrence University and began her career as a classroom teacher. She taught English in West Africa, and kindergarten in western New York State as part of a pilot program for migrant labor children.

She stepped into educational publishing from the classroom, joining Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (HBJ) from 1970 to 1987. While there she served as editor and publisher of Instructor, the nation's leading magazine for teachers; director of Harcourt Brace Children's Books; vice president of HBJ; and president of Instructor Publications.

In 1988, Landsmann founded her own firm, Leanna Landsmann Inc., to help corporations and associations publish instructional materials for schools. Among others, her clients included TIME and TIME For Kids, Scholastic, AT&T, American Express, American Heart Association, the U.S. Department of Education, Toyota, New American Schools Development Corporation, Marvel Comics, and the White House Historical Association.

Landsmann went on to become the president of TIME Magazine For Kids, where she successfully launched the magazine and led it to become the fastest-growing classroom publication, with a circulation of over 4 million students nationwide. In 1999, she was inducted into the EdPress Hall of Fame. TIME also awarded her the Henry Luce Leadership Award in 2000.

Landsmann has served on Presidential education commissions and visited classrooms in 49 states to observe best practices. She continues to write and speak on education-based topics to the media and to parent-teacher and business groups.

Michael Ross

Michael Ross is senior vice president and education general manager at Encyclopædia Britannica. As head of the company's education division, Ross has broad responsibilities for the sales, marketing, and distribution of Britannica products in schools, libraries, universities, and other institutions—the company's largest sources of revenue.

Ross has been active in publishing for more than three decades and has worked in every aspect of the industry, including editorial, product development and acquisition, strategic marketing, and sales. He has held executive management positions at several publishing companies prior to joining Britannica in 2002.

His products have generated hundreds of millions of dollars and won numerous awards, including the Association of Educational Publisher's (AEP) Golden Lamp and Distinguished Achievement Awards, Learning Magazine's Teachers' Choice Award, Parents' Choice Award, Bologna Children's Book Fair GLI Award for Innovation, and SIIA's CODiE Award.

Ross has contributed to several industry publications, including Britannica's own blog site. He has also written several books, including Publishing without Borders: Strategies for Successful International Publishing; Publishing without Boundaries: How to Think, Work, and Win in The Global Marketplace; and Dealing with Disruption: Lessons from the Publishing Industry.

Ross often speaks at international conferences on electronic publishing, licensing, marketing, and development, and was inducted into Printmedia's Production Executives' Hall of Fame in 2002.  A former AEP board member, he served as president from 2002-2003. In December 2009, he was inducted into AEP's Hall of Fame.

Michael holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. from Brandeis University, and a certificate from Stanford University in Advanced Management.

Barbara Russell

Barbara Russell is founder, president, and CEO (retired) of OPTIONS Publishing, a supplemental, educational publisher, serving urban, at-risk students nationwide in such public school districts as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, and Houston. OPTIONS Publishing supports students in grades K-8 in reading, language, mathematics, and test preparation. After 12 years, Russell sold the company to Haights Cross Communications in December 2004. 

Russell graduated from Lesley University, a leading college for teacher preparation, and went on to teach sixth grade for four years in Massachusetts. She then became an instructional trainer in all areas of the grades K-8 curriculum, where she provided professional development for teachers to support them in their career growth.

In 1973, Russell transitioned from her teaching career into the world of educational publishing to help support the growth of Massachusetts-based company, Curriculum Associates. There, she served for 19 years as vice president of sales and marketing and as the national sales manager.

After the sale of OPTIONS Publishing, Russell and her husband Gordon, a conservationist, formed the Russell Foundation to help New Hampshire landowners protect their land. To date, the foundation has conserved over 5,000 acres of land.

Russell continues to consult in the field of educational publishing and serves on several not-for-profit boards. She also contributes scholarship funds to support future educational leaders at Lesley University.

Marlowe G. Teig

Marlowe G. Teig is a retired managing director of Berkery, Noyes & Co., a full-service investment bank providing mergers and acquisitions management, asset valuation, and expert financial advice to the information, publishing, and communications industries. At Berkery, Noyes & Co., he was responsible for successfully completing transactions with such notable firms as Educators Publishing Service, Dearborn Publishing Group, Pearson Education, Houghton Mifflin Company, Tribune Companies, John Wiley & Sons, and McGraw-Hill Companies. Although Teig retired from active service with Berkery, Noyes & Co. in 2004, he continues to consult and provide advice to the firm.

Teig began his career as an editor in Prentice-Hall's College Division, and then spent 16 years with Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, where he held various senior management positions in its College and its Elementary and Secondary Publishing divisions. He was elected a vice president of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1975. He then joined Houghton Mifflin Company as a vice president and the director of the school division, and was elected executive vice president of its School Publishing Group in 1986. From 1987 to 1988, Teig served as the vice president for educational publishing at Macmillan. 

Teig currently serves as an advisor or director for the following companies: Lexia Learning, Perfection Learning, Saferock, Inc., Red Wheel/Weiser, and Teacher Created Materials. Teig is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and has been an active member of the Association of American Publishers. He was inducted into the American Educational Publishers Association Hall of Fame in 2001.

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