JNP Team

JNP’s talented, professional five-star Team continually works toward the common goal of bringing JNP to market and keeping it there—for you! It is our pleasure to introduce them, in alphabetical categories:


Founder, CEO & Creative Director

•   Dona Rudderow Sturn


•   Linda Morales
  Whitney Torrence
•   Louise Schlueter

Advertising / Marketing

•    DONACO Design Communications
•    Stimulus Brand Communications
•    Macalino Marketing
•    Business Writing That Works

Business Development Consultants

   SBTDC Maryland Small Business & Technology Development Center
Hollis Minor
Wes MacQuiliam
   Anne Arundel Economic Dev. Corp.
   Laura L Fritts
   Robert Sammis, Jr.
   Sam Medile

Digital Application Developers

•   Small Media Extra Large

Digital Media

   Erik Christopher Ugly Dog Digital
   Firebrand Technologies


•   Debra Staples CPA, Tax Specialist
•   Carla Bracy, Certified QB Retail Advisor
•   Linda Morales, Bookeeping
•   Krista Boteler CPA

Financial Start-up Consultant

•   Jay Turakhia

Graphic Designers

•   Becky Moran
•   Darin Michelle
•   Michael Fleishman

Illustration Design

•   Dona Rudderow Sturn, Lead Illustrator/Creative Director
   Becky Moran
•   Mitchel R.E. Kurtz
   Mark Pancham
   Laura Hanson
•   Boya Sun


•  Kelly Shanley

IT: Information Technology

•   Trevor Specht
•   Gordon Triplett

Legal Representation

•   In-House Corporate Council
•   Hartman Egeli Attorneys & Advisers
•   Intellectual Property Attorneys
•   Specialty Business Attorneys


•    Corporate Sports: Branding

Photography / Video & Production

•   Doug Wirth, Video Producer/Director
   David Blecman, Positive Negatives, Photographer
   Traci Dawn Carneal, Photographer
•   David Newton Dunn, Photographer
•   Lien Nibauer Photography, Photographer

Producers / Animation Developers

•   Backfin Media


•   Janice F. Booth
•   Karen McLaughlin
   Ellen Kinsella

Public Relations and Social Media

•   Julie Szaj
   Ellie Deardorff
   Mitchel Kurtz
•   Whitney Torrence
   ByGeorge Communications
•   Dave Abrams

Research Analyst

•   Ana Morales
•   Jordon J.E. Kurtz, Anne Arundel C.C.
•   Vinny Varsalona, Sailsbury University
•   Bryant Sturn, University of South Carolina

Sound Branding / Music Creation

•   Warren Sound Branding

Website Editor / Columnist

•   Booth Writes
•   Publish Ink

Website Design / Technical

•    DONACO Design Communications
•    DG Design


•   Janice F. Booth
East Coast, United States
•   Judy Bartkowiak [JudyBee]
Children’s Author
United Kingdom
•   Jennifer Keats Curtis,
Children’s Author
East Coast, United States
•   Susan [Rudderow] Mitchell
Educational Author
West Coast, United States
•   Ken Spillman, Children’s Author
•   Julie Szaj, Educational Author
Central, United States
•    Kathy Szaj, M.Ed., Children’s Author
East Coast, United States [Lead Writer]
•    Krissy Venosdale, Educational Author
Southern Coast, United States
•   Jim Westcott, Children’s Author
Northern East Coast, United States

* The Creative Writing Teams of The World of Jane NOT Plain™, USA
** Children’s Literature Published Authors
JNP Storybook Series Creative Development
  Dona Rudderow Sturn
,** Founder& CEO [Creative Director] – United States
   Kathy Szaj,** M.Ed., Lead Writer – United States
   Judy Bartkowiak,** Writer – United Kingdom
   Jim Westcott,** Writer – United States
JNP Storybook Series Technical Development
   Ken Spillman
,** Editor– Australia
    Janice F. Booth, Adjunct Professor/English, Grammar Editor – United States

YELLOW-pearls-5starsTeam Biographies (listed alphabetically):

Administration/SM: Whitney Torrence

“When I was young, I was told: you can achieve anything! How lucky I was to hear this message early on. All children need to hear positive encouragement to follow their dreams, from as many voices in their lives as possible. The JNP project is one of those voices.”

Whitney’s expertise is administrative support and social media. With a background in higher education administration and marketing, she is committed to“getting the word out” about the JNP project. Her life has been shaped by a lifelong passion for writing and the creative process, and she is excited to play a role in encouraging children to find the path to their own “inner awesome.”

Backfin Media
: Robert Ferrier |

Robert Ferrier is an award-winning writer, producer and director of documentary programming that inspires, entertains and enlightens. Nominated for a National Emmy, Robert has traveled to remote corners of the globe producing programming for Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Smithsonian Channel and National Geographic Channel. Robert also enjoys film-making in his own backyard, the Chesapeake Bay.

Daphne Glover Ferrier travels the world to bring back stories that touch the heart. Fluent in German and with a Masters Degree in International Development, Daphne has produced projects ranging from an AIDS awareness piece in Africa for The World Bank and International Relief & Development to television documentaries for National Geographic and PBS.

Booth Writes: Janice F. Booth

“ The purpose of life is not to be happy; it is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate; to have it make some difference that you have lived, and lived well.” Emerson’s assertion warrants our attention. Young or old, we can enhance our lives and the lives of others by focusing outside ourselves, on our shared humanity – exactly the focus of the JNP project. “

Adjunct professor at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland,  Jan has a masters degree in English literature and secondary education and writes for regional and national publications on topics ranging from agriculture to xeriscapes… author of an historical overview of the small town of Crofton, Maryland, as part of the Arcadia Publishing series, Images of America… teaches public speaking, journalism, literature, and virtually every facet of the writing process during 40-plus years as an educator… awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to study multi-cultural literature, twice awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year.

Children’s Author: Judy Bartkowiak [JudyBee], United Kingdom

As an author of  children’s literature and NLP Trainer/Coach, I have worked with children throughout career. I was a children’s market researcher in the Brand Licensing Industry (my clients included children’s TV shows, toy makers and publishers), a Montessori Teacher and an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Trainer and Coach.

Despite the constant changes in government education policy, and with the acknowledged support of Positive Parenting throughout Europe, children still sink or swim based on their confidence. Their confidence often depends on their parent’s confidence; so my books are primarily aimed at parents: Be a Happier Parent With NLP, Positive Parenting With NLP, NLP: for Teachers, NLP for New Mums, the Self-Esteem Workbook and NLP Workbook. My work as a therapist helps children and teenagers with self-esteem issues and behavioral problems.  I also train other therapists as NLP Kids Practitioners.

I write for children under the name JudyBee.  My books include a series entitled Queens of Africa. The second series covers personal development issues, whose titles include Queens of Africa Learn Confidence,  Anger, Make Friends, and so on. I am also the author of the Danny series featuring a greyhound who goes into schools to help children read.

For me, the JNP project is the perfect mix of literature for children and helping children to be confident. I enjoy working on the stories.

Children’s Author: Jennifer Keats Curtis

” Passionate about helping children learn through “once upon a time” settings, Jennifer is ecstatic about her role with The JNP Project. She believes the project offers the perfect springboard for that crucial character trait, self-esteem, particularly among young girls. “

An award-winning children’s author, Jennifer has taught children ways of helping native and exotic wild animals through informational and educational books like Turtles in My Sandbox, Baby Owl’s Rescue, and her newest release, SEAHORSES, which was named to the National Science Teachers Association’s Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12: 2013. She is currently working on an extraordinary photographic journal series, Animal Helpers, among other books.

As she continues presenting school assemblies, author-in-residencies, and writing workshops to elementary school students, she broadens her audience to tweens and teens. In 2012, Ms. Curtis partnered with the nonprofit organizations, the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council (SoMIRAC) and Maryland Library Association (MLA), to help Maryland middle school students have their say. Working with a board of Blue Ribbon School educators, she spearheaded the launch of MY-Say, Maryland’s first online magazine written by middle school students for their peers.

Children’s Author: Ken Spillman, Australia

Ken Spillman is one of Australia’s most versatile and prolific authors, editors and critics. He is the author of more than 35 books spanning many genres.

Ken’s Jake series for younger readers has enjoyed remarkable success since 2009 and now appears in around a dozen countries across Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America. His adventure series, The Absolutely True Fantasies of Daydreamer Dev is also attracting many fans in India.

An entertaining and inspiring speaker, Ken has presented sessions to  tens of thousands of schoolchildren in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Philippines and Singapore.

Children’s Author: Kathy Szaj, M.Ed, United States

Kathleen Szaj, M.Ed., writer, teacher, and children’s book author, is blatantly nuts about “all things story” that make her sigh, cry, or laugh (or all three). This affliction caused her to write three published children’s books: I Hate Goodbyes (“Outstanding” by Parent Council, Ltd.), Elizabeth, Who Is NOT A Saint (an International Reading Association/ Children’s Book Council Children’s Choice book; also selected as “Outstanding” by Parent Council, Ltd.) and Hurry Up, Harry! She is currently working on a new children’s book series called “Fear Monster Friends” (for kids, ages 4-8, and adults who secretly read to kids to camouflage their own love affair with children’s books – we know who we are).

Kathy teaches in a graduate organizational leadership program at Mercy College, New York, NY, co-facilitating and offering workshops in the Career Development and Life Design Group at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City, and facilitating Adult Fear Monster Coaxing… er, Coaching.

Kathy’s consulting business, The Linking Verb (“unwrapping the gifts we ALREADY are, to build the world we dearly want”), was spun from several decades of “contemplating aloud” about living and giving our “deep-gladness gifts,” prompted by Frederick Buechner’s definition of vocation,”the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need”. Kathy’s intuition is that becoming “vocationally aroused” (as futurist/visionary Barbara Marx Hubbard mischievously puts it) is urgently needed at this time of world-shifting flux…and that her own evolving arousal involves helping you to unwrap your unrepeatable, one-of-a-kind, deep-gladness gifts for the good of the world.

In her chameleon-like life as educator and writer, Kathy has also been a marketer/promoter/ publicist for literary and other artistic/creative projects and productions, a copy editor and proofreader, an interdisciplinary curriculum designer, and a holistic childcare consultant to parents, nannies, and sitters. Kathy can’t wait to see what other “colors” await her in her Inner Awesome Circle of Power.

Children’s Author: Jim Westcott, United States

During my years as a special education teacher, I encountered far too many children I feared would never enjoy reading, especially fiction. I worked with so many, especially boys, who would rather do anything than read. And then, occasionally among the discarded books and the time spent wrestling with these reluctant readers, I would witness a glimpse of the readers these children wanted to be, could be. I saw students with books that I hadn’t forced them to open. These moments reminded me how much I wanted to write books like these, how gratifying it would be to see my name on the front cover of a book that a former reluctant-reader won’t part with until he or she has finished the book.

With these readers in mind, I wrote Jack’s Tales, my chapter book for children ages 8-12.

I’ve also used my teaching experience to work with educational publishers writing curriculum, assessments, and resources for children and teachers. Fortunately, I’ve been able to work on a few projects like this one. The JNP Project is wonderful because its goals are deeply rooted in helping children feel good about themselves through the efforts of passionate, dedicated, and talented people. I’m very honored to be a part of the JNP project!

DONACO Design Communications: Dona Rudderow Sturn |

” The World of Jane NOT Plain™ [JNP] is my passion; supporting the ‘good-things’ which are the most positive educational tools for children — self-esteem stories that are fun, educational, inspiring, and make a positive difference to the building of children’s self-confidence. My goal is to bring this wonderful model for interactive eBooks and animated stories to digital media, and more. I am working to do something good, do it right, and make a positive difference through my efforts!

Impeccably executing clear communication to achieve desired results: Dona is the founder/owner, senior creative director, award winning marketing, advertising and design executive who leads her team to successful results through clear communication, creative thinking, and entrepreneurial enthusiasm. For over twenty-years in the creative industry she has spearheaded expectations, processes, and successful outcomes; all while enhancing client revenues. Her responsibilities range from start-to-finish and everything in between. Her overall experience encompasses creative, conceptual, analytical and strategic planning and execution. She has held top-level positions at Gillespie Advertising, an MRM/ McCann Erickson Worldgroup company, Las Vegas Sands Corporation Worldwide. Dona founded and then relocated her dynamic New Jersey-based advertising/ design agency to Annapolis, MD, where she is redeveloping The World of Jane NOT Plain®, which headlined in The Wall Street Journal. Her  fine arts training has enabled her to teach college, high school, and lower school students in the arts. Her expertise in the visual arts has translated into the creative 2D and 3D characters and animation  you’ll find in The JNP Project. Dona even finds time to create works of fine art in multiple mediums which can be found in public and private collections worldwide.

Educational Writer: Julie Sazj

“Working for the JNP project has provided me with an opportunity to have a positive impact on something that is sorely missing in our schools, building a child’s self-esteem. Instead of memorizing facts and figures, the JNP Project invites children to interact with literature in a way that helps them discover who they are and learn how to appreciate the many colors that are found within each of us.”

Julie started her teaching career in St. Louis, MO. Through the years she taught in a variety of educational settings, including an Early Childhood Special Education classroom and multi-age classrooms.  She is a passionate educator and believes with all her heart that children are naturally curious and want to make sense out of their environment by questioning and interacting with it.

Currently, Julie is an Instructional Specialist and coaches/mentors teachers in southeast Missouri. Here she gets to balance her passion for technology with her love for guiding teachers as they discover and integrate best-teaching-practices in their classrooms. Julie is trained in Cognitive Coaching®  and is a Senior trainer for Intel, SMART Certified, and in the process of becoming a Google Certified Trainer. When not tweeting (@shyj), creating training materials, or providing professional development, you will find her wrist deep in dirt working in her garden or walking about with her dog. camera in hand.

Educational Writer: Krissy Venosdale  |  @venspired  |

Ms. Venosdale has eleven years of teaching experience and considers herself a lifelong learner. She’s inspired by kids curiosity, wonder, and dreams as she works to create better learning environments for all.  She currently works as Immovation Coordinator at  private school in Houston, TX, where she gets to work with fabulous teachers integrating innovative teaching strategies into their classrooms. She enjoys being a part of a global learning community connecting with others via twitter and her blog, where she shares her heart and soul of learning. Krissy also loves her family, drawing with Sharpies, and still plays with Legos. 

Graphic Design & Illustration: Becky Moran |

Miss Moran is an illustrator and designer with experience, curiosity and innovation. With a BFA in Communication Arts and a Certificate in Product Innovation, she is skilled in all forms of design and enjoys a variety of artistic activities, including drawing, sculpting with paper and cardboard, and baking pies. Her aim is to create intelligent designs that encourage perception and exploration.

Macalino Marketing: Fran Macalino |

Fran has been President of Macalino Marketing, a Philadelphia-based, full-service advertising agency, for over 20 years. Fran has extensive experience with diverse corporate accounts including non-profit, retail, medical, educational and community-based initiatives. She has extensive project management experience and in addition to creative, analytical and strategic marketing expertise, has a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the print industry from layout through pre-press and printing. She achieves results, executing clear communication into a targeted message building solid branding systems and effective marketing strategies.

PR: e.PR — Ellie Deardorff  |

“The JNP project is an amazing amalgam of artistry, fantasy, education and character building. Having raised three kids, now ages 21 through 16, reading with them was a special daily activity. However, we would have benefitted even more from a multidimensional reading option incorporating self-esteem messages on an ongoing basis. I am anticipating that coming on board to help JNP increase its exposure among today’s parents, children and educators will be very fulfilling.”

Ellie Deardorff is President of e.PR, a Princeton, NJ–based, full service public relations business established in 2000. Prior to establishing e.PR, Ellie worked at Gillespie/Interpublic Group in Princeton. She started her PR career at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, where she was most recently Vice President of National Media Relations for the Financial Services Group. Her clients have included SweetWorks, Just Born, Inc., Fleer Corp.; Investcorp (Saks Fifth Avenue, Bulgari); Lotus Development; LIVE Entertainment; Turner Corp. and Cushman & Wakefield.  Ellie is a graduate of Wheaton College, Norton, MA., where she earned a B.A. in English Literature awarded Cum Laude. In August 2014, she started an issues-oriented, family lifestyle blog, Ellie resides in Princeton with her husband and three kids, two of whom are in college. During her free time, she is a volunteer with the Arts Council of Princeton.

PR: PR/Marketing — Dave Abrams

“When a tree falls in the woods, I want to make sure everyone is there to see it, so it makes a sound! That means, video, photos, Tweets, the works!”

Dave is a marketing professional with more than a decade of experience in journalism, public relations and social media. His background includes two high-profile political campaigns, director of communications for a major jurisdiction and six years as a newspaper reporter. Services include website design, social media establishment and administration, photography and video, graphic design, media strategy and writing.

PR: ByGeorge Communications: Georgiana Francisco |

” I have been involved in this project since its inception, professionally and personally. This project is dear to my heart–one day know I will see my nieces and nephews playing with a Jane NOT Plain doll. We are building the movement.”

Georgiana holds a Master’s degree from the Catholic University of America in Speech and Dramatic Arts.  She acted throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe with the National Shakespeare Company and the USO, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Education from Good Counsel College. She has also earned credits toward a second Master’s degree in Journalism from American University.

Company Founder, Georgiana Francisco has over 25 years of public relations and marketing experience. She is … a published freelance journalist, contributing regularly to state/ regional monthly consumer publications and blogs. …was a seasoned writer with White House, and has corporate, journalistic experience. Georgiana is listed in Who’s Who in American Business… a multi-faceted publicist known for out-of-the-box thinking and award-winning strategies… former Vice President, Public Relations, Gillespie Advertising, an MRM/ McCann Erickson Worldgroup Company… in-depth Atlantic City/ gaming media experience with wealth of global media connections, having worked in the gaming/ hospitality/ tourism arenas for thirty years… founded a PR firm operating for twelve years… morphed Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills into the famous “Pretty Woman Hotel”.

Publish Ink: Traci Carneal |

” Today’s children face more challenges and influences than ever before due to media exposure and the pressures to only fit in and excel are tremendous. It’s no longer good enough to be average in our society, which can put a huge burden on children who don’t fit the mold. Every child is unique, and if they can learn that they are valued for who they are and for what they believe, then that could change their lives.”

With over 25 years of experience in the communications field, Carneal is a publishing professional with extreme versatility–turning ideas and concepts into tangible results. Her specialties include publication launching and execution, editorial strategy for print and online communications, writing and editing, public/media relations, and design management. From serving as VP of Communications for a national retail industry trade association to editor-in-chief of two national trade publications geared to retailers, manufacturers and distributors, she has orchestrated a wide range of publications — from development stage to end product– as well as managed the redesigns of full-color retail magazines. Currently serving as a contributing writer to NACS Magazine (a leading national retail store publication), she has been published in numerous distribution publications (serving as editor-in-chief for 10 years). Carneal has operated Publish, Ink, an editorial consulting firm that provides companies and trade associations with “an extra hand” in all aspects of publishing, for nearly 15 years. The redesign and launch of a corporate newsletter for 13,000 employees led by Carneal earned a feature profile in The Maranto Memo, which deemed the project one of the “Best and Brightest.”

Small Media Extra Large: Meghan Sciobona |

” We are excited to be part of bringing Jane Not Plain to life. We are dedicated to telling stories that empower and inspire. It’s important to inspire the next generation to embrace who they are and confidently offer their gifts to the world. Teaching them that they are wonderful the way they are goes a long way to building happier, more grounded adults.”

Small Media Extra Large is a digital trans-media agency. It offers user experience consulting, designing and the building of websites. We focus on interactive strategy, user experience, branding, and utilize the story as a tool to design interactive experiences and create engaging entertainment. We are also a full service video production company with a sweet spot in the convergence of video content and interactive platforms.

Stimulus Brand: Tom McManimon | |

“As a creative person all my life, I have focused on the unique, the different, the extraordinary. These are characteristics that make things, and people, stand out. I want to support the JNP movement and help create and implement its communications vehicles in order to help educate children about their individuality and positive qualities in a fun manner and embrace their uniqueness. With so many elements in today’s society challenging positive development and potential of our youth, the JNP project has great potential to reach children on their level with messaging and a fun experience that can lead to strong self-esteem. I will be happy to bring my strategic sense and creativity to such a rich, educational and human challenge.I am also a great believer in people who pursue and practice their passion. I am certain that Dona [ Rudderow ] Sturn is passionate about the relevance and potential of the JNP movement and has assembled a top-caliber team to support its development. “

For more than three decades, Tom has served many national and international clients helping to launch brands, reinvent companies and support client needs with a full mix and of advertising and design media. He is an award-winning art director, writer and positioning strategist. Prior to forming StimulusBrand, Tom was a Managing Partner and Executive Creative Director for 16 years at Gillespie Advertising in Lawrenceville, NJ. There he provided creative development, strategic direction and integrated communications for clients of this McCann Erickson division. Tom helped Gillespie grow from approximately 20 employees and annual billings of $2.7 million to 170 employees and $170 million in annual billings.

Warren Sound Branding / Music Creation: Rob Warren |

“As a father of two young kids, I know how self-esteem plays such a big role in a child’s development. Proper guidance and positive reinforcement are extremely important in setting the tone early for how a child learns to function and interact, and what they ultimately find comfort and strength in. I’ve seen how important positive multimedia has been in my children’s lives, and I want to see this project have an impact on as many children as possible!”

Rob is a Telly Award winning audio artist and music composer with a strong passion and dedication to enhancing multimedia with sound. Rob recently opened his own audio production company after serving for eight years as Senior Audio Artist with EA Sports in Orlando, where he was lead audio designer and director for such blockbuster games as “TigerWoods PGA Tour'” Madden NFL” and “Warhammer Online” to name a few. He has extensive experience creating rich audio for children’s games and interactive projects, which has been featured on products by Mattel, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop, and which led Rob to be lead music producer in 2010 for Disney’s “Phineas & Ferb Live Tour.” Rob is currently serving as lead audio director for several iOS platform games by EA Sports, as well as numerous children’s interactive/learning products.

CONTACT Us Directly: Dona Rudderow Sturn    |  |  3 Church Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401  |  410-224-3878