"Find a job you like and add 5 days to every week."
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
LINDA ADLER, Eloquence Senior SupportLinda Adler brings many years of development experience to the Eloquence table. The rapidly changing publishing industry keeps the Eloquence team busy keeping up with this constant forward motion. Linda divides her time between supporting Eloquence publishers and developing in-house tools to enhance the Eloquence process.
When she is not working, Linda enjoys being with her family and friends, horseback riding, sailing, and gardening.
"The Firebrand team is very dynamic and creative and I am proud to be a part of it."
KUSUM BASRA, DeveloperKusum Basra was born in the Rift Valley in Kenya and has lived on three continents but has resided in Massachusetts for more than half her life. She holds a BSc from University of Manchester, England. In a past life she has been a teacher and corporate trainer. Kusum has been part of the development team with Firebrand and has been fixing/enhancing our Powerbuilder applications for twelve years . She loves spending time with her family and also travelling to visit family abroad. Hobbies include yoga, spinning and spiritual introspection.
"If you hear hoof beats think horses not zebra."
BILL BENNETT, Keeper of the Binary WorldBill Bennett has spent 14 of his 20 plus years in the technology industry with Firebrand. Previous jobs at phone companies, nuke plants and city government didn't hold a candle to Firebrand. Originally hired as a developer he has moved into the IT and database administrator roles providing support to those who actually get the product out. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.
Bill's wife thinks he spends too much time with computers and she's probably right, but don't tell her that. Non-geek interests include spending quality time with the family, skiing, cooking, and fly fishing. Sometimes they're combined except for ski-fishing. He'll never try that again.
"It's a pleasure to work with a group of people who are passionate about their work and the industry."
BARBARA BLANCHETTE, QA / Support ManagerBarbara Blanchette is native to Massachusetts. She attended University of Massachusetts in Lowell and has been involved with computers in various ways since her sophomore year in high school. Before coming to Firebrand Technologies, Barbara worked in Boston, wore expensive clothes, and hated her commute. As a Firebrand, she enjoys wearing her jeans, and spending less time on the road.
Barbara has worked in QA positions for most of her career. Here at Firebrand, she enjoys being part of the team that supports our clients, tests all applications, and prepares/delivers new releases.
Barbara spends her leisure time in New Hampshire boating and snowmobiling with her family and using her nice digital camera.
"It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit."
SUSAN BURKE, Lead ArchitectSusan Burke has been with Firebrand Technologies almost since its inception and been the lead architect on many of its modules including our web offerings in Title Management, Contact Management and Project Management.
When not at work, Susan can usually be found at a local theatre watching her daughters or in the front seat of the car chauffeuring. Her favorite time is time spent with her family – particularly the trips they have taken together. Ireland was the most memorable trip so far; trips to Italy and Austria are planned for the future. Susan also loves to read, but does not have much opportunity to do so since most of her spare time is spent doing volunteer work such as working as a Trustee and Treasurer at her local library.
"The Firebrand team really defines what a team means."
BARBARA BURNS, ControllerBarbara Burns and her daughter reside in Reading Massachusetts. Her education started at Boston University where she earned a BS/BA in accounting and then continued to Northeastern University where she received her MBA. Her career started in the movie theatre business and then to public service. In 1981 she started her 15 year career in educational publishing until being stolen to join Firebrand Technologies where she has been controller for the last 12 years.
A little known fact about Barbara: her family emigrated from England in the early 1600's and her ancestors settled in Reading in 1648 and has remained there ever since. One ancestor fought in the American Revolution.
"I am honored to be the image for Firebrand Technologies and will do my best to burn blue and smile for as long as they need me."
BURNARD V. CHAR - "BURNIE", Inspirational Spirit and Company LogoOriginally created as an imaginary friend by a 10-year old boy from Michigan, Burnie was later adopted—and unceremoniously discarded—by several gas and propane companies. After moving to Foster's home for Imaginary Friends, he became the activities coordinator who ran events such as 'Imaginary Friend Sky Diving' and 'Imaginary Friend Speed Dating'. Today, he has found new zeal in his work as he recently joined Firebrand Technologies as the personification of the Firebrand attitude. Known as a bit of a variable character, Burnie takes pride in questioning the status quo and igniting innovation.
"Laughter is an instant vacation."
LISA CORMIER, Software EngineerOriginally from Pennsylvania, Lisa Cormier moved through several states—enjoying life and meeting great people. She completed her BSCS at San Diego State University and later moved to Massachusetts ("The Land of The Misplaced Rs). She's been developing software in various industries for over 10 years. When she's not writing code, you'll find her in a gym, yoga/dance studio, hot tub or pool (depending on the season).
"I feel that I am very fortunate being a part of the Firebrand Team. It's a great, family-oriented company with solid work ethics."
DEBBIE COURTOIS, QA/Support AnalystDebbie Courtois was born and raised in Massachusetts and still lives there. She has worked throughout the years supporting many different types of applications on multiple platforms. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, camping and boating, or taking vacations to warm climates.
"I like being part of a family oriented company that is hard working in a relaxed, friendly and professional environment."
DENISE MUISEDenise Muise has been with the company for the past 12 years and enjoys being part of a team (and a company) that continues to evolve and grow within the publishing industry. Having started with the company as the Office Manager, she continued her education that led to a position as part of the eloquence team. Her primary focus with the eloquence team is overseeing the image processing and customer support as well as setting up our new trading partners and supporting Catherine and Linda with data when needed.
Denise has lived in the Newburyport area for most of her life and has seen the city transition through renovations and urban renewal to the wonderful waterfront community that it is today. She lives with her husband and their dog about 20 minutes away from Newburyport. Her youngest son attends college in Boston studying for a degree in Business Management. Her older son lives in Seattle, where he works as a graphic designer in the music industry. She enjoys traveling (particularly visiting her son in Seattle), gardening, cooking and spending time with her husband, family and friends.
JONATHAN HESS, Software DeveloperJonathan Hess enjoys the challenges of pushing the envelope of what web based development can provide through all of firebrand's various product offerings. Jon has been focused primarily on the Ecommerce piece of the firebrand product puzzle; however, he certainly has worked on an extensive amount of the core Title Management Web code and of course various other pieces of the aforementioned puzzle. He especially enjoys the team he works with and finds that as a whole he couldn't imagine a more thorough, agile and experienced group of folks to be surrounded with. Jon enjoys finding ways to minimize his carbon footprint; so far the best ways he has come up with to do so is through cycling to work year round as often as possible and by choosing modern diesel power (VW TDI ) when 4 wheels are required. He also enjoys spending time with his family in Maine.
JEN LYMAN, Integration SpecialistJen began her career at Quality Solutions right out of college 15 years ago and was part of the team that designed, built, and implemented the Production Modules. She left the company to see if the grass was greener on the other side of the street. It took her 9 years to figure out it's pretty green right here at Firebrand Technologies! While working with her clients to implement the Production Modules and Title Management applications, she has learned that implementing the Production Modules is just like riding a bike, even those quirky Common Forms.
When not at work, Jen spends most of her time planning home remodeling projects and fantastic vacations. Within the last year, she has been to the Bahamas on a Disney Cruise, Hawaii, Italy, and most recently France on her honeymoon. Looking forward to the next trip and to having a functioning bathroom in her house!
"Sox Rule, Yankees Drool"
ALAN KATZEN, Senior Software EngineerAlan has been lost in a world of code at Firebrand since 1992. As a lead developer, Alan is always leading the charge into strange and unknown territory C++,Zeidon, Omnis, Powerbuilder, .Net, SQL, Ecommerce coming out the other side battle worn, but wiser. Always a pragmatist and perfectionist, nothing comes out of his computer until it is ready.
"Life Lesson #1: If you can't tie good knots, tie lots of them."
DOUG LESSING, Director of Client RelationsIn 1990, Doug Lessing graduated from St. Michael's College in Winooski (Onion), Vermont. After working for Andersen Consulting, he followed in the footsteps of big sister Susan Burke and joined Firebrand in December 1990—spending many years developing software, then managing projects. In the spring of 2007, Doug transitioned into a Client Relations role, setting out to make sure Firebrand's current clients are continually well served and ensuring that Firebrand establishes new relationships through marketing and sales. In this role, he is given the opportunity to preach about the Firebrand philosophy. "The greatest reward working with Firebrand," he says, "has been the friendships forged both in house and with publishers through long days of hard work."
Born and bred on the south shore of Long Island along the Great South Bay, Doug can't be away from the water for long, even though he loves visiting Lincoln, Nebraska for a day or two. Husband to Grace and father of three young girls, Doug has the clear advantage of always being informed instantly if he has done or said something wrong. The closest thing to male companionship in the Lessing household is his beloved, albeit neutered, English springer spaniel named Bentley. (Bentley quietly accepts Doug's flaws.)
The family lives to cruise on their boat "Tide Pool" or lounge around and dive in the tropics. To avoid being one dimensional, Doug mixes in a love of reading books, woodworking, watching the girls play lacrosse and messing with the family saltwater coral reef aquarium.
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
After working as a magazine editor, commercial photographer and graphic designer, Jane Lindley finally settled on web design and development about 12 years ago and never looked back. Jane loves the variety of work she does at Firebrand from a little web design and spec writing to testing and tech support.
"The melody of logic will always play out the truth."
PAUL MILANA, Software Integration SpecialistPaul Milana was born and raised on Long Island and recently purchased his own home there with his lovely wife. Paul received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems in Connecticut. As of 2008, he is embarking on his 10th year in the technology field. When the long day is over, he plays on a couple of recreational ice hockey teams. It makes for a great balance of work and play throughout the year. His love for the ocean has spawned a couple of new hobbies in his life, such as scuba diving, salt water aquarium keeping and sailing.
STEVE QUAGLIA, QA/Support SpecialistSteve has been the key member in the QA and Support team for many years, playing the challenging role of supporting clients, testing every program, and preparing releases. In this pivotal role, Steve has been directly responsible for the stability of the solutions that Firebrand offers and ultimately the high level of satisfaction of our clients.
Lindsey Rudnickas, Digital Concierge for NetGalleyLindsey Rudnickas joined the Firebrand team as the "Digital Concierge" for NetGalley. In this role, she serves as the main liaison between the publisher and reader communities of NetGalley. It's her goal to understand who is in the reader community and to help them find the books that best fit their tastes. Additionally, Lindsey helps publishers reach beyond their traditional contact lists to find others who have a professional reason to review their titles prior to their publication. A former publicist at Da Capo Press (part of the Perseus Books Group) in Cambridge, she holds a BFA in Writing, Literature & Publishing from Emerson College and resides in Boston with her husband, two rambunctious cats, and lots of books.
"It's great to be part of an organization where every person is committed to making the product the best it can be for the publishing community."
ROB SIDOR, Publisher AdvocateRob Sidor brings more than 16 years of experience in professional, academic and textbook publishing including, most recently, 12 years with Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (LEA). From his career in publishing, Rob brings a strong marketing background as a former Director of Sales and Marketing, a role in which he managed campaigns promoting 100 journals and 200 new book titles per year through print, email and web channels. With knowledge of editorial, production and fulfillment departments, Rob transitioned to Project Manager/Business Analyst and led installations of book and journal fulfillment systems and Firebrand's Title Management, Production and Acquisitions modules. He later joined Firebrand after LEA was sold to Taylor and Francis and now enjoys helping various publishers from the vendor side of the business. When he isn't helping publishers improve their business, Rob loves a round of golf, landscaping, home improvement and playing with his dog. Recently married, Rob and his wife, Michelle, currently reside in NJ.
"Being a part of the Firebrand team is a great because every day brings a new adventure."
ROB STEVENS, Chief Community OfficerNative New Hampshire born and raised, Rob Stevens moved around for a few years during and after college only to move back to the state from San Diego to raise his family. He enjoys brewing beer, swimming, winter camping and spending time with his family.
"Technology is never the end all solution, it is a tool that when applied correctly can drive improvement to any process."
BEN TODD, Chief Publisher AdvocateBen Todd joined Firebrand in 2008 after serving in various marketing roles across several industries ranging from market research, new product development, account management and internet marketing in publishing and polymer materials. Throughout his career, Ben has sought to leverage technology to simplify and improve many of the processes he worked within.
Ben holds an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Vanderbilt University and a BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M University.
Ben, born and raised in Texas, now calls Franklin, TN home. He is husband to Tara and Dad to four young children. When not working, you will find Ben coaching / watching / participating with his kids playing soccer, swimming, biking, or just having fun. Tara and Ben find time occasionally to enjoy their favorite pastime, college sports, or any one of the many music venues near Nashville, TN (home of country music).
He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress."
CATHERINE TOOLANCatherine Toolan is a native of New Jersey who took off to see the country after high school. After attending many colleges in warm weather cities, she eventually graduated from Drew University with a BA in Mathematics. Her work experience includes stints at AT&T, Bellcore, and Rutgers University. Catherine joined Fireband Technologies in 2000, after a long absence from the work force to raise her family. She loves managing the Eloquence service. She believes it really makes a difference in how publishers "get the word out".
Catherine enjoys sharing time with family and friends, horseback riding, exercise, outdoor activities, single malt scotch, and Indian food.
"There is no greater feeling than when a client has that 'Aha!' moment, and realizes that they got much more than they paid for in engaging us to help them."
FRAN TOOLAN, Chief IgniterFran is the founder and President of Firebrand Technologies. For more than 20 years, Fran has been working with book publishers to help them improve their businesses through the use of technology. Fran's passion for the book publishing business is exemplified by his constant involvement in industry standards groups as well as by his entrepreneurial approach to adapting Firebrand to the ever changing needs of the industry.
Outside of work, Fran spends time with his family, enjoys sailing, hiking, and numerous athletic endeavors.
TOLGA TUNCER, Software Integration SpecialistTolga Tuncer brings more than 12 years of experience in technology. He has been involved with computers in various ways and industries; he held programmer, database administrator and technical project manager positions in telecom, publishing and financial companies. He met the great Firebrand team while working for Lawrence Erlbaum Associates (LEA) where he was the technical lead for book and journal fulfillment systems and Firebrand's Title Management system for 4 years. After the buyout of LEA by Taylor & Francis, Tolga was employed at JP Morgan Chase for 2 years, developing financial applications for trading desks.
Tolga holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey and Master of Science Degree in Financial Engineering from Columbia University of New York. Outside of work, Tolga spends most of his leisure time with sports activities; he enjoys volleyball, soccer, skiing, hiking and sailing.