Chief Operating Officer
Research & Development
What is your role and function at WPS?
As the Chief Operating Officer, I lead the publishing operation, which includes research and development, art, editorial, production, procurement, fulfillment, and management of the physical facility. I am also part of the WPS Steering Committee, which is the company's senior management team. My workdays vary quite a bit – some are filled with team meetings on projects and individual meetings with staff members, while on other days I have more time to focus on project work and strategic initiatives for the Steering Committee. I enjoy the variety.
What issues or needs are you an advocate for inside the company?
I advocate for (1) the highest standards of quality in our publishing operation; (2) responsible, sustainable growth of our business; (3) encouraging the careers of our great employees; and (4) a values-based culture that that sets the stage for outstanding performance, while fostering a positive experience in the workplace.
How long have you been at WPS?
I started at WPS in 2000. Since I joined, the company has evolved dramatically in its focus on culture, core values, and the employee experience.
Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but have lived in California since I was 6 years old (except for one year during college when I lived in England). Between Cleveland and California, we lived on an army base in Oklahoma, where I remember looking for prairie dogs, throwing rocks at wasp nests, and jumping into the pool at the Officers’ Club.
What are three personal things about you people probably wouldn't know?
I enjoy surfing in Malibu with my teenage son, Jacob. I write and record my own songs. Every few months, I perform with my guitar at an open mic or similar event. I do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle most weeks.
What's a big obstacle you've had to overcome in your life or career?
Four knee surgeries, one torn rotator cuff, and more injuries than I can count. I have the joints of a much older man.
What is your personal connection to the WPS mission?
I'm a research psychologist, so my professional background is directly related to our mission at WPS. I have great respect and admiration for the clinicians who work directly with children and families. I feel that promoting our positive culture and core values is a way that I can put my psychological training to good use.
What is your educational background?
I have a PhD in psychology from UCLA, and a BA in philosophy from UC Berkeley.
What is something you are currently studying or learning?
I am learning about inventory management: lot sizes, safety stock, carrying costs, and how to make a successful fulfillment operation run even more efficiently.
What do you enjoy most about working at WPS?
I enjoy working for a company that feels like a family. I enjoy being a part of our team and our culture. I enjoy contributing to the growth of a thriving organization with a positive, humanistic mission.
What did you do before WPS?
My life prior to WPS was mostly about education, with 5 years of college and 8 years of graduate school and postdoctoral fellowship. In between, I worked as an editor for a computer magazine, and then spent 6 months traveling around the world. My wife Liz and I were married in 1997. When I started at WPS, our son Jacob was a toddler – now he’s a teenager, and we have a pre-teen daughter (Anna) as well!
Where can we contact you?
You can email me here