Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Executive Leadership
A Passion for Learning

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s mission is to change people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Meet the HMH executives who are leading the charge.

Linda K. Zecher

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Linda Zecher

Linda K. Zecher joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in September 2011 as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, bringing a strong track record of business transformation and results.  Her extensive sales, marketing and technology experience contribute to her ability to successfully lead HMH’s transformation into a global leader in educational content and media.  Previously, she served as Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's $8 billion Worldwide Public Sector organization, where she led a team of nearly 2,000 sales and marketing professionals serving government, education and healthcare customers in more than 100 countries. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2003, Linda held leadership positions with Texas Instruments, Bank of America, PeopleSoft, Oracle and Evolve Corp. Linda currently serves on the board of Hasbro Corporation, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and the non-profit national board for Cradles to Crayons. She has previously served on numerous boards including the Intelligence National Security Association (INSA), U.S. State Department’s board for overseas schools and James Madison University’s board of visitors. Linda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio State University and an honorary doctorate from Bentley University.


Eric Shuman

Chief Financial Officer

Eric ShumanEric joined HMH in 2009 as Chief Operating Officer and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in late 2011 following the appointment of CEO Linda Zecher. He brings a long track record of leadership and results in media and content, and deep experience in business model transformation.  Prior to joining HMH, Eric served as Chief Executive Officer of Thomson Lifelong Learning Group, a division of The Thomson Corporation specializing in training, skills assessment, and higher education publishing. Previously, Eric was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Thomson Learning, and Chief Financial Officer for Thomson Newspapers. In those capacities, he led several business integrations, restructurings and significant mergers and acquisitions, spanning fifteen years with Thomson. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Boston College.


William Bayers

Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Bill BayersBill joined Houghton Mifflin in May of 2007 as Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel and was made Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel in March 2008. Previously, he served as Vice President and General Counsel of Harcourt Education Group. Bill oversees all legal, regulatory and corporate matters for the Company. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

 

 

 

Dr. Tim Cannon

Executive Vice President, International Operations and Global Strategic Alliances

Tim CannonTim's career in business, organizational and IT strategy spans nearly three decades. Before joining HMH, Tim was Senior Director of Business Strategy for Microsoft's Worldwide Public Sector organization, where he oversaw the development and execution of business strategies to better serve Government, Education and Health customers and partners worldwide. Prior to that role, Tim was Senior Director of Business Strategy for Microsoft’s U.S Public Sector. He has also held leadership roles at companies like Digital Equipment Corporation and Oracle, and helped many large organizations cope with the dynamics of change by implementing responses to maximize shareholder value. Tim is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Florida.

 

Brook Colangelo

Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Brook ColangeloBrook joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in January 2013 from the White House, where he held the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) since 2009. With over ten years’ experience in technology strategy and implementation, Brook joined the White House team in 2008 to spearhead the Obama-Biden transition project. Prior to that, he held several senior IT leadership roles, including within the Democratic National Convention Committee, The American Red Cross’ Hurricane Recovery Program and QRS Newmedia. Brook holds an honors degree in Political Communications from The George Washington University.



Mary Cullinane

Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Mary CullinaneMary is HMH’s first Chief Content Officer. She has led the transformation of the company’s content development capability, bringing a unique combination of education and business experience. Prior to joining HMH in 2012, Mary spent ten years spearheading Microsoft′s education-related innovation programs and initiatives worldwide, including its national 1:1 access programs and its groundbreaking School of the Future in Philadelphia. With another decade of experience as an educator, Director of Technology and administrator in the public sector, Mary is a recognized thought leader in the area of education reform and the effective use of technology. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, and co- authored the book What Next?, which documents lessons learned during the building of the School of the Future. Mary holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from The College of New Jersey. Mary is a member of the board of the Boston Children's Museum.


John K. Dragoon

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

John DragoonJohn joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2012. Previously, he served as Chief Marketing Officer and Channel Chief of Novell, where he led the company's Marketing and Partner programs for over seven years. Prior to joining Novell, John served as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Product Management at Art Technology Group (ATG). Before ATG, John served as Vice President, Operations at Internet Capital Group, where he served on the board of nine partner companies and guided strategy, marketing, business development, financing and product development. John also spent more than 16 years at IBM, where he held a number of marketing and sales positions. He holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BS from Union College.


Gary Gentel

President, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing

Gary GentelGary joined Houghton Mifflin in October of 2003 as Corporate Vice President and Director of Trade Sales and was promoted to Interim President of the combined Trade Group in July 2007. He was given the permanent position in December of that year. Previously, he served as President of Candlewick Press—a children's publisher based in Cambridge, SVP of Trade Sales at Scholastic Books, and SVP and Publisher of The Grosset and Dunlap Group at GP Putnam's Sons—now a division of Penguin Books. Gary started his publishing career as a Sales Representative at Random House in 1980, rising to VP of Children's Sales by 1990.



Lee Ramsayer

Executive Vice President, U.S. Sales

Lee RamsayerBefore joining HMH, Lee served as Senior Vice President of sales for Monster’s Government Solutions sector. While at Monster, Lee built a dedicated sales team that addressed workforce and economic development in regional economies, and also drove change management and new strategy development sales and system integration partnerships. Prior to Monster, Lee served as General Manager, Government Sales and Consulting Services for Microsoft. In this role, Lee led the development of Microsoft’s strategic approach to state and local governments including the development of go-to-market strategies. Lee currently serves on the board of Innovate Education, a national organization focused on STEM education.


Lesa Scott

President, Heinemann

Lesa ScottLesa Scott is President of Heinemann, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt dedicated to the development of professional resources and educational services for teachers – from kindergarten to college.  A former science, social studies, and health teacher, Lesa’s career in education spans more than thirty years. She left the classroom to market and sell textbooks for Laidlaw Brothers Publishers, subsequently rising to sales and marketing leadership roles at Scott Foresman Educational Publishers, McDougal Littell and Scholastic.  Lesa received a BS and MS in education from Arkansas State University and completed post-graduate studies at Texas Women’s University.



Chris Goodson

Senior Vice President, HMH Services

CJ KettlerChris joined HMH in 2012 and is Senior Vice President of HMH Services, leading the design and delivery of HMH’s professional development and consultative services.  He also acts as the executive sponsor of HMH’s Education Leadership Council. Chris began his career as an educator, teaching at both secondary and college level, before joining an education technology and services firm as Director of Learning Services. Prior to joining HMH, Chris spent eight years in the Education division at Microsoft Corp. Chris holds a Master of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia.  He serves on the Overseas Schools Advisory Council (OSAC) for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools.


CJ Kettler

Senior Vice President

CJ KettlerCJ Kettler joined HMH in 2014 as CEO of Channel One News following HMH’s acquisition of the company.  As Senior Vice President, CJ is responsible for the strategic development of HMH’s consumer product portfolio. Prior to joining Channel One News, CJ was a Partner at Propeller Partners, LLC where she acted as a strategic consultant for large media companies and investors in the digital sector. As an entrepreneur, CJ was the Founder and CEO of LIME, the first multi-channel “green lifestyle” brand, now part of Gaiam’s family of healthy lifestyle websites. CJ has also held leadership roles at Travelzoo, Oxygen Media, Solera Capital, MTV Networks, and CBS. CJ holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College, and serves on a variety of boards in the digital media space, including as chairman of the board at Healthychild.org.


Dr. Nicole Melander

Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy and Chief Customer Officer

Nicole MelanderNicole joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in January 2014 as Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy. Previously, she served as the Chief Technology Officer of Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion. Prior to joining ATD, Nicole held education and technology leadership positions at Deloitte Consulting, Microsoft and Oracle. In the academic world, she taught on the topics of collaboration technology and social media for business at American University where she won the campuswide “Teaching with Technology Award." Nicole is a member of the Education Division Board of Directors for the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).


Bridgett Paradise

Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer

Bridgett ParadiseBridgett Paradise joined HMH in 2014 as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, with responsibility for human resources strategy and policy, including talent management and acquisition, organizational design and employee benefits, across the Company’s network of offices worldwide. Bridgett joined HMH from Microsoft Corp., where she most recently held the role of General Manager, Human Resources for the Worldwide Services division, with responsibility for 22,000 employees. Bridgett brings extensive experience in HR strategy, recruitment, organizational development and business analysis developed over her twenty-year tenure at Microsoft, including several senior roles at national and international level. Bridgett holds a Master’s of Science in Human Resource Management from Marymount University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Communications from Catawba College.
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