On any given day of the week, you’re likely to find WordTeasers CEO Susan Flora climbing over boxes of inventory stacked high in her company’s public storage unit, deftly negotiating a reduced printing cost with her printer, or brain-storming ideas for a new edition of her highly successful brand of conversation starters. “It’s all in a day’s work,” Susan says with her trademark laugh.
Susan’s brainchild started when she saw a specific need that wasn’t being met. In this case, the need was to help her then 14-year-old son (now a sophomore in college) improve his vocabulary and remember what he learned… particularly with the PSAT, the SAT, and the ACT tests looming on the horizon.
Susan wasn’t exactly new to educational publishing when she launched her new business five years ago. For 14 years, she had worked at Scholastic Inc., an international educational publishing company, where she collaborated with editors in the development of sponsored educational materials for a variety of companies ranging from Walt Disney to Apple Computer.
But for years she thought about starting her own business. “It was just a matter of coming up with a product that I believed in and felt would help kids of all ages learn something new while having fun,” she says. “That product is WordTeasers.”
Jack is a true jack-of-all trades: writing WordTeasers questions one day; managing the books (thanks to his Pepperdine University MBA) the next.
Jack has more than 30 years’ experience in educational publishing, first at Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) where he got what he jokingly calls a “Ph.D.” in reading education while working on CTW’s The Electric Company. This was followed by 21 years at Scholastic Inc. where he was an editor and writer and later Director of Sponsored Educational Materials with P&L responsibility for the $10 million business unit of the international publishing company.
More recently, he has written teacher guides and student materials in science education for Teacher Created Materials and in nutrition for the USDA’s new MyPlate nutrition guide for kids. He also writes regularly on educational technology topics for 1105 Media.
Jack is also the author of numerous biographies and other non-fiction books for kids in elementary school, middle school, and high school. He is also at work on a biography for adults on four of the 20th century’s most prominent U.S. literary figures (John Ciardi, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wilbur, and John Hersey), all of whom had winter homes in a Key West compound where Jack now resides.
“I’ve been very lucky throughout my career,” Jack says. “Work has never seemed like work to me; it’s always been more fun than playing golf or tennis.”
No matter what the design assignment is – from web development to packaging to attention-getting promotional materials – Tami brings the perfect visual solution to every project she undertakes. Her intrinsic understanding of the design needs for any project keeps WordTeasers fresh and exciting and eminently marketable.
Following graduation from the Art Institute of Boston in 1983, Tami began her career as a designer for fashion and music industry trade magazines, followed by a stint as co-director of the art department for a strategic marketing firm until leaving to raise her family. (She now has one daughter in college and a son and daughter in high school.) At the same time, she began her own freelance art design business for clients in a variety of industries from fashion and retail to technology and financial services.
Tami has served as Art Director for WordTeasers since the company’s founding. “From the beginning, WordTeasers has been a particularly fun concept to design for,” she says. “I love bringing the energy of the games to the energy of the look, feel, and design of the products.”
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