Our Team

Our President and Founder

Dick Maddrell is our President and Founder, which means it was his idea to start up a fresh, new publishing company. Dick has nearly forty years of experience as a business executive and corporate officer, many of which were spent in the publishing industry. A few years after his retirement in 2009, Dick realized that he was not finished with his life’s work. He had always loved the business of children’s books, so Dick reunited a group of talented former colleagues, and together they opened the Cottage Door in the summer of 2014.


Art and Editorial

Ginny O’Donnell is our Vice President, Creative Director. She has worked in children’s book publishing for more than three decades, directing the development of at least a thousand titles over the years! Here at Cottage Door, she oversees our art and editorial staff, and guides our fresh and engaging content from concept to product. Helping to start up Cottage Door Press is a dream come true for Ginny, who knew she wanted to make her own children’s books ever since she was a little girl.

Angie Hodges is our Senior Art Director. When you fall in love with the way our books look, you have Angie to thank. Angie has been a designer and art director since 1999. She loves discovering illustrators for our books, and she loves experimenting with type to make our words as fun to look at as they are to read. Is it possible to use the word “love” too much? Not when you love what you do as much as Angie does! 

Heather Kvorka is an Art Director. Her job is to help bring our stories to life with dynamic layouts, thoughtful character development, and creative use of type. Heather is a gifted artist herself, and we all look forward to seeing the sketch layouts she creates for the people illustrating her books.

Sandy Vega is an Art Director. She helps to tell our stories by selecting beautiful art styles, drawing up interesting layouts, and making sure every little detail is finely tuned to perfection. Sandy is as compassionate as she is creative, which is a lovely combination when directing illustrators.

Kate Jelinek is an Art Director. She has been art directing children's books since 2001, but her interest in children's book illustrations began when she was just a child, as she marveled over the beautiful artwork in the books she read. The books she helps direct mean even more to her now that she has a young son to read them to. He loves all books, but his favorites are the ones that Mommy "makes."

Julia Lobo is our seasoned Editor. Her certificates of excellence in manuscript editing are nice, but it is also her joyful deskside manner that makes her such a great part of our creative team. We count on Julia to deliver just the right words, which she styles and punctuates to perfection.


Sales and Marketing

Carri Schmidt, our Vice President of Sales & Marketing, has the very important role of introducing Cottage Door Press to book buyers all over the world. Carri has been successful at selling children's books for more than twenty years. She has a wonderful reputation as an organized and responsive bookseller who knows her customer and can help to shape their book run. Carri is especially excited to be part of Cottage Door Press because she is dedicated to getting quality books into the hands of children and their families.

Eric Peterson is our Sales Director who works to spread the word and open new doors for Cottage Door Press. He brings nearly thirty years of sales experience in publishing and consumer products. He was excited to join Cottage Door for the opportunity to be involved in the creative process of product development and brand building—knowing that it will make him a better salesperson.

Nadine Mims is a Sales Director who comes to us with more than twenty years of publishing experience. Nadine's passion for books—and for getting books into the hands of readers—has helped establish her success in the children's book industry. She has two kids of her own that have been her test market over the years. Nadine is thrilled to have this opportunity at the Cottage, where the collaborative environment and the pride in the finished product are apparent in every book published.

Jim Schlottmanour Design Director of Marketing, is responsible for creating everything that’s not a book at Cottage Door Press. At eight years old, Jim knew what he wanted to do with his life, and has now been a design professional for more than twenty years. His experience includes a variety of subjects including fashion, professional sports, children’s products, technology, and food. He comes to Cottage Door with a passion for branding and the mission to make us a household name.

Melissa Tigges is our Marketing and eCommerce Manager. While her professional experience has been in consumer packaged goods, her love of reading to her own three boys has made the transition into the publishing industry an enjoyable one. Melissa's extensive background in market research, category management, and shopper insights helps to ensure we're creating products and content that are desirable to today's families.

Megan Reilly is our Sales Assistant, supporting the Sales and Marketing team wherever she can lend a hand. She brings with her a corporate administrative background, as well as a lifelong love of informal education and an enthusiastic passion for the arts. She is eager to learn from and grow with her colleagues here at the Cottage.


Brigette Heath is our Vice President of Operations, overseeing all the business and scheduling aspects of the Cottage Door enterprise. She has more than twenty years of experience in finance, production, manufacturing, and fulfillment. Besides crunching our numbers, Brigette’s favorite parts of helping to build Cottage Door Press are meeting new people and networking with longtime friends in the industry.

Kurt Sholly is our Director of Supply Chain Solutions. He has been bridging the gap between technology and business in the publishing industry for more than two decades. His experience in children's publishing and raising three kids has taught him the power of books and the importance that they play in childhood development. He is very excited to join the Cottage Door Press team!

Jared Svoboda is our Production Manager. That's a very simple name for a very complicated job. Managing our book formats from concept through printing requires a deep and broad knowledge of how books are made. And because technologies are constantly shifting, Jared must stay flexible and informed. It’s a good thing Jared is an elite marathon athlete, because he's constantly chasing our printers for something!

Kerry Finnamore is our Acquisitions and Contracts Manager. Just like it sounds, Kerry acquires our wonderful stories and artwork by contacting and contracting talented people all over the world. That makes her a creative person and a business person. She’s been in the business of children’s books and social expression for more than fifteen years. Kerry is thrilled to have found a career that makes both sides of her brain happy.

Valerie Borzych is our Financial Controller, which means she has her finger on the pulse of our business success. Val has more than 15 years of financial experience with companies large and small, and even with another publisher. But her most important credentials here at the Cottage? She has raised three readers!

Mary Wiegel is our Customer Service Supervisor. She brings more than 10 years of experience and understanding in the field of customer service and operations at a distribution level. Mary is passionate about early literacy. She began reading to her own sons when they were babies, and they are now avid readers. For Mary, taking good care of our customers and being attentive to their needs is a sure way to get our wonderful books into the hands of babies everywhere!

Sarah Szesepi, our Customer Service Representative, brings five years of experience to the Cottage. Her previous customer service position dealt with books as well, so she understands what it takes to get a great book into your hands in a timely manner. Her three kids all enjoy reading. Her eight-year-old twins devour books faster than the average kid, and Sarah suspects that their love of reading stems from nightly reading time when they were just babies. 

Our Team | Cottage Door Press, LLC ...