Corporate Biographies

William J. Rouhana, Jr., Chairman and CEO

Bill has been a leader in the media, entertainment and communications industries for more than 35 years. Today Bill is Chief Executive Officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul and founder and chairman of the Humpty Dumpty Institute, Chicken Soup for the Soul’s charitable partner.

Bill grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and completed his undergraduate studies at Colby College, where today he is a trustee emeritus. He earned his J.D. at Georgetown Law School. As a young entertainment and finance lawyer, Bill represented Blake Edwards and developed new film financing models that have become the industry standards. In the 1980s, he founded and ran a merchant bank where he bought and sold media companies and other properties including Virgin Vision, a Virgin Group worldwide film distribution venture. Through one of the merchant bank’s companies, film production company MCEG, he executive produced, financed and/or distributed major motion pictures such as Look Who’s Talking and You Can’t Hurry Love. Later, Bill was founder and CEO of Winstar Communications, a wireless broadband pioneer, and Winstar New Media, one of the earliest online content companies.

In 2008, Bill, along with his wife, Amy Newmark, and Robert D. Jacobs, led a team of investors who acquired Chicken Soup for the Soul from founders Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson. Since taking the helm in 2008, Bill and Amy have revitalized the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand and expanded the company’s offerings to better serve its loyal fans and the public at large.

Bill is passionate about global development and peacekeeping. As Vice Chairman of the United Nations Association, Bill helped lead inspection tours of U.N. peacekeeping operations. As a director of Business Executives for National Security, he advised the U.S. government and military on how to apply best practices from the business world to foreign and domestic security issues. In 1998, Bill co-founded the Humpty Dumpty Institute, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating innovative and strategic public/private partnerships that provide sensible solutions to humanitarian and development challenges.
Bill and his wife are the proud parents of four grown children. He is co-executive producing the Chicken Soup for the Soul television series with his son, Tim Rouhana, and he works daily with his wife, Amy Newmark, publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Amy Newmark, Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, Author

Amy Newmark has been a writer, speaker, financial analyst and business executive in the worlds of finance and telecommunications for over thirty years. Today she is publisher, co-author and editor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. She has edited or co-authored the last 100+ books in the series.

Amy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University where she majored in Portuguese and minored in French. As the culmination of her Portuguese studies, she wrote a thesis about popular, spoken-word poetry in Brazil. She traveled throughout Brazil’s impoverished northeast region, meeting with poets and writer and collecting their stories as she studied whether their popular form of expression would survive the country’s modernization.

Amy joined the commercial sector while a senior at Harvard, editing a newsletter about opportunities to sell telecom equipment in Brazil. This work led to a new passion for the telecommunications. She became a consultant to the industry at the Gartner Group, where she wrote several books on telecommunications and ran the telecommunications services practice. Amy then moved to Wall Street in 1981, where she spent many years writing and speaking about telecommunications and information services, providing her stock picks to mutual funds and hedge fund clients.

Amy ran her own hedge fund from 1993 to 1995, specializing in telecommunications and technology companies, and then joined the original management team of Winstar Communications, Inc. where she served as executive vice president of strategic planning for two years. She left Winstar in 1997 and spent the next ten years serving on the boards of several public companies in telecommunications and technology.

Amy stepped in as publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul in 2008. She is delighted to have come full circle in her writing career – from collecting poetry “from the people” in Brazil as a 20-year-old to, 30 years later, collecting stories and poems “from the people” for Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Amy works daily with her husband, Bill Rouhana, CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul. She and Bill are the proud parents of four grown children.

Scott W. Seaton, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

During a 25-year career in investment banking, Scott worked with media and communications companies from around the world, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Today he is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul with responsibility for financing and for driving growth in the media, licensing, international and food operations.

Scott graduated with honors from Stanford University and earned an MBA degree from Harvard University. During his banking career, he was a managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston, Bank of America, and Oppenheimer & Co. He completed a broad range of debt and equity financings, as well as M&A transactions, and was a strategic advisor to leading publishing, cable, satellite, information services and communications companies. He also served on the board of directors of Mediacom Communications Corporation, one of the country’s largest cable television companies, from 2009 until 2011 when the company was taken private.

Scott is active on behalf of a number of charities focused on education. He is the proud father of three children.

Daniel M. Pess, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Dan has been a senior financial executive for over 30 years. Today he is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Dan graduated with high honors from the C.W. Post School of Professional Accountancy. He began his career as a CPA at a Big Four accounting firm and later served as the senior financial executive for several public and private companies. Dan has managed three IPOs and has executed a number of mergers and acquisitions. As Chief Financial Officer of White Amber, a provider of human capital management solutions, Dan oversaw a five-times increase in revenues and managed the sale of the company to Taleo (then called Recruitsoft). After the sale, Dan became Chief Financial Officer of USADATA, a SaaS provider of marketing leads, and was part of the management team that affected a leveraged buy-out of the company during a period of rapid growth. Before joining Chicken Soup for the Soul, Dan was Chief Financial Officer of Certpoint Systems, which provides e-learning software and services to Fortune 2000 companies.

Dan and his wife are the proud parents of twins in their 20s.

Christopher Mitchell, CEO of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul

Chris has led a 20-year career in finance and business, with extensive experience acquiring, growing and managing consumer products and media companies. Today he is Chief Executive Officer of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, the pet food business of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Chris was educated at Virginia Tech, where he double majored in finance and management, and at the London School of Economics, where he studied finance and international law. He began his career at Banc of America Securities where, as a Vice President, he completed a wide a range of transactions from leveraged buyouts to distressed financings. Later he was a principal and senior founding member of an investment group within Banc of America Securities where he made direct private investments in consumer products and media companies.

After 15 years at Banc of America Securities, Chris became a founding partner and CEO of TMG Partners, a New York-based investment firm focused on private equity and mezzanine investments in the consumer products sector with a special emphasis on pet food companies. Chris was responsible for TMG’s investment in Chicken Soup for the Soul and he advised Chicken Soup for the Soul on a strategy to grow its pet food business.

Chris was an active corporate membership representative with the Council on Foreign Relations during his years at Banc of America Securities. Today he is a member of the board of directors of the Humpty Dumpty Institute.

Chris and his wife Holly are the proud parents of a son and a daughter.

Joelle Jarvis, Vice President, Marketing

In a 20-year career in marketing, Joelle has filled a wide array of roles from talent agent to high-end B2B services salesperson and from public speaker to regional marketing director for a leading hotel company. Today she is Vice President of Marketing at Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Joelle earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, San Diego. She began her career at the Anthony Robins Companies executing B2B deals for high-end clients. Since then she has served as Regional Director of Marketing for Hilton Grand Vacations, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for David Saxe Productions and V Theater, and Director of Marketing for North Star Vacation Club and North Star Lodge.

Joelle is the proud mother of a son with whom she enjoys listening to classic rock.

Jonathan Brodsky, Senior Vice President, Digital

Jon is a digital intrapreneur with experience both running start-ups and contributing to the growth of established companies. As Vice President of Digital at Chicken Soup for the Soul, he is responsible for all digital channels including apps, our website, digital advertising and e-commerce.

Jon earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked as an independent strategy and operations consultant for start-ups and large multinationals and has managed numerous mergers and acquisitions for his clients and employers. At Allmenus.com (now part of Grubhub) Jon built a network from almost nothing to 250,000 restaurants in 18 months. At 1-800-flowers, he developed the international business from an ad-hoc network of microsites to a coherent, multi-national, multi-company strategy.

Jon and his wife are the proud parents of a son.

David Jack, Head of National Sales

For over 20 years, David has been a sales leader specializing in digital advertising and business development. Today he is Head of National Sales at Chicken Soup for the Soul.

David earned his undergraduate degree at Manhattanville College before beginning his career in sales at Gannett Suburban Newspaper Group. Since then he has been a senior sales executive at a number of newspaper and new media companies. Before joining Chicken Soup for the Soul, David was Director of Strategic Sales at TruSignal, a digital advertising targeting company, with responsibility for the consumer packaged goods category. Earlier he served as Digital Sales Director at Time where he also focused on CPG.

David is also an award-winning film producer, director and screenwriter.

David and his wife are the proud parents of two children and have four amazing pets.

D'ette Corona, Vice President, Assistant Publisher

D’ette was a freelancer for Chicken Soup for the Soul until 1999 when she was hired as Production Coordinator. Today, as Assistant Publisher, she works alongside Amy to produce the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. She has been involved in publishing over 200 books in the series.

Born and raised in California, D’ette earned her bachelor of science in business management in 1994. After graduation, she worked for a handful of companies before finding her calling creating books with Chicken Soup for the Soul.

D’ette’s proudest accomplishment is her son. She has been with her husband since they began dating in high school.