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Gary Shuman

Gary Shuman has held financial, sales, and strategy leadership roles in both large companies, such as Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation, and more recently as CFO of ePrize and Moxy Eats and SVP of Sales for various digital marketing start-ups. He has a passion for creating business plans, building companies, and recruiting and nurturing talent.

Presently, Gary is a Partner at Muditā Venture Partners, enabling him to help grow and sustain their portfolio companies. Muditā is a $40 million VC fund that invests in mainly early stage software companies where they can actively make an impact beyond their capital input. Muditā seeks investments that can drive oversized returns while improving the world in the process.

Gary is an avid bowler, golfer, pickleball player, and Detroit Lions fan in his spare time.

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Naren Aryal

As CEO of Amplify Publishing Group (APG), Naren advises industry experts and thought leaders on the opportunities and challenges that exist in the ever-evolving world of publishing. He launched the company with a single title in 2003 and guided it to what it is today—one of the fastest growing and most respected hybrid publishing companies in the world.

APG is home to five genre-focused imprints: Amplify Publishing, an imprint for business and thought leadership titles; RealClear Publishing, a joint venture with RealClearPolitics; Subplot Publishing, a home for excellent fiction; Mascot Kids, a space for children’s literature; and the flagship, multi-genre imprint, Mascot Books.

Prior to entering the world of books, Naren worked as a lawyer, advising technology companies in the Washington, DC, area. He is a frequent speaker on all things publishing, including content development, book production, retail distribution, marketing, and author branding.

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Josh Linkner

Josh has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. He’s an internationally recognized expert on innovation and is the author of four books on the subject, including the New York Times bestsellers Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention.

Josh is passionate about starting and building companies. He’s the co-founder and managing partner of Muditā Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm, and was previously the CEO and founding partner of Detroit Venture Partners. Over the last thirty years, he’s helped over one hundred startups launch and scale.

Today, Josh serves as chairman and co-founder of Platypus Labs, an innovation research, training, and consulting firm. He has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a recipient of the United States Presidential Champion of Change Award.

Josh is also a passionate Detroiter, father of four, and professional-level jazz guitarist.

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Eric Schurenberg

Eric Schurenberg is a media executive and award-winning journalist now dedicated to fighting toxic misinformation and polarization. Among other related efforts, he co-hosts the podcast In Reality with Joan Donovan of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. 

Most recently, Eric was the CEO of Mansueto Ventures, the owner of Inc. and Fast Company media properties. Before becoming CEO, he was editor-in-chief of Inc., during which time the magazine won a National Magazine Award for general excellence. Before joining Inc., Eric was the founding editor of CBS MoneyWatch.com and the editor-in-chief of BNET.com for CBS Interactive.

Prior to CBS, Eric was managing editor of Money magazine, which won the Time Inc. Luce award for service journalism in each of the four years it was eligible. Other roles include deputy editor at Business 2.0, assistant managing editor at Fortune, and vice president at Goldman Sachs. He was a regular commentator on Nightly Business Report on PBS and Marketplace Radio on NPR, as well as a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN, Today,and Good Morning America. 

Outside of work, Eric is a private pilot and club tennis player.

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Mel Robbins

Mel Robbins is one of the most widely booked and followed podcast hosts and authors in the world. She’s trusted by the world’s leading brands and medical professionals who use her research-backed tools and strategies in clinical and corporate settings. She’s amassed millions of followers online, with her videos going viral almost daily.

A New York Times bestselling author and self-publishing phenom, Mel’s work includes The High 5 Habit, The 5 Second Rule, and the #1 Education Podcast in the world—The Mel Robbins Podcast.

143 Studios Inc, her female-led media company produces provocative and award-winning content with unprecedented results: millions of books sold, billions of video views, seven #1 audiobooks, and original courses and programming for clients like Starbucks, JP Morgan Chase, Linked In Spotify, Headspace, and Audible.

Her work has been translated into 41 languages, her podcast is syndicated in 194 countries, and Mel’s TEDx Talk is one of the most viewed of all time. Most importantly, her science-backed tools and relatable advice have changed the lives of millions of people worldwide. 

Despite all this, Mel is one of the most down-to-earth and caring people you’ll ever meet. The person you see every day online is exactly the same in real life. She lives in Vermont with her husband of 26 years and their three kids, and she is and will always be a Midwesterner at heart.

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Nina Spahn

Prior to moving to the Washington, DC, area and joining Amplify Publishing Group, Nina worked in editorial at a New York publishing house. There, she worked on multiple USA Today and New York Times bestsellers spanning a variety of genres. Nina now specializes in a number of narrative nonfiction genres including business, memoir, self-help, topical nonfiction, and essay collections, and oversees the full production department at APG. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in writing and a BA in communications and attended New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute before beginning her career in publishing.

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Kristin Perry

As VP of Operations at Amplify Publishing Group, Kristin helps drive a variety of business development initiatives, ensures each author’s transition from production to book launch is strategic and seamless, and leads the company’s marketing and publicity team. With nearly a decade of experience in publishing, she is an expert on the industry and the marketplace factors that contribute to a title’s success. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in English and a BA in psychology.

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Graham Tidlow

Graham has been working with books for the last five years as a freelance editor, writer, and beta reader. Now with Amplify Publishing Group, he’s excited to help many more authors bring their ideas to life. As publishing assistant, he aids with tasks at all stages of the publishing process from acquisition and outreach to publication and publicity. He graduated from The College of William and Mary with a BFA in English and is an alumnus of the Columbia Publishing Course. When he isn’t at work, you can find Graham playing with his cat or writing short stories at the nearest cafe.

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Jess Taylor

Working with books is Jess’s dream job. Ever since she was little, she knew her passion in life was to help authors publish their stories. She graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a BFA in creative writing and a publishing certificate. Her concentration was in fiction, which helped her develop APG’s imprint Subplot. As acquisitions director, she spearheads the imprint while continuing to acquire a variety of excellent stories in many other genres. She loves spending her days reading manuscripts, chatting with authors about their work, and exploring the wonderful Northern Virginia area.

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Ben Simpson

As acquisitions director at Amplify Publishing Group, Ben is responsible for communicating with a variety of authors about APG’s publishing services and the industry as a whole. He loves the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of genres and subject matters, and enjoys talking with authors about their goals and how APG can help achieve them. A native of Herndon, Virginia, and an avid reader of history books and comedy memoirs, he was thrilled by the opportunity to work in publishing in the same town he grew up in. He received his BA in communications with a concentration in media production and criticism from George Mason University.

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Will Wolfslau

As editorial director at Amplify Publishing Group, Will helps our authors to develop and position their books for maximum impact. He draws on over a decade of experience in the publishing industry, having begun his career at storied literary publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He then joined Crown (a division of Penguin Random House) as an acquiring editor, where he worked with a Nobel Peace Prize winner and on a dozen New York Times bestsellers. A native of Southern California, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter, and an elderly dachshund.

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Carissa Villagomez

As acquisitions assistant at Amplify Publishing Group, Carissa aids the acquisitions directors with reading manuscripts, communicating to authors, and guiding writers along their unique creative journeys. She has experience at top New York literary agencies, trade imprints, and small independent presses. Her genre interests include children’s books, adult fiction, and big idea nonfiction. Carissa graduated magna cum laude from the University of Chicago with a BA in English Literature and a minor in human rights.

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Motivational Speaking
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Amplify Publishing Group|
620 Herndon Parkway, Suite 220|
Herndon, Virginia 20170
Phone: 703-437-3584|
Fax: 703-437-3554|
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