Bios of Aristotle Readers


Here’s a quick list of the 15 veteran readers of reading group 1 – who join me in welcoming everyone – including our newest members (and folks transferring in from reading group 2) – to our year-long odyssey of reading Aristotle.

– Tim Albright

– Patrick Barth

– Shawn Budde

– Kendall Crolius

– Bill Damon

– John Halloran

– Nancy Kopans

– Erin McKean

– Lisa Quiñones

– Frank Renzler

– Jill Rowe

– Bruce Upbin

– Pat Wictor

– Hedy Williamson

These veteran readers have more or less committed to reading all the great books of the western tradition together for the rest of our lives. Pat Wictor and I started this effort three years ago and have read Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, the Old Testament and Plato together with the growing group of 15 above and folks who join us for a book or two.

See *all* the bios below.


Tim Albright

— no bio —

Patrick Barth
I am co-owner of a Brooklyn Based company, New Project. We specialize in custom museum installations. We also occasionally assist artists in realizing their visions. Prior to forming my company I worked independently as an artist assistant installing their sculptures in museums and galleries around the world. Before moving to New York to pursue my own dream of being an artist I taught sculpture and drawing at Bowling Green State University. I still occasionally work on my own art. One such project I have been dabbling with for a few years now is a series of illustrations based on The Iliad. I have degrees from Brigham Young University and Ohio State University. I grew up in Utah and, although I love New York, I will always miss the west. Some hobbies include white water kayaking, and surfing (still a beginner). Most excitingly, my wife and I just had our first baby.

Ravi Bhatia
I am a Project Executive with Madison Equities, a mid-sized real estate development firm in Manhattan.  Currently, I am in charge of construction of an 11-story boutique condominium on Irving Place and am working on design development of a hotel in the West Village.  I have over 20 years of project management experience spanning real estate, electrical construction, construction management, general construction, telecommunications deployment and technology integration.

I reside in Roslyn, NY with my wife of 18 years and my three-year old daughter.  I was born in Mumbai, India and emigrated to the U.S. in 1970.  I was raised in Flushing, NY and have lived in NYC most of my life.  I enjoy reading, traveling, teaching, public speaking and connecting with people.  I serve as an Adjunct Associate Professor at NYU’s School of Continuing Education (Real Estate Institute).

I’m a registered Professional Engineer (PE) and a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP).  I have a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Polytechnic University), a MBA (Hofstra University) and a M.S. Telecommunications and Information Management (Polytechnic University).

Dan Blank
Dan Blank is the Director of Content Strategy and Development for Reed Business Information. He works with 50+ B2B publications on their blogging strategy, and works with editors to create compelling text, photo, audio and video media for their brands. He also blogs at, where he tracks the latest news affecting publishing and new media.

Felice Bochman
Formally the Senior Editorial Director for, and Managing Editor for, Felice continues her work in e-commerce and web content.  She has a BA in English and Philosophy and an MA in English Literature. Her web content and freelance work have appeared on,, The Content Wrangler,, and

Felice is also an erstwhile fresco painter. Though currently on hiatus from the art world, her artwork has been featured in a number of shows and has sold to clients across the country. Free time comes at a premium—but when she does have some—she indulges in hiking, yoga, playing with her kids, reading an eclectic selection of books and journals, and reminding herself to enjoy the present and not spend too much time worrying about the future. She lives in Boston with her kids, utterly detests being bored, isn’t very good at relaxing, and yet loves the rare moments when life can be enjoyed at less than the speed of the internet.

Shawn Budde 
Mr. Budde earned a B.A. from Columbia University in New York City and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Casey

I live in San Francisco with my wife Carrie, to whom I got married in January 2007.  For the last 7 years I have been working as an investment analyst at Capital Research and Management, a mutual fund management company.  I follow Internet and media and entertainment companies, and can somewhat plausibly say, when caught using eBay at work, that “this is part of my job.”  My main hobbies outside of work are (1) singing with the Richter Scales, a men’s a cappella singing group; (2) reading; and (3) navigating the treacherous waters of San Francisco’s real estate market.  Other salient resume points include my schooling (Yale ’92, HBS ’98) and prior employers (P&G ’92-95 and Siebel Systems ’98-00).

Kendall Crolius 
Kendall graduated in 1976 with a degree in English from Princeton University – back when women were still something of a novelty in the Ivy League.  She wrote her thesis on “The Origin And Development of The Character of Morgan Le Fay in The Arthurian Cycle”  and earned extra points for finding an Arthurian topic that had not been done to death.

Her favorite course was Old English – it is gratifying to learn a language and read ALL of the extent literature in one semester.  Over the years, she has found it extremely difficult to work her knowledge of Ancient Anglo-Saxon into casual conversation, though she has been known to recite the Lord’s Prayer as a party trick.  Kendall now serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Princeton Triangle Club, which produces an original student-written musical comedy each year, and is the first woman in the Club’s 109 year history to hold a position on the Executive Committee.

After graduating from Princeton, Kendall was a professional stage manager, which is how she met her multi-talented husband, actor/director/teacher Stephen Stout.  She spent almost twenty years in the ad agency business: at J. Walter Thompson she was a front-line combatant in Burger King’s historic Burger Wars of the mid-eighties; launched Pepsi Slice; and invented Kellogg’s Honey Crunch Corn Flakes; at McCann-Erickson she led the team that launched Agilent Technologies, Hewlett-Packard’s $8 billion spin-off, in 25 countries, while also heading the US Airways account-from-hell, and traveling way too much.

Kendall joined Forbes in April 2000 as Vice President of Marketing, with responsibility for all brand marketing efforts for Forbes around the world.  In May 2005, she was named VP/General Manager of Forbes Conference Group and is beyond thrilled to have her first line job so late in her career.  Revenue rocks.

Kendall’s book Knitting With Dog Hair was published in the US by St. Martin’s Press in 1994 and in the UK by Hutchinson, Ltd. in 1996.  A pop-culture favorite, it generated an enormous amount of publicity, including a feature in People magazine, numerous radio interviews on the BBC and radio stations across the US, and segments on dozens of TV talk shows, including two appearances on CBS This Morning.  The book continues to sell steadily, and is recommended on a variety of websites related to crafts, pets and survival after th
e apocalypse. Kendall’s other activities include co-directing her church’s Christmas Pageant; making homemade jellies and pickles; and knitting obsessively.

She lives in Southport, CT with her husband and their two teenagers: Trevor, a talented musician and filmmaker; and Martha, a dazzling writer and performer, and courageous four year cancer survivor.   Kendall savors her daily commute to and from NYC because it provides the only reading opportunity she ever seems to find below 35,000 feet.

Bill Damon (old bio)
For the last twelve years, I have been with Harvard Business School Publishing, publisher of the Harvard Business Review, HBS case studies, and HBS Press books. The early part of my work at HBSP had me doing tech support, database administration, desktop application/UI development, and Intranet design and development. For the last five years I have been a system administrator, developer, business analyst, and usability resource for our e-commerce site.

My new position as Findability and Metrics Analyst was recently created in response to HBSP’s renewed focus on online customer experience. In this position, I’m helping to lead efforts to improve our site search and SEO. I’m also implementing new reporting tools and leading a consumer electronics research team to evaluate how new devices will change our customers’ content consumption habits.

Adam Davids
Adam Davids is the principal of the entertainment law practice, the Law Office of Adam Davids, P.C.  In his practice, Adam represents artists and indies in their pursuit of their projects and the protection of their rights.

Prior to establishing his own practice, Adam was the CEO of a multinational industry association in the financial industry and ran the international department of a financial training institution.  Adam has also been a partner in an annual music conference in Miami, a waiter in Prague, both a car jockey and a disc jockey in Canada and a business manager in London.  He received his Masters in history from Columbia, his JD from Cardozo School of Law and currently resides in the better borough of Brooklyn.

Anne Dunning
Anne Dunning was born and raised in Canada.  Before coming to New York, she spent ten years with the Danny Grossman Dance Company in Toronto where she was director of communications, associate general manager and administrative director.  She became a principal consultant at ARTS Action Research, a Brooklyn-based consulting group specializing in strategic planning, organizational development and resource building for the nonprofit arts, in March, 2004.  In Canada she was founding chair of the national council of the Canadian Dance Assembly, whip of The Creative Trust endowment campaign and continues to serve on the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives Advisory Committee.  In the United States, she has been a trustee and Chair of the Board of Dance/USA, the national service organization for dance.  She has contributed to the Dance Umbrella of Ontario’s Step by Step electronic workbook, has taught for Humber College’s arts administration program and been a mentor and guest speaker for the University of Toronto’s arts administration program. Before becoming involved in the arts, Anne studied biology at McGill University in Montreal, where she received an honors Bachelor of Science in ecology, evolution and behavior.  She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Gary, who is executive director of the Big Apple Circus.

Alex Fisken
Alex Fisken has over a decade of designing & building e-commerce experiences. As the former Director of Web Strategy for Network Solutions, he shaped the way customers find, develop and maintain their online identities. Alex joined from the financial services arena, managing the design of Folio FN, a revolutionary online brokerage. Previously, he helped found Symphony Marketing Group, a pioneer in building early e-commerce stores. Mr. Fisken holds a BA in Graphic Design from Lynchburg College. Alex lives in the Washington, DC suburbs with his wife and two daughters.

Paul Gaetani

Born and raised in New England, joined the Navy right out of high school, to “see the world”, I saw Orlando Florida and New London Connecticut!  Worked in a lot of different industries, rode the high tech wave for a while (7 jobs in 7 years before my current one).

Passionate about books, especially history.  Love roots music of any kind.  Decided to teach myself guitar about a year ago, and I think I play adequately for someone with one year’s worth of self training.  

Avid Doctor Who fan.

While I absolutely do not believe in institutionalized religion, I do believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God.  I do not believe that mankind has the ultimate capacity to fully comprehend this message, but that should not stop our life-long pursuit of seeking further understanding.

Most recently I have been contemplating dropping out of corporate life all together, perhaps to go start a farm or keep bees.  I wonder what difference anything I do in my day-to-day job will actually make in 20 years.

Jonathan Gordon
I am married with three kids and live on the Upper West Side in New York City.  I am an investment banker with The van Tulleken Company, an M&A boutique firm focused on information, media, publishing, education and technology companies.  Prior to joining them, I worked with VNU Business Media (subsequently Nielsen), Primedia and JP Morgan in various financial, operational and business development roles.  I qualified as an attorney in South Africa where I grew up and spent the earliest part of my professional career.

Erik Hagerman
Depending on when and whom you ask, Erik Hagerman is either a creative executive with an art problem, or an artist with a creative executive problem. As a creative executive, he’s designed online user experiences and led creative teams for companies ranging from the small and startuppy (PlanetRx, Cuil) to the large and behemothy (Wal-Mart, Disney).  He is currently Vice President, Creative for, a startup search engine. Prior to joining Cuil, he was Vice President, Creative at, where he led marketing and site design and built and managed the user experience  team. As an artist, he builds sculpture and assemblage out of mostly salvaged materials and found objects, including salvaged lumber, wooden foundry molds and used wooden toy building blocks (pics at ).  Hagerman recently moved his art-making operations into a superfantabulous warehouse space in Brooklyn, NY, which would be awesome except for the fact that the company he recently joined is located in Menlo Park, CA.  Is this awkward? Yes it is. He holds a BA in History from Dartmouth College and an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar.

John Halloran
John leads all product management efforts at Liquidnet, including design, product definition and business analysis. As one of the first employees of the company – John built and managed Liquidnet’s implementation group, which is responsible for installing, integrating and maintaining the Liquidnet system at Member sites. More recently, John has overseen the creation and staffing of a dedicated interaction design team within Liquidnet’s software development process.

In 6 years of operation, Liquidnet has been recognized by Institutional Investor as the ‘#1 Brokerage Firm for Global Trading’; quickly besting long-established players in the institutional equity trading space. Liquidnet owes much of this success to the attention it pays to user experience. The foundation of the Liquidn
et user experience is Liquidnet’ patented integration with Order Management Systems, of which John is an inventor. Currently, John is at work on the problems of internationalizing the Liquidnet offering; maintaining an elegant and consistent user experience that transcends diverse national, cultural and regulatory boundaries.

John holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Occidental College, and is a graduate of Columbia University’s Computer Technology and Applications program. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and 2 young children.

Sari Harris
I am the Senior Information Architect on the product team of Thumbplay, Inc., where I get to focus on people’s obsessions with their handheld devices and mobile media. Previously, I spent six years at the Economist Group as an information architect and interface designer. I hold an MLIS from Pratt Institute and a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from UIC. In my free time I study the intersection of people, media, and technology–when I’m not reading philosophy, literature and comic books, or programing interactive toys.

Nancy Kopans
I am General Counsel of JSTOR, a non-profit online library of scholarly journals based in NYC.  Before attending law school, I was a Ph.D. candidate in Columbia’s English Department (am A.B.D.), following undergraduate study in Geology at Dartmouth.  That was a long time ago.  These days, as the mother of two young girls, I find that most of my reading outside of work focuses on material geared to the under-ten crowd.  I welcome the opportunity to re-engage in reading significant (grownup) works — with Phil, whom I’ve known since 1996, and his friends.  What we see in great literature changes based on our experiences.  I can’t say I’m wiser these days, but there’s a lot more texture to life, so it will be interesting to re-connect, or to connect for the first time, with the material the group will be reading.

Erin McKean
Erin McKean likes to call herself a Dictionary Evangelist. She is Chief Consulting Editor, American Dictionaries for Oxford University Press, and the editor of VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly. She was the editor in chief of the The New Oxford American Dictionary, 2e, and is the author of Weird and Wonderful Words, More Weird and Wonderful Words, Totally Weird and Wonderful Words, and That’s Amore (also about words). Previously, she was the editorial manager for the Thorndike-Barnhart Dictionaries at ScottForesman, a Pearson company. She has served on the board of the Dictionary Society of North America and on the editorial board for its journal, Dictionaries, as well as on the editorial board for the journal of the American Dialect Society, American Speech. She also serves on the advisory boards of the Wikimedia Foundation and XRefer. She lives in Chicago, rants about dresses on her blog (, and she’s actually really bad at Scrabble (but surprisingly good at roller-skating).

Mike Nagel
Mike is the Online Producer for, where he manages blogs and creates and edits site content. After leaving a career in network television journalism, Mike earned a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College. His freelance work has appeared in the Boston Globe, with the Beijing Olympic News Service, Good Catch Publishing, and as a featured travel writer for In his spare time, Mike is an avid traveler, sports fan (Red Sox and Bills), music junky, coffee enthusiast and mildly interesting blogger. He lives in New Hampshire’s seacoast region and will marry his fiance, Sonja, in June of 2009.

Lisa Quiñones
Lisa Quiñones is a freelance photographer based in NYC. She’s been photographing politics, portraits, news and life in NYC and abroad since the late 1980’s. You can see her work on-line at Lisa has known Pat and Phil for 19 years!! (yikes) since, in a past life, they worked together as consumer and environmental lobbyists for a summer in San Diego, CA. So glad they both brought their enthusiasm and ideas to the east coast!

Frank Renzler
I have been in the construction industry, primarily in New York City, for over 25 years, the last 15 of those at Structure Tone.  I am currently the Executive-in-Charge of the Bank of America’s 1.5 million square foot build-out at One Bryant Park, the largest LEED Gold installation in the country.  Other noteworthy projects I have had a managerial role in are the United States Courthouse at Foley Square, J. P. Morgan 60 Wall Street Headquarters and SONY Recording Studios.

I was born and raised in the Lower West Side of Manhattan, attended Regis High School, SUNY Binghamton and Columbia University Graduate Business School; I have been married to Ann for 26 years and have two children; Nicholas, who graduated from Brown University in 2007, and Katie, who is entering her sophomore year there; I enjoy spending time with friends, reading, cooking and playing the guitar; I welcome the opportunity to read the “great” books with other like-minded people.

Jill Rowe
–  no bio –

Henry Seiden
I’m a psychologist and a psychoanalyst.  I live and practice–in the winter–in Forest Hills, NY but I spend as much of the summer as I can at our family beach house in Truro on Cape Cod.

I teach and supervise psychotherapy at several local universities and I’m on the Board of Directors of the Division of Psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association.  I see patients in my office about half time and, more and more, spend my free time reading (novels, travel writing, the classics) and writing–these days poetry and essays on poetry.

I’ve published professionally (on suicide, on narcissism, on metaphor) and I’ve been studying poetry and working seriously at writing it for many years.  I’ve published poems in Poetry magazine, and in a number of other literary and professional journals.  I’m looking for a publisher for a collection of Bronx childhood poems–tentatively titled Spaldeen.

Irene Shubladze
Irene Shubladze leads search marketing at where she currently manages all organic and paid search media efforts for North & Latin America. Since joining Travelocity in 2006, Irene’s innovative marketing strategies have led the way in dramatically improving campaign efficiency and driving profitability. She has worked in
online marketing since 2003 with experience on both the agency and the client side. Ms. Shubladze is a graduate of Georgia State University with dual degree in Computer Information Systems and Management.

Jennifer Skibo
– no bio –

Peter Skillman
– no bio –

Stephen Stout
Stephen Stout spent nearly thirty years as a professional actor and director before starting to teach five years ago. He has started a theatre company, performed his one man show at the bottom of a mine shaft, acted on Broadway, Off-Broadway, TV and film. Now he is delighted to be teaching at a small independent school in CT, and showing young people the joy and power of being on a stage, winning and keeping an audiences’ attention. Introduced to Phil and the gang through wife Kendall Crolius, a devoted member of the group.

Joe Sundermeyer
Joe Sundermeyer has worked at American Century Investments, an investment manager in Kansas City, since 1998 as a writer and now as managing editor/creative director for Prior to joining American Century Investments, he worked as a freelance writer and graphic designer, a photo editor at a large textbook company, and a reporter at a small town newspaper. By far his favorite job, however, was as a clerk at one of the first locations of a now-ubiquitous big-box bookstore whose name is not Bar
nes and Noble.

Joe is one of those lucky people who gets to do what he loves every day. But when he is not indulging his love of words and pictures, he’s spending time with his wife and four children, listening to music, reading, or running the trails and sidestreets of suburban Kansas.

Bill Swislow
In his role of senior vice president for product, William Swislow attracts consumers to through his leadership of the website’s design, functionality and original editorial content. He has guided the site’s development since its inception in 1997 while recently adding oversight of product development for the business’ next biggest customer group, automotive dealers.

Before joining, Swislow held several roles within the Chicago Tribune, including interactive marketplaces editor. During his tenure, Swislow managed the launch of the company’s first editorial website. Prior to his time with Tribune, he served as managing editor of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Quill Magazine and of four alternative weeklies in New England. Swislow also spent two years as an editor at Dow Jones News Service.

Swislow received his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. In addition to his role at, he operates the cultural website

Bruce Upbin
Bruce Upbin is a senior editor at Forbes magazine, overseeng technology and life sciences coverage. A long time ago he earned an MFA in fiction-writing from the University of Arizona.

Hedy Williamson
I was born and live in Laguna Beach California.

I received a BFA  from UC Santa Cruz with a specialization in printmaking .  I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica where I taught art and worked with young craft workers. After Peace Corps I remained in Jamaica and taught  at the national art school for a few years before receiving my MFA in design from The George Washington University.  I teach occasional courses at a local community college, but mostly manage to live by selling my artwork and living frugally.  Five years ago I remarried and my husband Bob and I love to travel and garden.  Neither of us have children. We spend part of each year on Quadra Island in British Columbia.

Stanton Wood
– no bio –

14. January 2009 by Arrian
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