- Kyle Zimmer - President and CEO
- Jane Robinson - Chief Financial Officer
- Chandler Arnold - Executive Vice President & Executive Director, First Book Marketplace and First Book National Book Bank
- Kim Albee - Vice President, Marketplace Operations
- Tom Best - Executive Director, First Book Canada
- Melinda Halpert - Vice President, Marketing
- Becki Last - Vice President, National Engagement
- Prem Nair - Vice President, Information Technology
- Erica Perl - Vice President, Publisher Relations
- Teresa Pipia - Vice President, Strategic Alliances
- Daniel Stokes - Vice President, Operations
- Kristi Zappie-Ferradino - Vice President, Community Development
President and CEO
Throughout her life, Kyle has focused on the intersection of policy, business and social sectors. Early in her career, Kyle practiced law, representing a wide spectrum of corporate and social sector clients. During that time, Kyle began volunteering to mentor a child at a local shelter. It was here that she became aware of the limited resources and almost nonexistent access to books children in local mentoring programs battle.
Her firsthand experience working with local heroes committed to improving opportunities for low-income youth inspired Kyle and two colleagues to found First Book in 1992. In 1995, Kyle began serving full time as president of the organization. Under her leadership, First Book has distributed more than 90 million books to children in thousands of communities in the United States. In addition, First Book has successfully launched several new subsidiaries—including the First Book National Book Bank and The First Book Marketplace—and has opened offices in Canada.
Kyle’s commitment to innovation and integration across sectors has earned her a reputation as a social sector leader. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Ashoka, which works to ensure that social entrepreneurs and their innovations continue to inspire a new generation of local change-makers to create positive social change. She also serves on the Youth Venture Board of Directors, and as a member of the board for James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead.
She was named 2007 Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the United States by the Geneva-based Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2008, Kyle was named the first-ever American Marketing Association Nonprofit Marketer of the Year, and in 2009, Kyle was honored as a Carle Honors Angel Award recipient. She served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Entrepreneurship, was featured as a presenter at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2010, and attended at the World Economic Forum in Beijing in 2012 as a presenter and blogger.
Chief Financial Officer
Jane serves as the chief financial officer for First Book and the First Book Marketplace. Jane had a distinguished career with law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, where she served as CFO for two decades as it evolved from a small firm to its current status as a major litigation firm with multiple offices in the United States. Jane has superior skills in financial management and has provided strategic guidance for First Book and its subsidiaries during a period of unparalleled growth. In addition to her financial role for First Book, Jane, together with Kyle Zimmer and Chandler Arnold, serves on the executive management team, overseeing all operations and strategic development for the organization. Jane has a degree in Math and Physics from Arcadia University and she did graduate work at the University of Arizona's Optical Sciences Center.
Executive Vice President
Executive Director, First Book Marketplace and First Book National Book Bank
Chandler is responsible for strategy, expansion, marketing and customer outreach for the First Book Marketplace. In addition, Chandler, together with Kyle Zimmer and Jane Robinson, serves on the executive management team, overseeing all operations and strategic development for the organization.
Prior to joining First Book, Chandler worked in marketing for The Coca-Cola Company, where he focused on customer segmentation and strategy, and as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, where he advised corporations on profit maximization, public-private partnerships, and organizational design.
Chandler holds an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where his work centered on harnessing the power of the private sector to advance social change. Chandler is also the founder of the Harvard Emergent Literacy Project and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University.
Vice President, Marketplace Operations
Kim Albee oversees First Book's innovative online site, the First Book Marketplace. She is an operations expert with more than 15 years experience in plant management, transportation and supply chains. She spent much of her previous career at Weyerhaeuser, where she rose to a senior position in global operations and generated $12 million in annual savings for the company. Kim holds an MBA from Seattle University.
Executive Director, First Book Canada
Tom Best heads up First Book Canada, and is responsible for its growth and development. He is a veteran of the Canadian publishing industry, having held leadership positions with HarperCollins, Raincoast Books, CDG Books, Key Porter Books and H.B. Fenn.
Tom has also served on Frontier College's Board of Governors, currently serves as the communications chair for the National Reading Campaign and was instrumental in the creation of Story Planet, a creative writing centre for children and young adults in the Toronto area.
Vice President, Marketing
Melinda oversees the development of innovative cause-based marketing campaigns with major corporate partners to promote public awareness, involvement and funding support for First Book's mission. Melinda also leads cross-functional teams in new initiatives that enhance First Book’s brand.
Melinda is a marketing professional with more than 25 years of accomplishment in for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She began her career at Leo Burnett and worked on advertising for United Airlines and Procter & Gamble. She later joined AARP, where as director of membership development, she helped grow the organization’s membership from 16 million to 35 million members. She also served as senior vice president, marketing, for a start-up affinity program, the Women’s Consumer Network.
Melinda holds an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. She graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Vice President, National Engagement
Becki Last leads First Book's efforts to register new schools and programs across the country, keep our existing network engaged and active and bring First Book’s resources to more kids that need them. She comes to First Book from a successful career in strategic marketing for companies like USA TODAY, Time Warner Cable, Sprint Nextel and MCI. Becki holds an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Vice President, Information technology
Prem Nair is First Book's head of technology; he orchestrates our technical strategy and vision, and is responsible for the design, development and implementation of First Book's information systems, software applications, and IT support and infrastructure. Prior to joining First Book, Prem served in a variety of leadership roles in the technology industry, including HCL America and Comter Systems, Inc., where he was instrumental in creating a revolutionary open source portal that optimized procurement processes across federal government agencies.
Prem holds three Master's degrees, including an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Vice President, Publisher Relations
Erica leads First Book’s publisher and author relations team, overseeing content selection and developing First Book’s range of high quality books and educational materials. Prior to joining First Book, Erica worked as a criminal defense attorney in New York City and managed an education policy project on digital books at Harvard University. She has also worked in the children’s publishing and educational media fields as a creative consultant and editor.
Erica is the author of several critically acclaimed children’s picture books and novels, including When Life Gives You O.J. and Dotty, and has presented her work to educators, literary organizations, and students at schools, libraries, and national conferences. She holds a JD from Tulane University and a BA from Hampshire College.
Vice President, Strategic Alliances
Teresa leads the team that develops and maintains relationships with First Book’s corporate partners. She provides strategic insight and logistical management for cause-marketing and employee/customer engagement campaigns for partners including Target, Disney, General Mills, KPMG, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity and the Tata Corporation. She also cultivates new business relationships with prospective partners.
Teresa brings an extensive marketing background to her work at First Book. Most recently, Teresa served as account director for Redpeg Marketing where she directed brand marketing programs and led strategic thinking for clients, account teams, and advisory committees. Previously, she was with the Department of Defense, U.S. Army, where she was operations manager for logistical planning and execution of the Army Ten-Miler, the Army’s premier sporting event and the largest 10-mile race in the United States. Early in her career, Teresa worked with Clear Channel Entertainment in sports marketing. She has a long history of successful branding and revenue generating events, coordinating talent and logistics.
Teresa graduated from the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst with a MS in Sport Management, and from the American University, Cum Laude, with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration.
Vice President, Operations
Dan manages the organization’s Human Resources department, oversees day-to-day operations at First Book’s headquarters, and is involved in other projects at a strategic and operational level.
Before joining First Book, Dan spent his career in accounting, working for publishing and media companies in New York, and the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He spent a decade with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, eventually heading up their Accounting and Human Resources departments.
Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a Master’s degree in Human Resources and an MBA, all from the University of Maryland.
Vice President, Community Development
Kristi Zappie-Ferradino is responsible for First Book's national network of volunteer groups. She joined First Book after a distinguished career in volunteer development with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, where she was responsible for the organization's key products, including their website, national database and volunteer referral service and web-based tracking and evaluation system. Kristi holds a Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University.