Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Ron has over 30 years experience in the publishing and media industry. The majority of his career has focused on creating, producing, publishing and marketing children’s books, multimedia products and educational programs for the home and school markets. Ron is the founder of Smart Kidz Media, Inc. and Smart Kids Publishing (a Division of SKM)—companies that have generated over $200 million in sales through their innovative marketing programs and through their strategic partnerships with major distributors.
Ron has authored several best-selling children’s books that have sold in the millions of copies. With his extensive knowledge and expertise in the publishing and media industry, he brings a unique and extremely successful combination of marketing and sales strategies to SKM. He holds an MBA and a post-graduate degree.
Vice President of Finance & Admin
Peter has been a key member of several startup businesses. He is a seasoned professional with 15 years of experience in accounting and financial management as well as a licensed tax professional. He has been the Manager, COO and Controller in various Media companies and has extensive knowledge in operational management. Peter has worked as a business and financial consultant and has broad experience in all aspects of finance. His extensive work in the media arena gives him a deep understanding of media finance and intellectual property rights. Peter has been involved in most aspects of web design and programming for over 10 years. He has been responsible for working on a range of projects, designing websites and interacting on a daily basis with graphic designers and backend developers. He oversees a team of designers and programmers developing current and new websites for Smart Kidz Media. Peter holds both an MBA and an engineering degree.
Chris is an award-winning illustrator and designer with over 30 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. As Director of the Smart Kids Art Studio, he and his talented staff of graphic designers, illustrators, animators and new media specialists use an innovative blend of traditional and digital media to create books, eBooks, digital media, website designs and multimedia programs. He and his staff are well-versed in digital media development and they continue to draw on cutting edge technology to enhance the “SmartKidz look” and design. For over 30 years, Chris has collaborated with Ron Berry to create, write and illustrate over 200 children’s books. Over his 40 years in the publishing industry, Chris has also collaborated with various authors to illustrate hundreds of other children’s books for a group of children’s publishers, both in the secular and liturgical markets. His expertise extends into the advertising market as well. The Smart Kidz Art Studio is based in St. Louis, Missouri.
As one of the early visionaries of the development of eBooks for children, George co-founded Mightybook.com and Easy Learning Books as libraries to support classroom curriculum for pre-K through 6th grade. He has created over 1,000 eBooks and Story Songs for Mightybook and ELB, which are now part of the Smart Kidz Library. His other credits include developing eBooks and sound tracks for such online education leaders as Learning A-Z and Reading Teacher.com. As composer, arranger, producer, sound designer, recording engineer and educator, George has won Telly Awards for music in both advertising and children’s DVD “edutainment.” With over 45 years of experience in the music industry, his focus on children’s music has led him to produce multiple music CDs and soundtracks for DVD for kids and family in retail distribution throughout the world.
As Vice President/Director of Digital Media Development, George works with his team of animators, audio engineers, and digital media specialists to produce and process videos, eBooks, music and other digital content for upload to the Smart Kidz Library. He oversees all aspects of production, cataloging and management of SKM’s vast library of intellectual properties stored on the Cloud.
George has a B.A. in Music from San Diego State University with a multi-level teaching credential in Music Education.
Martin has over 30 years in the children’s publishing industry. Before coming to SKM, Martin was the Executive Vice President and Publisher of Ideals Publications and Guideposts for over 26 years. Martin currently manages a team of experienced employees that perform day-to-day warehousing functions, order processing and fulfillment, data file management, and distribution operations for SKM in Nashville, TN. Martin also manages our in-house sales team of three sales professionals handling key national retail accounts, plus an independent sales rep force of over 100 salespeople that reach a high percentage of independent retailers in the US.
Sourcing Coordinator, Hong Kong
Joyce Wan is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. She is highly trained in the outsourcing of multimedia products. Joyce has worked in our Hong Kong office for over a decade. Her meticulous attention to the details inherent in multimedia sourcing makes her an invaluable member of our team.
Strategic Product & Marketing Advisor
Francis grew up in Swansea, South Wales and received a degree in graphic design from Newport College of Art and Design. He began his career as an art director in the publishing industry and became an internet entrepreneur when he created the ‘Reading A-Z’ website, now one of the most successful and popular educational websites on the internet.
Francis spent the first ten years of his publishing career in London ending up as Manager of BBC Educational Publications, producing publications for schools and further education to accompany television and radio programs.
His career then took him to the United States, where he held executive design and production positions with several West Coast educational publishers. As the Director of Design and Production at Addison-Wesley’s School Division, Francis managed a large creative team. Also to his credit, he pioneered the application of the first Macintosh computers in desktop publishing. This innovation established the company’s leading position in electronic publishing for textbook production.
For several years, Francis owned his own company, Morgan-Cain and Associates—a company that specialized in the design and production of elementary and high school educational materials for major U.S. publishers.
With the advent of the World Wide Web, Francis conceived and developed the educational websites ‘Reading A-Z’ and ‘Raz-Kids’, which were launched in 2002. ‘Reading A-Z’ now has hundreds of thousands subscribers and currently provides online resources to half the school districts in the United States and Canada, and in over 155 countries worldwide.
In January 2013, Francis launched a new phonics based reading program ‘ReadingTeacher.com’, which uses animated, interactive stories to teach beginning readers. Smart Kidz Media acquired the rights to this reading program in 2015 and it is now part of the Smart Kidz Library.
In 2013, the University of Wales awarded Francis an Honorary Fellowship, recognizing him as a leader in his field, who has been consistently willing to use his authority and experience to inspire others, and in recognition outstanding achievements in his field of expertise.