The Team

 

Leslie Jonath, Creative Director

Connected Dots Media Creative Director Leslie Jonath has over 20 years’ experience in book publishing, creative services, and media business development. From 1991 to 2009, she was an integral part of the editorial and development team at Chronicle Books, a Bay Area-based independent publishing house known for its lively, eye-catching and trend-setting books, gifts, stationery, and other consumer products about food, art, pop culture, gardening, design, lifestyles, and more.

As a Senior Editor in the food, lifestyle, and custom publishing categories, Jonath developed acquisition strategies, launched the successful garden and craft categories; acquired, produced, edited, and project-managed over 250 books across a variety of categories, including food, pop culture, crafts, lifestyle, art, architecture, memoir, and children’s projects. She also created a cause-related publishing model for non-profit organizations, creating books like From Our House to Yours to benefit Meals on Wheels of San Francisco; Pads for Pets for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support); Sand Castles for Leap (art and architecture education for Bay Area schools); Soup’s On for Next Course (job and life skills training for incarcerated women).

As a Director of Creative Development, Leslie was a founding member and co-director of Chronicle’s Custom Publishing division, creating innovative products for cultural institutions, name-brand companies and retailers. Clients included BabyGap, Starbucks, Anthropologie, and the San Francisco Ballet. The success of her work in this division led to a position as Director for Creative Services for the company’s Business Development team. As head of Creative Services, she  and her teams conceptualized, produced and developed innovative “beyond the book” services for custom clients, including videos and other digital products.

After leaving Chronicle Books in 2009, Jonath founded Connected Dots Media, working with clients in book packaging, video production, and concept and content development and production.

 

Lisa McGuinness, Managing Editor

An editor and a writer with 20 years of experience in publishing, including developmental editing and project managing, Lisa McGuinness has worked on books for Running Press, Chronicle Books, Barefoot Books, Egg & Dart, and Accord Publishing, as well as custom publications for Starbucks, Gap, the Exloratorium, Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Nordstrom. She specializes in children’s books, cookbooks, and specialty publications.

Collected under the pen name Elle J. McGuinness, she and Leslie Jonath co-authored the New York Times Bestseller Bee & Me,  an animated picture book with an underlying message about helping the declining bee population. They also co-authored Baby Turtle’s Tale, an engaging animated picture book about an endangered sea turtle who gets lost, and The Dictionary of Extraordinary Ordinary Animals, a whimsical menagerie of interesting and wacky animal facts.

Lisa (along with a slew of talented women from across the country!) has also authored Classroom Mom: A Volunteer’s Survival Kit.

 

Gretchen Scoble, Design and Art Direction

Gretchen Scoble is a book designer with over 20 years of experience in design, art direction, and book packaging. She has designed books for Chronicle Books, Rizzoli, Stewart Tabori & Chang, and Egg & Dart among others.

Gretchen worked as in-house senior designer at Chronicle Books before leaving to start Gretchen Scoble Design with a focus on book design, logos, brochures, and stationery. Her first book, The Meaning of Flowers sold over 100K copies followed by The Meaning of Herbs, and then The Meaning of Wedding Anniversaries.

Her other books include a series of books for Nordstrom’s, Fields of Plenty, Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, and At the Farmers Market With Kids. She has also collaborated with illustrator Jeffrey Fisher on a number of books and an extensive stationery line.

 

Shawn Hazen, Design and Art Direction

Shawn Hazen began his career at the internationally renowned firm MetaDesign in San Francisco, where he was a designer on a diverse range of print and Web projects. From Meta, he went on to several years in publishing, first at Chronicle Books, where he designed and art directed books on photography, cooking, pop culture, and more. Next as part of the team that launched the award-winning architecture and design magazine Dwell.

Shawn went on to become an Art Director for Apple Computer, creating design solutions across all their brand channels—from retail environment and packaging design to collateral and interactive media. When he moved to Chicago with his family, he joined the branding agency Remedy as Design Director. There, he developed their design offer and lead design strategy and implementation across the entire client portfolio.

Shawn now runs his own studio, putting his experience to work for both small clients and larger brands including Northwestern University, YMCA of the USA, Old Style beer, Swingline, Gogo Inflight, Redbox,, The Smithsonian, and Jawbone.

 

Mitra Parineh, Digital Editor

A hybrid of e-publishing and traditional book-worm, Mitra Parineh is Connected Dots Media’s digital editor. She is the Founder of Telling, a digital storytelling magazine, and a consultant for several San Francisco startups.

Mitra has written features, commissioned work, edited stories, and conducted interviews for MYOO, 7×7, Forbes, and over a dozen book projects.

 

Jen Flaxman, Assistant Editor

Jen Flaxman is San Francisco transplant, moving from New York in hopes of good weather and most importantly good food. After spending the past two years working with the Good Food Awards and becoming the Assistant Director of a summer camp for kids, Jen is excited to take her project management skills to Connected Dots Media and help inspire adults and kids alike to learn about food and cooking through producing great books. In her spare time, she runs the website, Now I’m Hungry, chronicling her latest forays into the vast San Francisco food scene.