Meet The Team

Here’s a sampling of the talents we’re proud to call colleagues in our grand adventure:

Laura Bergheim

Founder & CEO

Laura Bergheim

Founder & CEO

Laura is both a writer and an agency head, building and managing award-winning editorial and content teams for 20 years. She has written for global technology, retail, healthcare, travel and financial industry brands, among others, and is the author/co-author of eight books. Prior to founding Wordsmithie in 2010, Laura was Senior Program Manager for Content Strategy at Google, where she created and managed site and customer support content for AdWords and other monetized products. She also founded two other agencies, served as Creative Director at Resource Interactive and managed the 20+ person feature-writing team at Lycos, back when dinosaurs roamed the Internet.

Michael Gaylord

Chief Creative Officer

Michael Gaylord

Chief Creative Officer

Prior to moving to Madrid in 2011 (from which he also manages Wordsmithie’s European team), Michael served as Vice President, Digital for MTV Networks’ cable brands Nick at Nite and TV Land. He began his career in the digital shops of downtown Manhattan, and has extensive experience in creative direction, user experience, convergent programming, integrated marketing and web analytics. Michael accepted an Emmy Award for enhanced television on behalf of his former TV Land team, and has had the fortune of interviewing many of his childhood idols, including all six Brady Bunch kids.

David Bergheim

Chief Strategy Officer

David Bergheim

Chief Strategy Officer

David Bergheim joined Wordsmithie as Chief Strategy Officer following a 17-year stint in higher education, most recently as Director of Marketing at the University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration.  He was previously the Director of MBA Career Management at Emory University, and served as Associate Director and Alumnus-in-Residence at the Yale School of Management. David has an MBA from Yale and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Arizona. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two sons, and spends his free time coaching soccer and writing novels.

Alex Kenin

Google Studio Director & Senior Editor

Alex Kenin

Google Studio Director & Senior Editor

Alex learned the technology marketing ropes at Google where she was a Product Marketing Manager for almost five years. As a Senior Editor at Wordsmithie, she continues her work with tech clients to craft marketing communications from case studies and whitepapers to blogs and social media. In her capacity as Google Studio Director, Alex does end-to-end project management, coordinating editorial and design teams to ensure that projects meet deadlines and exceed expectations. Outside of Wordsmithie, Alex runs an urban hiking tour business, Urban Hiker SF.

Joyce Sohn

Joyce Sohn

Studio Director

Joyce Sohn

Joyce Sohn

Studio Director

A graduate of Stanford University, Joyce has over 15 years of product management and product marketing experience from top Silicon Valley companies, including Apple, Google, and Box. In addition to developing, launching, and marketing consumer software, she also led the planning and execution of Google I/O, one of the industry’s top annual events. In 2016, Joyce co-founded Porcelane, a company that delivers all the services of a traditional dental practice to homes, offices, and other locations, and as CEO, she led Porcelane’s merger with Home Care Dentist the following year. Born and raised in New York, Joyce has been fortunate to call the San Francisco Bay Area her home for nearly two decades.

Jim Leeke

Editorial Director

Jim Leeke

Editorial Director

Widely experienced in journalism, marketing communications and advertising, Jim has worked with top creative agencies to deliver print, Internet and interactive projects to Fortune 500 companies. His expertise ranges from technology and healthcare/pharmaceuticals to defense and veterans issues. Jim is also the author/editor of six books, writing extensively on the Civil War and baseball. In addition to his Wordsmithie role, Jim is Co-founder and Creative Director of Taillight Communications.

Marlene Tam

Design Director

Marlene Tam

Design Director

Marlene brings vast experience in visual communications and creative direction that allows Wordsmithie to provide turnkey print and web deliverables to its clients. As Lead Graphic Designer for Google’s Global B2B division, she managed a team of designers and writers and also led branding efforts for the full range of visual collateral including Google Atmosphere, Google’s large-scale CIO summit. Prior to that, Marlene held positions with Bay Area companies Postini and MT Design, and was Senior Art Director for AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. She is a Sifu (Master) in Wing Chun Kung Fu and a Certified Massage Therapist specializing in Acupressure and Tui Na.

Stephen Kent

Stephen Kent

Managing Editor

Stephen Kent

Stephen Kent

Managing Editor

After traveling the world in his 20s, Stephen moved to the SF Bay Area to jump into the 90s dot-com frenzy, working with five startups in 10 years. He subsequently made the sensible decision to join a non-profit that had a business plan, and later set up his own eponymous shop of editorial tricks and treats. Through more than 20 years of editing for publishers, magazines, search engines, angel investors, educational research agencies, magazines—and now Wordsmithie—Stephen has learned one very important lesson: Commas Save Lives! Outside of Wordsmithie, you’ll find him working on his book, tentatively titled, “Amateur Dad” (Why? Because everyone else at Wordsmithie has written a book!) or chasing his two young sons down snowy peaks in the Sierra Nevada.

Khaleelah Jones

Khaleelah Jones

Social Media Lead

Khaleelah Jones

Khaleelah Jones

Social Media Lead

With a PhD in emerging media, Khaleelah has worked in the marketing industry for almost a decade. She leverages analytical skills honed by working for several tech startups (Living Social, WellTok, Group Commerce and TalentKode) and media agencies (TRUE) to create cross-cultural and multilingual digital and social media campaigns for a wide variety of companies and organizations. Khaleelah teaches at the University of Bristol plus enjoys traveling, blogging and doing yoga in her spare time.

Heidi J. Lafleche

Senior Editor

Heidi J. Lafleche

Senior Editor

Heidi launched her writing career as a newspaper and magazine journalist—most notably as a Boston correspondent for People magazine. She transitioned into marketing communications for business, helping clients find the right words to engage their audiences. Heidi writes within a range of industries including technology, healthcare, financial services, legal services, education and nonprofits. Her slogan: “Every business has a story. Let’s tell yours together.”

Fritz Holznagel

Fritz Holznagel

Senior Editor

Fritz Holznagel

Fritz Holznagel

Senior Editor

Ryan “Fritz” Holznagel is an Emmy-winning writer specializing in clear and witty editorial for digital projects. In addition to writing on staff for Google, he penned Google’s hit HTML5 ebook, 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web. Fritz’s writing clients include Intuit, Universal Studios, Ooyala and Wine.com, and he is also the co-founder of the popular biographical site Who2.com. He has earned cash and bragging rights as a past winner of the Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

Jennie Cohen

Senior Editor

Jennie Cohen

Senior Editor

After working as a Paris-based translator early in her career, Jennie made the regrettable decision to return stateside. She landed at Google AdWords, where she racked up free massages as the founding member of a creative team that launched industry resources and customer success stories. Next, displaying an impressive lack of foresight, she entered the digital journalism field just in time for its 2008 collapse. She then spent several years as editor of the History Channel website, covering trending topics like Henry VIII and the Black Death. Now she’s a freelance copywriter and editor who can be found in Target parking lots across New Jersey, eating Goldfish off the floor of a Subaru Outback.

Lisbeth Kaiser

Lisbeth Kaiser

Senior Writer

Lisbeth Kaiser

Lisbeth Kaiser

Senior Writer

Lisbeth creates content and brand language for a wide range of industries. She began writing ad campaigns for Broadway shows before becoming an editor and creative manager at Google. In her role at Wordsmithie, Lisbeth works with various product and mission-driven teams at Google to help fine-tune their messaging and voice. A graduate of Tufts University, she is also the author of several children’s books.

Beth Silver

Senior Copy Editor

Beth Silver

Senior Copy Editor

Beth Silver was born to be a dancer. In college, it became apparent that she had the ankles of a writer, and thus a new path was pursued. Graduating with a degree in Writing for Film and Television, Beth began her career working in political media, soon turning to documentary film, writing and producing for clients such as NBC, AARP, USA on TV and PBS, where she received two Emmy nominations for an acclaimed documentary on child and adult literacy programs. She then roamed the Internet with fellow wordsmiths at Lycos in the 1990s, got hooked, and has been a copywriter and editor ever since. In her spare time, she founded The 101 Project, which mentors teens in transition, helping them find their best selves.

Jason Rogers

Editor

Jason Rogers

Editor

A graduate of the College of William & Mary and La Sorbonne, Jason has worked in content marketing all over the world, serving as Director of Digital Marketing for the Chinese Language Institute in Guilin, China. Based in Washington, D.C., Jason covers the National Hockey League as a credentialed reporter and television analyst; he has wordsmithed for high-visibility institutions and companies from the United States Congress to Google. He loves hockey, hip-hop, and original hyperbole.

Alix Clyburn

Alix Clyburn

Senior Editor & Writer

Alix Clyburn

Alix Clyburn

Senior Editor & Writer

At the tender age of 40, Alix realized that she forgot to answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Luckily, she’d been successfully working as a freelance writer and editor for over a decade, so she just decided to stick with it. Clients in education, tech, health, and designer handbags satisfy her need to know a little bit about lots of things. A voracious reading habit helps, too (which she blogs about at alexandraclyburn.com). When she’s not out buying sugary cereals for her family, she teaches writing to professionals and as an adjunct professor at the City University of New York.

Sammie Sachs

Sammie Sachs

Sr. Writer

Sammie Sachs

Sammie Sachs

Sr. Writer

Sammie hails from Google’s universe of content makers, where she earned her stripes as a writer, editor, and content strategist with Google Offers and Google Maps. Combining an analytical approach to content creation with an emotionally intelligent creative spirit, she specializes in designing good user experiences through words. She’s a versatile writer and thinker with experience in long-form editorial, email marketing, in-product text, user research, UX design, microtext, user education, blogging, social media, and probably some other things too, all with a firm foundation in content strategy. She holds a BA/MA in English Literature from Stanford University and lives in New York City.

Eve Connell

Senior E-learning Specialist

Eve Connell

Senior E-learning Specialist

Eve spends most billable hours writing, editing and helping professionals of all stripes with communication skills and leadership development. With degrees in French literature, philosophy, and linguistics, she also enjoys helping businesses and entrepreneurs develop their brands. Fancying herself a successful worm rancher, singer and flower arranger, Eve also lends her talent and expertise to several non-profit arts and educational organizations.

Jaime Santillan

Senior Designer

Jaime Santillan

Senior Designer

Jaime is a brand designer and photographer with over 20 years of experience helping people and organizations put their best face forward. He strives to create work that enriches lives and communities, going beyond aesthetics to drive action, generate results and push for change. Jaime has worked with clients across many verticals from consumer products to pharmaceuticals and tech, including Adobe, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, The Walt Disney Company, 3M, General Mills, Nestle Harman/Kardon, Eli Lilly, Abbott, Pfizer, Sony, and Google, among many others.

Ryan Bahrke

Designer

Ryan Bahrke

Designer

One of Wordsmithie’s senior designers, Ryan has more than 15 years of experience in creative direction and management, working with companies like Google, Quantcast, RSM, Navigant, Starbucks, and Ace Hotel. Ryan is the principal of Auslander Creative in Denver.

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Wordsmithie, Inc.
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