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About A Plus

At A Plus, we believe in the power of positive thinking — and storytelling. To us, positive journalism means looking at the day's events critically, from all angles, and with hope. Our mission is inherent to the stories we share with you each and every day. We were founded in 2014 by actor and technology investor Ashton Kutcher. We are proud to tell a different kind of story.

About Chicken Soup for the Soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul, the world's favorite and most recognized storyteller, publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada alone, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, "chicken soup for the soul" is one of the world's best-known phrases and is regularly referenced in pop culture.

Team

Leadership

Ashton Kutcher

co-founder, chairman of the board
Ashton is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of A Plus, where he leads strategic partnerships with brands and influencers. He is a renowned technology investor and in 2009 became the first Twitter user to reach 1 million followers. A Plus reflects the convergence of his interests in media, technology, and social platforms.

William J. Rouhana, Jr.

chief executive officer
Mr. Rouhana is Chief Executive Officer of A plus. He is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. and has been the Chief Executive Officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul since April 2008. Mr. Rouhana has been a leader in the media, entertainment and communications industries for more than 35 years. He was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Winstar Communications, a wireless broadband pioneer, and Winstar New Media, one of the earliest online content companies, from 1993 until 2001. During his career Mr. Rouhana has led the acquisition of numerous media companies including Virgin Vision, a Virgin Group worldwide film distribution venture, in the 1980s. As an entertainment and finance lawyer from 1977 to 1985, he developed new film financing models for major producers such as Blake Edwards. He is a founder of The Humpty Dumpty Institute, which created the International Film Exchange, and the Co-Chairman of the Global Creative Forum, which connects the United Nations with major film and television executives, producers and talent.

Elana Sofko

chief operating officer
Elana Sofko joined Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in 2016 as the Senior Vice President of Business Development and Distribution. Ms. Sofko brings over two decades of media and entertainment experience, always on the leading edge of innovation. Prior to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Ms. Sofko focused on a range of digital business growth initiatives for WWE, including International expansion and localization of WWE’s digital properties as well as supporting the launch and international expansion of WWE Network, a subscription based video over-the-top (OTT) service. Ms. Sofko worked on the launch of satellite radio as part of the start-up team at the company now called SiriusXM, and has overseen strategic growth initiatives at ESPN, Nokia, News Corp and A&E Television Networks. Ms. Sofko earned a B.A. in English Literature from the State University of New York at Albany, and an M.B.A. from University of Connecticut, which included a semester in China at Peking University. Ms. Sofko’s qualifications include worldwide experience in distribution, monetization, digital tech and products, business and corporate development.

Jayson Goldberg

svp, branded entertainment, content partnerships
Jayson, a native New Yorker, joined CSS Entertainment in September 2017, continuing his passion for Branded Entertainment and Content Development which has been his sole focus for many years at Dick Clark Productions and the Billboard Music Awards. It continues a long journey that begun at NYU Film School and took exciting shapes and forms in ad agency media (IPG) as well as prestige online/offline Publishers such as Fast Company, Inc. Architectural Digest and others in senior management roles. Entrepreneurial atmosphere also drive him and his endless energy.
Sales

Kim Kuwata

director, ad sales east coast
Kim is a native New Yorker and has been in advertising for 10 years. She started in video game marketing and transitioned into sales for sports, entertainment, and children's cross platform advertising. Kim is a Sagittarius and a graduate of Loyola Maryland, where she fell in love with a capella and karaoke.

Liza West

account director
About 5 years ago, Liza, a Texas native, walked away from law and into digital media. She started her media career in mobile rich media at Medialets and transitioned into digital sales at USA Today and Martini Media where she has worked closely with Beauty, Tech, Auto, CPG and Luxury brands on many native and 1st-to-market campaigns. Liza loves running in Central Park, the San Antonio Spurs, eating copious amounts of cheese, all shows from Masterpiece Classic and is a staunch believer in the A Plus mission. Liza is a graduate of University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary's University School of Law.

Shannon Croughan

account executive
Shannon comes to A Plus from Fox Sports Media Group. She was raised in Southern California and made the crazy decision to move to New York 4 years ago. She grew up playing competitive tennis and was a member of her college team at USC. In her free time, she enjoys running, listening to live music, and exploring her West Village neighborhood.

Shannon Stevens

account manager
Shannon was born, raised & currently living in Breezy Point, NY (a.k.a the Irish Riviera). She graduated from St. Francis College in Brooklyn with a B.A. in Communications, with a concentration in Digital Media. She comes to A Plus from Turner Sports, where she spent over a year-and-a-half working within the digital account service/revenue operations department. She loves the beach & is completely obsessed with her dog, Andy.

Emma Kapotes

graphic designer
Emma is an alum of The College of New Jersey where she earned her BFA in Graphic Design. She got her start in the magazine industry working for Seventeen Magazine and Reader’s Digest and has since enjoyed working in digital media. She’s obsessed with music and passionate about all things beauty related!
Editorial

Cate Matthews

executive editor
Cate Matthews is an erstwhile Ohio University English major who made the transition into viral journalism via a stint as an Associate Editor at The Huffington Post. There she ranked among the top ten most viewed writers, bringing in as many as 30 million page views a month. She also won a spelling bee once in middle school, which she thinks is pretty cool.

Joel Lyons

senior editor
Joel Lyons is a journalist who has covered music, entertainment, lifestyle, diversity, technology and other topics during various full-time stints and freelance gigs. His work has been seen in 944 magazine, Black Enterprise, the New York Daily News, NY1 News, SoulBounce.com, SoulTrain.com, DJZ.com, JackmasterRadio.com, AppStorm.net, among others. The Phoenix transplant—who now proudly reps Astoria, Queens—has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia.

Sarah Barness

senior editor
Sarah Barness is an editor for A Plus and former trends and digital innovation editor for The Huffington Post. In 2014, she was ranked among the top ten most viewed writers sitewide for HuffPost, and was listed in the top 20 most viewed writers on the Web by MediaMetric. Sarah is a UC Berkely graduate with degrees in rhetoric and communications and has a passion for telling stories. When she is not working on her Sci-Fi novel or scouring the Internet for the latest trends, she is playing the banjo as her St. Bernard stands by, drooling.

Abby Rogers

senior editor, social media and distribution partnerships
Abby Rogers is a proud University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School graduate who comes to A Plus from Fusion and Al Jazeera America. Before landing in New York she covered politics and justice in Missouri, Maryland, Virginia and California. Now she lives in a tiny New York apartment with her boyfriend and her very demanding cat.

Logan Tittle

director of video
Logan is a graduate from the University of Missouri where she got her start in online video. She hosts and produces videos on topics from news to lifestyle as well as viral content. Her work has appeared on Mashable, AOL, Weather.com, Newsy and more. When she isn’t editing, she’s busy trying to make her dog an Instagram star.

Isaac Saul

lead editor
Isaac Saul is a University of Pittsburgh graduate where he majored in non-fiction writing and got his journalism start as the sports editor for The Pitt News. He is the host of our weekly Facebook live show 'A Grain of Saul' and author of a weekly column you can find on A Plus every Tuesday. Isaac has written from Israel, Iceland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, West Texas and Alaska, among others. His work has appeared on CNN, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Medium and more. You can follow him on Twitter @Ike_Saul

Claire Peltier

associate editor
Claire graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual major in Non-Fiction Writing and Communications. After graduation, Claire worked as an Assistant Editor at Guest of a Guest where she helped produce the site’s “You Should Know” series and covered fashion, art, and social events throughout New York City. Claire’s writings have been published on Guest of a Guest, VERVE Social Magazine, A Plus, and more.

Ariana Marini

associate editor
Ariana Marini is a writer based in New York. She graduated summa cum laude from Emerson College where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in just two years. Her previous experience includes Scholastic, NOVA, Everyday Health, and Mechanical Engineering magazine. She enjoys writing nonfiction, reading fiction, and watching standup comedy.

Emily Becker

associate social media editor
Emily Becker is an associate social media editor for A Plus with experience in covering entertainment and culture and writing the occasional listicle. She graduated from the University of Missouri and made her way to Brooklyn by way of a two-year stint as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in western Africa. She is a proud native of Kansas City and maintains it is the definitive home to the best barbecue in the world.

Lindsay Geller

associate editor
Lindsay Geller writes branded content, lifestyle, and entertainment articles, as well as the occasional all-too-personal personal essay, for A Plus. She graduated summa cum laude from Emerson College with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, emphasis in creative nonfiction. She enjoys quoting Gilmore Girls to her cat, having a torrid love affair with peanut butter, and reading biographies of female sovereigns for inspiration.

Carson Blackwelder

associate editor
Carson Blackwelder is an associate editor at A Plus for the Arts and Entertainment section. He was born and raised in North Carolina and graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill in 2013 where he majored in both journalism and English literature. Before joining A Plus, he worked at Wetpaint.com for three years before going freelance and contributing to IMDb.com, InStyle.com, ScottFeinberg.com, and others. Carson currently resides in New York City with his husband and beloved Netflix account.

Katie Ward

social and video coordinator
Katie Ward is the Social and Video Coordinator at A Plus. She was born and raised in NYC and has a BFA from NYU and an MA from The Sotheby's Institute where she wrote her Master's Thesis on art that was made to be eaten. She has a background in arts and culture television production and comes to us by way of the NYC Art World. She is a new mom and also has a famous dog who loves art on Instagram (@PickleBeholding), it's both weird and cool.

Raina Yoo

video editor
Raina has a M.F.A in Documentary Production from Hofstra University and a B.A in Radio/TV/Film Production from Rowan University. Prior to A Plus, she worked for a healthcare advertising agency in addition to producing various independent documentaries on her own. She is a strong believer in the power of positive stories, and loves boxing, music, and her fishes.
Office

Marielle Almanzar

office manager
Born and raised in New York, Marielle is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a B.A in Communications. She comes to A Plus from a television PR Agency. Growing up, Marielle tackled the world of acting and appeared in commercials, print ads, and television spots. Her favorite food is candy and she can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a snack in between.

Contact

A Plus 205 E 42nd St, 20th FL New York, NY 10017

feedback@aplus.com

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