1(833) 456-HOOT info@hootreading.com

OURteam

We are a startup, but have been working on raising readers for over a decade. Our work is based on a research project done over a decade ago at Sesame Workshop, the creators of Sesame Street.
We are led, backed, and advised by leaders in education and technology, including:
CARLY SHULER

CARLY SHULER

CO-FOUNDER & CO-CEO

Through her passion for reading and education, Carly has built a career around her expertise in children’s media and education, working with Sesame Workshop, Spin Master Toys, and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center. She obtained her Master’s degree in Technology, Innovation and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she specifically studied how technology and media can be properly utilized to educate children. Carly also spent five years building research and reports for Sesame Workshop, showing the effectiveness of digital media in educating children, ultimately leading to her idea for Hoot Reading, a platform built to help children across North America learn to love reading.
MAYA KOTECHA

MAYA KOTECHA

CO-FOUNDER & CO-CEO

In her role, Maya is responsible for the overall business operations, ensuring Hoot Reading is ready to scale and manage their growth. She brings over 15 years of experience in marketing, corporate strategy, and business development, holding various senior executive positions at 24-7 Intouch, a leading global outsourcer. Starting as one of the first employees, Maya built and led key marketing and sales roles across the business, helping the company expand from 50 to over 12,000 employees, across 15 global locations. She has two young children and became passionate about and heavily engaged in literacy through her personal journey dealing with her child’s reading struggles. Maya holds a BBA (Hons) from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
ALYSSA PITURA

ALYSSA PITURA

SENIOR MANAGER OF MARKETING

In her role as Senior Manager of Marketing, Alyssa is responsible for overseeing branding, communications, sales, events, content creation, web asset management, and lead generation. She brings years of experience in marketing, events services, brand strategy, and customer experience, with past marketing roles at 24-7 Intouch and Execs In The Know.

Alyssa has a passion for life-long learning and education, and in her spare time enjoys travelling, physical activity, coaching volleyball, and of course, reading. 

Alyssa has a B.Sc (Hons) in Communications and English from Valley City State University.

KRISTA FORTE

KRISTA FORTE

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Krista has spent over 15 years in customer service and retail management roles during her career in Winnipeg, MB. She graduated with Honours from Hotel and Restaurant Administration at Red River College and is currently pursuing her certificate in Operations Management through the part-time program at RRC.

Krista is a mother of two middle school-aged children and understands the impact that reading has on learning as her children navigate learning their core subjects in French Immersion. She is an avid animal lover and is a core volunteer with a local dog rescue group.

MADISON SCOTT

MADISON SCOTT

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE COORDINATOR

Madison has spent the last few years delving deep into small self employment business in Winnipeg, built on relationships. She graduated from Red River College from the Commerce Industry Sales and Marketing program with honours.

Madison is always looking for opportunities to serve others around her, and to better the world she lives in. Madison has a heavy volunteer commitment with various youth and young adult groups in the city.

Madison has grown up being one of the biggest readers in her family, with her favourite part about reading being how it can transport you to an entirely different world in just a few words!

Madi Leigh Kurth

Madi Leigh Kurth

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE COORDINATOR

Madi is currently an Asper School of Business student studying Marketing and International Business. With one year left in her degree, she spends the majority of her extracurricular time involved heavily on the Asper student council running events for other Asper students to attend and network with industry professionals.

Madi’s past work experience includes working in various customer service and marketing roles.

In her spare time, she enjoys travelling to experience different cultures and trying new food, playing with her two dogs, participating occasionally in a game of volleyball and reading as much as she can! 

Brooke Gustafson

Brooke Gustafson

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE COORDINATOR

Brooke is currently a student attending her last year at the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba. After this year, she will achieve a major in both Finance and Marketing.

Brooke has always loved working with people and has worked in the service industry since she was 15. In her spare time, Brooke likes to go for walks with her pups and spend quality time with her friends and family. One day Brooke hopes to own a business of her own!

suzy gilbert

suzy gilbert

DIGITAL MARKETING COORDINATOR

As a natural-born storyteller, Suzy Gilbert has always been passionate about connecting with people through images, words, and ideas. This passion for storytelling led her to study at Red River College in the Creative Communications program. She is now an experienced marketing and communications professional living in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. 

Before Hoot Reading, Suzy worked at various non-profit organizations and now channels her drive for social change to fuel personal projects and volunteer opportunities. Her latest personal project is an online-based awareness campaign called Together which teaches young people about consent culture and healthy relationships. 

In her free time, Suzy enjoys staying active, spending quality time with friends and family, and getting lost in a good book. 

James Warren

James Warren

TECH. PROJECT MANAGER

Meet James! James is new to our team as Project Manager for the new Hoot 2.0 application. He is responsible for connecting with stakeholders, empowering Hoot members, and making sure we stay on target for Hoot 2.0.

James graduated from Red River College’s Business Information Technology program in 2018 and previously studied linguistics and history at the University of Manitoba. James comes from a rich software development and project management background, having developed and managed educational applications for the public and private sectors. James prides himself on his ability to make meaningful connections; with and between things, concepts and more importantly, people. James’ enthusiasm and drive is contagious, allowing him to inspire team members to accomplish both their personal and professional goals.

JARED KOZAK

JARED KOZAK

TECHNICAL LEAD & SENIOR APPLICATION ARCHITECT

In his role as Technical Lead & Senior Application Architect, he will be working on Hoot 2.0 – a cross-platform, enhanced version of Hoot Reading – all the while streamlining our operations and analytical workflows.

Jared is a self-taught, Métis application developer who went to the Asper School of Business to study Management Information Systems and Leadership. Growing up in rural Manitoba, Jared loved to read and learn about all things tech. In high school, Jared developed a wide-array of applications, including a system which facilitated the peer tutoring programs at schools across his division.

Working with schools fueled Jared’s love for improving the educational experience through technology. Since then, Jared has used his technical leadership abilities to architect and build a multitude of applications, websites, and embedded devices for a diverse range of companies, schools, and not-for-profits across Manitoba.

 Jay Rosenzweig

Jay Rosenzweig

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Jay Rosenzweig, the founding partner of Rosenzweig & Company, is an expert in designing, building and attracting world class teams. He consults to public and private companies including large global corporations; emerging growth to mid-sized businesses; professional services firms; and private equity and venture capital firms. Prior to joining the search industry, Jay was in the field of law. Jay earned three degrees at McGill University: Philosophy, Civil Law, and Common Law. In addition, he completed the Harvard Law School Negotiation Program, taught by expert negotiator Roger Fisher, author of Getting To Yes.
dr. michael levine

dr. michael levine

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER | RESEARCH

Research Advisor. Chief Knowledge Officer, Sesame Workshop. Advocating for kids for over 30 years.
TICO BALlagas

TICO BALlagas

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER | TECHNOLOGY

Over 20 years in research and software development. Hewlett Packard. Previous Co-founder and CTO of Kindoma, Nokia Stanford Engineering.
JODI KOVITZ

JODI KOVITZ

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Jodi Kovitz is the founder & CEO of #movethedial, a global movement and organization to advance the participation and leadership of all women in tech. Jodi has been featured in Forbes Women, the Globe and Mail, Report on Business, on Business News Network multiple times and in the Huffington Post. She has been named twice one of Canada’s Top 100 most powerful women (2017, 2019), the IABC/Toronto Communicator of the Year (2019), a top 25 Women of Influence in Canada (2018) and a Toronto Adweek Brandstar (2018). In 2018, she also co-chaired the re-election campaign for Toronto’s Mayor, John Tory. Jodi is passionate about philanthropy, and has had the honour of creating #tech4sickkids, an initiative to raise $25M to build the most innovative emergency suite and AI services in pediatric medicine in the world out of Toronto. She is also on the board of Toronto Global, focused on Foreign Direct investment in Canada, and sits on 4 advisory boards of tech companies. Jodi’s first book is coming out in 2020, “Go out of Your Way: How one small act can move the dial in life and business”, which was endorsed by Sheryl Sandberg. Jodi holds an HBA from Ivey and an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Also core to our team are our teachers, who are hand-selected. Learn more about our selection process and meet some of our amazing Hoot teachers.
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