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 25+ years. She has written for global technology, retail, healthcare, travel, and financial industry brands, among others, and is the author/co-author of eight non-fiction books and author of two novels. 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 Google Ads and other monetized products. She also founded two other agencies, served as Creative Director at Resource Interactive (now part of IBM), and managed the 20+ person feature-writing team at Lycos, back when dinosaurs roamed the internet in the late ‘90s. In 2017, Laura moved to her “happy place,” Rockport, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and cat a few blocks from the beach.

Michael Gaylord

Chief Creative Officer

Michael Gaylord

Chief Creative Officer

Prior to moving to Madrid in 2011 (from where 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. An “avgeek” since childhood, his happy place is above the clouds in the latest commercial jetliner.

David Bergheim

Chief Strategy Officer

David Bergheim

Chief Strategy Officer

David joined Wordsmithie in 2014 following a 17-year stint working in marketing and career services at the Yale School of Management, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and the University of San Diego. In addition to his work as Wordsmithie’s Chief Strategy Officer, David is a political satirist with more than 50,000 followers on Twitter. His 2015 novel, Greenbeaux, was named one of the best books of the year by Kirkus Review. David has an MBA from Yale and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Arizona. He lives and works in his happy place of Tucson, Arizona.

Alex Kenin

Studio Chief

Alex Kenin

Studio Chief

Alex learned the technology marketing ropes at Google where she was a product marketing manager for almost five years. At Wordsmithie, she’s continued 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 Chief, 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, and has written two hiking guidebooks for the Bay Area—Urban Trails: San Francisco and Urban Trails: East Bay.

Katina Johnson

Studio Director

Katina Johnson

Studio Director

Katina started her career as a journalist, moving to the San Francisco Bay Area and taking a position with the San Jose Mercury News during the late 90s dot-com boom. From there she landed in tech as a writer, project manager, social media manager, and jack-of-all-trades at Yahoo!, Google, and Stripe. Like almost everyone at Wordsmithie, Katina is working on a novel and looking forward to the day when she can join the ranks of the novelists on the team. Her happy place is watching waves and waterfowl while smelling the salt breezes on the cliffs above Stinson Beach.

Stephen Kent

Stephen Kent

Managing Editor

Stephen Kent

Managing Editor

After traveling the world in his 20s, Stephen moved to the San Francisco 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 the snowy peaks in his happy place of the Sierra Nevada.

Alyssa May

Studio Director

Alyssa May

Studio Director

Alyssa joined the Wordsmithie team in 2019 as a Project Manager. She has extensive experience in higher education, having served in a variety of marketing and communication roles, at the University of San Diego and MIT. Alyssa earned an MBA from the University of San Diego and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Merrimack College. She resides in Acton, Massachusetts with her husband, two beautiful daughters and two pups. She enjoys spending time entertaining friends, renovating her home, and heading to the beach. Her happy place is in San Diego, California, which will always hold a special place in her heart!

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 assets including Google Atmosphere, Google’s large-scale CIO summit. Prior to that, Marlene held Senior Art Director positions with Postini and AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. She is a Sifu in Wing Chun Kung Fu and a Certified Massage Therapist specializing in acupressure and Tui Na. Marlene’s happy place are memories of riding horseback on the beach while growing up in her native Hawaii.

Khaleelah Jones

SEO and Social Media Lead

Khaleelah Jones

SEO and Social Media Lead

WIth a PhD in Emerging Media, Khaleelah has more than ten years experience in the marketing industry, working with a variety of clients from early-stage startups to multinational corporations. The winner of the 2018 Next Women Pitch Competition and a shortlisted candidate for the 2020 WeAreTechWomen 100 Awards, Khaleelah was head of marketing at Welltok, Inc., where she was part of a team that doubled the user base in six months and closed $18m in Series B funding. Khaleelah hosts the podcast Dark Feminine, focusing on topics important to minority female entrepreneurs and business owners. Her happy place is Primrose Hill in London, where you can find her on sunny days on a bench enjoying the view of central London.

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 greatest satisfaction comes from revealing the “human element” in every story, helping clients and their customers shine a light on the good work they do in the world. Heidi considers taking walks in the park with her Boston Terrier mix, Cooper, her happy place.

Fritz Holznagel image

Fritz Holznagel

Senior Editor

Fritz Holznagel in front of the Bay Bridge

Fritz Holznagel

Senior Editor

Fritz Holznagel is a veteran writer who likes to turn high-tech talk into clear, friendly words. He has written for Google, full-time and as a vendor, since 2004, as well as for clients like Ensono, Eventbrite, Kronos, GiveDirectly, and Intuit. Fritz’s special joy is rewriting to get rid of big words and jargon, and he leads corporate workshops on the topic. In a past life, Fritz won the 1995 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, represented the USA in the 1996 Jeopardy! Olympic Tournament, and won an Emmy for scripting the CBS special A Claymation Easter Celebration.

Meghan Goder

Senior Editor

Meghan Goder

Senior Editor

With degrees in German literature and history, Meghan moved into the content marketing world from academia, where she has taught, written, and edited in both German and English. She collaborates with teams across Wordsmithie on projects ranging from education and business case studies to video scripts and social media blogs. After moving around the world as a military spouse, Meghan settled outside of Boston with her husband and well-traveled dog. Meghan cites Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, NH as her happy place. Not only did she often climb this “most climbed mountain in the world” while growing up, Meghan got engaged and married in view of the mountain and still tries to scale it at least once a year.

Jason Rogers

Senior Writer

Jason Rogers

Senior Writer

A graduate of the College of William & Mary and La Sorbonne in Paris, Jason has worked worldwide in content marketing, including 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 and has wordsmithed for high-visibility institutions and companies from the United States Congress to Google. He loves hockey, hip-hop, and original hyperbole.

Jennie Cohen

Senior Content Strategist

Jennie Cohen

Senior Content Strategist

A former Google employee and longtime writer and editor who has worked extensively in the technology sector and beyond, Jennie holds degrees from Harvard University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is dedicated to helping brands tell their stories as simply and beautifully as possible. Jennie lives with her family in Maplewood, New Jersey, where she enjoys begging her three young children to get off their screens and nurturing a pandemic-sparked passion for sourdough baking.

Kate Borger

Senior Content Strategist

Kate Borger

Senior Content Strategist

Born and raised in Atlanta, Kate moved to San Francisco in 2012. She cut her teeth at technology startups before joining the marketing team at Google, which took her on a three-year adventure to NYC. Kate developed content for Google’s NYC Learning Center, a resource that offers free classes from kids’ coding to small business development to all New Yorkers. In 2020, Kate bid farewell to New York (and to her team at Google), and returned to California just in time to quarantine with her partner (and their cat) on their Sonoma Valley vineyard. Outside of Wordsmithie, Kate enjoys dancing, developing her side-hustle as a voice-over actor, and tending to her plants.

Karen Sulkis

Senior Content Strategist

Karen Sulkis

Senior Content Strategist

Karen has been writing for public consumption since the fourth grade. Crusading editorials in the high school newspaper and humor writing at UC Berkeley gave way to magazine research in NYC, multimedia projects in Tel Aviv, and an arts column in Oakland. She’s launched e-commerce sites and written UI copy, campaigns, and concepts for Google Shopping, Levi Strauss & Co., Herman Miller, Yahoo!, and a slew of other tech, fashion, wine, and media companies. Karen has called San Francisco home for the last two decades, where just seeing the Golden Gate lifts her spirits.

James Scott copy editor

James Scott

Senior Writer

James Scott

Senior Writer

For more than 20 years, James has helped global brands get results with award-winning copy. As a writer and creative lead, he’s worked with clients in a broad range of industries, from technology and pharma to retail and luxury services. Though he’s also an attorney, James realized early in his legal career that he preferred crafting websites and ads far more than writing legal complaints and briefs. When he’s not writing copy, James spends his time playing with his children, writing short stories, or learning to play bass guitar.

Bianca Connolly

Senior Writer

Bianca Connolly

Senior Writer

With a combination of strategic creativity and business acumen, Bianca has worked as a senior writer, editor, and content strategist to create successful campaigns and content for several big name brands and agencies including Google, J.Crew, Razorfish, Intermix, Uniqlo, and Moda Operandi. She has also written for publications such as Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, and Spirit of St. Barth. An avid traveler and meditator, Bianca loves tea time and visiting Big Sur.

Eve Connell

Senior E-learning Specialist

Eve Connell

Senior E-learning Specialist

Eve writes, edits, and helps people, businesses, and nonprofits develop and elevate their brands. She turned her super practical degrees in French literature, philosophy, and linguistics into expertise in the field of e-learning, and also offers communication skills and leadership development coaching. A moderately successful cook, gardener, and photographer, Eve can be found hiking through forests, beachcombing shorelines, or paddle-boarding lakes in her spare time. Eve is committed to fighting racism and working for social justice.

Beth Silver

Senior Editor

Beth Silver

Senior Editor

Beth 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 a 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.

Ryan Bahrke

Designer

Ryan Bahrke

Designer

Ryan has more than 20 years of design experience with clients in a diverse group of fields including higher education, technology, and financial services. In addition to working with Wordsmithie, Ryan leads a design team for a large audit, tax, and consulting firm and is principal of Ausländer Creative in Denver. He is a car guy, a co-host of The Steering Committee automotive podcast, and enjoys watching the movie Rushmore at every opportunity.

Jaime Santillán

Senior Designer

Jaime Santillán

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.

Alice LaPlante

Editor

Alice LaPlante

Editor

Alice grew up in Chicago but escaped to Northern California just in time to catch the birth of the PC era. She was news editor at InfoWorld and covered technology in Silicon Valley during both boom and bust years. After winning a Wallace Stegner Fellowship for fiction at Stanford University, Alice started writing novels while keeping up with the tech world through freelancing. She was then awarded a Jones Lectureship at Stanford, and taught creative writing at Stanford for the next 15 years. Now a New York Times bestselling author, Alice has published four novels and five non-fiction books, as well as a bestselling textbook on creative writing, W.W. Norton’s The Making of a Story. In 2015, she moved with her family to her happy place of Mallorca, Spain. She continues to write novels as well as content for leading tech firms from there, while trying to convince stateside editors that it is possible to be productive in paradise.

Nafeesa Saboor

Senior Writer

Nafeesa Saboor

Senior Writer

Nafeesa is a seasoned fashion content specialist, tastemaker, and blogger with experience creating branded content for emerging companies and established brands such as Harry Winston, Victoria’s Secret, J. Jill, and Club Monaco. She is the founder of Shoes N Booze, an online portal that “pairs” shoes with cocktails, providing readers with fashion, style, and drink advice, tips, and trend coverage. When she’s not creating content, Nafeesa can be found tasting her way around New Orleans, which is currently her happy place.

Zöe Desroches

Senior Content Strategist

Zöe Desroches

Senior Content Strategist

A startup marketer turned content strategist and writer, Zöe began her career in venture capital. After accelerating startups for a couple of years, she joined a Bay Area startup, where she launched an employer brand program, revamped the customer marketing program, and wrote countless case studies and blog posts. In early 2019, Zöe moved to Todos Santos, Mexico, to live her dream of soaking up the desert sunshine, basking in rosy sunsets, and enjoying daily surf sessions (and, of course, writing). She specializes in B2B narrative-based content, and when she’s not writing or in the water, you can find her at her potter’s wheel.