Bookshare® is led by a highly motivated team of engineers and professionals, all committed to working collaboratively to bring critically important technology to social applications. Bookshare benefits from leaders with strong Silicon Valley experience, and close connections with technology leaders who share the enthusiasm for the mission of using technology to better serve humanity.
- Jim Fruchterman, Founder and CEO
- Betsy Beaumon, Vice President and General Manager, Benetech Literacy Program
- Marcy Goot, Director, Marketing
- Fred Slone, Director of Literacy Operations
Founder and CEO
A technology entrepreneur, Jim Fruchterman is a former rocket scientist who has founded two of the foremost optical character recognition companies and developed successful social enterprises. Jim co-founded Calera Recognition Systems in 1982. Calera developed character recognition that allowed computers to read virtually all printed text.
In 1989, Jim founded Arkenstone, a nonprofit social enterprise, to produce reading machines for the disabled community based on the Calera technology. Following the sale of the Arkenstone product line in 2000, Jim used all the resulting capital to fund Benetech®, with an explicit goal of using the power of technology to serve humanity.
Jim has also been active in public service, with two stints on U.S. federal advisory committees. He received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. Jim was named an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur in 2003 by the Schwab Foundation and continues to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Benetech received the Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship under Jim's leadership. Jim also received the Robert F. Bray Award from the American Council of the Blind in recognition of his outstanding efforts to make literary works accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.
Jim believes that technology is the ultimate leveler, allowing disadvantaged people to achieve more equality in society. "I'm an advance scout for social applications,” notes Jim. “I find exciting technology waiting to be turned into non-commercial tools for disadvantaged groups."
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Vice President and General Manager, Benetech Literacy Program
Betsy Beaumon has served for more than twenty years as a technology executive and entrepreneur. She is a former Senior Director for BEA Systems, Inc. and managed international e-business initiatives for Cisco Systems, Inc. In 1995, she founded Social Online Service, the first web-based information and referral service for social service organizations. As Executive Director of the company, Betsy was an early supporter of Web accessibility standards.
Betsy was also one of the founders of TradeBeam Inc., a provider of global trade management software services. She began her career in engineering, then moved into product management for GTE and Lam Research Corporation.
Betsy brings an extensive background managing high growth organizations to her leadership of the Benetech Literacy Program. Her past experience in operations, marketing, product management, services, training and strategic partnerships supports the ongoing expansion of Benetech’s Bookshare and Route 66 Literacy projects.
Betsy earned a BSEE from Northwestern University. Active in volunteer work, Betsy has taught English classes to adult students in Tanzania.
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Marcy Goot came to Bookshare from Kaplan Publishing, one of the nation's top publishers of academic and professional development resources, and test prep materials for standardized tests. She was Executive Director of Sales and Marketing responsible for marketing books to schools, precollege and college students, and parents. Previously, she has held VP or Director of Marketing positions at National Lampoon, Tokyopop, Hachette and the Walt Disney Company, where she helped launch Hyperion books, building it to a $63M enterprise in 6 years.
She brings skills in social media, email and online marketing campaigns, viral video, branding, advertising, PR, and lead generation with very visible brands. She puts a strong emphasis on analytics and success metrics across all aspects of the marketing mix and has managed sizable, successful teams. In many of her roles, she was responsible for developing and maintaining critical partnerships in areas such as digital content distribution, as well as direct sales, , all of which will be very beneficial for Benetech.
Marcy has studied at Pitzer College in California and graduated from Arizona State University.
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Director, Literacy Operations
Fred Slone joins Benetech with over 15 years of experience leading high performing teams in publishing, technology, and workforce. Most recently, he was the Executive Director of the San Mateo County Workforce Investment Board. He managed the operations of One Stop Career Centers throughout San Mateo County and helped over 100,000 residents in their efforts to find jobs. During this time, he secured over $13 million in grant funding and received national recognition for innovative programs.
Fred also brings skills and experience working in the publishing industry. He was a Publishing Manager for Macmillan Computer Publishing and also worked for Sybex, Inc. His teams published over 100 books, including some of the early titles on key new technologies such as Linux and Active Server Pages.
Fred brings a diverse background of professional skills and experience to Benetech. He has experience as a financial analyst, in business development and strategic alliances, and has managed a wide array of grant-funded programs.
Fred has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Mathematics and Economics from Indiana University. He is an active volunteer in youth sports and with the schools in his community.
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