Cofounder and CEO
Cofounder and CEO
Friedman served as President and Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, one of the world's leading English-language publishers and a subsidiary of News Corporation, from November 1997 through June 2008. She oversaw HarperCollins book publishing including operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and India and initiated publishing relationships in China.
Friedman's decision to create a global digital warehouse, including digital files of its core backlist and future books, positioned the company as a leader in the industry and propelled HarperCollins into the 21st century of publishing.
Friedman, who earned a B.A. degree in English from New York University in 1967, came to HarperCollins from Random House, where she was Executive Vice President of Random House Inc., Executive Vice President of the Knopf Publishing Group, Publisher of Vintage Books, and Founder and President of Random House Audio Publishing.
She is Co-Chair of the Entertainment, Media and Communications Division of the UJA. She serves on the board of Literacy Partners, Yale University Press, and Poets & Writers, Inc. She is also a member of the American Advisory Committee of the Jerusalem International Book Fair and the Advisory Committee of the MFA program in creative writing at The New School.
Friedman has earned a myriad of awards and has been recognized by numerous international, national, and local organizations and publications. Among them, she was honored by Variety's 2007 Women's Impact Report and was chosen by the New York Post as one of New York's 50 Most Powerful Women. She was appointed Publishers Weekly's 2006 Person of the Year; named one of The Wall Street Journal's 50 Women to Watch; selected as one of Fast Company's Fast 50; and was featured in New York Magazine's The Influentials.
Friedman was also named one of New York's 100 Most Influential Business Leaders by Crain's New York Business; named one of America's 100 Most Important Women by Ladies Home Journal; was included on Vanity Fair's list of 200 Women Legends, Leaders and Trailblazers and was recognized for several years by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 101 Most Powerful People in Entertainment.
Jeff Sharp is President and Co-Founder of Open Road Integrated Media in New York City. In producing a series of Academy Award– and Golden Globe–winning films over the past ten years, he has distinguished himself in recognizing opportunities to better integrate the publishing and film industries in creating critically acclaimed commercial entertainment.
He also produced the Golden Globe–nominated movies Nicholas Nickleby and Proof, as well as other renowned adaptations, including A Home at the End of the World, The Night Listener, and Evening.
As part of Open Road’s mission to market its ebooks on all screens, Sharp and his team are currently overseeing the development and production of a slate of feature films and television and online series from Open Road properties, including: Lie Down in Darkness, based on the novel by William Styron, written and to be directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart); Cocoa Beach, a television series adapted by Andre and Maria Jacquemetton (Mad Men) based on the life of NBC news reporter Jay Barbree’s recollections of the early days of the U.S. space program in Cape Canaveral, Florida; and soon-to-be-announced adaptations of future Open Road E-riginal, Publishing Partnership, and Author Branded Program projects.
Jeffrey Sharp holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Colgate University. He serves on the board of Literacy Partners, the London Book Fair Film and Television Centre, the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction and the board for the BookExpo of America. He is a member of BAFTA and chairs the advisory board of the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Sharp won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for You Can Count on Me, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Nicholas Nickleby, and was honored with the Andrew Sarris award in 2005 from the Columbia University School of the Arts for his contribution to independent film.
Chief Marketing and Product Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
Rachel Chou is the Chief Marketing and Product Officer for Open Road Integrated Media. Chou bridges the traditional world of book marketing with the new world of digital media to bring great authors and their works to a wider audience. She oversees Open Road’s marketing campaigns for its authors, leads the development of its network of social websites and drives its consumer acquisition strategy.
Chou has more than 20 years of experience in online content and product development. Over the course of her career, she has led teams in the areas of search, content management, creation and syndication.
Prior to Open Road, Chou was Vice President, Online Product Development for HarperCollins Publishers. She worked across divisions on digital strategy and on the creation of new digital publishing businesses.
Chou's past positions include Executive Producer at R/GA where she conceived and produced online tools and games for educational organizations and websites and Director of Shared Services for Scholastic.com where she helped lead the strategic planning of various online initiatives.
Chou has a B.S. from the University of Maryland and an M.S. from Bank Street College of Education.
Tina Pohlman is the Publisher of Open Road Integrated Media. An experienced editor and publisher who has worked with a broad range of critically acclaimed and bestselling writers, Pohlman is focused on acquiring and developing new sources of content, expanding into new verticals, and pursuing new publishing partnerships for Open Road.
As a young editor at Anchor Books, Pohlman acquired both hardcovers and paperback originals, as well as paperback reprint rights, most notably Natalie Angier's New York Times bestselling Woman: An Intimate Geography.
She also served as the in-house editor for Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, an annual prize collection first published in 1919, and spent many hours in the book room perusing Anchor's renowned backlist.
Her experience at Anchor managing the backlists of literary luminaries such as Chinua Achebe and Naguib Mahfouz sparked an enduring appreciation for backlist publishing that eventually led her to Harvest Books, the paperback division of Harcourt Trade Publishers, prior to Houghton Mifflin's acquisition of Harcourt.
While at Harvest, where she served as Editorial Director, Pohlman managed a treasured backlist that included writers such as Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, Amos Oz, and Umberto Eco. She also acquired the paperback reprint rights to numerous noteworthy titles, including Temple Grandin's Animals in Translation, a New York Times bestseller, Christine Schutt's debut novel, Florida, a National Book Award finalist, and Kelly Link's story collection Magic for Beginners, a Time Best Book of the Year. During her time as Vice President & Publisher of Paperbacks at the Crown Publishing Group, Pohlman published the paperback edition of Rebecca Skloot's phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and managed a backlist that included beloved bestselling authors Max Brooks, Bill Bryson, Mitch Albom, and many others.
In addition to paperback reprint and backlist publishing, Pohlman has long been devoted to acquiring and editing new fiction writers, and she has published a number of notable debuts, including Colson Whitehead's contemporary classic, The Intuitionist, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; Tony D'Souza's Whiteman, winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction; Alan Warner's Morvern Callar, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and Paul Torday's Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.
In 2009 Pohlman founded Moulinarn Mobile Books LLC, a digital publisher and software developer of literary content for sale in the iTunes App Store. MMB's apps include Great First Lines: Literature's Most Memorable First Sentences by Celina Spiegel and Peter Kupfer, Puzzle Love: Crosswords to Love for Lovers of Crosswords by David Levinson Wilk, and Fivers: Flash Fiction for the Phone edited by Andrew Foster Altschul and featuring stories by Lemony Snicket, Kaui Hart Hemmings, Anna North, Andrew Foster Altschul, and Joshua Furst.
Pohlman has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of PEN American Center.
Chief Technical Officer
Chief Technical Officer
As founder and CEO of Random Walk Computing - now the Accenture Capital Markets Solutions Group - Joel is best known as the executive behind one of Wall Street’s most successful consulting firms.
Random Walk became well known as one of the leading firms for custom financial software development and technology strategy. With a client list comprising essentially every major sell-side firm, a large swath of the buy-side, and a wide variety of marketplaces and exchanges, Random Walk’s project teams were a critical asset to many of the leading financial projects of the last 15 years.
In late 2006 Random Walk was acquired by Accenture as their re-entry into the front- office of the capital markets world, and continued to be run by the exceptional management team that was leading the day-to-day operations of the business.
Joel’s hands-on leadership guided Random Walk from a two person startup in late 1995 through to a 150+ person enterprise with offices in NY, Chicago and San Francisco, along with a significant international customer base. As Random Walk’s chief executive, Joel developed a deep understanding of team and group management, delegation, planning, the critical importance of strategic vision in informing even small decisions, and how to build a team focused on customer satisfaction. Throughout the growth of Random Walk he also maintained his role as chief technologist, and worked closely with clients to help them make the best decisions to realize their financial and technology plans.
After stepping down from his position at Accenture, Joel took the opportunity to pursue a long held passion. Always fascinated by space, he became lead investor, co-executive director, project manager and software developer at Masten Space Systems, a startup focused on an entirely new technology-driven approach to reusable space travel. Joel is extremely proud to have helped lead Masten Space to winning the NASA Lunar Lander Centennial Challenge X-Prize in late 2009. Following the X-Prize win, Joel stepped into the CEO role to help build a solid management team and transition the company from R&D to an aerospace leader.
Under his leadership Masten announced that they were the first recipient of a major contract under NASA’s Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program, and is extremely proud of their current groundbreaking work with the Jet Propulsion Lab helping to design and develop the technology for the next major Mars mission in 2020.
By mid-2013 Masten was in a solid position, highly respected in the industry and cash- flow positive. Joel turned over the operating reins to the established management team though tremendously enjoys remaining involved as lead investor, board member, and technologist.
In addition to his work with Masten Space, Joel is an active angel investor and startup advisor, and has been leading investments and working closely with a number of startups to help them take their ideas from inception through commercialization.
Prior to founding Random Walk, Joel inaugurated the role of webmaster at JP Morgan in 1994, and was responsible for building out the online platform for the launch of their RiskMetrics product (later spun out into a separate company). Before that, he worked for Fusion Systems Group, a boutique Wall Street consultancy. Joel graduated from Brown University in 1992 with degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy.