Meet Our Magic Makers

At Literati, we believe that veterans bring a special skillset to our culture, and we would like to highlight Rod Billingsley, Area Manager of our Austin fulfillment center and a veteran. Thank you for everything you do for Literati, but more importantly – thank you for your service!

Branch of Service: Army Signal Corps

Q: Describe your role at Literati in one sentence? 
A: At Literati, I oversee the day to day of Fulfillment and Operations here in Austin, TX.

Q: What motivates you to come to work?
A: The love I have for my team, my peers, and our mission to help kids become successful readers. 

Q: Do you think your service impacts how you lead a team? 
A: The military taught me what it truly means to be a part of a team and to be able to confidently make decisions. I am laser-focused and disciplined to achieve a mission, and this one just happens to be helping kids fall in love with reading. 

Q: What was the most rewarding part of your service experience?
A: The connections I made with my fellow soldiers, and the education and training I received. 

Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you? 
A: Veteran’s day is an opportunity for our country to unite and show great admiration and appreciation for the women and men who choose to put their lives on the line in the name of service to others and freedom for all.

 Akeem has been a leader on our engineering team for 2+ years and is based in Austin.

Q: Describe your role at Literati in one sentence. 
A: I work on the apps and websites that our customers use to interact with our book clubs for kids. 

Q: What is it about you that people may not know? 
A: I was born in Jamaica. I came to the US with my parents when I was 5 years old. We first moved to New York, but then ended up in Atlanta, which is where I grew up.  

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career as an engineer? 
A: When I was in high school, I was using a platform where I could create my own video game. After a while, I wanted to make changes. Instead of using the software the game provided to make these changes, I decided it would be more efficient (and better) if I just did them myself. I learned how to code, and I was hooked from there. 

Q: If you could switch your job with anyone else within Literati, whose job would you want?
A: Our social media associate—Dana Scholten. I have zero experience with social media, but watching her be creative and think of new ideas and fun ways to showcase our product and customers seems fun (and challenging). 

Q: What makes working on the engineering team at Literati so special? 
A: I believe working for a mission-driven company brings a certain passion that I haven’t felt before. We’re building a product that helps kids become successful readers and love to read. 

Julie is head of sales for Literati Book Fairs. We expanded into book fairs last spring to reach even more kids and currently host fairs around the country. You can learn more about book fairs here.

Q: Can you describe your role at Literati in one sentence?
A: As the director of sales, I lead, motivate, and clear all roadblocks to ensure the sales and events team has what they need to achieve our goals.

Q: What makes Literati Book Fairs special? 
A: The attention and care that goes into every detail to build our book fairs, from sales to operations execution, truly makes what we have to offer special. We ensure schools have what they need to deliver the magic of a book fair to kids. Building successful readers starts with the right books.

Q: What advice would you give to people in roles similar to yours?
A: Allow your team the autonomy to manage their role, listen, provide feedback, and lead by example. Think through before you do.

Q: What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
A: My team and our mission. I live and love to help our team grow and be successful. The end users of our book fair products are our future! I love being able to play a role in igniting a love of learning and life through books.

Featured Team Member: Kat Yao, Designer/Illustrator

“Live Your Own Story” – In Box Artwork, May 2022

About Kat

Kat is a treasured member of Literati’s creative team, and a designer / illustrator based in Los Angeles, CA. Kat focuses in print/digital design and narrative illustration, and is passionate about storytelling, as well as empowering creative growth in others.