About A Plus
A Plus is a digital media company devoted to spreading the message of positive journalism, a kind of storytelling that focuses on our shared humanity. It is rooted in our heartfelt beliefs that each person can effect positive change in the world and that we are all inextricably connected.
We were founded in 2014 by actor and technology investor Ashton Kutcher. Our company's growth to over 80 million monthly content views has been powered by data-backed strategy and a commitment to high-quality, empathetic reporting. We are proud to tell a different kind of story.
About Chicken Soup for the Soul
Chicken Soup for the Soul, the world's favorite and most recognized storyteller, publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada alone, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, "chicken soup for the soul" is one of the world's best-known phrases and is regularly referenced in pop culture.
co-founder, chairman of the board
Ashton is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of A Plus, where he leads strategic partnerships with brands and influencers. He is a renowned technology investor and in 2009 became the first Twitter user to reach 1 million followers. A Plus reflects the convergence of his interests in media, technology, and social platforms.
chief operating officer
Brad Westbrook has 15 years of experience in the online, mobile and video advertising spaces. As A Plus’s Chief Operating Officer, he is responsible for all major operations, including online marketing, sales, editorial, product, and business development. Prior to joining A Plus, Brad was the Chief Digital Sales Officer for The Wall Street Journal. Brad joined the Journal in 2011 and throughout his tenure, he was the director of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, which encompasses WSJ.com, WSJ Live, MarketWatch and Smart Money. Brad has also worked for several established digital media companies, including Ask.com and Yahoo!, where he specialized in advertising, business development, behavioral targeting and branded entertainment. He is a graduate of Denison University.
Kim is a native New Yorker and has been in advertising for 10 years. She started in video game marketing and transitioned into sales for sports, entertainment, and children's cross platform advertising. Kim is a Sagittarius and a graduate of Loyola Maryland, where she fell in love with a capella and karaoke.
About 5 years ago, Liza, a Texas native, walked away from law and into digital media. She started her media career in mobile rich media at Medialets and transitioned into digital sales at USA Today and Martini Media where she has worked closely with Beauty, Tech, Auto, CPG and Luxury brands on many native and 1st-to-market campaigns. Liza loves running in Central Park, the San Antonio Spurs, eating copious amounts of cheese, all shows from Masterpiece Classic and is a staunch believer in the A Plus mission. Liza is a graduate of University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary's University School of Law.
Brianne currently lives in Chelsea NYC and is originally from Connecticut. She comes to A Plus from Turner Sports where she worked in both digital ad ops and sales over the past 4 years. She is most importantly obsessed with dogs!
Jillian comes to A Plus with a background in media planning and strategy working on various categories such as automotive, beauty, CPG, and beer. Jillian is originally from Florida where she graduated from the University of Central Florida where she was President of the Ad Club (Go Knights!). While growing up she was a competitive wakeboarder who traveled the world to compete. She copes with winter by snowboarding and eating lots of pizza and mac n’ cheese.
Michael attended the New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University in Boston MA, where he studied Graphic Design and Marketing. After graduation, Michael moved to New York where he worked at Visualmax, an interactive marketing agency, followed by Martini Media, where he designed and implemented rich media campaigns for luxury clients. In his spare time, Michael enjoys DIY home projects, staying active, and spending time at his family’s place in Vermont.
Ben attended Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Design. He has a passion for learning new technologies, playing the drums, and drinking aesthetically pleasing drinks.
Cate Matthews is an erstwhile Ohio University English major who made the transition into viral journalism via a stint as an Associate Editor at The Huffington Post. There she ranked among the top ten most viewed writers, bringing in as many as 30 million page views a month. She also won a spelling bee once in middle school, which she thinks is pretty cool.
Joel Lyons is a journalist who has covered music, entertainment, lifestyle, diversity, technology and other topics during various full-time stints and freelance gigs. His work has been seen in 944 magazine, Black Enterprise, the New York Daily News, NY1 News, SoulBounce.com, SoulTrain.com, DJZ.com, JackmasterRadio.com, AppStorm.net, among others. The Phoenix transplant—who now proudly reps Astoria, Queens—has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Arizona State University and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia.
Sarah Barness is an editor for A Plus and former trends and digital innovation editor for The Huffington Post. In 2014, she was ranked among the top ten most viewed writers sitewide for HuffPost, and was listed in the top 20 most viewed writers on the Web by MediaMetric. Sarah is a UC Berkely graduate with degrees in rhetoric and communications and has a passion for telling stories. When she is not working on her Sci-Fi novel or scouring the Internet for the latest trends, she is playing the banjo as her St. Bernard stands by, drooling.
senior social media editor
Abby Rogers is a proud University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School graduate who comes to A Plus from Fusion and Al Jazeera America. Before landing in New York she covered politics and justice in Missouri, Maryland, Virginia and California. Now she lives in a tiny New York apartment with her boyfriend and her very demanding cat.
director of video
Logan is a graduate from the University of Missouri where she got her start in online video. She hosts and produces videos on topics from news to lifestyle as well as viral content. Her work has appeared on Mashable, AOL, Weather.com, Newsy and more. When she isn’t editing, she’s busy trying to make her dog an Instagram star.
senior branded content manager
Danutė holds a Master's degree in Marketing and a Bachelor's in Communication from universities in Denmark, Lithuania and South Korea. Prior to A Plus, Danutė spent several years fashion blogging in Paris and working as a business developer for a marketing agency in London. Danutė speaks 5 languages and has experience with content marketing, branding and entrepreneurship, including consulting the Prime Minister's Office of Lithuania, featuring her pieces on Creative Bloq, the UK's top design site, and co-founding a fashion label. Originally from Lithuania, she is now based in New York.
Isaac Saul is a University of Pittsburgh graduate where he majored in non-fiction writing and got his journalism start as the sports editor for The Pitt News. He is the host of our weekly Facebook live show 'A Grain of Saul' and author of a weekly column you can find on A Plus every Tuesday. Isaac has written from Israel, Iceland, Puerto Rico, Singapore, West Texas and Alaska, among others. His work has appeared on CNN, The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Medium and more. You can follow him on Twitter @Ike_Saul
Claire graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual major in Non-Fiction Writing and Communications. After graduation, Claire worked as an Assistant Editor at Guest of a Guest where she helped produce the site’s “You Should Know” series and covered fashion, art, and social events throughout New York City. Claire’s writings have been published on Guest of a Guest, VERVE Social Magazine, A Plus, and more.
Ariana Marini is a writer based in New York. She graduated summa cum laude from Emerson College where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in just two years. Her previous experience includes Scholastic, NOVA, Everyday Health, and Mechanical Engineering magazine. She enjoys writing nonfiction, reading fiction, and watching standup comedy.
Jason is an Associate Editor at A Plus and Digital Manager for Lil Wayne & Young Money Entertainment. He specializes in writing, digital marketing, strategic development & more. He's also the owner of three very spoiled dogs.
Clarissa-Jan Lim is an associate editor on the A Plus Trends Team with experience in news, politics and trending stories during her time at Bustle and her work on local Manhattan news. She is a born-and-bred Malaysian, is native to three languages and has a BA in journalism from SUNY Purchase.
Steven Lerner is an Associate Editor writing listicles for A Plus. For four years, he was the Editor for Ocean Happening, a digital lifestyle magazine in Ocean County, NJ. He also has written for the Asbury Park Press and Nosotros Newspaper. Steven began his media career as a Producer & Writer at Pan Desi TV. He is a 2009 graduate from Rowan University, with a bachelor's degree in Radio/TV/Film. Steven is also an actor/filmmaker, and he roots for his beloved New York Jets and New York Mets.
associate social media editor
Sara is a 2014 Colgate University graduate with experience in entertainment, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and trending stories. Her work has appeared on Glamour.com, SheFinds, Bustle, The Gloss, Crushable, and NYCgo. When she's not living her best life on social media, she's probably quoting John Mulaney or coveting someone else's dog.
Hayley was raised in New Canaan, Connecticut and is wrapping up her undergraduate degree from NYU in Business and Leadership Management. While in college, she became a certified Pure Barre instructor, a barre-based exercise studio. With a strong passion for fitness, she enjoys leading a healthy lifestyle and working out in her free time.
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