Benetech® is led by a highly motivated team of engineers and professionals,
all committed to working collaboratively to bring critically important
technology to social applications.
- Jim Fruchterman, Founder and CEO
- Justin Adams, Director, Communications
- Betsy Beaumon, Vice President and General
Manager, Benetech Literacy Program
- Anh Bui, Director, Product Strategy and DIAGRAM Center
- Gerardo Capiel, Vice President of Engineering
- Marcy Goot, Director, Marketing
- Jane Simchuk, Vice President, Human Resources
- Fred Slone, Director, Literacy Operations
- Teresa L. Throckmorton, CFO and Vice President, Finance
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. In 2006, he received a MacArthur Fellowship.
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.
Director, Product Strategy for Literacy
Director, DIAGRAM Center
Anh Bui brings extensive experience in digital publishing to Benetech's literacy projects. Before joining Benetech in February 2012, Anh served as the Associate Director of Product Management at HighWire Press, a Division of the Stanford University Libraries that provides technology for publishers of peer-reviewed journals and scholarly content.
After leaving Stanford, Bui first worked as senior manager of Benetech's DIAGRAM Center and was promoted to Director of Product Strategy for the Literacy Program as well as Director of the DIAGRAM Center in August 2012. She is responsible for overseeing the Center's partnerships, budget and development of new technologies. She also leads the development and implementation of Literacy's overall product strategy, in conjunction with Literacy's management team.
"I am playing a dual role integrating the DIAGRAM Center with the overall strategic creation of accessible content," says Bui. "This work is particularly gratifying because it blends the real world needs of users and a long term vision that comes with research and development projects."
Bui, who has a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley, lives in Silicon Valley with her family.
Vice President of Engineering
Gerardo Capiel has over 15 years of experience leading the development
of innovative Internet and enterprise software. Prior to joining Benetech,
he was Co-Founder, Director and CTO of Digital Impact, a publicly traded
e-marketing software vendor. Gerardo was also Co-Founder and CEO of
Gydget, which created social network marketing products for the entertainment
and non-profit sectors.
In addition, Gerardo has worked at MySpace, Altro Solutions (IT services),
BroadVision and HP. His software industry experience spans SaaS, data
mining and analytics, e-marketing, e-commerce and social networking.
Some of his pioneering achievements in e-marketing included being awarded
a key patent related to web measurement.
Gerardo has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Engineering Systems and Computation
and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Gerardo has traveled extensively through the developing world and has
served as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic and Cambodia. At Benetech,
he feels he is now able to apply his entrepreneurial experience and
technical creativity to give back to humanity every day.
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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 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 six 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 studied at Pitzer College in California and graduated from Arizona State University.
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Vice President, Human Resources and Administration
Jane Simchuk brings over 15 years of administrative management experience
in both the high tech and banking sectors. Her previous experience
includes executive staff assistant at the Portland Branch of the Federal
Reserve Bank as well as managing the administration function at Calera
Recognition Systems. Jane received her B.A. from Stanford.
Jane has always enjoyed the broad challenges found in two distinct
areas of business: managing the day-to-day affairs of busy office environments,
and helping to set strategy for ongoing growth. As an early member of
the Calera team, Jane ran the office, managing everything from facilities
to personnel during years of rapid growth. Later, Calera's foundation
OCR product became the inspiration for Arkenstone and helped to germinate
the idea of Bookshare, a successful Benetech initiative.
From 1996 to 2000, Jane served as Executive Administrative Assistant
to the Senior Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank (Portland,
Oregon branch). In this capacity, Jane balanced a wide range of duties,
including administration, Board relations and special projects. Today,
Jane oversees Human Resources and office functions, serving as ad-hoc
marketing communications manager, and participating in fund raising
"My work at Benetech has helped me to understand a primary rule
where non-profits are concerned," says Jane. "Accountability
is the key. We owe it to our user communities and our donors to push
out the best possible products and, at the same time, manage dollars
aggressively to the last penny. My job is to continually revise our
processes toward that goal."
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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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Teresa L. Throckmorton
CFO and Vice President, Finance
Following experience in banking audit and management, Teresa Throckmorton
provided financial management at Calera Recognition Systems and has
spent the last 15 years as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President
of Finance for high tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Later, also in the roles of VP Finance and CFO, Teresa helped to start
up two technology companies in Silicon Valley. Through this experience,
Throckmorton learned all about careful financial management —
where every dollar matters — as well as the factors of risk and
reward. In the process, she was part of the culture of innovation that
is still so important in developing the best in technology.
At Benetech, Teresa's role includes day-to-day management as well as
the development and implementation of an overall strategy for building
a sustainable social enterprise. Teresa is excited by this challenge:
"This work is so important. The balance here will be to keep an
eye on reality, but to not lose sight of the dream."
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