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OUR TEAM

The Office of Letters and Light is overseen by a wise, tireless, and strikingly good-looking Board of Directors.


Chris Baty. Chris Baty is the Executive Director of the Office of Letters and Light and also serves as an ex-officio board member, offering his sage counsel and top-notch coffee-pouring skills at board meetings.

Eric Doherty. Eric Doherty is an associate at the law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish LLP, and practices in the area of venture capital and matters of general business and corporate law. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as an articles editor on the editorial board of the Michigan Law Review. Apart from negotiating contracts and drafting partnership agreements, Eric enjoys brewing beer and dreams of completing his first novel about a guitar-playing lawyer.

Elizabeth Gregg. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Elizabeth Gregg worked for a variety of social justice and civic engagement organizations in Tennessee and Washington, D.C. Elizabeth has won NaNoWriMo twice and Script Frenzy once. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys hanging out in her hammock and making candy in her kitchen.

Steve Held. Steve Held is a Director with Alvarez and Marsal Business Consulting, focused in the areas of technology strategy and operational improvement. Steve is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where he studied international policy analysis. Throughout his career, Steve has worked with both large financial services firms and web-based start-ups in roles that helped those companies create and drive their development strategies. In his spare time, Steve enjoys mountain biking, an absurd passion for fly fishing, and generally getting out and about with family and friends whenever possible.

Kara Platoni. Kara Platoni is Board Secretary for the Office of Letters and Light, a position which draws on the note-taking, archiving, and snack-eating skills she has honed in her journalism career. When not at board meetings, Kara is a freelance science writer for various nerdy publications and studies Isshinryu karate. Kara has written seven middling-to-dreadful NaNoWriMo novels, and clearly has not learned to quit while she is behind.

Nick Turner. Nick Turner is a writer, editor and journalist living in San Francisco. His plays have been performed in such cities as Chicago, San Diego and Washington, and his first produced film script, Fissure, was released on DVD last year. Nick has degrees from Haverford College and UC Berkeley. When he's not writing, he's busy trying to turn his toddler, Elliot, into a YouTube star—something they both will regret at a future date.

Christopher White. Christopher White is a native of San Francisco. He is father to two voracious readers, ages five and seven, and husband to the fastest connoisseur of detective mysteries west of the Mississippi. Christopher's diverse business interests include entertainment and microfinance. He is the owner of Rickshaw Stop and The Copernicus Fund, both of San Francisco. Happiest when adventuring, Christopher prefers to sleep out under the stars, but also knows which fork to use at the Parador de Santiago de Compostela.

The day-to-day operations of the Office of Letters and Light are handled by a crack team of programmatic, technical, and administrative titans.

Chris Angotti, Young Writers Program Director. Chris Angotti received an M.A. in English education from Teachers College at Columbia University, and spent three years teaching middle and high school students in New York City. In addition to developing skills in curriculum, assessment, and differentiation during this time, he realized the potential of creative writing as a tool for adolescent enrichment and achievement. After relocating to the Bay Area, Chris decided to enter the world of education nonprofits. He is most interested in programs and organizations—like OLL—that facilitate student success through creative, non-traditional methods.

Jennifer Arzt, Script Frenzy Program Director. Jennifer Arzt holds an MFA from Florida State University in Film, Television, and Recording Arts where she pursued writing, directing, and producing. Her films have appeared in festivals around the country. She made her parents proud when she won the Directors Guild of America Student Film Award. Prior to film school, Jennifer considered careers in lion taming, SCUBA diving, toy store management, and time traveling.

Chris Baty, Executive Director. Chris Baty accidentally founded National Novel Writing Month in 1999, and has overseen the organization's growth from 21 Bay Area participants to more than 250,000 writers in 90 countries. In 2006, he and the board of directors created the nonprofit Office of Letters and Light to administer NaNoWriMo, grow its Young Writers Program, and launch Script Frenzy. Baty is an award-winning author, popular speaker, and big music nerd. He holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He would like you to write a book or movie very soon.

Dan Duvall, Tech Manager and Lead Developer. Duvall has been coding web applications and managing IT infrastructure for nearly a decade. He was educated at Silicon Valley College in Network Architecture and Microsoft and Unix Systems, where he continued to work and teach after earning his certifications. Duvall began teaching himself computer languages when he was young and will likely continue until he dies.

Lindsey Grant, NaNoWriMo Program Director. Lindsey Grant holds a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in English and Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland, California. At Mills, she was a tutor and the Outreach Committee Chair for the college's Writing Center. Lindsey also worked at the Institute of Reading Development where she collaborated on curriculum development and implementation, and taught students of all ages to read with greater ease and understanding.

Jezra Lickter, Web Developer. As a jack of all trades, Jezra enjoys reading, writing software in various languages, human locomotion, playing the bagpipes, banjo, and concertina, knitting and crafting, and basically anything semi-productive that will distract him from cleaning up his home.

Nancy Smith, Community Liaison. Nancy holds a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Media Studies, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. She has worked at a handful of magazines, including Paper and Resonance, and in her spare time she edits a small literary magazine. She has been a graphic designer for many years and she loves geeking out about typography. Nancy is passionate about music, film, and photography, but it's literature that really captured her heart. She is hard at work on a novel and a collection of short stories.

Tavia Stewart-Streit, Operations Manager. Before coming to the Office of Letters and Light, Tavia Stewart worked at the nonprofit 826 Valencia, tutoring children of all ages—including English as Second Language students—in creative writing and bookmaking. She has also worked with the nonprofit literary magazine ZYZZYVA, helping keep books, keep organized, and edit the magazine. Additionally, Tavia is a member of the Board of Directors at Watchword Press, where she takes excellent notes, helps produce a bi-annual magazine, and curates multimedia-art fundraisers.