Who We Are
John Köehler – Founder & Publisher. John is an award-winning designer, entrepreneur, ministry volunteer, and author of five books. A 1980 graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Communications Arts and Design, John went on to graduate studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C..After stints as art director at several Washington-area ad agencies, John started Koehler Studios Inc. in 1993. He sold the company in 2010 to work full time on book publishing. John is a past president of the local Ad Club and is a member of The Noblemen, a fundraising group for kids. He also served with Young Life Capernaum in Hampton Roads, a ministry that serves kids with disabilities. John received international acclaim in 1991 as Boomerang World Championship in Perth, Australia. He was also a member of the Foster’s Boomerang 2000 Team, a touring troop that taught major league football and baseball athletes, and others, the gospel of boomerangs. In 2005, John published his first book, Bipolar by Koehler, about living with bipolar syndrome. Since then, he has given many talks to help people understand or survive the illness. In 2007, Koehler published Benjamin: the Road to Capernaum, a novel based on a crippled man in the Bible who was healed by a certain Jewish rabbi. His third book is My Inflatable Heart, a series of short stories about Capernaum and life recollections. John’s fourth book, The Case of the Russian Maids, is the first of three murder mysteries that take place in Virginia Beach, part of the Beach Murder Mysteries. There are now a total of five books in the collection, including Stephen March’s Hatteras Moon. Koehler’s current book, Billy Blue Sky, is the story of a 10-year-old boy with Down syndrome who mysteriously receives the gift of healing. It launches January 2013.
Married since 1982 to his college sweetheart, Patty, an art teacher at Old Donation Center for the Gifted and Talented, John is the proud father of Kimmi and Danielle and grandfather to Lilli and Eli. John lives and works in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Visit John’s author site John L. Koehler.
Joe Coccaro – Partner & Executive Editor. Joe joined Köehler Books after nearly three decades as a senior editor and writer for various newspapers, including The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia’s largest and most widely circulated newspaper. Joe’s career as a writer began while attaining a master’s degree in magazine writing and publishing from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. Joe wrote for several magazines while completing grad school and, needing a steady paycheck, signed on with a large newspaper based in Rochester, N.Y., The Democrat and Chronicle. Joe won more than a dozen individual writing awards in three states. While with the Pilot newspaper, Joe started a book division which printed several titles. Joe moved into the editing ranks at the Pilot and, for nearly 10 years, supervised the bulk of the paper’s news writing staff. Joe assigned numerous stories that won acclaim in national writing and reporting contests. He hired and mentored scores of writers, many of whom went on to work at some of the most prestigious publications in the country. Joe decided to retire from newspapers at the end of 2011 to enter the book publishing business full time. As executive editor at Köehler Books, Joe works closely with company founder, John Koehler, to find and develop writers and book projects. Joe also co-writes memoirs and autobiographies.
When he’s not glued to his laptop, Joe trains and competes as a road bicyclist and runner. And when he’s not doing that he’s likely plucking one of his five-string banjos. Joe loves dogs, fresh air and his daughters, Kasie Mae and Jessie.
Publishing Associate Cheryl Ross is an award-winning journalist who edits, provides promotional services, and cultivates writers with compelling personal stories and fictional works about African Americans. Cheryl has led Afrocentric book clubs on the South and West sides of Chicago and has written about aspects of the black experience for the Chicago Reader, an alternative weekly. She’s also written for The Virginian-Pilot and the St. Petersburg Times. Cheryl earned bachelors and masters degrees in journalism from Northwestern University in Chicago. Her graduate work focused on magazine publishing, and she was part of a team that launched a magazine prototype on the food catering industry. While in Chicago, Cheryl worked in French luxury goods, winning national sales contests, developing a loyal clientele and exceeding sales goals. Cheryl returned to Hampton Roads five years ago to cover education issues for the Pilot. She serves as president of the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals (HRBMP), which provides college scholarships and serves as a media resource for the larger community. Her work for HRBMP has earned her two Hampton Roads Gazeti Exemplar Awards, recognition for leadership in community service. HRBMP is also a current finalist for the National Association of Black Journalists’ Chapter of the Year. In her spare time, Cheryl likes to run. She has completed the Chicago Marathon, all 26.2 miles, and many half marathons and other road races.
David L. Hancock, Founder of Morgan James Publishing
David Hancock is reported to be the future of publishing. He was also named a Finalist in the Best Chairman category in The 2006 American Business Awards. Hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post, The American Business Awards are the only national, all-encompassing business awards program honoring great performances in the workplace.
David was selected for Fast Company Magazine’s Fast 50 for 2006 for his leadership, creative thinking, significant accomplishments and his significant impact on the industry over the next ten years. David has revolutionized book publishing from the author’s standpoint. His Entrepreneurial Publishing™ model enriches authors as well as the company.
Actively working with his authors to help them not only maximize revenue from their book royalties, but also build new business and increase their revenue substantially through follow-on sales to their readers.
One of David’s core values is having strong and mutually beneficial relationships. “We’ve spent years developing many of the key business relationships that allows us to get our books in bookstores and the widespread Web coverage we’ve been able to achieve. We intend to stay constant in our pursuit of positive relationships with people in all facets of our business, and we see that as a strategic advantage.”
David is the Founder of The Entrepreneurial Author University and Founder of The Ethan Awards, the only international, all-encompassing entrepreneurial author awards for business authors. David sites on the advisory board of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence and on the Executive Board of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula. David has also authored or coauthored too many books to list them all here but they include The Entrepreneurial Author, Guerrilla Marketing for Writers and The Best of Guerrilla Marketing.
David and his wife Susan live in Hampton Roads, Virginia with their two children, Morgan Renee and Ethan James.
Rick Frishman, Morgan James Publisher
RICK FRISHMAN, the founder of Planned Television Arts, has been one of the leading book publicists in America for over 30 years. Working with many of the top book editors, literary agents and publishers in America, including Simon and Schuster, Random House, Wiley, Harper Collins, Pocket Books, Penguin Putnam, Morgan James and Hyperion Books, he has worked with best-selling authors including Mitch Albom, Bill Moyers, Stephen King, Caroline Kennedy, Howard Stern, President Jimmy Carter, Mark Victor Hansen, Nelson DeMille, John Grisham, Hugh Downs, Henry Kissinger, Jack Canfield, Alan Deshowitz, Arnold Palmer, David Hancock and Harvey Mackay.
Rick is Publisher at Morgan James Publishing in New York. David Hancock founded Morgan James in 2003 and in 2008 Morgan James published over 150 books. Morgan James only publishes non fiction books and looks for authors with a platform who believe in giving back. Morgan James gives a portion of every book sold to Habitat for Humanity.
Rick has also appeared on hundreds of radio shows and more than a dozen TV shows nationwide including OPRAH and Bloomberg TV. He has also been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Selling Power Magazine, New York Post and scores of publications.
He is the co-author of ten books, including national best-sellers GUERRILLA PUBLICITY and NETWORKING MAGIC. Along with media personality Robyn Freedman Spizman, Rick also co-wrote the popular four-book series AUTHOR 101 and recently they teamed up for their highly acclaimed book entitled WHERE’S YOUR WOW? 16 Ways To Make Your Competitors Wish They Were You! (McGraw Hill, March, 2008).
Rick’s 10th book Guerrilla Publicity 2nd edition was published in October 2008. (Adams Media)
He is the co-host (with attorney Richard Solomon) of the radio show Taking Care of Business, which airs every Thursday from 2:00-3:00 pm on WCWP-Radio in Long Island, New York. (www.tcbradio.com) Rick has a B.F.A. in acting and directing and a B.S. from Ithaca College School of Communications and is a sought after lecturer on publishing and public relations and a member of PRSA and the National Speakers Association.
Rick and his wife Robbi live in Long Island with their three children, Adam, Rachel and Stephanie, and two Havanese puppies named Cody and Cooper.
Go to www.rickfrishman.com for more information and to get Rick’s “Million Dollar Rolodex”.
W. Terry Whalin, Acquisitions Editor, understands both sides of the editorial desk–as an editor and a writer. A former literary agent, Terry is an Acquisitions Editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books through traditional publishers. For three years, Terry was a fiction acquisitions editor at Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster. Also for 12 years, Terry was an ECPA Gold Medallion judge in the Christian Fiction Category. He reads a broad range of fiction genres and has reviewed fiction for Book Page and many other publications.