DISCOVER EXPLORE IMAGINE BELIEVE
These four words represent the foundation upon which Edu•Characters LLC is built. They are woven
into the creative fabric of everything we bring to life. They are what sets us apart. They are what
makes us who we are.
We are offering an intellectual property of unlimited scope and potential: LOST LANDS OF OZ™
Our IP integrates opportunities – for entertainment, retail ventures, and educational venues.
Edu•Characters LLC is more than just a marketing and licensing company. Our mission is to create ideas
that bring families of all ages together. We design Ideas that lift and expand imaginations. Ideas that
embed memories that can last a lifetime.
This is what Edu•Characters LLC is!
That is how we are “Building values for life”
We open opportunities to allow our clients to think outside the box.
And to soar beyond what is expected.
Perhaps the most recognized ‘nose’ of any fictional character ever created, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, has been guiding a sleigh filled with joy at Christmas time for children around the world for more than
Capitalizing on the popularity and retail exclusivity of this licensed character, Edu•Characters LLC created for Montgomery Ward, a “Store-in-Store”, Rudolphland for the traditional Christmas selling season with a custom 1,500 to 3,000 sq. ft area that sold exclusively Rudolph products. Edu•Characters LLC also produced a unique education program that was tied into over 17,000 elementary schools with an unprecedented 96% usage for two consecutive years.
The success of the Rudolph program was the impetus for the creation of The Lost Lands of Oz™ IP.
Learn more about Ted >
Ted has been involved in the broadcast industry for more than 45 years. He owned TMK-Elias Productions, one of the most successful commercial music production companies in the country. Ted currently owns TMK Productions, an award-winning video production company.
Today his Emmy Award-winning video company is dedicated to producing video programming for non-profit organizations, corporations, broadcast ventures, and general market distribution. In addition to its healthcare and education focus, TMK has been recognized for its distinguished documentary work on Public Broadcast Television.
Ted’s successes in the music and video markets have proven invaluable for the success of Edu•Characters LLC.
CHIEF CREATIVE DIRECTOR
MEET OUR TEAM
Learn more about Jay >
Jay has spent 50 years in the marketing communications industry holding senior management positions at five ad agencies and an events company before founding Duncan & Hill, an integrated marketing company, thirty years ago. Over the last 10 years, Jay has been spearheading all of the business activities with Edu•Characters LLC and developing The Lost Lands of OZ™ intellectual property. He is the consummate marketing man with excellent strategic planning skills and “Big Idea” creative solutions.
Jay has achieved a long list of credits regarding building his clients’ businesses through marketing positioning and new product development for manufacturing and national retail accounts. While his marketing achievements span several industries, some of his greatest marketing accomplishments are in “Kids Marketing.” The children’s products and services that he has been a part of developing include toys, games, arts & crafts, education, confections, school tools, audio/visual programming, and community activities.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Learn more about Jim >
Jim Patterson’s 37 years in Chicago-based advertising and marketing agencies began after graduating from Brown University in 1966. As a strategic and creative marketer, Jim built his career on a consistent track record, excellent people skills, leadership strength, and a persistent can-do attitude. His long tenure at Leo Burnet in Chicago and managing accounts for them around the globe has contributed a great deal to Edu•Characters LLC's success story.
Jim has been involved with kid’s marketing efforts throughout much of his career including the development of a campaign for Junior Achievement, creating kids programs for Wylers Drink Mixes, running McDonald’s accounts for eight years, and helping develop the Rudolph program. Jim has made a commitment to focus all his energies on bringing teaching programs to children as a way to enhance our overall living environment.
CHIEF MARKETING DIRECTOR
Learn more about Larry >
The driving force behind the new Musical Discover, ShaggyMan Productions, The Larry King Orchestra and Soleil Moon, Larry has been involved in every facet of the entertainment industry from the time he was a young boy. He began at the tender age of seven and although his schedule was busy with performances on stage and screen he managed to feature in 52 commercials before the age of 13.
He became nationally renowned for his writing and vocal ability and experimented with various projects including his band Human Factor which was signed by Caliber Records in 1989, (Los Angeles, CA) a division of Warner Brothers.
Larry is currently signed to Frontiers Records (Naples, Italy) with his originals band Soleil Moon. The First Record “Worlds Apart” (Released 1999 MFO Records) had 2 top ten singles, “Worlds Apart” and “Never Say Goodbye” in the Adult Contemporary category. Both singles went on to chart in the Billboard top 100 for the year.
EXECUTIVE WRITER & MUSIC
Learn more about Eldon >
Eldon has spent over 30 years in Business Law. He has been involved in dealing with entertainment and intellectual properties most of his career as a lawyer or as a principal of a national game company. He has been actively involved in working with major properties including Toys-R-Us, NFL, MLB, Turner, and CNN. Eldon was a co-founder of Gameplan, Inc., creators of board games.
Eldon has been quoted nationally in such venues as New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and USA Today. He has articles published in Trial Magazine, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Seton Hall Sports Law Journal, and Marquette Sports Law Review. Eldon has authored three published books, including “Larceny & Old Leather”, and most recently “Mischievous Legacy of Major League Baseball”.
ELDON HAM P.C.
CHIEF LEGAL COUNSEL
Lou Weisbach‘s new venture is revolutionizing the logo merchandise industry with an innovative sourcing model that will globally disrupt the business of imprinted promotional products. Since graduating from DePaul University in 1969 and starting out selling logo product with a Chicago based Advertising Specialty company. In 1972 he founded HA-LO Advertising Specialties, which he led as CEO to reach over $22Mil. in sales before taking it public in 1992. HA-LO became the largest company in its industry with revenues of $740Mil. and employed 5,200 people in 55 offices in 11 counties.
Since leaving the company in 1999, has lead the Jefferson Trust for the Democratic National Committee, co-founded the American Center for Cures, was a founding partner of the Stadium Capital Financing Group, and founded Merch Time, LLC. Lou was also involved with the successful Rudolph program that became the catalyst for the formation of Edu•Characters LLC.
Learn more about Lou >
Learn more about Ron >
During his 40-year career at Montgomery Ward, Ron Mantegna directed and executed a broad range of advertising, marketing, sales promotion, and internet programs at a national level. Ron directed Ward's retail advertising creative department, sales promotion activities, marketing communications function, and launched and directed www.wards.com. Ron is a great believer in the power of ‘grassroots marketing’ and plays an integral role in Edu•Characters LLC’s marketing design. Ron is the proud brother of award-winning actor, Joe Mantegna.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Learn more about Joie >
Joie Scott is an Emmy nominated, #1 hit songwriter. Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, Joie comes from an advertising background at Leo Burnett, one of the world’s largest ad agencies. Since moving to Nashville she has become a well known and respected name in the songwriting community.
Joie's many successes include Collin Raye's platinum selling #1 hit, 'Not That Different', which also received #1 video recognition and SESAC Song Of The Year. Shania Twain recorded her song 'Shoes' which appeared on the Desperate Housewives soundtrack. She received a recent Emmy nomination for her song featured on the iconic TV show, The Young and The Restless.
She has had several of her songs top the International charts and received recognition for the number two best Melodic Rock song of 2017. Along with the above mentioned Joie has had her songs recorded by artists including Anne Murray, Peabo Bryson, Restless Heart, Western Underground, Michael Peterson, Christie Baranski, Svrcina, Jimmy Van Zant, Riders In The Sky, Trinity River Band, The Michael Thompson Band, Soleil Moon, and many more. Joie's versatility as a songwriter has been proven in varied genres including Rock, Pop, Indie, film and TV, children’s projects, and of course, all forms of Country.
Joie recently had her song ‘Astronomical’ featured on the TV show Legacies and has two songs slated for an up-coming major film release. She currently has a song included on the 55th Anniversary album of the iconic band, The Ides Of March, written with lead singer, Jim (Eye Of The Tiger) Peterik. She is now in the process of developing material, along with multi- talented writer, producer, artist Larry King, for a massive and exciting musical theater production.
In addition, Joie often performs in Nashville's top music venues and singer/songwriter events. Joie loves what she does and feels fortunate to be a part of Nashville's vibrant music community.
CHIEF WRITER & LYRICIST
CHIEF HISTORIAN & WRITER
Learn more about Julie >
Julie has spent 30 years as a writer & producer. She has immersed herself in the communications field, including print and broadcast journalism, as well as advertising and public relations. Julie is a writer/producer for Network News Service, the first ever partnership between ABC, CBS, and Fox News. Prior to the launch of NNS in 2000, Julie had spent almost a decade with ABC News in their southwest office. Julie started her career in advertising as an account executive for BBDO Chicago.
As a mother and voracious reader, Julie eagerly entered the educharacter's group and she shares the creative vision of the Oz tradition. The magical lands and characters inhabiting L. Frank Baum's utopia is an ideal escape from the reality of network news.
An educational consultant with 34 years in education as a teacher and principal, Poster led his schools to three national recognition awards from the White House and the Department of Education. He is known for his expertise in teacher training, parent education, school and organization culture, differentiated instruction, and multiage/multiyear education as well as substance abuse and gang prevention and the development of character education programs. Poster serves on the boards of numerous educational and children’s organizations and consults and lectures widely on topics such as parenting skills, teacher training, and the moral and ethical development of children.
Learn more about Avi >
STRATEGIC BRANDING DIRECTOR
John R. Norman is the Principal and Executive Creative Director of Design Resource Center, a strategic branding and design firm. John's passions are design, entrepreneurism, and connecting people with other great people. As a founding partner of DRC, John lives and breathes the belief that great branding and design are rooted in consumer motivations, and has assembled a highly talented team of kindred spirits. His creative leadership enables DRC to consistently delight clients and deliver compelling design solutions. The firm’s designs have been featured in notable magazines and have earned numerous awards.
Learn more about John >
Learn more about Linda >
Award-winning ad agency producer, who worked full time from 1974-1982. She then decided to turn to freelance to accommodate the start of a family. Linda has worked with 20 different agencies and over 40 different clients. In addition to advertising, she is part owner of a production company that specializes in longer format videos and commercials. She is involved with the initial conceptualization of a project through its editorial finish, including research, budget supervision, conceptual and creative supervision, hiring crews, payroll, and element organization.
PRODUCTION ART DIRECTOR
Learn more about Marc >
Marc Rumaner is a graphic, packaging, and product designer with over 30 years of experience working with several major design and product licensing firms in the Chicagoland area. In addition, he is also an independent inventor and tinkerer and has licensed thirteen products to various independent companies. These products range in categories from children’s toys and games, office, pet, kitchen, bath, and wine products to several published children’s books that he wrote and illustrated.
Learn more about Mike >
Mike joined Edu•Characters LLC six years ago as an aspiring writer. He has had a hand in writing and strategic planning for Lost Lands of OZ™, including a script and screenplay for a family adventure television series, a treatment for a children’s television series, and numerous walk-through for exhibits and theme parks. Mike works directly with the managing partners in the everyday activities of the team.
WRITER & CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT
WRITER & CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT
Learn more about Christian >
Christian Harkna is an advertising copywriter with experience in content writing, social media management, and comedy writing. He's worked on the Lost Lands of OZ™ project for over 5 years and has been involved in writing movie and television treatment scripts.
David has a history of success with many of the leading companies in North America. He has an incredible ability to integrate marketing communications, merchandising, and recognition/incentives to optimize improved productivity, enhance customer satisfaction, and improve profitability. David has been an innovator in his field and was one of the pioneers in the emerging field of Engagement Technology.
He has earned numerous professional awards for sales excellence including Max Sacks International “National Salesperson of the Year”, Golden Pyramid Honorable Mention, an ASI Industry Awards for Creative Excellence, as well as, sales awards within the companies he has represented.
CHIEF MERCHANDISING OFFICER
Learn more about David >
Jimmy spent 30 years with Golding Industries in NYC and Chicago learning the textile business from the ground floor up. Over the years he has literally traveled the world and has befriended some extraordinary people along the way. Jimmy has an incredible outlook and business acumen that has earned the esteem of all that he knows. He founded Dynamic Marketing 20 years ago and has built an international sales and marketing business specializing in dealing with National Retail chains. He has a creative genius for problem-solving; superior people skills in working with people from diverse backgrounds.
Learn more about Jimmy >
DR. JANET KELLY
EDUCATION CONSULTANT & AUTHOR
Learn more about Janet >
Dr. Janet Kelly, Ph.D, is an educator and writer of children's books. She has more than 25 years of educational experience as a teacher and administrator for students in grades K-16. She is the author of more than 75 publications on K-12 science and math education and is the recipient of more than $1 million in educational grant funding. In addition, she has written a series of science picture books for preschoolers and scripted and coordinated a science video game, recently released online, for elementary and middle schoolers. Dr. Kelly received her undergraduate degree from Houston Baptist University, cum laude, with a double major in biology and English. Texas Christian University awarded her a Master's Degree in biology. She graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas, where she was a Meadows Scholar. Currently, Dr. Kelly is on emeritus faculty at Texas Christian University along with being a part of Edu·Characters LLC!
In addition to our diverse nucleus of company partners, we have attracted a powerful coterie of corporate strategic alliances including:
DESIGN RESOURCE CENTER
John Norman - Brand Strategy & Design
Larry King - Music Production
Ted Kay - Video/Editing
Lou Weisbach - Promotional Products
Artisan marketing group
David Kimmelman - Merchandising
law office of Dixon q. dern
Dixon Dern - PC
Terry Shistle - Theme Park/Exhibit Design