Firebrand Team

Firebrand’s commitment to community starts right in our own team. We come from all backgrounds, both inside and outside the publishing industry, and share a passion for books and dedication to quality.

Executive Team

Fran Toolan
Chief Igniter & CEO

Fran Toolan is the founder and “Chief Igniter” of Firebrand Technologies. When he launched Firebrand in 1987, Fran saw that the generic systems being used by publishers were inefficient and underpowered for the work they were meant to accomplish. He knew that the key to creating helpful systems is understanding the industry you are serving and the problems you are solving. That vision has served as the foundation of Firebrand for almost 30 years and is still the key to our success.

While he is very unassuming, Fran is one of the most well-known faces in the publishing industry. He has cultivated relationships with people across the breadth of the community and finds a lot of satisfaction in making connections between the right people. He serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), and was awarded BISG's Industry Champion Award in 2015 for his efforts to advance the publishing industry.

Apart from work, Fran loves to spend time with his wife, Catherine (who runs the Eloquence services team at Firebrand), and his six kids. He enjoys sailing and playing guitar, and even served as the lead singer in a short-lived family band called “The Duellin’ Toolans.” He has a strong DIY streak, and tends to tackle house and car repairs himself whenever the opportunity arises. He is engaging multiple business-related books at the moment, but he also enjoys reading a good (or not so good) spy novel.

Fran has been described as “an unrepentant publishing optimist.” He is convinced that the world needs well-written, curated, long-form writing, and that documenting our ideas and thoughts is important. However, he also believes that publishers need to stand up for themselves, now more than ever, and not rely on retailers or other third parties to stand up for them. This requires more proficiency in consumer marketing and a more concentrated effort to find, create, and communicate with reader communities.

Doug Lessing
President of Firebrand

In 1990, Doug Lessing graduated from St. Michael's College in Winooski (Onion), Vermont. After working for Andersen Consulting, he followed in the footsteps of big sister Susan Burke and joined Firebrand in December 1990—spending many years developing software, then managing projects. In the spring of 2007, Doug transitioned into a Client Relations role, setting out to make sure Firebrand's current clients are continually well served and ensuring that Firebrand establishes new relationships through marketing and sales.

President since 2011, Doug is now responsible for strategic planning and financial management, fostering relationships with clients, and the health and development of the Firebrand team. In this role, he is given the opportunity to preach about the Firebrand philosophy. "The greatest reward working with Firebrand," he says, "has been the friendships forged both in-house and with publishers through long days of hard work."

Born and bred on the south shore of Long Island, NY along the Great South Bay, Doug can't be away from the water for long, even though he loves visiting Lincoln, Nebraska for a day or two. Husband to Grace and father of three girls, Doug has the clear advantage of always being informed instantly if he has done or said something wrong. The closest thing to male companionship in the Lessing household is his beloved, albeit neutered, English Springer Spaniel named Bentley. (Bentley quietly accepts Doug's flaws.) During a moment of weakness, the ladies of the family convinced Doug to welcome a new, spirited, Springer puppy to the family: another little girl, named Piper.

The family lives to cruise on their boat or lounge around and dive in the tropics. To avoid being one-dimensional, Doug mixes in a passion for kiteboarding, reading books, woodworking, and watching the girls play lacrosse or perform music.

Firebrand Experience Team

Steve Rutberg
Director of Sales & Marketing
Rob Stevens
Chief Community Officer
Joshua Tallent
Director of Outreach and Education
Paul Milana
Director of Integration Services
Alicia Solis
Director of Relationship Management
Debbie Courtois
Application Support Analyst
Kusum Basra
Application Support Analyst
Brock Lyman
Senior Project Manager
Ben Todd
Senior Project Manager
Tolga Tuncer
Senior Project Manager
Navroop Singh
Integration Specialist
Jason Donovan
Integration Specialist
Bill Adams
Integration Specialist

Admin Team

Addison Minott
Director of Finance & Admin
Barbara Burns
Myfanwy Collins
Office Manager

Eloquence Services

Catherine Toolan
Director of Eloquence Services
Martha Moore
Eloquence Special Projects Manager
Denise Muise
Customer Service
Annie Johnston
CS Relationships
Linda Adler
Services Development
Linda Mills
Service Operations
Lauren Sutherland
Services Development

Technology Team

Susan Burke
Chief Architect and Tech Team Liaison
Alan Katzen
Chief Engineer
Derek Kurth
Chief Cloud Engineer
Jon Hess
Dustin Miller
Chris Adler
Uday Khisty
Colman O'Connor
Barbara Blanchette
QA and Release Engineering
Steve Quaglia
Senior QA Engineer
Olivia Asaro
QA and Release Engineering
Marie Katzen
QA and Release Engineering
Eric German
Bill Bennett
Technology Infrastructure
Rick Navarro
Technology Support


Shane Archer
Director of Technology
Kristina Radke
International Account Director
Lindsey Lochner
Community and Marketing Director
Tarah Theoret
Community Manager
Mary Pratt
Product Manager
Amanda Delatorre
QA Analyst & Assistant Product Manager
Israel Carberry
Mike Salem
Ryan Archer
Brianna Paulino
NetGalley Concierge
Katie Versluis
Sales Assistant
Alyce Reese
Marketing Admin Assistant
Stuart Evers
Community Manager, UK
Stéphanie Chabert
NetGalley France
Karina Elm
Business Development Manager, NetGalley Deutschland
Kelly Gallucci
Executive Editor,