The Team

Laurie Blum Guest, Re-Naissance Founder and President

Laurie has over 30 years of experience in publishing as a best-selling author, editor, and publisher, as well as book packager. She has worked with some of the biggest N.Y. publishing houses including Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins, and MacMillan. She has an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a top professional publishing house and what it takes to turn a manuscript into a book and a book into sales.

Laurie’s publishing career started in 1983 when she created her own series of American college reference books. With 63 titles, the series has gone on to sell several million copies.

After a stint working with a major British publishing house, she took over Mariposa Press in 1996. Beginning by representing travel and later children’s books in France, Laurie evolved Mariposa into one of the leading English language children’s book experts in France. Mariposa also does a great deal of work in the U.S. as well as foreign markets, both in packaging and rights sales, and now as Re-Naissance has expanded to also include both branding and marketing.

Laurie has been a frequent guest commentator on CNN television. She has been a frequent speaker with the French publisher’s association (BIEF), has received support from the American Embassy in Paris, as well as has been featured and profiled in numerous publications including Le Figaro Littéraire.

Arthur Francfort, Projects Coordinator

Arthur Francfort has over ten years of experience in the French games publishing industry. He’s worked as a translator, an editor and a project manager for companies such as Bibliothèque Interdite, Edge Entertainment, Panini, and Arkhane Publishing.

Arthur holds a Masters in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University.

Katie Bircher, Children’s and YA Editor

Katie Bircher is an editor of children’s and young adult books, as well as an editor and reviewer for the The Horn Book, Inc. She is a former bookseller and holds an MA in Children’s Literature from Simmons University. Katie served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards committee.


Michelle Berkley, Webmaster and Graphic Designer

Michelle has over 30 years of experience mainly in linguistics and marketing, and over 15 years in web and graphic design.
Michelle holds a degree in business and languages from Salford University, England.

Lisa Peters, Social Media

Lisa has worked in the Dutch entertainment industry for six years, managing social media and online marketing for brands such as Vue Cinemas, tinyBuild Games, Skyscanner and television network Xite. She holds a degree in media studies from Utrecht University.
When she’s not glued to her laptop, she enjoys spending time singing, dancing, and of course reading!
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