Staff Bios

Scott Fraser, President and Publisher
Publishing is Scott's second career. He spent eight years in the Canadian Armed Forces, and most people who have known him for a long time would agree that he's better at books than boot camp. He did earn the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal and the United Nations Mission in Sudan Service Medal and achieved the rank of Captain, but the prevailing wisdom is that everyone is better off now that he's traded in his fatigues and boots for jeans, sport jackets, and sneakers. Off the job, Scott can often be found at one of the GTA's many softball fields/indoor domes where he strives to be an asset on and off the field while giving 110%.

Kirk Howard, Publisher Emeritus
Kirk Howard is the founder and Publisher of Dundurn Press, a company he started in 1972 to address the lack of books dedicated to Canadian history. Kirk named the company after Dundurn Castle, near which he grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2012, Kirk was presented the President’s Award by the Ontario Historical Society for his contributions to preserving the province’s heritage.

Kathryn Lane, Associate Publisher
Kathryn started her career in publishing at an educational book packager in Toronto. Beaten down by curriculum checks, she bought a one-way ticket to London and convinced travel guide publisher DK Eyewitness to hire her. A few years later she shifted to Rough Guides. Eventually she returned to Toronto and dove fully into Canadian trade when she joined Dundurn in 2015.

Sara D’Agostino, Executive Assistant and Administration Manager 
Sara graduated from York University with an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies. With a life-long love of theatre and books she pursued the publishing program at Ryerson University. She previously worked at James Lorimer & Company as their production editor. When she's not reading or singing along to show tunes, you can find her performing improv with Yes, Trespassing. 

Rachel Spence, Acquistions Editor
Rachel has a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Toronto. When not reviewing manuscripts, she enjoys visiting her cat and two poodles, riding her motorcycle, and curling up with a good book.

Whitney French, Acquisitions Editor
Whitney is a writer and editor based in Toronto. She has received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Concordia Unviersity and is the editor of Black Writers Matter, a creative nonfiction anthology (University of Regina Press, 2019). She is passionate about grassroots community building and capturing unlikely stories. In her spare time, Whitney enjoys tree climbing, growing her own food, and spending time with her loud and rambunctious family.

Julie Mannell, Acquisitions Editor
Julie Mannell is an author of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and criticism. She earned her MFA in creative writing from University of Guelph where she received the Constance Rooke and HarperCollins Scholarships. She won the Lionel Shapiro Award for Excellency in Creative Writing, the Mona Adilman Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, and was named one of the Top 30 Poets Under 30 by In/Words Magazine. She is the 2019 Writer-in-Residence at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, as well as a professor of creative writing at George Brown College in Toronto.

Russell Smith, Acquisitions Editor
Russell is the author of nine books. His novels and short story collections have been nominated for the Governor General's Award, the Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Trillium Prize, the Impac Dublin Award and the Toronto Book Award. He has twice won the National Magazine Award for fiction. For many years he taught fiction writing in the University of Guelph's MFA in Creative Writing, and now teaches writing Creative Non-Fiction at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies. He wrote a weekly column on the arts for the Globe and Mail for 20 years and is now the Globe's principal book reviewer and books columnist. He is an excellent techno dj but can spin deep house for early evening too.

Elena Radic, Managing Editor
Before coming to Dundurn in 2017, Elena worked as a freelance copy editor and proofreader, with clients in educational publishing. She started her publishing career in 2010 at Oxford University Press Canada as an intern, staying on to become editorial assistant and later, associate editor. She has a B.A. in English from U of T.

Jenny McWha, Project Editor
Jenny holds a B.A. in English literature from the University of Toronto. Armed with a love of books and grammar, she entered the only field available to her — publishing. When she’s not guiding books and authors through the editing process, Jenny likes to fit in some pleasure reading, Netflix, and cuddling with her dog, Xena.

Melissa Kawaguchi, Editorial Assistant
Melissa has a B.A. in History from McGill University and a Publishing Certificate from Ryerson University. When she isn't helping the editorial department, she likes going for long runs, knitting, and rewatching episodes of The Mindy Project. 

Rudi Garcia, Production Manager
Rudi, who was born in Chile and grew up in Etobicoke, honed his skills in production and design at Toronto Image Works, Xtra!, and NOW Magazine before coming to Dundurn. A lover of film, books, and bikes, he co-parents an elderly rescue dog named Baanjo and enjoys watching Scandinavian crime dramas on Netflix.

Laura Boyle, Art Director
Laura, originally from the East Coast, moved to Toronto in 2009 after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Montreal and France. In her spare time she is a visual artist and a musician in an electronic duo.

Sophie Paas-Lang, Designer
Sophie Paas-Lang studied Illustration and Art History at OCAD University. She worked as a freelance illustrator and in the corporate design world before coming to Dundurn. Sophie grew up in the east end of Toronto and now lives in the west end – a passionate cyclist, she is often biking back and forth between them. 

Lisa Marie Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing
Lisa Marie Smith started her career in publishing as an intern at Kobo Rakuten after completing her publishing certificate at New York University. She has since worked in Canadian academic and trade publishing, specializing in digital projects, ebooks, marketing, sales and distribution. Prior to coming to Dundurn, she was the Marketing Director at Formac Lorimer Books. She can be found visiting dog friendly spots in the city with her 80lb sheepadoodle, Ollie, who aspires to be a reading therapy dog for kids (if he can learn to sit still). 

Alicia Edwards, Sales Coordinator 
Alicia graduated from Carleton University with a BA in Economics and also studied publishing at Ryerson. Alicia began her publishing career at HarperCollins Canada before coming to Dundurn. When not reading she enjoys baking, watching documentaries and dreams of one day getting a dog.

Barbara Bower, Publicity Manager

Elham Ali, Publicist
Elham graduated from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in English and History and minored in Near and Middle Eastern Studies (she’s a huge Egyptology nerd). After completing the Humber College publishing program, she worked in the marketing departments at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen and Penguin Random House Canada before coming to Dundurn. When she’s not reading, she loves baking and spending time hanging out with her large extended family.

Kendra Martin, Sales & Marketing Manager
Kendra graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University and Centennial’s publishing program. Before joining Dundurn in 2016, she worked in marketing and production for McArthur & Company and James Lorimer & Company. Other than reading the latest CanLit and mysteries, for fun Kendra bikes, bakes, and explores Toronto’s food and culture.

Stephanie Ellis, Marketing Assistant
Steph completed her Honours B.A. between UofT and Carleton, before returning to Toronto to complete the Creative Book Publishing program at Humber College. In her spare time, you can find Steph taking pictures for Dundurn social media, at the local rink to watch one of her five younger siblings play hockey or rewatching The Office for the hundredth time. Her favourite things to read are fantasy and contemporary fiction.  

Kayleigh Fisher CPA, CGA, CFE, Director of Accounting
Kayleigh worked as a controller in the Film & TV, Music and Tech industries before joining Dundurn and is excited to combine her love of reading with accounting. In her free time she does bookkeeping for a local charity as well as sings in the Toronto based Florivox choir. When she finds the time she enjoys curling up in a sunspot with a mug of tea and whatever book is currently on her nightstand.