Meet Our Management Team

Barbara Johnson
Barbara Johnson, President, launched Rowland Reading Foundation for Pleasant Rowland in January 2004. She has spent her career in publishing, working first as a reporter and editor for magazines and newspapers around the U.S. She served as president of American Lawyer Media, the legal publishing and cable TV division (Court TV) of Time Warner. After the sale of American Lawyer Media in 1998, she worked with Seth Godin at Yoyodyne, the first Internet direct marketing company, and she started an e-mail publishing company. She has served on the boards of public and private companies and as an operating partner of a private equity firm. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Laura Stewart
Laura Stewart, Vice President of Professional Development, has been in education for more than 25 years, working as a classroom teacher, building and district administrator, adjunct professor, and director of numerous professional development initiatives. In addition to directing the professional development for Reading First in the state of Wisconsin, Laura directed long-term projects in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and El Paso on topics from pre-K literacy to differentiated instruction. She has completed extensive postgraduate coursework in literacy education and has presented on the topic of literacy throughout the United States and internationally. Laura is the author of 12 children’s books, numerous teacher’s guides, and dozens of training workshops.
Steve Tardrew
Steve Tardrew, Vice President of Research and Technology, joined Rowland Reading Foundation in 2005. He directs research projects to establish the effectiveness of the Foundation’s educational materials, oversees the information technology department, and leads the development of digital content for the web and other technology platforms. He formerly served as director of research and manager of information systems for Renaissance Learning, an educational software company. Earlier in his career, he served as an economist for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, where he helped launch the agency’s first electronic data collection initiative. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Jennifer Pizer
Jennifer Harris, Vice President of Product Development, has spent the last 13 years in educational publishing. She worked as a product developer for Renaissance Learning, an educational software company. There, she created professional development materials designed to help teachers integrate educational software into their classrooms. Jennifer has been with Rowland Reading Foundation since 2005 and has built a product development team that specializes in primary-grade literacy. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Anne Butt
Anne Butt, Director of Operations, began her career in banking, working in the investment and trust departments of what is now U.S. Bank. She joined Rowland Reading Foundation in 2006 and has held a number of roles at the Foundation. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.