Management Team

Management Team

Bassim Hamadeh

CEO & Founder

Bassim founded Cognella in 1992 while a student at the University of California, San Diego, and continued to run the company part-time before devoting full-time efforts in 2005. Under Bassim’s leadership, Cognella has transformed from a local, print-only course pack operation into a full-scale, international publishing service. Bassim earned his B.S. in structural engineering from UCSD and his M.B.A. from Stanford Business School. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, cooking, and staying active.

Kassie Graves

Senior Vice President, Editorial

Kassie oversees the Cognella Academic Publishing imprint and manages Cognella’s specialist acquisitions editors and field acquisitions editors. She brings a wealth of publishing and marketing expertise to Cognella with over 20 years of experience in the publishing and marketing industries. She is a recipient of The Counselors for Social Justice ‘Ohana Award from the American Counseling Association. Kassie holds a B.A. in journalism from California State University, Northridge, and an M.B.A. from California Lutheran University.

Dave Wilson

Vice President of Technology

Dave is responsible for overseeing Cognella’s transformative development initiatives. Dave has worked with a variety of development technologies and processes at previous software companies in roles such as Product Engineering Manager, Operations Manager and has held several programming positions. Dave earned his B.S. in computer science from the University of British Columbia. When not cranking out code, he enjoys spending time with his two sons, cycling, hiking, and running.

Ryan Bailey

Vice President of Finance & Administration

Ryan supports the growth of Cognella through leadership in the areas of accounting, finance, administration, and general management. Prior to Cognella, he audited small- to mid-sized private companies and implemented administrative and management strategies at both a private information technology firm and a public transit agency. Ryan earned his B.S. in accounting from Sam Houston State University and is a licensed certified public accountant. He enjoys exploring new travel destinations with his wife and two children and will always have a place in his heart for the game of baseball.

Sean Nakamura

Director of IT Operations

Sean helps the company efficiently and successfully implement new technology initiatives while also maintaining the integrity and performance of the company’s current IT infrastructure. As one of Cognella’s first team members, he has developed and managed a variety of business and technology initiatives for Cognella, including the initial build and launch of the company’s e-commerce and fulfillment system. Sean earned an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering, arts, and music from the University of California, San Diego. He is an ultramarathon runner who enjoys competing in 100-mile mountain races.

Natalie Piccotti

Director of Marketing

Natalie is responsible for overseeing brand management, product marketing, marketing communications, creative design, and project management for Cognella. Prior to joining the company, Natalie managed global product and field marketing for publishing industry leader Bowker. She also worked for Pfizer Global Research and Development as a business operations manager. Natalie holds a B.A. from Michigan State University, an M.A. from Wayne State University, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Natalie is an avid reader and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters.

Sara Anderson

Director of Operations and Manager of Cognella Custom

Sara leads customer service, distribution, and inside sales efforts for Cognella. She also manages the Cognella Custom team. Prior to joining the company, she managed planning for the Trade Division at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, served as Operations Manager at Harvard University Press, and worked as an Editorial Assistant at HUP and McGraw-Hill. Sara has a B.A. in English literature from Washington University and an M.B.A. in supply chain management from Northeastern University. She moved to San Diego from Boston with her husband and their 16-pound cat, Sonny. In her free time, Sara enjoys reading, hiking, and playing bridge.

Josh Perigo

Director of Sales

Bringing more than a decade of experience in publishing industry to his role, Josh serves as the director of sales at Cognella. He began his career in academic publishing in 2014 as an award-winning sales representative at SAGE Publications. In 2017, he became an acquisitions editor, building a list of titles in anthropology, signing in family science, and implementing a revenue-driven strategy for SAGE’s robust list of social work and counseling titles. In 2022, Josh joined Cognella as a specialist acquisitions editor and sales specialist. In recognition of his leadership and drive, Josh was promoted to director of sales, where he oversees the sales department and manages all higher education sales and adoption efforts.

Alia Bales

Director, Project Editorial and Production

Alia oversees the project editorial, production, and creative teams in the development and delivery of academic textbooks and educational materials. Alia’s journey at Cognella began as a production editor, where her attention to detail and commitment to quality led to her promotion to production manager. In her current role, she continues to leverage her extensive knowledge to ensure the creation of engaging and effective educational content, and she is spearheading the company’s transition to a digital-first publishing model. Alia holds a B.A. in literature from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.F.A. in poetry from Eastern Washington University. When she’s not working, Alia can be found reading any and all things, writing poetry, and spending time with her husband and their pair of tuxedo cats.

Carrie Baarns

Senior Manager, Revisions and Author Care

Carrie identifies, signs, and develops revisions and new editions of Cognella titles, while also overseeing a team dedicated to providing the highest level of care to Cognella authors. Previously, she worked at SAGE Publishing in various editorial roles. Carrie holds a B.A. in English from California Lutheran University and a Certificate of Professional Editing from University of California, Berkeley. When not working, Carrie is usually weightlifting, skateboarding, making dichroic glass art, or having extensive discussions with her cats about their spelunking adventures in her cabinets.

Amanda Martin

Executive Publisher - Nursing and Health Sciences

As the executive publisher for the nursing and health sciences portfolio at Cognella, Amanda works diligently to understand the biggest challenges facing faculty and students in today’s higher education environment across the health disciplines. She then works with new and seasoned authors to develop meaningful solutions to ease those challenges. Amanda has 15 years of experience in healthcare publishing spanning sales, acquisitions, product development, and product management roles. Prior to joining Cognella, Amanda worked at Goodheart-Willcox, where she was responsible for building a healthcare portfolio, and at Jones & Bartlett Learning, where she led the nursing and medicine portfolios to significant growth before coming to serve as JBL’s VP of Product Management. Amanda holds an M.P.A., a B.A. in political science, and is certified in product management (PMC-VI).

John Remington

Managing Acquisitions Editor

With more than 36 years of experience in the academic publishing industry, John brings an abundance of knowledge and expertise to his role as managing acquisitions editor with Cognella. Over the course of his career, he has served in a number of capacities, including sales representative, sales manager, bookstore liaison, and technology specialist with Pearson, Key College, and Content on Demand. Since 2010, John has served as a senior acquisitions specialist and executive editor with Cognella and, in doing so, has discovered a passion for the editorial side of higher education publishing. John oversees the field acquisitions team and signs new projects in Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts.

Amy Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Amy is a leader in the project editorial team, managing a team of editorial associates and various processes. She also serves as a project editor and enjoys working closely with authors and teammates to bring books to life. Prior to Cognella, Amy worked in editorial, manuscript editing, and production capacities at other publishers, working on a diverse array of subjects from poetry to nonfiction. She holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in publishing studies from Illinois State University, as well as a certificate in Essentials of Project Management from the University of Chicago. When not thinking about editing, she enjoys working with rescue dogs to increase their adoptability.

Ivey Preston

Sales Manager

Ivey leads the adoption sales team, a dedicated group of adoption specialists who help instructors discover Cognella learning materials to support their unique curricula. Before developing the adoption sales program for Cognella, Ivey served in various roles within the company’s operations and administration departments. She earned her B.A. in history from the University of California, San Diego. When she’s not helping professors find the ideal text for their courses, Ivey enjoys baking, reading, and competing in pub trivia.

Chelsey Rogers

Active Learning Manager

Chelsey leads the Active Learning team for Cognella, driving the development of interactive online content. Previously, she worked as a journalist and a teacher, including teaching abroad in the Czech Republic and Japan. At Cognella, Chelsey started in a title marketing role before transitioning to product management and helping to launch our Active Learning division. She earned a B.A. in communication from Trinity University. In her free time, you’ll find Chelsey swimming in the ocean, looking for garibaldi and leopard sharks.

Alexa Lucido

Licensing Manager

Alexa leads Cognella’s licensing team. In her role, she oversees the team responsible for securing and granting permissions to republish third-party content, as well as the company’s subsidiary rights efforts. She is passionate about the publishing process and also previously served in an editorial role at Cognella. She has a B.A. in history and study of religion with a minor in classical studies from the University of California, San Diego. In her free time, Alexa enjoys reading, sports as well as practicing and teaching martial arts.