2013 Member of the Year
Ira Wolfman has spent his career creating groundbreaking products for children, parents, and teachers across digital and print platforms. During his 16 years at Sesame Workshop and eight years at Weekly Reader, he originated and successfully developed unique materials for the consumer and education markets.
Wolfman now runs his own consulting practice, POE Communications, which advises educational media companies and not-for-profit organizations. He draws on a team of 20 editors, designers, and web producers, all of them with extensive experience in the education and multimedia fields. POE’s clients, past and present, include Highlights for Children, readworks.org, Manhattan Media/Avenue Magazine, Readers Digest Young Families, Cranium Game Company, Woodburn Press, Chamber Music America, America Online, and the National Parenting Association.
At Weekly Reader, Wolfman transformed what had been a sleepy 100-year-old company into a leader in digital innovation. Products developed under his leadership (2004-2012) included web-based WR Digital Editions (multimedia versions of the magazines); Weekly Reader Connect, a digital-only reading-comprehension website used in hundreds of elementary schools; WR e-issues (themed websites on a wide range of subjects from Shakespeare to the U.S. Constitution to climate change); and Classroom NewsBreaks (breaking news stories translated into digital lesson plans and delivered within 24 hours to thousands of teachers. During Wolfman’s stewardship, WR publications won more than 50 awards for excellence and innovation.
Prior to joining Weekly Reader, Wolfman specialized in creating and managing consumer periodicals rich in educational content. During the 1980s and 90s, his roles at Children’s Television Workshop (now known as Sesame Workshop), included editor and editorial director, then Vice President and Group Publisher of six magazines and web content. He was Editor in Chief of Sesame Street Parents, a parenting publication with over 1 million readers, and was founding editorial director of ENTER, a computer magazine for teens, and Padres de Sesame Street, a Spanish-language quarterly publication for Latino families. He also oversaw a thriving custom-publishing business.
Wolfman is the author of four books and the proud father of two adult sons. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ronda Small.