Our Team

Literacy Consultant

Dr. Cecilia Minden is the former Director of Language and Literacy Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Cecilia earned her doctorate in Reading Education from the University of Virginia and has research, classroom and administrative credentials. She is the author of over 100 children’s books including: Herbster Readers and Everyday Math Series. Cecilia, along with her colleague, Dr. Jill Allor, are the authors of Bookshop Phonics, a phonics curriculum and intervention for grades K-2. Cecilia lives with her family in North Carolina.


Melinda Thompson is a former Madison Avenue advertising executive where she was a V.P. Account Supervisor at Young & Rubicam NY and an Account Executive at BBDO NY. She left her advertising career behind when she found a new love, her first child. After relocating to Rochester, MN she resumed her professional career by working in marketing at Mayo Clinic. When she fell in love with her second child, she became a full time parent. Melinda is a newly minted entrepreneur with a bold vision for making a positive difference in the world. She has recently given birth to Budding Reader. Melinda has a master’s degree in advertising from Northwestern University and now lives in North Carolina with her loving husband, two great kids and her faithful dog, Stanley.


Melissa Ferrell, Melinda’s identical twin sister, is a former Development Associate with Walt Disney Television where she assisted in the development of situation comedies for NBC, ABC and Fox and co-wrote and sold a couple of television episodes. In addition to her experience in Hollywood, she’s taught English as a Second Language as a Peace Corps volunteer and resettled refugees in the United States with the International Rescue Committee. Melissa earned an MFA in Radio/Television/Film and an MA in Sociology from Northwestern University and currently lives with her husband in Arizona.

Award Winning Illustrator

Doug Oglesby, while an artist at Raleigh’s CBS affiliate, earned one Emmy, five Emmy nominations and three international awards from the Broadcast Designers Association for his art and graphic design work. A founding member of Tom Clancy’s multimedia company, Red Storm Entertainment, Doug is currently a concept artist there. He has worked on more than thirteen game titles in both creative and managerial capacities. Doug holds a degree in graphics and illustration from East Carolina University and lives happily in North Carolina with his wonderful wife and three sons.

Madrid Design

Bill Madrid is a seasoned art director and graphic designer with an emphasis on pro sports and children’s educational publications. Bill’s artistic pursuits have ranged from illustration, graphic design, photography, and large scale mural painting. Industries worked with include retail, corporate, pro sports teams, and developers of educational materials. Besides working with local companies, Bill has freelanced for, or been on staff with national companies like Mattel, National Basketball Association, Hansen’s Beverage, Consumer Reports Magazine, Nestle, National Football League, and Lakeshore Learning Materials. Most recent staff positions were with the National Football League where he was the lead art director as the NFL partnered with Dorling Kindersley to produce many books targeting younger audiences (ages 3-12), as well as lead designer with Lakeshore Learning Materials as they focused on non-fiction publications for early childhood and elementary curriculum. Bill continues to pursue community mural projects that include the Developmentally Disabled.

Little Green Software

Custom mobile app developer for apps that connect — to other devices, to the cloud, to your users and to you. Warning: our apps may leave you glowing. iOS, Android, web and more.

Little Green Software specializes in turning app ideas into published, polished success stories. Founded in late 2008, the company produces precision-engineered, market-driven applications that help its clients meet their business goals. Understanding the client’s needs, challenges and vision is central to the Little Green Software development process. The team works closely with clients to implement and refine software solutions that exceed the client’s expectations.


Cuberis is a web and graphic design company in Durham, North Carolina. They specialize in logo, web, and print design. Cuberis took Doug’s illustrations and created a custom designed WordPress website that showcases Budding Reader’s fun and creative approach for learning to read.