Our History and the Team

Lisa with Chicago Christy

Lisa with Chicago Christy

History

During her years as a traveling technology consultant, Lisa Chipetine realized that people were constantly looking for items they could utilize to “bond” with their children – especially those adults who are on the road traveling – or separated from their children due to other reasons, such as: military service, divorce – or even grandparents, aunts or uncles who may live in another state.  Lisa had the idea to create books where the storyline would encompass a city’s major geographical landmarks or highlights, allowing the parent, grandparent or special adult the opportunity to engage with the child about the city they had been in – or have knowledge about – with the added bonus of having a fun story that the child could utilize for educational as well as entertainment purposes.

Lisa’s cats (she has raised 8: Kitty, Peeper, Rhett, Scarlett, Michael, Bernie, Jimmy and Bonnie) have all been a cast of “characters” – and definitely fit the bill as “City Ambassadors”. Thus, in 2014, the Big City Animals ™ brand was born!  Currently, there are over 50 characters in the Big City Animals franchise.  Apps on major cities will be rolled out in 2015!  The great thing about the BCA brand is that it transcends age groups; a big city animal could be 2 or 82 years old – it fits the whole family!

Our Team

Lisa Chipetine

Lisa Chipetine

Lisa Chipetine – Founder (lisa@bigcityanimals.com)

Lisa Chipetine has been in love with “big cities” since she was 7 years old and at 18, got on an airplane and came to New York City – and never left.  Lisa is a multi-faceted entrepreneur who has spent the last twenty years managing technology projects for Fortune 500 companies and being the ultimate “Cat Mommy”.  She is passionate about technology, travel and animals, and is always looking for ways to utilize technology to satisfy a social need.  Lisa sidelines as a contemporary quilt artist, and gives back through the Pilots ‘n Paws program, as well as her own yearly charity “Santa Kitties”, where she delivers toys and treats to shelters in the New York area.  Over the past twenty years, she has traveled the world, been a “road warrior” and has been “the greatest aunt on the planet” according to her nieces and nephews.

 

 

 

Dawn Schuster

Dawn Schuster

Dawn Schuster – Writer, Illustrator, Brand Development

Dawn Schuster is originally from Leeds, UK, where she left the politeness and drizzle in order to travel far and wide – picking up inspiration from African, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures.  With a Bachelors Degree in Communications and extensive experience in children’s game and app design, she feels at home using a pencil, brush, camera or computer mouse.  Dawn’s passion for children’s storytelling led her to pursue Big City Animals to become part of our dynamic team!

 

 

 

 

Greg Pugh

Greg Pugh

Greg Pugh – Production Associate

Greg has over 10 years of experience in the fields of e-learning, multimedia, mobile application development, software instruction, graphic design, illustration, and children’s book authoring (Greg entered the children’s market when his daughter was born – authoring Maddie Bear Books). Greg’s passion is creating enriching media and teaching students the skills they need to master their craft.

 

 

Michelle Josette

Michelle Josette

Michelle Josette – Writer and Editor

After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2009 with a degree in Communications, Michelle Josette moved to Dallas, Texas, where she is now living her dream as a freelance writer and editor.  She has since worked extensively with publishing companies, small businesses, and individual clients to produce quality work in virtually every genre of writing. In addition to being a ghostwriter and editor for numerous works of fiction, Michelle also authored her first young adult novel in 2014. She brings enthusiasm, creativity, and a keen eye for detail to the talented Big City Animals’ Team.

 

 

Ms. Maddie

Ms. Maddie

Ms. Maddie

Maddie is Big City Animals’ Product Development and Quality Control Associate!  After all, she is our customer!   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a special thank you to Bonnie McCaffery Photography for providing some of the photographs used on this site.