Leslie Jonath has over 20 years experience in book publishing and creative services. She is founder of Connected Dots Media, a book packaging company and the author of numerous books including Postmark Paris (winner of the Book Builder’s Gold Award) and Bee & Me, which sold over 150,000 copies and was on both Publisher’s Weekly and the New York Times Bestsellers Lists.
Before launching Connected Dots Media, Leslie was a Senior Editor and a Creative Director at Chronicle Books and a founding member and co-director of Chronicle’s Custom Publishing division, creating innovative products for cultural institutions, name-brand companies, and retailers. Leslie edited and produced The Pleasure of Slow Food with Corby Kummer as well as Fields of Plenty with Michael Ableman. She also created a cause-related publishing model for nonprofit organizations, creating books like From Our House to Yours to benefit Meals on Wheels of San Francisco; Pads for Pets for P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Wonderful Support); and Sand Castles for Leap (art and architecture education for SF Bay Area schools).
18 Reasons strengthens the bonds of food and people through community dinners, cooking lessons, and classes in low-income areas that teach people to cook cost-effectively and nutritiously. Passionate, committed teachers include farmers, winemakers, ranchers, crafters, and cooks who share their stories, skills, and knowledge on everything from knife skills to world cooking. 18 Reasons also serves community dinners that help forge new friendships through food. Beyond its classroom walls, 18 Reasons offers Cooking Matters classes in low-income communities on how to make quick, healthy, affordable, and delicious meals. Professional chefs and nutritionists volunteer their time for the Cooking Matters program, which reaches over 2,000 adults and kids every year.