Blue Lake Children's Publishing Co-founder and CEO, Judy MacDonald Johnston, Nominated for OEN Entrepreneurship Award of Individual Achievement

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A veteran entrepreneur, now on her third start-up venture, Judy MacDonald Johnston creates and builds successful companies that focus on making life better for future generations. Her latest venture, The Tessy & Tab Reading Club, builds early reading skills in children ages 2-6 and was developed to support the Six Skills for Early Literacy endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education.

Blue Lake Children's Publishing, publisher of The Tessy & Tab Reading Club, announced today that co-founder and CEO, Judy MacDonald Johnston, has been nominated for the "Entrepreneurship Award for Individual Achievement" presented by the Oregon Entrepreneur Network (OEN). OEN recognizes the best and brightest of Oregon's entrepreneurs at the statewide entrepreneurial community's biggest gathering of the year -- the 2007 OEN Entrepreneurship Awards.

"Judy has always been interested in children, education and entrepreneurial pursuits," said Rosie Welch, who has started three companies with Judy. "She has an exceptional ability to identify market opportunities and a passionate drive to bring product ideas to life."

In 1995, Judy left her successful career at Hewlett Packard to pursue her entrepreneurial idea, PrintPaks -- a children's software company. Under Judy's leadership, PrintPaks, produced 22 award-winning products in eight countries. In three years the company reached $11M in sales. Judy successfully built the company to profitability and sold PrintPaks to Mattel Inc., one of the world's largest toy companies.

In 2000, Judy was approached by a venture capitalist to be a co-founder and leader of a company called Kibu. The company was a social networking website for teen girls. Although the concept was years ahead of its time, the technology bust was inescapable. Judy realized that the existing environment would not support an early-stage start up. She made the bold choice to return money to the investors and shutdown the company.

Along the way, Judy developed a reputation for sharing her entrepreneurial knowledge. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of women and entrepreneurialism and often meets one-on-one to mentor budding entrepreneurs. "If I had to describe Judy in one word it would be generous," said Kathryn Shimabukuro, one of Judy's mentees and VP of Marketing for Judy's current venture, Blue Lake Children's Publishing. "She gives so much of herself to help others by offering her counsel, networking connections and creative skills."

Judy's current entrepreneurial idea began while Judy volunteered at the Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Judy quickly noticed that kids who were too young to read to themselves were spending too much time watching television. These kids were not actively engaging their minds. An avid reader and strong believer that early literacy is the key to a lifelong love of learning, Judy set out to create a children's magazine that would capture a child's attention with modern characters and settings, and encourage independent reading with a illustrated story design that builds critical pre-reading skills. Today, thousands of parents and children across the country and around the world enjoy The Tessy & Tab Reading Club.

About Blue Lake Children's Publishing
Founded in 2002 and based in Portland, Oregon, Blue Lake Children's Publishing creates magazines with engaging characters and innovative formats that capture the imagination of today's media-savvy children. Blue Lake's first product is The Tessy & Tab Reading Club, which combines a children's magazine subscription with tools for parents to help their preschooler get ready to read. This reading program builds early reading skills in children ages 2-6 and was developed to support the Six Skills for Early Literacy endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, call 1-800-921-3284 or visit

Linda Collier
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