Who’s Who

Kilian Schalk

Co-Founder, Workflow Specialist

photo by Amanda Crommett

Kilian is the public face of PurpleGray. He founded the company in 2014 because, in more than a quarter-century on the front lines of magazine production, he had seen first-hand that the people around him were fully capable of solving the industry’s problems… and more. He firmly believes (and there is mounting evidence) that integrating them into the process of workflow management is good business.

As Technical Director of Digital Projects for The New Yorker, Kilian was integral to the launch of the magazine’s website, digital archive, and kindle, nook, audible.com and iPad editions. He also oversaw the process whereby the same six people who’d previously produced the weekly print magazine added all of those new channels to their workflow without experiencing burnout.

As Managing Editor for Editorial Development at Condé Nast he helped define and implement cultural change across eighteen titles and began to explore how this success might scale. By 2014 he was ready to branch out on his own.

His first big success was the 2015-17 ‘Moonshot’ effort to position America Media, one of the oldest periodicals in the United States, to ‘lead the conversation about faith and culture’ across platforms. More recently, Kilian was on-hand to create and guide the blueprint for the 2018 revamp of Vanity Fair’s print workflow. He has helped clients large and small re-think and re-invent how they produce (multi-channel) content, and makes a point of training trainers to keep the change process going. A popular and energetic speaker, he feels strongly that this is only the beginning.

(Back at the actual beginning, before he was the youngest Production Manager in Rolling Stone history, he found his calling at the Prague Post and the Tribune de Prague. He holds two passports – American and French – and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Vassar College.)

Jennifer McDermott

Co-Founder and Manager

Jennifer operates behind the scenes. She steers the ship of strategy for PurpleGray, advises on choice and direction of projects, and performs all marketing and business management functions.

A writer/editor whose credits include radio, assorted anthologies, and the Fodor’s Travel Guides, she has worked in a bookshop, run a theatre, and taught Viola Spolin to middle schoolers. She is also a graduate of the International School of Geneva and Vassar College, was for fifteen years an integral part of the Geneva Writers Group, and holds two passports (American and Swiss).