JOSEPH K. LANDSMAN
Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board and one of the Co-Founders of The Woofenill Works, Inc., exemplifies the unique diversity of talent and experience that is reflected in The Company Profile. He began his higher education at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he majored in English Literature. While at Coe, he paid for his education as one of “The Four Roses,” a musical comedy, pantomime, nightclub act that toured locally and nationally in clubs and on college campuses.
After three years, he returned home to New York City, continuing his education in Communication Arts at Queens College, then went to New York University’s Graduate School of Communications. While at NYU, he did a graduate film project: a profile on David Susskind that later aired on PBS. In later years, he returned there as a guest lecturer on Screenwriting at the NYU School of Film Studies and still teaches screenwriting.
From the late 60’s through the early 70’s, Mr. Landsman was the Associate Director of TV and Radio Production at Grey Advertising. In this capacity, he was responsible for the agency and clients’ production budgets, often exceeding more than $12M annually. He also received many awards, including a number of “CLIO’s” for his efforts in TV commercial production. During this period, he co-wrote and co-produced a pilot for a TV series, “Sundar,” about a ski and mountain rescue team, which was picked up by NBC and Robert Lawrence Productions of Canada.
After leaving Grey Advertising, he became Director of Film and Graphics Production for Derujinsky Studios, an independent film and TV commercial production house. He remained there until 1974, when he took a position with Playhouse Productions, Inc., working as their Senior Producer, creating a variety of educational, instructional and promotional audio/visual programs.
From 1969 to 1975, he was also the Resident Director and Producer for The Dramarena Repertory Company, an off-Broadway company in New York City, producing and/or directing over 100 productions, ranging from classics by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Shaw, Williams, Simon, etc., as well as new and “avant-garde” productions.
From 1975 to 1982, he worked as a free-lance communications consultant and writer/producer/director. He wrote, produced and directed “One Way Up And Out”, a special docu-drama for CBS which was the initial media production and project which launched the Street Academy Program for The Urban League and The Football Coaches Foundation with an annual event that still takes place in New York City. For his efforts, he received a Distinguished Service Award from The New York Urban League.
He also wrote, produced and directed “Control”, the film portion of the promotional, instructional and marketing package for The Oxberry Corporation. For “Control”, he received a Gold Medal at the 1979 New York International Film Festival and another Gold Medal at the 1979 San Francisco Film Festival. “Control” is now a part of the permanent Film Collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Independently he wrote, produced and directed a documentary, “Two By Two”, that aired as a one-hour TV special about The Mills Brother Circus, one of the last traveling circuses remaining in the United States.
In 1982, Mr. Landsman and Ms. Jan A. Koster joined forces creatively, corporately and domestically, evolving The Woofenill Works, Inc.
JAN A. KOSTER
President, Co-founder and Creative Director of The Woofenill Works, Inc., Ms. Koster brings a strong business and creative background, unique talents and diverse life experience to the Company. In l969, with an education in the liberal arts, Jan Koster left Washington D.C. and Dunbarton College and took her first job at the New York headquarters of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., one of the country’s largest commercial real estate companies. While her first position was as the traditional “executive secretary,” she soon was given the opportunity to learn the workings of each of the company’s departments, leading to a position in the legal offices where she functioned as a liaison between the landlords, tenants, brokers and other management divisions of the company.
In l976, Ms. Koster left C&W and, with her many connections in the business community, was offered several management positions; however, she decided to take a short-term position in a small publishing company which was in the process of expanding its offices and client base. Her background as a “trouble-shooter” enabled her to assist the company through this transitional period and she was offered a permanent position.
However, Ms. Koster discovered that she enjoyed the challenge of different fields and she decided to remain free-lance, continuing in this mode for the next four years. Her business experience covered many industries and responsibilities; management of offices on construction sites for HRH Construction; office expansion for Great Lakes Oil and Mineral; manager for Belini Enterprises, a high-end catering service with such customers as Yves St. Laurent and the DeBeers family; relocation of offices and store for Freed of London and many others. She has also been an editor for several authors of children’s books.
In addition to her experience in the business community, Ms. Koster also has a background in the arts. While with Cushman & Wakefield she continued with her study of ballet and jazz, which led to performances with several regional productions. Following an injury, she studied with Raoul Gelabert – one of the first to work with injured dancers, long before the advent of sports medicine; then went on to teach dance and movement classes to those with physical and/or emotional handicaps.
Her background in theatre began behind the scenes, with The New York Ensemble Company, where she studied, then went on to work on all aspects of theatre. She has been a lighting designer, scenic designer, producer and assistant director for a variety of Off and Off-Off Broadway productions in New York City. Finally, she studied with Stephen Cabot and at the American Theatre of Actors, going on to experience the performance side of theatre.
In l980, Ms. Koster accepted what was suppose to be a short term position with Alaska Momma, a character-licensing company which represented such artists as Boris Vallejo, Tim Hildebrandt and Edward Gorey. Fascinated by an industry, which combined “art” and “business,” the three-week position evolved into three years.
In 1982, Mr. Landsman and Ms. Jan A. Koster joined forces creatively, corporately and domestically. Ms. Koster managed two museumstyle/ educational stores – Planet Earth and Star Magic – while she and Mr. Landsman evolved the concept for The Woofenill Works, Inc.