Who We Are

Bios

Jeff Hutchins

Author

JEFF HUTCHINS is a son, a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, a TV producer, an inventor, a business owner, a humanist, and a writer.  He thinks young children keep him sane.  He believes in the power of kindness.

He is not a mind reader, a mathematician, anyone’s enemy, a doctor, a stand-up comedian, a biologist, a gardener, or always right.  He loves peanut butter and can’t stand intolerance.

Jeff has been honored as one of the Pioneers who helped develop and implement closed captioning, the technology that makes media programs accessible to people with hearing impairments.  He helped found and operate VITAC, a great captioning company.  He retired from captioning in 2006 and took up writing novels, essays, songs, and children’s stories.

Born in New York City in 1948, Jeff grew up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where his father worked for an oil company.  He attended high school at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon, where he learned the value of words and an appreciation of natural beauty.

He has been married to Diane Mahler Hutchins since 1971.  They have two extraordinary daughters, Rachel and Nell.  Jeff and Diane moved to the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, in 2008.  He likes it there.


Peter Councell

Manager of Marketing & Operations

PETER COUNCELL is a social media professional and part-time session musician and recording engineer. He is Chief Strategist of Be Heard Social Media Solutions, LLC, a boutique social media marketing agency located in Black Mountain, North Carolina that specializes in strategically developing and managing authentic brand awareness campaigns, select social communities, and meaningful analytics to help artists, bands, musicians, small businesses, and non-profits grow their voice and connect with their following. Peter has a B.A. in Music Business and a concentration in Piano Performance from Montreat College. He has overseen marketing campaigns for Bubbleland Imagination Co. and managed production of "Songs of Bubbleland" CD.


Jerald Pope

Illustrator

JERALD POPE has a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of Tulsa and a Master of Humanities degree from Old Dominion University. As a visual artist, he has won many awards, drawn covers and cartoons for various weekly tabloid newspapers, as well as written and illustrated several children’s books (see: HareBrandIdeas.com)

Pope has had a tempestuous relationship with the theater for over forty years, since he founded the award-winning American Theater Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1970. He has toured extensively in the grass roots theater movement, and directed internationally, including the Portuguese premier of Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real. He is a co-founder, with his wife, Rebecca Williams, of Serpent Child Ensemble, a nonprofit arts company dedicated to the creation of community-based art..

The design of Bubbleland is strongly influenced by small-town 1950’s mid-America.


Lisa Aimee Sturz

Puppet Master

LISA AIMEE STURZ, Artistic Director for Red Herring Puppets, is an Emmy-award winning puppeteer creating and performing puppets for film, television, schools, theaters, libraries, opera, symphonies, museums, and special events. Her many credits include Henson Productions, Lucasfilm, PBS, Disney Imagineering, NBC, and Chicago’s Lyric Opera. Her company, Red Herring Puppets, specializes in curriculum-based “edutainment” earning the UNIMA citation of Excellence.  Her adult work raises awareness for social, economic, and environmental concerns.


Sybil Argintar

Curriculum Writer

SYBIL ARGINTAR has served in the past as a director of religious education for preschool through high school, and has worked as a volunteer for most of the past twenty-five years, in public schools and other local organizations.  She has also served as Youth Committee Chair of Asheville Sister Cities and is currently co-chairing the position of Youth Services for the Valladolid, Mexico sister city with her husband Gary.  This position works with children and older youth in the paired cities of Asheville, North Carolina and Valladolid, Mexico, to spearhead communications, technical assistance, and student exchanges.  Sybil has extensive professional training in early childhood education and working with elementary age children, older youth, and teachers.  She believes strongly that children learn best when they can participate, are heard with an open mind and heart, and can have fun with their peers!


Dustin Harrell

Web Developer

DUSTIN HARRELL (Web Developer/Project Manager @ The Wired Mouse) has been developing and designing creative websites for over a decade, and has worked on regional as well as nationally targeted web projects.


Kenny Capps

Production Director

KENNY CAPPS (owner of Kudzu Printing Company) is a graduate of the University of Georgia and University of Denver College of Law. With talents in art and design, Kenny saw an opportunity to tap into his creative side while meeting a need in the business world. Kenny’s skills include design, drawing, project management, and the ability to produce and install almost anything. In June 2013, he started Kudzu Printing Company, a craft micro-printer, as a partner company to Kudzu Branding & Design.


Murphy Funkhouser Capps

Brand Manager

MURPHY FUNKHOUSER CAPPS (owner of Kudzu Branding & Design) is a graduate of Brevard College. She also studied the arts at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Tennessee. She spent 10 years in corporate training and operations management before finally realizing her bliss in the marketing world. Murphy’s skills include design, strategy, copywriting, art direction, project management and big ideas. She began growing Kudzu Branding & Design with her husband, Kenny Capps, in August of 2011.


George Scott

Music Director

GEORGE SCOTT was raised in the wilds of Western North Carolina, and has enjoyed, created, and performed music most of his life.  His musical experiences range from singing in the church choir as a child, to classical and jazz piano lessons, to playing bass-trombone in jazz ensembles, to organ and piano in rock-and-soul and blues bands.  As operator of Juicebox Studios, he has leveraged this varied experience to co-produce and engineer albums for Vince Junior and Ol' Hoopty.  He has led the production of a variety of custom music projects for individuals and businesses.


Denton the Dragon

Star

DENTON the DRAGON was born in a cave in the Bubble Mountains, not far from Pingletown, the largest city in Bubbleland.  Denton does not know how old he is, though he recalls two summers and two winters.  He can remember a pretty dragon smiling down at him when he was a baby.  He thinks that was his mother, but he does not know where she is now or what happened to any other dragons.  All he knows is that he has lived alone for as long as he can remember.

Lots of people think that dragons can fly, but Denton has no wings and he cannot fly, no matter how hard he tries.

When Denton lived in the mountains, he would roar as loud as he could so his roar would echo across the mountains and he could pretend other dragons were coming to see him.  After Little Rachel came to investigate and found Denton living alone, he came to live in her front yard in Pingletown.  Now he has lots of friends, but he still wishes there were other dragons.  His favorite color is green and his favorite food is fried furfels.  He is not afraid of anything, but is not fond of spiders.