Publisher and Senior Vice President
Organization: Redleaf Press
David Heath has worked in the fields of education, entertainment, business, and publishing. He began his working life as a teacher. After five years as a high school teacher, he became an instructor in the theatre department at Wright State University in Ohio. He left Ohio for New York City with the idea that he would try his hand as a professional actor and then return to the university with knowledge and experiences that would help make him a better teacher.
In New York, he performed in Off-Off Broadway productions and earned a living as a temp office worker. While doing a temp job at the CBS Television Network, he was hired to do research for the Long Range Planning department. Leaving his nascent acting career, he began as a researcher, was promoted to financial analyst, and eventually to Manager of Long Range Planning for the network. As much as he enjoyed working at CBS, he decided that the business side of the entertainment industry was not where he belonged, and he returned to acting.
For the next several years, he made his living almost entirely as an actor and musician. He appeared in stage plays and musicals in New York and in regional theatres around the country, including an extended run in On Shiloh Hill at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. He created the role of Detective Markey in ABC’s soap One Life to Live. He was also a member of the resident acting company at New York’s Apple Corps Theater.
Between acting jobs, Heath took a freelance editing job at an educational publisher, Curriculum Concepts, Inc. And so began his 32-year career in publishing. Over the next six years, he moved up to eventually become Vice President of the editorial department. His next job was as the Director of Curriculum Product Development for American Guidance Service (AGS), an educational publisher in Minnesota. In that position, he oversaw the development of textbooks, workbooks, and assessment materials for high school students with special needs. Heath left AGS and started his own educational development house, Heath Associates, Inc. For ten years, Heath Associates did editorial, project management, production, and design work under contract with most of the major educational publishers including McGraw-Hill, Scholastic, Holt, Pearson, Harcourt, and Houghton-Mifflin.
For the last ten years, Heath has been with Redleaf Press, a leading publisher in the early childhood field. He began his Redleaf career as editor-in-chief, became the director two years ago, and recently became Publisher of Redleaf Press and Senior Vice President for Redleaf’s parent company, Think Small: Leaders in Early Learning. Under his leadership, Redleaf has gone from publishing twelve titles a year to over thirty titles a year. Along with traditional books, Redleaf has added e-books to its product mix. In addition, Redleaf began publishing children’s picture books in 2013 under the imprint of Redleaf Lane. Heath also established a publishing internship program at Redleaf for college seniors who are interested in working in the publishing industry. Over thirty interns have successfully completed the program, many of whom have gone on to careers in publishing after graduation.
Heath holds a B.A. in English from Ohio Northern University, an M.A. in theatre history and dramatic literature from Ohio University, teacher certification in high school English and speech, and is the author of six books.