Keiko F. Jones was born in Osaka, Japan. She came to the United States to attend Brigham Young University, where she was a member of Freshman Honor Society (Phi Eta Sigma) and graduated with a B.A. in linguistics and a minor in TESOL. While in school she volunteered teaching English to immigrants at the Provo Community School, for which she was presented the Carnation Community Service Award in 1990 by Utah governor Norman Bangerter. After graduation she continued at the school as one of the faculty. She began at Signature Books in 1993, currently as the business manager. Her most recent preoccupation is her adoption of two dogs: “an intelligent Australian shepherd and a goofy German shepherd.” She adds that she “lives on the wrong side of the tracks, enjoys lazy weekends reading mysteries, going with friends to movies, dining out, traveling, and walking on the wild side!” One of her special skills is kimono making (she has a diploma from the Nara Wasai Senmon Gakko). Of her life, Keiko says, “It’s not perfect, but I like it!”
Greg Jones was born and raised in Provo, Utah. He likes time in the mountains camping and attending Burning Man. Audio electronics and home theater is a hobby, along with gardening. He and his partner have two cairn terriers which are rather demanding of any free time. Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Tosca, Ben Harper, FSOL, and Nine-Inch Nails are just some of the musical groups he enjoys. True Blood, South Park, Dexter, and Real Time with Bill Maher are television programs regularly watched. His favorite reading is fantasy novels and current events. What is an ideal weekend for him? “Hopping into my truck and making a beer run to California with people you love, great music, … and your tent.” Greg oversees the warehouse and is Signature’s e-book editor.
Ron Priddis says that this is a rare picture of him since he doesn’t get out much. “And maybe that’s the reason for the few extra pounds over what I looked like as a skinny kid growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area.” He emphasizes that he wasn’t raised in the city itself “but in the boring, uniform suburbs.” He had a typical LDS upbringing: president of the Deacons Quorum, an Eagle Scout (a prerequisite to receiving a driver’s license in the Priddis household), and Pioneer Day celebrations spent at Lake Berryessa. In high school, he won a statewide forensics competition in Sacramento for a speech on Mormon renegade Samuel Brannan, an early indication of a future interest in Mormon history, especially of the renegade stripe. The speech led to an invitation to participate in a fund-raiser for Richard Nixon in San Francisco (a horror he was too naive to appreciate at the time). He went to BYU, served an LDS mission to Switzerland, returned to BYU, and along the way helped found the off-campus newspaper, The Seventh East Press. After graduation, he was hired by Signature Books to help research and write Brigham Young University: A House of Faith. Ever since, he has been with Signature Books, currently as the senior editor and managing director. Ron likes music (opera and world music a la Lisa Gerrard and Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn), sitcoms (BBC America), things German (can’t miss the Deutsche Welle broadcast out of Berlin), Italian restaurants, novels, and peace and quiet, something rare at the Signature Books office.
Devery Anderson and his three brothers were raised among the timber companies, paper mills, and aluminum plant of Longview, Washington, on the Columbia River. During high school he worked weekend graveyard shifts washing dishes at a restaurant known for its interesting aprés-bar crowd that would arrive each night about 2:00 a.m. and wreak havoc with Devery’s circadian rhythm. After high school he attended Ricks College in Idaho before serving an LDS mission to London, England. Afterward, he returned to Ricks College, where he met his wife, Kandy. They moved back to Longview and began a family. For nearly a decade, Devery devoted what spare time he had to reading historical tomes while working at the local aluminum plant and raising children. He started a legendary Mormon study group that had about fifty members. When the factory began laying off people in 1993, Devery took advantage of an offer that allowed him to return to school, all expenses paid. He and Kandy sold their house, packed up the family, and moved to Salt Lake City where he began attending the University of Utah in the fall of 1994, eventually earning a B.A. in history. For one class project, he investigated the origins of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, which he later turned into an award-winning history, published as a four-part series in the journal itself. While in school, he also began studying the murder of Emmitt Till, the black teenager whose death helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. Devery contacted and became friends with Till’s mother. He has since lectured throughout the country and maintains a website, emmitttillmurder.com, on the topic; he is also writing a book on Till. Devery has researched and co-edited with Gary Bergera an award-winning series of three volumes on Mormon temple worship (MHA Best Documentary Book Award): Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, 1842-1845; The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846; The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000. He is now completing a biography on Willard Richards, an early LDS apostle who was present in Carthage jail with Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith, when Smith was murdered in 1844. Devery is an editor with Signature Books.
John Hatch was born and raised in Salt Lake. Growing up his enjoyment tended toward history over football, tech over partying, old movies, current events, cutting-edge literature such as Blood Meridian, and films by David Fincher. He served an LDS mission to upstate New York; his first job was with Deseret Book, where he became the lead supervisor of one of their large stores. He earned a degree in history from the University of Utah and was managing editor of Sunstone magazine. He later supervised a team at the Verizon Wireless tech support department. In 2006 he annotated a first-person account of a Mormon dignitary, published as Danish Apostle: The Diaries of Anthon H. Lund. John has been a staff editor for the Journal of Mormon History and blogger for “By Common Consent” in its early days. He “loves to read, write, watch old detective movies, cook dinner for my family, and discuss politics and religion—even in polite company.” He has written four feature-length screenplays and numerous shorts. One script, based in part on research by Signature editor Devery Anderson and having to do with the Emmett Till murder, was a finalist at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and semi-finalist for the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is hoping to publish his senior thesis tracing Cecil B. DeMille’s involvement in erecting monuments to the Ten Commandments in city parks. He is also working on a biography of LDS Church president Lorenzo Snow. John is the acquisition editor at Signature Books.
Jason Francis has lived in Davis County most of his life. He met his wife, Michelle, at an LDS singles ward and married in 1999. He and his family love the ocean and visit it as often as possible. When asked, “So why stay in Utah?” He responds, “We also like Bear Lake,” and has it as a backup to the ocean when they can’t get there. He became interested in design from his Clearfield high school graphic arts class. Growing up, he worked as a film stripper at a local newspaper called the Davis County Clipper and now jokes that “not everyone gets to be a stripper for the Clipper.” He also worked at the Utah Tax Commission archives and eventually became the graphic artist at Weber State Printing Services, a job he enjoyed because he was able to work and continue at school simultaneously. Jason graduated from Weber State University in 2012. Jason is currently Signature’s production designer.
Stephanie Lauritzen grew up in Holladay Utah, where she now raises her own family. As a high school teacher, she enjoyed sneaking controversial primary source documents into an otherwise dry American History curriculum. Currently, she enjoys less subversive activities such as sewing and perfecting her cookie recipes. On occasion, she writes about feminism, education, and parenthood on her blog The Mormon Child Bride. Stephanie graduated with a degree in history from the University of Utah and a Masters in Arts in Teaching from Westminster College. She married her husband Dan after an embarrassingly short courtship, but thus far still enjoys being married. Her children are the most adorable and clever children on earth, a fact she is willing to debate with vigor and embarrassing intensity.