Meet the Team
Aries Ann Caboteja Jones
Publishing Director Aries Jones has made writing, editing and reading a part of her daily life, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Aries graduated from the University of Houston in 2016 with a Bachelors in English: Creative Writing and Literature, with minors in Marketing and Psychology. While at UH, she was on the staff of Glass Mountain, the school’s nationally recognized undergraduate literary journal, as an Associate Fiction Editor. By her senior year, Aries became the journal’s Editor-in-Chief. It was this same year she began her year-long internship with Bright Sky Press, the predecessor to Bright Sky Publishing. Following graduation, Aries worked with a local digital marketing company, Adit, as a Content Writer, creating online content for various clients from ads and social media posts to blogs and SEO-friendly articles. She eventually became the company’s Content Director the following year in 2017, leading her very own team of writers in creating memorable content. She also worked part-time for Best in Class Education in Katy, TX as an English Teacher and later Manager. Missing her love for books, Aries decided to go back to school to pursue her Masters in Publishing with a concentration in Communications. Later, she reunited with Bright Sky Publishing in the fall of 2018 as the Operations Manager, shortly after the organization’s transition to nonprofit status. She is currently Bright Sky’s Publishing Director. Outside of work and school, you can find her writing, reading, playing her favorite video games or spending time with the people she loves.
Creative Director Mike Vance has taken a unique path to become a Texas historian, building on decades of work in professional media combined with a lifetime of history study. Mike is now the Creative Director at Bright Sky Publishing and the Content Coordinator for the upcoming remake of the Brenham Heritage Museum. Previously, he hosted a weekly regional history television program, co-hosted both a television sports show and an afternoon talk radio program in Houston, and performed a litany of award-winning national and regional voice over work and script and content writing. In 2005, Vance founded Houston Arts and Media, a non-profit organization that creates innovative ways to educate Texans about their history. Through HAM, Vance wrote, produced and directed feature length documentaries, short films, web content and publications on Texas and Houston. HAM merged with The Heritage Society for two years (2016-2018). There he conceived and managed the notable mural Mexican-American History & Culture in 20th Century Houston and oversaw programming both on and off the Heritage Society campus in downtown Houston. Today, Mike Vance is one of the best history story tellers in Texas. The documentary work that he has written, directed and produced has been recognized by top entities around the state and has enjoyed multiple airings on Texas PBS stations and on HISD-TV. His work totals seven feature length documentaries and over 100 short educational videos. His sixth book, Mud & Money: A Timeline of Houston History was released by Bright Sky Publishing in June 2019. It follows Murder and Mayhem in Houston that was released in October 2014 by The History Press and Houston Baseball: The Early Years: 1861-1961, from Bright Sky Press in April 2014. He also wrote Houston’s Sporting Life: 1900-1950 from Arcadia Publishing. Vance lectured for several years on Houston history topics as part of the Continuing Studies program at Rice University and currently serves on the Harris County Historical Commission where he has authored five historical markers and contributed to many others.
Marla Yadira Garcia
Senior Graphic Designer Marla Garcia graduated from The Art Institute of Houston with an Associate of Arts in Visual Communications. Following graduation, she found a job at a company where her work involved following the brand’s specific guidelines for their products. After a few months, she worked for Cregan Design as a Graphic Designer. The work there ranged from designing logos, annual reports, and newsletters, to every kind of printing material, as well as websites. Every project she took on was different, challenging and fun. She worked at Cregan Design for nearly eight years. In 2008, she joined the team of Bright Sky Press, now Bright Sky Publishing, as a Senior Graphic Designer. Today, she is responsible for designing books from start to finish, as well as designing, developing and maintaining the company’s e-commerce website, social media graphics and email blasts. The Bright Sky environment has helped her strengthen her abilities as a graphic designer and offer detailed attention to every project she puts her hands on.