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All biographies were written and submitted by the candidates.
Diane Capriola is co-owner and co-founder of Little Shop of Stories, a children’s bookstore in Decatur, Georgia. Known for its robust event programming and creative school and community partnerships, Little Shop was awarded the WNBA Pannell award in 2010 and again in 2020. Little Shop of Stories was an integral partner in the growth and caliber of all-youth programming for the AJC Decatur Book Festival, and Diane served as the festival’s Children and Teen Programming Manager from 2013 through 2019.
Diane has served on both the ABC Advisory Committee and the ABA Bookseller Advisory Council and was appointed to the ABA Board in May 2022 to fill the board seat of Christine Onorati as she became Board President. Diane currently serves on the Audit, Nominating, and CEO Review Committees.
Capriola states, “I’ve really been inspired by my time serving on the board this past year. It is an incredibly talented, smart, and forward thinking group of people dedicated to finding workable and realistic solutions to the multitude of challenges we face as booksellers. I am grateful for the opportunity to add the children’s bookselling perspective to our conversations and to give voice to the specific and unique challenges (and joys!) we face in our important work with children, families, and schools.” In 2017, Diane was named an Atlanta Women Making a Mark by Atlanta Magazine. She thinks children’s books will save the world.
Jessica Stockton Bagnulo is the owner of Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, which she co-founded in 2009. Prior to opening the store, she worked as a bookseller, manager, and events coordinator at great New York bookstores including Three Lives & Co., Book Culture, and McNally Jackson, and worked a brief stint in publishing. Jessica ran events and marketing at Greenlight for 12 years before becoming the sole owner.
Jessica has served on the board of NAIBA and the Booksellers Advisory Council of the ABA, and was involved in the development of the Emerging Leaders project for mentoring and networking for young booksellers. She has served on the Digital Task Force and Indies Introduce panel, co-created and co-taught the Events & Marketing Module of NAIBA’s Professional Bookseller School, and has spoken at numerous industry events on topics including community partnerships, large-scale events, graphic novels in bookstores, and bookstore funding models. She also serves on the executive board of her neighborhood Business Improvement District, and has served several terms on the Consistory of the church where she and her husband were married in 2007.
Greenlight Bookstore now has two locations in Brooklyn, both of which were funded largely through a unique Community Lender model, and opened a spinoff stationery store, Yours Truly, Brooklyn, in 2018. Both bookstores are located in historically Black neighborhoods, and have been lauded as queer-friendly businesses; the company has always highlighted creators of color in its curation and programming, and started an ongoing process of examining policies and practices to become a more anti-racist, anti-bias company in 2020. Greenlight’s staff unionized with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in 2021; the company voluntarily recognized the union, and signed a contract in April 2022.
Stockton Bagnulo adds, “Bookselling is my life’s work, and for me that is the work of welcome: it’s bringing people into wonderful spaces for great conversations with fellow humans and with books that go on and on. I think we as an industry are still moving toward the goal of being truly welcoming, in terms of opening up our stores to previously marginalized communities and opening up livable wages and quality of life for booksellers. I’ve had an enormous amount of wonderful mentorship, support, and good luck in this work so far, and I still have a lot to learn; I’m eager for the chance to listen and to give back as a member of the board. I love being part of the conversation about the future and potential of our industry, and I’m excited for the possibilities for meeting new challenges, exploring new ideas and models, and expanding the welcome that indie stores are able to offer for communities everywhere.”
Lisa Swayze has been the General Manager and Buyer at Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca’s cooperatively-owned independent bookstore, since 2017. Buffalo Street Books was named Business of the Year by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance in 2022. Lisa previously spent 10 years in bookselling at the iconic Wordsworth Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a long break in between to work in fundraising and raise a child. Lisa is also an instructor in Store Operations Management in the Professional Booksellers School.
Swayze shares, “The business of independent bookselling as it stands today is unsustainable. For most independent bookstores it’s a constant struggle to survive, which makes bookselling an extremely stressful profession. Most of us struggle to pay a fair wage or provide employee benefits, so how can we sustain strong staffing? And while indie bookstores do so much to empower and enrich our communities, many or most are balancing dangerously on the edge of financial disaster. Imagine how much more we could do without some of these constraints! I also think it’s important to acknowledge the inherent gatekeeping in our industry that is another result of unsustainable economics and the subsequent proliferation of stores that are owned largely by white people who have the means to self-fund their passion for books. This is not a problem in and of itself (who doesn’t love anyone who loves books!), but who is kept out of the indie bookselling world because of it is a huge problem. So is the fact that those realities mean industry-wide financial data is inherently skewed, setting up unrealistic goals for stores without that kind of economic clout.”
“My goal in serving on the board of the American Booksellers Association is to support the exciting efforts so many of my fellow booksellers are making to solve these problems. I believe my role as a representative of a cooperative bookstore will provide a valuable viewpoint to the board.”
Tegan Tigani of Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle has been the Children’s Book Buyer for the store since it opened in 2013, and was a bookseller and kids’ buyer at her neighborhood bookstore for 11 years before that. She also is one of the store’s book club facilitators and has worked as a store manager and event coordinator in the past. Like most longtime booksellers, she has worn many hats throughout her career. In addition to her bookstore work, she does contract developmental editing and was an Editor-at-Large for Little Bigfoot, Sasquatch Books’ children’s imprint, for over a decade. She previously served as PNBA Awards Committee Chair, PNBA Board President, BAC and ABC Advisory Council member, and Kids’ Indies Introduce Chair for ABA. She has been an ABA Board Director since 2019. Tigani states, “I am proud to serve ABA members and represent booksellers in our industry. Active listening, a hopeful outlook, and creative thinking are all important parts of my professional career that I hope to continue to use on behalf of ABA.”
Holly Weinkauf is the owner of Red Balloon Bookshop in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she combines her passion for kids and books with a commitment to small business and community. She has also worked as a Children’s Librarian and educator. In 2011, after moving with her family from New Mexico to Minnesota , she bought the bookshop from the two women who founded Red Balloon in 1984. As the owner/manager of Red Balloon, Holly sets the vision and priorities of the store and works to keep her incredible staff moving together toward shared priorities. While she is involved in many of the day to day operations of the store, she aims to keep her focus on building relationships and partnerships, managing the finances, and shepherding new projects that help Red Balloon connect more kids with more books.
Weinkauf shares, “As a board member, in addition to building on the momentum of the current initiatives, I would encourage the association to find new partnerships that bring new ideas, tools, and efficiencies to our 2,500+ stores to help us all stay vibrant. I would also bring another voice to the board that can speak to important issues in children’s bookselling, which impact all of our stores because we all depend on the fostering of new generations of readers. I welcome the opportunity to give back to this bookselling community that has given so much to me. I am excited to work with the ABA Board and staff to continue to support this generation of ABA members who will help grow the current and next generations of passionate readers.”