ABA Announces 2023 Board Director & Officer Candidates

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The petition process is now open, which means members may write in candidates to stand for election. Find more information below. 

The ABA Board of Directors met last week and approved the ABA Nominating Committee’s recommendation of three candidates to stand for election to three-year terms as directors on the ABA Board as well as the slate for ABA Board Officers. The election will fill three vacancies: Current Board President Christine Onorati’s (WORD) six years on the board are coming to an end as her term as President ends, Board Director Angela María Spring’s (Duende District Books) five years on the Board are coming to an end as she steps down from her term a year early to focus on her family and upcoming creative projects; Board Director Melanie Knight (Books, Inc.) is leaving the book industry to pursue a different career and will be stepping down from the ABA Board. (Currently there is also a vacant seat awaiting an appointment by the Board.)

Recommended to stand for election to three-year terms (2023–2026) are:

  • Holly Weinkauf, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN, Children’s Bookstore, Owner
  • Lisa Swayze, General Manager and Buyer, Buffalo Street Books, Cooperatively-Owned Independent Bookstore in Ithaca, NY
  • Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY, General Bookstore, Owner

Other directors on the current board are up for re-election:

  • Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, is running for a second term and ABA Board President (see below).
  • Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, was appointed last year and is running for her first term.

A ballot for the 2023 Board elections will be sent to ABA members via email the week of March 1, at least 60 days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting; the deadline for return of the ballots will be 11:59 pm ET April 5. THERE WILL NOT BE AN EXTENSION.

The ballot will include space for write-in candidates. The new board of directors will be announced in BTW on April 12. The virtual ABA Membership Meeting will be held on May 25, 2022, at 2:00 pm ET.

Under ABA Bylaws, any bookstore member may submit petitions to have the names of additional candidates for Board Officers and/or Directors added to the ballot. Should bookstore members wish to submit a petition, the following apply:

  • A candidate must be an employee or owner of an ABA member bookstore. The member bookstore must be in good standing, and the individual candidate must have at least three years’ experience in a bookstore-member company.
  • Each petition can present only one candidate and, to be valid, must name a candidate who meets the qualifications for office established under the Bylaws.
  • Booksellers who wish to petition to be put on the ballot should ask their supporters to email [email protected] with their endorsement of the petitioner; the supporters will then be asked to send their original signature to ABA by mail. Petitioners are also asked to email Nominating Committee Chair Jake Cumsky-Whitlock to let him know that their petition is on the way.
  • All original signatures must be postmarked by February 12, 2023, and mailed to the Chair, ABA Nominating Committee, c/o ABA, 333 Westchester Avenue, Suite S202, White Plains, New York 10604. 
  • The names on the petition in support of the candidate must reflect at least two percent of ABA Bookstore Members as of January 1, 2023; that is a minimum of 43 signatures. The petition must contain original signatures and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of bookstore members in at least five states, with representatives of no one state constituting more than 50 percent of the total number of petition signatures.
  • Upon receipt of a valid petition, the candidate’s name will be added to the ballot sent to ABA membership.

The ABA Board would like to thank this year’s Nominating Committee:

  • Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, Solid State Books, Washington, DC (Vice-Chair) (Chair)
  • Melanie Knight, Books, Inc., San Francisco, CA (Vice-Chair) 
  • Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
  • Rosa Hernandez, Third Place Books, Seattle, WA
  • Javier Ramirez, Exile in Bookville, Chicago, IL

The ABA Board has also selected officers for 2023–2025: 

Jenny Cohen, Waucoma Bookstore, Hood River, OR is selected to serve a two-year term as Board Vice President. Jenny has co-owned Waucoma with her husband, Muir, since 2008 when they purchased the bookstore from a family friend in her husband’s hometown. Jenny is a former member of the ABA Booksellers Advisory Council, a former Board Member of Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA), and a past PNBA Book Awards Committee member. She’s developed numerous education sessions for PNBA and was a beta tester for Edelweiss+.


Cynthia Compton, 4 Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville, IN and MacArthur Books in Carmel, IN, is selected to serve a two-year term as Board Vice President/Secretary. Cynthia opened 4 Kids, a children’s book store, in 2003, and moved the store to its current location in 2008. She has served as President of the Great Lakes Booksellers Association, on the Booksellers Advisory Council, the ABC Advisory Panel, Nominating Committee, and led two Indies Introduce panels. In 2022, Cynthia opened the general bookstore MacArthur Books, in Carmel, IN. Cynthia has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Specialty Toy Association, and is active in nonprofit community leadership in Indianapolis.


Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA is selected to serve a two-year term as Board President. Tegan has been the Children’s Book Buyer for Queen Anne Book Co. in Seattle, WA since it opened in 2013 and was a bookseller and kids’ buyer at her neighborhood bookstore for 11 years before that. 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, and Kids’ Indies Introduce Chair for ABA. She has been an ABA Board Director since 2019.


The Board’s selection of officers must be ratified by ABA membership during this upcoming election.