Introducing Pete Mulvihill, ABA’s Newest Board Member

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At the end of this month, the American Booksellers Association will welcome Pete Mulvihill, the co-owner of Green Apple Books in San Francisco, California, to its Board of Directors. As announced last week, Mulvihill was elected by ABA bookstore members to serve a three-year term (2015–2018) as a Board director.

“Green Apple has benefited greatly from the Winter Institute and other ABA education, and I humbly hope to support that continuing education effort while also looking for new ways to support my fellow indie booksellers,” said Mulvihill, who started in the book business as a temp at Green Apple in 1993.

After progressing through the ranks at the store, in 2009, at the conclusion of a 10-year buyout agreement with then-owner Richard Savoy, Mulvihill became co-owner of the business with two other longtime employees, Kevin Hunsanger and Kevin Ryan. Under their leadership, Green Apple has grown and flourished and cemented its position as an integral part of the community. In 2014, Green Apple, which was named Publishers Weekly’s Bookstore of the Year,  opened a second location in San Francisco, Green Apple Books on the Park.

Mulvihill helped co-found the San Francisco Locally Owned Merchants Alliance, is an active member of the Clement Street Merchants Association, and regularly attends quarterly meetings with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee as part of a small business working group.

He is currently a member of both the ABA Booksellers Advisory Council and Digital Task Force and is treasurer for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association’s Board of Directors.

Motivated in part by Green Apple’s proximity to Silicon Valley, Mulvihill has long looked to remain technologically savvy. Now, he is eager to put some of his experiences to work on the Board to generate new ideas for IndieCommerce and IndieBound.

“I want to help figure out how best ABA can serve its member stores and keep them healthy and expanding,” said Mulvihill, acknowledging that much of what Green Apple has learned over the years comes from the generosity of fellow booksellers who are willing to share their experiences and best practices.

“I want to give back to the bookselling community that has given us so much. There’s still a lot for us to learn, and I feel this is an opportunity to continue to learn and to give back to the ABA membership that has helped our store thrive,” he added.

Mulvihill also hopes to put to good use the lessons he learned from spearheading last year’s inaugural California Bookstore Day, an event that grew into this month’s celebration of Independent Bookstore Day.

Coordinating an effort such as California Bookstore Day required the building of bridges among publishers, authors, and booksellers, said Mulvihill, in addition to “harnessing our shared passion for selling books and trying to find new ways to change the narrative of the struggling indie.”

The success of California Bookstore Day in 2014 was evident with reports of strong sales and huge community support. “There is a lot of enthusiasm for Bookstore Day because booksellers love what they do and the customers love what they do. It happens 365 days a year, but it’s fun to celebrate all on the same day,” he said.

Mulvihill will formally join the ABA Board at meetings in conjunction with this month’s BookExpo America in New York City.

All ABA members are encouraged to attend the Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, May 28, from 4:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., in Room 1E15/16 of the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The meeting agenda will include the formal announcement of ABA’s election results, reports from the president and CEO, a membership and financial update, and the opportunity for members to bring old and/or new business to the attention of the Board of Directors.