On Tuesday, September 3, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance announced that Executive Director Wanda Jewell will retire in June 2020.
“Serving as SIBA’s executive director for the past 30 years has been the honor of my life,” Jewell wrote in a letter to SIBA members. “I am so proud of all we have accomplished together. SIBA is seen as forward-looking, innovative, and smart — an organization willing to take risks without being risky. I treasure the reputation we have earned.”
SIBA President Kimberly Daniels Taws shared the board’s heartfelt thanks to Jewell, commenting, “Wanda ushered Southern booksellers into the digital age working tirelessly to give everyone the skills to thrive. Her ‘try anything’ attitude has led to fun, silly times but mostly to great innovations, including the board’s adoption of policy governance. We are grateful for all that Wanda has given SIBA. She has epitomized the heart of the organization by her energy, dedication, passion, and creative nature.”
The board has hired The Nexus Institute Principal Nanette Blandin to help begin the search for Jewell’s successor. “Nanette is highly recommended by those who have worked with her at the American Booksellers Association in the past. In 2014, she led the search for the ABA’s Chief Financial Officer position, and in 2018, she was the outside consultant to ABA’s Governance Review Committee, which was tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of ABA’s governance and making recommendations for improvement,” Taws noted.
The board has set up time for SIBA members to give feedback at the upcoming Discovery Show in Spartanburg and will be naming a search committee within the month.