Stellar Lineup of Speakers on Tap for Winter Institute

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Winter Institute 2014 will welcome a host of speakers and panelists at an array of education sessions and keynote presentations during the January 21 – 24 event at Washington’s Westin Seattle. Featured speakers will share their expertise in areas from social media and marketing to business decision-making and third places during plenary sessions and other special events, alongside more than 30 breakout sessions presented by experienced booksellers and other experts.

Here’s a look at some of the event’s featured speakers:

Dan Heath: Opening Plenary Breakfast
Wednesday, January 22, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Grand Ballroom)

Author Dan Heath will open Winter Institute 2014 with a plenary talk based on the bestselling title Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work (Crown Business), co-authored with his brother, Chip. Heath will address how booksellers can stop agonizing over decisions, how to make group decisions without disruptive politics, and how to remain alert to key opportunities to evaluate important information and change course.

Dan Heath earned his bachelor’s degree from the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He worked as a researcher and case writer for Harvard Business School, co-founded the innovative college textbook publishing company Thinkwell, and is currently a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE Center. His two previous titles, also co-written with Chip, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (Crown Business) and Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Random House), were New York Times bestsellers and have been translated into 25 languages. Heath lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ryan Coonerty: Advanced Learning Session (Pre-Registration Required) — Managing the Changing Workplace
Wednesday, January 22, 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. (St. Helens)

Ryan Coonerty will be the presenter of an advanced learning session examining how to manage employees in a world that reflects a new economic reality, and how the rise in non-traditional work expectations calls for a new strategy and attitude for employees, business owners, and communities alike.

A former mayor of Santa Cruz, California, Coonerty is the chief strategist for NextSpace Coworking + Innovation, which he co-founded with Jeremy Neuner. NextSpace, a shared workspace, has nine locations across the country and has been featured by Fast Company, INC Magazine, and USA Today as the model for the future of work. Coonerty and Neuner are co-authors of the 2013 title The Rise of the Naked Economy: How to Benefit From the Changing Workplace (Macmillan). Coonerty is also the author of Etched in Stone: Enduring Words From our National Monuments (National Geographic).

Coonerty attended the University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College, earned his master’s degree from the London School of Economics, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Coonerty’s family owns Bookshop Santa Cruz, where he can regularly be found restocking hardback nonfiction.

The Seattle7Writers: Breakfast and Discussion
Thursday, January 23, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. (Grand Ballroom)

The Seattle7Writers is a nonprofit formed by Pacific Northwest authors as a means to support and foster a passion for the written word. Members of the group will be at the Winter Institute to discuss how the organization was founded, as well as its current work with the local independent business community. Seattle7Writers members and friends at the Winter Institute will include: 

Deb Caletti is an award-winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include The Nature of Jade, Stay, The Last Forever (coming in April) and Honey, Baby, Sweetheart (Simon Pulse), which won the Washington State Book Award and the PNBA Best Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her book for adults, He’s Gone, was released by Random House in April 2013 and will be followed by The Divorce Ranch in 2015. Caletti lives with her family in Seattle.

Carol Cassella, M.D., is a practicing physician and bestselling author of two novels, Oxygen and Healer, from Simon & Schuster, both of which were Indie Next List picks and finalists for the Washington State Book Award in fiction. Cassella attended Duke University for English and Baylor College of Medicine and is currently a Wall Street Journal expert panelist and associate editor of the Mind to Mind literary section in Anesthesiology. She has been Writer in Residence at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington, and the recipient of a writing residency at Hedgebrook retreat. She is a founding member of the Seattle7Writers and lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, with her family. Her new novel, Gemini, was the PNBA BuzzBook at the fall trade show and is an Indie Next List pick for March. It will be released by Simon & Schuster on March 4.

Tara Conklin won recognition for her 2013 New York Times bestselling novel The House Girl (William Morrow), which was selected by booksellers as the #1 Indie Next List pick for February of that year. Her writing has also appeared in The Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology (Bristol Review of Books Ltd.) and Pangea: An Anthology of Stories From Around the Globe (Thames River Press). Conklin earned her bachelor’s in history at Yale, a J.D. from New York University School of Law, and a master’s in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Conklin previously worked as a litigator in New York and London. She lives with her family in Seattle and is now a full-time writer. (Photo by Mary Grace Long)

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 suspense novels, one young adult novel, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her 1988 title A Great Deliverance (Bantam) was honored with the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, and France’s Le Grand Prix de Literature Policiere, and was also nominated for the Edgar and the Macavity Awards. George attended the University of California in Riverside and earned her master’s in counseling and psychology from California State University at Fullerton, which also awarded her an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Her most recent Lynley mystery, Just One Evil Act (Dutton), was published in October 2013.

Erik Larson is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including The Devil in the White City (Crown/Vintage), which won an Edgar Award, was a National Book Award finalist, appeared on various Times lists for a total of 10 years, and was optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio. Larson’s most recent work, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (Crown/Broadway Books), made it to number one on the New York Times bestseller list and was optioned by Tom Hanks. Larson studied Russian history, language, and culture at the University of Pennsylvania and received his master’s in journalism from Columbia University. He has worked as a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal and as a both a staff and contributing writer for Time magazine. He lives with his family in Seattle and is at work on his next project. (Photo by Benjamin Benschneider)

Jennie Shortridge is a founding member of Seattle7Writers and has published five acclaimed novels, with her most recent, Love Water Memory (Gallery Books), landing spots as an IndieBound Indie Next List pick, a Now in Paperback selection, and a Reading Group recommendation. Shortridge spent 15 years in marketing and advertising and, at 35, began her career in writing. After writing for regional publications, Shortridge’s work began hitting national magazines, including Madmeoiselle, Glamour, Southwest Art, and Natural Home, and her first book, Riding with the Queen (NAL Trade), was published in 2003. (Photo by Natalia Dotto)

Garth Stein published The Art of Racing in the Rain (Harper) in 2008, which became a New York Times bestseller and was selected as the number one Book Sense pick (precursor to the Indie Next List) for June of that year. In addition to two previous novels and a play, Stein has also produced several award-winning documentaries. Stein co-founded Seattle7Writers and lives in Seattle with his family. (Photo by Frank Huster)

Geno Church: The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking, and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing
Thursday, January 23, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Pine)
Friday, January 24, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Cascade II)

Geno Church is the Word of Mouth (WOM) Inspiration Officer for Brains on Fire, the Greenville, South Carolina, marketing firm that worked with the American Booksellers Association to launch the IndieBound movement. Church considers himself a “WOM Cupid” and a pathfinder for the agency’s clients. He shines at uncovering the DNA of sustainable word of mouth movements, and has walked the path with brands and organizations including Fiskars Brands, the National Center for Families Learning, Anytime Fitness, Love146, and The Environmental Defense Fund. Church is a highly sought-after speaker who relishes the opportunity to share his thoughts and spark conversation with brand and organizations of all sizes. He has been a presenter and a workshop facilitator at events hosted by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Blackbaud BBCON (Australia), Influence Session Sydney, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, to name a few. Church is also the co-author of Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements (Wiley).

Whitney Keyes: Making Social Media Work for Your Store
Thursday, January 23, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Pike)

Whitney Keyes, author of Propel: Five Ways to Amp-Up Your Marketing and Accelerate Business (Career Press), will provide booksellers with tips for implementing effective social media practices in their stores.

Keyes began her career in her family’s wholesale and retail art businesses. She later worked for the City of Tacoma’s Economic Development Department and managed the Neighborhood Business District Revitalization Program. Keyes won the Small Business Administration’s 2013 Women in Business Champion of the Year Award for Washington State and received three grants from the U.S. State Department to help in her work toward empowering women leaders, social entrepreneurs, and youth in Malaysia and Africa. She currently serves as a professor and fellow at the Center for Strategic Communications at Seattle University and guest lectures at University of Washington while managing a consulting practice, writing for business publications, and speaking at workshops and keynotes.

Ray Oldenburg and Ron Sher: The Small & Independent Press Breakfast
Friday, January 24, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. (Grand Ballroom)

Author Ray Oldenburg, whose books include The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community (Marlowe & Company, dist. by PGW) and Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories About the “Great Good Places” at the Heart of Our Communities (Da Capo), will be interviewed by Ron Sher, owner of Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park and Ravenna, Washington. Their discussion will focus on how independent bookstores and similar venues remain important “third places” in every community as social spaces for the public to come together and create relationships.

Oldenburg earned his bachelor’s in English and social studies at Mankato State University and his master’s and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. He has held positions at the University of West Florida, the University of Nevada, Stout State University, and the University of Minnesota, and previously worked as a schoolteacher and as a dental technician in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. As a consultant, Oldenburg currently offers advice and assistance in developing community gathering places.

Ron Sher has always been interested in creating vibrant communities and great urban places for both social and environmental reasons. His career path was through real estate development, and in 1988 he took over the deteriorating Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue, Washington, eventually turning it into a community hub. Inspired by the work of Ray Oldenburg, Sher founded the first Third Place Books at the Town Center Shopping Center in Lake Forest Park and co-founded the Friends of the Third Place Commons, a 501(c3) organization to manage the Commons. Sher is also a former owner of The Elliott Bay Book Company. As a consultant on “place making,” Sher has worked locally and nationally on projects to create more open spaces for public use. The places developed locally by Sher provide more than 3,000 free events per year for the public. Sher has an MBA from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University. Today he considers himself as much as anything a cycling activist.

Arielle Eckstut and Joann Eckstut: Creating Compelling Store Design With Color
Friday, January 24, 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. (Pine)

Arielle Eckstut and Joann Eckstut, the authors of The Secret Language of Color (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers), will teach booksellers how to identify the best places to use color in their stores and how to go about doing it. Session topics will include revamping branding and signage, selecting the right color palette for the storefront, and building eye-catching window displays.

Arielle Eckstut is the author of eight books, including The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published (Workman), and is the co-founder, with her husband, David Henry Sterry, of The Book Doctors, which offers a variety of services to help writers publish their books. She is also co-founder of the girls’ clothing line LittleMissMatched, which has become a national brand with stores across the U.S.. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

A leading color consultant, Joann Eckstut is the founder of the prominent New York City interior design firm The Roomworks. She was selected by the Color Association of the United States to create the yearly interior/environmental forecast and is the author of Room Redux: The Home Decorating Workbook (Chronicle) and The Color Palette Primer: A Guide to Choosing Ideal Color Combinations for Your Home (Broadway). She lives in Rensselaerville, New York.