A Report on the January 2020 ABA Board Meeting [6]

The American Booksellers Association’s Board of Directors [7] met January19–20, 2020, in Baltimore, just prior to the 15th Winter Institute.

Over the course of the meeting, the Board:

  • Heard a report from ABA President Jamie Fiocco on her activities on behalf of the association since the last full Board meeting, in October 2019, including:

  • Heard a report from Ms. Dallanegra-Sanger on her activities since the last full Board meeting, including:

    • Regular communications with incoming ABA CEO Allison Hill;
    • Working to finalize cost-saving changes to the ABA employee health care package;
    • Working with incoming CEO Hill to hire ABA’s new CFO, PK Sindwani [9], who until recently was the owner of Towne Book Center & Cafe [10] in Collegeville, Pennsylvania;
    • Regular communications with representatives of Batch for Books [11], the Booksellers Association of the U.K. and Ireland’s centralized online invoice payment and data system;
    • Working with colleagues to complete preparations for the upcoming Winter Institute [12], which was expected to host approximately 755 booksellers (including 292 first-timers) from 450 stores;
    • Working with colleagues on the logistics and programing of the upcoming Children’s Institute, which will take place June 22–24 at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, in Tucson, Arizona;
    • Working with colleagues on the logistics and programing of BookExpo 2020 [13], which will be held May 27–29 at the Javits Center in New York City.
    • Working with Independent Bookstore Day [14] (IBD) Program Director Samantha Schoech on the upcoming event, which will take place on April 25, 2020;
    • Overseeing the association’s staff review process;
    • Together with ABA Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen and ABA Senior Membership Manager Daniel O’Brien attending the annual meeting of executive directors of the regional trade associations;
    • Speaking to the Chicago Distribution Center regarding the independent bookstore channel. (The Chicago Distribution Center is providing a full range of fulfillment and distribution services to its client publishers and their customers worldwide.)
    • Joining the booksellers at Porter Square Books [15] in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to volunteer some help selling books in the holiday rush.
  • Received the report of the Nominating Committee, chaired by Kelly Estep of Carmichael’s Bookstore [16] in Louisville, Kentucky. The Board approved the committee’s recommendation of the following three candidates to stand for election as directors on the ABA Board and serve three-year terms (2020–2023):

Serving with Estep on this year’s Nominating Committee are ABA Board Member Jenny Cohen of Waucoma Bookstore [20] in Hood River, Oregon; Michael Herrmann of Gibson’s Bookstore [21], in Concord, New Hampshire; Annie Jones of The Bookshelf [22], in Thomasville, Georgia; and Linda McLoughlin Figel, of {pages} a bookstore [23], in Manhattan Beach, California.

  • Met with senior executives of the Ingram Content Group to discuss matters of mutual interest regarding the independent bookstore channel. Attending from Ingram were Shawn Everson, chief commercial officer; Donald Roseman, vice president of retail sales; Mark Ouimet, vice president and general manager of IPS, PGW, and Consortium; and Elise Cannon, vice president, sales.
  • Received an update from Ms. Dallanegra-Sanger and Mr. Cullen on ABA’s work leading up to Winter Institute 15.
  • Unanimously approved a combined ABA/BSI FY20 budget of $7,457,650 (which does not include ABA’s insurance company, LIBRIS).
  • Received a financial report from Mr. Sindwani on the results of ABA’s operations and investment portfolio.
  • Met with Williams Jones Investment Management representative Tom MacCowatt, partner and senior equity portfolio manager, and John Cummings, partner and senior fixed income portfolio manager, who presented a report on the association’s investment holdings.
  • Met with Mark Pearson, co-founder and CEO of Libro.fm, to discuss matters of mutual interest.