Director’s Desk: To Serve and Lead on the Front Lines

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April 2015
by Angela Bole

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Five new directors have now been elected to serve on IBPA’s board of directors, starting July 1, 2015. Our board is a leadership team of 14 (13 directors plus our board chair) that works hard to promote, develop, and otherwise further the independent publishing industry, and to educate and connect our members. The people on the board are also part of IBPA’s extended family, carrying forth traditions established and upheld by the literally hundreds of indie publishers who served before them.

Please join me in welcoming the new directors. They are Ian Lamont of i30 Media Corporation, Karla Olson of Patagonia Books, Joshua Tallent of Firebrand Technologies, Elizabeth Turnbull of Light Messages Publishing, and Mark Wesley of me+mi publishing, Inc. Welcome!

Contributions and Commitments

Being an IBPA board member entails a commitment of responsibility and time. The board meets quarterly (twice a year in person for multiday meetings and twice a year online for full-day sessions). Each board member brings a unique set of skills and perspectives to these meetings. All board members contribute to IBPA by promoting its programs, generating goodwill for the organization, creating and reviewing strategic plans, setting and adjusting long-term priorities, monitoring the management of financial resources, growing the membership, and supporting the staff.

In addition, as part of their service, they agree to align with IBPA’s Core Values. These are the implicitly understood, deeply held convictions that guide the spirit and nature of the IBPA board, staff, and volunteers. They include:

  • Service, which expresses IBPA’s commitment to openness and accessibility. IBPA’s desire to be authentically and truly helpful—with no other agenda— reflects an understanding that the essence of leadership is service.
  • Leadership, which expresses IBPA’s position as the largest professional book-publishing association in the United States, as well as IBPA’s commitment to providing expert programs and perspectives to aid independent, hybrid, and self-publishers in the business of publishing.
  • Independence, which expresses IBPA’s deep commitment to independent points of view and the belief that enabling access to these points of view is essential to creativity and innovation.

In short, IBPA board members are on the front lines when it comes to fulfilling IBPA’s mission of leading and serving the independent publishing community by providing advocacy, education, and tools for success, as well as by living our motto, “Helping each other achieve and succeed.”

IBPA would not be successful without our board members’ commitment to the strength of indie publishing coupled with their expert guidance. It’s a privilege to work with them.

Saying Goodbye

Of course, bringing new members on is always bittersweet because it means we must say goodbye to some longtime friends, at least in terms of working with them on the IBPA board.

The board members who will be leaving on June 30, 2015, after four years of service are Peter Goodman of Stone Bridge Press, Tom Doherty of Cardinal Publishers Group/Blue River Press, MaryAnn Kohl of Bright Ring Publishing, Inc., Christopher Robbins of Familius, and Janice Schnell-Butler of Lightning Source, Inc.

Peter, Tom, MaryAnn, Christopher, and Janice brought a great deal to IBPA during their years of service. Not only will we miss their camaraderie and support, we will miss the wisdom they were always so willing to share.

Beyond the Board to You

The IBPA board is a key group with the opportunity and the challenge to ensure the health, financial well-being, and growth of our organization. But they’re not the only key group. Our membership in general is also a strong force for advancing the cause of independent publishing through participation in IBPA.

I invite you to ask yourself how you might be a key player in carrying out IBPA’s mission. For example, you might share your experiences with the staff via e-mail and phone, and you might also share them by writing an article for this magazine (contact Judith Appelbaum via judith@ibpa-online.org if that third possibility interests you).

Also, you might network and mentor (or take on a mentor to keep working with) through our LinkedIn forum or during Publishing University. In the next week, month, or year, you might find many ways to help at least one other IBPA member achieve and succeed.

So you can find the right fit, your IBPA staff—including Terry, Patti, Molly, and me—are here to listen and to help. As always, please feel free to call on us anytime.

A complete list of IBPA board members is available online at ibpa-online.org/about/board-members.


About the Author:

Bole,Angela(HeadShot1)Just before Angela Bole became IBPA’s Executive Director, she was Deputy Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG), which fosters conversation and consensus across all sectors of the book business. Before that, Angela served for two years as BISG’s Associate Director and two years as its Marketing and Communications Manager. Angela also serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of IDPF, the International Digital Publishing Forum.

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