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IBPA Announces Board of Directors Candidates for Fiscal Years 2019 & 2020

Wednesday, February 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Candidates include representatives from IngramSpark, Homebound Publications, INscribe Digital, Burnt Cheese Press, Elva Resa Publishing, and Notable Kids Publishing


(Manhattan Beach, CA - February 7, 2018) -- The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) -- -- today announced a slate of six candidates in the association's fiscal year 2018 election cycle. The candidates were selected from a list of twenty new applicants and two incumbents gathered during IBPA’s open application period (November 15, 2017 through December 31, 2017).

IBPA members can expect to see the six candidates on the Board Ballot for membership vote at the April 7, 2018 Annual Membership Meeting scheduled during IBPA Publishing University in Austin, Texas. Each candidate is slated to serve a two-year term starting July 1, 2018.

The candidates are:

  • Leslie Browning (incumbent), Founder & Senior Editor, Homebound Publications
  • Robin Cutler (incumbent), Director, IngramSpark
  • Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito, Publisher, Elva Resa Publishing
  • Kelly Peterson, Director of Client Services, INscribe Digital, a division of Independent Publishers Group
  • Kathy Strahs, Founder, Burnt Cheese Press
  • Peter Trimarco, Co-Founder & Publisher, Notable Kids Publishing

"The incumbent and new Board member candidates all share IBPA's vision of a world where every independent publisher has the tools and knowledge needed to professionally engage in all aspects of the publishing industry," said IBPA Chief Executive Officer Angela Bole. "All of us on the IBPA staff look forward to working with the new and continuing Board members to ensure a level playing field for independent publishers.”

Before being placed on the list above, the candidates went through a months-long application process led by the IBPA Board Nominating Committee. As part of the process, the IBPA Board Nominating Committee reviewed written applications before settling on a short list of candidates for verbal interviews. Impressions from both the written application and verbal interview rounds were considered by the IBPA Board Nominating Committee prior to settling on the final list of recommended candidates.

In addition to the slate of candidates put forth by the IBPA Board Nominating Committee, under IBPA bylaws, IBPA members representing 2% of the voting power may nominate candidates for directorships at any time before the 60th day preceding the election – in this case, no later than February 7, 2018. On timely receipt of a petition signed by the required number of members, the names of the candidates on the petition will be placed on the ballot along with those candidates named by the IBPA Board Nominating Committee. For this nominating cycle, no additional candidates were put forth.

Members of the IBPA Board Nominating Committee included the following previous members of the IBPA Board of Directors: Janice Butler (Lightning Source), Rana DiOrio (March 4th, Inc.), Kelly Gallagher (Ingram Content Group), Peter Goodman (Stone Bridge Press), Deltina Hay (Elearning Delta & Dalton Publishing), and Marcella Smith (Marcella Smith Associates).

Leaving the IBPA Board of Directors on June 30, 2018 will be Keith Garton of Red Chair Press, Jim Milliot of Publishers Weekly, Shannon Okey of Cooperative Press, and Brooke Warner of She Writes Press. Garton is completing his first two-year term as director. Milliot, Okey, and Warner are completing their second two-year terms as directors.

Contact IBPA CEO Angela Bole at or 310-546-1818.

Candidate Bios:

Leslie (L.M.) Browning
Founder & Senior Editor, Homebound Publications

L.M. Browning is an award-winning author of twelve books. In 2010, she debuted with a three-title contemplative poetry series. These three books went on to garner several accolades including a total of 3 pushcart-prize nominations, the Nautilus Gold Medal for Poetry, and Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award. She has freelanced for several publications and has a biannual interview column in The Wayfarer magazine in which she has interviewed dozens of notable creative figures such as Academy Award-Nominated filmmaker Tomm Moore, Peabody-winning host of On Being Krista Tippett and celebrated poet David Whyte. Balancing her passion for writing with her love of learning, Browning is a graduate of the University of London, a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers, and sits on the Board of the Independent Book Publishers Association. In 2011, she founded Homebound Publications and its five divisions. She is currently working to complete a B.A. in Creative Writing and Journalism at Harvard University.

Robin Cutler
Director, IngramSpark

Robin Cutler is committed to helping independent publishers easily get their content into the hands of readers around the globe. To help make this happen, Robin leads the development of IngramSpark and continues to support and refine the platform to better serve independent publishers around the world. Robin has broad knowledge of indie, academic and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation and distribution, on-demand models, marketing, and author strategies. Robin is a leader in the independent publishing space, and when not developing new programs and services for IngramSpark, she can often be found sharing her expertise at industry events around the world.

Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito
Publisher, Elva Resa Publishing

Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito is founder and publisher of Elva Resa Publishing, a Minnesota-based traditional independent publisher whose primary imprint specializes in books for military families. The company’s online store,, is both a consumer retailer and wholesale distributor of bulk government sales. Karen is also publisher of Books Make A Difference magazine and a sought-after international speaker and consultant.

Karen’s executive-level business experience spans 21+ years in book publishing, 12 years in magazine publishing, and 6 years directing a global corporate e-business program in 60+ countries. Her areas of expertise include niche go-to-market strategies, nontraditional programs, and virtual teams.

An award-winning author, mom, songwriter, photographer, community advocate, and avid traveler, Karen strives to use her passions and talents to make a difference in people’s lives.

Kelly Peterson
Director of Client Services, INscribe Digital, a division of Independent Publishers Group

Kelly Peterson, the Director of Client Services at INscribe Digital, brings 20+ years of marketing and merchandising experience to her current role. She helps major trade publishers, university presses, independent publishers, authors and agents maximize their eBook sales and marketing efforts at the major retailers.

Prior to INscribe, Kelly worked at Borders Group Inc. for 14 years, initially with Waldenbooks and later running the eBook program. She sits on the board of Bay Area Women in Publishing and leads the educational events programming. She sees every Oscar nominee each year, and is always ready with a book or movie recommendation. Kelly loves talking about metadata and algorithms at a moment's notice, and believes that everyone has it within themselves to change the world.

Kathy Strahs
Founder, Burnt Cheese Press

Kathy Strahs is the award-winning author and publisher of The Lemonade Stand Cookbook and The 8x8 Cookbook. She is also the author of The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook (published by Harvard Common Press) and the voice behind the blogs,, and

A former marketer with an MBA from Stanford, Kathy founded Burnt Cheese Press, a food-focused independent publishing company, in 2015. Its first release, The 8x8 Cookbook, received the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Gold Award for Best First Book-Nonfiction. Its second release, The Lemonade Stand Cookbook, received a 2017 National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA).

Kathy has spoken at many BlogHer Food and TechMunch conferences, and has judged numerous cooking competitions. She lives with her husband and their two children in the Silicon Valley.

Peter Trimarco
Co-Founder & Publisher, Notable Kids Publishing

Peter Trimarco has been a successful publisher and executive producer throughout the past thirty years. His background has spanned from music production, marketing, and traditional product distribution, as president of an independent record label/distribution company, to co-founder and publisher of the film industry trade publication Beyond Cinema Magazine. In addition, he established Notable Kids Publishing for quality children’s books, while also delving into video books and augmented reality through a partnership with Playing Forward.

As a book publisher, Peter draws on an extensive background in design, print production and wholesale distribution of music, DVDs and periodicals. His years in media started in newspapers where he was an editorial cartoonist and newsroom art director. Through his work as a successful designer, he was introduced to opportunities as a creative director for advertising agency campaigns and ultimately film and music productions. Over time he became absorbed in all aspects of marketing, intellectual property rights, publishing, production and international distribution and licensing. His experience in film, music, publishing and distribution dovetails well with that of independent book publishing as the economies, distribution models and industry trends being compatible.

Throughout his tenure in the entertainment business, he executive produced and was creative director on dozens of productions, two of which garnered Grammy nominations. On the creative side, he designed over a hundred video and music album jackets, plus book covers, editorial feature art and ADDY Award-winning designs for print and billboards. Currently devoting most of his efforts to independent book publishing and promoting new children’s books, he has kept the ‘artsy thing’ going as illustrator and co-author of the “It’s Just So…” award-winning book series. Balancing the creative side along with helping new authors while drawing on many years of publishing experience across several platforms has provided challenges, rewards, new opportunities and a community of new and very creative friends.

About the Independent Book Publishers Association

Founded to support independent publishers nationwide, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) leads and serves the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. With over 3,000 members, IBPA is the largest independent publishing association in the U.S. Its vision is a world where every independent publisher has the tools and knowledge needed to professionally engage all aspects of the publishing industry. For more information, visit

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