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IBPA Elects Karla Olson New Board Chair; Proposes Six At-Large Candidates

Monday, February 3, 2020   (2 Comments)
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Karla Olson is the director of Patagonia Books, which publishes books as a mission outreach within the sports clothing company, Patagonia, Inc. She is also the president of IBPA affiliates PWSD and PWOC, and founder of Read Local, a marketing coalition for authors. Karla has been in the publishing industry for over 30 years and is the owner of BookStudio, a publishing consultancy. Before BookStudio, she was creative director of Tehabi Books, owner of Via Press, and editorial director of the Michael Friedman Publishing Group, a book packaging company in NYC.

(Manhattan Beach, CA - February 3, 2020) -- The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) – – is pleased to announce that the IBPA Board of Directors elected Patagonia Books director Karla Olson to the position of Board Chair during its duly called meeting on January 29, 2020. Olson will serve a one-year term as Chair effective July 1, 2020, succeeding She Writes Press publisher Brooke Warner who has served as Board Chair since 2018. Warner will continue to serve IBPA as Chair of its Advocacy Committee when she leaves the Board in July.

"I can’t think of a person better suited for the role of IBPA Board Chair than Karla Olson," Warner said. "Karla knows the ins-and-outs of the book business, is a true indie publisher advocate, and is passionate about so many things in our industry around standards, environmentalism, and being the best publishers we can be. I’m very happy and proud to be passing the torch to Karla."

In addition to Olson’s election to the position of Board Chair, a separate IBPA Board Nominating Committee recently selected six candidates for election to the IBPA Board of Directors during the association’s 2020 Annual Members Meeting, to be held April 4, 2020 at 12:00 PM as part of IBPA Publishing University in Redondo Beach, California.* If elected by the membership during the April meeting, the six candidates will serve two-year terms effective July 1, 2020.

*April 1, 2020: In response to restrictions on travel and gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the IBPA Annual Meeting of Members will instead be held virually on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Pacific. Click here to register.

The six candidates are:

  • Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito, Publisher, Elva Resa Publishing (incumbent)
  • Kelly Peterson, Director of Digital Strategy, Independent Publishers Group (incumbent)
  • Lindy Ryan, President, Black Spot Books
  • Kathy Strahs, Founder, Burnt Cheese Press (incumbent)
  • Victoria Sutherland, Founder & Publisher, Foreword Magazine, Inc.
  • Peter Trimarco, Co-Founder & Publisher, Notable Kids Publishing (incumbent)

See below for full bios.

Olson said she is "honored" and "excited" to begin working with the new and current IBPA Board and staff. "Today’s publishing industry is multi-layered and complex," she continued. "It encompasses many business models, with books published to achieve a wide variety of goals. For over 20 years I’ve counted on IBPA to support my publishing journey. The association sets professional standards, presents essential education, offers marketing programs that would otherwise be unavailable to smaller and independent publishers, advocates on behalf of the many great books and publishers that exist outside of the Big Five, and so much more."

Members of the IBPA Board Nominating Committee included: Angela Bole (IBPA CEO) Janice Butler (Ingram Content Group), Rana DiOrio (Creative Mint), Kelly Gallagher (Ingram Content Group), Maggie Langrick (LifeTree Media), Terry Nathan (IBPA COO), Karla Olson (Patagonia Books), Robert Price (Gatekeeper Press), Kristina Radke (NetGalley), Christopher Robbins (Familius), Marcella Smith (Marcella Smith Associates), Elizabeth Turnbull (Light Messages Publishing), and Brooke Warner (She Writes Press).

As part of its process, the IBPA Board Nominating Committee reviewed written letters of interest before settling on a short list of candidates for video interviews. Impressions from both the letters of interest and video interviews were considered prior to settling on the list of recommended candidates above.

Leaving the IBPA Board of Directors on June 30, 2020 is Robin Cutler (IngramSpark) and Leslie Browning (Homebound Publications), each of whom completes her second, and final, two-year term.

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

Board Candidate Bios:

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 Digital Strategy, Independent Publishers Group

Kelly Peterson is Director of Digital Strategy at Independent Publishers Group (IPG), and brings 20+ years of marketing and merchandising experience to her current role, helping major trade publishers, university presses, independent publishers, agents and authors maximize their eBook sales and marketing efforts at the major retailers. Prior to IPG, Kelly was the Director of Client Services for INscribe Digital. Kelly worked at Borders Group, Inc. for 14 years, initially at Waldenbooks and later running the eBook program. Kelly is a founder and board member of the Bay Area Women in Publishing, where she currently chairs the Education Committee. She is also a board member of Independent Book Publishers' Association, and leads the Member Benefits Committee. She sees every nominated Oscar film annually (59 last year alone!) and is always ready with a book or movie recommendation. She believes each of us have the ability to change the world.

Lindy Ryan
President, Black Spot Books

Lindy Ryan is an entrepreneur, award-winning professor, and an experienced publishing professional. In 2011, Lindy was part of the executive leadership team that founded Radiant Advisors, a data and business intelligence research and advisory firm, where Lindy developed and launched the company's editorial and research divisions, and later its data visualization practice, for clients that included household names in entertainment and media.

In 2016, Lindy took her industry experience into academia, where she served as an active member of the New Jersey Big Data Alliance. She was previously an active researcher at the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute where she lead a team studying digital literacy. Ryan is an award-winning professor of data analysis and business communication at Rutgers University. She is a prolific speaker at conferences worldwide and the author of numerous papers and two textbooks, The Visual Imperative: Creating a Culture of Visual Discovery (Elsevier) and Visual Data Storytelling with Tableau (Pearson). In 2017, Lindy launched Black Spot Books, a traditional small press focused in speculative fiction. To date, the company has released over a dozen titles, fueled by its wide distribution and strategic publicity partnerships. Black Spot Books was acquired in 2019 by books-to-film multimedia corporation Vesuvian Media Group (VMG), where Lindy continues to lead the Black Spot Books imprint.

Lindy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration: Entrepreneurship and Strategy, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Education, Organizational Leadership.

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.

Victoria Sutherland
Founder & Publisher, Foreword Magazine, Inc.

Victoria is the founder and publisher of Foreword Magazine, Inc., director of Children’s Books USA, and managing partner of Champagne Rights Agency. Throughout her career, Victoria has concentrated on building communities through an advocacy/service approach: matching synergies and lines of support between publishers, vendors, libraries, booksellers, agents, and other key constituencies of the publishing and reading community. Her publishing experience includes twenty five years of magazine publishing for consumer (Spirituality & Health) and business-to-business properties (Foreword Reviews, Independent Publisher), twenty years of trade show management and involvement in rights business, as well as dedicated focus on independent publishers, small press authors and the books/business they create, since 1995.

Peter Trimarco
Co-Founder & Publisher, Notable Kids Publishing

Peter Trimarco's 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.

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 3,200 members, IBPA is the largest independent publishing association in the U.S. Its vision is a world where every independent publisher has the access, knowledge, and tools needed to professionally engage in all aspects of an inclusive publishing industry. For more information, visit


Penny S. Tee, Peace Awareness Publishing says...
Posted Monday, February 3, 2020
Congratulations Karla! Thanks for continuing to spread your knowledge and leadership throughout the publishing community. Penny S. Tee, author of "BLASTED from COMPLACENCY: A Journey from Terror to Transformation in Israel"
Marta P. Zarrella, MKZ Books, Inc. says...
Posted Monday, February 3, 2020
Karla, we are thrilled to hear that you're still passionately involved in IBPA leadership. Welcome back to the chair! You inspired and taught our founder, Marta, back in San Diego during the early years of your Read Local project. She and we have not stopped growing our knowledge of the industry since and the size of our business since. 2019 was a great year for us! It's an honor to be part of this organization and happy to continue seeing you at IBPA events.

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