Nominations Open for The ABA Board

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Nominate a Bookseller (or yourself!) for the ABA Board. What does the ABA board do? The ABA Board sets policy for the association, monitors the performance of the CEO — who is responsible for formulating and executing a strategy to meet the goals of the organization — and futurecasts for industry trends to inform the membership and ABA’s work. Directors on the ABA Board make a significant time commitment, meeting many times over the course of the year. Most meetings are virtual, but there are usually two in-person meetings (Board Members can attend virtually if necessary).

Nominating takes just a few minutes via this three-question web form that asks

If you are nominating someone else:

  • In what capacity have you known and/or worked with this candidate?
  • Does this nominee have at least three years of experience in bookselling? If known, please list this experience. (Approximate years and stores only.)
  • What talents or experiences do you believe this person would bring to the ABA Board?

If you are nominating yourself:

  • In what capacity have you worked in the bookselling industry?
  • Do you have at least three years of experience in bookselling? If so, please list your experience. (Approximate years and stores only.)
  • What talent, background experience, or expertise would you bring to the ABA Board?

The deadline for nominations is Thursday, October 26, at 11:59 pm ET. 

Continue reading for more information about the ABA Board of Directors election process.

The American Booksellers Association is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors made up of ABA bookstore owners or booksellers from member stores. The ABA Board defines the Ends Policies (the broadly-defined desired goals for the association), monitors the performance of the CEO (who is responsible for interpreting the goals and formulating and executing the strategy to meet the goals of the organization), and futurecasts for industry trends to inform the membership and ABA’s work.

The Board of Directors consists of 13 Directors, including one President, a Co-Vice President/Secretary, and a Co-Vice President. The Board consists of a minimum of four directors who are BIPOC, a minimum of two of whom are Black.  

Each July, the Board of Directors President selects a five-member Nominating Committee of booksellers, as approved by the Board, who will review the submitted nominees over the next several months and make their recommendation to the Board. The Board traditionally endorses the selection of candidates that the Nominating Committee presents to the Board, and the nominees’ names are then presented to the membership for a vote.

The Nominating Committee accepts nominations year round but the official nominating season begins in September. The number of positions open is determined by the number of Board Members completing their second three-year term (each Board Member is entitled to serve two three-year terms). The President, Co-Vice President/Secretary, and Co-Vice-President serve two-year terms and are selected in odd-numbered years.

Nominations (including self-nominations) for qualified candidates are collected through the middle of October via an online form that takes just minutes to fill out. Those who meet the eligibility criteria receive a link to fill out an extended background information form and provide recommendation letters. Eligible nominees that wish to go through the election process will be asked to provide two letters of recommendation from people they’ve worked with in the industry. Examples include, but are not limited to, employers, sales reps, colleagues at partnering organizations, or anyone else who can speak to the nominee’s strengths.  

The only requirements are:

  1. Candidates for the Board of Directors must be the owner or employee of a core ABA member independent bookstore with a physical presence (brick & mortar storefronts, pop-up stores, mobile stores, and events-only) that sells primarily new books.
  2. Board candidates must have at least three years of recent bookselling experience.

(Here’s more information about the Board nomination process and what the Nominating Committee considers in evaluating nominated booksellers.)

The Nominating Committee deliberates through the Fall and presents its recommendations to the Board in January. The slate of nominees is then presented to the membership in BTW. (In addition to this nomination process, qualified booksellers may petition to join the ballot by collecting the signatures of at least two percent of ABA bookstore members and mailing them to the Nominating Committee along with a completed nomination form. An email should also be sent to ABA notifying them that the signatures have been mailed. The petition must contain original signatures of a member store owner, as well as the store name, address, email, and telephone number, of bookstore members in at least five states, with representatives of no one state constituting more than 50 percent of the total number of petition signatures. Any bookseller member is invited to petition to join the ballot; petitions are due in mid-February.)

The election begins in March and the deadline to vote is in April. The elected booksellers are announced in BTW a few days after the ballot deadline to allow for certification and notification. The new Board members take office officially at the Annual Meeting in May.

See complete details about the election process in the ABA Governance Policy Manual on BookWeb.