A Report on the January 2020 ABA Board Meeting

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The American Booksellers Association’s Board of Directors 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, who until recently was the owner of Towne Book Center & Cafe in Collegeville, Pennsylvania;
    • Regular communications with representatives of Batch for Books, 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, 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, which will be held May 27–29 at the Javits Center in New York City.
    • Working with Independent Bookstore Day (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 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 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 in Hood River, Oregon; Michael Herrmann of Gibson’s Bookstore, in Concord, New Hampshire; Annie Jones of The Bookshelf, in Thomasville, Georgia; and Linda McLoughlin Figel, of {pages} a bookstore, 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.