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Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama, an avid supporter of independent bookstores and bestselling author of the recent memoir A Promised Land (Crown), will open the 2021 Winter Institute with a personal video message to independent booksellers.


Brené Brown

Brené Brown

Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston and visiting professor at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers, most recently Dare to Lead, and the host of the Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead podcasts.


Janet Geddis

Janet Geddis

Business owner at Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia, as well as a patient advocate/content creator under the moniker “The Migraine Girl." Janet is a public speaker, writer, and frequent podcast/radio show contributor for numerous outlets, including iHeartMedia and NPR.




Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff

A two-time National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, as well as the short story collections Florida and Delicate Edible Birds.


Viet Thanh

Viet Thanh Nguyen

The author of Pulitzer Prize-winner The Sympathizer, the short story collection The Refugees, the National Book Award finalist nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies, and editor of an anthology of refugee writing, The Displaced.



Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

The #1 New York Times bestselling author and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for The Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad, which also won the National Book Award.




Michelle Malonzo

Michelle Malonzo

A buyer at Changing Hands Bookstore after 10 years at Penguin Random House, and now a member of ABA’s Board, ABA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee and the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association board.



Brian David Johnson

Brian David Johnson

Intel Corporation’s first-ever futurist and current professor at Arizona State University’s Global Futures Laboratory and School for the Future of Innovation in Society.


Allison Hill

Allison K Hill

Allison K Hill joined ABA as CEO in March 2020. Previously, Hill served as CEO of Vroman's Bookstore and Book Soup in California. She has a BA in English and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University and an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Management.




Thank you to our lead sponsor: 



About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


PRESS CONTACT: Dan Cullen (dan@bookweb.org)


INDIECOMMERCE: staff@bookweb.org




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