IBPA Governance Committee selects six at-large director candidates to stand for election during April 4th Annual Meeting of Members

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February 8, 2024 (press release) –

IBPA Governance Committee selects six at-large director candidates to stand for election during the April 4, 2024 Annual Meeting of Members.

(Manhattan Beach, CA – February 1, 2024) –The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) is pleased to announce that the recently formed IBPA Governance Committee has selected six at-large director candidates to stand for election during the April 4th Annual Meeting of Members. These candidates will serve on the IBPA Board of Directors from July 1, 2024 – June 31st, 2026, should the membership approve the slate.

Formed in August 2023 by approval of the IBPA Board of Directors, the governance committee helps to identify the skills, qualities, and characteristics that the board needs, and it aids in recruiting qualified and diverse candidates. The committee also advises on orientation procedures, continuing education, and self-assessments for board members. It is comprised of eight members including current and past board chairs, directors, and executive members of the IBPA staff.

“The creation of a governance committee helps to ensure that IBPA can effectively identify and engage a strong pool of leaders to serve on the IBPA Board of Directors and in key volunteer positions.” commented IBPA CEO, Andrea Fleck-Nisbet. “The value of this committee is evident in the highly qualified group of candidates who are represented on this year’s board slate.”

The six candidates are:

  • Paige Allen, Director,
  • María Jesús Aguilo, Rights Management & Consultant
  • Alesha Brown, Founder & CEO,
  • Mary Jo Courchesne, Owner & Principal Rights Consultant,
  • Troy Johnson, President,
  • Keith Riegert, CEO & Publisher,

Scroll down for full candidate bios.

Three of the six candidates are running as incumbents, while (Mary Jo)MJ Courchesne, Troy Johnson, and Keith Riegert were added to the slate of candidates during the 2024 IBPA Board Nominating Process.

Leaving the IBPA Board of Directors on June 30, 2024 are Annette Hobbs Magier of Magier Marketing & PR and Victoria Sutherland, founder and publisher of Foreword Reviews. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Sutherland also serves as the IBPA board treasurer and is a member of the executive committee. The organization is grateful for the service of both outgoing directors.

For more information,
Contact IBPA CEO Andrea Fleck-Nisbet at andrea@ibpa-online.org.

Board Candidate Bios:

Paige Allen is the Director of IngramSpark and a brand and marketing strategist developing innovative channels for content delivery. She partners with companies and executives to sharpen their professional operations, define their brand identity, and engage audiences for maximum conversion. Paige is passionate about helping people and connecting companies to their right consumer. In addition to her extensive PR and marketing experience, Paige is a trained Sweet Adelines International a cappella barbershop singer and member of Metro Nashville Chorus.

María Jesús Aguilo moved to California from her native Spain in 1992, after receiving a Masters in Publishing from the University of Barcelona. In 1996, she joined the independently owned Berrett-Koehler Publishers, where she made several contributions over the years, including building up their subsidiary rights program, spearheading the transition to digital publishing, and creating their in-house audiobook publishing program. She is a freelance rights manager and consultant.

Alesha Brown is the Founder & CEO of Fruition Publishing Concierge Services™, a hybrid publisher devoted to helping authors find their voice, monetize their expertise, and create profitable author platforms. Alesha’s work led to her receiving the 2019 Inside Business’ Entrepreneurial Excellence award. Her expertise has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Authority Magazine, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and iHeartRadio, just to name a few. Alesha is a renowned speaker at numerous author forums and publishing conferences in addition to being a best-selling author, copywriter, and magazine editor-in-chief.

MJ Courchesne is the owner and principal consultant of Gryphon Publishing Consulting. She is a publishing veteran with over 25 years of experience in trade, academic, and direct-response publishing, and specializes in licensing, subsidiary rights, and permissions. MJ served as adjunct professor for 16 years in The George Washington University’s Masters in Professional Studies in the Field of Publishing. She currently serves on the Rights Committee of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), as secretary for the board of directors for The Big Easy in Buffalo and is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. She has also served in the CASE Act Implementation Working Group with the Copyright Alliance, and on the board of experts with the National Association of Writers and Editors (NAIWE). She currently lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband and two rescued dogs.

Troy D. Johnson is the President of the African American Literature Book Club (AALBC). His primary platform, AALBC.com, is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books by people of African descent. Through AALBC.com, Johnson sells, reviews, discusses, and publishes books. AALBC.com is also a major platform for publishers to advertise and promote books. He is also a recognized thought leader in the “Black Book Ecosystem.” Johnson has 20 years of corporate experience in roles ranging from designing wide area networks to managing international projects for major corporations, including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. As an educator, he taught information systems and web design at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. Mr. Johnson holds a BS and MS degrees in engineering and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has three daughters and lives in Tampa, FL.

Keith Riegert is the CEO of the Brooklyn-based independent publishing companies, Ulysses Press and VeloPress Books. Keith is also CEO of printing marketplace Perfect Bound and a co-founder of the book publicity and digital marketing firm, Pacific & Court. Keith is a member of the board of advisors at NYU’s School of Professional Studies in the Center for Publishing where he also teaches Analytics and Consumer Insights.

Keith holds a BA in English literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business with a specialization in statistics and marketing.

Prior to his current role at Ulysses Press, Keith was Associate Director of Analytics for Hachette Book Group. He is the co-founder of Little, Brown Lab and Kingfisher Press.

About the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)

Founded in 1983 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 4,000 members, IBPA is the largest 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 ibpa-online.org.


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