The newest member of the IBPA staff, Molly Farragher has been working with customers ever since she got her first part-time job—and she assures us that selling association programs is much more satisfying than displaying hams.
Yep, that’s hams, as in pork. Customers in the retail ham store where she worked “took the process of making a selection for a holiday dinner very seriously, and sometimes I felt like Vanna White showcasing a ham,” says IBPA’s new project coordinator/member benefits specialist.
Not that critters were anything new to Farragher. Although she grew up in Long Beach, CA, and graduated from the Los Angeles-based Loyola Marymount University, she spent many summers on her family’s farm in Ireland, where she and her three younger sisters “helped milk the cows, gather the eggs, and make silage.”
Despite this background in agriculture, Farragher says she knew early on that she would major in English. She came to IBPA in February as an intern and was hired in April. “As an English major, I was often told that I would struggle to find a job and that I should consider something more practical, so I’m really enjoying having a job within an industry that I’ve always wanted to work in,” she says, adding that “it’s pretty satisfying to tell the people who were discouraging that I now work for a publishing association.”
Like many of us, Farragher didn’t know anything about trade associations until she joined IBPA. “It’s interesting to work for an organization whose mission is to educate and advocate for its members,” she has found. And “the added element of getting to know members through such assignments as staffing trade shows and organizing the e-newsletter makes this education and advocacy really enjoyable.”
Molly’s primary responsibilities include the Direct Mail Marketing Program, which—among other things—sends catalogs to bookstores and e-blasts to libraries. Since early 2014, IBPA has used a different 5,000-contact list for each library e-mailing. The lists are provided by Library Resources Group, which, Molly explains, “collects contact info for every librarian who clicks any link in a particular blast. I then separate this data according to title, and send it out to members so that they’re able to contact librarians who showed interest in their books.”
Farragher also handles the OpenLearning platform (including what was Ask the Experts), and Publishing University Online. “The main goal behind these innovations is to make our programs as efficient and effective as possible for members.”