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Director’s Desk: A Beneficial Gain for IBPA Members

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by Angela Bole, CEO, Independent Book Publishers Association

Angela Bole

Member benefits are the lifeblood of any successful trade association. Knowing this, everyone at IBPA must work hard to ensure that the benefits we offer to our members are legitimately helpful. As of today, IBPA offers more than 50 distinct member benefits. If you haven’t reviewed them lately, you can do so at ibpa-online.org/benefits/list-of-benefits.

Looking at this list, the question we have to ask ourselves is: How many of these benefits are essential to a member’s decision to join or engage? And, on the flip side, how many are barnacles attached to the hull of our ship, slowly dragging us below the surface because we haven’t taken care to clean them off?

To help us answer these questions, we’re thrilled to announce the hiring of a new member benefits liaison, Joanne Kenny. Joanne joined IBPA in February 2016 and has quickly familiarized herself with the current list of benefits so that she can begin recommending what to keep, what to change, and what to discontinue.

Joanne won’t be working alone. In my February 2016 Director’s Desk column, I wrote about a new Member Benefits Committee tasked with overseeing the portfolio of IBPA member benefits. Joanne will lead this committee, ensuring that all changes to the benefits portfolio are informed by members working day-to-day in the business of publishing. This is important because, as I’ve written numerous times before, changing something without understanding the underlying culture can be detrimental to a community.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Joanne to her new position with IBPA. Below, she answers some questions in introduction. If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to her directly at joanne@ibpa-online.org. I know she’d love to hear from you!

Get to Know Joanne Kenny


IBPA's new Member Benefits Liaison, Joanne Kenny, (left) with IBPA Project Manager, Mimi Le (right) at BEA/BookCon 2016

IBPA’s new Member Benefits Liaison, Joanne Kenny, (left) with IBPA Project Manager, Mimi Le (right) at BEA/BookCon 2016

What were you doing before you joined IBPA?
Prior to joining IBPA, I worked in various sales positions at Penguin (national accounts, trade paperback sales, distributor sales, and special markets). Most recently, I sold books either out of inventory or custom printed books for corporations and organizations that use books for giveaways and/or promotional tools. We never knew who would call for what on any given day. I can already see this background coming in handy at IBPA!

What made you want to work for an organization like IBPA?
In evaluating my next career move, I kept circling around two values that I held as important for my next role: 1) I wanted to do something that would contribute to “the greater good,” and 2) I wanted to continue to be a champion for storytelling. I was excited when I started talking with the staff at IBPA and realized I could accomplish both these things with this organization.

What do you like to do in your free time?
How clichéd would it be to say that I like to read? Very, I’m sure, but it doesn’t make it any less true. I also like spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and drinking good craft beer or whiskey. I’d be glad to hear about your favorite IPAs (and especially black IPAs), if you’d like to share.

Which IBPA projects excite you most?
I’m excited to dig into member benefits in an effort to deliver some of the best companies and offers to the IBPA community. We’re close to launching a revised process for onboarding new benefits and, hopefully, members will start reaping the rewards of this streamlined process in the near future. If there are certain benefits that members would like to see added to IBPA’s roster, don’t hesitate to contact me directly at joanne@ibpa-online.org. I’m happy to help!

Just before Angela Bole became IBPA’s Chief Executive Officer, she was Deputy Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG), which fosters conversation and consensus across all sectors of the book business. Before that, Angela served for two years as BISG’s Associate Director and two years as its Marketing and Communications Manager. Angela also serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of IDPF, the International Digital Publishing Forum.

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