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Directors Desk: A Report from IBPA’s Annual Meeting of Members

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by Angela Bole, CEO, Independent Book Publishers Association —

Angela Bole

IBPA gathered for their first virtual annual meeting to learn about the state of the association, approve revisions to IBPA bylaws and vote for IBPA board canditates.

Following the cancellation of IBPA’s in-person Annual Meeting of Members scheduled for April 4, 2020, in Redondo Beach, California, due to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19, IBPA members gathered virtually on April 28, 2020, to learn about the current state of the association, approve revisions to Article V of the IBPA bylaws, and vote six candidates onto the IBPA board starting July 1. Below is a report of what happened during the meeting.

After IBPA board secretary Kathy Strahs (Burnt Cheese Press) confirmed a quorum and IBPA board chair Brooke Warner (She Writes Press) called the meeting to order, IBPA CEO Angela Bole provided an overview of the association.

Following Bole’s address, IBPA members heard remarks from Warner as the current IBPA board chair, Karla Olson (Patagonia Books) as IBPA’s chair-elect, and representatives from four IBPA committees (Member Benefits Committee, Editorial Advisory Committee, Advocacy Committee, and Investment Committee).

IBPA board member Kristina Radke (NetGalley) then presented a recommended slate of six candidates to serve on the IBPA board for two-year terms starting July 1, 2020. The slate, developed by an 11-person IBPA Board Nominating Committee, of which Radke was a member, included four incumbent board members and two who would be newly elected:

The IBPA membership voted to approve the slate of candidates as presented via an online poll indicating 79% in favor, 0% opposed, and 21% “no answer.”

Before moving to the next agenda item, Warner recognized two outgoing members of the IBPA board whose service will end on June 30, 2020: Robin Cutler, director of IngramSpark, and Leslie Browning, founder and senior editor of Homebound Publications.

Next, Strahs presented recommended revisions to Article V of IBPA’s bylaws as proposed by the IBPA board. Under the current IBPA bylaws, there is one class of IBPA membership broken into four categories (Publisher, Author Publisher, Publisher Friend, and Publisher Partner). All members under this one class are afforded the same rights and member benefits. With the revision, the IBPA board is proposing two classes of voting membership known as Publisher Class and Publisher Partner Class, and one class of non-voting membership known as the Associate Class.

Following Strahs’ presentation, the membership voted to approve the IBPA bylaws revision as presented via an online poll indicating 81% in favor, 4% opposed, and 15% “no answer.”

The meeting ended with 15 minutes of Q&A between the IBPA staff, board, and membership.

This fully virtual event marked the first time IBPA has held its annual meeting online using a video-enabled conference system. IBPA is considering how to continue incorporating virtual elements into member meetings, even as in-person meetings become a possibility again.

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.

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