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PRESIDENT’S POST – IBPA Wants You for the Board of Directors—Five Reasons You Should Say Yes

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by Florrie Binford Kichler


IBPA Wants You for the Board of Directors—Five Reasons You Should Say Yes

Help Wanted: Opinionated, dedicated, animated publishing professional to serve on the IBPA Board of Directors. Minimal travel, maximum fun. Publishing experience necessary but a sense of humor and a crystal ball just as important. Must be able to work well with others, stay ahead of the curve, call a spade a spade, and work short hours with no pay but plenty of caffeine and food.

Benefits: The opportunity to give one’s time, energy, and wisdom to lead IBPA into the future, serve and support IBPA members, collaborate and network with colleagues, and contribute to the growth and development of independent publishing.

My original title for this piece was: “Five Reasons Serving on the IBPA Board of Directors Will Be the Absolute Best Thing You Can Do for IBPA, Your Publishing Career, and Your Personal Life,” but I was afraid that was a little much.

But it’s true.

Don’t take my word for it—here are some comments by previous board members about their board experience:

• “Impressed by the brilliance in the boardroom.”

• “I have never before been in the presence of such a dedicated group.”

• “Never seen a volunteer board so dedicated and motivated.”

As a previous board member myself, I can add that serving on the IBPA board is also humbling, exhilarating, incredibly satisfying, challenging, sometimes frustrating when things don’t move as fast as you think they should, and sometimes frightening when things move faster than you wish they would.

And never, ever dull.

I urge each of you to consider submitting an application for the IBPA board of directors—and here are those five reasons to do that:

Determining Direction

Do you want to shape events instead of letting them shape you? Then consider IBPA board service. Not only is the board tasked with embracing and helping our members cope with the change that has become the norm in the publishing industry, but, even more important, the board works to figure out what’s coming around the next publishing curve and to decide how best to help our members and our association as a whole prepare for it.

Of course many courses of action offer enticing opportunities for IBPA members and IBPA itself. Often, deciding which to choose is difficult, but the board always begins deliberations with the same question: “Is this in the best interest of our members?” That provides the compass.


Do you want to enhance your professional and personal skills? Then consider IBPA board service. Figuring out how to create and adapt specific programs, benefits, and educational services for the challenges that do face and will face IBPA members entails a 90-degree-angle learning curve.

How to be an effective and efficient board member (and board leader if you so choose), when to speak up, when to shut up, and, most important, how to put the welfare of the members you represent, and the industry we all work in, at the forefront of every decision—these are just a few of the many things your board service will teach you.


Do you want to expand your publishing contacts? Then consider IBPA board service. Your colleagues on the board will be among the best and brightest in the industry. As we all know, the value of this organization stems from its members, who are always willing to lend a hand to a fellow publisher with a problem.

Board directors are generous with their wealth of experience, and the opportunity to work closely with experienced, savvy publishers and industry professionals, both in and outside the boardroom, will enhance your own professional life in ways you never expected.


Do you want to move from Facebook friends to real friends? Then consider IBPA board service. Face-to-face friendships with your fellow board members constitute a special and wonderful aspect of board service. Board members work hard during and between meetings, but they do have lives outside of publishing, and the collegiality before and after meetings, and especially during meals, provides a great way to bond on a personal level.

The board works hard and laughs hard too. Egos are checked at the meeting-room door, and friendships form through respect for differing opinions, mutual concern for IBPA members, and just plain fun.

And finally:

Giving Back

Without exception, the overwhelming reason IBPA board members give for agreeing to serve is fulfilling their need to return and share a measure of the wisdom and experience the organization has helped them gain as a member—whether that membership has been for one year or 20. “Helping each other achieve and succeed” was the original motto of PMA—now IBPA—more than two decades ago, and that mission has not changed.

Please consider IBPA board service if you are committed to the growth and development of your industry, your association, yourself . . . and your fellow publishers.

About Applying

Nominations are open now for the 2011–2013 IBPA board of directors. There are three open seats for the next two-year term. According to the IBPA Bylaws, at least two thirds of the board must consist of publishers, with no more than one third consisting of nonpublishers. Therefore, given the current board composition, two seats will be filled by publishing industry professionals (nonpublishers such as distributors, wholesalers, people in the media, and so on), and one seat will be filled by a publisher.

The IBPA board of directors pursues a policy that promotes diversity and representation across all segments of the industry, including publisher size. Small and large publishers and nonpublishers are welcome to apply.

Also according to the IBPA Bylaws, board member applications are reviewed by a nominating committee consisting of past IBPA presidents and at least two current board members, and are presented to the membership for confirmation at the IBPA Annual Meeting in May 2011. Visit ibpa-online.org for additional information and an application, which must be received by March 1, 2011. Email or call Terry at the IBPA office if you have questions (terry@ibpa-online.org; 310/372-2732).

A Holiday Greeting

All of us on the IBPA staff and board of directors wish you a very happy holiday season and a successful and prosperous 2011. We look forward to serving you, and we thank you for your ongoing support of IBPA.



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