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President’s Post: The Class of 2010

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by Florrie Binford Kichler


The Class of 2010

I can still see their faces as we sat around the table in that teeny little meeting room four years ago. It was my first board meeting as president of IBPA, the first board meeting in years without the presence of our long-time and beloved leader, Jan Nathan, and the first board meeting for four newly elected directors. By the end of that meeting, I’m sure they were wondering who the heck this Florrie person was and what had they gotten themselves into.

Four years later, those same “freshman” directors have gone to the head of the class. Their staunch support, energy, and commitment to IBPA have not faltered during a period of change unprecedented in both IBPA and the publishing industry. Now, as Cevin Bryerman, Kassahun Checole, Bob Goodman, and Maggie Lichtenberg leave the IBPA board of directors at the end of their terms of office, I would like to share with you what they have meant to your association . . . and me.

Cevin Bryerman, Publisher, Publishers Weekly. Cevin has served as board treasurer for the past two years, fulfilling that role with dedication, financial acumen, and a knack for going straight to the heart of any issue. IBPA has not been immune to the effects of the worldwide financial meltdown over the past two years, and Cevin has spent hours working with Terry Nathan to keep our association on a sound footing. His many contacts in the publishing industry have benefited IBPA members in more ways than I can count, and his sense of humor and willingness to ask and answer the hard questions are invaluable.

Kassahun Checole, Publisher, Africa World Press. Kassahun’s more than 20 years of publishing experience and the accompanying wisdom have been tremendous assets to the IBPA board. Thoughtfully delivered, his insights are keen, and he provides a quiet but strong voice that never fails to add value to whatever topic is under deliberation. A loyal supporter of IBPA, Kassahun has approached his board service much as he built his successful publishing company—with hard work and dedication—while always keeping his eye on the goal of increasing the value IBPA brings to its members.

Bob Goodman, Publisher, Silvercat and Silver Threads. Bob has served as the affiliate chair on the IBPA board for the past four years, and his outstanding work on multiple Affiliate Retreats, the Affiliate Scholarship and Grant program, and the revision of the Affiliate Handbook has helped forge an even closer bond between IBPA and its 20-plus affiliate organizations. A veteran of the publishing industry and a long-time IBPA volunteer even before his board tenure, Bob never fails to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He has brought to the table perception and understanding of the issues faced by IBPA and the industry, laced with his unique brand of humor.

Maggie Lichtenberg, Publisher, Open Heart Publishing. Maggie’s publishing career has spanned decades, and IBPA has been the beneficiary of her experience. A futurist, she is always looking around the corner to determine what’s coming next and how IBPA can get out in front to better serve its members. Maggie’s passion is publishing education, and her many contributions in that arena have helped guide IBPA’s educational offerings into the 21st century. Maggie’s steadfast devotion to IBPA coupled with a rare ability to think both beyond and outside the box have been significant assets to our board and organization.

Staying Connected

A standing IBPA joke goes like this (with apologies to all fans of the rock group the Eagles):

Q: Why is the IBPA board of directors like the Hotel California?

A: You can check out, but you can never leave.

How many boards of directors do you know where the past presidents and members of the board still serve on board committees? IBPA’s former board presidents and members do. And I know that from the moment they officially “check out” of the board, Cevin, Kassahun, Bob, and Maggie will always be available for advice, counsel, a laugh or two, and maybe even a job on those committees. Also, they will always be my friends and friends of IBPA.

What makes the all-volunteer IBPA board unique is the generosity, vision, loyalty, and hard work of its members, along with an unwavering belief that the mission of this association, to educate, support, and advocate for the independent publishing community—to serve you—matters. For the past two decades of IBPA’s existence, the “freshman” board members who have taken the “seniors’” places have shared that commitment. And I know in my head that this will continue.

In my heart, though, saying goodbye to these four dedicated board members with whom I have worked so closely and who have been such a support during a critical time in IBPA’s development is difficult. Cevin, Kassahun, Bob, and Maggie, IBPA and I are grateful for your outstanding service to our association—and to the entire independent publishing community.

Thank you, Class of 2010.

Welcome, Class of 2014.

Follow Florrie and IBPA on Twitter at twitter.com/ibpa, and on IBPA’s blog at ibpablog.wordpress.com. Join Independent Book Publishers Association–IBPA group on Linked In (linkedin.com).


In addition to our “seniors” on the IBPA board of directors, I would also like to recognize each one of the exceptional IBPA board members who have served during the past board year, 2009–2010, and are continuing as board members. If you have the opportunity, please join me in thanking them personally for the time and energy they have given to IBPA.

Carlene Sippola, Whole Person Associates, Board Chair

Norm Goldfind, Basic Health Publications, Inc.

Jeanne Kramer, National Book Network

Dave Marx, Passporter Books

Steve Mettee, Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press

Mitch Muncy, Alexander Hamilton Society

Patti P. Phillips, ROI Institute, Inc.

Danny O. Snow, Unlimited Publishing LLC

Nancy Stewart, Ingram

Stephanie Stewart, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Ltd.



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