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President’s Post: Volunteer Value

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by Florrie Binford Kichler, Executive Director, Independent Book Publishers Association —

Florrie Binford Kichler

Florrie Binford Kichler


That’s the value of an hour of volunteer time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Which means that in IBPA’s fiscal year 2011–2012 (June 30–July 1), your board of directors contributed more than $13,000 of value to your association just by participating in quarterly board meetings. Add the many hours spent outside those meetings working on IBPA business in teleconferences and via emails, speaking at IBPA Publishing University, working in the IBPA booth at trade shows, and more, and your board’s contribution climbed to more than $20,000.

But dollars and cents don’t begin to tell the real story of the generosity and commitment of your IBPA board of directors. It’s hard to put a price on vision, on support, on willingness to serve your association and the independent publishing community. How do you measure the worth of board members who are as eager to work side by side with the IBPA staff to bring a major project to fruition as they are to bring IBPA staff lunch in a busy trade show booth—without being asked?

Through the years, IBPA’s directors have exceeded expectations, and then some. Which is why welcoming new board members is so exciting—and saying good-bye to board members who have served IBPA well is so difficult. Board turnover prevents an organization from growing stagnant and enables it to renew itself with new energy and new ideas. Still, it never gets easier to say farewell to directors who have contributed significantly to IBPA.

Going and Coming

Please join me in thanking the following for their service:

Robert Rosenwald, Poisoned Pen Press. A longtime publisher member of IBPA, Robert regretfully had to leave the board before completing his term due to time constraints, but he brought the unique perspective of both a publisher and a bookseller to the IBPA board of directors. Robert worked on the Marketing Programs board focus group and was helpful in making the connection with NetGalley that resulted in IBPA’s newest marketing program. His industry experience and insight will be sorely missed.

Dave Marx, Passporter Press. Dave’s hard work on behalf of IBPA was exceeded only by his digital vision—his focus on the importance of technology and grasp of all things digital was an incalculable resource for IBPA. Dave served as chair of the Marketing Programs board focus group and co-chair of the all-new Benjamin Franklin Digital Awards, and he assisted IBPA in opening dialogues with many potential partners for new marketing programs. Representing a small and growing publishing company, Dave reflected the interests of the quintessential IBPA member. His keen intelligence and devotion to IBPA—and his sense of humor—were tremendous assets to your association’s board of directors.

And please also join me in welcoming the new board members who began their first term on July 1, 2012:

Rana DiOrio, Little Pickle Press. In 2009, Rana founded Little Pickle Press, a 21st-century publisher dedicated to high-quality, high-impact media for children. Little Pickle Press works to help parents and educators cultivate conscious, responsible little people by stimulating explorations of the meaningful topics of their generation through a variety of media, technologies, and techniques. Rana fills one of 10 publisher seats on the IBPA board.

Kelly Gallagher, R.R. Bowker. Kelly serves as VP of publishing services at R.R. Bowker. In this role he manages the implementation of a host of Bowker business intelligence services, including the PubTrack consumer research panel that reaches more than 40,000 e- and p-book consumers. For the past year, he has been leading a team of researchers on a three-year Book Industry Study Group project designed to study consumer attitudes toward e-devices and digital content. Kelly fills one of three nonpublisher seats on the IBPA board.

Deltina Hay, Dalton Publishing. Deltina is a veteran Web developer, publisher, and pioneer of social media, Web 2.0, and the mobile Web, especially as they apply to small businesses and the publishing industry. She is the founder of Dalton Publishing, a literary press based in Austin, TX, and she serves as a social media and Web expert through her companies, Social Media Power and PLUMB Web Solutions. Deltina also fills one of 10 publisher seats on the IBPA board.

Kudos for Continuing Service

To volunteer IBPA board chair Steve Mettee of The Write Thought.

To volunteer board treasurer Roy Carlisle of The Independent Institute.

And to the following volunteer IBPA directors who have devoted—and continue to give—countless hours to IBPA’s members:

  • Davida G. Breier, Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Tom Doherty, Cardinal Publishers Group/Blue River Press
  • Peter Goodman, Stone Bridge Press
  • MaryAnn F. Kohl, Bright Ring Publishing, Inc.
  • Dr. Haki Madhubuti, Third World Press
  • John Mutter, Shelf Awareness
  • Christopher Robbins, Familius
  • Janice Schnell, Ingram Content Group
  • Carlene Sippola, immediate past board chair, Whole Person Associates
  • Stephanie Stewart, Academy of Learning

To all the IBPA members who have staffed the IBPA booth during trade shows, written thousands of words for the Independent, contributed to Ask the Experts, taught at Publishing University, and generously donated their time in a myriad of ways to IBPA and the independent publishing community.

The statistical figure for an hour of volunteer time? $21.79.

The present and future impact of an hour of IBPA volunteer time? Priceless.

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 LinkedIn (linkedin.com).

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