From our friends at the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance:
The Search Committee and Board of Directors of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance is pleased to announce the selection of Linda-Marie Barrett as SIBAâ€™s incoming Executive Director. She will step into the position on June 16, 2020, when the current Executive Director, Wanda Jewell, retires.
â€œIâ€™m leaving SIBA in better hands than my own, and that feels really good,â€ said Jewell. â€œI couldnâ€™t be more delighted.â€
Barrett brings a strong strategic vision to the organization at a time when the book industry is adapting to a rapidly evolving environment.
She writes, â€œDuring this very dynamic time in our industry, SIBA needs, more than ever, to offer programming that addresses current member needs. This means being in constant conversation with member bookstores to hear whatâ€™s happening â€˜on the ground,â€™ looking outside our industry for opportunities, and considering new partnerships in communities, and regionally. My passion, and SIBAâ€™s primary goal, is to give booksellers the tools they need to be successful and achieve their dreams. Iâ€™m so honored to be taking on this role and look forward to working with the SIBA Board and all our member bookstores to see what possibilities we can create together.â€
Barrett was chosen in a unanimous decision after a robust, four-month-long search.
â€œThe SIBA Executive Director Search Committee has completed an exhaustive pursuit,â€ said Search Committee member Shane Gottwals of Gottwals Books in Byron, Georgia. â€œWhile we talked to many qualified and motivated candidates, it was abundantly clear that Linda-Marie Barrett is just the right person to lead SIBA. She knows the industry and can relate to the needs of core members in an unparalleled way.â€
Barrett brings to the position of Executive Director thirty yearsâ€™ worth of experience in the industry as a bookseller in all levels from frontline bookseller to senior buyer, manager, and co-owner of Malapropâ€™s Bookstore/CafÃ© in Asheville, North Carolina. While at Malapropâ€™s she played a leading role as a bookseller advocate and activist, and her op-ed piece responding to author boycotts of bookstores in the wake of North Carolinaâ€™s H.B.2 controversy was published in The New York Times.
Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and the former President of the American Booksellers Association wrote in support of Barrettâ€™s selection, â€œMy admiration for Linda-Marie runs deep. She possesses a rare core of qualities that will guarantee success in this new position; sheâ€™s incredibly organized, creative, entrepreneurial, and passionate about independent bookselling, and independent bookselling in the South, to be specific.â€
Barrett is a past Board member of SIBA and has worked extensively with the American Booksellers Association, serving on the Bookseller Advisory Council and as a presenter at Winter Institute. For the past three years she has been SIBAâ€™s Assistant Executive Director, responsible for much of the day to day operations of the organization. As Assistant Executive Director, Barrett spearheaded the development of SIBAâ€™s online educational programming which has resulted in over a dozen webinars on a wide range of topics including Inventory Activism, Time Management, Podcasting, Managing Expenses, and Launching a Book Festival.
â€œSIBA stands like a beacon in the world of regional trade associations because of Wanda Jewellâ€™s thirty years of dedication,â€ noted Gottwals. â€œOur new executive director has a mighty legacy to follow, but Linda-Marie Barrett has the skills and experience required to keep us shining brightly for many years to come.â€
For more information contact SIBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.