Laura Cummings has worked at White Birch Books in North Conway, N.H., for more than 15 years, buying the store in 2005, which in retrospect, may not have been the best time. But the store has persevered through hideous construction projects, bad snow years, ice years and the general economic downturn to become a nice little literary outpost in the North Country. Laura participates in all aspects of running the store from the big stuff like buying, receiving and accounting, to working the floor, running the book groups and changing the light bulbs. She has served on the NEIBA Advisory Council and is also involved in her community, recently starting her third term on the school board. She lives across state lines in Maine with her favorite (and only) son and her two cats.
John LeDonne is the adult and used book buyer and a manager at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, NH, having joined them in 1998. He began bookselling at the Harvard Coop in the eighties, expecting the job to be temporary, but like many of us fell in love with it and made it a career. He’s been involved in all aspects of the business – selling, managing, receiving, buying, displays (he actually enjoys setting up cardboard dumps).He studied Biology at Tufts University, but enjoys reading nonfiction in a wide range of subjects, especially history, music, film, science, art history and graphic design. John’s constant resolution is to read more fiction (other than mysteries). He was recently a member of the NEIBA Advisory Council.
Courtney is the bookstore manager at Trident Booksellers & Cafe in Boston. The store was founded in 1983 by her parents Gail and Bernie Flynn, so she grew up steeped in books, fostering a lifelong love of reading. She is involved in many aspects of the store, including buying, event planning, podcasting, and marketing. Prior to the Trident she worked in marketing at Shambhala Publications. She grew up in Newton, MA, and earned a BA in psychology from Skidmore College. She believes books are the best tool for understanding the human mind, and consumes fiction voraciously.
Dana Brigham has been managing Brookline Booksmith for 35 years this August. After a few years, she became a co-owner, as well. Before that an 8 year stint was spent at several Brentano's stores in the Boston area. She was the quintessential english major who wanted to do "book things" and never, ever teach school though her parents insisted she get the "useful teaching degree" at Auburn University in Alabama. Booksmith is entering its 55th year in business in Coolidge Corner with all the deep roots in the community necessary for a vibrant and viable indie bookstore. As a military "brat" growing up, Dana had no roots so truly enjoys those put down in New England and the local, regional and national bookselling community. Reading soothed many a new girl anxiety and is where she still turns for answers, escape, humor and intellectual challenge. Living and working in Brookline means lots of involvement in town organizations and goings on. Her daughter is a nurse practitioner in the Berkshires where Dana tries to visit often. When there is time left over for anything else, gardening is a never-ending learning process.
Bill Grace is the Book Manager at Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset, MA, where he will shortly be celebrating his three year anniversary. His unofficial job titles include Resident Storyteller and Tech Troubleshooter. He started his bookselling career at the now closed Front Street Book Shop (Scituate, MA) as a pre-college summer job. His subsequent reinvestment of most of his earnings from that summer in supplemental reading material should have indicated this would be more than a passing fancy. He studied Linguistics at Harvard University, and has worked in the performing arts and nonprofit sectors. While he oversees all aspects of the book side of Buttonwood, Bill spends most of his time reading and selling children's books, which he firmly believes require a sophistication and grace that eludes even some grown-up authors.
Gillian Kohli is the co-owner of Wellesley Books, in Wellesley, MA. She and her husband Bill bought the store from Brookline Booksmith when it was put up for sale in 2010 because they didn’t want their town to lose its local indie and they had always dreamed of owning a bookstore. Gillian grew up surrounded by independent bookstores in Berkeley, CA and received her BS in Mechanical Engineering and her JD from the University of California. She is on the Board of Directors for 826 Boston, a youth literacy organization founded by Dave Eggers, and she recently completed her term as the President of NEIBA.
Megan Sullivan is a field sales manager selling Penguin adult titles throughout New England having joined Penguin Random House in 2014. Her bookselling career began in 1999 at Harvard Book Store, following a pattern for many people thinking it’s a temporary job but falling in love with the bookworld. She began working for the buying office in 2001, then moved to backlist buyer and eventually became head buyer. After brief stints at America’s Test Kitchen and David R. Godine, she became a rep for Penguin which she loves. She studied Classics in college and graduate school but reads widely.