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.
Emily Crowe has been working for independent bookstores for much of her adult life. She started off at Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, MS, in 1997 before moving on to work at Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA, in 2007 where she served as buyer and manager for over a decade. In between those stints she filled her time working for a used & rare bookstore and as a sales rep for David R. Godine. Now she is delighted to find a new home at An Unlikely Story in Plainville, MA, where she serves as a buyer, manager, and bookseller. Having worked closely with two stores’ collectors clubs for signed first editions, she primarily reads literary fiction and narrative nonfiction with occasional dips into most other genres. She studied English and Religious Studies at Millsaps College, followed by English Lit at Wake Forest University, originally planning to become a professor before stumbling into the joys of bookselling.
Emily Russo is the co-owner of Print: A Bookstore in Portland, ME. Emily began her bookselling career in 2007 as the events coordinator for the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA. In 2011, she moved to Brooklyn, NY with her family and took a job at Greenlight Bookstore to help launch their First Editions Club program and assist in running their extensive events series. In 2015, she moved back home to Maine to pursue her dream of opening her own bookstore. In November 2016, together with Josh Christie (formerly of Sherman's Books and Stationery), she opened Print. She enjoys roasting her father, Pultizer Prize-winning author Richard Russo, in event introductions.
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.
Beth Wagner is the lead buyer and tech guru at Phoenix Books in Essex, VT. Like most career booksellers, she’s worn a lot of hats over the years since starting part-time at The Book Rack & Children’s Pages in 2000, including newsletter and website editor, manager, sidelines buyer, children’s buyer, and chief cardboard engineer. She studied English and Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College and the University of Vermont, proudly representing that A in STEAM. As an omnivorous reader, no genre is off limits, though she harbors a not-so-secret love for young adult fiction. When not reading, Beth can often be found baking something chocolatey, knitting lace, or steadfastly ignoring the weeds in her vegetable garden. She lives in a town with no stop lights with her spouse and their very opinionated rabbits. She served as NECBA co-chair from 2016-18.