Christian Retailing

Harvest House Publishers promotes key personnel Print Email
Written by Christianne Debysingh   
Monday, 30 March 2015 03:11 PM America/New_York

HarvestHouseNew-webHarvest House Publishers has announced the promotion of two key managers for the purpose of better utilizing their strengths and creating greater efficiency and productivity within the company.

The first of these changes is the promotion of Don Sage, former manager of financial operations, to senior director of financial operations. In his expanded role, Sage will handle additional corporate-level responsibilities including overseeing the newly renamed Implementation Solutions department. Previously organized as two separate departments—Order Fulfillment and Information Technology—this new name and management structure will properly align these company disciplines with their financial foundation.

Along with this realignment, Stephanie Osborne, former director of information technology and order fulfillment, is being promoted to director/implementation solutions and will report to Sage. Osborne’s increased responsibilities will include the oversight of the Distribution department along with the continued administration of Implementation Solutions.

As these two departments already work so closely together, given the functions of order entry, customer service, and distribution, this team realignment will now provide greater synergies and efficiencies within the company.

“God has gifted Harvest House with incredibly talented individuals in Don Sage and Stephanie Osborne, and I am very pleased to further utilize both of their strengths in exciting new ways,” says Harvest House President Bob Hawkins Jr. “With this realignment, Harvest House will be better positioned to achieve our short and long-range goals and initiatives as we seek to blaze new trails in the years to come.”

Michelle Wright joins Parable Group team Print Email
Written by Sally Ross   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:00 AM America/New_York

Parable-Michelle-WrightSan Luis Obispo-based marketing agency The Parable Group has announced that Michelle Wright has been hired as a digital marketing specialist. Wright has a 20-year background in sales and marketing with specialties in project management, publicity, social media and promotions with a strong entertainment focus.

Wright joins The Parable Group most recently from Hughes PR, where she served as marketing/PR specialist for the Cantinas Foundation. Wright also brings industry knowledge from previous roles with Rogers & Cowan, Provident Distribution, Renovation (non-profit) and Reunion Records.

During her years at Provident Distribution, Wright managed retail campaigns for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment faith and family films including The Bible miniseries—the highest grossing, non-theatrical video sale to date through the Christian retail channel and the No. 1 miniseries of all time across Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD.

“I’m excited about the future of our digital marketing solutions and the new technologies, opportunities and relationships that transpire daily. Michelle’s extensive experience complements our distinctive approach to implementing accountable marketing solutions, providing an important opportunity to meet and exceed our clients’ diverse needs,” says Steve Potratz, president of The Parable Group. “We are delighted to welcome this talented new member to our digital team.”

In her new role, Wright will serve on the digital marketing team under Laura Clark and champion online display, video, mobile, social media and email campaigns for a variety of Christian organizations and ministries. The Parable Group enjoyed marked growth in their digital marketing services and is forecasting tremendous continued growth for that channel in 2015.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join The Parable Group marketing team,” Wright said. “After interfacing with the company in several different capacities over the years, I have gained the utmost respect for the leadership and mission of the team. I look forward to contributing to the expanding landscape of marketing faith-based entertainment products.”

David C Cook appoints interim executive publisher Print Email
Written by Lisa Beech   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 01:00 PM America/New_York

Verne-KenneyDavid C Cook has announced that Verne Kenney has been hired as its executive publisher. Kenney will assume the responsibilities that Dan Rich held as head of David C Cook Trade Books and Media until a long-term chief publishing officer is hired.

“Dan and his team have built a solid and sustainable Trade Book and Media unit over the last nine years,” said Chief Executive Officer Cris Doornbos. “With Dan’s pending retirement at the end of May 2015, along with the dramatic changes and challenges in Christian publishing overall, I see this as a window of opportunity to intentionally re-visit our publishing strategy and develop a long-term strategic model. Once we determine the best ‘go forward strategy,’ we will resume our search for a new chief publishing officer.”

Kenney is a trusted and respected colleague within the Christian publishing industry. While at Zondervan, Kenney led the team that collaborated with Randy Frazee and Max Lucado’s “The Story” campaign, which has been adopted by thousands of churches worldwide. Concurrently with his role as executive vice president of sales for Zondervan, Kenney also was appointed trade book publisher and head of marketing, leading those teams on an interim basis. In addition, he ran the Spanish Vida publishing business, turning it profitable and increasing its reach significantly in subsequent years. 

“I’m so pleased to be joining the David C Cook team,” Kenney said. “It’s great to be with a company driven by a mission to serve the local church in a global way. Cook is uniquely positioned as a global leader in serving the church with engaging, biblically-based content and I look forward to working with them to advance their mission.”

In this unique role that reports directly to Doornbos, Kenney will develop and document a proposed ‘Go Forward Strategic Plan’ with the Trade Books and Media team. Additionally, he will be responsible for co-creating a future focused set of new activities, processes and business models for Trade Books.

“For over 20 years I have enjoyed knowing and working together with Verne,” Doornbos said. “He has the experience and the objective assertiveness I’m looking for, with a history of successful strategic planning and a way of thinking ‘outside the book’ that I truly respect.”

Kenney will oversee all day-to-day operations of the Trade Book and Media unit beginning March 23, from acquisition and development of new book projects, to developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies. Kenney’s expertise has proven that he is successful at creating the strategies necessary to deliver impactful books to the market place.

Eerdmans Publishing appoints senior acquisitions editor Print Email
Written by Ingrid Wolf   
Monday, 16 March 2015 01:05 PM America/New_York

Lil-CopanWm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company has announced the hiring of Lil Copan as senior acquisitions editor—General Trade.

Copan brings two decades of experience to Eerdmans. She has worked in acquisitions for several religious publishing houses—Abingdon Press, Ave Maria Press, and Paraclete Press, among others. Among her areas of expertise are trade line development, project

management, author and platform cultivation, substantive editing, and cross-platform content development.

Copan has worked with an impressive array of bestselling authors including Madeline L’Engle and Lauren Winner. She acquired Frederick Buechner’s Faces of Jesus for Paraclete in 2004 and was credited by Jana Riess in a 2011 Publishers Weekly interview for having “brilliantly suggested” the concept for her book Flunking Sainthood.

“Very few publishers manage to balance respect for authors, excellence in content, and a sense of responsibility to their readers,” Copan says. “Eerdmans has continued to invite readers and generate new ideas, introducing valued voices of faith over the last century-plus. Presenting diverse voices and faithful work with Eerdmans is an opportunity to sow seasoned skills, experience, and sensibility in the fertile ground of faith-based publishing.”

“We at Eerdmans have always had a strong interest in the relevance of ideas to the church broadly and to culture generally,” says Eerdmans Editor in Chief Jon Pott. “It is wonderful now to bolster that interest with so distinguished and creative an editor as Lil Copan has been. It is also warming, may I say, to welcome to the Eerdmans team someone whom several of us have long counted a friend and kindred spirit.”

WaterBrook Multnomah announces staff changes Print Email
Written by Christian Retailing   
Thursday, 12 March 2015 02:23 PM America/New_York

WaterBrookMultnomahWaterBrook Multnomah, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, has announced several recent changes among its staff, including the promotion of Laura Barker to vice president and editorial director.

A 12-year veteran of the company, Barker served in several management roles for WaterBrook from 1998 to 2004, including managing editor and editorial director, before doing freelance work for a season.

Returning to the company in 2009 as editorial director, she has helped lead Multnomah’s editorial team with a high level of professionalism and expertise. In addition, she has acquired and edited some of Multnomah’s most important authors, including Kay Arthur, Liz Curtis Higgs and Joanna Weaver. She has established herself as an integral part of my management team and has become a trusted colleague in helping me in my transition here.

Susan Tjaden has been promoted to editor, continuing to report to Barker. Since joining the staff in March 2012, Tjaden has worked on such titles as Shaunti Feldhahn’s The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and the forthcoming Unafraid by Susie Davis. Her recent acquisitions of promising authors like Joshua Becker, Elisa Pulliam and Becky Thompson showcase her publishing instincts.

Kendall Davis has been promoted to assistant editor. Since joining WaterBrook Multnomah in July 2012, Davis has provided support to the editorial team and to our authors and agents. Her professional demeanor, commitment to excellence and creative problem solving have made her an invaluable member of the Multnomah team.

Debbie Mitchell has been promoted to vice president/director of operations. Mitchell’s role is a widely varied one. In addition to her responsibilities directing production, as well as managing editorial, inventory management and the art departments, she oversees all office operations in Colorado Springs.

In connection to Tina Constable’s announcement that the position of associate publisher for WaterBrook Multnomah, Convergent and Image has been eliminated, Crown Publishing is announcing new leadership for the WaterBrook Multnomah publicity and marketing departments. 

Beverly Rykerd has been promoted to publicity director. Rykerd has been the publicity manager for WaterBrook Multnomah since 2011. She has directed publicity campaigns for dozens of our high-profile titles, many of them New York Times best-sellers, including Be the Message by Kerry and Chris Shook, Fearless by Eric Blehm, To Heaven and Back by Dr. Mary Neal, Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs, Greater and Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver, and The Winnowing Season and other novels by Cindy Woodsmall.

Ginia Hairston will be joining the company on April 6 as vice president/director of marketing, An accomplished and creative marketing professional with more than 20 years of experience in Christian publishing, Hairston joins Multnomah from David C Cook, she most recently served as vice president of marketing. Previously, she served as program services director for HopeChest and as vice president of marketing for trade books at Zondervan.