Carolyn Reidy

Carolyn Reidy became President and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster, Inc. in January 2008. In this role, she was responsible for all the publishing and operations of Simon & Schuster’s numerous publishing groups as well as its international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom.

Reidy joined Simon & Schuster in 1992 as President of the Trade Division, was named President of the Adult Publishing Group in 2001, and became President and CEO of Simon & Schuster in 2008. During Reidy’s time with the company, Simon & Schuster has published many acclaimed works, including books by Pulitzer Prize winners David W. Blight, Anthony Doerr, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Frank McCourt and David McCullough and Siddhartha Mukherjee; world figures, celebrities, newsmakers and journalists including Jimmy Carter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dick Cheney, Jaycee Dugard, Walter Isaacson, Phil Knight and Bob Woodward; bestselling novelists Mary Higgins Clark, Vince Flynn, Stephen King, Ruth Ware and Jennifer Weiner; works of practical advice from authorities including Ray Dalio, Angela Duckworth, Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, and Rhonda Byrne’s worldwide multi-million copy bestseller The Secret; and bestselling children’s and teen authors including Cassandra Clare, Jason Reynolds, Shannon Messenger, Rachel Renée Russell and Neal Shusterman.

Prior to Simon & Schuster, Reidy was President and Publisher of Avon Books, after having worked at William Morrow and Random House, where she was publisher of Vintage Books and Associate Publisher of the Random House imprint. In 2017 Reidy was named “Person of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. In 2007 Reidy was named one of “The 50 Women to Watch,” by the Wall Street Journal, and she was also is a recipient of the Matrix Award from the New York Women in Communications. She graduated from Middlebury College, and obtained an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Indiana University, where in 2011 she was recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Oren J. Teicher

Oren J. Teicher is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Booksellers Association, the national trade association for independent booksellers, and he has been working on behalf of independent bookstores for more than thirty years, beginning in 1990 as the ABA Associate Executive Director, then as Director of Government Affairs, as the founding President of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and, through 2009, as ABA’s Chief Operating Officer.

Oren J. Teicher is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Booksellers Association, the national trade association for independent booksellers, and he has been working on behalf of independent bookstores for more than thirty years, beginning in 1990 as the ABA Associate Executive Director, then as Director of Government Affairs, as the founding President of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and, through 2009, as ABA’s Chief Operating Officer. He was appointed as ABA’s CEO in 2009. Teicher has played an integral part in ABA’s IndieBound program, Local First initiatives, and he works closely with independent business alliance boards and other independent retail trade associations. He has forged relationships with bookseller associations around the world; and has served as an officer of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF).

Teicher has received numerous awards and recognition for his work; including being named Publishers Weekly’s Person of the Year in 2013.

He announced this past March that he will be retiring from ABA at the end of 2019.

Before joining ABA, Teicher was the Director of Corporate Communications for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, and he served for many years as a senior staffer in the U.S. Congress.

Richard Robinson

Richard Robinson has been President of Scholastic Inc. (NASDAQ: SCHL) since 1974, Chief Executive Officer since 1975, and was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board in 1982.

Richard Robinson has been President of Scholastic Inc. (NASDAQ: SCHL) since 1974, Chief Executive Officer since 1975, and was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board in 1982. Under Mr. Robinson’s leadership, Scholastic has become the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, a leading provider of print and digital instructional materials for pre-K to grade 12, and a producer of educational and entertaining children’s media. With annual revenue of $1.6 billion and more than 9,000 employees worldwide, the Company distributes one out of every three children’s books purchased in the US through school-based Scholastic Reading Club and Book Fairs, instructional programs, non-profit partners, retail outlets and online.

During Mr. Robinson’s tenure, publishing records were shattered with the release of each book in the Harry Potter® series by J.K. Rowling, and Scholastic published the script book of the 8th Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two in July 2016. Mr. Robinson also led the development of such popular series as Captain Underpants®, The Hunger Games, Clifford the Big Red Dog®, Goosebumps®, I SPY®, The Magic School Bus® and the groundbreaking, multi-platform The 39 Clues®, among many others.

Scholastic Book Club catalogues, expert-curated collections of books from all publishers, are delivered monthly to nearly every K–8 school in the US, and are available online so children and parents have access to the best children’s books at affordable prices. Every Book Club purchase helps the child’s teacher earn points toward the purchase of additional books for the classroom. More than 125,000 Scholastic Book Fairs are held in US schools annually, generating excitement about books for kids and families, and helping principals create a culture of reading in their communities.

Founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine, Scholastic is now a leading provider of comprehensive literacy solutions for pre-K to grade 12 classrooms, serving schools and districts with a wide array of print and digital materials to support the renewed focus on independent reading as a core component of literacy instruction. Scholastic publishes 32 classroom magazines, which provide relevant, engaging content in print and digital formats reaching more than 25 million readers. The Company’s core curriculum for literacy instruction includes classroom book collections, Guided Reading programs, and classroom digital subscription programs, including GO!™ (formerly Grolier Online), Core Clicks™, Storia® School Edition and the “Flix” line of products. Scholastic is a leader in the movement to improve family and community engagement and offers professional learning programs for educators who are striving to serve the diverse needs of their students.

Under Mr. Robinson’s leadership, Scholastic has developed a rich content and e-commerce experience for teachers, parents and children on Scholastic.com, attracting more than one billion page views every year. Scholastic.com is the most trafficked website for pre-K to grade 8 teachers, and is among the largest internet booksellers, according to Internet Retailer, offering quality, affordable children’s books from all publishers.

Mr. Robinson spearheaded the global expansion of Scholastic into Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Asia, where the Company has operations mirroring the US model of trade publishing, book clubs, book fairs and curriculum materials publishing. Scholastic also exports to more than 165 countries.

Scholastic is the founding sponsor of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the most prestigious recognition program honoring America’s creative teens. Since its founding in 1923, the program has established an amazing track record for identifying the early promise of our nation’s most accomplished and prolific creative leaders. Alumni include artists Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Robert Indiana, Zac Posen, Kay WalkingStick and John Baldessari; writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Stephen King, Lena Dunham, Bernard Malamud and Joyce Carol Oates; photographer Richard Avedon (who won for poetry); actors Frances Farmer, Robert Redford, Alan Arkin and John Lithgow; and filmmakers Ken Burns and Richard Linklater. Outside the arts, Awards alumni employ their creativity to become leaders in fields ranging from journalism, law, and medicine, to finance and public service.

Mr. Robinson has received numerous honors for his outstanding career, including Publishers Weekly’s Publishing Innovator of the Year in 2011the Partners for Children Award and the Corporate Leadership Award from Save the Children, R.R. Bowker’s 1998 Literary Market Place Publisher of the Year, and the Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He served as Chairman of the Association of American Publishers from 1996 to 1998, was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers Hall of Fame, received the British American Business Award for Innovation, and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young.  In 2013, he was named an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia for service to the promotion of children’s literature worldwide.

Mr. Robinson is a recipient of the UJA-Federation For the Love of Reading Award, The Creative Coalition Spotlight Award, the Robin Hood Foundation’s John F. Kennedy, Jr. Corporate Hero Award and the Best Friend Award from LA’s BEST After School Enrichment Program, as well as being named the National Association of Bilingual Educators’1995 Corporate Citizen of the Year — all in recognition of his efforts to improve literacy. In 2002, Reach Out and Read established The Richard Robinson Award in his honor to provide annual recognition to pediatric doctors and other healthcare professionals who exemplify the mission of ROR.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Richard Robinson is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard College. He also studied at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University in England, and at Teachers College, Columbia University, and began his career as a high school English teacher in Evanston, IL. He is an Honorary Trustee of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Doron Weber

Doron Weber, Vice President, Programs and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is the recipient of the NBF’s 2018 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

Doron Weber was born on a kibbutz in Israel, grew up in New York City, and was educated at Brown University, the Sorbonne, and Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Although his early training was in the arts and fiction-writing, he published several science books, worked at The Rockefeller University, a Nobel-filled biomedical research institute, and gradually moved into science. For over two decades, he has worked at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropy making grants in science, technology, and economics, where he currently serves as Vice President and Program Director.

Weber’s signature Sloan program, Public Understanding of Science and Technology, focuses on connecting the “two cultures” of science and the arts, which he regards as two sides of the same human impulse to understand and meaningfully describe the world around and inside us. Weber helps commission, develop, and produce an array of culture defining products—books, radio, television, film, theatre, new media—to illuminate and humanize science for the lay public. He helped start Radiolab, Tribeca Film Institute, and World Science Festival; supports Emmy-winning television on American Experience, NOVA, and National Geographic, award-winning plays at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, and London’s National Theatre, and Oscar-winning films via film schools and film festivals at Sundance, Tribeca, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Weber’s book program supports individual authors and has resulted in over 100 published books. Critically acclaimed titles include Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures, Dava Sobel’s Galileo’s Daughter, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin’s American Prometheus, Richard Rhodes’s Hedy’s Folly, Jared Diamond’s Collapse, Stuart Firestein’s Ignorance, and Eric Kandel’s The Age of Insight. More recent books include Carl Zimmer’s She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, Oren Harman’s Evolutions, Richard Rhodes’s Energy, Adam Becker’s What is Real?, Julie Wosk’s My Fair Ladies, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s Everybody Lies, Catherine Price’s Vitamania, David Baron’s American Eclipse, M. R. O’Connor’s Resurrection Science, Kevin Davis’s The Brain Defense, Robert Kanigel’s Eyes on the Street, Brooke Borel’s Infested, and Jonathan Waldman’s Rust.

While Weber has developed an organization that supports thousands of screenplays, plays, teleplays, radio plays, webisodes, games, VR, and librettos, he considers books to be an anchor and critical entry point for the entire program, believing books have an outsize influence because they often represent the first serious foray into a new field where authors can uncover or synthesize new knowledge and convey it in the richest, deepest, and most nuanced way. Books also serve as a platform to other media. Weber has helped adapt foundation-supported books (The Poisoner’s HandbookHedy’s Folly) into television documentaries (The Poisoner’s Handbook, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story); other books (Hidden Figures, The Man Who Knew Infinity) into films; and even books (The Elegant Universe) into plays (String Fever). He has championed stories about women scientists in every medium.

At Sloan, Weber also runs the program in Universal Access to Knowledge, which seeks to harness digital information technology to make the benefits of human knowledge accessible to all. His grantmaking has helped lead the Digital Public Library of America, a consortium of over 2,000 libraries, archives and museums in 50 states, and to scale Wikipedia into the largest encyclopedia in human history and the fifth largest web site in the world. A recent grant to Consumer’s Union focuses on consumer privacy in the digital age.

Weber’s work at Sloan has been profiled in The New York Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Lifehacker, Fortune, and Filmmaker Magazine. His program has received numerous awards including the National Science Board’s Public Service Award “for its innovative use of traditional media—books, radio, public television—and its pioneering efforts in theater and commercial television and films to advance public understanding of science and technology.”

Prior to Sloan, Weber worked at The Rockefeller University, the Society for the Right to Die, and The Reader’s Catalog. He has also been a screenwriter, speechwriter, teacher, tutor, taxi driver, romance novelist, busboy, and boxer. He currently serves as President of The Writers Room Board, National Secretary for the Israel Rhodes Scholarship, Trustee of Shakespeare & Co, and Board Visitor of the Wikimedia Foundation. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, National Association of Corporate Directors, and USA Triathlon.

In 2012, Weber published Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir (Simon & Schuster), named one of the 50 Notable Works of Non-Fiction by The Washington Post and an Amazon Best Book of the Month. He previously coauthored three books: Safe Blood: Purifying the Nation’s Blood Supply in the Age of AIDS, The Complete Guide to Living Wills, and Final Passages: Positive Choices for the Dying and Their Loved Ones. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesLA Times, USA TodayBarron’sThe Washington Post, and the Boston Review, among others. He is currently at work on a novel.

Cave Canem

Cave Canem was conceived when poets Toi Derricote and Cornelius Eady were vacationing together in Pompeii, Italy in 1996. At the entryway of The House of the Tragic Poet, was the famous mosaic Cave Canem, which means “Beware of the Dog,” and signified to them that African-American poets need to have a safe space to practice their craft if they are to thrive.

Cornelius Eady and Toi Derricote (Photo credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths)Cave Canem was conceived when poets Toi Derricote and Cornelius Eady were vacationing together in Pompeii, Italy in 1996. At the entryway of The House of the Tragic Poet, was the famous mosaic Cave Canem, which means “Beware of the Dog,” and signified to them that African-American poets need to have a safe space to practice their craft if they are to thrive.

Cave Canem’s flagship program is an annual writing retreat held at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, PA that welcomes emerging African-American poets from across the United States and around the world. Poets become “fellows,” and are invited to attend two additional retreats within a five-year period. Among the major literary awards received by fellows are the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, the NAACP Image Award, the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the Ruth Lilly and Lannan Fellowships.

Delivered in partnership with five prestigious presses, Cave Canem administers three books awards of its own: The Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, and the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize.

In addition to the flagship writing retreat and the book awards, there are community-based workshops for emerging adult poets, conversations with legendary poets and scholars, new works readings showcasing poetry by contemporary African-American practitioners, cross-cultural craft conversations with poets of color in mid-career, a popular lecture series, and a poets tour representing over 70 fellows.

Cave Canem has over 20 local, regional, and national cultural partnerships and collaborative residencies for fellows at such sites as the Millay Colony for the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

The success of Cave Canem has inspired the creation of Kundiman, a national organization dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian-American poetry; CantoMundo, which provides a space for the creation and critical analysis of Latina/o poetry; and Kimbilio, a community of writers and scholars committed to developing, empowering, and sustaining fiction writers from the African diaspora.

 

Kyle Zimmer

Recipient of the 2014 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community – Realizing that the children she was working with had no books to call their own spurred Kyle Zimmer to take action and in 1992, she founded First Book.

Recipient of the 2014 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community

Born in Zanesville, Ohio, Zimmer attended the University of Iowa and graduated from George Washington University Law School. She worked as a corporate attorney for several years in Washington, DC while also volunteering as a tutor for Martha’s Table, a multi-service community organization for the District’s families in need.

Realizing that the children she was working with had no books to call their own spurred Zimmer to take action and in 1992, Zimmer founded First Book. To provide quality books to underserved children, Zimmer developed two groundbreaking models of social entrepreneurship: the First Book Marketplace, an award-winning, self-sustaining program that purchases new books from publishers and makes them available to educators and program leaders at affordable prices, and the First Book National Book Bank, which serves as the nation’s largest clearinghouse for new books donated by publishers. In addition, First Book’s market-driven Stories for All Project is serving as a catalyst to increase diversity in children’s books, so that all children can see themselves in books.

With Zimmer at the helm, First Book distributes millions of new books and educational resources every year to children from low-income families through a growing network of schools, programs, churches, and institutions across the United States, as well as in as well as in Canada, Peru, Haiti, Jamaica, India and other countries.

A passionate advocate for social entrepreneurship, educational equity, and the importance of literacy to further economic competitiveness and global understanding, Zimmer has participated in some of the world’s most prestigious economic forums. In 2013, Zimmer was a presenter at the University of Oxford’s “Power Shift: Forum for Women in the World Economy” at the Saïd Business School at Oxford. Zimmer and First Book were also featured at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative. Zimmer was also a presenter and blogger at the World Economic Forum in Beijing in 2012, served as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Entrepreneurship, and was featured as a presenter at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2010.

Zimmer has won numerous awards and honors, including the Carle Honors Angel Award in 2009, the first ever American Marketing Association Nonprofit Marketer of the Year in 2008, and the Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the United States in 2007 from the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Ashoka, which works to ensure that social entrepreneurs and their innovations continue to inspire a new generation of local change-makers. She also serves on the Youth Venture Board of Directors and as a member of the board for James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a man of many hats, and he brings to each of his roles an approach that challenges tradition. It is his uncharacteristic personality that allows him to balance comfortably activities as diverse as those of poet, novelist, playwright, publisher, critic, social activist, and visual artist.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in Yonkers, New York, in 1919. He received an AB degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, and an MA from Columbia University, where he wrote a thesis on the influence of John Ruskin’s writing on J.M.W. Turner. After Navy service in World War II, he worked in the mail room at Time Magazine for a while, then lived in Paris (1947–1951), where he received a Doctorat de l’Universite from the Sorbonne in 1949. It was in France that Ferlinghetti began painting. On his return to the United States he settled in San Francisco, where he and Peter D. Martin founded the first all paperbound bookstore in the country, City Lights Books. Under its imprint, Ferlinghetti began the Pocket Poets Series which included work by William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Patchen, Kenneth Rexroth, and Antonin Artaud. Ferlinghetti’s second books of poems, A Coney Island of the Mind (New Directions, 1958) is one of the best selling poetry books of our time. A Far Rockaway of the Heart (ND, 1997) won a silver medal, in the category of Poetry, in the California Book Awards, sponsored by The Commonwealth Club of California. On August 11, 1998, Ferlinghetti was named San Francisco’s first poet laureate. He received The Before Columbus Foundation “Lifetime Achievement Award” for the twentieth annual American Book Awards for 1999. In 2001 he was one of two American poets (the other being John Ashbery) chosen to participate in the second celebration of UNESCO’s World Poetry Day in Delphi, Greece, where he along with his international confreres poetically addressed the Oracle. He has also been writing a weeky column, “Poetry as News,” for the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. In December 2006, Ferlinghetti was named a Commandeur in the French Order of Arts and Letters. Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s reputation within the literary world grows out of his commitment to literature and to the literary artists who have pushed the edges of the literary envelope shaping the last half of this century. He is a man of many hats, and he brings to each of his roles an approach that challenges tradition. It is his uncharacteristic personality that allows him to balance comfortably activities as diverse as those of poet, novelist, playwright, publisher, critic, social activist, and visual artist.