CHARLOTTE ABBOTT — Robin Seaman Award Committee
Charlotte Abbott founded BAWiP with Robin Seaman, Anne Kubek and Kelly Peterson in 2012 to increase recognition of Bay Area women as publishing leaders. She brings 25 years of experience to her marketing consultancy, Futureproof Content, which helps publishing and tech companies grow their audiences with stories that drive results. A frequent speaker at industry conferences, Charlotte also serves on the Programming Committee of Women's Media Group in New York. Earlier in her career, she honed her storytelling and audience-building skills as a journalist at Publishers Weekly and an acquiring editor at HarperCollins and Avon Books. A native San Franciscan and Yale graduate, she thrives on the synergy of living in Brooklyn, New York, and visiting the Bay Area regularly.
KATHERINE ARNETT — Communications Committee
Katherine Arnett is the Digital Project Manager at North Atlantic Books, where she works on audiobook production and helps manage the North Atlantic Books website. After attending many BAWiP social and educational events, she joined the Communications Committee to help with website management.
DEBBIE BERNE — Membership Committee
Debbie Berne has been a freelance book designer for 20 years. She has designed hundreds of books of every sort imaginable and works for publisher’s, large and small, in the Bay Area and across the country.
HELENA BRANTLEY — Robin Seaman Award Committee
Helena Brantley is the principal of Red Pencil Publicity + Marketing, where she has developed promotional campaigns for books, authors and organizations since 2010. She currently serves on the marketing committee of LitQuake and on the San Francisco Bay Area board of Reading Partners. Previously, she was co-curator and publicist for Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas in 2017 and 2018, and the inaugural publicist for the Bay Area Book Festival in 2014 and 2015. She has been working in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2005, when she was recruited by HarperCollins Publishers. Earlier in her career, Helena promoted consumer brands in public relations, marketing and advertising agencies in New York City and Washington, D.C. She lives with her family of avid readers in Alameda,CA. She is a member of BAWiP's Robin Seaman Award Task Force.
CHERYL CECHVALA – Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Cheryl Cechvala is a longtime acquisitions and development editor who has worked primarily in the nonfiction realms of science, history, and early childhood education. She is currently a Product Manager at Pearson, where she manages digital titles in the life science space and contributes to the local Diversity and Inclusion working group.
CHERISE HUNTER – Communications Committee, Robin Seaman Award Committee
Cherise Hunter is an Operations Specialist at Berrett Koehler book publishers. She received her MBA in Nonprofit Management at Willamette University in 2016. She is a member of BAWiP’s Communication Committee and the Robin Seaman Award Task Force.
SHANZEH KHURRAM — Communications Committee
Shanzeh Khurram is a Pakistani writer who writes about immigrant transitions, identity, and cultural differences; her fiction often focuses on characters that are straddling two cultures. She has written for multiple publications, including Rookie, Mic, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Californian. Shanzeh graduated with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied English and Creative Writing under authors like Robert Hass and Joyce Carol Oates. After college, she explored different fields—working as an Instructional Assistant at Berkeley City College, as a Hearing Representative at a workers’ compensation law firm, and as a Publicity and Marketing intern at North Atlantic Books—before discovering her love for publishing. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in fiction at The New School, where she is at work on her first novel. She is interested in pursuing a career in the publishing industry.
CHRIS SOSA LOOMIS — Robin Seaman Award Committee
Chris Sosa Loomis is a marketing consultant specializing in brand strategy, lead generation, market development, content marketing, social media management and new product launches in book publishing and educational technology. As someone who is dedicated to increasing access to education, and to helping people become life-long learners who positively affect our world, Chris enjoys collaborating with those of like mind. Earlier in her career, she held positions at Cengage Learning and the University of California Press. She is a member of BAWiP’s Robin Seaman Award Task Force.
KATE MCKINLEY — Mentorship Task Force
Kate McKinley decided to become an editor at the age of 8, when she found out there was a job that would pay her to read. Since then she’s edited books, magazines, websites, government reports, and anything else someone will pay her to read. Currently a freelance editor, when not reading she spends her time motorcycling or volunteering with dog rescues, particularly for Great Pyrenees dogs.
KASIA METKOWSKI — Social Events Committee
Kasia Metkowski is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley who is excited to launch her career in publishing. While a student, she re-launched Troika, the only magazine for and by undergraduates that featured articles and artwork on Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Russia, and the Former Soviet Union. She is a member of the Social Events Committee and is planning her first productivity-themed events.
ROBERTA MORRIS — Mentorship Task Force
Roberta Morris (aka ‘Berta), is a San Francisco-based designer with many years of experience in publishing. As the principal designer at Leave It to ’Berta (leaveittoberta.com), she works closely with publishers and authors on projects ranging from educational curriculum to memoirs—helping to bring their publications and stories to life. She is honored to have received numerous design awards, including a 2020 Purple Dragonfly Award in Children’s Nonfiction for Jennifer Phillips’s biography: Robert Wadlow: The Unique Life of the Boy Who Became the World’s Tallest Man. Roberta enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering her design skills for organizations such as Career Girls and Taproot Foundation. She also enjoys writing about all things design via her Martini Minute blog (medium.com/martini-minute). When she’s not designing something, ’Berta pursues other interests such as: world travel, painting and collage, crochet, science, reading, writing, adventurous cuisine, artisanal coffee, karaoke, and cats. Whatever the task, leave it to ‘Berta!
MICHELE NELSON — Communications Committee
Michele Nelson is a freelance Production Specialist with many years of experience in print and digital production. She started out as a typographer and production artist in the days before desktop publishing and remembers using border tape, rubylith, and waxers. She has worked in most areas of publishing and most recently was the Production Manager at the USENIX Association and Managing Editor of the quarterly technical journal published by the association. She received her BA in English from UC Berkeley. In her free time she enjoys gardening, photography, and spending time with Spats, her American Shetland Pony.
NATALIE NICOLSON — Communications Committee
Natalie Nicolson is Marketing Manager for the Entertainment group of Chronicle Books. She has over 10 years in publishing and digital media experience in the SF Bay Area. Prior to joining Chronicle Books, she managed PR and communications in the US for global travel brand Lonely Planet. In-house, with agencies and solo, she has helped authors, experts, executives and brands share their stories. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Literature and lives in Oakland, California.
BRIDGET WATSON PAYNE — Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Bridget is Editorial Director of art publishing at Chronicle Books, where she helps coordinate the Diversity and Inclusion Group. In addition to her board role with BAWiP, she is a senior mentor for Representation Matters. Over more than 15 years in publishing, she has collaborated with hundreds of authors to make their book ideas a beautiful reality. She is also an artist and the author of several books. Bridget has taught on CreativeLive, at the ICON Conference, Handcraft Studio School, and elsewhere; spoken at the San Francisco Writers’ Conference and the California Library Association; and been featured on KTVU San Francisco, Minnesota Public Radio, Publishers Weekly, Shondaland, Women Who Draw, and more. She is also the founder of Open Studio, a shared work, learning, and retail space in San Francisco.
MICHELLE PHAN — Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Michelle Phan is an assistant publicist at North Atlantic Books. After graduating with a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara, she moved from SoCal to the Bay Area, where she has found life to be expensive but pleasant. In her free time, she enjoys reading Asian American literature and taking walks around Berkeley, where she currently resides.
COLLEEN RIORDAN — Communications Committee
Colleen Riordan is a Book Marketing Coach at Wild Ink Marketing where she teaches authors and illustrators how to build their careers and sell more books through effective (and fun) data-driven marketing. Originally from Wisconsin, Colleen is a recent transplant to the Bay Area. She is a member of BAWiP's Communications Committee and maintains the BAWiP Job Board.
LEIGH SAFFOLD — Membership Committee
Leigh Saffold has spent the past 20 years editing and project managing books for Chronicle Books, Ten Speed, Parallax Press, and the University of Hawai'i Press in categories including art, craft, cookbooks, company biographies, mindfulness, literary anthologies, children's, and more. Before working in books, she taught elementary school, developed K-12 curriculum, and wrote news for KQED radio and Oakland's now-defunct Urbanview Arts & Culture Weekly.
EDEN JULIA SUGAY — Communications Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Affinity Groups
Eden Julia Sugay (she/her) is Sales & Marketing Manager at Chronicle Books, and Poetry Editor for Apricity Press. She earned her B.A. in Creative Writing with an emphasis in Poetry from Mills College. She is a member of BAWiP's Communications Committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. and leads the BIPOC and Queer Affinity Groups.
VANESSA TA — Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Vanessa Ta is a proud Bay Area native. As an editor at Callisto Media, she works on titles across a wide range of subject areas from cookbooks to alternative medicine to spirituality and beyond. Before joining Callisto Media, she spent time at several Bay Area publishing houses, including North Atlantic Books and Red Wheel/Weiser. Vanessa holds a BA in English and French from San Francisco State University and an MFA in poetry from Mills College. She joined Bay Area Women in Publishing to connect with the wonderful community of women in publishing and to work to further diversity in the industry.
KATE WARNE — Social Events Committee
Kate Warne is the Managing Editor at UC Press, where she leads a crack team of project editors who oversee production—from manuscript to printed and e- book—of 180 titles annually. She’s been a board member for the Bay Area–based Publishing Professionals Network and is glad to be a committee member with Bay Area Women in Publishing. In her off hours, Kate is a poet, a hiker, and a reader.
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