The APA is led by a volunteer board and committees in a variety of areas. They are supported by an Executive Director and APA headquarters administrative office who are available to assist members and prospective members with questions at any time.

The Board of Directors is selected by the voting members (Publishers) and consists of 9 members who hold their position for two-years terms. Affiliate Members – including retailers, suppliers, individual industry professions, voice talent, librarians, and media – may be members of the Board, however the majority must be made up of Publishers per our by-laws. In addition to the Board of Directors, leadership of the APA includes a slate of officers who are elected annually by the Board of Directors.

Committees are made up of members who volunteer their time to strengthen the offerings of the APA.

For information concerning the full structure of the association, please refer to its by-laws.

APA Committees

APA Conference

The APAC committee plans the educational tracks of this premier event for audio professionals with focuses on business and performance. Planning committee members help line up speakers, craft programming focus, write copy for the conference brochure, and assist in helping the day run smoothly. Phone meetings are held throughout the fall and spring with the association events team to build a strong and worthwhile day with plenty of networking opportunities for all.

Business Track Chair:

  • Steve Smith, Oasis Audio

Production Track Chair:

  • Janina Edwards, Narrator

The Audie Awards® Competition

The Audie Awards® competition is the only awards program in the United States devoted entirely to recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. This committee administers and ensures the integrity of the competition, coordinating the work of over 200 dedicated judges.


  • Mary Burkey, Librarian

The Audie Awards® Gala

The finalists and winners of The Audie Awards® competition are honored at a gala event. Members of the Audie Awards® Gala committee assist with the planning of this celebration including choice of venue and emcee, theme selection, program and script writing and presentation preparation. Phone meetings are held throughout the fall and spring with the association events team. Onsite visits to determine the venue and decorations are attended by local committee members.


  • Ana Maria Allessi


The Membership Committee works to spread the word about the APA and its mission across the globe. This includes working with other committees to enhance APA's membership benefits and create new ways to better serve APA members. Committee members' participation includes such tasks as making Welcome Calls to new members, assisting with the writing of membership materials, planning and executing webinars.


  • Caitlin Garing, HarperAudio

Voice Talent Ambassador Program

Voice talent members greet new voice talent members via phone, introduce them to the organization, and are available to answer questions about membership.


  • Romy Nordlinger, Narrator
  • Bob Souer, Narrator

Narrator Webcasts

Monthly webcasts focused on voice talent education.


  • Suzanne Elise Freeman, Narrator

Membership Communications

The Membership Communications Committee is responsible for the content, look and tone of the APA eNewsletters, Email Alerts, and Industry News Blog. They work to provide APA members with up-to-date information on programs and services as well as other industry news. APA's eNewsletter is distributed monthly to its membership as an exclusive member benefit. This committee meets via phone throughout the year to plan, create, and execute direct-to-member communications.


  • Natalie Fedewa, Brilliance Publishing


The Nominations committee works with the board and the membership to identify eligible members to run for the board and keep those running informed about the process. Voting members (publishers) select a new board at the Annual Membership Meeting at APAC.


  • Brad Rose, Dreamscape/Hoopla

Public Relations and Events (PRE)

Professionals from various areas of the audio publishing industry work together to enhance the APA programs as well as develop new ones – all to increase the visibility and profile of audiobooks. Members of this committee meet once a month either in New York or via conference call. This committee works to improve and share PR opportunities. Committee members do everything from coordinate events to write press releases to stuff goodie bags to design creative marketing campaigns to get the word out about audiobooks.


  • Samantha Edelson, Macmillan Audio

Sound Learning is a subcommittee of the PRE focusing on expanding the information about the importance of audiobooks within the literacy cycle.


  • Francisca Goldsmith, Librarian and Consultant


The Research Committee is responsible for identifying and distributing data to APA members to help them understand and manage their audio businesses. The committee’s two largest projects are the Consumer Survey and the annual Sales Survey. For both projects the committee determines what information the APA wants, identifies a firm to conduct the research, works with that firm to develop a questionnaire, and works with the PR & Events Committee and APA management to share results with members and to generate media interest in the results. For the Sales Survey, the committee also plays a role in encouraging members to submit their results. In addition, the committee looks for relevant data from other organizations to share with APA members. Phone meetings are held throughout the year on an as-needed basis.


  • Chris Lynch, Simon & Schuster


The Sponsorship Committee is responsible for identifying new potential partners to help support the APA. Sponsors gain visibility and network with professionals from this growing industry by sponsoring or exhibiting at APA events. To become a sponsor check out our brochure and contact for details.


  • Lee Jarit, Audible, Inc.

Ready to volunteer?

The APA encourages participation in committees by all of our members. Contact APA headquarters and let them connect you with the committee of your choice.

Executive Director

Michele Cobb

Michele served on the board from 2001, as a director and officer, becoming Executive Director in 2015. She is a partner in Forté Business Consulting, which provides PR, Sales, Marketing, and Business Development services for the publishing industry.


Ana Maria Allessi

Ana Maria is an audio and digital publishing executive who worked for HarperCollins Publishers for 17 years, overseeing publication of HarperAudio’s unabridged audiobooks and acting as host of the podcast HarperAudio Presents, a weekly exchange of ideas with leading authors and book editors.

Vice President

Amy Metsch

Amy Metsch is Vice President, Associate Publisher, and Editorial Director of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group. She has worked in the audiobook industry for 17 years and in publishing since 1991.


Anthony Goff

Anthony started his career in book publishing in 1995. He started at Hachette in 2003 where he has published five Grammy Award winning audiobooks as well as three Audiobook of the Year recipients.

Assistant Treasurer

Lee Jarit

Lee is Senior Director, Strategic Content Partnerships, at Audible. He has had the pleasure of collaborating with all sorts of audio publishers, large and small, to ensure their recordings are made available to Audible listeners around the world.


Natalie Fedewa

Natalie is the Director of Sales and Product Management at Brilliance/Amazon Publishing. A 25-year veteran of the audiobook industry, Natalie started her career as a franchise owner with Talking Book World.

Lauren Cannavino

Lauren Cannavino is the OverDrive representative to the Educational Book & Media Association as well as the APA. As an Account Manager at OverDrive, Lauren supports large independent, audiobook, and children’s publishers.

Debra Deyan

Debra Deyan is a 29-year veteran producer of audiobooks and owner of Deyan Audio, the world's largest independent producer of audiobooks. She has won numerous awards including 5 Grammys, 12 Grammy nominations, countless Audies, Odyssey, Carnegie and Earphones awards.

Samantha Edelson

Samantha is the Marketing Director at Macmillan Audio where she has worked for the past nine years. She oversees all of the marketing and publicity efforts there, including advertising, social media, and sales management.

Caitlin Garing

Caitlin Garing is the Associate Publisher of Audio Production at HarperCollins where she oversees the production team that handles all of HarperCollins US audiobook titles, plus Harlequin US. She has produced and directed a number of award-winning audiobooks.

Jessica Kaye

Jessica has produced or directed nearly 1,000 audiobooks, including directing the 2018 Grammy Award winner, The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. A former President of the APA, she founded audiobook distributor Big Happy Family, LLC, and is a partner in the law firm of Kaye and Mills.

Ralph Lazaro

Ralph is currently the Chief Digital officer for Findaway, driving the creation and execution of a global digital business strategy that is experiencing record revenue growth. Prior to joining Findaway, he led the launch of Baker & Taylor's digital business by developing an industry-leading eBook platform.

Chris Lynch

Chris is President & Publisher for Simon & Schuster Audio. He has overall responsibility for acquisition, production, sales, marketing, and licensing activities on behalf of the division’s many titles and product lines, including the company’s fast-growing Pimsleur Language Programs.

Brad Rose

As VP of Content Strategy for Midwest Tape, Brad is responsible for publishing partnerships and content strategy at Hoopla Digital and for strategic oversight at Dreamscape Media.

Steve Smith

A 35-year veteran of the publishing and entertainment industries, Steve Smith joined Oasis Audio as its Director of Sales and Marketing in August 2010. In 2012, he was named publisher, and in 2017, president.