Each year, the APA holds this industry event in conjunction with BookExpo America (BEA). 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, 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. APAC also includes a presentation of Excellence Audie Awards in the areas of Marketing, Design, and Production.
Business Track Co-Chairs:
- Beth Anderson, Audible, Inc.
- Ana Maria Allessi, HarperCollins Publishers
- Heather Dalton, Penguin Random House
Performance Track Chair:
- Stefan Rudnicki, Skyboat Media
The Audies Competition
The Audies 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.
- Janet Benson, Audio Editions Books on CD
- Mary Burkey, The Booklist Reader
The Audies Gala
The finalists and winners of The Audies competition are honored at a cocktail party and awards ceremony followed by a dessert reception. Members of the Audies 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 choose the food and decorations are attended by local committee members.
- Sean McManus, Audible, Inc.
- Patrick Deering, Recorded Books
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 listening of audiobooks. Members of this committee meet once a month either in New York or via conference call. This committee works to increase PR opportunities, including through tradeshows and to share PR opportunities with members in new ways – member calls, increased committee membership, inclusion in e-newsletter. This committee also hosts the PLA Audiobook Supper, the BEA Audiobook Tea and the post-Odyssey Award reception. They also coordinate the Audiobook Blogger of the Year Contest. Major projects for the PRE have included The Audiobook Mobile that toured the East Coast of the US in 2014 bringing information about audiobooks and fun giveaways to book festivals, libraries and Baltimore Comic Con. In June 2016 the PRE committee launched a special video campaign with Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen King, James Patterson, Chelsea Clinton, Tyler Oakley and many other authors and narrators, encouraging listeners to share why they #loveaudiobooks. 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.
- Katie Punia, Penguin Random House
The Membership Communications Committee is responsible for the content, look and tone of the APA eNewsletters, Email Alerts, and Blog. They work to provide APA members with up to date information on programs and services as well as other industry news. APA's e-Newsletter 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.
- Suzanne Galvez, Findaway World
The Membership Committee works to spread the word about 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.
- Tavia Gilbert, Talkbox
- Jessica Kaye, Big Happy Family Audio
- Mary Beth Roche, Macmillan Audio
The Research Committee is responsible for identifying and distributing data to APA members to help them understand and manage their audio business. The committee’s two largest projects are the Consumer Survey (conducted every other year) 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 questionnaire, identifies funding sources for the survey, 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 also looks for relevant data from other organizations to share with APA members. Phone meetings are held throughout the year on an as needed basis.
- Anthony Goff, Hachette Audio
An important resource for the audio publishing industry is the APA Website. The Website committee ensures that the site provides the latest information to APA members, industry professionals and audiobook consumers. They look for ways to improve the site to best meet the needs of the many constituencies we serve. In 2016 this committee led the re-design of the APA Website. They meet via phone on an as needed basis. Ongoing volunteers needed for copy and photo editing as part of this committee's work.
- Robin Whitten, AudioFile Publications, Inc.
- Steve Rutberg, Firebrand Technologies
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.
Michele served on the board from 2001, as a director and officer, becoming Executive Director in 2015. She is a partner in Forte Business Consultants, which provides PR, Sales, Marketing and Business Development services for the publishing industry.
Linda is the Vice President/General Manager of Weston Woods Studios, the largest producer and distributor of audiovisual materials based on children’s literature and Scholastic Audio, the award-winning publisher of unabridged audiobooks for children and young adults.
Anthony started his career in book publishing in 1995. He started at Hachette in 2003 where he has published 5 Grammy Award winning audiobooks as well as three Audiobook of the Year recipients.
Assistant Vice President
Ana Maria Allessi
Ana Maria joined HarperCollins Publishers in 2001. She oversees publication of HarperAudio’s unabridged audiobooks and is host of the podcast HarperAudio Presents, a weekly exchange of ideas with leading authors and book editors.
Sean is veteran of the audiobooks industry and has been with multiple companies, including HarperCollins, Scholastic Audio, and Audible.com.
Janet is Co-President of The Audio Partners. She has worked in audio publishing since 1990, splitting her work experience between The Audio Partners Publishing Corporation and Audio Editions Catalog and Website. She served 2 terms as APA President.
VP of Member Communications
Suzanne is Vice President of Content at Findaway, a global leader in digital audiobook content delivery. Suzanne brings two decades of digital strategy and management experience to the board.
Beth is the Executive Vice President and Publisher of Audible. Beth spent 15 years in the book publishing industry at Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. She has served on the board in many capacities since 2000.
Heather is Director of Marketing for the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Groups. She oversees the advertising, social media, and creation of sales materials for Random House Audio and Penguin Audio, in addition to Fodor's Travel and Living Language.
Patrick is Director of Marketing for Recorded Books as well as its divisions, Tantor Media and HighBridge Audio. His roles with the company include managing the Landmark Audiobooks division, military sales and serving as Midwest Regional Sales Manager.
Award-winning producer, narrator, and writer Tavia Gilbert has appeared on stage and in film and has narrated more than 300 multi-cast and solo voice audiobooks.
Jessica is the producer and director of nearly 1,000 audiobooks, including two Odyssey Award winners. A former President of the APA, she founded Big Happy Family (audiobook distribution business) and is a partner in the law firm of Kaye & Mills.
Mary Beth Roche
Mary Beth is President and Publisher of Macmillan Audio as well as overseeing Macmillan’s Quick and Dirty Tips (QDT) podcast and website business and the Macmillan Speaker’s Bureau. She served 3 terms as APA President.
Stefan is Publisher of Skyboat Media. His audiobook career began when he joined the staff of Dove Audio as an abridger. Stefan has participated in 5,000 audiobooks, being honored with 2 GRAMMYs, 2 Hugos, Bradbury and Stoker Awards, 20 Audies and the “Golden Voice.”
Steve joined Firebrand Technologies as Sales and Marketing Director in 2011, combining his long tenure in publishing with a passion to help publishers succeed and impact our industry.
Robin is the founder and editor of AudioFile Magazine, an independent source of audiobook recommendations and reviews.