Michelle Lewis and her husband are owners of Third Eye Books Accessories and Gifts located in Portland, Oregon. She has over 15+ years of experience in the Health and Human Services field, specializing in families involved in the criminal justice and/or child welfare systems. She is a former Afrocentric Mental Health practitioner that provided culturally specific mental health services to the BIPOC community; she comes with an MSW in Social Work graduating in 2013 from PSU Master Social Work program. She is currently a part-time adjunct faculty member who has been teaching at the SSW for the past six years. She was initiated as a Sacred Woman Practitioner (SWP), Kemetic Reiki Master; Vibrational Sound Therapist, and is currently studying for Certified Holistic Health & Wellness Coaching. She currently uses these tools to assist the BIPOC community in taking back their power to heal themselves.
Leah Hernandez is the Founder and CEO of Young Authors Publishing, children's book publisher that exists to share the stories of Black and Brown children. Leah is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she obtained her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. In 2021 Leah was named one of Publisher's Weekly Star Watch Nominees. Leah aspires to continue to impact the lives of others by helping them share their stories.
Chelsea Villareal (she/her)
Chelsea P. Villareal is a Children’s Media Strategist from Portland, Oregon. She holds a BUPA in Political Science & Film Studies from Portland State University and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Communication & Education at Columbia University, TC with a focus on civic imagination. She works on the Brand Marketing team at Penguin Young Readers and also works at We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) as a Program Manager handling the Internship Grant Programs. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and two crazy, lazy feline beasts.
Leah Altman (she/hers; Oglala Lakota/Persian)
Leah grew up as a member of the Portland urban Indian community and comes from a background in Portland-area social service and environmental justice nonprofits, primarily in grant writing and donor development. She comes with an MA in writing and is an alum of the Portland Emerging Arts Leaders mentorship program and the Coalition of Communities of Color’s Bridges program. Leah is currently enrolled in the low-residency MFA in creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her passions include beadwork, poetry, cooking, and playing pool; she has two daughters.
Seth Dellon is a 15+ year publishing veteran who currently serves as director of strategic development at Publishers Weekly where he oversees the digital media department. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Independent Book Publishers Association. His career is publishing includes a stint as associate publisher of Foreword Reviews, as a bookseller, and the founding of the online rights network PubMatch. He lives in Sleepy Hollow, NY with his partner and their two literary-named children.
Michele Cobb (She/Her)
Michele Cobb, a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops, events and panels, is a recognized expert in the audio publishing industry. In 2013, after more than a decade working for the British Broadcasting Corporation US audiobooks division, she launched Fortè Business Consulting which provides PR, Sales, Marketing and Business Development services for the publishing industry. Her client list includes Panoply, Ideal Audiobooks, LA Theatre Works, The Audio Publishers Association, AudioFile Magazine and PubWest, among others.
Brian O’Leary is executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, a U.S.-based trade association that disseminates information, creates and implements standards and conducts research to benefit the book publishing supply chain. Before being named to this role in 2016, O'Leary was principal of Magellan Media Consulting, which helped publishers improve how they create, manage and distribute content. In that role, O’Leary wrote extensively about issues affecting the publishing industry. With Hugh McGuire, he co-edited Book: A Futurist's Manifesto (O'Reilly Media, 2012). O’Leary served as senior VP with Hammond Inc. and oversaw production and distribution operations at several Time Inc. magazines. O’Leary joined Time Inc. after earning an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He also holds an A.B. in chemistry from Harvard College.