Dear WNBA Community,
Hello! I am Carin Siegfried, your new president. I am an independent editor in Charlotte, North Carolina, and previously I worked at Baker & Taylor, at St. Martin's Press in New York (I was a member of the NYC chapter), and at Ingram Book Group in Nashville (my first WNBA membership!).
I am excited to take the reins from Valerie Tomaselli, who did such a great job during her two-year tenure, and who, we are thrilled to announce, is chairing WNBA's 100th Anniversary Committee. The anniversary celebrations planned for 2017 will involve each chapter hosting its own signature event and then a big event in New York, to which all members will be invited. We're also looking into making a significant donation to a book-related charity and to producing a book documenting our history. Planning all these exciting opportunities will be a huge focus of my tenure.
Carin Siegfried & Valerie Tomaselli
Reflecting on the last ninety-seven years makes me think about how far we've come as women in the world of books and how far we still have to go. While women have made great strides and no longer have to work our way up from typist or be subjected to blatant sexual overtures by our bosses (read the hilarious novel
The Best of Everything
by Rona Jaffe for a look at publishing in 1952), we still aren't in the C-suite ranks in numbers representing anywhere near our percentage of the industry's workforce overall. The leaders are still predominantly male in a predominantly female industry.
One thing I love about the WNBA is the opportunities it provides for women to take on leadership roles. I wasn't exactly eager when I was elected president of the Charlotte chapter in 2009, but I quickly found that it put me in a great situation at our events: members seek me out to chat. I no longer have to walk up to strangers and introduce myself because they come to me. I was also surprised to find both how manageable the job was (particularly when I mastered the art of delegating) and how much fun I had doing it. From there, I took on a national committee chair position and then was asked to assume this role. I'm sure it will be fun as well.
I hope all of you are active in your local chapters. I know how busy you are (trust me!), but there are opportunities to fit every lifestyle. If you only have a little time to volunteer each month or if you prefer to do a big job just once a year, speak to your board. I'm sure they'll have options for you. You never--know--you may surprise yourself and turn out to be leadership material! Start by speaking up and helping out.
I would love to hear from you. If you'd like to get in touch, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WNBA National President