Tieshena Davis, founding publisher and CEO of Publish Your Gift, has been unanimously elected the next chair of the Independent Book Publishers Association's board of directors, effective July 1. She will succeed Karen Pavlicin, publisher of Elva Resa Publishing and owner of Military Family Books distribution, who has chaired the IBPA board for two one-year terms.
Davis, who is the first person of color elected to lead the IBPA board, has been a member of IBPA since 2015 and of its board since 2020, and currently serves on its executive committee. She has also served stints on IBPA's governance, investment, membership, and editorial advisory committees; its IBPA Independent magazine and diversity, equity, and inclusion task forces; its DEI consultant search working group; and its Innovative Voices Program, where she served as a judge.
“Tie’s strong business leadership experience, dedication to IBPA’s mission, and passionate energy, along with her willingness to enhance her board leadership skills through a variety of service roles, has prepared her well for the chair position and earned her the confidence and full support of the board, which includes publishers from a broad spectrum of business models,” Pavlicin said in a statement.
“Since joining IBPA in November 2022, I have worked closely with our current board chair, Karen Pavlicin, to make continued progress toward our 2023–25 strategic plan, including the launch of initiatives to strengthen and diversify our membership, advocate for independent publishing, eliminate bias in our industry, and shape the future of independent publishing. Tieshena is the ideal leader to continue this critical work,” IBPA CEO Andrea Fleck-Nisbet added in a statement. “Her entrepreneurial expertise, deep operational knowledge, emphasis on data-driven decision making, and commitment to making publishing a more inclusive and accessible industry will help to lead IBPA as it grows and strengthens.”
Alongside her work at Publish Your Gift and the IBPA, Davis is an author and executive advisor at her consultancy, Ekpansa. She has been recognized by the Mayor of Baltimore for her philanthropic work with youth writers, among other honors.
“I am thrilled to assume the role of IBPA’s incoming board chair,” Davis said. “The association has been a beacon of inspiration and growth throughout my professional journey, and I am truly grateful to the outgoing chair, Karen, for her trailblazing leadership and unwavering dedication. I’m prepared to build upon her accomplishments and aid the organization in reaching new heights of operational excellence, innovation, and influence.”
In addition to Pavlicin, who will continue to serve on the organization's governance committee, board members Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews, and Annette Hobbs-Magier, owner of Magier Marketing & PR, will depart from the board at the end of its current term, on June 30.