Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos: “We Just Bought America’s Most Iconic Indie Bookstore…Now What Do We Do?”

What: November RMMWA meeting
Where: Historic Denver Press Club
When: Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:30 p.m. socialization and cash bar
7:00 p.m. dinner
8:00 p.m. presentation

MENU: Balsamic marinated London broil served on a bed of caramelized red onions and mushrooms with garlic mashed potatoes and a grilled vegetable salad ~ marinated and grilled seasonal vegetables and feta cheese, atop a bed of organic spring greens with sun dried tomato vinaigrette.

COST: Via Paypal, cost for the meeting with meal is $20 for members; $23 for non-members. Payment at door for meeting with meal is $25 for everyone! Attending the meeting without meal is $5 through PayPal and at the door.
RSVPs are necessary. Please email our Caterer Director, Susan Paturzo by Monday, November 7th, to ensure your reservation or simply RSVP and pay via PayPal. To pay for more than one reservation, click the “Continue Shopping” button once you are routed to PayPal. Walk-ins are welcome if space and food allows. RSVP by Monday, November 7th.

PROGRAM:  Kristen Gilligan and Len Vlahos: “We Just Bought America’s Most Iconic Indie Bookstore…Now What Do We Do?”

November 10, 2016 Meeting

Psst—the bookstore in question is the Tattered Cover, in case you couldn’t guess. Kristen and Len’s presentation will cover things of great interest to authors, including how they came to buy Tattered Cover, trends they’re seeing and their plan for the future, their personal histories working with books, and a brief history of disruption in the book industry. And of course, any questions MWA members might have.

With four locations in and around Denver, and three branded locations at Denver International Airport, Tattered Cover is an iconic brand not only in Colorado, but nationally. Built over four decades by current owner, the legendary Joyce Meskis, the stores are known for an inviting atmosphere, a large and well-curated selection of books, a robust schedule of author events, full service coffee shops, and legendary customer service.

Before joining Tattered Cover, Len was the Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, a national not-for-profit trade association doing standards, research, and education on behalf of the entire book industry. Prior to that, Len spent nearly twenty years at the American Booksellers Association (ABA) where he served a variety of roles, including overseeing ABA’s e-commerce and education programs, leaving in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer. In his early career Len worked in indie, chain, and university bookstores. He has also served on the boards of directors for EDItEUR, the International Digital Publishing Forum, and as a citizen’s advisor to the Stamford Public Library. Len is also the author of *The Scar Boys* (Lerner), a critically acclaimed young adult novel published in January 2014 and its sequel, *Scar Girl* (Lerner. He is under contract with Bloomsbury Kids USA to publish to new YA novels in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Kristen also worked at ABA, where, for a decade, she held a variety of positions, including Director of Meetings and Events. As a member of the ABA’s senior staff, Kristen was privy to and participated in strategic discussions on the current state and future of the book industry with many of the industry’s leaders. She was also directly involved in the creation of ABA’s education program; assisted and counseled potential members on opening a bookstore; managed ABA’s public relations and publicity; and advocated on behalf of independent booksellers on First Amendment issues, Internet sales tax, and the development of sustainable local economies. During her tenure at ABA, Kristen was a member of the American Society of Association Executives and sat on the Children’s Booksellers & Publishers Committee, a joint group of ABA, the Association of American Publishers, and the Children’s Book Council. Before joining ABA, Kristen managed an independent bookstore in her hometown of Chappaqua, New York.

Kristen and Len are actively involved in the education of their two sons, Charlie (age seven) and Luke (age five). They live in Littleton, Colorado with one very large cat.