BISG Announces 2021 Industry Award Honorees

Posted By: Brian F. O'Leary Announcements,

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will recognize Maureen McMahon, President & Publisher at Kaplan Publishing, Connie Harbison, Director of Authority Control at Baker & Taylor, and Andy Hunter, CEO of Bookshop, with industry awards presented at its Annual Meeting in New York on April 23.

Maureen McMahon will receive the Sally Dedecker Award for Lifetime Service. Named for one of BISG’s longtime volunteers and advocates, the award recognizes the tireless and persistent efforts, often unseen, of an individual working on behalf of the book industry. Now immediate past president of the BISG Board, McMahon served as its chair from 2016 until 2019, overseeing a sweeping transformation of the organization's governance structure.

Those changes created segment-specific seats on the board, introduced term limits for the first time, reduced the size of the board, and opened the process used to recruit new members to the board. McMahon has also served as the organization's treasurer and has represented the publishing community on the board for the past decade.

Connie Harbison will be recognized with the Industry Champion Award, honoring an individual whose efforts have advanced the publishing industry as a whole. BISG's longest-serving volunteer leader, Harbison has chaired BISG's Subject Codes committee, which maintains the BISAC code list, since 2004. In 2020, the committee celebrated BISAC's 25th anniversary by doing what it does every year: updating the code list to support evolving industry needs. 

Andy Hunter will receive the Industry Innovator Award, which recognizes an organization or individual who boldly reimagines what publishing is and can be. Hunter launched Bookshop in January 2020, weeks before a pandemic changed the landscape for retailing around the world. Since its launch, Bookshop has partnered with hundreds of U.S. booksellers to provide a fulfillment option for direct consumer orders, at a time when buying patterns changed significantly.

BISG Board chair Andrew Savikas said, “BISG works to bring people together, amplify good work, and solve problems that affect our industry. Through their work, our honorees have done all of these things, and more. I look forward to recognizing them at our annual meeting.”

Programming for the Annual Meeting serves BISG’s audience of traditional and digital publishers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, service and technology partners, bricks-and-mortar and online retailers, local and regional library systems, trade associations, consultancies, and entrepreneurs.

Featuring an opening keynote from Sherri Aldis, Chief of U.N. Publishing at the United Nations, the meeting will give thought leaders from various segments of the industry an opportunity to share their insights, expertise, and predictions for how U.S. book publishing will address issues of sustainability. At the meeting, BISG members will also approve the 2021 budget and a new slate of board members.

Registration is open now, with a current agenda is available on the BISG website.