- Retailers & Libraries
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Meet the book and gift account manager team of Ampersand Inc. – where we strive to connect, curate, and champion our book & gift.
Karen began her career in the book industry in 1991 working for independent bookseller Chapman Books. In 1994, she joined the sales and marketing team at Kids Can Press. While at Kids Can, Karen had the great privilege of attending the Banff Publishing Program. Karen left Kids Can as a publicist in 1998 to join Ampersand Inc. as an account manager for Toronto and Central Ontario. Currently, Karen sells to accounts in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. One day, she hopes to read all of the books stacked beside her bed.
Saffron has been selling books for almost twenty years. She started with Ampersand Inc. in 1994 and has what she considers to be the best job in the world. She is also an instructor at Centennial College in the Book and Magazine Publishing Program, where she attempts to guide 30 plus students a year through the tumultuous world of publishing. In January 2013 Saffron became President of Ampersand Inc.
Claire jumped from the entertainment business to the gift industry, where she has been for over 10 years. She was a sales representative at Stephen Young, the largest gift showroom in North America, located in Los Angeles, representing trendy lines such as Diptyque candles, Davies Gate, and many of the top Publishing companies. The Stephen Young Showroom was one of the first to perfect the art of placing books in gift stores. Claire’s previous clients include Fred Segal, Kitson, and Nordstrom. Her interests include design, art, and travel. She finds inspiration at shows such as the stationery show in NYC, Maison Objet in Paris, and many of the tradeshows that call Toronto home.
Debbie grew up in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. She started working in the book industry as a bookseller in Toronto. Her love of children’s books led her to work for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She then went on to be the marketing manager for Groundwood Books and later the institutional marketing manager for Kids Can Press. Debbie moved to Ottawa in 2007. She enjoys skating, skiing, boxing and walking on the lovely National Capital Commission trails with her dog, Claudia. Debbie was named the 2011 CBA Sales Rep of the Year for Atlantic Canada.
Vanessa first fell in love with books as a child, and then fell in love all over again in her teens when she worked part-time in the showroom at S&B Books, a school and library wholesaler. Determined to always be surrounded by books, she armed herself with an Honours BA in English Literature from York University and completed the Publishing program at Ryerson University. After interning at a literary agency, Vanessa joined Ampersand Inc. in May 2010. She even blogs (and tweets!) about books and the industry in her spare time. Her sales territory is Central Ontario.
Cheryl joined Ampersand Inc. in 1994 as Office Manager. In 1999 the company saw the need for a rep dedicated to the gift market, and Cheryl took this opportunity to combine her love of shopping with her passion for selling. Many gift shows and account visits later, she is now the National Sales Manager for the Gift Division. In January 2013 Cheryl became Vice President of Ampersand Inc.
After completing an Honours degree in History at Carleton University (and the obligatory post-graduation trip to Europe), Ali began her book selling career at Victoria’s Cadboro Bay Book Company in 2004. She stayed there for two and a half years, completing the Simon Fraser University Book Publishing Immersion Workshop over the summer of 2006. After a wonderful six months traveling around Australia, she received a job offer from Ampersand Inc. in March of 2007, and began her repping career. To this day, she remains shocked that someone is willing to pay her to talk about books all day long.
Heike is a trained bookseller from Switzerland. In 1989 she and her Canadian husband moved to Vancouver and Heike started working at Duthie Technical Books, where she soon became manager. After the demise of Duthie’s she briefly entertained the idea of starting a technical bookstore, but the lure of working for Kate proved too strong. Heike joined Ampersand Inc. in June 2000 as office manager, a job she truly enjoys and finds tremendously rewarding. Helping reps achieve their goals and making their lives easier gives her enormous pleasure. In her spare time Heike creates glass marbles and jewelry.
Since graduating from university with an honours degree in Anthropology and History, Lorna has been variously employed as a reporter, researcher, editor, bookseller and publicist. In 1984, before the advent of fax machines, not to mention computerized ordering systems, she started working as a publishers’ rep for Stanton & MacDougall which later became Kate Walker & Co. and is now Ampersand Inc. She continues to enjoy the incredible array of books in each new season. Outside of work she spends a lot of time watching her boys play soccer, hockey and rugby and is trying to develop a really good tennis backhand.
Tamara graduated with honours in English and Film at The University of Western Ontario. After backpacking through Australia and traveling and teaching English in South East Asia, she returned to Toronto to pursue a career in publishing and attended Ryerson University’s publishing program. Tamara’s experience during her internship at Kids Can Press led to her Sales Coordinator position at Ampersand Inc. She is thrilled to be working in an industry where reading on the job is encouraged!
After a serendipitous meeting with her former Grade 3 teacher, (now a bookstore owner) Dot started a 4 year part-time career as a bookseller while keeping her day job at the Red Cross Blood Donor Clinics. Through a connection at the bookstore she met Kate and decided to chuck the blood biz and follow her true passion for books and book selling on a full time basis. Throughout her 16 year sojourn with Ampersand Inc. she has won the Libris Award for Rep of the Year (2008/2009/2012), and has been guest lecturer for various streams of the SFU Masters of Publishing Programme.
A childhood spent with her nose in a book finally led Judy to work in the book industry. Twenty years ago she started as a bookseller at McNally Robinson Booksellers and subsequently moved to the other side of the desk as a sales rep for H.B.Fenn and Company and Thomas Allen & Son. Judy joined Ampersand Inc. in 2012 and is thrilled to be able to represent such wonderful publishers to the great customers in her territory.
Mark graduated with honours in history from the University of British Columbia. After a tour of Europe that was a hits-keep-coming of Roman ruins and important places in the history of photography, he attended Ryerson’s summer publishing program. He interned with the journals division of the University of Toronto Press and joined Ampersand Inc. in November 2012.
Morgen graduated from the Creative Book Publishing Program from Humber College, after completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto. She enjoys long walks on the beach and a nice Pinot… but thinks nothing can top a great book… and a nice Pinot! She is thrilled to be a part of the team at Ampersand Inc. and a part of the Canadian book industry.