Board, Committees, Staff

The Board of Directors for World Book Night U.S., in alphabetical order:

  • Molly Barton, V.P. Digital Publishing, Business Development & Strategy, Penguin 
  • David Byrnes - Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning at Simon & Schuster
  • Patricia Bostelman, V.P., Marketing, Barnes & Noble
  • Carl Lennertz, Executive Director, World Book Night U.S.
  • Josh Marwell, President, Sales, HarperCollins
  • Phil Ollila, Chief Content Officer, Ingram Content Group
  • Michael Pietsch, Publisher, Little, Brown, & Executive V.P., Hachette Book Group
  • Elisabeth Schmitz, VP and Editorial Director of Grove Atlantic
  • Jeff Seroy, Senior V.P., Marketing and Publicity, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
  • Oren Teicher, C.E.O., American Booksellers Association 
  • Theresa Zoro - SVP, Director of Publicity & Communications for The Random House Publishing Group



The World Book Night U.S. Steering Committee, in alphabetical order:

  • Joan DeMayo, Senior Vice President, Director of Sales, Random House Children’s Books
  • Mary Ghikas, Senior Associate Executive Director, American Library Association
  • Tracey Guest, Advising Director of Corporate Communications, Penguin Group (USA)
  • Jonathan Karp,Executive Vice President and Publisher, Simon & Schuster
  • Cathy Langer, Lead Buyer, Tattered Cover Bookstores
  • Jan Lindstrom Valerio, National Business Development Manager, Marketing and Events, Barnes & Noble

The World Book Night U.S. Media Strategy Committee:

  • Sophie Cottrell, Vice President, Communications Director, Hachette Book Group
  • Erica Glass, Corporate Communications, Penguin Book Group
  • Sandi Mendelson, CEO, Hilsinger-Mendelson East
  • Jeff Seroy, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Publicity, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
  • Amy Cox Williams, Director, PR & Product Marketing, Ingram Content Group 



World Book Night U.S. Staff:

Carl Lennertz, Executive Director 

Carl Lennertz began his book career out of college, working in bookstores for 5 years, and then going to Random House as a Midwest sales rep. In 16 years at Random, Carl served mostly as the Marketing Director of Knopf, Vintage and Pantheon, before going to Little, Brown as Associate Publisher, and then HarperCollins as VP of Retail Marketing. He also edited 15 books for Harper, Perennial, and Poisoned Pen Press and wrote a book, Cursed by a Happy Childhood, published by Harmony Books. He also spent 4 years as Director of Book Sense, a national marketing campaign for the independent bookstores, and is now Executive Director of World Book Night in the U.S.. He also speaks regularly at the NYU Publishing Course and writers’ conferences around the country, and teaches the week of marketing each summer at the Denver Publishing Institute.

Laura Peraza, Social Media Manager

Originally a member of the World Book Night U.S. social media committee, Laura now heads the social media marketing and outreach for WBN. She has a background in marketing, publicity, and advertising. Fully bilingual, Laura’s traditional and social media experience includes targeting US audiences in both Spanish and English. In the past, she created the social media strategy for Vintage Español (Random House). She has an M.S. in Publishing: Digital and Print Media from New York University, as well as a postgraduate degree in journalism from the London School of Journalism. 

Carolyn Schwartz, Director of Development 

Carolyn Schwartz, Director of Development, has been involved with WBN since its launch.  She spent 15 years in marketing at Bantam Books and Random House, rising to VP, Director of Advertising and Promotion for the 14 Random House Publishing Group imprints. Prior to that, she worked for Harper Collins and Columbia University Press.  She volunteers with the Taproot Foundation and is President of the Board of Directors for her local public library.



Alia Almeida, Marketing and Design Assistant

Katharina Gadow, Marketing Assistant

Devin Kelly, Art and Design Assistant




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