The Latter-day Saint Publishing Professionals Association is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or governed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, all of the organizers and managers of LDSPPA are active members of the LDS Church. Below are bios of our 2017–2018 group. We are always looking for new leaders to help carry the movement forward.
Board of Directors
|Suzy Bills, President
Suzy Bills is an assistant teaching professor of editing at Brigham Young University and was formerly a lead editor at the Joseph Smith Papers Project. She also owns an editing and writing business. In 2004, she graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in editing. After working as an in-house editor for several years, she completed an MBA in preparation for starting her own business. She’s worked with individuals and companies to publish fiction and nonfiction books for a variety of ages, picture books, doctoral dissertations, magazine articles, video scripts, technical manuals, business documents, website content, cookbooks, and everything in between. She loves sharing her skills with others, whether through teaching, mentoring, helping authors get their thoughts on paper, or fine-tuning their writing.
|Marianna Richardson, Vice President
Marianna Richardson teaches business writing and management communication for undergraduate and graduate students at Brigham Young University. She enjoys encouraging business students to improve their writing and to gain a passion for publishing. She is the current chief editor for Marriott Student Review, a student business journal. She did post-doctoral work at Seattle Pacific University where she also served as the assistant-to-the-editor for a peer-reviewed journal, Counseling and Values. She has published three non-fiction books.
|Brad Farmer, Director of Business and Fundraising/Treasurer
Brad Farmer is the Chief Executive Officer at Gibbs Smith, noted publisher of illustrated books in architecture, interior design, cooking, and children’s, along with award-winning state history programs. He has worked in all aspects of the publishing process from acquisition and production through sales, marketing, and distribution. Brad graduated from Brigham Young University with a Masters in Accountancy. He joined Gibbs Smith in 2004 after working for Deloitte and Merrill Lynch. He serves on the Board of Directors of PubWest, an industry professional association, and has been an advisor for many peer companies on their transition to digital books and production. He lives in Layton, Utah, with his wife and two sets of twin boys (plus one extra for good measure) and loves to explore the world in books and in person.
|Barry Rellaford, Director of Chapters and Divisions
Barry Rellaford is the founder of THE Strength OF 10, a consultancy focused on inspiring individuals and organizations to perform meaningful and sustainable work. He is also a co-founder and master facilitator of FranklinCovey’s Speed of Trust practice and co-authored the business fable, A Slice of Trust (Gibbs Smith, 2011). Before co-founding the Speed of Trust Practice, Barry led FranklinCovey’s Learning Expedition Center, the company’s internal corporate university. He also served as the Vice President of Organizational Development for Metatec Corporation and as a performance consultant at CompuServe Inc. Barry has a gift of engaging leaders and teams in an understandable, engaging, and actionable way. He has worked with leaders and teams from over one hundred countries. Barry’s clients include Kroger, Procter & Gamble, FamilySearch, The LEGO Group, Tulsa Tech, Stratford Schools, G&J Pepsi Bottling, and Pfizer Consumer Health.
|Erin Willder, Director of Student Outreach
Erin Willder provides comprehensive publishing services to a variety of clients and has taught publishing courses at BYU, including Print Publishing, grammar and editing courses, and the Editing for Publication senior capstone (book and magazine versions). Her career began in North Carolina near the campus of Duke University, where she worked on university press projects. Other projects included creating travel books (Macmillan’s Unofficial Guide series), family histories, and marketing collateral. For many years she provided publishing services (manuscript to print coordination) for IT and leadership training companies, university marketing departments, and software companies. She enjoys working to support LDSPPA’s mission.
|Steven Piersanti, Director of Conferences and Programs
Steven Piersanti is president and publisher of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., a leading independent publisher of books on current affairs, personal growth, and business and management. Berrett-Koehler pursues its mission of “Creating a World That Works for All” by publishing groundbreaking books that promote positive change at all levels – individual, organizational, and societal. Prior to founding Berrett-Koehler in 1992, Steve served as president of Jossey-Bass Publishers. He began his career at Jossey-Bass in 1977 as an advertising copywriter then served as marketing director, editor, editorial director, and executive vice president before becoming president in 1989. Steve graduated with Highest Honors from Brigham Young University, where he got his start in publishing by founding and editing a university student scholarly journal.
|Amy White, Director of Membership
Amy White has been a librarian since 1995 and is currently a children’s literature specialist at the Orem Public Library. She is a dedicated Laptime and Storytime enthusiast, occasional blogger, and author of the Familius title Dressing the Naked Hand: The World’s Greatest Guide to Making, Staging, and Performing with Puppets, a 2015 #1 Amazon new release. A dedicated learner and educator, Amy is a Cracking the Story Code script and text analyst, a regular teacher and volunteer at writing conferences, and a volunteer since 1996 working with and on the organizing committee for the award-winning Timpanogos Storytelling Festival. Before her library career, Amy was a bookstore manager for seven years.
|LoriAnne Spear, Director of Awards
LoriAnne Spear is the Graduate Program Manager and Department Secretary for the Linguistics Department at Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU with a degree in English with an emphasis in English Linguistics. She used to be a contributing writer of human interest stories for the Daily Herald from 2011–2012. She often attends writing conferences and has taken several writing courses from Carol Lynch Williams, Martine Leavitt, and Erin Hale. When not working, LoriAnne loves traveling and working on home renovations and her garden.
|Brandon Weekes, Director of Communications and Marketing
Brandon is a marketing expert with Hales Creative and a great asset to LDSPPA. More information about Brandon to come.
LDSPPA Staff and Committee Members
|Kristen Reber, Operations Manager
Kristen Reber graduated from Brigham Young University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in Editing and Psychology. Her full-time job is a stay-at-home mom, but she pursues writing and editing through freelance work. She has written and published two articles with the Ensign and edited a range of projects. Her current projects include managing and writing content for earlyhomecoming.com and co-authoring her first book Early Homecoming: A Resource for Early-Returned Missionaries, their Church Leaders, and Family set to be released August 2018.
| Michelle McCullough, Social Media Director
Michelle McCullough started her first business when she was 19 and currently runs 3 companies including consulting other businesses all over the world. She’s the author of four books including the Make It Happen Blueprint and The Time Blueprint for Entrepreneurs. In addition to running her own consulting businesses, Michelle is the managing director for Startup Princess an international business and blog, listed by Forbes as “One of the top 10 resources for Women Entrepreneurs”. She’s worked with top brands like Visa Small Business, UPS Store, AWeber and more. A sought after speaker, she’s spoken for the Air Force Reserve, Goldman Sachs and Ancestry.com, among others. She’s been featured in entrepreneur.com, in the 40 under 40, Fox TV and has been interviewed for television and radio over 100 times, including Good Morning America and The Today Show. She was recently named in the Top 100 Small Business Influencers with Inc Magazine, Michael Gerber and Grant Cardone. Her own radio show “Make It Happen” has over 1 million downloads. www.speakmichelle.com
|Kaitlyn Stone, Conferences & Programs Committee Member
Kaitlyn Stone is from Highland, UT and new to LDSPPA. She attended the 2017 LDSPPA conference and loved it so much, that she decided to be involved in planning the next conference. Kaitlyn is new to the publishing and media world, but loves writing and reading more than almost anything else. She graduated as valedictorian of the School of Arts and Letters from Dixie State University in 2013 and currently works at UVU as an administrative assistant for the UVU/MTECH K-16 Alliance and for the UVU Secondary Education Field Coordinator.
|James Beers, Northern Utah Chapter Leader
James has been a full-time archaeologist since 2002, working for federal and state agencies and private industry across Utah. He’s currently self-employed as an archaeologist and a freelance writer. He’s authored hundreds of cultural resource and environmental compliance documents for public and private entities across the United States and produced a Master’s thesis hypothesizing the extrapolation of Clovis people’s behavioral patterns exhibited in usewear traces on stone tools. James has also won awards for his creative writing and has published a collection of humorous short stories (A Knack for Embarrassment, 2016) and a suspense novelette (Retribution, 2017). He’s currently working on another collection of humorous short stories (Encounters with Wild Animals, 2018), a children’s picture book (Roman Nosenblatz and the Gigantic Sneeze, tentatively 2019), and several middle grade novels. Part of his freelance writing work includes interviewing authors on the Freaking Awesome Authors YouTube channel and script writing for short productions. James has interviewed national award-winning author, Arthur Slade, and has written scripts for the Utah Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the CAO Group. Currently, James resides with his wife and son in northern Utah.
|Daniel Friend, Southern Utah Chapter Leader
Daniel Friend serves as the leader for LDSPPA’s Utah Chapter. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in linguistics and minor in editing, where he learned both the business and the craft of writing science fiction and fantasy from #1 New York Times best seller Brandon Sanderson. He also ran BYU’s speculative fiction magazine, Leading Edge. Since graduating, he has worked as a technical editor and layout designer for a Utah technology training company; the managing editor for Emerald Sky, a speculative fiction e-magazine; and the copy editor for national nonfiction books at Cedar Fort Publishing. Throughout his experiences, he has moderated convention panels on writing and edited stories by award-winning authors Dan Wells, David Farland, Robison Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal. You can follow Daniel on Twitter (@DCFeditor) or on his blog (troublemakingeditor.wordpress.com).
| Joel Campbell, BYU LDSPPA Chapter Advisor
Joel Campbell is an associate teaching professor in journalism in Brigham Young University School of Communications. He holds a master’s degree from Ohio State University. He worked 20 years as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Salt Lake City. He teaches media writing, journalism principles, media and religion, and research courses. He has published commentary in the popular press and academic journals about media coverage of Mormons in both the 19th Century and today.