Gane departs BA after 15 years as Mansell and Gunning take on roles

Gane departs BA after 15 years as Mansell and Gunning take on roles

The Booksellers Association (BA) has announced a number of changes to the team for 2022, as Naomi Gane departs after 15 years, with Rowan Mansell (pictured, top) stepping up to the role of conference and events manager.

Mansell will take over Gane's role later this month, while elsewhere membership manager Pippa Halpin will be going on maternity leave from mid-February, with her role to be covered by Kate Gunning, formerly of Penguin Random House, Foyles and Waterstones. 

The BA is also currently seeking maternity cover for Laura McCormack, head of policy and public affairs, who will be taking her leave in March. 

Gunning (pictured, right) commented: “Throughout my time in bookselling and publishing, I always worked very closely with the brilliant team at the BA and admired and valued hugely the work they do for their members — never more so than over the past 20 months. So imagine how thrilled I am to be joining them to work as their membership manager while Pippa is on maternity leave. I look forward very much to providing guidance and support to members; I can't wait to get started.”

Sheila O'Reilly, former owner of Dulwich Books and founder of The Dingle Literary Festival, will head the upcoming BA Learning project, a professional development platform for booksellers due to launch later in the year, as a part-time freelance consultant.

“We have a number of exciting projects lined up in 2022 to showcase booksellers and their incredible work, and we are pleased to be reframing the BA team to support these initiatives," said Meryl Halls, m.d. at the BA. "Naomi will be greatly missed by everyone at the BA and throughout the trade, but we are delighted to have Rowan join the team. We also look forward to welcoming Kate as cover while Pippa is on maternity leave, and are lucky to have Sheila bring all the necessary experience and skills to develop BA Learning as she heads that project as a freelance consultant.”

Mansell said: “I have been working in events for the last four and a half years, co-ordinating and leading leadership/governor events for schools in Hertfordshire. Providing key training, conferences and networking opportunities to support schools in keeping up to date with educational trends as well as societal trends/advances. I am really looking forward to begin a new journey with BA and become a part of the team to continue the incredible event management that takes place!”

Further details of the BA Learning project will be shared at the London Book Fair, taking place in April 2022.