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Kristin Keith Award for Sales Rep of the Year
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NAIBA Rechristens Sales Rep of the Year Award to Honor Kristin Keith

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association will rename the William Helmuth Sales Rep of the Year award to the Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award.

The award was first given to Bev Chaney in 1987, and named after the beloved William Helmuth of Book Travelers. At the inception, NAIBA wanted to recognize the sales rep “who is the sort of person who does their homework all the time, is patient and tolerant of customers and colleagues, who makes mistakes from enthusiasm, then owns up to them.”

In 2013, Kristin Keith won this award for her dedication and enthusiasm for the book industry and book people. Sadly, we lost Keith to cancer in 2017. In kind, that same industry wants to immortalize her dedication, enthusiasm and heart to a new generation of book people through the renaming of the Sales Rep of the Year award.

In honor of Kristin Keith, starting with the 31st presentation of the annual Sales Rep of the Year award in Cherry Hill, NJ on October 7, 2017, this award will be a tribute to her and forevermore be called the Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award.

Ian Doherty, 2016 Sales Rep of the Year

Ian Doherty has been selected by the booksellers in the NAIBA region as the 2016 William Helmuth Sales Rep of the Year.  Ian will be presented with the Helmuth Bowl at the NAIBA Fall Conference Awards Banquet on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore, MD.

In her announcement to Ian’s colleagues at HarperCollins, Mary Beth Thomas, vice president, deputy director of sales, wrote, “Congratulations, Ian, for this well-deserved award, which is a testament to your strong relationship skills, account management and support of the HarperCollins list.” 

Ian comes from a book background.  He attributes his love of books to his father, Terence Doherty, a long time rep for Simon & Schuster.  Ian started his own book career and education at Koen Book Distributors in New Jersey, which was an important wholesaler to the mid-Atlantic stores.  “I then started as a Sales Representative with Ballantine Books for 10 wonderful years” Ian recalled. “They moved me to Atlanta, GA to service the independent stores of 5 southern states in 1985. I worked there for one year when the sales position for the Mid-Atlantic region opened up and was given the chance to move back to the area I know best.  I moved to William Morrow for 4 years before my current position at HarperCollins. I just celebrated my 20th year here.”

“Ian is a terrific sales rep -- fun, passionate, fully engaged -- and one I depend on and appreciate for all his help and expertise. We are both big English football fans, he roots for Chelsea and I root for Man U… always a lot of good natured teasing between us during his sales calls,” said Toby Cox, owner of Three Lives in Manhattan, NY. 

Susan Kehoe, general manager at Browseabout Shops in Rehoboth Beach, DE also loves Ian. "The best thing about Ian Doherty is not his obvious passion for his publisher, nor his endless enthusiasm about his books and authors. It's his absolute dedication to independent bookstores that sets him above and beyond his peers.  That, and the donuts..."

Rebecca Fitting, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstore, in Brooklyn, NY sums it up nicely, “I've always believed that the rep's job is a balancing act of representing the publisher's interests, while also advocating for accounts, and Ian navigates this role so well. We are lucky we have him in our corner and HarperCollins is lucky they have him in theirs.”

Or, as Ian said, after 31 years in the business, “I enjoy books!”




Previous winners of the NAIBA Rep of the Year Award are:


2015 - Eric Stragar

2014 - Joe Ginis

2013 - Kristin Keith
2012 - Nicole DuFort
2011 - Bill Getz
2010 - Bob Werner
2009 - Tim Hepp
2008 - Trudy Kallman
2007 - Kim Gombar
2006 - Sam & Adele Herman
2005 - Sue Flynn
2004 - Jim and Lisa Sirak
2003 - Jerry Goodman
2002 - Chris Kerr
2001 - Charlie Young
2000 - Lou Cohen      

1999 - Chesapeake & Hudson
1998 - Cinda VanDeursen
1997 - Annette Hughes
1996 - Edward H. Ponger
1995 - Jeanie Guman
1994 - John Broderius
1993 - John L. Crowell
1992 - Michael Rockliff
1991 - Franlee Frank
1990 - Ned Melman
1989 - Stuart Hirsch
1988 - George Csemovics
1987 - Bev Chaney