Kristin Keith Award for Sales Rep of the Year

Nissa Bagelman

Abby Fennewald 2022 Sales Rep of the Year

Abby Fennewald of WW Norton has received the 2022 Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award, being recognized for her dedication, enthusiasm, and support for the independent booksellers.

“I am thrilled to receive this recognition, both because it’s from the NAIBA booksellers and because it’s named after Kristin. When I first became a bookseller Kristin Keith was our sales rep, and I always remember the excitement that buzzed in the store on days she was coming to sell. When I took over part of what used to be her territory for Norton, I quickly learned that the love was spread far and wide among those who remember her. If I can bring half as much enthusiasm and knowledge about the books with me to bookstores as she did I think I’m doing something right,” said Abby, upon receiving the good news.

“She's so helpful and responsive, knowledgeable, and is so respectful of our time. I think her quick and efficient style should be acknowledged. I am always happy to hear from her and talk to her about Norton's newest books. If I ever need anything, she is very quick to answer and help,” said Lauren Nopenz of Curious Iguana, Fredrick, MD when she voted for Abby.

Abby is the WW Norton Southeast Field Sales Rep, based in Washington, DC. She was previously Sponsored Events Manager at Politics and Prose, in Washington, DC, and Marketing Director at BookPeople in Austin, TX.

“The true joy of this job is, of course, the booksellers themselves – talking to them about their communities, their businesses, and the books – so to get an award chosen by booksellers is very special. They are the most adaptive, creative people, and have truly been a bright spot as we all face the challenges of the last two and a half years together.”

NAIBA Rechristens Sales Rep of the Year Award to Honor Kristin Keith in 2017

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association renamed the William Helmuth Sales Rep of the Year award to the Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award in 2017.

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, this 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.

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

2021 - Nissa Bagelman

2020 - Award on hiaitus 

2019 - Melissa Grecco

2018 - Judy DeBerry

2017 - Linda Cannon

2016 - Ian Doherty

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