(Left to Right): Vice-President Jenn Haines, Directors Joe Murray and Tim Stoltzfus, Recording Secretary Colin McMahon, Director John Dudas, Executive Director Marco Davanzo, and President Peter Dolan. Not pictured, Director Steven Olsen. [Photo by John Dudas.]
New ComicsPRO board members and officers were elected at the ComicsPRO Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina last week.  The ComicsPRO Board of Directors (officers are also board members) are now:

  • Peter Dolan (Main Street Comics) – President, Director
  • Jenn Haines (The Dragon) – Vice President, Director
  • Colin McMahon (Pittsburgh Comics) – Recording Secretary, Director
  • John Dudas (Carol and John’s) – Treasurer, Director
  • Joe Murray (Captain Blue Hen Comics) --- Director
  • Steven Olson (A Little Shop of Comics) – Director
  • Tim Stolzfus (More Fun Comics – Director

The organization also presented ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation Awards to BOOM! Studios and posthumously to Golden Apple founder Bill Liebowitz "for their work in being forward-thinking innovators aimed at making the comic book direct market more successful for all comic retailers, publishers, and distributors," at the Meeting.

BOOM! Studios was cited for "their progressive and innovative retailer partnership program, featuring affidavit returnability, promotional material and early first looks at upcoming projects," according to the announcement. Other nominees were Steve Geppi, Jonni Levas, Margaret "Maggie" Thompson, and Gene Luen Yang.

Former ComicsPRO President Joe Field presented the ComicsPRO Memorial Industry Appreciation Award to the late Bill Liebowitz’s widow Sharon and son Ryan on his behalf.  "In addition to being a successful comics retailer, Bill was co-founder of Rhino Records, and comics’ first real ambassador to Hollywood in the way he promoted comics as an entertainment medium on par with any other," the announcement said.  "Mr. Liebowitz was also co-founder of The Direct Line Group, an early and effective retailer lobbying group."

But the quote of the event may have been from keynote speaker Bob Wayne (see "ComicsPRO Announces Keynote Speaker"), who in his address urging the industry to embrace the power of tolerance, diversity, and representation told the assembled independent brick and mortar retailers, "I'm not opposed to wider availability of comics at retail, but during my professional career a lot of energy has been used trying to get comics into places like Toys 'R' Us, Tower, Circuit City, Virgin, Blockbuster.  And you know one of the big differences between those retailers and comics retailers?  You're still here!"