BRAIN TRUST 2024

PubU is developed BY Christian publishers FOR Christian publishers to train, connect, and inspire—through sharing what they know best about their discipline: best-practices, interactive discussions, and action learning.

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Michael Covington

LEAD

Michael Covington is the VP of Publishing & Acquisitions for David C Cook where he oversees their Books business, setting editorial direction and acquisitions strategy. He is responsible for leading a team of high-performing publishing professionals who are passionate about equipping the Church with Christ-centered resources for making and teaching disciples. Michael and his wife Christina live in Colorado Springs along with their two college-age guys, Nate & Sam (plus three cats!)

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Jerri Helms

CO-LEAD AND MARKETING TRACK

Jerri Helms holds the position of VP of Digital Marketing and Analytics at HarperCollins Christian Publishing and HarperCollins Focus. With over 15 years of experience spearheading digital marketing initiatives at HCCP, she was selected in 2018 to lead their Marketing Operations team. This team serves as the primary marketing advisory group for teams within HCCP and HCF, setting benchmarks for eMail, SEO, digital advertising, social media, and analytics. Additionally, Helms is a member of the SEO Global Counsel for NewsCorp, the parent company of HarperCollins. In her role, she oversees the Marketing Operations and Creative Service teams, supervises Consumer Insights to provide crucial data for publishing teams' decision-making, and manages the Online Optimization Team to ensure optimal SEO practices for publishing projects.

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Whitney Alexander

MARKETING TRACK

Whitney Walker Alexander serves as the marketing manager for academic books, trade books, and kids books at B&H Publishing, an imprint of Lifeway Christian Resources. Whitney received her BA from The University of Alabama in Communications and is a current MBA student at the University of North Alabama. She is a pastor’s wife to her husband, Mat, and they live in Gadsden, Alabama, with their three children, Wattsie, Ford, and Jim, and their rambunctious dogs, Boyce and Althea. When Whitney isn’t marketing books, she is reading books, making to-do lists, and laughing with her family. You can follow Whitney on Instagram at @whitneywalexander and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/whitneywalkeralexander.

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Connor Sterchi

EDITORIAL TRACK

Connor Sterchi is the Managing Editor at Moody Publishers in Chicago, Illinois. He studied writing and journalism at Calvin College and received an MA in Biblical Studies from Moody Theological Seminary. He has edited dozens of books, including Winter FireThe Visual WordJust Show UpThe Grumbler’s Guide to Giving ThanksLoneliness, How to GrowGo Outside, Never ShakenA Non-Anxious Presence (winner in the Ministry Resources category of ECPA’s 2023 Christian Book Awards), and 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (winner in the Bible & Devotional category of Christianity Today’s 2024 Book Awards). He is also an artist/songwriter (www.scatteredbeamsmusic.com). In his free time, he enjoys music, songwriting, reading, nature, biking, basketball, and spending time with family and friends. He resides in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

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Katara Patton

EDITORIAL TRACK

Katara Washington Patton is Executive Editor, VOICES Collection by Our Daily Bread Publishing, and the author of eight books, including her most recent best-selling book Navigating the Blues: Where to Turn When Worry, Anxiety, or Depression Steal Your Hope (Our Daily Bread VOICES 2022). A publishing veteran, Katara has worked in the editorial and acquisitions departments at Weekly Reader Corporation, Jet Magazine, Urban Ministries, Inc. (UMI), McGraw-Hill, The African American Pulpit, The Chicago Defender, Tyndale House Publishers, and Christian Century Magazine. In 2014, she was named Nonfiction Editor of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA). Katara graduated summa cum laude from Dillard University (New Orleans, LA), with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications and English. She then earned a Master of Journalism in magazine publishing from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She also received a Masters of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, IL), where she received the outstanding preaching award.  Katara is a native of Thibodaux, Louisiana. She and her husband, Derrick, reside on the South Side of Chicago.

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Jennifer (Jenn) Butenschoen

PRODUCTION & OPERATIONS TRACK

Jennifer (Jenn) Butenschoen is the Director of Production & Digital Content at Harvest House Publishers. Jenn overseas a stellar production team that collaborates with multiple departments to effectively facilitate the creation of company product. She manages global manufacturing, eBook distribution and licensing, and related industry partnerships for both. As a seasoned publishing professional, Jenn has a passion for working together to create beautiful, high quality, gospel-centered product that glorifies God and points people to Jesus Christ as the answer to every human need. Jenn is an outdoor enthusiast that lives in the Pacific Northwest where she and her husband enjoy spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys serving as a leadership coach for the small groups ministry at her home church.

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Fanny Gonzalez

PRODUCTION & OPERATIONS TRACK

Fanny Gonzalez is Operations and Business Analysis Manager at Lexham Press. She’s been with Lexham since 2020 and is responsible for managing metadata, inventory, print production, and domestic and international distribution. Within Lexham, Fanny collaborates with several teams to bring to market books that love the church, the Christian faith, and God’s Word. She is passionate about serving the global church by aiding Lexham in its commitment to publish works grounded in the truths of the Bible. Fanny lives in Mexico City and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and sipping a good cup of coffee.

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Tara Burns

PUBLICITY TRACK

Tara Burns is the Print and Online Publicist for InterVarsity Press trade books, while also supporting a handful of book launches in a Marketing Manager role this year. She is approaching her five-year anniversary with IVP after having had an 11-year career in advertising at a leading agency in Chicago, serving as a Media Director for Fortune 500 companies. Following her career in advertising, she took a 12- year hiatus from the corporate world to raise her family and actively volunteer within her church and community. Tara lives in the Western Suburbs of Chicago with her husband and two teenage boys.

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Andrea Martin

PUBLICITY TRACK

Andrea Martin is the Sr. Director of Public Relations and Author Relations. With a career spanning 18 years at Tyndale leading marketing, PR, and author relations teams, she has had the privilege of promoting and publicizing hundreds of books across diverse genres and works hard to amplify the voices of best-selling authors, renowned pastors, women’s ministry leaders, musicians, and celebrities, ensuring their message reaches audiences far and wide. Leveraging her deep understanding of the industry and her extensive knowledge of Tyndale, Andrea also collaborates closely with authors, partners, and agents, ensuring their journey from ideation to publication is seamless and enjoyable. Before her tenure at Tyndale, Andrea cut her teeth in the fast-paced worlds of television and newspapers, honing skills that now serve as valuable assets in her current role. When she’s not working, this native Bostonian can be found lost in the pages of a gripping novel, whipping up the latest TikTok recipe, or on a quest to find the perfect “Lobstah” Roll with her husband, three kids and giant golden retriever.

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Chris Kuhatschek

DESIGN TRACK

Chris Kuhatschek is a Senior Art Director for Baker Publishing Group. While Chris is new to designing book covers, he comes with 13 years of experience as an Art Director/Associate Creative Director in the advertising world developing campaigns that worked seamlessly across print, out of home, social, TV and web. Chris lives in Grand Rapids with his wife Bri and their two young boys where they enjoy bike riding, golfing, playing games and hanging out with friends and family.

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Nate Eidenberger

DESIGN TRACK

Nate Eidenberger is a senior graphic designer and multimedia specialist for Baker Publishing Group. In this position he works on a multitude of projects for all of the divisions of Baker Publishing Group ranging from bookmarks, postcards, and print ads to a variety of social media content, pre order bonus items, eblasts, and downloadable content to promote the books. He also brought video and animation to the in-house marketing team, from creating and designing book trailers to social media video ads or reels, Nate is constantly learning new approaches to design and book promotion. On top of being an accomplished designer, in his free time Nate is a skilled illustrator proficient in a multitude of styles and mediums and has also illustrated several covers for Baker Publishing Group. (You can follow Nate's art on Instagram at @a.peculiar.artist, if curious.)

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Catherine DeVries

CHILDRENS BOOK SUMMIT

Catherine DeVries is Publisher at Kregel Publications, with over 30 years of experience in Christian publishing and a proven track record of crafting best-selling Bibles, books, and ministry resources for all ages. She began her career with Zondervan/HarperChristian, where she stayed for 17 years and helped launch the NIrV translation and Zonderkidz and acquired The Jesus Storybook Bible. As brand manager at United Methodist Publishing House, DeVries launched the Common English Bible translation. Then as Publisher for David C Cook, Catherine was responsible for Sunday school curriculum lines, trade books, ministry resources, and the Action Bible children’s line of products. Catherine has been with Kregel since 2018 and leads the English publishing division, including acquisitions and publishing planning in all formats and genres—fiction, non-fiction, children’s, academic and ministry. She is also the author of 25 children’s books.

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Elissa Schauer

CHILDRENS BOOK SUMMIT

Elissa Schauer (MA, Wheaton College) is the Executive Editor at InterVarsity Press (IVP) where she champions the children’s imprint—IVP Kids—and a new collection of Bible studies. Prior to her work at IVP, she was a classroom teacher and a children's curriculum writer, and she also logged a lot of miles in a minivan with her three sons. Elissa lives outside of Chicago with her husband, Mike, in their nearly empty nest.

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Jamie Lapeyrolerie

EMERGING LEADER COORDINATOR

Jamie Lapeyrolerie is an editor for WaterBrook & Multnomah, imprints of Penguin Random House and a writer. She is actively involved in the publishing industry, including The Christy Award® Advisory Board, and a part of various DEI initiatives. Her own writings have appeared in Christianity Today, Christ + Pop Culture, and Ekstasis Magazine. You can find her bookish and editorial writings here, her C.S. Lewis and Tolkien substack here, and on instagram @musingsofjamie.

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