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Who We Are

Steering Committee

The transtion to a cooperative is headed by a steering committe.  Once the transition is complete, the board of directors--made up of members--will be the decision making body.

The steering committee is:

Scott Asalone

Scott Asalone doesn’t seem to know what he wants to be when he grows up. Scott was a VP at Merrill Lynch where he met Jan Sparrow, his business partner, and convinced her to quit. Scott and Jan started ASGMC, Inc, a leadership consulting company in 2000. In 2007 Scott went back to school for a Master in Applied Positive Psychology and published his first book in 2008. That was also the year Scott and Jan founded words. Now between co-owning a bookstore, running an international consulting company, Scott is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and is the COO for a new consulting company, Eudaimonic by design.

Liza Minno Bloom

Liza is an educator, community organizer, and bookstore enthusiast who is committed to building accessible community spaces in Asbury Park.  She teaches Sociology, Gender, and Social Justice and has worked at bookstores since she was in college.  She is passionate about bringing her community organizing skills to the work of ABC and building a place that fosters community investment and supports the activist and art worlds of Asbury Park.

Jan Sparrow

Jan Sparrow lives books (that is not a typo). Yes, she loves books also, but books are a huge part of her life. Jan was a professor of communication, a Merrill Lynch financial advisor and, yes, she sold cars. After becoming a VP of Leadership Development at Merrill Lynch Jan left and co-founded ASGMC, Inc. in 2000. Because of Jan’s research and love of reading ASGMC became known internationally as one of the most current and reliable consulting practices for leadership development. In 2008, looking for new offices, Jan and Scott Asalone, her business partner, founded words bookstore and Jan has been surrounded by books ever since.

Janet Torsney

Currently director of the Keyport Free Public Library, Janet has been a trustee for the Asbury Park Library and a proud public librarian in Montclair, Bradley Beach, Caldwell and Summit. Prior to becoming a librarian, she worked in communications and public affairs for UN agencies and nonprofits like Save the Children and the United Negro College Fund. Janet moved to Asbury Park with her family in 2011.