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Who We Are

ABC Board of Directors

The board of directors is made of up cooperative members who serve one- or two-year terms. The board is elected by members, and is the decision-making body for the co-op. Board elections occur annually at the member meeting.  

Michael Connolly 

Books have always held a special place in Michael’s life.  His mother taught him to read at an early age and she always had money to spare when the Bookmobile came to town.  While others were stocking up on toilet paper at the outset of the pandemic, Michael was at words! buying a bagful of books.   

A graduate of Villanova University’s Honors Program, Michael favors biographies, classic novels, poetry and histories.  Along the way, Michael also managed to read a fair number of law books - he is an attorney who has represented several Asbury Park businesses.  

While Michael believes that Asbury Park is a very special place, he cannot imagine an Asbury without a vibrant independent bookstore.   Michael is honored to serve on the initial ABC Board and is committed to giving his time, efforts and talents to this great undertaking.

Heather Lennon Vieiro

Heather Lennon Vieiro is a big believer in independent book stores and the power of community. She has worked in children's book publishing for twenty five years, with a background in sales and marketing. Heather is excited to part of ABC's next chapter. She lives in Middletown with her husband, daughter, and dog.

 

Kate Lydon (Treasurer) 

Kate Lydon has been a resident of Asbury Park since 2014 when she and her husband purchased a bed & breakfast in town.  While running the B&B, she became close with the Asbury Park small business community and a trustee of the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce.  Kate currently works for Salt Hotels in revenue management and previously worked in investor relations at a private equity firm in New York City.  She has two young children, loves reading, cooking, good TV and afternoons on the beach.

Liza Minno Bloom (General Manager)

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.

Michael Newton (Secretary)

Michael Newton is a writer living in Avon, NJ. He is a former bookseller at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn. He is also a former associate editor at Zone Books. He is currently a member of the editorial collective at Ugly Duckling Presse. Michael manages ABC's used book section, and he curates the online sales on the stores Instagram account. He is passionate about bookstores as places of community, solidarity, and imagination. 

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 a consulitng company in 2000. In 2008, looking for new offices, Jan founded words bookstore and Jan has been surrounded by books ever since.

Janet Torsney (Board President)

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. 

Hannah Walker (Board Vice President)

A native New Jerseyan, Hannah Walker has lived in Asbury Park since 2012. Currently the Institutional Marketing Manager for Two River Theater in Red Bank NJ, her professional life has included time in journalism and government communications, with the occasional freelance or retail stint on the side to support her inveterate book-buying habits. Hannah spends time not marketing and/or theatering in baking, running, indulging a low-grade witchy streak, and badgering her dogs for cute pics to put on Instagram. You can find Hannah most often browsing the aisles for fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, romance, and anything with a really jazzy cover design.