SAN DIEGO / LOS ANGELES, CA – March 30, 2021 – IDW, a subsidiary of IDW Media Holdings (OTCPINK: IDWM), announced today that it has added six new members to its team with a fresh round of A-List hires. IDW Publishing (IDWP) onboards industry veteran Alex Hargett as Book Trade and Mass Market Sales Director; Pat O’Connell was tapped as Direct Market Sales Manager; Julia Borden signs on as Foreign Licensing Sales Manager; Lauren LePera is named the new Managing Editor; and Topher Alford joins as Senior Digital Marketing Manager. IDW also announced that they have appointed Alison Quin as the company-wide Senior Director of IT/IS.
“We’re elated to be welcoming such a robustly experienced group of individuals to IDW,” says Nachie Marsham, IDW Publisher. “IDW has an exciting year ahead, and both the publishing and entertainment segments have been building an amazing 2021 project slate. Having team members who are experts in giving our titles the visibility that they deserve, and making them available to our distributors and readers is crucial.”
As IDWP’s Book Trade and Mass Market Sales Director, Hargett will be responsible for developing, implementing and managing the sales strategy in both the national and international book trade and mass markets.
“I’m beyond thrilled to return to the publishing industry with IDW, and I’m excited to help get this incredible content in front of passionate readers,” says Hargett. “With such a strong backlist and impactful publishing initiatives in the works, I’m especially looking forward to expanding our presence with libraries, schools and bookstores to reach a wider audience across all ages. I’m truly honored to be a part of growing IDW’s exciting future.”
Prior to joining IDW, Hargett worked as the Trade Marketing Manager at COTY where she led the company’s business strategy and analysis, innovation launches, brand positioning and promotions. Before that, she was the Sales & Trade Marketing Manager at DC Comics, and also spent a couple of years at both Public Affairs Books and Penguin Press.
O’Connell, appointed Direct Market Sales Manager of IDWP, will be responsible for acting as the direct liaison between IDW Publishing and the Direct Market comic book retailer accounts. He will also be responsible for supporting and assisting the Sales and Marketing Department (both the Direct Market and Book Market teams), and for developing, implementing and managing the exclusive cover variant sales program, including assisting the Book Market team with exclusive book editions. Additionally, O’Connell will help coordinate IDW’s convention exclusive offerings by working directly with the editorial, production, design and management divisions of the company. He will also be responsible for relaying direct market retailer insights and concerns to the other divisions of the company.
“I’ve been a lifelong fan of comics and I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in both the retail and publishing side of the industry for almost just as long,” says O’Connell. “I’m so very happy and extremely proud to join the exceptional team here at IDW. I look forward to getting the chance to roll up my sleeves once again to help retailers get our immense library of wonderful stories and iconic titles into more customers’ hands, create new fans, and grow the direct market together!”
Before coming to IDWP, O’Connell worked as a Sales Manager at Dynamite Entertainment where he curated, scheduled and recorded all digital sales, digital bundle promotions and physical backlist and frontlist direct marketing sales. Prior to that, he was a Sales Representative at DC Comics.
Borden will oversee all aspects of Foreign Licensing with international publishers, as well as assist Hargett and Penguin Random House on international English-language product distribution.
“I’m thrilled to be working with IDW and Top Shelf’s wonderful publications,” says Borden. “I can’t wait to expand our presence abroad through more partnerships around the world.”
Previously, Borden managed foreign rights and sales at No Starch Press, directing D2C business through the in-house e-commerce site, book trade and mass market sales through PRHPS, as well as translation licensing for 150+ titles across 30 countries.
LePera has joined the IDWP team as the company’s new Managing Editor where she will support the Editor-in-Chief and Director of Design & Production in overseeing the planning of production schedules for comics, books and special projects. She will also be responsible for facilitating communications between the Editorial, Design & Production, Sales & Marketing, Manufacturing and other internal departments.
“I am so excited to be able to continue serving the publishing industry at such a reputable company with an amazing team,” says LePera. “Being a part of the production and distribution of a variety of amazing and beloved titles is something that I’m really looking forward to.”
LePera previously served as the Managing Editor and Production Editor at Insight Editions, and before that worked as the Senior Production Editor at Bridgepoint Education.
As Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Alford will oversee all digital initiatives for Publishing including social media strategy, email marketing, SEO, website content strategy, vendor account management, virtual events, direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns and special projects. Prior to joining IDW, Alford was the Marketing Strategy Manager at DC Entertainment, and previously served as the Senior Marketing Manager at Dark Horse Comics.
“I’m excited to be at IDW Publishing and continue my journey of bringing comic books to fans everywhere,” says Alford.
IDW also announced today that they have named Quin as the company-wide Senior Director of IT/IS where she will be charged with spearheading a complete assessment of the company’s existing and future technical needs, and implementing and launching new processes and policies.
Quin comes to IDW bearing more than 30 years of experience in the IT/IS field. Before joining IDW, she served as the Senior Implementation Project Manager at Xenial, Inc., the Director of IT at LEP Inc., and has also served at AWear Limited, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Virgin Entertainment Group, Drake Computer Training and Soft Tech Computers.