Meet the Bookstore Professionals
Donna Paz Kaufman, Bookstore Trainer & Consultant
After managing one of the country’s leading independent bookstore cafes and working in publishing, Donna founded The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates in 1992 with the mission of helping booksellers build skills and insights so that they may lead healthy, life-driven, profitable independent bookstores. She holds a business degree and is a certified trainer in customer service and leadership. Donna is a past president of the Women’s National Book Association and is a public library advocate.
Mark Kaufman, Bookstore Trainer & Consultant
Mark applies his background in human resources, group facilitation, marketing communications, and organization transformation to his work with bookstore students and clients. With an eye for detail and a commitment to excellence, Mark has become one of the book industry’s experts on publisher co-op. He has worked with booksellers to enhance their marketing efforts, develop strategies and materials to facilitate the sale of a store, and resolve staffing and personnel issues.
Liz Dion, Bookstore Architect & Lighting Specialist
Experienced with commercial and residential design, Liz blends experience in both to create bookstores that function well and convey that ‘Wow’ factor so essential to bricks-and-mortar retail. From funky and fun to classic and elegant, Liz’s objective is to work within the store’s budget to creatively use space to reflect each bookstore’s unique character. Liz is also a visual artist and set designer, reflected in her love of color and desire for proper lighting. Liz and Donna work together to develop bookstore designs that accommodate all of the various merchandise categories the store carries, incorporating proper fixtures, a clear traffic path, focal point displays, and a sense of place unique to your bookstore’s mission and community.
John Gaylord, Bookstore Operations Specialist
A detail oriented innovator and problem solver, John loves finding ways to make bookstores more profitable and he’s done just that for over forty years, beginning with the family business of bookstores. His passions are focused on creating, organizing, implementing and maintaining the systems and strategies necessary to make a bookstore efficient and successful. He has conceived, opened and operated twenty-four cutting edge bookstores, ranging in size from 2,000 to 20,000 square feet. He believes that an independent bookstore, whose operations are founded in sound, profitable business strategies and daily routines, will provide a most gratifying experience for owners, staff, and the communities they serve. John assists with improving bookstore operations and conducts business valuations.
Susan Savory, Opening Inventory Buyer
With a BFA in illustration and a background in professional merchandising as well as bookselling, Susan puts all of these talents to use in the bookstore world. Susan once owned Shoofly Pie, a children’s specialty store, and today assists independent booksellers with buying and inventory management. Her displays are featured in our training video Bookstore Merchandising Made Easy. Susan develops curated opening book inventories for Paz clients and has won praise from booksellers and has impressed the media for matching the community’s interests to a special selection.
Nicole Sullivan, Café Consultant
The idea of combining a book store and wine bar came to Nicole Sullivan like a bolt of lightning one day while reading a book and drinking a glass of wine. She studied Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver while working in the corporate world which led to BookBar, a hybrid business model that offers readers a unique experience while helping the business become sustainable. Nicole is available to help you learn about the food and beverage business to enhance your competitive advantage.
Gerry DeWulf, Lease Negotiator
A commercial real estate specialist and professional lease negotiator, Gerry brings his national experience and strategies to work for independent bookstores. From knowing what’s negotiable and what’s not to having a comfort level negotiating with landlords, Gerry is here to work with your bookstore’s best interests at heart.