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Westminster John Knox Press Names New Management Team, Hires Journalist and Author Riess as Editor

23 Jul

For Immediate Release

Westminster John Knox Press (WJK) today unveiled a new management team, following the confirmation of Marc Lewis as president and publisher. PPC also announced the hiring of Jana Riess, author and religion journalist for Publishers Weekly, as an acquisitions editor. David Dobson has been promoted to the position of executive director of publishing and editorial director; Jennifer Cox has been promoted to executive director of marketing and production; Monty Anderson has been named chief operations officer and treasurer; and Vince Patton has been named executive director of church relations and communications. Dobson, Cox, Anderson, and Patton will all report directly to Lewis.

"All of us are very, very excited about the future here at WJK," said Lewis, "and we look forward to continuing to provide the academy and the church with important scholarly works, stimulating and helpful books for clergy and church leaders, and thought-provoking books for general readers that address issues of the day from biblical, theological, ethical, and religious perspectives."

Lewis, previously senior vice president and general manager, was named to the position of president and publisher in February 2008 by the board of directors of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC), the parent company of WJK.

Jana Riess has been the religion book review editor for Publishers Weekly since 1999. She is a well-known figure in the religious publishing world, a respected voice on religion in America, and the author or coauthor of several books. She has degrees in religion from Wellesley College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Columbia University.

"We're thrilled that Jana Riess will be joining WJK," said Dobson. "With her knowledge of the religious publishing world, her network of contacts, and her educational background and interests, she will be a tremendous asset to our acquisitions efforts."

David Dobson, acting director of publishing since June 2007, had previously served as director of product management and as a senior acquisitions editor. Dobson helped revitalize the press's Gospel according To series with his acquisition of the best-selling book The Gospel according to The Simpsons, by Mark Pinsky, in 2001. In addition to acquiring other books in the Gospel according To series, he directed major marketing and promotional efforts for many of WJK's bestsellers during the past four years. Dobson has worked collaboratively with authors from all across the theological spectrum, including Tom Long, N. T. Wright, Steve Turner, Marcia Nelson, David Dark, and Barbara Brown Taylor. Dobson has a bachelor of arts degree from Earlham College and will receive an MBA from the University of Louisville in 2009.

Upon hearing news of Dobson's promotion to executive director of publishing, author and preacher Barbara Brown Taylor exclaimed, "This is fabulous news! David has a 'can do' attitude that makes an editor (an editorial team) confident of WJK's full support. He is a natural diplomat, and he's funny and generous. ...And finally, he knows his stuff."

In other moves, Nicole Smith Murphy was promoted to the position of director of product management, Gavin Stephens to the position of director of sales and events, Sarah Foreman to the position of director of customer service and distribution, Michele Blum to the position of director of advertising and publicity, and Julie Tonini to the position of director of production.

"We have a wonderfully talented staff with limitless potential and a leadership team that is second to none in religious publishing," said Lewis. "The promotions we are announcing are meant to recognize the outstanding performance of several members of our staff and to position the press for continued growth as it builds upon its place among the very best religious academic publishers as well as becomes a leading source of significant works in religion for the wider public."

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Westminster John Knox Press is an imprint of the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. WJK publishes approximately 80 titles each year and maintains a backlist of more than 1,500 titles that are sold throughout the world. With a publishing heritage that dates back more than 170 years, Westminster John Knox Press continues its commitment to publishing resources that "advance religious scholarship, stimulate conversation about moral values, and inspire faithful living."FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Vince Patton
(502) 569-8043, vpatton@presbypub.com

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