Who We Are

Meet Your ABC Board

 The board is made up of cooperative members who serve two-year terms that can also be extended.  Board members play an active role in the governance of ABC.  

 

Michael McGraw, President

Michael McGraw and his wife live in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  He is a retired public relations executive and college professor.  He owned an integrated marketing communication firm for nearly 30 years and taught communication related courses on the graduate level for as many years.  A design enthusiast, he studied historic preservation and he and his wife recently finished a major renovation/restoration of the 1885 Craftsman Bungalow home.  He feels his volunteer job at ABC is the best he's ever had!

 

 

 

 

Allyson Segal Crystal, Vice President

An avid reader and book enthusiast, former Monmouth County summer resident, Allyson Crystal and her husband moved to Allenhurst full time in 2021.  Retired from Social Work and a frequent customer at ABC, Allyson made the obvious move and began to volunteer in the bookstore and has not looked back!  Allyson is our Events Liaison as well! You'll enjoy chatting and sharing book recommendations (and a piece of chocolate) with Allyson when she's working!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie Warren, Treasurer
Julie retired from a 30 year career in Investment Operations,  She worked for Prudential, Morgan Stanley, Price Waterhouse and New York Life.  She managed large groups that were responsible for transaction processing, client reporting, automation and streamlining of processes, and operational risk management.  Julie has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Drew University and an MBA in organization management from Rutgers University.

Julie has been involved in volunteer work throughout her career and retirement.  She was a literacy instructor in NY and NJ for many years.  She was on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth Country (BGCM) from 2016 through 2018 and served as Secretary.  She was also a tutor at BGCM and ran the volunteer tutoring program for several years.  She loves to read, travel, and spend time with friends and family!

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Connolly, Secretary

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 ABC 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.

 

 

 

 

Ben Baker, Board Member

Ben Baker has had a 22 year career supporting filmmakers on three continents. He has been a Vice
President of Studio Services for HBO, Vice President of Post Production at Vice Media and a head
of department at Framestore VFX in the UK. He first started in Virtual Production after talking his
way into the Epic Games Fellowship, and has consulted in Virtual Production for Amazon Studios,
Disney TV, Accenture, and East End Studios. After producing the Virtual Production project
FATHEAD for the ETC@USC, he established MESH (http://MeshVP.com) to build the Virtual
Production Department for Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis. Mesh is now producing Virtual
Production projects for clients worldwide. He lives in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

 

 

 

Yvonne Clayton, Board Member

A graduate of Asbury Park High School, Central State University, Ohio, and a retired AT&T Sales and Marketing employee.  My career began as an account executive in Manhattan.  The tenure included selling equipment and network to Fortune 500 companies, creating and managing trade shows, providing competitive research and at retirement was the Eastern Region Sales Support Manager for Videoconfercing and Switched Digital Services.

In retirement, managed a NYC hair salon, and owned a small business with my husband, BYG Hair, distributing and selling hair pieces and wigs.  Also had my dream job, a temporary position with Cirque du Soleil, not as a performer.

Currently serve on the Asbury Park City Council and Planning Board. Volunteer activities include mentoring ex offenders seeking expungement and, board member of AP-AMP, an organization focused on preserving and sharing the musical history of Springwood Avenue and the Westside.

I am a widow with four children and two granddaughters. My very special place is the beach and traveling, my favorite activity.

 

 

Julie Hertzog, Board Member

Julie Hertzog grew up in Ohio reading novels surreptitiously under the covers after bedtime with a flashlight, and then she learned how to walk and talk faster during 30 years of living in Manhattan.  She now enjoys tending her grass-less yard and cooking with herbs from her garden in Asbury Park.  Her career has focused on policy and management positions in government and non-profit organizations, including the House of Representatives, The City of New York Office of Management and Budget, and Amnesty International of the USA.  For the last decade, she has consulted with social enterprises in the areas of affordable housing, impact investing, and civic sector management consulting.  Julie has served on the boards of The Center for Urban Pedagogy and the Bloomingdale Family Head Start Program.

 

 

 

 

Greg LaSala, Board Member

Greg, pictured here with his daughter, Genevieve (an avid reader and summer ABC store volunteer)  has been a full time resident of Asbury park since 2016. His lifelong love of reading led him to quickly become a regular at Words! and a Solidarity member of ABC since its inception. Greg believes strongly in the value of having a local community bookstore in Asbury Park.  Since January 2022 he has served as a trustee of the Asbury Park Public Library and is currently the Board’s Vice President. 
Professionally, Greg is Vice President of Operations at Adesta LLC, a design-build systems integrator specializing in the construction of fiber optic networks.  He has experience in management of a P&L, contracts management, subcontractor negotiations, and contract document review. Greg has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s in Project Management both from New Jersey Institute of Technology. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Newton, Director

Michael Newton has been the used book manager of the Asbury Book Cooperative
since 2020. In addition, he serves on the ABC board and was part of the steering
committee that helped form the Co-op. He hosts ABC's long-running Crime Book Club
as well as the Lunar Flowers and Short And Weird Clubs. He is also an editor of the
Brooklyn-based publisher, Ugly Duckling Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lorraine Pearlman, Board Member

Lorraine is a retired healthcare executive with over 30 years experience in operations,customer service, program management, and more. She resides  in Asbury Park with
her husband. Since retirement, Lorraine has devoted herself to various activities and
heartfelt causes. She is a book lover who also enjoys hiking, long-distance cycling and
knitting. Almost as much as reading, she enjoys talking to other readers about books.
Lorraine coordinates ABC’s Local Authors Program.

 

 

 

 

Ebony Reeves, Board Member

Ebony currently works as a Librarian and is constantly reading. She began her library
work as a student worker during her undergraduate studies and decided to pursue
librarianship after working as a Library Assistant in a public library. She enjoys
recommending books and learning about new releases. Her favorite things to read are
horror and literary fiction as well as anything in translation.