Meet Your ABC Board of Directors
The board of directors is made of up cooperative members who serve 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.
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.
Michael Connolly (Board 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 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.
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.
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.
Born and raised in North Carolina to spanish-speaking parents, books have always been a huge part of my life. They allowed me to learn and understand the english language and later on became my escape from reality. I moved to New Jersey in 2015 and loved how welcoming the community is. I began working at Purple Glaze in 2018 and later on graduated from Asbury Park High School in 2019. Now I am currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry at Monmouth University with aspirations to attend medical school. I am excited to work with ABC and with people who are passionate about making a change in the community.
Liza Minno Bloom (Co-op Manager/Book Buyer)
Liza is an educator, community organizer, and bookstore enthusiast who is committed to building accessible and democratic community spaces in Asbury Park. Over the years, she has taught in Sociology and Gender Studies departments, and she works as a popular education racial justice trainer for a few organizations. She has worked at bookstores since college. She is passionate about helping to build a place that fosters community investment and supports the activist and art worlds of Asbury Park.
Hi everyone, my name is Anyea Myles. I am 19 years old and was born and raised in Asbury Park. I am currently enrolled in college at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Forensic Science. I graduated from Asbury Park High School program called Dream Academy. This program is a four-year partnership with Brookdale Community College where I was taking classes on campus to earn my credits towards my Associates Degree in Social Science. I also attended a program called PACE at Brookdale Community where you learn science and engineering awareness in which professionals volunteers dedicate their time to work with local high school students to help prepare them for technical careers. Some of my hobbies are digital art, create projects such clothes or jewelry, of course find new books to read and bike riding to the beach!
Patricia A. Patton
Patricia spent 18 years as a tourism professional and 15 years as a solopreneur before starting her current work as a Market Consultant in the cannabis wellness space. Her passion as a social entrepreneur began with community board work in the early 90s raising funds for social investment in micro South African businesses. Her long time interest in the future, innovation, and entrepreneurship are part of the trajectory that led to her current focus on cannabis and hemp as driving economic and cultural forces specifically relating to longevity. She is a well-respected writer, content strategist, and advocate for older adults and baby boomers.
Patricia’s consultancy supports hemp and cannabis brands that focus on wellness and older customers. In addition, she facilitates nuanced client market activations through co-branded events, publications, podcasts, and speaking engagements.
She is a grandma who continues to thrive because she remains open to change and innovation. She has traveled widely to host experiential retreats and dream adventures and coached midlife women. She currently serves as a member of The Asbury Book Cooperative and the SXSW Board of Advisors.
Jan Sparrow (Special Director)
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 ASGMC, Inc. in 2000. She opened words! bookstore in Asbury Park in 2009 and has been bringing books and events to the AP community ever since. She currently serves on the Board of the Asbury Park Library.
Shannon Vargo (Board President)
Shannon Vargo has been a resident of Asbury Park since 2005. Her love of books led her to a career in book publishing where she has spent the last 23 years of her career. Her love of small business came out of helping her mom run the family business—a bridal boutique in Morris County. Shannon is dedicated to supporting small businesses and driving awareness of how the decisions people make every day about how they spend their money can impact the strength and success of our communities. In her spare time, Shannon helps rescue and foster stray cats. You can usually find her on the boardwalk with her husband and two young daughters.
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.
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.
Meet Your ABC Booksellers
(Thanks to Adrian Bacolo for the Bookseller Portraits. Find Adrian on IG: @adrianb718)