Welcome to Worthy!

Worthy Publishing Group is a privately held, independent voice in Christian and inspirational publishing, based in Nashville, Tennessee. Worthy is led by an experienced team of executives – each with an incredible track record in publishing and over 300 years of combined experience.

They share a common Mission: Helping people experience the heart of God.

The vision of the Worthy team is to partner with remarkable authors and content development talent, pouring its creativity and resources into their compelling ideas.

Worthy’s responsive team is hands-on with all phases of the publishing process: concept development, editorial, design, marketing, publicity, sales, and distribution.

 

Worthy includes five distinct imprints:

 

Worthy Books publishes inspirational products for adults addressing spiritual growth, biblical study, current events, faith and culture, biography, fiction, and specialty Bibles. This imprint publishes books by Jerry Jenkins, Charles Swindoll, John Hagee, James Robison, Don Colbert, M.D., as well as David Jeremiah. Worthy has published multiple bestsellers that have earned listings in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times.

 

Museum of the Bible Books is a partnership between Worthy and the new Museum of the Bible located in Washington, D.C. The Museum’s books will beautifully reveal the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible on our world. These titles include provocative historical books, beautiful picture books, exciting children’s books, colorful National Geographic and Smithsonian-style books, as well as Bibles.

 

Ellie Claire produces beautifully crafted journals, devotionals, and other creative gift and paper expressions. These remarkable products are sold in such national accounts as Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Cracker Barrel, Walmart, Sams, Costco, and LifeWay Stores.

 

Worthy Inspired publishes felt-need, inspirational books with great impulse appeal to consumers. The Inspired imprint’s recent releases include Charles Swindoll’s Finding God When the World’s on Fire, the new modern English translation of the classic The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Á Kempis (adapted by James Watkins), and Margaret Feinberg’s popular Flourish, a 52-week devotional with coloring pages.

 

WorthyKids/Ideals creates colorful, interactive children’s books, including VeggieTales and Berenstain Bears. Each year WorthyKids products reach the top 10 best-selling children’s books during the Easter and Christmas seasons.


Our Team

Click to meet our team at Worthy



Byron Williamson

CEO & Publisher

Byron Williamson founded Worthy Media, Inc. in 2009 and then launched its publishing operations in the fall of 2011. Worthy Publishing focuses on creativity and attentiveness to its authors, especially with regard to conceiving, packaging, marketing, and distributing each author’s remarkable works. Worthy already has signed such best-selling authors as Jerry Jenkins, David Jeremiah, Max Lucado, John Hagee, Franklin Graham, Dr. Don Colbert, James Robison, and Stephen Mansfield.

Byron joined Word Publishing (Cap Cities/ABC) in 1988, ultimately becoming President in 1993. He was honored to be involved with publishing such authors as Max Lucado, Billy Graham, John MacArthur, Charles Swindoll, and James Dobson. After Word Publishing was acquired by Thomas Nelson, Byron moved on to be President of the Thomas Nelson Publishing Group. During that period, he conceived and launched the industry-leading Tommy Nelson children’s imprint and brought Jack Countryman on board to launch the J. Countryman gift book imprint. Best-selling authors such as Frank Peretti, John Maxwell, and John Eldredge were signed during his term at Thomas Nelson.

Williamson left Nelson in 1999 and founded Integrity Publishers in 2001, producing a stellar list of bestsellers, including Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, Beth Moore’s Get Out of That Pit, Max Lucado’s It’s Not About Me, Emerson Eggerichs’ Love and Respect, and Newt Gingrich’s Searching for God in America. Integrity was sold to Thomas Nelson in 2006, after which Williamson moved on to found Worthy in 2009.




David Howell

Executive Vice President, Finance & Operations

David Howell served as Sr. Vice President of Finance and Operations at Integrity Publishers. Prior to Integrity, he was the Sr. Vice President of Finance and Operations for Word Entertainment. At Thomas Nelson, he was Vice President of Finance with a focus on strategic-planning, operations, and acquisitions. Earlier in his career, Howell climbed through the ranks of Ernst & Young with an emphasis in serving entrepreneurial businesses.




Betty Woodmancy

Sr. Vice President, Sales

In her 20 years in the book industry, Betty Woodmancy has been directly involved in the creation of numerous New York Times and CBA bestsellers by Dave Ramsey, William Bennett, John C. Maxwell, Beth Moore, Emerson Eggerichs, and others. She began as the book buyer for Walmart and then Sam’s Club, and later transitioned to publishing—first as the director of mass market sales for Thomas Nelson, and then as a director of sales and merchandising for Ingram Book Company, where she established their wholesale club business. She spent five years as VP of Sales at Integrity Publishers and then joined Simon & Schuster (Howard) as VP/Associate Publisher, before accepting the position with Worthy.




Dale Wilstermann

Sr. Vice President, Distribution

Dale Wilstermann began his work in publishing as director of sales for Strang Communications working with such authors as Stephen Mansfield, Dr. Don Colbert, and John Hagee. In 2005 he moved to Integrity as VP of ABA sales working with such authors as Max Lucado and Sarah Young. As a result of the acquisition of Integrity, he served first as VP of sales and later as VP of marketing at Thomas Nelson. In his role at Worthy, Dale is responsible for sales to national retailers and distributors, independent retailers as well as web-based and online sales. He is one of the most connected and knowledgeable children’s book specialists in the industry.




Jeana Ledbetter

Vice President, Associate Publisher, Worthy Books

Jeana Ledbetter is Vice President and Associate Publisher of Worthy Books and Bibles. She joined Worthy in 2009 after nearly 30 years with the influential, southern California based literary firm, Yates & Yates. Coming alongside authors to extend their message to the broadest possible audience is the most rewarding aspect of her work. Throughout her career, Jeana has served as editorial advisor and most recently as literary agent to many highly respected best-selling author including Beth Moore, Dr. David Jeremiah, David Platt, Erwin McManus, Henry Cloud, and John Townsend.




Pamela Clements

Vice President, Associate Publisher, Worthy Inspired & Ellie Claire

Pamela Clements is Vice President and Associate Publisher of both the Worthy Inspired and Ellie Claire imprints. Clements is an industry veteran, most recently serving as Associate Publisher of Abingdon’s Christian Living and Fiction books, which from its launch in 2011, published more than 15 award-winning titles and was named Publisher of the Year by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Clements began her career at Thomas Nelson in publicity and marketing before becoming Publisher of its General Interest and Lifestyle imprint. She was instrumental in the launch of such best-selling authors as Andy Andrews, John Eldredge, John C. Maxwell, and Ted Dekker.




Peggy Schaefer

Vice President and Associate Publisher, WorthyKids

Peggy Schaefer is Vice President and Associate Publisher of WorthyKids/Ideals, where she leads the creative team for the children’s division, including the children’s titles in the new Museum of the Bible Books imprint. She joined Worthy Publishing in 2014 after more than 10 years with Ideals Publications/Guideposts. She has worked with many talented authors over the years, including Patricia A. Pingry, Michelle Medlock Adams, P. K. Hallinan, and Mike Berenstain. Among the notable titles on her list are perennial bestsellers The Story of Easter and The Story of Christmas; Christian Book Award winner The Sparkle Box; and a variety of VeggieTales and Berenstain Bears board books. Peggy enjoys the occasional opportunity to add her own words to the publishing mix and has authored nearly a dozen children’s books.




Kyle L. Olund

Executive Editor, Worthy Books

Kyle L. Olund has worked in the publishing industry for more than twenty years. He moved to Nashville and began working for Moorings, then a division of Random House, working closely with such authors as Philip Yancey as well as Bodie and Brock Thoene. During his ten years at Thomas Nelson Publishers, he held positions of Book Design Manager, Managing Editor, and Associate Acquisitions/Development Editor. He was intricately involved with the creation of such bestsellers as: Wild at Heart by John Eldredge; Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller; Do You Think I’m Beautiful by Angela Thomas; Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey; and others.




Susan Thomas

Director of Accounting

Prior to joining Worthy in 2011, Susan Thomas spent 15 years in corporate accounting, largely within the Christian music industry. She began her career at Word Records in Nashville, followed by a tenure at Crescent Real Estate Equities, Squint Records Label, and Rocketown Records as Finance Manager, where she worked with best-selling artists Chris Rice, Sixpence None the Richer, Ginny Owens, and Watermark.




Marilyn Jansen

Editorial Director, Ellie Claire

As part of the creative teams at Garborg’s Heart & Home, DaySpring Gifts, and Ellie Claire Gift & Paper Corp., Marilyn Jansen has developed irresistibly creative gifts for the past fifteen years. She has worked with authors like Melody Carlson, Philip Yancey, and Ann Graham Lotz to create calendars, devotionals, journals, and other gifts that are as beautiful on the outside as the message on the inside.




Melissa Reagan

Creative Director, Ellie Claire

One autumn day in 1989, Melissa Reagan woke up in a panic, realizing that she really did not want to continue on her road to becoming an accountant—she actually wanted to be an artist. She changed her major that day and two years later earned her BFA from Western Carolina University. Twenty plus years later, she has never felt a moment of regret over that decision. After college, she spent some time in Youth With a Mission, exercising her design skills while developing her life skills. In the years since, she has been a designer for DaySpring Cards, art director for Brownlow Publishing, a missionary/designer for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, and a senior designer for DaySpring’s Blessing Unlimited, before joining Ellie Claire.




Cat Hoort

Director, Marketing & PR, Worthy Inspired & Ellie Claire

Cat Hoort has more than a decade of experience in the Christian publishing industry. She joined the Worthy team in 2016 after serving in various roles at Baker Publishing Group, Kregel Publications, and Abingdon Press. Throughout her career, Cat has directed both marketing and publicity teams, developed social media platforms, and provided vision-casting for the development of new product lines. She has had the honor of working alongside such talented and committed authors as Don Piper, Dr. Kevin Leman, David Kinnamen and Gabe Lyons, Sean McDowell, Cecil Murphey, Rabbi Evan Moffic, and Eric Elnes. In whatever she does, Cat is dedicated to advancing faith-filled Christian resources that engage, equip, and inspire believers around the world.




Nicole Pavlas

Director of Publicity, Worthy Books

Nicole Pavlas oversees publicity efforts for trade titles as the Director of Publicity for Worthy Books. Before joining Worthy Publishing in 2015, Nicole served as the publicist for W Publishing at HarperCollins Christian Publishing, where she worked on publicity campaigns for authors including Louie Giglio, Laura Story, Levi Lusko, Korie Robertson, and others. Prior to joining the publishing industry, she worked at the global public relations agency, Text100, focusing on clients in the technology sector. Originally from the northeast, Nicole earned her degree in communications from the Boston University College of Communications.




Caroline Green

Director of Marketing, Worthy Books

Caroline Green brings ten years’ experience in book marketing and author brand development. Prior to Worthy she spent five years at Thomas Nelson, specializing in digital and social media campaigns for best-selling authors like Billy Graham, Andy Andrews, and Jennie Allen, and New York Times bestsellers including Heaven Is for Real and Same Kind of Different As Me. A native Texan, Caroline graduated from Abilene Christian University and grew up around publishing. Her parents work as literary agents and managers, and she always knew she’d end up in the family business.