Byron Williamson | CEO, President & Publisher
In 2010 Byron Williamson founded Worthy Publishing – a house focusing on creativity and attentiveness to its authors, especially with regard to conceiving, packaging, marketing, and distributing each author’s remarkable works. Worthy has already signed such authors as Jerry Jenkins, David Jeremiah, Charles Colson, and Stephen Mansfield.
Byron formerly served as President of Word Publishing (Cap Cities/ABC) from 1989 through fiscal 1999, publishing such authors as Max Lucado, Billy Graham, Charles Colson, Charles Swindoll, and James Dobson. After being acquired by Thomas Nelson, he moved on to be President of the Nelson/Word Publishing Group from 1993 through fiscal 1999. During that period, he conceived and launched the industry-leading Tommy Nelson children’s imprint and the J. Countryman specialty book imprint. Such best-selling authors as Frank Peretti, John Maxwell, and John Eldredge were first signed during his term at Thomas Nelson.
Williamson left Nelson 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.
David Howell | Sr. 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 became the 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 Bill Cosby, Dave Ramsey, William Bennett, John C. Maxwell, Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Emerson Eggerichs, Sarah Young 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 with Ingram Book Company, where she established their wholesale club business. She spent five years as VP of sales at Integrity Publishers and then joined Howard as VP/Associate Publisher before accepting the position with Worthy.
Mark Gilroy | Sr. Vice President and Associate Publisher,
Mark Gilroy joined Worthy Publishing as senior vice president and associate publisher of the Freeman-Smith imprint early in 2013. He has had a long and successful career in publishing, from his first paid assignment as a newspaper sports writer while in college, to serving as publisher for leading authors such as Max Lucado, Sarah Young, John Maxwell, Darlene Zschech, Donald Miller, Billy Graham, Beth Moore, Newt Gingrich and many others. He has had a leadership role in numerous publishing phenomena, including God's Little Devotional Book and Jesus Calling, which have inspired millions of people.
For the past four years he has worked as a freelance publisher to businesses, ministries and retailers. His most recent role in the corporate world was as publisher of the gift, specialty and backlist books for Thomas Nelson.
Gilroy has an extensive list of writing credits in a variety of media–from books to video scripting, magazine articles and curriculum. In 2012 his first two novels, Cuts Like a Knife and Every Breath You Take, were introduced to the market with critical acclaim from reviewers such as USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Fresh Fiction, Romance Times and other leading publications. Gilroy has written with authors on many significant projects, including the best-selling business book, The Wal-Mart Way, with Don Soderquist, Sam Walton's longtime right-hand man.
Gilroy and his wife, Amy, reside in Brentwood, Tennessee, with their youngest of six children poised to head to college in the fall.
Jason Rovenstine | Creative Director, Ellie Claire
Sr. Vice President, Worthy Publishing
Jason Rovenstine has been a part of the gift and book publishing industry for 18 years starting in the creative department of DaySpring Cards, a subsidiary of Hallmark. He brings to Worthy a unique blend of experience in gifts, trade publishing, and value/impulse publishing. Jason was one of the early creative influences that built Ellie Claire from a startup to a respected brand in the gift industry that sold over 4 million gift products in just four years. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children.
Jeana Ledbetter | Vice President, Editorial
Jeana Ledbetter served nearly 30 years with the influential, southern California-based literary firm Yates & Yates. Throughout her career, Jeana has served as editorial advisor and most recently as literary agent to many highly respected best-selling authors including Beth Moore, Dr. David Jeremiah, David Platt, Erwin McManus, Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
Dennis Disney | Vice President of Marketing
Dennis Disney is a 28-year veteran of the entertainment and marketing communications industries. He served as publicist for Word Records in the mid-1980s before leaving to launch The Disney Group, a Christian music marketing and management firm boasting clients that included Steven Curtis Chapman and Word Records/Nashville. After serving as Director of Marketing for both Reunion Records (1990-1991) and Benson Label Group (1991-1997), he became Vice-President of Marketing/Benson Label Group. From 1999-2012, Disney operated his own marketing consulting/artist management firm, D-Squared Entertainment, serving music, film, and book companies as well working with independent artists, authors, and ministries. Since 2009, he has also served as an adjunct instructor at Belmont University in Nashville, his alma mater, teaching entertainment distribution and promotion.
Sherrie Slopianka | Executive Director of Online Sales
An industry veteran, Sherrie Slopianka has for the past 20 years excelled as a publishing professional--leading teams in sales, marketing and distribution. Her creative energies have been invested in developing more efficient processes to better serve clients. She has worked at WORD Canada, Word Records in Nashville, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Integrity Publishers and Ingram Book Company. Most recently Sherrie served as the Director of Data Services for Board Member, Inc., a corporate magazine publisher where she trained Fortune 100 clients, including American Express, NASDAQ and NYSE Euronext on utilizing this database for gathering director-centric and public company information.
Kris Bearss | Executive Editor
Executive editor Kris Bearss got her start at Campus Life Magazine, writing books and dozens of articles for a national audience for 5 years. She then joined Crossway Books, where, for nearly 10 years as staff copywriter and advertising/promotions manager, she helped launch the ESV Bible and Max Lucado’s multimillion-selling You Are Special brand while also attending Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Beginning in 2002, Kris became editorial director at Integrity Publishers and managed their list of bestsellers including Beth Moore’s Get Out of That Pit, Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, David Jeremiah’s Captured by Grace, and Emerson Eggerichs’ Love & Respect. After a stint at Thomas Nelson upon its purchase of Integrity, she worked for 4 years as a successful freelance writer and editor, collaborating with the likes of Andy Stanley, NY Times bestseller Jill Kelly, Sarah Young, and Gloria Copeland. She also worked on several Bible projects-including the ESV Study Bible and the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.
Jennifer Day | Senior Editor
Jennifer Day brings to Worthy a passion for creating remarkable books. She began her publishing career at Warner Faith in 2002 and then subsequently served at Integrity Publishers, Thomas Nelson and The Booksmith Group. Her experience includes the development of nonfiction and fiction books, illustrated projects, management, art direction and production for best-selling authors and top-ranked universities. She earned a Masters of Theological Studies at Vanderbilt University focusing on biblical studies, spiritual formation and practical theology, and is a voracious reader.
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 Max Lucado, 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. Marilyn and her husband, Jeff, have three children.
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 finally a senior designer for Blessings Unlimited before joining the Ellie Claire team as creative director.
If asked what makes her happiest in life, she would gladly answer, "God, people, laughter, being Southern, anything that's well designed, and most shades of green." And what makes her unhappy? Florescent lighting, stories without redemption, and injustice. She would like to be a biblical archaeologist when she grows up, but until then she is quite content living in Franklin, Tennessee, and developing beautiful products that inspire people.
Morgan Canclini | Senior Publicist
Morgan Canclini brings her expertise in business, PR and marketing to Worthy Publishing as the Manager of Public Relations & Marketing Operations. Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Baylor University in Waco, TX, where she received her B.A. in Music and Entertainment Marketing. Upon graduation, Morgan moved to Nashville, where she gained experience in the fast-paced world of music business, interning at Word Label Group (Warner Bros. Records). After completing her internship, Morgan was hired by Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group as the Director of Marketing & Media. Her major responsibilities included day-to-day management for Tri Star's roster of high-profile celebrity clientele, perpetuation of clients' brands, generation of clients' online presence, event planning, and operational duties for press events.
Alyson White | Marketing Manager
As Manager of Author Relations & Administration, Alyson White brings over 10 years of account management expertise to the Worthy Publishing team. During her time with the George P. Johnson Company, Alyson worked with multinational brands such as Robert Bosch LLC, Cessna Aircraft Company, COUNTRY Financial, Bayliner Boats, Hatteras Yachts and Motorola. Alyson was instrumental in the development and implementation of key business and consumer marketing campaigns for these companies. Using interactive marketing and various forms of traditional and online media, Alyson’s programs provided heightened brand awareness and definitive measurable results that translated into increased market share and bottom-line profits for her clients.
Susan Thomas | Finance Manager
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 Record Label and Rocketown Records as Finance Manager, where she worked with best-selling artists Chris Rice, Sixpence None the Richer, Ginny Owens and Watermark.
Eddy Thornhill, CMP | Manager Print Production
As Manager of Print Production, Eddy Thornhill brings over 10 years of production, purchasing and supply management expertise to the Worthy Publishing team. During the past six years, he has managed the production and purchasing for two major Bible translations, the Common English Bible and The Voice. During his time with Abingdon Press, he was involved in the strategic planning, development, inventory management, purchasing and production for major child and youth curriculum projects such as Rock Solid, Claim the Life, Amazing Bible Race and Emerge. Eddy has written several lessons for the Youth curriculum, Claim the Life and other tween and youth projects. He has also been involved in the new business development of Abingdon Press fiction and Bible lines. During his tenure at Thomas Nelson publishing, he oversaw the production and purchasing of over 200 Bibles including major projects as The Voice, The Gaither Homecoming Bible, Jesus Calling Devotional Bible and Sisters in Faith. Eddy completed his MBA at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a member of the National and local chapters of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and has his CPSM certification from ISM.
Margaret Brock | Manager of Sales Coordination
and Content Management
Margaret Brock is a graduate of the University of Georgia in Athens where she received a B.A. in Economics from the Terry College of Business. After graduation, Margaret moved to Nashville and joined ServiceSource International. At SSI, she served as a senior sales representative, responsible for confirming current client's renewals, forecasting future up-sells and client retention. As Manager of Sales Coordination and Content Management, Margaret manages internal and third-party databases, supports sales campaigns, and oversees in-house logistics.