Book Industry Association of Jamaica elects Board of Directors for 2015/2016

The Book Industry Association of Jamaica is forging ahead with renewed vigor. With Latoya West-Blackwood as Chair, I am sure it will make an impact on our national life in many positive ways – especially in the area of literacy. Here is their press release dated August, 2015.

Latoya West-Blackwood is the new Chair of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ).
Latoya West-Blackwood is the new Chair of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ).

Kingston, Jamaica — The Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ), founded in 1989 as the umbrella organization for all sectors of the local book industry, re-elected its 9-member board at its Annual General Meeting held in May this year.

The new board is headed by Chairman Latoya West-Blackwood of iPublish Consultancy, with Elizabeth Ramesar of The Jamaica Observer serving as Vice Chairman and Company Secretary. West- Blackwood, the youngest Chairman to date, succeeds Dr Norman Marshall of Sangster’s Book Stores, who will now serve as Treasurer.

The remaining directors have been appointed to serve in the following positions:

Damani Johnson (Kingston Bookshop) – Development Initiatives

Candice Carby (Carlong Publishers) – Marketing and Communications (formerly Promotions)

Nigel Walker (Bookzone Limited) – Recruitment & Membership

Tanya Batson-Savage (Blue Moon Publishing)- Special Projects

Franklin McGibbon (Meto Corporation) – Distribution

Kellie Magnus (Jack Mandora) – Publishing

A pressing area of focus for the new board is the strengthening of the association’s engagement of all stakeholders and partners. Raising public awareness regarding the work of the BIAJ is key in securing support for major initiatives and events such as the Kingston Book Festival which serves to generate opportunities for members while exposing Jamaicans to the local, regional and global literary landscape. In accepting the appointment, Chairman West-Blackwood stressed the importance of the BIAJ’s mandate of promoting literacy as a tool for national development. ‘Knowledge and intellectual property are now formally recognized as major drivers of productivity and economic growth. With this in mind, we plan to further engage communities –especially youth – across the island through key activities and increase our collaboration with the Ministry of Education as we work towards the common goal of full literacy,’ she said.

The new BIAJ website will be launched in September. For more information, please contact our Secretariat at:

iPublish Consultancy

Tel. 1 876 618-2037/527-4042


Address: Mona Technology Park, UWI Mona Campus, Kingston 7


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