In 1982, Bookbuilders West established the Distinguished Service Award. This honor went to individuals who

  • exemplified the ideals of Bookbuilders West,
  • maintained the highest personal standards of craftsmanship and devotion to their work above and beyond the regular call to duty,
  • demonstrated interest and service to the Bookbuilders community, although not necessarily to the Bookbuilders West organization as such,
  • were known for something extra they had given to the job or to book building, whether it be unusual talent, brilliance, innovation, integrity, devotion, or helpfulness to others, and
  • had universal appeal to all segments of the publishing industry.

The honoree was selected by a DSA committee consisting of current/former presidents and past DSA recipients. After BBW transitioned to Publishing Professionals Network in 2012, the organization continued to present the DSA.

Changing Times and the Distinguished Service Award

As local and national publishing have become intertwined via social networking and virtual connectivity, so have PPN’s mission and focus expanded. In 2021, PPN shifted the nature of this award to recognize a wider community of publishing professionals who exhibit commitment to our joint goals of advancing our trade and making publishing more welcoming to all who wish to join.

Updated Selection Criteria

Candidates for this new variation of the DSA are individuals who demonstrate some combination of the following criteria:

  • exemplification of the PPN mission to provide support, educational resources, and opportunities to all individuals involved in, or interested in joining, book and book-related publishing,
  • devotion to, and support of, the highest possible standards for developing and crafting books and book-related publications,
  • something extra brought to the publishing community, whether it be unusual talent, brilliance, innovation, integrity, devotion, or helpfulness to others, and
  • a tangible contribution toward increased diversity, equity, and inclusion within the publishing industry.

Updated Selection Process

  • PPN requests nominations from the broad publishing community through email blasts and social media. These requests include links to a simple nomination form.
  • The nomination form includes fields for brief essays and supporting information/references/links as available.
  • PPN committee members review all entries and winnow the group down to the top choices based on updated selection criteria (above).
  • Top choices are put to a vote via online balloting by the same audience that supplied the nominations.

The honoree is named at the PPN Book Show.



1983 | Lon Driggers 1984 | Al Lindenbaum 1985 | Charles Goehring
1986 | Bill Ralph 1987 | Fran Mitchell 1988 | Roy Wallace
1989 | Patricia Brewer 1990 | Karen Judd 1991 | Bill Ketron
1992 | Casimira Kostecki 1993 | Elliott Derman 1994 | Jonathan Peck
1995 | Gordon Johnson 1996 | Chet Grycz 1997 | Detta Penna
1998 | Paul Butzler 1999 | Gary Head 2000 | Arlene Cowan
2001 | Don Smith 2002 | Tony Crouch 2003 | Karen Richardson
2004 | Rebecca Swee 2005 | Michele Bisson Savoy 2006 | Michael O’Brien
2007 | Stephen Thomas 2008 | Mary Lou Goforth 2009 | Sandy D’Amato
2010 | Leslie Austin 2011 | Elise Gochberg 2012 | Andrea Helmbolt
2013 | Mike Johnson 2014 | David Zielonka 2016 | Duncan McCallum
2016 | Duncan McCallum 2017 | Tona Pearce Myers 2018 | Scott Norton
2019 | Brenda Ginty 2020 | Johanna Vondeling