The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Booksellers Association Appoints Kate Gunning as Head of Membership Development

The Booksellers Association has today announced that Kate Gunning has been appointed as Head of Membership Development.
Kate originally joined the BA in January 2022 as Acting Membership Manager. In the newly created role of Head of Membership Development, Kate will take on overall strategic responsibility for BA Learning, the BA’s learning and development platform for booksellers, while also overseeing all membership services, processes and communications, working on BA Group-wide initiatives with Batch and National Book Tokens, and running the Children’s and Christian Bookselling Groups.
Supporting all independent and chain member bookshops, Kate will work alongside Pippa Halpin, who will return to her role as Membership Manager in February, and Sheila O’Reilly, BA Learning Project Manager.
Kate worked for Waterstones for 13 years, including stints managing bookshops in Paris and London. She was subsequently the Book Buyer at Selfridges and then Head of Buying at Foyles. She moved into publishing in 2009, joining Random House (now Penguin Random House), where she was Independent Bookshops Manager for 12 years.
Meryl Halls, Managing Director, at The Booksellers Association said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Kate to the BA team permanently, and to be creating this new role to foreground our essential work with BA Learning.  I’m also delighted that Kate will be furthering her excellent member relations work over the past year.  Kate has a unique skill set, ranging from big corporate publisher, chain bookseller, freelancer and indie bookseller, and – as anyone who knows Kate will attest – has a gift for connections, a peerless work ethic, and knows the bookselling sector intimately.  Kate will be a key part of the BA team, working most closely with me, with Pippa Halpin, who we are hugely looking forward to welcoming back to the BA, and with Amanda Amoah, our Membership & Events Executive.”
Kate Gunning, Head of Membership Development commented: “It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to have spent the last year working as the BA’s Acting Membership Manager. So I couldn’t be more delighted that I shall be staying on in a permanent capacity, and in this newly created role. I look forward to continuing to work alongside my brilliant colleagues, providing support and guidance to prospective, new and established booksellers across the UK and Ireland.”
Gunning will be taking on the role of Head of Membership Development on 9th February.