AALA Announces First New President in 20 Years

Press Release

The Board of Directors of the Association of American Literary Agents is pleased to announce the results of the 2022 AALA Election.

Members of the AALA elected Lynn Johnston of Lynn Johnston Literary, Pamela Malpas of Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts of HG Literary and Jennifer Weltz of JVNLA to their first terms on the Board. Members also elected Kerry D’Agostino of Curtis Brown, Ltd., Lauren MacLeod of The Strothman Agency, and Monica Odom of Odom Media Management to their second terms on the Board.

In the same election, Jennifer Weltz, who served on the outgoing Board as a replacement Director, was nominated by the Board and ratified by the membership as the next President of the Board of Directors of the AALA.

In a statement, Jennifer Weltz writes:

Throughout my involvement with AAR/AALA over more than 20 years, I have been impressed with the hard work and good will that has infused all of what we do.  The implicit understanding that we as agents achieve so much more when we work together has been proven every time as well as the long term relationships that, through service, has enriched my life both professionally and personally. I look forward to being a part of both continuing these fundamental goals while making sure that everyone within our world of agenting is included, mentored, and encouraged to be successful in the profession that we all value so greatly.

I have been deeply in awe and impressed by the strides made in the past two years when so many were struggling under the burden of the pandemic.  The AALA, with Gail Hochman’s generous and caring leadership as President, saw this as an opportunity to reinvent itself in so many exciting and positive ways including opening up our meetings to all agents geographically and changing our name to better reflect who we are today. They took on the herculean tasks of revamping our website and making our code of ethics and membership model more inclusive of diverse talent while making sure that vital standards of ethics were not being sacrificed.  Expanding our role of training and mentoring a diverse group of young agents to hopefully ensure their success, the Board pioneered a non-profit fundraising arm – Literary Agents if Change to great success.  By giving this kind of support to our fellow agents, we elevate our profession for all.  

The 2022 Annual Election for the organization marks the first time in twenty years that an important name was missing from the ballot: Gail Hochman of Brant & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. Gail has served as the President of the Board of Directors since 2002, and her tireless commitment to the organization, to the agent community, and to the fortification of the AALA Canon of Ethics have defined and inspired members of the Board and the AALA community. In recent years, Gail has chaired AALA during the establishment of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee and its nonprofit arm, Literary Agents of Change; a reimagining of the AALA membership model that centers accessibility, education, and community; and a modernization of the Canon of Ethics focused on sustainability of the agent profession while maintaining the AALA’s rigorous commitment to the highest standards of ethical representation.

The Board is indebted to Gail on this impressive tenure and for her constant care and vision.

Following the 2022 Annual Membership Election, the Board further nominated and confirmed Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency and Kerry D’Agostino to continue serving in their positions as Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Directors, respectively. The Board also nominated and confirmed Pamela Malpas to serve as Treasurer of the Board, and is grateful to Ginger Clark of Ginger Clark Literary for her previous service in that role.

The complete roster of the Board of Directors of the AALA is as follows:

Members of the Board of Directors of the AALA

President – Jennifer Weltz, JVNLA, Inc.

Vice President – Regina Brooks, Serendipity Literary Agency

Treasurer – Pamela Malpas, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency

Secretary – Kerry D’Agostino, Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Farley Chase, Chase Literary Agency

Lynn Johnston, Lynn Johnston Literary

Katie Kotchman, Don Congdon Associates

Lauren MacLeod, The Strothman Agency

Monica Odom, Odom Media Management

Ayesha Pande, Ayesha Pande Literary

Soumeya Bendimerad Roberts, HG Literary

Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Monika Woods, Triangle House Literary

About the Association of American Literary Agents

Since its founding in 1991, the Association of American Literary Agents has been a leading force in furthering the interests of agents, authors, and other rights holders. Through regular educational programming, community-building initiatives, and advocating for agents and authors alike, the volunteer-run organization is dedicated to helping our members maintain and broaden their professional skills in a fast-changing publishing environment. Recognizing the historically exclusive nature of publishing, AALA is committed to engendering a more diverse, equitable, participatory  and inclusive publishing community. Members of AALA must agree to adhere to its widely-respected Canon of Ethics, thus ensuring that our membership maintains the highest standards of ethics and integrity in dealings with and on behalf of our clients and our publishing colleagues.

Press Contact:

Name: Regina Brooks, Vice President, Communications Committee Chair

Email: vicepresident@aalitagents.org  

Name: Jennifer Weltz, President

Email: president@aalitagents.org