About SPD - Staff Bios

Jeffrey Lependorf, Executive Director,

Jeffrey Lependorf, the Executive Director of SPD, has over fifteen years of experience in development, fundraising, corporate sponsorship, and strategic planning. He has served as Development Director at Creative Capital Foundation, Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project, the Poetry Society of America, and In the Life Media.

While not at SPD or CLMP in New York (where he also serves as Executive Director), he is active as a composer and also serves as Director of Music Omi, an international music residency program in upstate New York. His Masterpieces of Western Music audiocourse is available through Barnes and Noble's "Portable Professor" series.

Brent Cunningham, Managing Director,

Brent Cunningham has been with SPD since 1999, first as their Sales & Marketing Manager, then as the Operations Director until 2018, now as Managing Director. He brought a strong background in customer service to SPD, having previously worked for an internet e-commerce company in San Francisco. From 2001-2007 he served on the board of Small Press Traffic, one of the premier literary presenting organizations in San Francisco. His Masters degree is in English from the Poetics Program at S.U.N.Y. Buffalo. He has published two books of poetry with SPD publishers, Bird & Forest (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2005) and Journey to the Sun (Atelos, 2012), and a chapbook The Sad Songs of Hell (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017).

Andrew Pai, Finance Director,

Andrew Pai joined SPD at the beginning of 2005 as an Administrative Associate in the Business Office before becoming the Business Manager in 2006. In 2004 he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in English.

Prepared at first to be a computer science major, he has a strong background in math and later developed his administrative and publishing knowledge through working for the San Francisco City Hall as a publication assistant. He is currently working on a novel and volunteering at night as an editorial assistant for a grassroots Asian American magazine.

John Sakkis, Warehouse Manager,

John Sakkis joined the SPD family as the Customer Service and Sales Associate in April, 2008, and was promoted to Warehouse Manager in March, 2009. He received his BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University (2004) and went on to earn an MFA in Writing and Poetics from The Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University (2006). He curates the BOTH BOTH Reading Series in San Francisco.

Janice Worthen, Data Manager,

Janice Worthen joined SPD as a volunteer in 2013, moving on to warehouse assistant, shipping coordinator, sales & marketing manager, and now data manager. Outside of SPD, they have worked as a bookseller, receiving manager, and as a freelance journalist and social media manager. They earned their BA in English from the University of Idaho, where they received the Leishman English Award, Banks Award, and interned with the literary journal Fugue, and their MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. They are the founder and editor of Night Music Journal.

Trisha Low, Publicity Manager,

Trisha joined SPD as Publicity Manager after two years as Director of Development at [clmp], SPD's sister organization in New York, where she worked with over 400 small presses nationwide. Her previous experience includes time at feminist arts and activist organizations including at The Feminist Press and the Family Violence Appellate Project. A poet and performer, she earned her MA at NYU's Performance Studies program. She is the author of The Compleat Purge (Kenning Editions, 2013) and Socialist Realism (Emily Books, 2019).

Ari Banias, Customer Service & Publicity Associate,

Ari was born in LA, grew up outside Chicago, and has worked with books since 2000, in Bay Area bookstores and at Unnameable Books in New York. He has also taught creative writing and literature at UW Madison and at CUNY Hunter College, where he earned an MFA in poetry. Ari's the author of a chapbook, What's Personal is Being Here With All of You (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2012), and a book, Anybody: Poems (W.W. Norton, 2016).

Johnny Hernandez, Customer Service Associate,

Johnny, after volunteering in the SPD warehouse, was promoted to a part time position as a warehouse assistant.  In early 2012 he was promoted to the position of customer service associate. He has earned his English BA degree from UC Berkeley (with an emphasis in poetry) and continued to earn his MFA from Mills College. He is a poet, musician and photographer. His first chapbook collection, “U” was kindly produced by Achiote Press with forthcoming work in an anthology project: “Ghost Republic” through Ampersand Press.


Sign up for SPD e-newsletters