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SAY HELLO

Meet Our Team

We're a group of audacious book fanatics here to bring your creative vision to life. We hold you accountable, tell it like it is, cheer for you through challenges and successes, and push you past the finish line. Most of all, we make sure the book you publish maximizes the impact of your message on those who need it most.

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NY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR / FOUNDER / AUTHOR MENTOR

Carmen Renee Berry

Specialty: Supporting the creative process of the authors she mentors, nurturing a climate of collaboration, and making books happen.

Carmen Renee Berry, MSW, is a New York Times bestselling author who founded Berry Powell Press to help today’s authors overcome common obstacles in the ever-changing publishing industry. After years in the business, she accesses her intuitive gift of knowing a good book, guiding authors in skills and creativity to refine their manuscripts. While being straightforward and candid in her communication, compassion and challenge co-exist in her guidance with authors.
 
Since 1985, she has authored and ghostwritten forty-plus books, selling over a million and a half copies worldwide through publishers including HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Thomas Nelson. Her books have been translated into nine languages. And yes, she was on Oprah.
 
She earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California and a Master of Social Sciences from Northern Arizona University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Point Loma Nazarene University.
 
Craft, needlework, and home projects are always in process during Carmen’s off-time.  Her daughter, Jenee, is now at college and is a source of great joy.  A passion for Nepal and its people is central to Carmen’s personal and professional ventures

 

carmen@berrypowellpress.com

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CO-FOUNDER / DIRECTOR OF PUBLISHING SERVICES

Carolyn Rafferty

Specialty: Publishing details, digital design platforms, video editing & production.

As the Director of Publishing for Berry Powell Press, Carolyn Rafferty is a humble, creative genius who has brought numerous books to print. Her wry humor will keep you laughing as you strategize how to present your book well in soundbites and video clips. Her expert video and audio skills make the author and the book appeal in a variety of platforms. 
 
Carolyn has over thirty years of experience as an award-winning filmmaker and video editor. She is the CEO of Red Boots Media. She worked for ten years as the Director of International Film and Video Distribution for Moody Institute of Science. She was also the Production Coordinator for The Jesus Film Project and Producer of The Story of Jesus for Children, which was translated into hundreds of languages and distributed worldwide.
 
For the past fifteen years, Carolyn has worked with numerous authors in the design, editing, and production of products and courses. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary.
 
In her off time, Carolyn collects vintage pottery and dishware, hones her home repair skills, and delights in the many who call her “Auntie.”

carolyn@berrypowellpress.com

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DIRECTOR OF AUTHOR CREATIVE COMMUNITY

Marianne Croonquist

Specialty: Crystallizing an author’s vision, understanding the target audience’s needs, and creating partnerships throughout our Author Network.

 

Marianne lights the spark in an author’s vision as they create their book. She masterfully helps decipher and hone the essential message of a book while refueling the writer’s emotional tank. Marianne blends her experience as a therapist, teacher, and writer to structure, refine, and inspire those she coaches. She makes it welcoming and fun and gets the job done.

An adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary, Marianne holds a BS in Sociology from Whitman College and an MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Photography, nature, and travel are passions made better by the company of her two grandchildren.

marianne@berrypowellpress.com

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DIRECTOR OF FICTION & MEMOIRS / SENIOR EDITOR / ACQUISITIONS EDITOR

Valeri Mills Barnes

Specialty: Final editing, development of fiction and memoirs, writing coach, finding new authors/stories.

Valeri delights in conversations with potential and current authors. Offering a deep knowledge of the publishing industry and many years of experience, Valeri envisions the marketable end-product of an author’s idea long before they do. Using laughter and encouragement, she is both a sleuth and a guide, assisting a novel coming to life. Valeri allows room for an author to process while necessary frameworks and task completion are maintained.

She has launched and grown two national trade magazines. In addition, she worked her way up in a California newspaper from columnist to feature writer, chief editor, publisher, and ultimately owner. At the same time, she freelance edited scores of books over thirty-seven years.

Valeri is the final editing guru, ensuring published books are error-free, clear, consistent, and coherent. She fuses her comprehensive expertise with her truest passions: editing, coaching authors, ghostwriting—all things literary. 

In her off time, she loves singing, home projects, church, and gatherings with family and friends in her Central California hometown.
 

valeri@berrypowellpress.com

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DIRECTOR OF NONFICTION & CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Abigail Dengler

Specialty: Co-creating stories, organizing complex ideas, book coaching, starting new initiatives.

Abby is the coach you didn’t know you needed. With a background in mentoring hundreds of writers at Azusa Pacific University and guiding numerous authors and business owners through the writing process, she is deeply committed to helping people discover and amplify their unique voices. She listens attentively and advocates for her authors’ visions while providing constructive feedback on showcasing that vision to the fullest. Excelling in structure, she demystifies the writing process by outlining clear steps toward the finish line. 

 

Abby’s dedication to excellence in indie publishing is evidenced by her ongoing education through the Editorial Freelancers Association and the UCLA Editing & Publishing Certificate Program.

Abby loves reading and ice skating, even in sunny Pasadena, when she’s not immersed in a manuscript.

abby@berrypowellpress.com

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DIRECTOR OF DESIGN

Kay McConnaughey

Specialty: Visually capturing the tone and texture of others’ ideas.

Kay began her career soon after graduating with a fine arts degree. Still, her love for graphic design and illustration started in high school while working in a small print shop. With her experience in layout and design, she earned the opportunity to work at an art agency throughout her college years. That prepared her for the graphic design work she did for Gick Publishing, Me and My Big Ideas, and Pet Qwerks, as well as volunteering her expertise at her church.
 
In 2019, Kay took time off from design work to care for her mother. During her hiatus, she was asked to design a few book covers, and the rest is history.
 
Kay lives north of Seattle near her three daughters. She enjoys her creative ventures during- and off-work hours and playing with her wonderful grandchildren.

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DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Tammy Herbert

Specialty: Facilitator of strategic conversations, organization and implementation of goals, especially with creatives.

Tammy’s ease with numbers, details, and getting things done makes the Berry Powell Press staff a more excellent team. She honed working virtually before the pandemic pushed the rest of us to readjust. She strategically consolidates ideas, facts and creativity while staying attentive to the uniqueness of each person involved. Her wealth of life experiences in leadership, research, ministry, accounting, and social media brings clarity and wisdom to any conversation.
 
With a Bachelor of Business Administration, Tammy has worked in the insurance and construction industries and in church positions. 

Her roots are in Kansas, but Tammy and her husband now reside on a rural Alberta, Canada farm with thousands of chickens, two teenagers, and three beloved doodles. Relaxation on the front porch includes reading or listening to books and a bit of napping unless the Kansas City Chiefs are playing.

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SEO & WEB DEVELOPMENT

Jenee Berry

Specialty: Search Engine Optimization, website creation and maintenance, HTML, CSS, Beta Reader.

Jenee Berry is smart. Her keen awareness of what’s needed for developing a web presence is a huge addition to our BPP team. Her direct and knowledgeable style moves the process forward for increased visibility and better content on websites and social media for our authors. As a beta reader she offers excellent feedback with concise directives. Simultaneously Jenee offers a macro and micro look at the content she reviews.


Attending Santa Clara University, Jenee is focused on a future career in mechanical engineering. Sensitive to social and global issues, as well as her academic excellence, Jenee provides an accurate, thoughtful, and reliable point of view to any project or conversation. 

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BUSINESS CONSULTANT

Patricia Stroberg

Specialty: A keen sense of business savvy honed by decades of running a multimillion dollar company.

Pat and her husband built a successful manufacturing company together, but when they divorced in the mid-1980’s, Pat bought him out. Conventional wisdom at the time said, “A woman can’t run a manufacturing business!” But Pat proved them all wrong. She single-handedly grew the company into a multi-million dollar success and became an esteemed member of the “Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses in Southern California.” She cracked the glass ceiling into splinters.

Today, in her early eighties, Pat has no intention of sitting and watching as life goes on around her. A champion of women in business, she mentors every chance she gets, and donates to causes she believes in. She has visited thirty-five countries, and has served on six boards.

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