Board of Directors
Christina Dedios (pronouns she/her/hers) is a Vallejo native of multiethnic Filipino and Black background and is passionate about the multiracial and BIPOC communities. After earning her BA from Whittier College in English, she worked in the corporate retail and law industries before getting her first opportunity in publishing – an internship at North Atlantic Books. She went on to complete the Columbia Publishing Course in New York and worked in the subsidiary rights department at Scholastic, Inc. before landing back home in the Bay Area in the contracts department at Chronicle Books. In her free time she can often be found staying active, relishing in good food, drinking boba, or mediating disputes between her cats, Cala and Lou.
Mary Louise Hegarty
An astrologer, craniosacral therapist, and labor and human rights consultant, Mary Louise now calls the Bay Area home after lengthy chapters in Massachusetts, Colorado and Cape Town. An early introduction to bodywork, yoga, astrology, organic gardening, and environmental activism laid the foundation for her life’s work in the healing arts. In addition to her astrology and therapy practices, ML travels the USA for a global fair labor non-profit to assess working conditions in the electronics supply chain. She was a regular columnist for ELLE-South Africa, and now publishes her own blog as The Galactic Gogo. Active in the Craniosacral Children’s Collective (SF-Oakland) and the SF Astrological Society, she holds a BA from the UMass-Amherst, as well as a diploma from the South African Institute of Cranial Studies.
Lesley Iura is a long-time publishing professional who is currently Director of Professional Publishing at Berrett-Koehler, where she is developing a list of books for professionals in project management, healthcare, workplace training, and more. Prior to that, she worked at Jossey-Bass/Wiley, where she built a program of books for K-12 educators. Lesley is a native Californian (grew up in L.A., summered in Oakland), and studied Art History at UC Berkeley. She feels lucky to have grown up in a family of sisters, and is proud to be the granddaughter of immigrant farmers from rural Japan. In her spare time, you may find her on the dance floor trying to improve her salsa skills.
Jan Johnson has worked in book publishing since 1972, holding positions in editorial and marketing at Winston-Seabury Press, HarperOne (then known as HarperSanFrancisco, a division of HarperCollins) and Tuttle Publishing. In addition she ran aka Drantell Editorial, for eight years in the 1990s, doing editorial and consulting work for a variety of publishers including JP Tarcher, Bantam, Ballantine, Quilt Digest Press, while earning an MFA in Fiction Writing from San Francisco State University. In 2000, she cofounded RedWheel/Weiser, publishing books under the imprints Weiser Books, Conari Press, Disinformation Books, Hampton Roads Publishing, and Turning Stone Press. She was the publisher from 2000 through the end of 2015, when she retired. She is currently working with individual authors, coaching and editing their books, plus writing and publishing her own poetry, nonfiction, and fiction.
Bex Mui, M.Ed., is a biracial, first generation, queer, lesbian advocate and equity consultant committed to the work of LGBTQ+ affirmation at the intersections of spirituality and sexuality. Bex created the online class, Decolonzing Gender, for the Institute for Anti-Racist Education, and has experience consulting for the K-12 school system on the local, state, and national level. Bex believes that a spiritual approach to the work of LGBTQ+ advocacy is an increasing need. A queer witch, energy worker, and spiritual organizer, Bex founded House Of Our Queer, a QTBIPOC-centered spiritual playspace where Bex shares affirmations for the queer and trans community. Bex is thrilled to add “author” to her bio this year with the expected release of House Of Our Queer: Healing, Reframing, and Reclaiming Your Spiritual Practice in the fall of 2022. You can find out more about Bex and her offerings at BexMui.com.
Eric writes and teaches in San Francisco. Before relocating to the Bay Area, he cofounded MadLab. During his tenure as artistic director, the company became an award-winning haven for original theater and performance, often of an avant-garde and political bent. In San Francisco, he cofounded the official radio station of the Burning Man event, Burning Man Information Radio, and produced programming for this “alternative universe NPR” for a decade. Myers received his BA from Princeton University and his MFA in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California.
Mary Owen has been a project manager and technical writer for Cisco, Oracle, and many other major tech companies in the Bay Area. While working in tech is her job, her passion is bioethics, which led her to get a Masters in Bioethics from Union University. Her thesis on Hurricane Katrina and the implications of palliative care in crisis was recognized as the first of its kind work. Her other passion is ice hockey — she has refereed Division 1 women’s ice hockey for many years all across the country and now referees local games around the Bay. For ten years Mary co-produced Bay Area Rising, an annual event in collaboration with 1 Billion Rising, spearheaded by Eve Ensler, that raises awareness about violence against women. Mary also regularly visits her family on the Navajo/Diné reservation and volunteers with Adopt a Native Elder, a unique non-profit organization that brings food and supplies to the elders on the reservation in Arizona. Mary lives with her wife and eleven-year-old Shiba Inu, Mimi, in Oakland.
S. Rae Peoples
S. Rae Peoples is the founder and principal consultant at Red Lotus Consulting, a race equity and justice service boutique. A dedicated mother, education administrator, and social activist, she enjoys being present in spaces that allow her to offer personal narratives, experiences, and truths to the richness of community. A founding member of Parents United for Public Schools, her writings and opinions have been published in The Washington Post, the East Bay Express, the Oakland Post, BlogHer, as well as Young, Fabulous, and Self-Employed magazine. She has spent twenty years cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion within the education, political, and nonprofit sectors. Her background, along with her skills in building bridges, gives S. Rae a keen contextual lens in the areas of curricula, frameworks, and educational best practices. A native of California with a Midwest upbringing, she is rooted in motherhood and community in Oakland, CA.
Steven has been a lawyer for 43 years and North Atlantic Books’ general counsel for about 25 years.
Tom Southern is an Associate Director at Newmark Cornish & Carey where he brokers the sale and leasing of commercial properties. Before turning to real estate, Tom worked in the book trade for twenty years. He held various financial and management positions including Publisher of Boaz Publishing Company, General Manager of Ten Speed Press, and Associate Controller of Princeton University Press. Tom earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He was the board chair of North Atlantic Books from 2012 to 2014.