Valerie Koehler opened Blue Willow Bookshop in West Houston, Texas, in October 1996. With just 1,200 square feet, Blue Willow has become a neighborhood destination with a very strong children’s department, a haven for book clubs, and a place to find new and best-selling games. Valerie is the store’s manager and buyer and oversees all operations. Valerie currently serves as a director on the boards of ABA. She recently served on the boards of ABFFE and the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA). She has also served as president of the former Mid-South Booksellers Association and as vice president of the Association of Booksellers for Children, now the ABC Group at ABA. Valerie has been named a Champion of Literacy by Literacy Advance of Houston and was named Bookseller of the Year in 2011 by the MPIBA.