"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."- Nelson Mandela

Our Team

Perry Pidgeon Hooks, President & Co-founder

Perry Pidgeon Hooks has had a love affair with books that started with trips to the public library in Memphis, TN where she grew up.  Perry’s love of reading (just about anything), combined with an immense respect for the talents and efforts of writers has kept her engaged in the book business for more than 22 years! 

From the University of Virginia, her post college journey led her to England, New York City and then home to the Deep South. Wherever she lived, Perry fostered her love of reading by joining and starting book clubs and attending book events.

For more than 20 years, Perry has worked with independent book stores including Davis-Kidd in Nashville, TN and at Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. – in marketing or as an independent contractor – promoting authors by bringing them to the stores as well as to non-traditional book venues. She remains partial to the independent book stores - working with Politics & Prose when producing events for clients in the metro DC area, as well as with Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA and Parnassus Book Store in Nashville.  

Perry is excited about the direction of Hooks Book Events; infusing ideas everywhere will be the driving force and purpose of this new phase of the company.  It is time to build bridges to those with limited access to the amazing thought leaders that Hooks Book Events brings to its clients.  Everyone can use information on leadership, management, grit, perseverance, drive and motivation.  The new HBE Bridge Builder Events will work to bridge that access gap.

Perry’s various detours through financial services marketing, advertising and trade association work have all helped her hone her skills in designing programs and author series that fit the needs of her clients.  Going forward, Hooks Book Events will broaden the reach of these programs. 

Loretta Yenson, Co-founder

Robin Dvorak, Chief Marketing Officer

Robin is a seasoned strategic marketing executive with over two decades of global marketing experience in Fortune 500 organizations as well as small, private companies across the technology and finance industries. She is the founder of Blue Egg, the marketing department for growing businesses.

Prior to founding Blue Egg, Robin led marketing for Updata Advisors, a leading investment banking firm serving the information technology industry; and Updata Partners, a growth-stage venture capital firm investing in software and software-enabled services companies. Earlier, she managed marketing and business development programs for a number of innovative technology companies.

Robin began her career with a decade of experience in AT&T’s Caribbean & Latin America regional organization. She earned an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a BA from the University of Notre Dame.

Louise Klee, Manager, Administration

Louise grew up in Baltimore, Md., just a few yards away from the Roland Park branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, whose shelves of books she read voraciously and indiscriminately over the years. She moved to the Washington area after college and worked for McGraw-Hill for 14 years, 10 of them as an Associate Editor in the Information Services division, then left McGraw-Hill to work as a freelance editor and writer while raising her three children. Louise joined Hooks Book Events in early 2012. She and her husband have lived in Takoma Park, Md., for 28 years.

Kate McElligott, Strategic Advisor

Kate currently serves as Strategic Adviser to Hooks Book Events. She's advising the President and co-Founder on ways to incorporate social enterprise strategies into the core HBE offering for book events, bulk book orders and BridgeBuilder events. Kate also serves as the Director of Strategic Development at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) where she is responsible for developing partnerships to fuel the growth of the small and growing business (SGB) sector in emerging markets. ANDE is a policy program of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. Kate joined ANDE with ten years of experience in relationship management, business development, and marketing for global development and social enterprise. She previously served as Senior Manager, Thought Leadership and Strategic Partnerships at Grameen Foundation where she worked for five years garnering resources for economic development, mobile technology, and livelihood programs. Early in her career Kate spent a year volunteering in China as part of the Harvard Kennedy School’s WorldTeach program, and ran several capital campaigns as a consultant for CCS Fundraising. Kate graduated from the American University with an M.A. in Social Enterprise. She earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Providence College.

Rose Melnicki, Executive Administration Manager

Rose is a highly skilled administrative professional with over two decades of experience who thoroughly enjoys working with people. She has worked directly with top executives for organizations like the National Geographic Society and Discovery Communications. Rose is excited to bring her strong organizational and communication skills to her new position with HBE. She enjoys a fast-paced environment and looks forward to putting some of her event planning experience to good use.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Rose has made Bethesda her home for the last 15+ years where she has raised her two children. Now that they are both off to college, it’s time to switch gears and get back to the type of work she loves. She is thrilled to be joining the Hooks Book Events Team!

Suzanne Young

Suzanne Young brings over 15 years of conference and event experience to Hooks Book Events. Most recently as an independent consultant, and previously with 1105 Media, she has managed over 175 large and small government IT conferences. From concept to execution, Suzanne works with advisors and speakers to develop the program and manage all aspects of the education.

Over the years, Suzanne has seen the deep appreciation people have for books personally and professionally. Her volunteer activities included many years running the elementary school book fair fundraiser where she could see how much joy books would bring younger children. As a conference manager, Suzanne knows first-hand how the educational program of any event can be enhanced by featuring just the right author with their new book. She is delighted to join the HBE team.

Suzanne lives in Bethesda with her husband, and is the proud mother of two sons, Jesse and Alex.  In addition to her routine mother duties, she serves as “momager” for 17 year-old Alex, helping to launch his career as an electronic music producer and DJ.


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