George D. Smith is president and publisher of Signature Books. He is a graduate of Stanford University and New York University, where he received an MBA. After graduating, he worked for several years in the financial industry in Manhattan, managing investment portfolios at Citibank. It was in New York that he met his future wife, Camilla Miner, a Utah girl who was an editor at G. P. Putnam’s with a master’s degree from Columbia University. They married and moved to San Francisco, where George went to work for Scudder, Stevens, and Clark, eventually founding his own two companies, Smith Capital Management and Smith Research Associates. George and Camilla raised a family of five children—a girl and four boys, two of them twins—who are now grown. George has served on the national boards of the Kenyon Review, the Leakey Foundation, National Public Radio, and other philanthropic organizations and corporate boards. He serves on the Library Committee of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He is co-founder of Signature Books and was an early board member at Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He is the author of Nauvoo Polygamy and editor of An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton, among other books. He has published historical articles in Free Inquiry, Journal of Mormon History, John Whitmer Historical Journal, Sunstone, and elsewhere.
Those who know George will tell you that he would rather talk about you than himself. However, this much we have been able to learn. As a child he raised slugs in the kitchen sink and listened to radio dramas such as The Shadow and Ellery Queen. At Stanford, he was on the wrestling team and once pinned the football quarterback in an impromptu match. He likes music; at NYU he was part of a folk band called “The Plainsmen.” (He prefers Shostakovich now.) He likes ethnic food—sushi and dim sum. He’s crazy about his Persian cats: Alaric, Black Jesus, Aristotle, and Mismis. He’s a movie buff and for years circulated an underground guide called “Smith’s Fearless Film Review.” He’s a passionate subscriber to the New York Times. He’s a fan of A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books and Stacy’s Bookstore. He’s well read in history, the classical world, politics, science, and one of his favorite genres, poetry. He has run in the infamous Bay to Breakers 12-K Run several times—although fully dressed—and rides his bicycle daily at the Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge. People enjoy George’s company—his curiosity and adventuresome spirit that has taken him to distant parts of the globe and places even fewer people have been: the inner canticles of Dante’s Divine Comedy—and recently the last book in John Updike’s Rabbit series.
Gary James Bergera is managing director of the Smith-Pettit Foundation in Salt Lake City, former managing director of Signature Books, and former managing editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. He is co-author of Brigham Young University: A House of Faith, editor of Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts, Statements of the LDS First Presidency, and companion volumes of Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, 1842-1845, and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846 (also co-editor) and On Desert Trails with Everett Ruess, and a contributing author in The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith, Religion, Feminism, and Freedom of Conscience: A Mormon/Humanist Dialogue, and The Search for Harmony: Essays on Science and Mormonism. He is also the recipient of a Best Article Award from the Mormon History Association.
Lavina Fielding Anderson (Ph.D., English, University of Washington) lives in Salt Lake City with her husband Paul, a museum exhibit designer at Brigham Young University. They have one son. She has been the editor of the Journal of Mormon History, co-editor of the Case Reports of the Mormon Alliance, current-issues editor of the Mormon Women’s Forum Quarterly, and production editor for the Review of Higher Education. She is a past president of the Association for Mormon Letters. She has been an associate editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and of the Ensign magazine. Her books include (as editor) Chesterfield: Mormon Outpost in Idaho; (co-editor) Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective; Tending the Garden: Essays on Mormon Literature; (contributor) On Their Own: Widows and Widowhood in the American Southwest, 1848-1939; Religion, Feminism, and Freedom of Conscience: A Mormon/Humanist Dialogue; The Wilderness of Faith: Essays on Contemporary Mormon Thought; and Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism. She is a recipient of the Grace Fort Arrington Award for Distinguished Service from the Mormon History Association.
Lisa Orme Bickmore is an associate professor in English at Salt Lake Community College. She is the recipient of a Utah Arts Council poetry award and the Elixir Press 2014 Antivenom Poetry Award. Lisa is also on the board of the Salt Lake Film Society.
Martha Sonntag Bradley is an Associate Vice President Academic Affairs, a professor in the College of Architecture and Planning and Dean, Undergraduate Studies at the University of Utah, where she has also received the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Student Choice Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Bennion Center Service Learning Professorship, and the honorary title of “University Professor, 1999-2000.” She taught previously in the history department at Brigham Young University, where she received a Teaching Excellence Award. She has served as president of the Mormon History Association and co-editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Her many books include Kidnapped from that Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamists; Four Zinas: A Story of Mothers and Daughters on the Mormon Frontier; and A History of Kane County.
John Sillito is Archivist, Curator of Special Collections, and Professor of Libraries at Weber State University (Ogden, Utah), where he was named the Nye Honors Professor for 2001-02. He is the co-editor of A World We Thought We Knew: Readings in Utah History, Letters from Exile: The Correspondence of Martha Hughes Cannon, Mormon Mavericks and other volumes.
Kenneth L. Cannon II grew up in Provo, where he says he attended high school with fellow Signature Books board member Gary Bergera. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Brigham Young University, with a two-year break to serve an LDS mission to Finland. Later when he became a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Helsinki, his language and cultural background proved to be especially useful.
He went on to receive a Juris Doctorate from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and to affiliate, during that period, with an off-campus Sunday study group that included Bergera! Remaining loyal to his alma mater, he serves as chair of BYU’s National Advisory Council for the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. He has also ventured out to serve as an adjunct professor at both the BYU and University of Utah law schools. For two decades Ken practiced corporate bankruptcy law with the predecessor of famous headline-grabbing firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf, but for the past ten years he has considered himself fortunate to be with the Salt Lake City firm of Durham, Jones, & Pinegar. He is a Fellow in the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy, and a national legal publication recently named him the Utah Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year.
Rounding out his civic involvement, Ken currently serves on the board of the the Mormon History Association, and previously served on the boards of the Utah Heritage Foundation and the Utah Historical Quarterly in addition to the editorial board at Signature Books. He has published in numerous legal and professional journals, including BYU Studies, the Journal of Mormon History, Dialogue, Utah Historical Quarterly, BYU Law Review and the Federal Bar Journal, on topics ranging from frontier baseball to the history of bankruptcy in Utah. He has won writing awards from the Mormon History Association and the Utah State Historical Society.