Meet the Team
Here are the Sagamoreans who help you with your questions about orders, books, eBooks, journals, desk copy requests, and more.
Joseph J. Bannon, Sr., PhD (1931-2021)
Founder and Publisher
Dr. Joseph J. Bannon Sr. had over 50 years of experience in the parks, recreation, and leisure field and in publishing.
A recognized leader in both fields, Dr. Bannon received numerous awards for outstanding service.
He began his career in 1957 as the director of Parks and Recreation in Leonia, New Jersey, and moved on to Topeka, Kansas, as the director in 1962.
In 1966 he joined the staff at the University of Illinois, and in 1972, Bannon was appointed the head of the Department of Leisure Studies.
Dr. Bannon developed Management Strategy in 1977. The publication was dedicated to disseminating management information to parks and recreation professionals throughout the world.
Dr. Bannon also wrote many articles and authored and coauthored more than 11 books.
Dr. Bannon retired from the University of Illinois in 1991 and worked full time acquiring and developing titles for Sagamore-Venture.
Peter L. Bannon, MBA
Peter Bannon joined Sagamore Publishing LLC in 1988 as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1992, Bannon was promoted to the position of President, a position he continues to hold. He has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Illinois, an MBA from the University of New Haven and is a National Certified EMT.
In 2016, Bannon/Sagamore Publishing, acquired Venture Publishing Inc and created Sagamore-Venture, the largest publisher in the field of leisure. Combined, Sagamore-Venture has published more than 200 books and a dozen journals in the area of leisure and wellness.
Bannon has been active in the publishing industry for over 30 years and was once named the Mid-America Publishing Association’s “Man of the Year.”
Allison Parkhurst BA, CTRS
Allison joined the Sagamore-Venture team in 2022 as Executive Vice-President. Allison has a BA in Recreation Administration with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Youth Development from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL.
Allison comes to Sagamore-Venture with over 11 years of experience in the field of recreation, working as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist with youth and young adults. Allison will work with Peter Bannon (President) and learn all aspects of the publishing industry.
Initially, Allison’s primary focus will be to acquire and develop titles for Sagamore-Venture, meet with authors and academics in the field, and continue to help build the bridge between academics and the publishing world.
As Peter Bannon has said many times, “It was important to me and to Sagamore-Venture that this critical position was filled by someone with experience in our field who could help grow the Sagamore-Venture tradition not just as a publishing company, but as an integral part of the field.”
Susan M. Davis, BS
Director of Production and Development
Susan has been with the Bannon-owned companies Sports Publishing and Sagamore-Venture as head of the production department for 30 years.
She has a BS in English and Communications from Illinois State University and worked as a teacher for several years before joining Sagamore in 1987.
During her tenure at Sports Publishing and Sagamore-Venture Davis has edited, designed, and overseen the production of hundreds of books, journals, and newsletters, as well as authored several trade books.
She is responsible for all editorial and design functions and also secures and supervises all freelance editors and any additional personnel utilized by Sagamore-Venture in the production process.
Davis has attended numerous workshops, classes, conferences, and trade shows to keep abreast of the latest trends in management and book production, and has given presentations to the Mid-America Publishers Association regarding efficient book production.
Misti Gilles - Sales and Marketing Manager
Misti has been with Sagamore-Venture for 6 years. She has a BS in communications from Oklahoma State University. Before joining Sagamore-Venture she was a senior sales representative for Cengage Learning for 14 years. She is responsible for all textbook sales.
Misti loves ice hockey and skating. She drags her boys to rinks all over the Midwest shouting "get yer skates on!" One January, she flooded the Sagamore foyer so she'd have something to do at lunchtime.
Brandon W. Stevens - Design & Technology Director
Brandon has been designing everything from websites and t-shirts to newspaper ads and livestream environments for over 15 years. He is now lending his skills to Sagamore-Venture as their in-house designer and go-to tech.
When Brandon isn't behind a computer or TV screen, he's probably near a dungeon master's screen indulging in table-top role playing games and trying to keep his cat from stealing everyone's dice.
Glenda Bates - Office Manager
Glenda has been the office manager with Sagamore-Venture for 18 years. She attended Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, and has taken continuing education and accounting courses.
Glenda oversees customer service. Her responsibilities include administering all human resources duties and tracking and maintaining all royalties, AR, AP, print bids, payroll, and financials for the company.
In her free time (currently Fridays 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, and Sundays 11:00 am to 2:30 pm), Glenda enjoys camping, sewing, decorating, traveling, and staying active with her 14 grandchildren.