Meet the Team

Here are the Sagamoreans who help you with your questions about orders, books, eBooks, eTexts, 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.”

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.


Mark Atkinson - Tech and Web Development Manager

Mark oversees Sagamore-Venture's web presence and IT requirements. Mark has over 20 years' experience in programming, web design, website usability, SEO, social media, and content management systems.

He also assists editors and authors in operating the journal management system, which hosts the seven journals published by Sagamore-Venture.

Mark has three daughters who simultaneously indulge him and keep him misinformed.


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 and supervises the Sagamore-Venture warehouse. 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.


Marissa Willison - Graphic Designer

Marissa designs book covers, designs and lays out book interiors, creates marketing images and advertisements, and performs various other duties for Sagamore-Venture.

When she’s not too busy daydreaming about the next big Sagamore-Venture title to hit the shelves, Marissa enjoys being outside doing almost any activity (aside from running) and is often accompanied by her dog, Piper, who is a lab-whippet mix. Marissa graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a BFA in May 2014 and has been with Sagamore-Venture since October 2014.



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