More About the Author
LENA TABORI is the founder of Welcome Enterprises and is currently Welcome's CEO and the Publisher of Welcome Books, the imprint under which the company publishes illustrated books.
She began her career in 1967 at Harry N. Abrams, leaving there is 1980 as their first female vice president (VP, Marketing and Special Sales). It was also the place she began her own editorial book development. At Abrams, she developed and edited MASAAI, by photographer Carol Beckwith, as well as putting together the NORMAN ROCKWELL'S CHRISTMAS BOOK. She also created a gift line called Abrams Artpapers and was responsible for organizing the hugely successful licensing program for GNOMES, a book which sold close to two million copies.
She left to create Welcome Enterprises as well as to co-found Stewart, Tabori & Chang, the illustrated book publisher (where she only remained until 1982). From 1982 to 1990, she largely devoted herself to creating books at Welcome and selling them to publishers, including Judith Levy's best-selling GRANDMOTHER REMEMBERS (Stewart, Tabori & Chang); the award-winning GLORIOUS AMERICAN FOOD by Christopher Idone (Random House); and LOVE: A CELEBRATION IN ART AND LITERATURE, which she co-edited with Jane Lahr (STC). She also produced for television an animated special for ABC television, Ziggy's Gift, based on the Tom Wilson cartoon character and directed by Richard Williams. For her role as producer and executive producer of Ziggy's Gift, she was awarded an Emmy in 1983.
In 1987, Welcome began packaging books for Turner Broadcasting and she was closely involved in the development of their publishing division, for which she negotiated a distribution deal with Andrews McMeel in 1989. For Turner, she personally conceived edited and produced Kisses and MGM: When the Lion Roars which was written by Peter Hay.
In 1991, Lena moved to San Francisco to become president and publisher of CollinsPublishersSanFrancisco. During the year and a half she spent there, Lena created fifty new titles, including A DAY IN THE LIFE OF HOLLYWOOD. In 1993, she returned to Stewart, Tabori & Chang as their president and publisher. During the next four years, she published more than 200 new titles; created a gift line of calendars, journals, and albums; and more than doubled STC's revenues, making it once again one of the most significant illustrated book publishers in the United States.
In 1997, Lena returned to Welcome full-time and she and her partner Clark Wakabayashi made Welcome Books their official publishing imprint. In 2005, she arranged for Welcome Books to be distributed by Random House. She also co-created the first two titles in the successful LITTLE BIG BOOK series: THE LITTLE BIG BOOK OF CHRISTMAS (with Alice Wong) and THE LITTLE BIG BOOK OF LOVE (with Natasha Fried), which were both published by William Morrow. Since then, Lena has been the co-editor of many of the subsequent LITTLE BIG BOOKS, including MOMS and DADS, all published by Welcome Books. There are now a total of 27, only a few of which are out of print.
A native of Sweden, Lena lives in East Hampton and New York with Frank Rehor. She has two daughters, Natasha and Katrina, both of whom left television careers to become partners at Welcome Books.