The Family Business
Becky Anderson Wilkins, co-owner of Anderson’s Bookshops, began working at the age of 11 in her family’s store. Her first job was dusting shelves. Since then, she’s worked just about every job in the store, from running the cash register to driving forklifts.
Anderson’s Bookshops has come a long way since Becky was dusting shelves. Thanks in part to her leadership and hard work, the sixth-generation family-owned business has taken on the big, online retailers and come out even stronger. With locations in Downers Grove, Aurora, Naperville, and La Grange, they’ve grown and thrived by serving the communities in which they operate and listening to their customers.
Serving the Community
Serving her community is a core mission for Becky and Anderson’s Books. Through partnerships with school districts, Anderson’s reaches tens of thousands of children, teachers, and librarians at book fairs and events. Each year, Anderson’s Bookfair Company helps schools and not-for-profits raise close to a million dollars.
Becky’s passion for putting the right book in a child’s hands is what led her to co-found ‘Naperville Reads,’ a communitywide reading program, and Andrea’s Angels, a program that has distributed more than 900,000 new and used books to children in need.
In 2015, Becky won a competitive race to hold one of four at-large seats on the Naperville City Council. As a City Councilor, she has advanced affordable housing by requiring landlords to accept housing vouchers as a legal form of tender. Additionally, she helped raise the minimum purchasing age of tobacco in the city from 18 to 21.
Helping Other Independent Businesses Succeed
As a small business owner, Becky saw a need for an organization that would provide encouragement and expertise to locally owned small businesses. That’s why she founded IndieBound Naperville, an independent business alliance that celebrates locally owned businesses and educates consumers about how to support businesses that give back, keep dollars in our community, and embrace diversity.
Becky is a graduate of North Central College in Naperville and has three adult children with her husband, Chuck Wilkins, a Naperville native who grew up only three blocks from Becky.
In October 2014, Becky took on perhaps the biggest fight of her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Becky was fortunate to have access to quality health care and the right treatment options, and with her relentless fighting spirit she rose to the challenge and remains in remission today. Becky also knows, though, that not every woman is as fortunate to have access to quality care, and her experience propels her passion to ensure that everyone has access to quality care.