Drew has over 30 years experience in creating and coding computer systems and websites for the Texas Comptroller’s Office. He proposed and created the Comptroller’s first website in the early 1990s and led the team that designed, updated and maintained the site for 20 years until he retired in 2012. Now self-employed as a consultant and website developer, Drew has extensive experience supervising professionals, in project management and in all aspects of website development. He has lived in Austin since 1965 and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Why do I serve? My life was vastly improved by adults who took the time to help me learn about the world around me and how beautiful life can be. Books and reading were a huge part of expanding my world and my parents read to me long before I started school. Those stories sparked my imagination more than anything else and I remember how exciting it was. Favorite Book: Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
Jillian is a Senior Manager at Holtzman Partners and prides herself in the strong and positive relationships she develops with her clients performing financial statement audits, internal controls compliance, and growing the firm’s transaction advisory practice. Prior to becoming a CPA in the state of Texas in 2006, Jillian earned a B.S. in business administration and an M.S. in accountancy from Baylor University. She began her accounting career at Deloitte in Houston prior to moving to Austin in 2008. Why do I serve? Education is the springboard of opportunity in America, and fundamental reading is the foundation of education. By focusing on the common goal creating positive reading experiences for children, educators, and parents, and by sharing effective tools and strategies to do so, we can help kids develop the tools they need for success. Favorite Book: Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
Ann is Director of Contracts at SHCC, a subsidiary of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, and served as President of the BookSpring Board from 2016-2017. She has extensive experience in analyzing operating budgets and financial statements, and she serves on various interagency committees that look into policy development and planning. Ann has a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Why do I serve? Reading exposes children to people, places, and experiences outside of their own environment. Favorite Book: Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak
Kali´ Rourke is a retired Mortgage & Title Insurance professional. She has served on multiple nonprofit boards and community councils and is a sustaining member of Impact Austin. She is a proud Mentor for Seedling and the Young Women’s Alliance. Kali´ was honored as one of Austin’s Fab Five in 2016 and as a finalist for Mentor of the Year in the 2017 & 2018 Austin Under 40 awards. A member of Leadership Austin Essentials Class of 2007, writer, social media dabbler, and public speaker; she currently lends her talents to local nonprofits in many ways. Why do I serve? My life was utterly changed for the better by becoming an avid reader. Favorite Book: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Tamea is the Senior Financial Accountant at Texas Access to Justice Foundation, the leading funding source for legal aid in Texas. Previously, she worked at Texas CASA, Inc. administering grants and PricewaterhouseCooper, LLC working with clients in a variety of industries. Her financial experience includes budget preparation and management, cashflow forecasting, grant administration, internal controls development and implementation, and financial statement preparation. Tamea has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from the University of Texas and a Masters of Accountancy from Colorado University in Denver. Favorite Book: Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss
Michelle is an experienced, responsive and personable commercial attorney representing AT&T in telecommunications, technology and outsourcing transactions and complex service and product sales to large enterprise customers. In addition to working as an attorney, she is also an independent skin care consultant for Rodan + Fields, partnering with the doctors who created Pro-Activ. She’s a former President of the ZACH Theatre Board of Directors and was active in the United Way of Greater Austin’s Women’s Leadership Council, which supported Success by 6.
Risé is currently a Professor of Communication Studies at Austin Community College and currently is based at the Cypress Creek campus in Cedar Park. She also serves as Assistant Department Chair for the Communication Studies department, where her duties include hiring and evaluation of Adjunct Faculty members. In her spare time, she is an active volunteer with The Junior League of Austin and Alpha Delta Pi Alumnae Association (Greater Austin chapter). Why I Serve: I was raised with a love of books and the knowledge and experience that came within each one. Even today you’ll catch me with a nightstand full of books to read, and I want to help foster that love within children who might not otherwise have it. Favorite Book: Curious George by H.A. & Margret Rey
Mary worked for many years at the American Heart Association with the CPR and Advanced Life Support programs. The leadership opportunities at AHA prepared her for the volunteer work she is currently doing with many organizations. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology. Why do I serve? I enjoy meeting new people, doing what I can to help those in need, and helping to make Austin a better place for all of us. Books open up an entirely new world to all of us. They allow you to see the world from the perspective of others, which in turn helps us to be more tolerant of others and their viewpoints. Favorite Book: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Madison is an attorney with the Texas Municipal Retirement System. Most of his professional career has involved representing local governmental entities on transactional, governance, or human resources matters. Madison previously served on the BookSpring board during its launch from the merger of Reading Is Fundamental of Austin and Capital Area Reach Out and Read. Madison received law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Texas, where he met his wife Deena Perkins, who teaches high school level social studies after earning a master’s degree in social work from U.T. Why do I serve? Literacy is a gateway to opportunity, and the gateway should be open for children regardless of their background. Involving children in reading not only provides for future opportunities but also strengthens bonds among the family members and teachers with whom they read. BookSpring makes sharing stories possible for many young children. Favorite book? So hard to name only one, but The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Rebecca leads project and performance management and communications for the Office of Academics at the Texas Education Agency. She previously managed strategic planning, fundraising, and board development at a national, nonpartisan education advocacy nonprofit, and engaged partners and state policymakers to advance the organization’s mission. Rebecca earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University and a Master of Public Affairs at the LBJ School at UT Austin. She grew up in Austin and is happy to be back with her husband and two young kids. Why do I serve? All children deserve the opportunity to develop early literacy skills, and traditional classrooms are important but not enough. BookSpring’s programs embed reading throughout a child’s early years and place an importance on families reading together. Favorite Book: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson because it reminds me of the imagination young children possess and the fun they can experience with a single crayon!
Brian is from the great state of South Dakota. He has fond memories of going to his local library (only open on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm) and finding Hardy Boys mystery books to get lost in. Books, along with some great mentors, helped Brian see beyond the corn fields. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Bellevue University. Today Brian’s career is finance focused (planning, budgeting, and analysis) but he still makes time to read. In 2011, Brian and his wife made Austin their home. Brian is a Senior Analyst at Hyperwallet. They enjoy taking their oversized golden retriever on adventures, sampling local breweries, and swapping the cars for bikes on the weekends.
Kay is the proud librarian at Gullett Elementary School in Austin, Texas. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Education with a specialization in Reading from The University of Texas, she deviated from that career path and spent 13 years in marketing with IBM. Then the decision was made to do what she had always wanted to do, teach. Kay was a 6th grade Math and Science teacher at Lee Elementary School for 6 years. Armed with a Master of Library and Information Science degree from The University of Texas, she was the Librarian at Patton Elementary School for 2 years before landing in the neighborhood where she grew up. Kay has been at Gullett 16 years. Why do I serve? My mother volunteered for RIF, in Austin, for over 20 years. Everyone should have that opportunity to own their very own set of books and whatever I can do to make that happen, I will. Favorite Book: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Arthur is the Associate Athletics Director for Football Operations at the University of Texas. He is a Georgia native with more than 23 years of experience as an accomplished administrator. Johnson enrolled at the University of Georgia where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Risk Management and Insurance and a Masters of Education in Business Education. While in graduate school, he began his career in Athletics while working in the Football and Event Management offices. In 2011, Johnson came to Austin to become the Associate Athletics Department Director at the University of Texas. He is responsible for the day-to-day administrative and logistical operations for the Longhorn Football Program. Why do I serve? Arthur has been involved in numerous professional and civic organizations and enjoys watching young people grow and develop
Lauren Kalisek serves as the Managing Director of the law firm of Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C. in Austin, Texas and has been practicing in the areas of water resources and special districts for more than 20 years. She specializes in providing counsel to cities, river authorities, water districts and other local governmental organizations. Lauren is a native of Houston, Texas and earned her BA with honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992 and her JD from the University of Texas School of Law in 1995. Lauren lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, Dr. Neel Baumgardner, and their two daughters Emma (17) and Claire (12). Lauren volunteers her time with BookSpring, the Central Texas Foodbank and the Capital Area Master Naturalists (certification to be completed in 2018).
Crystal is a Senior Relationship Manager/ Vice President of Commercial Banking with Bank of America Merrill Lynch . She is native to Wimberley, Texas with over 13 years’ experience in the banking industry. She joined a small consulting firm out of college and went into commercial banking after getting her MBA at the University of Texas. Crystal enjoys being active in the community and giving back in areas of education and employment. As a commercial banker focused on middle market companies in the Austin area, Crystal has a portfolio of clients in various industries, both for-profit and not-for-profit. She is charged with bringing new clients into the bank and helping business executives finance working capital needs, asset acquisition, ownership changes, and expansion plans. Crystal is always looking to connect people and help others to achieve their highest potential. In her spare time, she appreciates the creative vibe that comes along with the local music scene, hiking trails, lakes, and rivers.
Lindsey is the Development Coordinator at the Office of Innovation and Development with Austin ISD. She was born and raised in Austin, and though she has lived in cities throughout the country — Boston, DC, New York, Berkeley — she says she’s back in Austin for good. Lindsey is passionate about creating more equitable educational opportunities and outcomes for historically underserved children. This passion drove her to teach high school Spanish, first as a Teach for America educator in Washington, DC and later at a high-performing public school in Lower Manhattan. Lindsey has been working in the Office of Innovation and Development in Austin ISD for almost five years, where they seek to increase external resources for the district’s 130 campuses and over 81,000 students. Lindsey holds a Master’s in Teaching from American University, a Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish and Women’s Studies from Wellesley College. In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys yoga, traveling and spending time with her husband and their three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, whose favorite activity is reading!
Teresa Zimmerman is VP of Marketing at Personify. She is a business leader specializing in the development and launch of traditional and digital strategies that deliver strong returns on investment and significant market awareness. Her expertise in marketing, including sales drivers, consumer behavior and market analytics across industries. She has served on the boards of the American Marketing Association and St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey Catholic College Prep High School. Favorite Book: Where the Wild Things Are is an all-time favorite book, so we can “roar our terrible roars and gnash our terrible teeth and show our terrible claws.”