Staff Members

Meet the BookSpring Staff

Email info@bookspring.org for general inquiries. 
Dial (512) 472-1791

Emily Ball Cicchini

Emily Ball Cicchini, PhD
Executive Director, ext 106 

Emily balances BookSpring’s hopeful vision for the future with its strong tradition of promoting reading in the home. She’s inspired by the critical work of sustaining a steady stream of the right books to the right kids at the right time. She has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit and education sectors, including leadership roles with Texans for the Arts, VSA Arts of Texas, and ZACH Theatre, and the University of Texas at Austin. Her work drives a strong interest in social justice, access to knowledge for all, and a deep passion for language and stories. She’s an award-winning writer in a variety of genres. As a lifelong learner with a BFA in Theatre, MFA in Dramatic Writing, and Ph.D. in Organizational Communication, she loves poetry and enjoys gardening and space-watching with her family. Her favorite children’s book is The Golden Books of Poems for the Very Young by Louis Untermeyer, pictures by Joan Walsh Anglund, and also the Basher Science Series.

Caroline Sellars
Finance Director, ext 120

Caroline comes to BookSpring with over 10 years of nonprofit experience as a staffer and a board member. With experience as a grant accountant, she’s always looking at how the little details come together to tell a bigger story. She knows the real work happens on the front lines, so she enjoys supporting program staff behind the scenes to reach their mission. Her favorite books to read to her daughters are Good Night, Gorilla, and anything by Sandra Boynton.

Bianca Paz-Cisneros
Development Manager, ext 104

Bianca grew up in Brownsville, Texas, and has a BA in Communication and a minor in writing. After college, she decided to pursue a life of nonprofit work. Having all four of her parents dedicated their lives to educating children, Bianca was instilled in the importance and joy of reading and writing from a very early age. She’s thrilled to be a part of the BookSpring team working to build up literacy in Central Texas. Bianca enjoys gardening, crafting, and spending time with her friends, family, and 5 fur babies in her spare time. Her favorite children’s book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault.

Sarah HillSarah Hill
Finance and Development Associate, ext 100

Sarah brings her knack for organization to BookSpring by handling the little things that keep the wheels turning. A native Austinite, she grew up surrounded by overstuffed bookshelves and believes every child should have that same opportunity. As a kid, some of her favorite books included Go, Dog, Go!, and Stellaluna. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020 with a passion for precision and a love for literature. When she’s not working at BookSpring, Sarah enjoys editing manuscripts, gardening, and painting.

Jimmy Minter
Operations Manager, ext 107

Raised in Bastrop, TX, Jimmy attended Bastrop High School and later the University of Texas at Austin. During high school, he wrote music with several bands. While writing was a lot of fun, developing a band, managing it, and executing a vision tended to be the most difficult aspect. During college, he continued to pursue music, song writing, and started a few more projects. With focus and cultivation, he managed to get a band off the ground and touring the country. This was when he realized and embraced his skill to manage others, resolve conflicts, negotiate, and fulfill a sustainable environment for others to enjoy during their time in a shared mission. After that project dissolved, he went on to manage multiple small businesses. Usually starting from the bottom, he’d tend to step in and take on as many tasks until a level of trust and understanding was developed to take on greater roles. There’s a saying, “never work for free.” Jimmy disagrees, saying one can volunteer in roles to gain experience and knowledge that become priceless later in life. Jimmy still makes music and enjoys the therapeutic experience it gives him.

Volunteer CoordinatorJessy Morris
Volunteer Coordinator, ext 105

Jessy Morris is the Volunteer Coordinator for our organization who recruits, trains, and oversees all BookSpring volunteers. She helps manage book donation requests and coordinates with our partners to connect the books we receive with those who need them. Before joining this staff, Jessy worked as a Literacy Tutor through AmeriCorps, helping students in first and second grade improve their reading skills. Outside of her role at BookSpring, she likes to make new clothes, repurpose secondhand items into unique pieces, play guitar, and practice yoga. Her favorite children’s books are the Madeline series.

Early Childhood CoordinatorIdali Reyes
Early Childhood Coordinator, ext 101

Idali plans, coordinates, and delivers programs that build early literacy and cultivate family engagement in reading through community partnership collaborations. Originally from El Paso, she moved to Austin shortly after graduating from the University of Texas at El Paso with a BA in History. Idali was a tour guide with the State Preservation Board and served as a bilingual tutor with Literacy First, helping 2nd, and 3rd-grade students develop their reading skills in Spanish. She was a dedicated BookSpring volunteer before joining the organization as an Early Childhood Coordinator. Idali enjoys cooking, painting, and spending quality time with loved ones and her dog when she’s not in the office. Her favorite books included Heidi and the Bailey School Kids series growing up.

Alejandro Torres- Program Associate

Alejandro Torres
Program Associate, ext 103

Alex worked in construction while in college. While in school, he saw how many people were struggling with literature. After graduating, Alex decided to teach children and adults English literature in his community when he wasn’t busy working. From first-hand experience, he knows it’s hard learning a new and foreign language, especially in a new country. “I believe by teaching children how to read at a young age, they will grow not only their vocabulary skills but also their comprehensive skills. Reading is a tool we all need in day-to-day life. Once older, this will benefit them in school and their careers.” Children need our help now more than ever. Alex enjoys watching movies, cooking, playing piano, and having fun with friends and family in his free time.

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