Staff Members

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(512) 472-1791

Phone Extensions: Communications Director 102 • Director of Finance & Operations 120 • Director of Development & Marketing 104 • Program Manager-Ed & Rx 110 • Program Manager-Go 101 •  Book & Supply Manager 111 • Executive Director 106 

Emily Ball Cicchini

Emily Ball Cicchini, PhD
Executive Director

Emily balances BookSpring’s vision for the future with its strong tradition of promoting reading together in the home.  She’s inspired by the important work of BookSpring to get a steady stream of the right books to the right kids at the right time. At the age of four, she made an exhibit on bookmaking with her father that was displayed at the local public library and featured in the weekly newspaper. She has over 20 years of experience in non-profit and educational management, including leadership roles with The University of Texas at Austin, VSA Arts of Texas, Austin Script Works, Texans for the Arts, and Zach Theatre. What drives all her work is a sense of social justice for access to knowledge and a deep passion for language and stories. She’s a lifelong learner with a BFA in acting, an MFA in creative writing as a James A. Michener Fellow, and a doctorate in organizational communication from the University of Texas Moody College of Communication. As former teaching artist and award-winning children’s playwright, she loves words and likes to read and play together with her family.

Shefali Tewari
Director of Finance and Operations

Shefali manages the Finance and Operations at BookSpring and brings her love for numbers and books with her. She has a strong commitment to non-profits. She has an MBA in Finance from Texas State University and a Masters in Accounting and Business. She has worked with non-profits for the past 25 years and consulted with various companies in Finance and Accounting. She seeks out non-profits as she enjoys working with organizations that make it a mission to primarily serve the community.

Andrea AngeloAndrea Francesca Angelo
Director of Development & Marketing

Andrea brings her public library background, nonprofit expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and years of service on education and arts boards nationally and internationally to BookSpring. Her love of books began early with story hour at Martin Memorial Library in York, Pennsylvania. Fast forward many years later, her first professional position out of graduate school was Extension Librarian at this very same library. Andrea imagines a world where every child has a stack of books to call his or her own with the belief that literacy is not only an essential human right but also a springboard to a life full of possibilities. Her focus is on creating sustainable cultures of engagement and support through effective communication and relationship building – key to advancing the critical mission of BookSpring.

Mariela RodriguezMariela Rodriguez
Communications Director

Mariela oversees BookSpring’s book drives, public relations, social media, and brand and community awareness programs. She grew up in Laredo, Texas and has a BA in Communication. Growing up, Mariela enjoyed reading the Goosebumps and The Boxcar Children series. She reaffirmed her committed to literacy during her AmeriCorps service, with Literacy First as a bilingual literacy tutor for K-2nd grade students at Title 1 elementary schools. In her spare time, Mariela enjoys playing video games, reading graphic novels/comic books, and spending time with her family. Her favorite children’s book is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

Shannon Thorne
Program Manager – Ed & Rx

Shannon Thorne, BookSpring Ed & Rx Program Manager, grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and taught Pre-K there for over 10 years. She’s designed an evidence-based program to promote the emotional wellbeing and resilience of children aged 4 – 6 and is adept at computers and data management. Establishing herself as a loyal BookSpring volunteer upon coming to the United States 3 years ago, then program assistant, Shannon became program manager in 2019.

Katie MathewsKatie Mathews
Program Manager – Go

Katie joins the BookSpring team as the lead of community programs. A Seattleite turned Austinite, Katie graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in History in 2014 and put it to use shortly after graduation as a Bilingual Literacy tutor for AmeriCorps in Austin. She spent three years in the non-profit and education sectors here before going overseas this past year to serve in missions work. She is passionate about educational equality and is excited to be back in Austin and empowering our community through literacy. When she’s not at work you can probably spot Katie around East Austin on her bike, hanging out with her high school girl mentees, or perhaps on stage at a local improv theater.

Clare BresnanClare Bresnan
Book & Supply Manager

Clare manages all things book and material related at BookSpring. She grew up in New York but embraced Texas as her home many years ago. She woke up every day as a child wondering, “What can I make today?”, and “What can I learn about today?”, thoughts that still guide her in her adult life. She was a professional student at UT Austin, earning a Fine Arts degree and then Masters degrees in both Instructional Technology and Library and Information Science. She spent twenty-five years as a Children’s Librarian, both in Texas and Europe, raising three readers along the way. Clare continues to pursue her daily dose of making things in her pottery studio and absorbing ideas.

Evan Rosenblum
Fund & Awareness Development VISTA

Born in San Antonio and raised in Northern Virginia, Evan graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in finance.  After working in financial services for a few years, he found himself increasingly drawn to the world of books that has enthralled him since—and because of—childhood. Evan believes that books are a critical tool in helping us better understand ourselves, our world, and each other, and he is thrilled to support BookSpring’s mission of empowering children through literacy. Otherwise, you might find Evan watching movies, biking, or trying to convince his friends to do karaoke.

Lizet Martinez 
Family Literacy Program Aide

Lizet joins the BookSpring team as the Family Literacy Program Aide and provides support to the BookSpring Rx, Ed, and Go Program Managers and the Book and Supply Manager. Born in California but raised in Texas, Lizet graduated from Palo Alto College in San Antonio Texas with an AA in Communications with emphasis on Advertising/Public Relations and is currently a senior at The University of Texas at Austin. In her spare time, Lizet is learning Korean or planning her next trip since she enjoys immersing herself in new cultures.

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