Meet the BookSpring Staff Members
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, PhD
Emily balances BookSpring’s hopeful vision for the future with its strong tradition of promoting reading in the home. She’s inspired by the important 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 non-profit and education sectors, including leadership roles with Texans for the Arts, VSA Arts of Texas, and Zach Theatre. A strong interest in social justice for access to knowledge for all and a deep passion for language and stories drives her work. As a lifelong learner with an MFA and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, she loves poetry and likes to garden and space-watch with her family.
Caroline comes to BookSpring with over 10 years of nonprofit experience, both as a staffer and a board member. With past 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 from behind the scenes to reach their mission. Her favorite books to read to her daughters are Good Night, Gorilla, and anything by Sandra Boynton.
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 commitment to literacy during her AmeriCorps service, with Literacy First as a bilingual literacy tutor for K-2nd grade students at Title 1 elementary schools. Mariela enjoys playing video games in her spare time, 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.
Program Director – 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 children’s emotional well-being and resilience 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.
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 a Masters degree in 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.
Bianca grew up in Brownsville, Texas, and has a BA in Communication and a minor in writing. After college, she made the decision to pursue a life of nonprofit work. Having all four of her parents dedicate their lives to educating children, Bianca instilled 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.
Born in San Antonio and raised in Northern Virginia, Evan graduated from Northeastern University with a finance degree. 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 better understanding ourselves, our world, and each other. 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.
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.