Staff Members

Staff Members

(photos by Bill Hamblen)
email us
(512) 472-1791
Staff Phone Extensions: General Mailbox: 103 • Amanda S.: 101 • Mariela: 102 • Jill: 104 • Emily: 106 • Cynthia: 107 • Donna: 108 • Wayne: 110

Emily Ball Cicchini
Executive Director

Emily balances BookSpring’s vision for the future with its strong tradition of promoting reading, spiced up with her knowledge of the workings of non-profits. 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 holds a BFA and MFA and professional certificates in fundraising, web technology, and inclusive practices, and is pursuing a doctorate in organizational communication from the University of Texas Moody College of Communication. She’s a published children’s playwright and likes to garden, sew, cook, and read aloud with her family.

Jill's Headshot 2016

Jill Gonzalez
Associate Director

Jill believes that BookSpring is transformative. She brings passion for the mission, program management experience and deep desire to impact the community to the table. One of her proudest days as a young person was winning the M.S. Read-a-thon by reading over 100 books. She earned a 10-speed bike and dinner with a Milwaukee Brewer, Larry Hisle. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from St. Norbert College and her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction/Language and Literacy from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a master reading teacher and has earned a certificate in non-profit leadership and management. Jill enjoys singing with various choirs, practicing yoga, reading and cooking in her time outside of BookSpring.

Donna Ellis
Controller

Donna brings more than 20 years of financial management, knowledge, and experience as an accounting manager, controller and auditor in the private and public sectors. She holds a BBA in Accounting from Texas State University and holds CPA licenses in California and Nevada. Her favorite books from childhood were ‘Miss Lollipop’s Lion’ by Judy Varga and everything by Maurice Sendak. She enjoys playing piano, guitar, singing, gardening, and making pottery.

Cynthia Ivey
BookSpringRx Director

Cynthia has a background in social work, human resources, office management, client relations, and marketing. She earned a BA in Psychology and a Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange Certificate from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Foundations of Organizational Ombudsman Practice Certificate from the International Ombudsman Association. She also enjoys baking and is a gluten free pastry chef.

Wayne Holstine
BookSpringEd Director

Wayne directs all the education programs for BookSpring. As a child, he loved to read The Bailey School Kids series. However, he truly fell in love with reading when he discovered the Harry Potter series. Wayne holds a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders and a bridging disciplines certificate in children and society from the University of Texas Moody College of Communication. He will soon be pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs. Wayne’s hobbies include reading, playing tennis, and playing with his dog, Bo.

Mariela Rodriguez
BookSpringGo Director

Mariela oversees BookSpring’s community and outreach programs or BookSpringGo. She grew up in Laredo, Texas and has fond memories of her mother taking her to the public library and letting her roam for hours! Mariela has a BA in Communication. She decided to remain committed to literacy after her AmeriCorps service, where she worked as a Literacy First bilingual tutor. In her spare time, Mariela enjoys kickboxing.

amanda shaver

Amanda Shaver
Community Partner Manager

Amanda organizes civic, corporate, and student group volunteer efforts for BookSpring. As a child, she fell in love with reading when her elementary librarian introduced her to the Nancy Drew series! Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a teaching certification in English. Amanda’s hobbies include reading, traveling, and mountain biking with her husband and son.

amanda brawner

Amanda Brawner
Events Manager

Amanda is the owner of Thoroughly Polished, which provides BookSpring with event planning and fundraising support. A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Amanda has found a home in Austin’s non-profit sector. With a background in public relations, information, technology, political campaign fundraising, community engagement and voter database management, she brings a plethora of skills to execute the annual Read-A-Thon program. Amanda enjoys watching Kansas City professional sports of all kinds.

Lili Cantu

Lili Cantu
Facilitator, Early Childhood

Lili coordinates Parent Book Clubs and trains other educators in professional development workshops. Lili grew up in Mexico and has a love for the oral storytelling tradition that goes along with reading in the Mexican culture. As a parent, she has continued to develop this appreciation and expanded her interest in the magic of the read-aloud. Lili has a degree in Latin American Studies from Brown University and a Primary Teaching Certificate from the Association Montessori Internationale. In addition to reading, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, photography, and scrapbooking.