Staff

Susan Benton 

President and CEO: Susan Benton

susanbenton@urbanlibraries.org 

Susan has worked with libraries and local governments for over twenty years. Her professional career has been dedicated to assisting city and county executives initiate and manage change in their organizations so that citizens and businesses are receiving the strongest possible services. She comes to ULC from her position as Research, Development and Strategic Partners Executive at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Lourdes Aceves 

Senior Program Manager, Edge: Lourdes Aceves

laceves@urbanlibraries.org 

Lourdes is the Senior Program Manager for Edge. She manages the Edge State Library Program, working closely with state library partners to secure broad adoption across their states. Lourdes supports and builds ULC and Edge's national presence and value at national, state, and regional conferences. Before joining the Urban Libraries Council, she worked at the Illinois Housing Development Authority to administer a TARP Program intended to help struggling Illinois homeowners avoid foreclosure. Lourdes holds a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in Local Economic Development.

 

Program Manager, Edge: Brett Beasley

bbeasley@urbanlibraries.org 

Prior to joining the Edge team, Brett worked for the Sustainable Development Practice of the World Bank. His work on capacity building, e-Learning courses, face-to-face trainings, and knowledge management addressed concerns of local governments and communities at the international level. He holds a Bachelors in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a Masters in Communication and Leadership Studies.

Katherine Behrens

Member Programs Executive: Katherine Behrens

kbehrens@urbanlibraries.org 

Katherine is responsible for the development and administration of member programs at ULC including the Webinar series, Annual Forum, Partners Conference, e-Discussion groups, and other member relations activities. Prior to moving into this role, she was the Finance and Administration Executive at ULC. Katherine comes to ULC from Educational Research Service (ERS), where she was the Chief Operating Officer. As COO, she was responsible for member programs, marketing and communication campaigns, Knowledge Resources, and accounting and finance. Katherine’s career has been dedicated to helping members benefit from their affiliation with national nonprofit organizations.

Colleen Bragiel

Senior Project Manager: Colleen Bragiel

mcbragiel@urbanlibraries.org 

Colleen has extensive marketing, PR, business development, and conference planning experience. Prior to ULC, Colleen worked with several consumer and healthcare companies on brand recognition, market research, and image consulting. To date, Colleen manages the planning and execution of forums, gatherings, and programs offered by ULC and its partners.

Angela Goodrich

Finance and Development Executive: Angela Goodrich

agoodrich@urbanlibraries.org 

Angela has dedicated her career to building strong communities. At ULC since 1999, she has supported the creation of national initiatives to advance education and learning, strengthen public access technology, celebrate innovators, and communicate the value of the public library in the 21st century. Angela has an M.B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and over 25 years of nonprofit management experience including the founding Administrative Director of the Tony award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company.

Paul  

Director of Communications: Paul Guequierre

pguequierre@urbanlibraries.org

Paul works to increase ULC’s profile in the media, raise the visibility of issues important to the organization, and its membership while expanding ULC’s digital presence. Paul has over 15 years of communications experience in the public and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining ULC, he was the director of communications at the American Constitution Society. Paul’s communications experience also includes serving as the deputy director of communications at the Human Rights Campaign, the communications manager at the National Criminal Justice Association, the public and media relations officer at the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance and as a television news reporter. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from American University. 

Christine Merzazada

Finance Manager: Christine Merzazada

cmerzazada@urbanlibraries.org 

Christine comes to ULC from Educational Research Service (ERS) where she was the Office Manager. She has over 15 years of experience working for a non-profit handling most of the accounting and financial activities for the organization. Prior to her last position, she was responsible for the publication fulfillment process as well as membership invoicing.

Emily Samose

Director, Education and Learning Initiatives:
Emily Samose

esamose@urbanlibraries.org

Emily has 20 years of experience leading education and youth development projects in the consulting, federal government, higher education and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining ULC, she served as a consultant for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, spent seven years with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and over ten years at the intersection of national service and education in California, developing and executing service-learning programs at universities and education-focused non-profit organizations. Emily holds a master's degree in education from San Francisco State University and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Public Allies, DC.

Communications and Design Intern: Brea Simons

bsimmons@urbanlibraries.org

Brea joins the Urban Libraries Council as a Communications and Design intern. She is currently a senior at Howard University completing a B.A. in Strategic Communications with a concentration in Public Relations, as well as a minor in Graphic Design. Brea is assisting ULC on member communication, graphic design and development of the ULC Knowledge Center.

Matthew Wims, Member Coordinator

mwims@urbanlibraries.org

Matt is excited to have the opportunity to serve as ULC’s Member Coordinator. He is participating in YearUp, a workforce development program for young adults. He enjoys working with members and staff and is gaining professional experience. Matt is looking forward to a professional career in the association field.