President & CEO: Susan B Benton
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).
Senior Program Manager, Edge: Lourdes Aceves
Lourdes comes to ULC from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), where she was a Compliance Analyst. In this position, she was instrumental in successfully launching Illinois’ Hardest Hit Fund Program (HHF), a federal foreclosure prevention program for the development of locally‐tailored programs to assist struggling homeowners. Prior to joining IHDA in August 2011, Lourdes was a Research Assistant for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in Chicago where she honed her skills as a community activist and organizer.
Senior Program Manager: Katherine Bates
Katherine has 20 years of experience in managing and leading state and local government programs dealing with a wide array of subjects including: community and economic development, information technology, and broadband policy development. She has worked extensively at the state and local level, engaging stakeholders in important development issues. She has experience staffing committees and task forces of national, state, and local leaders as well as developing plans based on the input of the committees and task forces. Katherine comes to ULC from ICF International, a global consulting firm where she focused on broadband planning, training and technical assistance.
Finance & Administrative Executive: Katherine Behrens
Katherine comes to ULC from Educational Research Service (ERS), where she was the Chief Operating Officer. As COO, she directed all accounting and finance activities, prepared the annual budget, developed personnel policies and procedures, created marketing plans, managed library services, and monitored annual contracts. Katherine’s career has been focused on non-profits and helping educators use research to improve student achievement. She is dedicated to managing internal operations to allow the organization to provide the highest level of service to clients.
Senior Project Manager: Mary Colleen Bragiel
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.
Communications Coordinator: Charlie Carroll
Charlie Carroll comes to ULC with experience working in written and multimedia communication for community-based organizations in the non-profit sector. Before joining the ULC team, Charlie served as Senior Associate of Innovation and Outreach for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA.) During this time, he contributed to a variety of multimedia and online learning initiatives in partnership with various government agencies, academic institutions and public health professionals. Charlie has also spent time working for former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s Capitol Hill office.
Strategic Initiatives/Program Development Executive: Angela Goodrich
Angela has dedicated her career to sustainable communities. Since joining ULC in 1999, she has helped to create national initiatives to advance learning and youth engagement, strengthen technology in libraries, develop emerging library leaders, promote and spread innovation and communicate the value of the public library in the 21st century. Prior to her current position, Angela was ULC's Finance/Administration Executive and managed ULC's financial and internal growth. Angela began her career focused on the power of story and community as the founding business director of two nationally recognized Chicago theaters - Lookingglass Theatre Company and Redmoon Theater.
Program Coordinator, Edge: Tansy Matthews
Tansy Matthews has over 15 years of library experience, starting as an image cataloger at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She earned an MLIS from Drexel University in 2004. She has worked as an image cataloger at the University of California, Berkeley, a records technician at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in the Interlibrary Loan department at the Hahnemann Medical Library in Philadelphia.
She also has worked at the National Library of Medicine, the Virtual Library of Virginia, and the Corcoran College of Art + Design library.
Finance Manager: Christine Merzazada
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.
Director of Communications: Robert Shalett
Robert comes to ULC with over 20 years experience in communications, marketing and publications work in the philanthropic and healthcare sectors. Before joining ULC, Robert served at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, The Foundation Review, the Council on Foundations, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Psychiatric Association.
Program Director, Edge: Kristi Zappie-Ferradino
Kristi joins ULC from First Book, where as Vice President of Community Development she led a network of philanthropic volunteers in over 100 communities, generating $5 Million in funding for new books and educational resources for low-income children. Prior to that, she had a distinguished career in program development with MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, where she was responsible for the organization's key products, including their website, national volunteer referral service and a web-based tracking and evaluation system adopted by youth mentoring programs. Kristi holds a Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University.