2021-22 Executive Board
The ULC Executive Board provides strategic oversight, industry perspective and vision that guides the continued evolution of the organization. The board is comprised of member library directors, trustees of libraries and/or library foundations and members of the public who are civic, business, government or philanthropic leaders.
Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi
An educator, executive, author and thought leader on implementing broad-based diversity strategies, Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi (she/her) serves as the president of the San Francisco Public Library Commission, stewarding a $160 million budget for a system of 28 city libraries. Through her leadership, SFPL won the coveted National Public Library of the Year in 2018. Mary also serves as the Vice President, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Communication for the University of the Pacific. She previously served as the inaugural vice provost and chief diversity officer at the University of San Francisco and is a leadership, organizations and diversity studies lecturer in the USF School of Education and School of Management. Mary is the founder of the Latinas in Leadership Forum, an annual empowerment and leadership conference for emerging Chicanx-Latinx leaders based in San Francisco, and the founder and principal of The DEI Leadership Group, a leadership development, diversity solutions and crisis management firm based in San Francisco.
Karl Dean served from 2007 to 2015 as the sixth mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Karl first held public office when he was elected as Nashville’s Public Defender in 1990, a post he was reelected to in 1994 and 1998. He served as Metro Law Director from 1999 to January 2007, when he resigned to run for the office of mayor. Since leaving office in September 2015, Karl has taught at Belmont University and Boston University (2016). He is a graduate of Columbia University and Vanderbilt Law School.
J. Brandon Neal
J. Brandon Neal currently serves as senior vice president and deputy chief legal officer for Novant Health. In this role, he manages Novant Health’s legal department and supports the executive vice president and chief legal officer in all legal functions of the organization, including oversight for compliance and risk mitigation, as well as internal audit strategies and alignment throughout the organization. Brandon previously served as managing counsel in the legal department of Wells Fargo & Company in Charlotte, N.C. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Neal practiced as a corporate associate for the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City. He received his B.S. in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler Business School) and his J.D. from the Duke University School of Law. Brandon is very active in community and philanthropic endeavors, both nationally and locally.
Immediate Past Chair
In March 2014, Richard Reyes-Gavilan was appointed the executive director of the DC Public Library, having previously worked for almost 20 years at both the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries. He was lured to Washington D.C. primarily to oversee the $211 million modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the city's only building designed by legendary architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The library opened in September 2020 and serves as an inspirational destination for innovation, civic empowerment and delight. Rich is also aggressively building and renovating neighborhood libraries all over the District of Columbia. Rich holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany, where he was recently recognized with the 2019 Excellence in Public Service award, and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jesus Salas is a trustee at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. He is a very active member of the board and very involved in community events affecting the public libraries. He has been a managing attorney and is now a senior attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, a private, nonprofit law firm in Toledo, Ohio. He has been working in legal services for the past 38 years in various legal aid programs across the country, including a farm worker program. He graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., with a B.A. and J.D. Jesus has been a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio Interpreter Committee and Racial Diversity Committee, in addition to various Ohio State Bar committees. He is involved in a coordinated effort with NORWELD, the State Library of Ohio and TLCPL to help agricultural farmworkers and Limited English Language residents.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Dr. Michele Bria
For 25 years, Dr. Michele Bria has served as CEO of Journey House, a community-based organization in Milwaukee that empowers families to move out of poverty by offering adult education, workforce readiness, youth development and family engagement programs. Journey House annually serves more than 9,000 low-income, urban youth and families. Michele convenes over 284 partnerships with local universities, community organizations and corporations to implement lifelong learning, workforce development and youth development programs that increase the quality of life in Milwaukee neighborhoods. Michele successfully negotiated over $22 million in innovative, groundbreaking public-private development agreements with Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee County, which provided land homes and partnership opportunities for the new construction of a 34,000-square-foot Journey House Center for Family Learning and Youth Athletics (2012), Journey House Packers Football Stadium in Mitchell Park (2013) and Journey House Felix Mantilla Little League Fields in Baran Park (2020). As the first person in her family to attend college, she received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Marquette University and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Sarah Campbell is the executive director at Portland Public Library, the oldest and largest public library system and the most visited cultural institution in Maine. She began her time at PPL in 2001, first serving as department head for lending services, technical services and systems and later as associate director before beginning her current role in 2015. Previously, Sarah was the founding director of library and learning resources at York County Technical College in Wells, Maine, leading its library services from empty shelves to earning the college’s first accreditation. Before librarianship, she had a career managing adult education and continuing professional education programs for the University of New England (Biddeford, Maine), the Boston Center for Adult Education (Boston, Mass.) and IIR Seminar Center (London, U.K.). Sarah serves on the Maine Library Commission and the boards of Maine InfoNet and Illustration Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psycholinguistics from Swarthmore College and her MLIS from the University of Michigan School of Information.
Joey Crawford helps clients solve problems when the challenges they face require extensive media and marketing experience. He is someone with the ability to work with a variety of people/teams and a need to achieve outsized results through creative campaigns and interactive experiences. Joey possesses years of experience in both B2B and consumer marketing, with the ability to assess the landscape quickly, develop solutions swiftly and be mindful of the return on investment companies demand. While he works in in advertising and marketing, Joey’s mission is to help his clients solve their business challenges.
Dr. Patrick Dowd
Patrick Dowd, Ph.D., currently serves as board chair for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. In February 2021, Patrick began his new role as the chief operating officer for the Allegheny County Health Department. Prior to his current role, he served as the inaugural executive director of Allies for Children, a nonpartisan child advocacy nonprofit championing big and bold policy changes to improve the lives of children in Allegheny County. Patrick has led city and countywide referendum campaigns to provide improved access to services for children. Prior to launching Allies for Children, Patrick served as a local elected official for almost a decade on the Pittsburgh Board of Education and Pittsburgh City Council.
Pilar Martinez is the CEO of the award-winning Edmonton Public Library, where she is responsible for leading 650 staff, managing a $69 million operating budget and supporting the Board of Trustees and stakeholder relations. Over the last 10 years, Pilar has successfully led and implemented capital projects totaling over $200 million. She has championed numerous innovative services, including community-led service delivery, makerspace and digital initiatives, highly popular early literacy services and speakers’ series. Pilar has a broad base of experience in executive leadership including advocacy, strategic planning, recruitment and change leadership. She holds an MLIS from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English from Acadia University and recently completed the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Directors Education Program.
Michael Meyer is a retired business executive who currently serves on the board of directors of Guild Mortgage Company (NYSE: GHLD), a residential mortgage lender based in San Diego, Calif., and Bridges Holding Company, an investment and advisory firm based in Omaha, Neb. During his career, Michael worked in the private equity, energy and banking industries accumulating decades of financial, operational management and advisory experience. He earned both a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Business Administration from Creighton University. Michael is a past president of both the Omaha Public Library board of trustees and the Omaha Public Library Foundation.
Skye Patrick is the director of LA County Library. Committed to breaking down barriers and increasing access for all, Skye introduced the iCount equity initiative, which ensures that the library services and programs address the needs of the diverse communities served throughout Los Angeles County. As the director, Skye continues to reinforce the library’s role in the community as a civic and cultural center, a hub for public information and services and an institution of literacy, innovation and lifelong learning. Skye was appointed to the Urban Libraries Council board in July 2017. In January 2019, Skye was named Librarian of the Year by Library Journal. Under her leadership, the library has also won the Library Journal 2018 Marketer of the Year award and 2019 Library of the Year award, in addition to being named a finalist for the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal in 2018 and 2019.
Meghann Campos Silverthorn has served as a trustee of the Douglas County Libraries since February 2019. An avid consumer of library materials since learning to read as a toddler, she views this position as one of the great privileges of her life. Meghann’s passion for literacy and learning did not begin with the DCL Board of Trustees. For eight years, Meghann served as an elected director of the Douglas County School District Board of Education in Colorado, which oversees over 90 schools and 67,000 students. Elected in 2009 and reelected in 2013, she served as board president for her final two years in office. She steadily worked to foster innovation, boost student achievement and expand school choice, including the authorization of eight new charter schools and the unique Choice Scholarship Program. Meghann is a Colorado native, owner of a small fiber arts business and an alumna of the University of Colorado at Boulder, earning degrees in aerospace engineering and political science.
Rebecca Stavick is the chief executive officer of Community Information Trust, which operates Do Space, the nation's first technology library. Since opening in 2015, Do Space has been featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in the 2016 American Libraries Design Showcase. Rebecca joined the Do Space project during its earliest stages to lead the development of programs, services and operations. She actively manages Do Space relationships, direction and strategy, bringing technology industry leadership and five years of public library sector experience to her role. Prior to developing the Do Space project, Rebecca earned a MLIS degree from San Jose State University. While serving as Nebraska’s first Code for America brigade captain in 2012, she co-founded Open Nebraska, a local organization focused on open data advocacy and civic application development. Rebecca is a 2016 "40 Under 40" Omaha Business Executives award recipient.
Michelle VonderHaar is deputy general counsel for HP Inc., leading the global legal affairs team supporting HP’s commercial organization. This legal team partners with the global commercial organization to provide legal support for all HP’s sales and services go-to-market motions. This includes enterprise, small to medium businesses, retail, public sector, online sales and services. The team also provides strategic advice and thought leadership to enable HP’s sustainable growth in a highly dynamic market environment. Michelle joined HP Inc. in May 2018 and served as the company’s chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel for the print global business unity, global ethics and compliance, employment, brand security, litigation, privacy, supply chain, antitrust, environmental, health and social responsibility. Prior to serving in this role, Michelle was senior vice president and general counsel of Veritas Technologies, an enterprise software company that spun out of Symantec Corporation, leading its global legal affairs team. Michelle has over 25 years of legal experience, both as outside and in-house counsel, leading various legal functions and working and living in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Roosevelt Weeks has served as the director of Austin Public Library since 2017, where he leads a dynamic team and library system of 20 branch locations, the History Center and a new Central Library. He came from the Houston Public Library, where he served, most recently, as the deputy director of administration overseeing the following units: organizational development, financial services, fleet inventory/distribution services, digital inclusion and community engagement. Prior to that role, Roosevelt served as chief technology officer where he oversaw implementation of wireless connectivity and videoconferencing for all library locations, installation of a patron reservation system and upgrading of computer technology. He is a member of and serves on several committees within the Texas Library Association, American Library Association and Public Library Association. Prior to joining HPL, Roosevelt held management positions at Accenture and Aetna. He received his master’s degree in library science from the University of North Texas and his Bachelor of Science in computer science from Texas Southern University.