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Brooks Rainwater 2022

Brooks Rainwater (he, him, his)

President and CEO

Brooks serves as President and CEO of the Urban Libraries Council, an outcomes-driven research and innovations network of more than 160 leading North American public libraries. Under his leadership, ULC champions the future of public libraries by engaging and uplifting members, focusing intently on equity and inclusion and leading on core policy issues that drive our communities forward. Throughout his career, Brooks has worked to advance urban policies that expand local democracy and provide funding for local programs related to economic opportunity, entrepreneurship, infrastructure and sustainability. Prior to joining ULC in July 2022, Brooks served as Senior Executive & Director, Center for City Solutions at the National League of Cities where he drove the organization’s research agenda and oversaw technical assistance efforts and leadership education. Brooks holds a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Femi Adelakun

Femi Adelakun (he, him, his)

Director of Research and Data

Femi comes to ULC with extensive experience in weaving together leading-edge spatial science and policy design for the purpose of helping places and locations serve their residents and users better. Femi has a demonstrated history of developing and managing Location Intelligence systems in the private sector, and in government administration and city management.

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Liz Bartolomeo (she, her, hers)

Director of Communications

Liz is an experienced communications strategist who specializes in initiating innovative projects that support organizational goals and boost engagement and awareness through earned and social media, coalition building, and fundraising opportunities. She was most recently the Deputy Chief of Communications for DC Public Schools Prior to joining DCPS, she led communication strategy and external affairs for the Democracy Alliance, a membership organization of high-wealth progressive donors. Liz is a graduate of The George Washington University.

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Elise Calanni (she, her, hers)

Communications Manager

Elise brings a background of resource development, messaging strategies and audience-based communications to ULC. Prior to joining ULC, Elise sat on the Communications team at Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools and led resource and communication development for inclusion-driven work. Her combination of skills and passion for community programming will drive her work at ULC. Elise holds a Bachelor of Arts in media arts and design from James Madison University.

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Angela Goodrich (she, her, hers)

Chief Operating Officer

Angela connects mission and vision with operational strategy to strengthen ULC’s planning, resources, and impact. Angela has dedicated her career to advancing urban libraries across the United States and Canada. She leads and manages finance, development and grants, advocacy, board administration, people and teams, and contracts and compliance. At ULC since 1999, she has advised and led creation of multiple North American partnerships and initiatives. Angela has a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University-Chicago.


Shamichael Hallman (he, him, his)

Director of Civic Health and Economic Opportunity

Shamichael is a social, civic and tech innovator. As a '23 Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he explored how urban design and planning can make for socially inclusive cities. He has served as the Senior Library Manager with Memphis Public Libraries where he guided the reimagining of the historic Cossitt Library. His 2020 TEDx talk "Reimagining the Public Library to Reconnect the Community" garnered international acclaim. In 2021 he co-founded Libraries as Bridges which focuses on evaluating how libraries build social cohesion, promote civic renewal and advance the ideals of a healthy democracy.

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Michelle Hamiel (she, her, hers)

Chief of Programs

Michelle strengthens the urban library role in local ecosystems and advances partnerships and programs resulting in systemic change. She is known and respected throughout public libraries for her leadership to diversify the profession, to serve marginalized communities and to increase racial and social equity. Prior to joining ULC, Michelle served as Prince George's County Memorial Library System's chief operating officer and led the mission, vision, innovation and operations of the library's 19 branches and the county detention center.

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Shari Henry (she, her, hers)

Director of Democracy and Community Impact

Shari has worked in libraries for over 15 years, including director for Roanoke County, Va. Prior to her library career, she worked in community engagement and outreach in nonprofits and is a published writer. Shari is driven by the desire to impact the community for good by connecting resources to people, and by her undying belief that libraries are fundamental to healthy democracies.

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Christine Merzazada (she, her, hers)

Finance Manager

Christine comes to ULC from Educational Research Service where she was the office manager. She has over 15 years of experience working for a nonprofit 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.

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Colleen Morsli (she, her, hers)

Chief of Staff

Colleen develops a highly functioning, high-performing team with a culture dedicated to member excellence. Colleen has been with the organization for over ten years and leads ULC’s member engagement, conferences, and programs for public libraries across North America. 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.

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Katie Sullivan (she, her, hers)

Program Manager

Katie comes to ULC with experience in project management, event planning and content development from several Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Katie served as a program manager for the National Association of Counties, providing local government leaders with programming related to economic mobility, arts and culture and equitable economic recovery. Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Hispanic studies from the College of William & Mary.

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Amy Weist (she, her, hers)

Director of Events and Assistant to the President and CEO

Amy directs planning across ULC’s meeting, events, and conferences and supports the President and CEO. She manages and supports operations across a high-performing team and ensures a dedicated culture of board and member engagement. Previously, Amy served as the director of administration for the executive search firm Vetted Solutions, which she helped launch. She also served as the business manager for the Hydrocephalus Association for three years and worked for 10 years at the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). At GBTA, she worked closely with the boards, committees, chapters, members and staff of the 5,000+ hospitality association. Prior to GBTA, Amy served as a coordinator and assistant with Communities in Schools and worked for six years in The White House’s Office of Presidential Personnel.

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Matthew Wims (he, him, his)

Membership Manager

Matthew is responsible for supporting customer service, updating ULC’s Knowledge Exchange and facilitating conversation in ULC e-Discussion Groups. Prior to joining ULC, Matthew graduated from YearUp in 2017 with a certificate in business operations.