Skip Navigation

Back to Navigation

Staff

330 Susan

Susan Benton

President and CEO

susanbenton@urbanlibraries.org

Susan has worked with libraries and local governments for over 30 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.

Lourdes

Lourdes Aceves

Senior Program Manager

laceves@urbanlibraries.org

Lourdes 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 ULC, she worked at the Illinois Housing Development Authority to administer a TARP Program intended to help struggling Illinois homeowners avoid foreclosure. Lourdes holds a Master in Public Policy with a concentration in local economic development.

Jordan330

Jordan Anderson

Coordinator to the CEO

janderson@urbanlibraries.org

Jordan supports the President and CEO as well as the ULC staff in program coordination, logistics and day-to-day operations. Prior to joining ULC, Jordan was the assistant supervisor medical assistant at a medical clinic where he was the primary point of contact to patients and a liaison to the clinic's business clients. Jordan holds a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from James Madison University, a Master of Science in administration leadership and supervision in education from Virginia State University and a Master of Science in public health from Liberty University.

330 Jen

Jennifer Blenkle

Director of Strategic Initiatives

jblenkle@urbanlibraries.org

Jen focuses on designing and leading ULC’s strategic initiatives, ensuring that the programs address the critical issues facing members now and in the future. Her career includes over 20 years of program development and leadership in community and nonprofit organizations. Before coming to ULC, Jen served as the vice president of research and innovation at the Industrial Research Institute and vice president of innovation and new product development at the American Society of Association Executives.

330 Colleen

Colleen Bragiel

Director of Conferences and Community Engagement

mcbragiel@urbanlibraries.org

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

Nadenna330

Na’Denna Colbert

Membership Director

With over 10 years as a membership engagement professional, Na’Denna has expertise in member recruitment and retention strategies, client relations and program implementation. She has committed her career to supporting populations that need the most support and will continue these efforts at ULC by helping to build educated, healthy and sustainable communities. Before joining ULC, Na’Denna worked with several national nonprofit organizations on member strategic planning, database management and measurement and evaluation tactics. Na’Denna holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science in integrated marketing and communication from Roosevelt University.

330 Ximena

Ximena Diaz

Program Intern

xdiaz@urbanlibraries.org

Ximena supports ULC's programs. She is currently a junior at George Washington University studying international development. Ximena wishes to dedicate her career to racial equity and educational development, whether it be internationally or domestically. Prior to ULC, Ximena interned at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and at an international development organization in Cameroon called Breaking Ground.

Alisha330

Alisha Powell Gillis

Director of Community Impact

agillis@urbanlibraries.org

Alisha served the nation's governors for nearly a decade, working at the National Governors Association Homeland Security & Public Safety Division. As program director, Alisha was responsible for overseeing all management, operational, strategic and financial activities of the division's homeland security program. Prior to that, Alisha served several roles at NGA, including senior policy analyst, policy analyst and program assistant. In addition to NGA, Alisha has served as a senior analyst for E3 Federal Solutions and peer teacher of Politics of the Middle East for Hofstra University. Alisha holds a master’s degree in global security studies from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Hofstra University.

330 Angela

Angela Goodrich

Finance and Administration Executive

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 a Masters of Business Administration 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.

330 Christine

Christine Merzazada

Finance Manager

cmerzazada@urbanlibraries.org

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.

330 Nikolas

Nikolas Michael

Communications Fellow

nmichael@urbanlibraries.org

Nikolas supports ULC’s communication and outreach efforts, helping with messaging, expanding ULC’s digital presence and supporting media relations. Nikolas graduated from George Washington University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies.

330 Curtis

Curtis Rogers

Interim Director of Communications

crogers@urbanlibraries.org

Curtis leads the development and management of ULC's communications strategies, messaging and branding. Prior to joining ULC, he was the senior marketing manager at the National Club Association. Curtis currently serves on the board of directors of the American Advertising Federation's Washington, D.C. chapter. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from New York University.

330 Matt

Matthew Wims

Project Coordinator

mwims@urbanlibraries.org

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