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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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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.

Melissa Dahman

Melissa Dahman (she, her, hers)

Policy and Federal Advocacy Fellow

Melissa joins ULC as a fellow while finishing her master’s in education policy and leadership at American University. She has experience in political campaigns, competitive tracking and nonprofit work. Melissa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from American University in 2022. She is from Youngstown, Ohio, where she grew up appreciating and supporting her public library.

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Angela Goodrich (she, her, hers)

Finance and Administration Executive

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.

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Michelle Hamiel (she, her, hers)

Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact

Michelle is known and respected throughout Maryland libraries as an extraordinary leader with strong leadership skills and judgment. She comes to ULC from her previous role as Prince George's County Memorial Library System's chief operating officer, leading 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)

Membership Executive and Senior Advisor

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.

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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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Matthew Wims (he, him, his)

Project 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.

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Amy Weist (she, her, hers)

Senior Executive Assistant to the President and CEO

Amy is the senior executive assistant to ULC's president and CEO. 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. At GBTA, she worked closely with the boards, committees, chapters, members and staff of the 5,000+ member 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.