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Urban Libraries Council Names New Executive Board Officers and Members

The Urban Libraries Council elected its 2020-2021 Executive Board during a membership meeting held virtually today. Newly named ULC Executive Board officers, who will serve one-year terms, include:

  • Richard Reyes-Gavilan (Executive Director, DC Public Library) as Chair
  • Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi (President, San Francisco Public Library Commission; Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, University of San Francisco) as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.
  • Brandon Neal (Trustee, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library; Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Legal Officer for Novant Health) as Secretary/Treasurer.
  • Vickery Bowles (City Librarian, Toronto Public Library) as Immediate Past Chair.

Following today’s election, the ULC Executive Board also welcomed three new members who will be serving two-year terms:

  • Sarah Campbell (Executive Director, Portland Public Library)
  • Michelle VonderHaar (Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, HP Inc.)
  • Roosevelt Weeks (Director, Austin Public Library)

“ULC is honored to have Sarah Campbell, Roosevelt Weeks and Michelle VonderHaar join the Executive Board. Each of them brings a wealth of knowledge, vast experience and strong leadership, which will be invaluable to helping ULC advance our important work,” said ULC President and CEO Susan Benton.

Below is biographical information about ULC’s new Executive Board members and officers. Additional information about the ULC Executive Board can be found at

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.

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, Public Library Association and Urban Libraries Council. 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.

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 unit, global ethics & compliance, employment, brand security, litigation, privacy, supply chain, antitrust, environmental, health & 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.

Richard Reyes-Gavilan was appointed executive director of the DC Public Library in March 2014, 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 is expected to open in 2020 and will serve 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. Two new libraries in the West End and Cleveland Park neighborhoods were awarded the American Institute of Architect’s D.C. Chapter Design and Urban Catalyst awards, respectively. 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.

Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi 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 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. She is a trustee for the Ignatian Solidarity Network and the San Francisco Interfaith Council.

Vickery Bowles is the city librarian at Toronto Public Library, a 100-branch library system serving 2.9 million people. She believes passionately in the difference public libraries make in the lives of individuals, communities and cities. Vickery has worked in a number of leadership positions, spearheading service development including with Toronto’s high needs and diverse communities to develop library-led solutions that support capacity building, civic engagement and settlement. She is currently working to advance TPL’s new strategic plan and its digital strategies that support new service models, mobility, e-learning and innovation.

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.