Staff

Susan Benton 

President and CEO: Susan Benton

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 (ICMA).

Lourdes Aceves 

Senior Program Manager, Edge: Lourdes Aceves

laceves@urbanlibraries.org 

Lourdes is the Senior Program Manager for Edge. She 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 the Urban Libraries Council, she worked at the Illinois Housing Development Authority to administer a TARP Program intended to help struggling Illinois homeowners avoid foreclosure. Lourdes holds a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in Local Economic Development.

 Coordinator to the CEO: Jordan Anderson

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 and a Master of Science in Administration Leadership and Supervision in Education from Virginia State University. 

 

Director of Strategic Initiatives: Jennifer Blenkle

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.

Colleen Bragiel

Director of Conferences and Community Engagement: Colleen Bragiel

mcbragiel@urbanlibraries.org 

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. To date, Colleen manages the planning and execution of forums, gatherings and programs offered by ULC and its partners.

Angela Goodrich

Finance and Development Executive: Angela Goodrich

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 an M.B.A. 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.

Director of Communications: Paul Guequierre

pguequierre@urbanlibraries.org

Paul works to increase ULC’s profile in the media, raise the visibility of issues important to the organization and its membership while expanding ULC’s digital presence. Paul has over 15 years of communications experience in the public and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining ULC, he was the director of communications at the American Constitution Society. Paul’s communications experience also includes serving as the deputy director of communications at the Human Rights Campaign, the communications manager at the National Criminal Justice Association, the public and media relations officer at the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance and as a television news reporter. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from American University. 

Christine Merzazada

Finance Manager: Christine Merzazada

cmerzazada@urbanlibraries.org 

Christine comes to ULC from Educational Research Service (ERS) where she was the Office Manager. She has over 15 years of experience working for a non-profit 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.

Communications Manager: Curtis Rogers

crogers@urbanlibraries.org

Curtis supports the development of ULC's communications and outreach efforts by overseeing social media engagement, creating and managing written and designed content, assisting in public relations initiatives and helping to strengthen brand messaging. Prior to joining ULC, Curtis 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, DC chapter. Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from New York University.

Project Coordinator: Matthew Wims

mwims@urbanlibraries.org

Matthew currently serves as a project coordinator for the Urban Libraries Council. In this role, he 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. 

Events and Communications Intern: Ximena Diaz

xdiaz@urbanlibraries.org

Ximena serves as the events and communications intern at the Urban Libraries Council. 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.

Communications Intern: Nikolas Michael

nmichael@urbanlibraries.org

Nikolas serves as the communications intern for the Urban Libraries Council. Nikolas is currently a senior at George Washington University and will graduate in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies.