Twenty-eight public librarians chosen to attend PLA Leadership Academy

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/24/2017


Kara O'Keefe

Manager, Marketing and Membership

Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO – Following the review of 130 applications, members of the Public Library Association (PLA) Leadership Development Committee chose 28 exceptional PLA Leadership Fellows to attend the upcoming PLA Leadership Academy: Navigating Change · Building Community, March 20-24, 2017, in Portland, Oregon. PLA and PLA President Felton Thomas, Jr. extend their congratulations to:  

  1. Heather Acerro, Rochester (Minn.) Public Library
  2. Radha Ashok, Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library
  3. Amy Babcock Landry, Livingston (N.J.) Public Library
  4. Sonia Bautista, City of Commerce (Calif.) Public Library
  5. Jené Brown, Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library
  6. Jessica Cadiente, Santa Barbara (Calif.) Public Library
  7. Christiane Candelaria Warburton, County of Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library
  8. Amanda Courie, Caroline County (Md.) Public Library
  9. Claudia Depkin, Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library, Garnerville, N.Y.
  10. Ava Ehde, Manatee County (Fla.) Public Library System
  11. Cindy Fesemyer, Columbus (Wisc.) Public Library
  12. Renee Grassi, Dakota County (Minn.) Library
  13. Sonia Gustafson Lake Stevens (Wash.) Library, Sno-Isle Libraries
  14. Anne Kemmerling, Denver (Colo.) Public Library
  15. Benjamin Lathrop, Public Library of Cincinnati (Ohio) and Hamilton County
  16. Gabriel Lundeen, Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, Columbus, Ga.
  17. Susan Lyon, Richland Library, Columbia, S.C.
  18. Lisa Mulvenna, Clinton-Macomb (Mich.) Public Library
  19. Sara Murray, Algonquin (Ill.) Area Public Library District
  20. Anne Rasmussen, Kenosha (Wisc.) Public Library
  21. Rachael Ries, Fort Vancouver (Wash.) Regional Library, Washougal Community Library
  22. Dara Schmidt, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library
  23. Kelly Stade, Hennepin County (Minn.) Library
  24. Charles Sutton, Evansville Vanderburgh (Ind.) Public Library
  25. Erika Thibault, Los Angeles (Calif.) Public Library
  26. Janet Torsney, Bradley Beach (N.J.) Public Library
  27. Joy Whatley, Chula Vista (Calif.) Public Library
  28. Roxie Wright, Bella Vista (Ark.) Public Library

The PLA Leadership Academy: Navigating Change · Building Community is a program developed in partnership with the International City and County Management Association (ICMA) and Adam Goodman, director of the Center for Leadership, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

This career-changing program is designed to empower public librarian participants with the knowledge necessary to be innovative and successful leaders of change. Its groundbreaking focus develops the skills needed to work with municipal officials to enhance the position and effectiveness of the library and its activities within the community.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact PLA at or (800) 545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).

About the Public Library Association (PLA)
PLA is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, visit

About the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
ICMA advances professional local government worldwide. The organization’s mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build better communities. For more information about ICMA, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. They provide leadership through research, policy development, and grant making. For more information about IMLS, visit

About the Center for Leadership
The Center for Leadership at Northwestern University offers leadership coaching and consulting services to students, faculty, alumni, trustees, researchers, authors, and other leaders around the world. To learn more about the Center for Leadership, visit