Board Of Directors

Becky Diffen, President
Tom Oney, Vice President
Zachary Smith, Treasurer
Meera Krishnan, Secretary
Gemma Marangoni Ainslie
Krupa Bala
Marcy Carpenter
Zeina El-Azzi
Caroline Haley
Erin Holcomb
Ben Johnson
Cory Laurel
Frank Livaudais
Bruce McCandless III
Grayson McDaniel
Hema Mullur
Carl Reynolds
Maya Smart
Roosevelt Weeks, ex officio
Kellie Weir
Alexandra Wettlaufer
Kristen Worrall

Library Foundation Staff

Tim Staley, Executive Director
Cecily Sailer, Programs Director
Katelin Kelly, Programs Coordinator

 

 

Board of Directors Biographies

Gemma Marangoni Ainslie is a psychologist-psychoanalyst practicing in Austin. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has written and presented on the local, national, and international levels on psychoanalysis and the arts (poetry and film), imagination, and play. Gemma contributed to the book Psychoanalytic Reflections on a Gender-Free Case and is the books editor for Psychoanalytic Review.

Krupa Bala is a Business Lead at Facebook, where she is responsible for managing communications and developing strategic business solutions to aid in the creation and maintenance of client relationships for the North American Small to Medium Business Team. Prior to joining Facebook in 2012, Krupa was the Student Programs Manager at National Instruments and oversaw the global academic marketing communications strategy for all universities. She holds a BA in Government from The University of Texas, where she was also a Plan II Honors student, and spent a semester in Washington, DC, as an Archer Fellow. Krupa spent much of her childhood at her neighborhood library in Richardson, Texas, and she and her husband are looking forward to instilling the same love of libraries and books in their young son.

Marcy Carpenter developed her love for libraries while earning her BS and MS in anthropology at the University of Chicago. She and her husband Jeff moved to in Austin in 1998, and they are currently raising two children. Her professional history includes working as an archeologist in Spain, teaching fitness classes, and managing complex software implementations for large institutions. She volunteers her spare time at her children's school, Acton Academy, as well as at many charities, including Austin Pets Alive, where her family recently adopted the newest member of the family, Bizzy (a Redbone Coonhound).

Becky Diffen, Board President, grew up in Austin and is now a partner at McGuireWoods, where her practice focuses on energy law with an emphasis on renewable energy. She graduated from Carleton College in 2004 and the University of Texas School of Law in 2009. Becky is co-chair of the Austin chapter of Women of Wind Energy, Endowments Chair of the Texas Energy Law Association, and a member of the board of directors of Zilker Theatre Productions. She is a frequent writer and presenter of legal articles about renewable energy and a co-author of the first ever wind law treatise, as well as serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law. Becky is married to Daniel, a native Austinite, and they have a son, Brydon, and daughter, Darcy Jane, who both love the library as well. She enjoys cheering on the Longhorns, musical theater, and is an avid knitter. Becky has been a lover of libraries from an early age, as her parents refused to buy her books since she read them too quickly, and instead encouraged regular trips to the library.

Zeina El-Azzi is a self-professed energy nerd doing everything she can to change the way the world thinks about energy. She is a co-founder of Brightmark Energy efforts in development, origination, and acquisitions of power generation projects. Zeina has more than 17 years of renewable energy experience. She has successfully brought solar, wind, and other generation projects to fruition in the US and Canada, as well as across the globe. Zeina graduated with honors from UT Austin with an MA and BA. She has lived in Austin since 1994 and is married to an amazing educator, Ken. Together, they have two children and make regular use of many of Austin's wonderful libraries.

Caroline Haley works for an Austin-based developer on multifamily projects in South Florida. She is married to Brian Haley, and they have one daughter. She loves public libraries and is thrilled to be involved with The Library Foundation Board.

Ben Johnson is an attorney with Freescale Semiconductor.

Meera Krishnan, Board Secretary, is an attorney with the Texas Legislative Council. She has been a proud Austin Public Library cardholder since the age of nine, when her family moved to Austin, and she is so excited to be involved with The Library Foundation. She earned her B.A. from Rice University and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Cory Laurel is a Realtor and Luxury Home Marketing Specialist at Strub Residential. She is a native Texan and earned her BA in Molecular Biology from The University of Texas. Prior to practicing real estate, Cory was a lead chemist focusing on in-vitro diagnostics and pharmaceutical research for nearly 10 years. She is a mentor with Explore Austin and the co-founder of Love Thy Neighbor Refugee Fundraiser. Cory and her partner, Lydia, live in East Travis Heights with their two dogs, Quinn and Bisbee. When she's not reading, you can find Cory gardening, playing tennis, biking, enjoying Lady Bird Lake, traveling to new places, and spending time with friends and loved ones.

Frank Livaudais is the Vice President of Engineering for OutboundEngine, a marketing automation software company in downtown Austin. An avid runner and reader, he has run more than 200 marathons (including races in all 50 U.S. states, six countries, and on four continents) and tries to read 100+ books a year. He lives in Austin with his wife Shelley and son Christopher and two very naughty vizslas.

Bruce McCandless III practices administrative law as a partner in the Austin office of Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard PLLC. He has also written two novels, Sour Lake (2011) and Color War (2014), and is an avid runner and reader. He lives in Austin with his wife Pati and two daughters, Emma and Carson.

Hema Mullur is an Emmy award-winning anchor at CBS Austin News. Hema attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in Plan II Honors and Broadcast Journalism.

Tom Oney, Board Vice President, currently serves as the General Counsel for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA). LCRA is a Texas conservation and reclamation district based in Austin, Texas, that provides reliable and cost-effective electric, water, and other public services throughout Central Texas. He oversees LCRA’s Legal, Environmental Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, and Regulatory Compliance departments. Tom also advocates before the Texas Legislature on behalf of LCRA and led LCRA’s public policy strategy during the 2015 and 2017 Texas legislative sessions. Prior to joining LCRA, Oney served as Vice President of Regulatory Law for Energy Future Holdings in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining EFH in 2008, Tom was a partner in the Dallas office of Hunton & Williams LLP where his practice focused primarily on state and federal regulatory and legislative matters for Fortune 500 energy clients. Oney was born and raised in Waco, Texas, and received his BA in political science from Baylor University in 1996. He received his Juris Doctorate degree, cum laude, from Tulane University School of Law in 1999. Tom also currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Green Doors, a nonprofit committed to provide housing for the homeless in Central Texas.

Carl Reynolds is Senior Legal and Policy Advisor with the Council of State Governments, and has extensive experience in all three branches of Texas state government. His previous positions include Director of the Office of Court Administration, General Counsel for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, General Counsel to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, Executive Director of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission, General Counsel to the Texas Senate Committee on Criminal Justice, Director of the Senate's redistricting staff, and briefing attorney for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Mr. Reynolds received his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law, a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a B.A. from the University of Cincinnati.

Maya Smart, a transplant from Richmond, Virginia, is a writer, book reviewer, and lover of books. A previous business journalist, she now enjoys blogging about her life as a working mother, wife, and community activist. In addition to serving on our board, Maya has shared her expertise with the organization as a moderator for the New Fiction Confab.

Zachary Smith, Board Treasurer, is an attorney with Norton Rose Fulbright.

Alexandra Wettlaufer is a professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin, where she also serves as Associate Director of Plan II Honors. The author of three books and numerous articles on 19th Century literature, painting, gender, and representation, she was awarded a 2014-15 Guggenheim Fellowship to write "Reading George: Sand, Eliot, and the Novel in France and Britain, 1830-1900.”

Kristen Worrall is a Lead Recruiter at Google, managing a team that recruits top talent for the technology company. Her husband's job led them to relocate to Austin in July 2014. Kristen has more than 15 years of experience, mainly focused on technology and leadership recruiting. Prior to her role at Google, Kristen managed the technology recruiting organization at T. Rowe Price in Baltimore for nearly 10 years. She holds a BA in English Literature from Michigan State University. Kristen is mom to two boys, Field (7) and Peter (4), and is actively involved in her local elementary PTA. She has long loved all things literary, spanning from her sixth-grade championship "Battle of the Books" team to tutoring fellow students at her college's writing center. She also loves cooking, parties (both hosting and attending), live music, Spartans football and basketball, reading, writing, gardening, yoga, and living a really full life.