Dr. Katie R. Bell was appointed to the Library Board of Trustees by the Montgomery City Council. She has served the board as secretary, treasurer, vice president and currently the president. Dr. Bell is a retired educator in the field of library education. She has held the position of school librarian in Birmingham, AL and as the Coordinator of Library Educational Media at Alabama State University. She holds an undergraduate degree from Alabama State University and her PhD from the University of Alabama.
Dr. Bell brings to the Board over 40 years of knowledge and experience in libraries. Dr. Bell is a quintessential community volunteer and can be found delivering meals to the homebound, volunteering with the Optimists and the ASU Hornets.
Dr. Bell has served on several local community boards and committees and more recently served on the LSTA Advisory Board of the Alabama Public Library Service. She is the second longest serving member of the Library Board. Dr. Bell is an actively engaged member of Beulah Baptist Church and the Beta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her appointment expires in 2020.
Rev. Gary Burton was appointed to the Library Board of Trustees by the Montgomery County Commission. Rev. Burton is a local pastor and is a leader in the Montgomery community, specifically south Montgomery County. Rev. Burton is an avid history buff with a strong interest in local and state history. Rev. Burton is the longest serving member of the Board and is the past president of the board, serving currently as its vice president. Rev. Burton coined the use of the phrase “Peoples University” in writing and speaking of the expected role of the Montgomery City-County Public Library; he is a visionary leader who sees the bigger picture and the role that everyone must play in lifting one another up. Rev. Burton is an active member of the Montgomery religious community and serves on several community boards. Rev. Burton’s appointment expires in 2022.
Ms. Janet Waller is a native of Montgomery and was appointed to the Board by the Montgomery City Council. Ms. Waller graduated from the Montgomery Academy in 1974, and Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University (B.A. art history magna cum laude). She was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa. Ms. Waller studied art and cultural history at the Sorbonne and L’Ecole du Louvre in Paris, France, during her junior year at Tulane and later at the University of Florence, Italy. She received her M.A. in arts administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Ms. Waller conducted tours in English and French for the general public and specialized groups while working at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She served as Director of Programs for the Fairfax County Council of the Arts, organizing in-school cultural programs, the International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap, area-wide art exhibitions and performing arts showcases. In New Orleans, she worked for the Newcomb Alumnae office and was director of corporate communications for Hanson Galleries nationwide. Since returning to Montgomery, Ms. Waller has become involved with various cultural and civic organizations and serves as a member of the Montgomery City-County Public Library Board of Trustees, and is an organizing member of the Montgomery City-County Public Library Foundation. Ms. Waller’s term expires in 2022.
Mr. Chester Mallory was appointed to the Library Board of Trustees by the Montgomery City Council. Mr. Mallory is a former educator and was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Alabama State University. He is the owner and CEO of Mallory Realty Company, Inc. and has been in the real estate business since 1972.
Mr. Mallory is a member of several civic organizations and serves on various boards throughout the City of Montgomery and for the State of Alabama, to include the past Alabama Real Estate Commissioner, the Alabama Appraisers Board, Compass Bank Board, YMCA, the Montgomery Ballet, the Trenholm Tech Foundation Board and numerous others. He is the Chairman of the Montgomery Airport Regional Authority Board of Directors. Mr. Mallory is originally from North Carolina, which is where he received most of his formal education. He holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with an endorsement in Guidance and Counseling from North Carolina Central University. Mr. Mallory’s appointment expires in 2022.
Ms. Betsy Atkins was appointed to the Library Board by the Montgomery County Commission. She is a native of Opp, Alabama but grew up in Montgomery. Twelve years ago she and her family moved to Pike Road and began her community engagement as the town officially became The Town of Pike Road.
Mrs. Atkins is a 1994 graduate of Auburn University Montgomery and is employed with Abbott Laboratories as a Senior Professional Sales Representative. Over the past 12 years she has represented Abbott throughout Central Alabama. During this time she received numerous sales awards and currently serves as the District Business Analyst for southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Mrs. Atkins is a member of the Children's Leadership Council, the Junior League of Montgomery and has been a long-time supporter of the March of Dimes. As a citizen she provides support to the library board in the area of business management and community engagement. She is married and is the mother of two children. Mrs. Atkin’s term on the library board expires in 2021.
Ms. Cassandra E. Brown is a native of Montgomery. She received her education through the Montgomery Public School System graduating from Jefferson Davis High School in 1981. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Masters of Business Administration from Troy State University - Montgomery.
She has been employed with SABIC (formerly GE Plastics) for thirty-two years where she currently serves as a Quality Systems Specialist. Ms. Brown currently serves as the President of the Montgomery (AL) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Ms. Brown has served on or is serving on several community boards/committees where she has focused her life on lifting people up. She has served as President of Big Brothers/Big Sisters Advisory Board; The Planning Committee for Making Strides for the American Cancer Society of Montgomery; Co-Chaired the 45th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, Montgomery Committee; the Woodcrest Community Block Leader and has been a SABIC Community Volunteer since 1986. She is a member of Ebenezer Baptist Church (Pike Road). She brings to the library board analytical skills, leadership, and planning skills. Ms. Brown was appointed by the Montgomery City Council and her term expires in 2020.
Ms. ShaKenya Calhoun is presently the General Manager of HarCal, Inc. and Calhoun & Associates, Inc (C&A). HarCal, Inc. is a partnership with her father, Gregory Calhoun and T.V. & Talk Show Celebrity Host Steve Harvey formed in 2008. This company consists of the only U.S.A. latex dipping glove factory located in Eufaula, AL, EASY Bacon Meat Company and a grooming line of men soap, shampoo/conditioner and after shave lotions named BILT. C&A is a consulting firm that assists Fortune Five Hundred Companies in Minority Diversity Crisis and Business Development started in 1992. C&A also represents a host of celebrities and talents throughout the USA. Ms. Calhoun is also the Vice President of National Benefit Solutions, Inc. where she is a licensed insurance agent offering supplemental benefits to Fortune Five Hundred Companies.
Ms. Calhoun is a graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS). She also holds a Masters of Business Administration from Troy State University - Montgomery. Ms. Calhoun has or is serving on several community boards/committees that make a huge difference in the growth and development of the Montgomery community. She is also a member of the Montgomery (AL) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Ms. Calhoun brings to the board an understanding of the role of technology in the lives of everyday people. She understands and supports the public library in its efforts to develop, design and deploy technology solutions to library users. Ms. Calhoun was appointed by the Montgomery City Council and her term expires in 2021.
Dr. Janice R. Franklin is Dean of Library and Learning Resources at Alabama State University and Project Director for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture at Alabama State University. Dr. Franklin is co-founder of the HBCU Library Alliance, a consortium of libraries representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She has led digitization initiatives for the organization and is an advocate for preserving the cultural legacy of HBCUs.
Dr. Franklin has been recognized as a “Mover and Shaker” in the library world by Library Journal, recognizing her work to shape the future of libraries; the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Alabama Library Association; the “Woman of Achievement Award" from the Montgomery Advertiser; and she was elected to the OCLC’s (Online Computer Library Center) international Member’s Council, representing the SOLINET (Southeastern Library Network, now LYRASIS) region. She was also honored as a recipient of the “AACRL Sue O. Medina Significant Contribution Award” presented by the Alabama Chapter of ACRL. She has served on professional boards including the Alabama Virtual Library and the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries.
Dr. Franklin received her early education in the public schools of Montgomery, AL. Her undergraduate degree was earned from Tuskegee Institute. Her MLIS was earned from the Atlanta University and her Doctorate degree from Texas Woman’s University.
Dr. Franklin is an advocate for access to information and libraries. She brings to the library board a very clear understanding and willingness to provide assistance, where needed, in furthering the mission of the public library in Montgomery. Dr. Franklin was appointed to the Library Board by the Montgomery County Commission and her term expires in 2021.
Mr. Michael Fritz works in the areas of bankruptcy, debtor and creditor rights, insolvency, and commercial litigation. He has represented various individuals and businesses in complex bankruptcy proceedings. Most notably, he represented the FDIC in the Colonial Bank Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
For eight years he was the Bankruptcy Attorney for the Bankruptcy Administrator of the Middle District of Alabama. As the Bankruptcy Attorney he had the responsibility of overseeing all Chapter 11 cases filed in the Middle District of Alabama. He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and has been a frequent speaker on various bankruptcy topics at both legal and civic seminars.
Mr. Fritz was in private practice prior to joining the Bankruptcy Administrator’s office. In private practice he has represented clients in insurance defense, employment and commercial litigation in State and Federal Courts throughout Alabama.
Mr. Fritz is also a Major in the Army Reserve JAG Corps currently serving as a Brigade Staff Judge Advocate. He recently spent a year on active duty as Defense Counsel for the Army’s Trial Defense Service – Europe. Additionally, he volunteers with his church, the Capital City Kiwanis Club and the Montgomery Ultimate Club. He is a 1994 graduate of Auburn University Montgomery having earned a B.S. degree. He attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, AL where he earned his Juris Doctorate in 1997.
Mr. Fritz brings to the library board expert legal guidance as the board works to broaden the horizon of access to information. He was appointed by the Montgomery City Council and his term expires in 2021.
Dr. Phill Johnson In 2018, the Montgomery County Commission appointed Dr. Johnson to the Library Board of Trustees. Dr. Johnson serves as Dean of the Library at Auburn University Montgomery. He earned his BS at the University of Missouri, his MSLIS from the University of Illinois and his Juris Doctorate from Kansas State University.
Dr. Johnson joined the world of academia after years of owning and operating multiple small businesses. After obtaining his JD and MSLIS, he spent many years in law school administration before eventually becoming Dean of the Library at Auburn University Montgomery. His wife, Cheryl, is the President of Leadership Montgomery and they enjoy travelling the world together.
Although fairly new to Montgomery, Dr. Johnson is very interested in pushing forward with new ways of increasing the use of the public library and ensuring that every citizen is knowledgeable of the many opportunities for life-long learning available in the Montgomery City-County Public Library. Dr. Johnson’s term expires in 2022.
Mrs.Theresa Steele Mitchell is a native of Montgomery. She attended Montgomery Public Schools and is a proud graduate of George Washington Carver Senior High School. After high school, Mrs. Mitchell attended Auburn University in Auburn, AL, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Secondary Language Arts Education. Eager to make a difference, she began teaching immediately upon completing her degree. Shortly after starting her teaching career, she enrolled at Stetson University in Florida, where she continued to teach and work with youth in the community. Mrs. Mitchell earned a Master’s in Marital, Couple, & Family Counseling/Therapy from Stetson University. She has over 20 years’ experience in the helping profession.
Mrs. Mitchell engages with her peers and the community by drawing from both her experience as an educator and a psychotherapist by regularly presenting at workshops and conferences, as well as serving on organization boards and committees. She is currently the Executive Director for a treatment center that serves youth and their families and is serving as the President of the Alabama Counseling Association Marriage and Family Counseling Division. Mrs. Mitchell’s passion, insight into youth and family systems, leadership skills, and education experience are assets for the library board. Mrs. Mitchell's term expires in 2020.
Ms.Patina Jones Moss was appointed to the Library Board by the Montgomery County Commission. Ms. Moss is a graduate of Montgomery Public Schools where she attended Jefferson Davis High School. She later attended Axia College and earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration; she also earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix in Public Administration. Ms. Moss served as a Library Assistant II for over ten years with the Montgomery City-County Public Library, assigned to the Pintlala Branch Library before leaving to take a position at Alabama State University. She currently serves as an Assessment Specialist in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at ASU. Ms. Moss is an avid reader, and is very involved with the American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN) where she promotes breast cancer awareness and other health related cancer concerns. Her mantra is to encourage women to take a healthy approach to their lives by attending to their health needs, annually.
Ms. Moss is an active & engaged member of the Mount Gillard Missionary Baptist Church and the Beta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Ms. Moss’s term expires in 2023.
Mr. Adam Muhlendorf founded Longleaf Strategies, a full-service strategic communications and public relations firm, in 2013. Longleaf Strategies primarily works with nonprofits, state agencies, statewide advocacy organizations, and political groups.
Before opening Longleaf Strategies, Mr. Muhlendorf was a vice president at Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based boutique communications firm. Prior to joining Rabinowitz/Dorf, he served as press secretary for U.S. Rep. Robert E. (Bud) Cramer of Alabama. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The University of Alabama.
Mr. Muhlendorf serves on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery City-County Public Library System and the Alabama Association of Nonprofits. He is a member of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts, the Downtown Business Association, the Business Council of Alabama and PARCA Roundtable. He is also a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, the Southern Public Relations Federation and the Public Relations Society of America. He was a member of the Alabama Leadership Initiative Class of 2013 and Leadership Montgomery’s Torchbearers Class VII.
A native of Florence, Alabama, Mr. Muhlendorf currently lives with his wife and daughter in Montgomery. Adam was appointed by the Montgomery City Council and his term expires 2023.
Mr. Ronald A. Simmons has more than twenty-five years of progressively increased responsibility and experience in executive level leadership, budgetary and business-to- business sales management, sport event sales, convention/meeting sales, hospitality/destination sales, federal and state governmental procurement and RFP analysis over a successful career. He currently serves as the Vice President Sales, Destination MGM (CVB) of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Simmons brings to the Library a keen sense of community, resource sharing and engagement and a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of young people. He and his daughter, Erin, are the founders of Dads and Daughters Saturday (D.A.D.S.) program presented the second Saturday of each month by the Children’s Department. The program was a result of Mr. Simmon’s desire to engage fathers to take an active role in the lives of their daughters through reading. The program is in its seventh year and routinely has approximately 20 or more fathers who consistently attend and plan programs for the group. Refreshments are provided by Dreamland BBQ. The programs cover topics from community policing, meeting the Mayor, reading of stories by fathers and the library staff to other leaders in the Montgomery community. Mr. Simmons was appointed by the Montgomery City Council and his term expires in 2019.
Trimble's bio coming soon.
Mrs. Mary McLemore serves as an ex-officio member of the Library Board as a result of becoming President of the Friends of the Montgomery City-County Public Library.
Mrs. McLemore is a native of Montgomery and grew up on a farm, giving her a lifelong interest in gardening and land science. She received a B.A. degree from Auburn University in English. Mrs. McLemore has a background in banking, publishing and has served as a paralegal. Mrs. McLemore’s strengths are in business management and finance.
Mr. Michael Briddell is the Director of Public Information and External Affairs for the City of Montgomery; he has oversight responsibilities for the City’s Library, Museum of Fine Arts and Zoo departments. Mr. Briddell handles media relations for the City, interacts with lobbyists, state legislators and members of congress on the City’s behalf, and most recently was appointed Health and Wellness Czar for our community. Prior to joining the City of Montgomery, Mr. Briddell had a 20-year career in broadcast journalism. For five years, he was the 5 o’clock anchor and a reporter at WSFA-TV 12 in Montgomery, Alabama. During his tenure at the station, he developed the "Education Report,” a nightly story on education-related matters. Mr. Briddell l has also worked in television stations located in Ohio, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Pennsylvania.
A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Briddell graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Communications Media. He completed his internship at CBS Network News in New York City. He completed the Leadership Montgomery program in 2006. He is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Mr. Briddell and his wife have been married over 20 years; they have one daughter who is a graduate of New York University. Among his favorite hobbies are reading, running, roller coasters, travel and Philadelphia Eagles football.
Mrs. Jaunita McClain Owes was promoted to Director of the Montgomery City-County Public Library in July, 1994. Prior to becoming Director of the Library, Mrs. Owes served as Head Librarian at the Coliseum Branch Library and as Reference Librarian in the Reference Department of the library. Mrs. Owes earned her undergraduate degree from Alabama State University in English and Library Science. She also earned a Master of Education degree from ASU in Library Educational Media. Her professional degree was earned from the Atlanta University in 1983 in Library and Information Science.
Mrs. Owes has served as Secretary, President-elect and President and Past President of the Alabama Library Association and has been recognized by her peers with the following awards: 2005 Librarian of the Year by Beta Kappa Chapter of Beta Phi Mu; 2006 Excellence in Mentorship award from the New Members Round Table of the Alabama Library Association. In the community, she was recognized with the 2009 Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, Inc. As an active member of the Montgomery community, Mrs. Owes served as past chair and is a current member of the Health Services Board of Directors, Inc. As a graduate of Leadership Montgomery - Class XV, Mrs. Owes served as vice treasurer, treasurer and member of the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Montgomery Chapter of the National Alumni Association of Alabama State University; an active supporter of George Washington Carver High School, Class of 1968; and is a member of the City of Montgomery’s Retirement Board. Mrs. Owes, along with other city department heads, completed the Executive Leadership Program in 2010 through the Alabama Training Institute - Auburn University Montgomery. As Library Director, Mrs. Owes serves as an ex-officio member of the Montgomery City-County Public Library Foundation.
Since becoming director of the library, Mrs. Owes has moved the library forward in automating the entire collection, development of a web presence, upgrade and re-deployment of library staff, successful writing and soliciting grants to support the mission of the library, and introduced more diverse programming to the community in the library.
The mission of the Montgomery City-County Public Library System is to make readily available to all residents of Montgomery County access to materials, information, and services to meet their personal, educational, cultural, technological, and occupational needs.
The Montgomery City-County Public Library will enhance the quality of life for Montgomery County citizens by serving as central Alabama's premier repository for a broad-based and comprehensive collection of books and data and its most accessible site for Internet and digital services. The library also aims to respond programmatically to the personal interests, educational imperatives, and research needs of Montgomery County citizens.