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About PGCMLS Foundation

About PGCMLS Foundation

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) Foundation provides critical philanthropic support to the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. It strengthens the Library’s capacity to innovate, adapt to change, and ensure our libraries remain a vital resource for all in Prince George’s County now and in the future. Our libraries are more than a place to find books; they are spaces–both physical and online–to empower individuals, strengthen families, and make our county a better place.

As residents of Prince George’s County, we acknowledge that we gather on the traditional lands of the Mattapanient, the Patuxent, the Piscataway, the Moyaone, the Pamunkey, and the Mattapanient, past and present, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations. This calls us to commit to continuing to learn how to be better stewards of the land we inhabit as well.

Any questions? Contact us!

About our Board Members:

Colin Byrd -- Chair

Colin Byrd is a lifelong Greenbelter. Growing up, he fell in love with everything Greenbelt – the parades, the theater, the Community Center, the pool, the parks, the library, the people, and so much more.

Colin was first elected to the Greenbelt City Council in 2017, served as Mayor of Greenbelt from 2019-2021, and again serves on the council.

Colin is an alumnus of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he studied sociology, was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the OMSE Academic Excellence Society, and was a research assistant in the fields of psychology, economics and public health.

Colin is also an alumnus of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance fellowship program, and he regularly attends workshops and conferences to learn new things about how to better serve Greenbelters.

Tracy Simpson -- Vice Chair

Tracy Simpson has lived in Prince George’s County since age 3 when her football player father was traded to the Washington Redskins. She was a student in the Prince George’s County Public Schools, and attended Prince George’s Community College and The Catholic University of America. Her professional experience includes work as a corporate manager, trainer, marketing content developer, and special events organizer. Simpson served as a therapeutic licensed foster parent for 20 years until the untimely diagnosis of her late husband with early onset Alzheimer’s and Lewes Body Dementia.  She remains focused on youth social development and the support of resources for caretakers and families affected by dementia. In addition, Simpson currently serves on her church Board of Trustees.

Christine Turner Jackson -- Secretary

Christine Turner Jackson is an author, administrator, and educator. What began as an interest about her father's childhood playing baseball in 1950s Washington D.C., blossomed into her first children's book called Pitch Black. Chris earned her bachelor's degree from The George Washington University. After teaching elementary school, she began her 25-year career with the U.S. Department of Education. Married to Tim Jackson, they reside in Prince George’s County and have two young adult children, Tim II and Monet.

Vernon R. Ware, LGPC, NCC

Vernon R. Ware, LGPC, NCC -- Treasurer

Vernon R. Ware is the Senior Pastor of Faith AME Church located in Laurel. Previously, he served at Pilgrim AME Church in D.C. and as the director of church life at the Reid Temple A.M.E. Church – North location. Before that, he served as the senior minister of young adults and College Students at Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, MD, where he was also the chief financial officer for seven years before that. He also worked as an auditor for Destiny Management Systems where he conducted Financial Management Oversight Reviews of Federal Transit Authority grantees. Ware is also a licensed clinical therapist with 10+ years of experience in therapeutic counseling and community engagement. He holds a Master of Science degree in Pastoral Clinical Counseling from Loyola University, a Masters of Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland – College Park. He is a member of the American Counseling Association and the Maryland Counseling Association and is a National Certified Counselor. Ware believes strongly in the importance, relevance and impact of the Prince George’s County Public Library System and is honored to serve as Treasurer on the Foundation Board.

Linda Washington Douglas -- Member

After more than 38 years of federal government service, Linda Washington Douglas retired from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In her last position with the FDIC, Washington Douglas advocated at national outreach events for minority and women-owned businesses, which resulted in numerous firms obtaining multi-million dollar contracts. After retirement, she launched the Washington Douglas Consulting firm. She is married and has been a Prince George’s County resident for more than 40 years.

Patti Kim -- Member

Born in Busan, South Korea, Patti Kim immigrated to the U.S. on Christmas in 1974. Convinced at the age of five that she was a writer, Kim scribbled gibberish all over the pages of her mother's Korean-English dictionary and got in big trouble for it. But that didn't stop her from writing. The author of “I'm Ok,” “A Cab Called Reliable,” “Here I Am,” and “It's Girls Like You, Mickey.” Kim lives in University Park, Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and a ferocious terrier.

Damon Austin -- Member

Damon Austin is a librarian with more than two decades of experience in library and information sciences. He is currently the director of library and media services for DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville and has held library faculty positions at the University of Florida and the University of Maryland. Austin serves ex-officio with the Board of Trustees of the American Library in Paris via the American Library Association. In addition, he is a professional tennis coach and player consultant, working with Top 100 ranked men and women touring professionals.

Richard Bell -- Member

Dr. Richard Bell is a scholar, writer, and Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of History. His research focuses on the history and culture of the United States between 1750 and 1877. His recent book is Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. Dr. Bell received his PhD from Harvard University and his BA from the University of Cambridge. He lives in University Park, MD, with his wife and two daughters.

Karen Clark-Reddon -- Member

A lifelong resident of Prince George's County, Karen Clark-Reddon is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland College Park. As a mentor and personal enrichment coach, she empowers adults and pre-teens to follow their dreams. Clark-Reddon is a serial entrepreneur who turned her passions into profits and founded Devonshire – A Perfect Events Company, LLC. She and her daughter Kaelyn co-own DBK Bath Bombs and soaps. Clark-Reddon is the vice president of the Friends of the South Bowie Branch Library.

Dottie Crecelius -- Member

Dottie Meinhardt Crecelius has been the president of the Friends of the Baden Library for the past 12 years. She is a retired business owner of a building permit expediting company and very involved her family business, property management and investment group. She lives in Baden, on a farm in the southern part of Prince George’s County where she spends time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.

Ishraga Eltahir

Ishraga Eltahir -- Member

Ishraga Eltahir has been a lifelong lover of the public library. In high school, her first job involved roaming the local library‘s stacks as a page. Born in Sudan, growing up in Saudi Arabia, New York City, and Northern Virginia, she now calls Hyattsville home. Eltahir started her career working in nonprofits in Washington, DC and in West Africa. Today, she is the director of business execution at FORT Investment Management, a systematic hedge fund manager in Chevy Chase. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political & Social Thought and African/African-American Studies from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. Eltahir finds balance in reading, riding horses, and gardening.

David Goldberger -- Member

David Goldberger is a retired attorney and law professor who has argued two times before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1980, he joined the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University after serving as legal and legislative director of the Illinois Division of the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to working at the ACLU, Professor Goldberger was a staff attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, specializing in law reform litigation. While in practice, he represented clients in a wide range of civil liberties cases, many involving First Amendment issues. Professor Goldberger served on the board of trustees for the Worthington Public Library in Ohio from 2009 to 2015. He currently resides in Maryland with his wife, Abigail Harding, a retired middle school and high school teacher.

Antoine Lunsford -- Member

Antoine Lunsford is an elementary school educator with Prince George’s County Public Schools and a children’s book author of the “Little Andy’s World” series. He is the host of “Antoine and Friends: Local Children’s Author Series,” a weekly online program for PGCMLS.

Michael Gannon -- Ex-Officio Member

For the past fourteen years, Michael B. Gannon has been responsible for the oversight of facilities (including capital construction), information technology, procurement, collection development, and business intelligence. He is the 2003 recipient of the Public Library Association’s Allie Beth Martin Award for outstanding library service and a past president of the Maryland Library Association. He serves as the chair of both the statewide Library Associate Training Institute Oversight Committee and the State Library Resource Center Oversight Commission. Gannon holds a Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University (MD).

Brett Crawford

Brett Crawford -- Ex-Officio Member

Brett Crawford heads a management consulting firm focused on strategy, governance and innovation in the nonprofit and emerging businesses sectors. He has extensive experience promoting small business development, community development and education policy.

Previously, Brett served as Louisiana’s Secretary of Revenue responsible for the state’s tax policy and administration. He also headed Louisiana’s economic development financing agency. He currently chairs the board of directors of Volunteers of America Chesapeake and is an advisor on strategic partnership and collaboration issues for Compass.

Brett has an MBA from Dartmouth, a law degree from Georgetown, and a bachelor’s degree from LSU. He lives in Clinton, MD.