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PGCMLS Foundation

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:

Tracy Simpson

Tracy Simpson -- Chair

Tracy Simpson has lived in Prince George’s County since age 3 when her father, a NFL player was traded to Washington. She attended Prince George’s County Public Schools, and continued higher education at Prince George’s Community College and The Catholic University of America. Her professional experience includes work as a corporate manager, trainer, marketing content developer, special events strategist and organizer, and her current role as HR manager for a local healthcare agency. Simpson served as a therapeutic licensed foster parent for 20 years until the untimely diagnosis of her late husband with early onset of Lewes Body Dementia. She remains focused on youth social development and the support of resources for caretakers and families affected by dementia. Simpson is an effective leader in uniting local nonprofit and religious organizations with municipalities to build partnerships that support the needs of our community. She serves Hemingway Memorial AME Church as its administrator and member of the Board of Trustees.

Karen Anadol

Karen Anadol -- Vice Chair

Karen Anadol loves reading books and believes in their power to transform lives. She has worked in a variety of fields, from the Carpenters’ Union in upstate New York to raising sheep and goats while working on a dairy farm in Michigan, to volunteering with human rights and arts non-profit organizations. She started Interwoven Cultures, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of traditional textiles in Turkey. A lover of travel, Karen has spent extensive time in Turkey exploring ancient sites and learning more about the history and culture of the region. Karen’s varied background has allowed her a greater appreciation and understanding of the world around her. She strives to expand her horizons and believes strongly in the positive power of volunteerism.

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.

Damon Austin

Damon Austin -- Executive Committee Member at Large

Damon L. Austin is a librarian with more than two decades of experience as a librarian and information sciences research consultant. He is a Trustee of The American Library in Paris and currently serves as Director of Library and Media Services for DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD.

Austin has librarian experience with the USDA National Agricultural Library, the University of Maryland College Park, and University of Florida Libraries. He is also a professional tennis coach and consultant who has worked with tennis tour professionals ranked in the top 100.

Richard Bell

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

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. 

Linda Washington Douglas

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.

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.

Joanne Jackson

Joanne Jackson -- Member

Joanne graduated from the Howard University School of Business and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public & International Affairs (GSPIA) where she earned a degree in urban/regional planning with a specialization in management information systems. 

Joanne’s career spans over four decades working in the private and public sector as an accountant/financial analyst, urban/regional planner, housing/community development specialist, economic development consultant and minority business enterprise (MBE) program coordinator. She has received numerous awards and citations for her public service.

As a member of the Board of Directors for Christmas-In-April Anne Arundel County, Joanne served, in a voluntary capacity,  as Vice-President for over 10 years. She also served on the Prince George’s County Task Force and Commission on Common Ownership Communities Most recently, Joanne was a member of the Advisory Board for the Bi-County Business Roundtable.

She feels that libraries are a important component of the community’s landscape and play a vital role in the human growth and personal development of children and adults.

Joanne lives in District 3 and attends St. Mary’s Church in Landover Hills.

Shannon Mouton

Shannon Mouton -- Member

Shannon Mouton is the leader of Laural Advocacy & Referral Services (LARS). She joined LARS in 2022 as the first African American CEO in the organization's 36-year history.

Since taking the helm, the organization's impact has more than doubled with increased service offerings, greater community engagement and an expanded service area. Under her leadership, LARS has purchased a second building—free and clear, raised more money in the organization’s history and this fall will launch a first-of-its-kind transitional housing program as part of an historic partnership with the City of Laurel.

Shannon has served the nonprofit community for more than 30 years. She is currently serving on the Boards for the Prince George’s Memorial Library System Foundation, the Craig A. Moe Laurel Multiservice Center and the IN Series, a performing arts organization in Washington, DC. She is also a member of the (Maryland) Comptroller’s Financial Literacy Advisory Council and the Conference Committee for Maryland Nonprofits. Previously she has been on the boards of Calvary Women’s Services, the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA and The George Washington Alumni Association. Shannon is a graduate of Mount Vernon College, now part of George Washington University.

Dr. Mark Winston

Dr. Mark Winston -- Ex-Officio Member

Mark Winston, Ph.D., has served as chief executive officer (CEO) for the Prince George's County Memorial Library System since January, 2024. Winston, a Maryland native, formerly was the executive director of the J. Lewis Crozer Library in Chester, PA, where he also worked as development officer and, prior to that, as head of adult services. Additionally, he has worked as engagement officer and librarian at Widener University’s Wolfgram Memorial Library, assistant chancellor and director at Rutgers University, and has also taught at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Rutgers University and held librarian and administrative positions at Valdosta State University and the University of Arizona. He has also served as a management consultant and trainer, and a diversity consultant and trainer, working with a range of academic, corporate, and public sector client organizations.

In addition to his library management, university faculty, and consultant experience, Dr. Winston is an author, columnist, and book reviewer, with an extensive background in grant writing. Currently, he writes a column called “Diversity Matters” for the Journal of Information Ethics. He has also received several awards for his research, including the American Library Association’s (ALA) National Award for Achievement in Library Diversity Research, the Emerald Literati Network Award of Excellence for a “Highly Commended Paper” entitled “Leadership in Times of Crisis and Change,” and the Reference Service Press Award for Outstanding Article for “Reference and Information Services for Young Adults: A Research Study of Public Libraries in New Jersey.” 

He has a doctorate in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a master’s degree in library science from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Hampton University. 

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.