(part of a monthly series)

How did you first hear or learn about Books for Keeps?

I think I knew about Books for Keeps back in college, and I believe I volunteered the first time right when I was starting with Epting about 8 years ago. That’s when I found out about Books for Keeps and what the mission is. And I always enjoyed reading as a kid and had a sentimental connection to that message. And then when Leslie and I were in Lead Athens together, we got an Epting group together for a warehouse shift and helped out with some distributions. It was great to actually see how things work.

Why did you choose to serve on the Books for Keeps’ board?

It really goes back to what I was saying about that warm part of my heart when I think about reading and books and how much I learned and grooved from them in that impressionable part of my life. My brother and sister and I always did the summer reading challenges and loved it. My sister and I both loved things like Anne McCaffrey and would read those books. Reading so many different genres of books opened my mind and really made me want to learn. So when I was asked to join the board, I thought back to that and said “yes, absolutely.” I really want kids to feel those things that I felt.

Have you worked with other non-profits in the past? Which ones?

I’ve worked with several political groups and nonprofit orgs, multiple chambers of commerce, and some work with the Jackson County Family Connections through the Jackson Co Chamber of Commerce.

What strengths are you bringing to Books for Keeps?

Hopefully I can bring business ideas, new energy for fundraising and finding sponsors, and getting more people acquainted with who Books for Keeps is as an organization. I hope to bring any experience I can from my work in the business world. And I like to have fun and hope to bring a lot of energy.

What is your favorite memory from working with Books for Keeps?

I think it was when as a company Epting did a service day and Justin did one of his ice breakers. It was really funny watching everybody in my company squirm trying to think of an actor who would play them in the movie of their life. That was such a fun day.

Do you have a keen childhood memory related to a particular book? Or an experience with reading – to yourself or to a loved one?

I think it was definitely reading something by Anne McCaffrey about dragons and that feeling of being in another world. It made you think about what other people are experiencing and go through in order to survive and makes you question humanity and what our role is. And it’s different reading it the second time around.

What is your absolute favorite book?

I don’t think I have a favorite. Pretty much every single book on my shelf I’ve read multiple times.

What would you read if you could only read one book for the rest of your life?

Encyclopedias.