Board Member Profiles

 

William Porter Kyra Cook Lynda Byrd-Poller
Sally Andrews James Axtell Pamela Franz
Vickie Herrick Sarah Houghland Wilford Kale
Suzanne Mellen Jorge Rivas

 

William Porter, Chair - coming soon

Kyra Cook, Vice Chair joined the Board of Trustees in July of 2012 and is currently employed by the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation as a Program Officer.  After obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in History from the College of William & Mary, Ms. Cook owned and operated a successful pottery and tile works business for 12 years.  Ms. Cook is very active in the local community, serving on multiple committees, including the Historic Triangle Jamestown 2007 Host Committee, Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, WJCC PTA Council, and most recently the WJCC Strategic Plan Steering Committee.  Regarding her appointment to the Board of Trustees, Ms. Cook writes, “I’m honored to be on the Williamsburg Regional Library Board because I am passionate about public education of which I believe library systems to be a critical part.  I most appreciate the responsiveness and dedication of the Williamsburg Regional Library staff.”

Lynda Byrd-Poller, Secretary joined the Board of Trustees in July of 2008.  She holds an Ed.S. from George Washington University and has worked in the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools for 22 years.  Ms. Byrd-Poller has served on the United Way Board and is a Diversity Education Facilitator.  She is a lifelong member of this community and serves on the Youth Ministry Team of St. John Baptist Church.  As a member of the Board of Trustees, Ms. Byrd-Poller is particularly interested in sustaining the quality and access to library services while helping to keep the Library agile, accessible, and responsive to the growing and changing needs of print media in this digital age.  

Sally Andrews joined the Board of Trustees in August of 2014.  She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in History and a J.D. from the College of William and Mary.  She was the first female associate in the Richmond office of McGuireWoods Law Firm.  Following her marriage to a law school classmate, she joined the Hampton City Attorney's Office, concentrating in land use and school law.  She has a son, who is a licensed CPA, but now is a Commercial Realtor in Hampton and also a daughter who is currently serving as a law clerk for a Judge on the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Kentucky.  Professionally, Ms. Andrews served on the Virginia State Bar Council and was a past president of the Virginia Council of School Attorney's, the Hampton Bar Association, and the Greater Peninsula Women's Bar Association.  While living in Hampton she served on numerous non-profit boards.  Recently, she concluded her service on the W & M Law School Alumni Board and has consistently served on the Reunion Committees for both the College and the Law School, several times serving as co-chair.  Since moving to Williamsburg, her husband and her have been frequent visitors to the Library and have been impressed with the collections, the services, and the employees.  Ms. Andrews writes, "The quality of a community's library is a reflection of that community, and I will be dedicated to maintaining that excellence."

James Axtell joined the Board of Trustees in September of 2011.  He obtained his Bachelor's Degree from Yale and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, as well as being a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.  He then taught History for 42 1/2 years at five different colleges, including 30 years at the College of William & Mary, where he was Kenan Professor of Humanities.  Commenting on his appointment to the Board of Trustees, Mr. Axtell remarked, "When I was asked to stand for the Library Board, I was eager to repay the Williamsburg Regional Library for its services, pleasures, and acknowledged excellence as one of the very best in the state."

Pamela Franz - coming soon

Vickie Herrick joined the Board of Trustees in July of 2010.  She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Christopher Newport University.  Vickie has been employed with the City of Williamsburg for 13 years and currently serves as the Deputy Director of Finance.  She is a native of Williamsburg and has been a patron of Williamsburg Regional Library since early childhood.  She writes, “I strongly believe both personally and professionally that the Library is an essential public service.  I enjoy the privilege and opportunity of gaining a fuller and more complete understanding of all facets and services of the Library.”

Sarah Houghland joined the Board of Trustees in December of 2006.  Previously, she served on the Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library's Board of Directors as secretary and president.  She was also the founding president of the Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation.  A native of Indiana, Mrs. Houghland graduated from DePauw University and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She received a school library certificate from the College of William & Mary, worked at the Williamsburg Regional Library, and was the librarian of a small private school in Williamsburg.  For 25 years, she has been a member of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's development staff.  Mrs. Houghland writes, “I have cherished our library’s staff, collections, and programs since moving here many years ago.  The building holds a special place for me because my husband Wright (Chips) Houghland designed the “new” library in the early 1970s.  That building brought vitality to downtown Williamsburg and has continued to serve as a community resource and focal point for the city’s cultural life.”

Wilford Kale joined the Board of Trustees in October of 2013. He is an alumnus of the College of William & Mary and holds a Bachelor's Degree in History from Park University.  In 2012, he received a Master of Philosophy Degree in History from the University of Leicester, Leicester England.  Mr. Kale is a retired newspaperman, having worked for more than 25 years with the Richmond Times-Dispatch as a bureau chief and senior writer.  In 2007 he also retired from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, a state agency with headquarters in Newport News after working with them for 13 years.  He has lived in the area for approximitly 50 years.  This is his fourth board or commission appointment related to James City County, he has previously served: as a charter member of the County Historical Commission (1985-1987), County Planning Commission (1998-2006), and eight months in 2012 as an interim member of the County Board of Supervisors.

Suzanne Mellen joined the Board of Trustees in July of 2007. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Christopher Newport University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University. She serves as the James City County governmental representative and had been employed by the County since 1987.  She is currently the James City County’s Assistant Director of Finance.  In addition to being an avid user herself, Ms. Mellen has always appreciated the Library’s children's collections and programs as her children used the services during their growing years.  As a member of the Board of Trustees, she is particularly interested in helping the Library navigate its way through the changing environments that affect the organization.  

Jorge Rivas joined the Board of Trustees in August of 2014.  He completed a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration-Technology Management from Saint Leo University and finished a Master's Degree in Business Administration majoring in Health Care Management, also from Saint Leo University.  He is bilingual and this has afforded him the opportunity to help others bridge their language communication gap.  That combined with his experience in the medical field as a Medical Technician afforded him the opportunity to help people in North and Central America over the last 20 years.  He continues using these skills today as the Administrator for the Community and Medical Interpreter Services at Child Development Resources.  In working to complete his educational goals, the library was always his first resource for research.  Prior to attaining these goals he had the privilege of completing 21 years of military service.  He wished to join the board as a way to give back to the community and learn about the processes that make the community forge forward.  He views the library as a great resource in the community, helping people of all ages with access to information.  He writes, "The Library is a tremendous tool that is within the reach of everyone in the community.  I am interested in seeing how advances in technology reshape the way in which information is exchanged and used by everyone at the Libraries."