• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia


Chris Abbott
Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
Richmond, VA

Chris Abbott is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America, and a premier leader of wealth management. He is also co-founder of Abbott Blades Wealth Management Group. In addition to his work for Read to Them, Mr. Abbott has also served as chair of the ArtsFund for Bank of America (Richmond), the board of the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Virginia and board of the Heart Association of Hampton Roads. A native of Portsmouth, VA, Mr. Abbott received a BS in Finance from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He currently resides in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two daughters and enjoys reading, horticulture and a wide variety of sports.

Craig Blades
VP/Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
Richmond, VA

Craig Blades is a VP/Financial Advisor with Bank of America, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management for over 20 years in Richmond Virginia. He helps high net-worth clients with financial planning, asset allocation, long-term wealth accumulation and income strategies. Before that, Craig taught in a middle school for four years on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. A health and science education degree allowed him to also coordinate a county-wide program for at-risk students, helping them stay in school then move on to their prospective high schools. Craig has served on several local community boards, including the United Way and Richmond Public Radio. He has raised two children and firmly believes books should be an important part of every household.

Laura Bowser
Operations Manager/Government Consultant
Richmond, VA

Laura’s passion for combining business operations with politics began in 2005 in Beijing, China, where she worked in Operations and Procurement for a large multinational corporation. The following year, Laura was named “Most Outstanding Student” by L. Douglas Wilder’s School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science and International Relations.
Over the course of the next 8 years, Laura’s project management skills and political savvy were further developed through a number of positions of increasing responsibility including Clerking for the Virginia House of Delegates, serving as a Legislative Assistant, Campaign Management, Lobbying, Nonprofit Management, and two Management Consulting positions supporting a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies.
Very active within the non-profit community, Laura has a passion for merging business and social interests for positive impact. As Operations Manager and Government Relations Consultant at TMI, Laura thrives at managing large scale programs and accounts—leading cross-functional teams to define, scope, plan, execute and deliver exceptional business value on time and within budget.

David Dart
Managing Consultant, SingleStone, Inc.
Richmond, VA

Heath Galloway
Attorney, Owens-Minor
Richmond, VA

Heath Galloway, a labor & employment partner at Williams Mullen, regularly counsels employers on a wide variety of state and federal laws applicable to the employment relationship. Mr. Galloway’s experience includes representing and counseling clients in regards to: the National Labor Relations Act; OSHA Regulations and Compliance; Restrictive Covenants; individual and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act; the Family and Medical Leave Act; Title VII; ERISA; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although he hopes to help the firm’s clients avoid litigation, Mr. Galloway has vigorously represented employers in state and federal court as well as in administrative proceedings.

Keith Hauser
SingleStone, Inc.
Richmond, VA

Keith Hauser is a Director and Client Partner at SingleStone, a Richmond, Va.-based consulting firm that specializes in Customer Experience (CX) solutions spanning strategy, culture, process, and technology.  Previously, Keith was the Senior Vice President of Mortgage and Home Equity Default for RBS Citizens, NA.  Keith relocated to Richmond from Cleveland, OH in 2005 as part of the Citizens Bank/Charter One acquisition. Prior to relocating, he was responsible for all Consumer Loan Servicing for Charter One Bank.  Keith began his career at Bank One in 1986, holding a variety of positions throughout the Bank, with an emphasis on small business lending and auto lease credit, collections, and product management. In 1995, Keith became COO and then Co-President of a venture capital – backed growth business in the Security Alarm Monitoring industry. Keith has also run a regional division for a national consulting company and the operations for a captive automobile insurance tracking company prior to joining Charter One in 2003. A native of Akron, Ohio, Keith has bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from The Ohio State University. Keith, his wife, and three children now reside in Richmond.

Mary Hirschbiel
Read Aloud Delaware
Georgetown, DE

Mary Hirschbiel has been the Executive Director of Read Aloud Delaware since July 1995. Prior to that she served as one of the three County Coordinators in Delaware. She created new systems to allow the program to triple in size in her first three years as the part-time coordinator. Mary has worked for Read Aloud since October 1988. Her prior work experience was in the field of fund raising for a small museum and opera festival in Charlottesville, VA. She has also run a variety of volunteer programs in Vermont, Virginia and Delaware. Her expertise is in Volunteer Administration. She is a graduate of Goddard College in Vermont where she wrote a senior study entitled, History in the Attic: The American Windsor Chair from 1750 to 1825. Mary still loves history and American material culture. Her great escapes are organizing closets and drawers, reading mysteries, and framing pictures. Mary lives in Wilmington Delaware with her husband of 32 years, Henry, who is also a nonprofit administrator and an historian currently for the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation. They have one daughter, Cate, who will soon be graduating from Smith College in Medieval Studies and is looking forward to library school! (How’s that for proof that environment really does influence our children!)

Cathy Mitchell
Educator, Young Scientists
Richmond, VA

Cathy Mitchell Cathy is a classroom teacher with “Young Scientists” providing elementary school science lessons as in-school field trips, all over the Richmond area. She also tutors after school. A former Fairfax County first grade classroom teacher, Cathy earned her B.A. in Economics from Duke University, her M.Ed. from Marymount University (Arlington), and is Reading Recovery and Orton-Gillingham trained. She lives in her native Richmond with her 3 teenage daughters. In her spare time, Cathy enjoys reading, tennis, Bikram yoga, travel, and beekeeping.

Elliott Park
Attorney, Park and Co..
Richmond, VA

Sally Snyder
Nebraska Library Commission
Lincoln, NE

Sally Snyder is Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Services at the Nebraska Library Commission, a state agency with the mission of statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library services. She has worked at the Library Commission in various capacities for 20 years, during which time she has assisted with children’s programs and book reviews. Sally has served on the Board of Read Aloud Nebraska since March 2003. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Library Science (MA) from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Sally taught children with physical handicaps at J.P. Lord School in Omaha from 1974-1976. She then moved to Estes Park, Colorado, and worked for nearly eight years at the Estes Park Public Library, the last three years as Children’s Librarian. She returned to Nebraska in fall of 1984. Sally is one of four main programmers for a weekly half-hour show, BookTalk, on low-wattage local radio station KZUM. She selects the topic and locates a guest speaker for one show a month. The catch phrase for BookTalk is, a show for people who like to read and like to talk about what they read. Discussion of the selected book includes reading excerpts on the air. Her interests outside work include spending time with her husband, Dennis, and their cat, Spats, going to the movies, storytelling and reading.

Kristin von Klein
Richmond, VA

Kristin von Klein has worked for non-profit organizations participating in grant-writing, administration of State and Federal grants, and Legislative efforts. She has experience in State government including the Virginia Economic Development Partnership – International Trade and Export Development and the Department of Environmental Quality. Ms. von Klein holds a J.D. from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond and is currently evaluating claims as part of a Court-Supervised Settlement Program established to review and pay qualified claims made by individuals and businesses that were affected by the Deepwater Horizon Incident.

Ramzy Ismail
Director of Business Development, EnterBridge Mobility
Founder and CEO, Venuable.com
Richmond, VA

Ramzy Ismail is the Director of Business Development for EnterBridge Mobility and the Founder and CEO of Venuable.com, a web-based venue marketplace based out of Richmond, VA.  As a 2012 graduate of VCU, Ramzy has spent the last four years in strategy and investment roles while working with VeriSign, Capital One, and most recently in Genworth Financial’s Leadership Development Program. 

Ramzy is highly involved in the academic and social entrepreneurship communities, holding Board positions with the George Mason School of Social Entrepreneurship, The Richmond EDA’s RVA Works, and the Yale School of Management’s Global Pre-MBA program.  In his spare time Ramzy loves to coach youth football and explore Richmond’s many restaurants and events. Some of his favorite books are Lord Of The Flies, Freakonomics and Harry Potter.

John Erbach
Litigation Associate, Spotts Fain
Richmond, VA

John Erbach is a litigation associate with Spotts Fain, focusing his practice on intellectual property litigation, employment disputes, and commercial litigation, with added emphasis on litigation in federal court.  After graduating from law school in 2008, John spent two years practicing law with a large regional law firm located in Richmond, Virginia.  After that, John had the unique honor of serving as law clerk to three federal judges in Richmond, Virginia.  Most recently, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Henry E. Hudson, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Previously, John served as law clerk to the Honorable Dennis W. Dohnal and the Honorable David J. Novak, U.S. Magistrate Judges for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Of special note, John had the honor of serving as Judge Novak’s first law clerk upon Judge Novak’s selection to replace the retiring Judge Dohnal.

John graduated magna cum laude from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in May 2008.  While in law school, he served as vice president of the client counseling and negotiation board and president of the Federalist Society.  John also earned the CALI Excellence for the Future awards in Civil Procedure, Advanced Trial Advocacy, and Copyright Law.  As an undergraduate, John earned his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the College of William & Mary.

His daughters are Lily, Emma, Violet, and Scarlett, ages 6 months to 7 years.  He reads with them almost every night and frequently more than one book per night, including a variety of reading levels.  He finds that the younger kids don’t like being left out of the more sophisticated books so he always include them.  He encourages eldest Lily to read to her younger sisters, which she finds rewarding.  Lily is in 2nd grade and is progressing well in her reading.  His Twins (ages 5) are not yet reading but love being read to.

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