Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
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.
Intervention Specialist, T.C. Gurney Elementary School
Chagrin Falls, OH
Amy Belew, NBCT is an intervention specialist at T. C. Gurney Elementary School in the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools. She holds a Master’s degree in education and IS a National Board Certified Teacher. She has been a Wilson Certified Tutor for 10 years. In addition to designing and implementing individual lessons for students with disabilities, she is head of the OSOB committee at Gurney E.S. Her two children enjoy participating in the OSOB program in their schooL and enjoy listening to the various books selected at Gurney.
VP/Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch
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.
Managing Consultant, Dominion Digital, Inc.
Attorney, Williams Mullen
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.
IP Trial Lawyer, Baker Botts LLP
Palo Alto, CA
Hopkins Guy Leading Silicon Valley intellectual property trial lawyer Hopkins Guy joined Baker Botts as a partner in the firm’s Palo Alto office. His practice focuses on patent, trade secret and commercial contract litigation involving all areas of web-based telecommunications, electronics and computer technologies. Guy also provides intellectual property counsel to technology companies from start-up to mature companies, particularly in the clean-tech and solar technologies. In addition to filing what is reportedly the first infringement case brought in a U.S. court against a China-based technology company to obtain a worldwide trade secret preliminary injunction, Guy has repeatedly been named one of California’s leading IP litigators by The Daily Journal. Prior to joining Baker Botts, Guy was an IP litigation partner in the Silicon Valley office of Orrick. He is a member of the California Bar, the American Bar Association, the International Trade Commission Bar Association and is a registered agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He earned his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law.
Jeff Hanzel, MD
Problem Debt Management Property Secured
Keith Hauser is the Senior Vice President of Problem Debt Management Property Secured for RBS Citizens, NA. In his role, Keith manages the collections and default functions for mortgage and consumer equity products for the Bank. 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.
Read Aloud Delaware
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!)
Chagrin Falls, OH
Jean Kanzinger is an experienced high school English and communications teacher. She holds a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction focusing on literacy, and is a National Writing Project Teacher Consultant. She serves on the One School, One Book committee at Gurney Elementary in Chagrin Falls, OH where she is a parent volunteer.
Nebraska Library Commission
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.
Kirk E. Spitzer
Alfa Laval Inc.
Kirk E. Spitzer retired as President & CEO of Alfa Laval Inc. on September 1, 2005. Kirk had overall responsibility for the USA operations, reporting to the President and CEO of the worldwide Alfa Laval Group based in Lund, Sweden. Alfa Laval is a global company with sales in excess of $4.0 Billion and 10,000 employees, and is a publicly held company listed on the Swedish Stockholm Exchange. Kirk joined Alfa Laval in 1983 as General Manager of Alfa Laval’s Thermal Division in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He was appointed President when the company decentralized and formed Business Areas beginning in 1987. In March 2000, he was appointed President and CEO of Alfa Laval, Inc, and assumed total responsibility for all USA Operations. Kirk is a 1967 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering, and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army. He spent two years on active duty, including one year in Vietnam, serving as a 1st Lt. in the 4th Infantry Division, and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service. Kirk is married to Leila, his wife of 41 years, and has 2 grown children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter, and a grandson. His oldest son is deceased. Kirk serves on the Committee of 100 for the School of Engineering for Virginia Tech, and received the Distinguished Service Award from Virginia Tech’s School of Engineering for 2007.
Attorney, Owens & Minor, Inc.
Elizabeth Valentine is an attorney with Owens & Minor, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and leading distributor of national name-brand medical and surgical supplies. Elizabeth received both her J.D. and B.A. in English from the University of Virginia. Working with and advocating on behalf of children has been a long time interest that she has fulfilled as a volunteer on a children’s cancer ward in college, as a mentor for elementary school students while living in New York City, as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children in the court’s care in law school, and through pro bono legal work. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two children. Family favorite read aloud books currently include Hippos Go Berserk, Curious George and The Cat in the Hat.
Kristin von Klein
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.