We are very grateful to these community leaders for their willingness to share their time and talent as we work to support excellence at the Eugene Public Library. Thank you!
Julie Whitmore – President
Julie has served as board chair for the Eugene Education Fund, the Eugene, Springfield Youth Symphony, and Fortnightly Club. She has co-chaired two local option levies for school funding, and been an active volunteer for the Nature Conservancy, the Oregon Community Foundation and as a yoga teacher at the Juvenile Justice Center. She enjoys writing fiction, traveling, playing music, gardening, hiking and skiing.
Lisa Rubenstein Calevi – Vice-President
Lisa Rubenstein Calevi is the Institutional Relations Manager for Global Education Oregon (GEO), part of the University of Oregon Office of International Affairs. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, an M.A. from the Syracuse University Florence Fellowship Program in Italy, and completed doctoral coursework in art history at the UO. For 14 years, Lisa lived in central and northern Italy — first as a graduate student, and later as an instructor and program coordinator for several U.S. study abroad programs based in Italy. She returned to her hometown of Eugene, Oregon, passionate about the transformative power of study abroad at all stages of life. In addition to her work for GEO, Lisa enjoys cooking the traditional cuisines of the Mediterranean, reading, and spending time with her husband and two children.
Past President – Don Churnside
Don Churnside is an attorney and shareholder with Gaydos, Churnside & Balthrop, P.C., and has practiced law in Eugene since 1979. Don is active in the community, having served in leadership roles in Eugene Rotary Club, Eugene Country Club, Eugene Hearing and Speech Center Board of Directors, and other community organizations. An avid outdoorsman, Don can often be found casting a line, floating a river, hiking or biking a trail, or teeing off with family and friends, including his three grandsons. Don is a graduate of Linfield College and the University of Oregon School of Law.
Marta Powers – Treasurer
Marta Powers is a CPA and partner with Mueller, Larson, Osterman, Yuva LLP, a local accounting firm. Marta received her Masters in Accounting from the University of Oregon and assists non-profits, businesses and individuals with Tax planning and filings. Marta also serves on the board of the Eugene Estate Planning Council.
Connie Bennett – Library Services Director
Connie Bennett is the Library Services Director of the Eugene Public Library. She holds a Master of Librarianship degree and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Library Management. She is a member of the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, and the Fortnightly Club of Eugene. She is a member and past President of the Oregon Library Association, which honored her in 2001 as the Oregon Librarian of the Year.
Ron Friberg grew up in Eugene and has BS Mathematics and MBA Accounting degrees from the UO. He spent his work career in finance, accounting, marketing and administrative roles in a variety of industries. An avid reader and now retired, he wants to focus his energy on the Foundation board to make sure the library grows and remains vibrant in the coming years. Ron says, “We’re lucky in Eugene to have such a fantastic, gorgeous library. It’s a gem we need to take care of.” Besides reading, Ron enjoys golf, UO sports, socializing with friends, and relaxing family activities.
Mary Galvin has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University (WSU) and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa. She started her career as a librarian at the Detroit Institute of Arts and went on work as an information professional at WSU Libraries. She currently is the Systems Librarian at the University of Oregon. She is active member of the American Library Association and the Association for College and Research Libraries. She has volunteered with SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) and serves on the steering committee of 100 + Women Who Care of Eugene-Springfield.
Carol Hildebrand is a retired librarian, spending her career in public libraries in Minnesota and Oregon. She served Eugene Public Library for almost 20 years, first as Assistant City Librarian, then as Library Services Director. She was active in the Oregon Library Association, the Pacific Library Association and the American Library Association. Current memberships include the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters, the Friends of Eugene Public Library and First United Methodist Church. Interests include reading (mysteries!), singing, and beginning quilting.
Matt Keating is a rescue dog’s best friend, proud uncle, and public servant representing constituents of Creswell, Cottage Grove, West Eugene, Oakridge, Pleasant Hill, Middlefork and the McKenzie River communities on the Lane Community College Board of Education. Keating is a three-time elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention (2008, 2012, 2016) recently serving as Oregon’s State Caucus Chair for Bernie 2016. Nationally respected for his political organizing prowess, Keating has provided services for progressive organizations MoveOn.org, CREDO, We Are Wisconsin, and Democracy for America. Locally, Keating serves on the Lane Council of Government executive committee (LCOG), the Eugene Public Library Foundation Board (EPLF), and the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA).
Dr. Kovach is a native Eastern Oregonian, born and raised in La Grande. He received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon, and his M.D. from Oregon Health and Science University. His Internship and Residency were at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. In 1982, Dr. Kovach returned to Oregon and maintained a private practice in Portland until moving to Eugene to join the Willamette Valley Cancer Center in 1995. He recently retired from private practice. Dr. Kovach and his wife Rebecca have two daughters and enjoy hiking, gardening, traveling and music. Additionally, he serves on the Board of the Oregon Cancer Foundation.
David has served as co-chair of the Imagination Library with Doug Barber since EPLF began the project. One of the primary reasons David has been active with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Eugene is because he has seen first hand the value of cultivating a love for reading in the first five years of life. David says, “The scientific literature is clear and abundant on the many benefits, to the individuals and society, of developing strong reading abilities before kindergarten. A love of reading is a priceless gift. The Imagination Library provides the ingredients for this gift, and all that is needed is for parents and older siblings to help youngsters by reading to them allowed, and encouraging them to read.”
Ellen Todras has written educational materials for students and teachers in social studies and language arts for more than 30 years. Her young-adult book Angelina Grimké: Voice of Abolition was published in 1999. Ellen received her B.A. from Goucher College and her M.Ed. from Central Washington University. She has served on a number of boards and is a member of the Fortnightly Club of Eugene. She and her husband live in South Eugene.
Kathryn Weit is recently retired from an almost 30 year career as a disability policy analyst, lobbyist, and executive director of a federally funded state disability council. Prior to the birth of her son, who experiences disability, she was a high school reading specialist in inner city schools in Boston, Arlington, Virginia, and finally at Jefferson High School in Portland. Reading and helping youth discover a love for reading is a passion. Before returning to graduate school for her M.Ed at Boston University, Kathryn worked for the Milwaukee Public Library driving a small bookmobile around Latino neighborhoods, putting on puppet shows, providing functional literacy support and library service outreach. She currently serves on the boards of two local nonprofits, Full Access Brokerage and Ritz Arts.
Monica Wilton – Executive Director
Monica Wilton has served as Executive Director for five years. She received Masters of Educational Leadership/Administration and Educational Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University. Monica brings a wealth of experience in education and non-profit development having held several positions in the development field. She also served as a consultant for the Non-Profit Clinic at the U of O Law School and is currently serving on the board of directors of the Eugene Rotary Club.
Emeritus Foundation Members
Sue Ann Hinman
|Nancy Oft Rose
Shirley Perez West