Board of Directors & Advisory Council

Laura Bush, Honorary Chair

One of the most beloved and admired American First Ladies, for decades Laura Bush has championed key issues in the fields of education, health care, and human rights. The author of the bestselling memoir, Spoken From The Heart, Mrs. Bush also founded both the Texas Book Festival and the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. Today, as the Chair of the Woman’s Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, Mrs. Bush continues her work on global healthcare innovations, empowering women in emerging democracies, education reform, and supporting the men and women who have served in America’s military. Born in Midland, Texas to Jenna and Harold Welch, Laura Bush holds a degree in education and a master’s degree in library science.  She taught in public schools in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, and worked as a public school librarian.  In 1977, she married George W. Bush.  The Bushes are the parents of twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, and recently became grandparents with the birth of their darling grand-daughter, Mila.

Marc Winkelman, Chair

Winkelman 200wMarc Winkelman is an Austin business man with longstanding ties to the world of books.  Between 1977 and 1990, Winkelman operated independent bookstores in suburban Detroit.  Before moving to Austin in 1993, he worked for Barnes & Noble, as the bookseller began opening superstores throughout the country.  Marc is the president and CEO of Calendar Holdings LLC, which operates seasonal stores and kiosks selling calendars, games, and toys in six countries (the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and Ireland), mostly on a seasonal basis;, which offers more than 6500 different calendar titles online; BookExpress, a concept that sells remaindered books in mall based pop-up locations; and Fuego, a year-round retailer of fashion accessories and novelty items.  In February 2010, Marc also became president and publisher of Kirkus Reviews, when he and his partners rescued Kirkus – a trusted source for book reviews since 1933 – from closure.   In addition to serving as board chair of the Texas Book Festival, Marc is secretary/treasurer of The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity; a vice chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council; a board member of the St. David’s Foundation and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs; and a member of the Advisory Council of the University of Texas Press.

Karen Brimble, Vice Chair

karen 200wKaren Brimble is a co-founder and director of the Austin-based One Skye Foundation. Currently she serves as the Vice Chair of the Texas Book Festival and serves on the board of National Charity League-Austin and A Legacy of Giving. Karen is a former President of the Board of Round Rock Health Clinic, and was honored as the 2005 Sertoma Round Rock Volunteer of the year.  Past charitable board seats include Girlstart and Avance. Karen is a graduate of University of Texas, School of Business.



Darryl Tocker, Treasurer

Tocker 200wDarryl Tocker is the third Executive Director of the Tocker Foundation since its inception in 1964. The Tocker Foundation supports rural public libraries in Texas. During his term with the Tocker Foundation, Mr. Tocker has advanced the organization’s commitment to public library advocacy. Due to the many initiatives and projects the Tocker Foundation was one of the initial organizations on the American Library Association’s National Honor Roll and a recipient of the Texas Library Association’s Centennial Champion medallion. In addition to his role with the Foundation, Darryl Tocker serves on the board of the Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas, the support organization to the Texas State Library. He is a member of the Board of the Barbara Jordan Freedom Foundation and the Executive Board of Raising Austin, Inc. Mr. Tocker also serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Texas, School of Information. Mr. Tocker’s affiliations include his long time memberships to the American Library Association, Texas Library Association and Conference of Southwest Foundations.

Katherine Wright, Board of Directors

Katherine 200wKatherine Wright is the executive director, Austin, of the Wright Family Foundation and works with nonprofits focusing on the needs of at-risk youth, particularly in the areas of education, literacy, arts, teen pregnancy prevention.  Katherine has been involved with the Texas Book Festival for several years, particularly the Reading Rock Stars program, and is in the process of starting her own real estate company.





Julie Blakeslee, Board of Directors

Blakeslee 200wJulie Blakeslee resides in Austin, Texas with her husband John Spong. She owns Big Red Sun, a garden design and installation firm. Past charitable board seats in Austin include Arthouse (president during the capital campaign), Ballet Austin (capital campaign co-chair), Harry Ransom Center, and the Blanton museum.  Julie also served on the Artpace board as well as the Performa Biennial board in New York City. Currently she sits on the Waller Creek Conservancy Board in Austin.



H.W. Brands, Board of Directors

Brands 200wH. W. Brands was born in Oregon, went to college in California, sold cutlery across the American West and earned graduate degrees in mathematics and history in Oregon and Texas. He taught at Vanderbilt University and Texas A&M University before joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History. He teaches history and writing to graduate students and undergraduates. He writes on American history and politics, with books including The Man Who Saved the Union, Traitor to His Class, Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, The First American and TR. Several of his books have been bestsellers; two, Traitor to His Class and The First American, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He lectures frequently on historical and current events and can be seen and heard on national and international television and radio. His writings have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Ukrainian.


Gigi Edwards Bryant, Board of Directors

Bryant headshotGigi Edwards Bryant is a sixth generation Austinite. She started GMSA Management Services, an Austin based business development consulting firm started in 1993 after a 20 year career in information systems. The firm, recognized as one of Texas’ outstanding small businesses, focuses on community outreach/involvement, employee engagement and business development. Gigi serves her community through organizations that address issues surrounding family such as education, youth in the foster system, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.  Some immediate past public service includes gubernatorial appointments with two Chairmen assignments, Department of Child Protective Services and Texas School Safety Center, Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Council, Saint Edward’s University New College Advisory, Austin Police Department’s Blue Santa and the Austin Community College Foundation. Membership Organizations include: Douglass Club of Austin, American Association of University Women, Executive Women in Golf Association, Texas Exes – Life Member, Austin Chapter of the Links Incorporated and Balcones Women Golf Association. A partial list of community honors include:  Distinguished Austinite,   Campfire Promise, Outstanding Texan Award, CASA-Inspiring Leader and Fierce Advocate for Children, Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction, Ma Ferguson – Award of Excellence Finalist, Dedicated Volunteer of the Year, Outstanding Citizen for Leadership. Gigi started her education at Austin Community College in 1977 and transferred to St. Edwards University where she earned a degree in business with a minor in computer science. She earned a MBA in Global Leadership from University of Texas at Dallas.  She a 1992-1993 Graduate of Leadership Austin.

Viki Chupik, Board of Directors

Viki 200wViki Chupik is a co-founder and Principal of Chupik Properties and Design, Inc., a residential development company focused on timeless design, authentic craftsmanship and careful attention to detail. She has been involved as Gala Chair of the Texas Book Festival since 2005 and joined the Board of Directors in 2011. She also served on the Advisory Board for Tarrytown United Methodist Church Children’s Day Out, Gala Chair for Trinity Episcopal School, and has served as décor chair for numerous galas including Trinity Episcopal School, St Stephen’s Episcopal School, and Hospice Austin.  Chupik earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas in Interior Design and is proud to be a 2nd generation Austinite and a 4th generation Texan.


Kathryn O’Connor Counts, Board of Directors

Kathryn Counts was born in Victoria, Texas and has been a resident of Austin since 1978. She is owner of the O’Connor Bros. River Ranch and a partner in TC Oil Company. As a member of the Junior League of Victoria, Kathryn chaired a number of committees including the Taste of Victoria Cookbook committee. She is an advisor to the Open Door of Victoria, Inc. In Austin, Kathryn has served on the boards of Laguna Gloria Art Museum, the Austin Symphony, and Safe Place. She is married to Donald R. Counts, M. D. and has three children and eight grandchildren.

Mary Herman, Board of Directors

Mary 200wMary Herman is a former Executive Director of the LBJ Foundation and the Texas Book Festival.  She also formerly served as the president of the Junior League of Austin, the chair of the St. Andrew’s School Board, a member of the Austin Community Foundation and the Helping Hand Home for Girls, among others.  She is currently on the Foundation for the Ann Richards School for Young Leaders as well as the Texas Book Festival.  She attended the University of Texas at Austin.



Regina Montoya, Board of Directors

REginaMontoya 200wRegina Montoya is the Senior Vice President, External Relations and General Counsel at Children’s Medical Center Dallas where she oversees several major departments, including legal, compliance, governance, government relations and community relations. In 1993, she served in the White House as an Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In 1998, she was nominated by the President to serve as a U.S. Representative to the 53rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Prior to joining Children’s in 2009, she was the chief executive officer of the New America Alliance, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the economic advancement of the American Latino community. A nonprofit community leader, Regina was the volunteer National President of Girls Incorporated from 1996 -2000. Past board service has included the Dallas Museum of Art, the Volunteer Center of North Texas, Child Care Group, Leadership Dallas Alumni Association, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the North Texas Commission, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), the General Counsel Forum DFW Chapter, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation and the Dallas Friday Group. In addition, she serves on the Texas Lyceum Advisory Council. Regina earned her B.A. from Wellesley College, where she is a Trustee Emerita, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She also has served as vice president and elected director of the Harvard University Alumni Association. She is married to Paul Coggins, Rhodes Scholar, novelist, partner with the law firm of Locke Lord, and a former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Wolfgang Niedert, Board of Directors

wolfgang  200wWolfgang Niedert is the Managing Partner at Cielo Private Equity in Austin.  His philanthropic efforts focus on the arts and humanities in Texas.  In addition to the Texas Book Festival, Wolfgang’s leadership positions have included the Long Center for the Performing Arts, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Ransom Center for the Humanities, the UT School of Information, the Butler School of Music, the Subiendo Academy for Rising Leaders, Austin Symphony Orchestra’s BATS group, and the UT System Chancellor’s Executive Committee.  A published essayist and former radio DJ, Wolfgang has resided in Austin with his wife Julie for the past twenty years.


Amy Paddock, Board of Directors

AmyPaddock 200wAmy Paddock is Co-Head of Global Client Service for Hill+Knowlton Strategies.  Partnering with account teams, Amy leverages H+K’s unparalleled expertise to establish H+K as a strategic partner and thought leader to achieve clients’ business objectives.  She also manages campaign strategies for Fortune 50 clients involved in complex financial transactions and reputational, public image, legislative and regulatory issues. Prior to joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Amy was an associate in the equities division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and was a financial analyst in Credit Suisse First Boston’s Latin American Investment Banking Group. Amy has an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. She participated in the 14th Annual Texas Conference for Women and currently serves on the Board of the Good Shepherd School.

Janna Paulson, Board of Directors

janna 200wJanna Paulson is president and chief executive officer of ACI Group LLC. She also serves as leader of PPDS, a division of ACI Group LLC. In 1989 Paulson started PPDS as a multi-faceted Interior Design firm. She has space planned over a million square feet of office space and has a work portfolio that includes hospitality, multi-family and residential work. Over time her work evolved to specialize more in environmental design. She continues to embrace the green movement by successfully completing the LEED exam and NEPA course. Paulson manages cross-divisional issues, opportunities, and evaluates new technology and business models for both divisions. ACI Group LLC is a $3M business that includes the business teams of environmental consultants and interior designers. She oversees initiatives related to design, client development and strategic growth. Her leadership has earned SBE Certification in New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas. ACI Group is ranked in the top ten “women owned firms” in Austin. Throughout her career, Paulson has been recognized for her contributions and industry leadership. She has served as Texas/Oklahoma Chapter president for the International Interior Design Association as well as International Residential Forum Advisor and International Region Director. She has served over sixteen years on the Austin Theatre Alliance (Paramount/State Theatre) and is currently on The Texas Book Festival governing board. Paulson holds a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from Arizona State University and has studied abroad at the Universitaria Fiorentina. A native of Texas, Paulson enjoys golf, cooking, reading and traveling.


Sarah Queen, Board of Directors

squeen 200wSarah Queen is Senior Legal Counsel at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a company that offers senior counsel, insightful research and strategic communications planning throughout the world. Sarah joined the Texas Book Festival in 2012, and works with the Reading Rock Stars program. Sarah was the founding Executive Director of Explore Austin where she is now a member and officer of the board. Previously, Sarah served as Secretary of the St. Andrew’s Board of Trustees, a member of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board, and a member of the Wonders & Worries Board. Sarah earned her BA from the University of Virginia and her JD at the University of Texas School of Law. She practiced corporate law for five years before joining Hill+Knowlton.


Kate Rogers, Board of Directors

KateRogers 200wKate Rogers is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising/Public Relations from Texas Christian University.  Kate started with H-E-B in 1998 and has held roles from Host/Producer of the TeleVentures interactive distance learning program to Director of Advertising.  Currently, Kate is H-E-B’s Vice President of Corporate Communication and Engagement.  In 2006, Kate was honored with Ford’s Salute to Education Award for creating H-E-B’s Excellence in Education Awards and in 2011, Kate launched H-E-B’s Read 3 early childhood literacy program.  In addition to her education efforts, Kate heads H-E-B’s Statewide Advisory Board on health and oversees H-E-B’s initiatives related to health and wellness, including the creation of Healthy at H-E-B, a new brand designed to education Texans on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and the Slim Down Showdown, a Biggest Loser style competition.


Ana Ruelas, Board of Directors

Ana Ruelas has been the director of strategic initiatives and human resources at KLD Energy Technologies, and has also served in senior management roles in the U.S. and abroad at PepsiCo, Towers Perrin, Lenovo, Ace USA and Image Logistics Corporation. In Austin, Ana has been active in the community by leading all corporate social responsibility initiative for KLD, and collaborating closely with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Backpacks for Kids and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She currently serves on the board of Wonders & Worries, which she learned about through her husband, Alejandro Ruelas, principal of the LatinWorks advertising agency.




Dave Shaw, Board of Directors

Shaw 200wDave Shaw is President of Arrow, a full-service advertising and PR firm based in Austin. Dave’s experience ranges from advertising, branding, and public relations to public affairs work with major brands and Fortune 500 companies. His work has been featured in PRWeek and recognized with industry awards from PRSA, the American Advertising Federation, Texas Public Relations Association and International Association of Business Communicators. He is a past chair of Greenlights for Nonprofit Success, an executive committee member of the Texas Lyceum, serves on the UT College of Communication Advisory Council and the Communication Committee for the Texas Exes. Dave has previously served as board president of the Austin Public Library Foundation, as a board member of Leadership Austin and YouthLaunch. Dave earned an M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Communication Studies from UT Austin.


Jake Silverstein, Board of Directors

Silverstein 200wJake Silverstein is Editor of the New York Times Magazine. He received a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in English from Hollins University in Virginia, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a reporter at the Big Bend Sentinel in Marfa from 1999 to 2000 and a 2002 Fulbright Scholar in Zacatecas, Mexico. He is a Contributing Editor to Harper’s Magazine, and his essay for that magazine, “Highway Run,” about a Mexican road race, won the 2007 PEN/USA Journalism Award. His journalism has also been featured in several anthologies, including the Best American Travel Writing 2002, and Submersion Journalism, a 2008 collection of first-person non-fiction. His first book, Nothing Happened and Then It Did, a Chronicle in Fact and Fiction was published by W. W. Norton in 2010. He worked for Texas Monthly in 2006 as a Senior Editor and in 2008 he was named Editor. He was named Editor of the New York Times Magazine in 2014.


Heidi Marquez Smith, Board of Directors

Heidi Marquez Smith is principal of Marquez Smith Consulting where she provides development, program, event and strategic planning assistance for non-profit organizations. A native of El Paso and graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Heidi currently serves as a director and executive committee member of the Texas Lyceum, on the St. David’s Foundation Toast of the Town Committee, and Friends of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. She recently wrapped up fundraising as Eanes Elementary PTO underwriting chair and also served as co-chair of the 2014 Legacy of Giving Blue Sky Luncheon. Heidi has served as a board member and volunteer for numerous organizations including the Literacy Coalition of Texas, the Futuro Fund Austin, the University of Texas 1883 Council, St. David’s Day School Board of Directors, and the University of Texas Libraries Advisory Council. She served as the Texas Book Festival’s Executive Director from 2008 – early 2012 and also as the TBF’s Interim Executive Director and development consultant in 2013. Prior to her roles at the TBF, Heidi worked in Washington DC, where she served in several roles including Special Assistant to the President for Cabinet Liaison in the White House, Special Assistant to the President and Director for Presidential Correspondence, and Deputy Associate Director in the office of Presidential Personnel. She lives in Austin with her husband, David Smith, and their three boys.


Paul Stekler, Board of Directors

Stekler 200wPaul Stekler is the Chair of the Radio-Television-Film Department and the Wofford Denius Chair in Entertainment Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a nationally recognized documentary filmmaker whose critically praised and award-winning work, including George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on FireLast Man Standing: Politics, Texas Style; and Vote for Me: Politics in America, have won two George Foster Peabody Awards, three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Journalism Awards, three national Emmy Awards, and a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Paul holds a doctorate in Government from Harvard University. He previously was a political pollster in Louisiana, while teaching at Tulane, and was the founder of Center for Politics and Governance at UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs. His writing has appeared in the Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, among other places, and his films have all been broadcast nationally on PBS, on POV, the American Experience, and Frontline. Paul has also been an executive or consulting producer on a number of documentaries including Margaret Brown’s Be Here to Love Me, Peter Frumkin’s Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home, and Karen Skloss’ Sunshine.


Brian D. Sweany, Board of Directors

Brian D. Sweany was named editor in chief at Texas Monthly in July 2014. He began his career in journalism as an intern at the magazine in 1996, and before being promoted, he was a senior executive editor in charge of Texas Monthly’s political coverage. Born in Richardson and raised in Plano, Sweany earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of North Texas, in Denton, and a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Sweany has also worked as an assistant professor in the journalism department at Ithaca College, in New York, and as a senior editor at D Magazine, in Dallas. He is active in a number of civic and volunteer organizations, including serving on the board of the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism at UNT and being named a Next Generation Fellow by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT-Austin. He lives in Austin with his wife, two children, and an ever-growing manuscript for The Kingdom of the Saddle, a biography of Charles Goodnight to be published by Penguin in the spring of 2016.

Leslie Ward, Board of Directors

Ward 200wLeslie Ward, Vice President of External Affairs, AT&T Texas, was appointed in 2008 after having served in numerous legislative and regulatory positions within AT&T. She is responsible for developing and executing strategies impacting the company’s participation in the Texas political process, as well as in state legislative policy and initiatives, development of legislative and political strategy, and management of the AT&T Texas PAC. She also serves on the Texas Supreme Court Emergency Preparedness Task Force, the Board of the Texas Taxpayers Association, the Texas Conservation Coalition Research Institute Board, the Texas Center for Public Policy Research, the National Foundation for Women Legislators, and on the Board of the Texas Cultural Trust. Leslie attended Texas Tech University and St. Edward’s University and holds a B.A. in Political Science.




Advisory Council


Beth Ann Bryan, Austin


Kay Cattarulla, Dallas


Paul Coggins, Dallas

Paul Coggins is a partner at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, where he heads the firm’s national White Collar Criminal Defense and Internal Investigations practice. Paul served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 1993 to 2001. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and both a B.A. and a Diploma in Law from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, before graduating from Harvard Law School. Paul is a former radio host, a published author, a frequent speaker, and is involved in numerous public service organizations.


Elizabeth Danon-Leva, Austin


Katy Flato, San Antonio

Katy Flato is from Houston originally and graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in English.  She joined the editorial department of Texas Monthly in 1982, where she worked for ten years. She has lived in San Antonio since 1989.  She and her architect husband, Ted Flato, have two daughters. On the board of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation (SAPLF) since 1989, Katy assisted with fundraising and programming, and helped to create the “Copyright Texas” author reading series and other Foundation events focused on literary culture and entertainment.  She is also on the Planned Parenthood Community Leadership Council, the KIPP S.A. Advancement Committee and was a member of the original Advisory Board of the Texas Book Festival.  She is Director of the San Antonio Book Festival, a program of SAPLF, which was launched with TBF as a founding partner, in September of 2012.


Olamaie Fojtasek, Dallas


Courtney Read Hoffman, Austin


Minnie Hollyman, Austin


Suzon Spiller Kemp, Austin

Suzon Spiller Kemp, Austin investor, received her education from the University of Texas at Austin where she graduated with Honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  She worked at the Library of Congress, and for United States Senator Albert Gore Sr. in Washington, D.C.  She was Director of Hospice and Volunteer Services for Girling Health Care, Inc., in Austin.  She served both civic and social leadership roles, being recognized for her services by the City of Austin for her contribution on the Human Relations Commission and the Police Community Relations Advisory Board. Later, she worked within charitable organizations such as The Settlement Home for Children and The University of Texas Elementary School’s Management Board (Little Longhorns), in addition to many others.


Harris “Shrub” Kempner, Houston

Harris L. Kempner, Jr. is President and Portfolio Manager of Kempner Capital Management, an investment advisory firm in Galveston, Texas since 1982.  He is also a Trustee of H. Kempner Trust Association, serving as Chairman since 1988.   He was President of U.S. National Bancshares and Chief Investment Officer for Frost Bank of Galveston (formerly United States National Bank) from 1969 to 1982.  He currently serves as a Director for Balmorhea Ranches, Inc, Pecos, Texas, and Director Emeritus and Advisor to Frost Bank, Galveston, Texas.  He has been a Director of Legacy Holding Company in Houston, Texas since 1996.  He serves on the American Jewish Committee Board of Governors, Executive Committee, the Audit Committee, and the Budget Committee.  He is a member of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Development Board; an Executive Board Member of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership; a Board Member of the Center for Houston’s Future; and serves on the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Advisory Council at The University of Texas at Austin.  He is a member and Past President and Treasurer for The Philosophical Society of Texas. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 1961 and an MBA from Stanford University Business School in 1963. He is married to the former Hetta (Peaches) Towler and resides in Galveston, Texas.


Janie McGarr, Dallas


Kit Moncrief, Fort Worth

Kit Moncrief’s many interests include ranching, art, wildlife conservation and education. She is the president of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and co-chair of Fort Worth Zoological Association.  She serves on the boards of Cattle Raisers Foundation, T.J. Brown and C.A. Lupton Foundation, Humanities Texas, Executive Committee of Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth Symphony, Van Cliburn Foundation, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and Executive Committee and Board, Texas Christian University. She serves on the Board of Visitors, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.


Whitney Hyder More, Fort Worth


Erin Quinn-Kong, Austin

Erin Quinn-Kong is the editor-in-chief/editorial director of Austin Monthly and the editorial director of Austin HOME and A Missouri native, she graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and worked in New York City as an editor at Allure and Us Weekly before moving to Austin in 2008. During her four-year tenure at Austin Monthly, the magazine has grow in size and reputation–since 2012 its newsstand sales have increased by 33 percent, and in May the magazine won a general excellence award at the City and Regional Magazine Association Awards. An avid reader and amateur foodie, she resides in North Austin with her husband, Ray, and their feisty blue heeler, Pepper.


Steven P. Schneider, Edinburg


Carol Wagner, Austin

Carol Wagner is working to bring a Public Market to Austin, Texas.  Her professional experience includes consumer marketing for Citibank in New York, account management for BBDO Advertising in Los Angeles and marketing consulting in Austin, Texas.  She has produced documentary films as well.  She is currently a member of the KLRU Advisory Board and their strategic planning and branding committees.  Other community organization engagements include Austin Museum of Art  (AMOA) Trustee, AMOA Art Ball Chair and St. Stephens Episcopal School Gala Chair.  Carol earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and her MBA from the University of Southern California.


Andrea White, Houston

Andrea White graduated from University of Texas Plan II with honors and from the University of Texas Law School. She has published four books of historical fiction for young adults and has donated many picture books to community partners like H-E-B’s Read-3 program. She is now on the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle. Married for 28 years, Andrea and former Mayor Bill White have three children.