Tara Lowery-Hart

Tara is a former educator and reading specialist. She has developed a nationally recognized service learning curriculum connecting middle school students as mentors and providing opportunities for them to engage with young readers. Tara believes in the power of understanding or own stories and loves to read about other’s stories. Tara and her husband enjoy spending time with their children, weather it is supporting their son while he performed in the Lion King Broadway tour,  attending football games with their younger son at the University of Georgia, or watching their daughter perform Opera at Drake University.

Annie Jacob

Annie Jacob serves on the Friends of the Children Austin Board of Directors. She is a teacher, volunteer, and advocate for children in disadvantaged environments. Previously an elementary teacher in Richmond, California, Annie Jacob understands the importance of building sustained and nurturing relationships with youth. As the nation recognizes and expands opportunities for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Jacob family is leading to ensure children facing adversity are recognized, acknowledged, and prioritized. Annie just had a baby in November of 2023 and has three other children.

Andrea Rado Hamilton

Andrea Rado Hamilton was raised in a real estate family and has been in the industry for over twenty years. She is a Global Real Estate Expert with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. In addition to helping clients buy, sell and lease residential real estate, Andrea has worked in a variety of capacities within the industry, from building high density urban homes, to selling small investment properties, to raising private equity for limited partnerships. A native Austinite, Andrea is passionate about the local community! She has chaired galas and fun runs for Rodeo Austin, The Texas Film Awards, and the Ronald McDonald House and is currently serving as a board member for the Dell Children’s Trust. In the past, Andrea has also volunteered for the Urban Land Institute, St. Austin’s Catholic School, I Live Here, I Give Here, and the Real Estate Council of Austin.  She and her husband Chase have one daughter, Juliet, a son, David, and their dog Bodhi, adopted during the covid quarantine from Lucky Lab Rescue. They love exploring Austin’s culinary scene (and then burning off the calories with long walks on our extensive trail systems). Even though Community Service remains a family priority, she finds herself volunteering often to coach youth sports and can be found on the kickball fields or the volleyball courts most days after school.

Jinelle Lawson

Jinelle Lawson enjoys reading and is involved in multiple book clubs in her community. She volunteers at her children’s school for different book-related activities and is a regular volunteer at the Austin Nature and Science Center. She is also a member of the Junior League of Austin. In her free time, besides reading she likes to hike, spend time with her husband and two children and play pickleball.

Ann Jerome

Ann Jerome has extensive experience at the leadership level of several non-profit organizations serving most recently as the President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas. An Austinite since 2008, Ann has been involved in many charitable organizations including Ronald McDonald House Charities, the American Heart Association, and Explore Austin to name a few. Having spent decades in the staff role, she is excited to lend her expertise as part of a high-performing board where she can add HR & administrative knowledge, fundraising & development support, and program perspective. In her spare time, you can find Ann on a tennis court or heading off on an adventure with her husband, Brad. Before launching her career in the non-profit space, Ann worked at both Brentano’s Books and Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Memphis while in college at the University of Memphis. To this day, one of her most proud parenting wins was instilling a passion for reading in her two adult sons who are now living in India and Austin.

Anna Herd

Anna Herd is a community volunteer and mother of two who recently served on Texas Book Festival’s Board of Advisors. She formerly worked for American Campus Communities and the Seton
Medical Center. Since moving to Austin in 2004, Anna has served on the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board, the Springhouse Foundation Board of Trustees, The Dell Children’s Trust, and the YMCA Camp Moody Leadership Advisory Council. In 2018, she co-chaired the Explore Austin Quest for the Summit gala. Community First! Village, The Trail Conservancy, Austin Diaper Bank, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School are some of her favorites for volunteer work. Anna has an MBA from the Tulane School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University. In her downtime, Anna manages and writes for Calling All Explorers, her outdoor travel blog.

Dr. Daniel Guerrero

Dr. Daniel Guerrero is the former mayor of San Marcos, Texas. He holds degrees from Austin Community College, Texas State University, and St. Edward’s University. Dr. Guerrero currently serves as an assistant professor of business and the MBA Program Chair at Concordia University – Texas. In addition to his faculty role, he is a senior business development consultant for J.L. Powers & Associates. Dr. Guerrero serves as a regional leader on the Austin Area Research Organization board of directors.

Marianne DeLeón

Marianne serves as Texas Book Festival’s CEO. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University where she documented the story of her family’s immigration experience from Cuba. Early in her career, Marianne dedicated over three years to full-time volunteer service in the United States Peace Corps (Republic of Moldova from 2000-2002) and AmeriCorps VISTA (Dallas, Texas from 2002–2003) where she developed a passion for fundraising for mission-driven organizations. She has since spent the last two decades developing her skills as an organizational leader and social entrepreneur. Most recently, she served as the Chief Revenue Officer for Pease Park Conservancy, where she helped finalize the $15M capital campaign to revitalize, operate, and maintain Austin’s beloved Pease Park. She currently serves on the boards of directors for Raasin in the Sun and Laboratorio. In her free time, she totes around her teenage son (who is her brightest star), catches up on her reading, and avidly walkables (aka the formal combination of the verbs walk and Audible which clearly go hand-in-hand.)

Adriana Pacheco

Adriana Pacheco, PhD, is the founder and producer of the Hablemos Escritoras Podcast, along with its companion website, hablemosescritoras.org, and the online bookstore, Shop Escritoras. She holds a PhD in Iberian and Latin American Literatures and Cultures. Currently, she serves as an Affiliate Research Fellow at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and as member and previous chair of the International Board of Advisors at the University of Texas Austin. Among other associations, she is an active member of the Pan American Round Table of Texas in Austin. In 2012, she was recognized as a Featured Author at the Texas Book Festival. Her academic work and book reviews have been published in reputable literary magazines worldwide. She has also edited various critical books and documentaries, aiming to promote literacy and showcase the accomplishments of Iberian, Latin American and Hispanic-heritage women writers from around the world. Born in Puebla, Mexico, Adriana Pacheco, she is a naturalized American citizen.