Helen began her career as an equity trader in Houston, then Dallas, for two banks and various hedge funds in Texas. After moving to Austin in 1996, she has remained involved in the Junior League and then joined the Helping Hand Home as a volunteer. She served on, and then chaired, the Grant Committee for the Women’s Fund with the Austin Community Foundation for many years. Her children attended St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin where she served as President of the Parents’ Association and then on the Board of Trustees. Helen then went to work, helping to establish I Live Here, I Give Here as the Non-Profit Coordinator. She has recently retired after 10+ years on the Board of Advisors with Literacy First, also serving as the Board Chair. She remains involved with many non-profits in Austin, as well as chairing the Community Outreach board with HSW Investment.
Roosevelt Weeks is the Director of the Austin Public Library where he leads a dynamic team and library system. His responsibility includes 20 branch locations, the History Center and a Central Library, listed by Time Magazine as one of the World’s Greatest Places in 2018. Weeks joined the Austin Public Library team in 2017 and previously worked at the Houston Public Library, Pasadena Public Library, Accenture and Aetna.
Weeks is passionate about improving technology, literacy and education, both inside and outside of the library. He also works directly with community leaders to agree upon shared values, vision, and measures of success. This furthers the combined goal of ensuring a future workforce capable of the complex critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in an ever-changing competitive environment.
In addition, Weeks is a member and serves on several committees within the American Library Association (ALA), Public Library Association (PLA), Texas Library Association (TLA), Urban Library Council (ULC), National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), University of Texas Libraries System, as well as currently serving on the Executive Boards for both TLA and ULC. Weeks received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Texas Southern University and his Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Texas. In his spare time, Weeks enjoys time with family, serving in his church and helping the community.
Teresa Oppedal enjoyed a twenty-year career as a law librarian and legal information services manager at Morrison & Foerster, a large international law firm in San Francisco. Since retiring and moving to Austin in 2000, she has volunteered for many local non-profits including serving as Board President of the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation, on the advisory board of the Austin Museum of Art, on the grants committee of the Austin Community Foundation’s Women’s Fund, and as Advisory Council Chair of Literacy First. Most recently she built a small business, having developed a bug bite deterring mesh jumpsuit. Her primary interests remain promoting literacy and the free dissemination of information to all.
James S. Taylor has successfully started and grown several multi-million-dollar companies by leveraging his knowledge and experience of the US and Mexico markets. Born in Texas and raised in Mexico, James draws on his bi-cultural background as well as decades of bi-national experience working at the intersection of business and government.
James is a founding partner of Vianovo, a strategic advisory firm for high-stakes brand, policy and crisis communication issues. In 2004, he founded CIMA Strategies, S.A. de C.V., a Mexican company dedicated to marketing and selling cutting-edge law enforcement technologies. James most recent venture as a partner with Grupo Compadres, LLC, involves producing and marketing SUSTO® Mezcal, a new brand of Mexico’s oldest agave spirit.
He is involved with several non-profit organizations including: Advisory Board member of the Texas Book Festival and Advisory Board member of The Wittliff Collections. He is a founding member of the Austin Council on Foreign Affairs and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. In 2018, the Government of Spain named James as its first Honorary Consul of Spain in Austin, Texas.
James earned his bachelor’s degree in international studies from Texas State University and pursued graduate studies at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and completed the Executive Education Program at Stanford University.
Catherine Miller, an attorney, received a B.A. in English from Princeton University and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. A community volunteer for many years, she has served on the Texas Literacy Council; the Board of Trustees of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, including three years as Board Chair; the executive committees of parent leadership groups at
both Vassar College and the University of Southern California; and the Downtown Austin Community Court Advisory Board. Catherine and her husband, Bill, have three adult children.