Shawn Bose is the Head of New Business for the Staffing Solutions of Indeed, the world’s leading job platform, where he leads the identification and development of new business opportunities and products. He began his career as an entrepreneur in 1998 building large web initiatives for clients from Harvard University to Southern New England Telephone. He then moved to Austin and received his MBA at The McCombs School of Business. There, he joined his classmates to develop uShip. While at uShip, Shawn led the Product Team for many years before taking over Global expansion. He established their European headquarters in Amsterdam and extended the platform’s reach to 18 countries across 5 continents. Shawn then founded OnFaith.co, an online community dedicated to empower people and organizations in the faith and spirituality ecosystem through technology. Finally, in addition to having served on the Board of TeXchange, he is one of the founders of The Catalyst Games, an organization inspiring startup communities across the country to focus on company culture and giving back to the community.
The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to welcome five new members to our Board of Directors. Join us in welcoming Dalton Young, Andrea Valdez, Anna Hargrove, Grant Loveless, and Carlos Y. Benavides IV. Our Board of Directors play a crucial role in advancing the TBF’s strategic vision and mission, overseeing our financial resources, and ensuring the sustainability and vitality of our programs.
We are proud to have exceptionally hands-on board members. From lending a hand in our Reading Rock Stars classrooms to moderating sessions at the Festival to reviewing grant applications and much more, our Board is a big part of what makes the Texas Book Festival the successful, far-reaching organization that it is. These new members each bring an impressive array of talents and rich experience to our board, and we look forward to working with them in the coming years.
Carlos Y. Benavides IV is a Texas attorney working in the city of Austin at Ikard Law PC, where he represents clients in matters related to fiduciary law. Carlos received a BA in English from Marymount University and a JD from St. Mary’s University School of Law. He began his legal career in Hidalgo County, Texas as a state prosecutor for the first Domestic Violence Specialty Court in South Texas to rehabilitate domestic violence offenders, reduce potential recidivism and improve upon victim safety. Carlos has served on the non-profit Texas Council on Family Violence’s Prosecutor Leadership Core and went on to help establish and serve as the first labor trafficking specialty state prosecutor in the State of Texas. In 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Carlos to serve a six-year term on the Specialty Courts Advisory Council as a gubernatorial appointee. As a member of the advisory council, Carlos evaluates applications from specialty courts across the state for grant funding from the Governor’s Office and makes recommendations to the office’s criminal justice division regarding best practices for these courts.
Dalton Young is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Rank & Style (rankandstyle.com), a lifestyle media site that features data-driven “Top 10” lists promoting best-of products in women’s fashion, beauty, men’s clothing, skincare, kids and home categories. She joined Rank & Style from the legal industry where she previously practiced as an attorney and was the president of a technical and data-driven legal support company. Dalton is passionate about contributing to the Austin community and spearheaded the creation of Hartford Park, a new pocket park in central Austin, through a unique public-private partnership with the City of Austin. In 2020, she co-chaired The Texas Book Festival Virtual Gala and is a former member of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board. Dalton received her undergraduate degree in English literature from Washington and Lee University and her law degree from The University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Austin with her husband, Victor, and their sons Philip and Elliot.
Andrea Valdez is the managing editor of The Atlantic. Previously she served as editor in chief of the Texas Observer, editor of WIRED.com, and editor of Texas Monthly’s website. A native Houstonian, she wrote the book “How to be a Texan: The Manual.” She is also a board member of the Student Press Law Center.
Anna Loewenbaum Hargrove co-chaired the Texas Book Festival Virtual Gala last year and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Good Shepherd Episcopal School, the Seton Development Board and the UNC Lineberger Board of Visitors. Anna previously served on the Elizabeth Ann Seton Board. Originally from New Orleans, she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her masters in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Anna previously taught kindergarten in New York and first grade at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin. She currently lives in Austin with her three boys and her husband Reg.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Grant E. Loveless is an AfroQueer award-winning student, social entrepreneur and community strategist in Central Texas. They are currently a student at Austin Community College majoring in Psychology seeking to pursue a career within Journalism and Public Policy. After graduation, Loveless hopes to serve their community as a liaison to youth and their academic or professional needs. Currently, as a spoken-word poet and well-recognized public speaker, they focus on creating dialogues centering: social and economic equity, cultural preservation and representation, youth empowerment and success as well as creative activism / storytelling.
Katherine Wright is a real estate advisor at Moreland Properties, a global luxury residential and commercial real estate company, and the Executive Director of the Wright Family Foundation’s Austin office. Born and raised in Baltimore, Katherine studied photography and lighting design at Bennington College in Vermont and worked in community relations at MBNA Bank and as a real estate agent in Wilmington, Delaware, before moving to Austin. A twenty-year citizen of Austin who is passionate about education and improving the lives of underserved young people, Katherine serves on the Board of Directors of the Texas Book Festival, the Austin Theatre Alliance (the Paramount and State Theatres on Congress), the Leadership Committee for the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium, and is a former board member of KIPP Austin Public Schools. A multiple marathon runner, snowboarder, and hiker, Katherine has been an avid world traveler her entire life. She is married to Will Burdick, an urban planner, and has three children, Hannah, James, and Lucy.
Leslie Wingo is President and CEO of Sanders\Wingo Advertising, a 90-person firm that is headquartered in El Paso with offices in Austin and New York.
A native of El Paso, Wingo earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from The University of Texas at El Paso. She moved to Austin in 2000 and has worked her way up in the family-owned business. She joined the agency in 1995 and was named agency Partner in 2001. She has led numerous accounts over the years, including the US Postal Service, Burger King and State Farm. More recently she has been responsible for the agency’s strategic vision and day-to-day operations.
In 2011 Wingo was awarded the Austin Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal for Excellence for her commitment to social welfare. The following year, she was named one of the “Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing” in Black Enterprise magazine’s Women of Power issue. In 2013, the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce named Sanders\Wingo “Small Business of the Year” and in 2014, Wingo won the Austin Business Journal’s 2014 Women of Influence Award.
She was previously the board chair of AIDS Services of Austin and has served as director and committee chair on several boards, including the Austin Advertising Federation, the American Heart Association of Texas, the American Lung Association, and The Contemporary Austin.
In 2014 Wingo graduated from Leadership Austin’s Essential Class and credits that experience with teaching her critical lessons that she immediately implemented into her personal and professional life.
Ravi Vemulapalli has more than 24 years of management and executive-level experience in corporations such as GE, Kidde fire Safety and United Technologies. Vemulapalli is a senior director of logistics operations at Applied Materials. Most recently, Vemulapalli was the co-owner of Veteran Supply Services, a local solar contractor for homes and businesses and also general contractor for apartments and commercial businesses. Before that, Vemulapalli was the general manager of Enflite, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LifePort, a Sikorsky Company before it went private and is what brought him to Texas. Prior to his career as a civilian Ravi was history major at Annapolis in the naval academy and served in various roles as a naval officer. Positions included operational test and evaluation pilot, naval aviator flying H-60 Seahawks, and public affairs officer. Vemulapalli holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Duke University and a BS from the United States Naval Academy.