The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to welcome four new members to our Board of Directors. 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, 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 so look forward to working with them in the coming years.
Our newest Board of Director members are:
Ken Cho is a software entrepreneur. He is currently the cofounder & CEO of People Pattern, an audience insights platform that incorporates artificial intelligence. He is responsible for guiding People Pattern’s strategic direction. Previous to People Pattern, Ken co-founded Spredfast, Inc. Spredfast is an enterprise social media management software platform that allows organizations to manage, monitor, and measure their social media programs. Ken holds a B.A. in economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at University of Texas at Austin. Ken lives in Austin with his wife, Laura, and two daughters (Callie & Eliza). He is active in the Austin community and supports a variety of local charities including KLRU and the Red Cross, where he serves on its board of directors.
Michelle Diggs is a Marketing Manager for 3M in Austin, TX. With 20 years of marketing experience, Michelle has developed and implemented programs around the world. Her current responsibilities include driving global digital strategy for the Electronics and Energy Business Group. Michelle has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, an MBA from St. Edward’s University and was a CORO Public Policy Fellow. Community service is one of Michelle’s passions. She has served on a number of boards and commissions over her career. Her service includes Any Baby Can, Mt. Sinai Christian Academy, and Junior Achievement of Central Texas. In 2009, Michelle was appointed to be a Civil Rights Commissioner by Texas Governor Perry. Michelle is married to Anthony Diggs and has two sons Myles and Jared. Her favorite pastimes are traveling, reading and fishing.
Carol Wagner has lived in Austin 18 years. Her professional experience includes VP of consumer marketing for Citibank in New York, account management for BBDO Advertising in Los Angeles, and founder of a marketing consulting practice in Austin, Texas. She has produced documentary films as well.
Carol is currently a member of the Fusebox Festival Board of Directors, KLRU Strategic Planning Committee, and co-chair of the Texas Book Festival Board of Advisors. Other community organization engagements include Austin Museum of Art Trustee, Art Ball Chair, KIPP Austin Schools Luncheon 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.
Spencer Wells is a geneticist, anthropologist, author and entrepreneur. For over a decade he was an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and Director of the Genographic Project, which collected and analyzed DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people around the world in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the planet, in the process launching the consumer genomics industry. Wells graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford and Oxford. He has appeared in numerous documentary films and is the author of three books, The Journey of Man, Deep Ancestry, and Pandora’s Seed. His work has taken him to more than 100 countries, where he has collaborated with everyone from heads of government and Fortune 500 corporations, to tribal chieftains eking out a precarious living in places as remote as Chad, Tajikistan and Papua New Guinea. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he is founder and CEO of consumer genomics startup Insitome, an adjunct Professor at the University of Texas and owner of the iconic blues club Antone’s.
You can view the full list of our fantastic Board of Directors here.