Teen Book Festival Board
The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival, Inc. is a nonprofit Type B corporation. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors of seven community members who serve in a volunteer capacity for a three-year term. The directors receive no compensation for their service.
The primary purpose of the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival, Inc. is to support and provide funds for the benefit of the annual Teen Book Festival. The Board of Directors oversees the Festival’s finances and the operation of TBF. The corporation’s Certificate of Incorporation was filed by the Department of State of New York on August 24, 2010. The corporation has no members.
The group’s mission is to foster a community effort to celebrate and promote reading by connecting teens and authors. Offering teen readers the chance to meet their favorite authors and listen to the writers’ personal experiences, the “back stories” of writing and publishing their books, makes our job incredibly gratifying. Hearing the applause and cheering as the fans express their excitement to see their “rock star” authors each year is the best reward, ever!
If you have an interest in becoming a member of the Board of Directors, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura C.S. Jones, Ph.D.President
Laura Jones is a full professor in the School of Education at Nazareth College. Laura teaches a variety of courses on language and literacy acquisition across the content areas and grade levels and inclusive education. In 2018, she became the Director of the Frontier Center for Urban Education in the School of Education. Her research interests include elementary and adolescent literacy development, diversity, equity and inclusion in literacy education, and teacher leadership. For ten years she served as the Nazareth College site coordinator for the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival. She welcomes the opportunity to continue to serve in a leadership role for GRTBF as the current board president. When Laura is not engaged in her professional work with teachers and students, she is most likely to be found dancing with her husband or going for walks with her dog.
Beth PuckettVice President
After finally admitting to herself that she belonged in libraries, Beth Puckett pursued her master’s degree in library science in 2002-2003. The library seed was first planted as a teenager when she landed her first job as a page at the Fairport Public Library. Originally, Beth received a M.S. in Education, but after serving a few years as a trustee for the Fairport Public Library, she realized her true passion and became a High School Librarian in 2003. Through her service to the Fairport Public Library and her dedication to teens, she met Stephanie Squicciarini and became a founding member of The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival. Beth currently works as a Library Media Specialist at Johanna Perrin Middle School in Fairport. While teens & libraries are her daily passion, Beth is equally passionate about spending time with her husband, 3 grown kids and their significant others.
Carly Alicea is an assistant professor in the School of Health & Human Services at Nazareth College. She is an avid reader of young adult literature and a lover of libraries. She has been involved with the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival since she volunteered as a teen at the the first annual Festival. In addition to her service on the Board of the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival, she also volunteers with Special Olympics. In her spare time, Carly loves crafting, traveling with her husband, and tending to the Little Free Library that she built in her front yard.
Karen Hultz has been Treasurer for The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival since its inception in 2005. In August 2015, Karen retired with 33 years of experience in public libraries. Most of that time was spent at the Irondequoit Public Library as a Teen Services Librarian, later adding the duties of Branch Manager and Assistant Director. Throughout her career, Karen was active in the Youth Services Section (YSS) of the New York Library Association, serving as YSS President in 2000. Karen currently serves on the Board of Historic Pittsford and volunteers at the nonprofit gift store, One World Goods. Her hobbies include gardening, quilting, cross-stitch, and reading.
Betsy Gilbert is a retired librarian. Her last position was as Director of the Fairport Public Library, where she has the good sense to hire Stephanie Squicciarini shortly after she became director. Before working at the Fairport Library, she held jobs in a variety of libraries and library systems including the Rochester Regional Library Council, the Rochester Public Library, the Northeast Texas Library System, and others. She holds a BA from SUNY Geneseo, an MLS from the University of Texas, and an MPA from SUNY Geneseo. She serves on the board of Tiger Bark Press and volunteers at the Susan B. Anthony House. Skills include administration, budgeting, policy development and implementation, staff supervision and development, and facility administration. In her free time she reads, gardens, socializes, and plays mah jongg. She volunteered at the very first Teen Book Festival, directing traffic.
Jennifer Cannell, Ed.D.Director
Dr. Jennifer Cannell was a dedicated and founding member of the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival. When TBF was looking for a home during the 3rd year, Jen enlisted the support of her principal to host the festival at Martha Brown Middle School. She worked tirelessly to coordinate the use of the facilities. Jen has recently returned to serve as the Director of the School Library Media Specialists Graduate Program at St. John Fisher College.
Dr. Kenya MalcolmDirector
Kenya is a clinical psychologist at The University of Rochester Medical Center. Kenya has served on a number of committees/ boards related to youth, families, emotional wellness, and literacy. She is an active member of the Friends of the Ogden Farmers’ Library in Spencerport and maintains their Facebook page. An avid reader, she maintains an often neglected book-blogger presence on social media (@ReviewsMayVary). Kenya is always ready to discuss the value of diverse stories on building a better world through improving connection, empathy, and critical thinking. Her favorite stories have villains who find redemptions, families that grow together, and princesses that save themselves.
Courtney is a public relations coordinator at Dixon Schwabl, a full-service integrated marketing and advertising agency in Rochester where she’s responsible for the day-to-day management and execution of strategic public relations plans and tactics for a variety of accounts. She works with clients in not-for-profit, business-to-business, and consumer markets, coordinating media relations and influencer marketing initiatives to enhance brand awareness. She has always had a love of reading from a young age and enjoys stopping in local libraries to check out a new book whenever she can. Some of her favorite young adult authors include, Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Rainbow Rowell. She’s excited to continue her service to the board to help TBF promote reading and literacy by connecting teens and authors.
Linda has lived in Rochester, NY since 2006. She resides in Irondequoit, NY and considers the Irondequoit Public Library to be her community library. As a mother herself of two teenage sons, she understands the importance providing opportunities in the community to support the developing minds, hearts and talents of teens. She wears many hats in her professional work. She is the director of the One Take Series and Annual Festival at The Little. She teaches documentary film courses as St. John Fisher College. She is the co-founder of the Rochester Teen Film Festival (est. 2005 at East High School, RCSD) which is now run through The Little Theatre and WXXI. Linda has presented the winning teen films at a number of our Annual Teen Book Festival events. In addition, she is currently producing five film projects: three documentaries, one narrative short, and one animation film. She also recently won an Emmy for the documentary she directed, Turn the Page. Because of the nature of her work, she has experience in developing individual and community partnerships, sponsorships, and fundraising.
Stephanie A. SquicciariniFounder and Past President
Stephanie Squicciarini was the visionary creator and coordinator of the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival (TBF). Thanks to Stephanie’s leadership and hands-on direction, TBF is today recognized as one of the most respected and celebrated festivals of its kind in the country. Stephanie Squicciarini received her MLS in 2000 and served as the Teen Services Librarian at the Fairport Public Library until her untimely death in March, 2018. In 2008, Library Journal named her a “Mover and Shaker” for her work as Founder and Director of The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival. Stephanie served on boards of the Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association and the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association. She also gave of her time and talent to her home community on the Board of Trustees of the Irondequoit Public Library. Stephanie epitomized the spirit of a visionary leader who made a real and lasting difference in the lives of young people by inspiring reading, writing, volunteering and community leadership.