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Board of Library Commissioners


Abby Weiss, Chair

Term expires March 1, 2016

Abby Weiss is a Mediator, Arbitrator and Consultant, specializing in employment and employment-related business disputes. After 20 years as a partner of Baker & McKenzie LLP, in July 2009, she retired from the firm to start this practice built on her experience as a trial lawyer including commercial and employment litigation and dispute resolution, and counseling on the employment law. Ms. Weiss serves as a trustee of Scripps Health. She is chairman of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee, and is an Advisory Board member of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. She was the 2000 recipient of the University of San Diego School of Law Distinguished Alumnae Award, and the 2000 Recipient of the Tribute to Women in Industry Award. Ms. Weiss received her J.D. degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, her M.S.W. degree from Bryn Mawr College, and her B.A. degree from Wellesley College.

Ann Haddad

Term expires March 1, 2016

Ann Haddad, a native San Diegan, is a homemaker and community volunteer. Her professional experience includes Director of Community Relations and Events at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies as well as a director in the philanthropy department at The San Diego Foundation. From 1986 through 2001, Mrs. Haddad worked in Washington, D.C., including 10 years in the field of international development as well as several years in orchestra management and consumer banking. She has served as a chair for several charity galas including Promises2Kids Summer Concert Gala, American Cancer Society's (ACS) San Diego Discovery Gala, and Huntington Disease Society of America (HDSA) / San Diego Chapter Celebration of Hope. Her board experience includes the ACS Gala Team for California, HDSA / San Diego Chapter, the Kraemer Endowment Foundation, and the Junior League of Washington, D.C. She is currently a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of Governors of the San Diego River Conservancy. Mrs. Haddad holds a B.A. in Music from Smith College and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She is a 2005 LEAD San Diego graduate. She and her husband, Ben, reside in Point Loma.

Katherine Nakamura

Term expires March 1, 2017

Katherine Nakamura serves on the Library Commission as the appointed representative of the San Diego Unified School District. Serving eight years as a Trustee on the Board of Education, Mrs. Nakamura was President of the Board during a time of great transformation for the District, including passage of Proposition S, a $2.1 billion capital bond measure that made construction of the new Central Library possible through an extremely innovative joint-use agreement with the City. That historic partnership also led to the creation of e3 Civic High School, the only school in the United States or elsewhere to be embedded in an urban central library. An unwavering proponent of school libraries during her tenure, Mrs. Nakamura was equally passionate about the construction of the new Central Library, insisting that, "great cities have great libraries," in an op-ed piece she wrote for the Union-Tribune in 2006 when construction of the library was deeply under threat. Mrs. Nakamura is the founder and current president of the Cowles Mountain Community Foundation, which is assisting with the construction of PHAME!, a new performing arts center at Patrick Henry High that will benefit the eastern side of the City. She is also Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Kyoto Laureates Symposium, as well as the Vice Chair for Education of the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana. Mrs. Nakamura worked for many years in fundraising, as a senior manager in the University Relations Division of the University of San Diego, later advising the President and Board of Trustees on issues of board governance. She is also a licensed attorney and an active member of the bar of both California and the United States Supreme Court. A double major in Linguistics and English Literature while at SDSU, she earned her law degree from USD, and has lived in San Diego for over 35 years.

Ileana Ovalle Engel

Term expires March 1, 2016

Ileana Ovalle Engel is San Diego native and a leader committed to the convergence of business, nonprofits and government advocacy for positive community impact. Her experience includes three progressive leadership positions as manager of community and government relations, senior manager of public affairs and state director of government affairs at the third largest cable and telecommunications company in the United States, Cox Communications. Prior to her role at Cox, Engel served as Director of Funder Relations at San Diego Grantmakers, strengthening corporate and private philanthropy for strategic giving in the region. She has sixteen years in city government including the City of San Diego Public Library and City of Encinitas Community Development Departments. Engel is a LEAD San Diego graduate, and has served on the boards of Ocean Discovery Institute, Junior Achievement, The San Diego Foundation's Opening the Outdoors Initiative and the San Diego Regional Chamber Public Policy Committee among others. Engel holds an M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership & Management from the University of San Diego, a B.A. in Public Administration from San Diego State University and a certificate in Fundraising and Development from the University of California, San Diego Extension.

Wendy Urushima-Conn

Term expires March 1, 2017

Ms. Urushima-Conn is the President and CEO of the Asian Business Association, the leading voice on business, cultural and political issues for San Diego's Asian and Pacific Islander Community. She has more than twenty years of experience in community outreach, marketing and public relations. Ms. Urushima-Conn is the former Associate Executive Director of Development for the Center for Community Solutions (CCS), and was the chief fundraising and marketing officer for the non-profit agency. Prior to joining CCS, she worked for more than a decade as the Community/Media Marketing Manager at KGTV/1ONews where she was responsible for the station's community affairs programs, non-traditional revenue generation and all press and promotions. Ms. Urushima-Conn serves as the President of the California Diversity Council, San Diego Chapter; is the Immediate Past Chair of the Asian Business Association Foundation; past Chair of the Asian Business Association Board of Trustees; past President of Girls Incorporated of San Diego, Scholarship Committee; member of the San Diego Foundation; and marketing committee for The San Diego Public Library Foundation. She graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Communications.

Sarah White

Term expires March 1, 2017

Ms. White is the former Director of Qualcomm's corporate library where she was responsible for its establishment and direction for fourteen years. She has served on the boards of Mama's Kitchen and the Hamilton-White Foundation. Nationally, she has served on the IEEE Library Advisory Council and has held various positions with Special Libraries Association. Ms. White holds a bachelor's degree in zoology from UC Davis and a Masters in Library and Information Science from UC Berkeley. She is a resident of San Diego.

Alan Ziegaus

Term expires March 1, 2016

Alan Ziegaus is president/partner of Southwest Strategies, LLC., and has over 30 years of experience in the field of public affairs and public relations. Mr. Ziegaus has been a resident of San Diego for 56 years and currently resides in downtown San Diego. He served for nine years on the San Diego County Planning Commission, five years on the City of San Diego's Civil Service Commission, and four years on the Centre City San Diego Planning Committee. Mr. Ziegaus holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from San Diego State University.

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