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From the Desk of the Executive Director

"I think the health of our civilization... and our concern for the future,
can all be tested by how well we support our libraries."
- Carl Sagan

Dear Friends,
It has been one month since I began my service as the new Executive Director of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation (“WPBLF”). I am grateful for this opportunity as the WPBLF begins a new chapter. We were created to raise funds to support our amazing Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and the multitude of vital programs and services it provides to all people. The Mandel Public Library was built for our community and it is an important and innovative community builder. With your help, we aspire to ensure this gem in our community continues to be a first-class institution today and for future generations.

Many of us have strong memories of our public library from childhood. As a second generation native of West Palm Beach, I vividly remember going with my mother to the West Palm Beach Public Library in the old building.  My three daughters got their first library cards there too. As our world has changed, successful libraries have also transformed. The public library has become an even more important center of information and inspiration, to bring diverse people together and improve the lives of children, adults and families.

We have an extraordinary public library. I look forward to achieving our goals, working with an incredible Board Chair, Natalie Alvarez, a dedicated Board of Directors (see below about our two new board members!), my wonderful colleague Nickie Hennevelt, and generous supporters and volunteers. I invite you to partner with us. Please contact me for a tour of the Mandel Public Library, share your ideas and get involved with our important work. Our monthly newsletter has important dates and information on how to get involved.

Thank you for your generous support and for the warm welcome I received. I wish you a great summer and look forward to working with you to support our public library and strengthen our community. See you soon!

Warmest Regards,

Tami R. Lesser

New Board Members of the
West Palm Beach Library Foundation

“I am proud to serve on the Board of the West Palm Beach Library Foundation to support the Mandel Public Library as a center for education and inspiration for all people.  I am passionate about ending poverty and am inspired by our public library’s free innovative programs that build community and enrich the lives of children and families.”

Honorable Ann W. Brown, a Philadelphia native and graduate of George Washington University, the Honorable Ann Brown has had a storied career as a consumer advocate, national magazine writer, and tireless philanthropist.  She may be known best for her two terms as the Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (1994-2001), revitalizing the agency and demonstrating an outstanding commitment to the safety of America’s families.  For more than two decades, Brown was a consumer advocate, serving as Vice President of the Consumer Federation of America and Chairman of the Board of the consumer advocacy group, Public Voice.  Brown has received the Excellence of Public Service Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Champion of Safe Kids Award from the National Safe Kids Campaign.  She also received the Consumer Federation of America‘s Philip Hart Public Service Award, the Government Communicator of the Year Award and was named “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian Magazine.  In 2000, Brown received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Smith College.

"The institution itself inspired me to serve. Being a native of Palm Beach County, specifically the West Palm Beach area, I’ve always appreciated investment in the community aimed at contributing to the growth and overall betterment of local society. The library is truly one of the undiscovered gems of the area yet it could easily be the centerpiece of downtown. By joining the board, I wanted to make an impact by bringing more awareness to this extraordinary place that is so much more than just a library."

James McBrayer is Vice President, Client Advisor at J.P. Morgan Private Bank and a Certified Financial Planner.  His interest in education, literacy and serving underprivileged children and teens led him to his role at the WPBLF.  Prior to his career in financial planning, McBrayer served five years as an Intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Army.  He received his B.S. in Economics from Florida Atlantic University and his M.S. in Finance from the University of Miami. 

You can make a difference.

With your help, for over a decade, the West Palm Beach Library Foundation has raised critical funds necessary for the Mandel Public Library to create and expand free community programs, enhance services and grow its collections. 

You can help make a significant difference in the lives of
thousands of people in our community by
donating to the West Palm Beach Library Foundation. Your gift will provide books for the collection and will support innovative free programs to be offered at the
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach.

Click the photo above to see how the Library is making a difference in the Marquez Family. 

4th Annual Food For Thought
Save the Date
Saturday April 4, 2020
Sponsorship Opportunities Available Soon

For details and information visit our website or call 561-868-7793.
Click here to view photos form the 2019 Food For Thought
Your investment makes a significant difference for thousands of people each day.

411 Clematis Street, 3rd Floor, West Palm Beach FL 33401 •  561-868-7793  •

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West Palm Beach Library Foundation · 411 Clematis Street · 3rd Floor · West Palm Beach, FL 33401 · USA

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