Board of Directors

Mary K. Athridge

Mary K. Athridge

Director, Corporate Communications, Legg Mason

Mary Athridge is Managing Director, Corporate Communications for Legg Mason, Inc. In that role, she works with the senior leadership at Legg Mason and at its principal investment subsidiaries to develop and implement communications strategies to enhance brand value and drive business initiatives. She also has oversight responsibility for financial and transaction communications, crisis communications and investor communications support. Ms. Athridge joined Legg Mason from Citigroup Asset Management in the transaction to acquire that business from Citigroup in December, 2005. Previously, she was with Salomon Smith Barney and Salomon Brothers, and began her career in Washington in political positions in the White House and U.S. Small Business Administration. She has a B.A. from Georgetown University and a M.B.A. from George Washington University. She is also on the Board of the Angelica Patients Assistance Program. Ms. Athridge lives in New York City.

Amanda G. Baldwin

Amanda G. Baldwin

Senior Vice President, Catterton Partners

Ms. Baldwin is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at StriVectin, an independent prestige skincare company, and a member of the operating team at Catterton Partners, a consumer/retail private equity firm. Previously, Ms. Baldwin held several senior marketing positions at LVMH, Inc. and The Estee Lauder Companies, and began her career in finance as a member of the Consumer/Retail Group at Apax Partners and the Communications, Media and Entertainment team at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Ms. Baldwin has been involved in her New York City community from a very young age, starting as a volunteer at a food pantry in elementary school, as a founding employee of the 9/11 United Services Group, and most recently as a member of Juniors Undertaking Manhattan Pleasures, a program organized by the Grand Street Settlement House. She earned an A.B. magna cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard College, received her M.B.A. with honors from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, and currently lives in Manhattan with her husband.

Shawna Doster

Shawna Doster

*Board Chair

Shawna Hamilton Doster is the current Chair of the Board of Books for Kids. This is her second term as Chair and prior to this, Ms. Doster worked for two years as the Executive Director. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in Marketing and Finance and her J.D. from the University of Houston. Ms. Doster has been involved with Books for Kids for over 12 years and also volunteers with her children’s schools. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with her two children.

Kay Du Fernandez

Kay Du Fernandez

Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Konica Minolta

*Board Secretary

Kay Du Fernandez is the Vice President, Strategic Business Development for Konica Minolta, a leader in advanced document management technologies and IT services. Prior to joining Konica Minolta, Ms. Fernandez spent over twelve years at Toshiba America Business Solutions, holding positions in all aspects of product management, including Vice President of Marketing. Kay has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, San Diego and a masters of business administration from Pepperdine University. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Orange County Ballet Theater (OCBT) and is a supporter of Oceana. She has also led the marketing efforts at St. Mary's School, a 501(c)(3) International Baccalaureate Day School in Aliso Viejo, California. Ms. Fernandez is passionate about reading and cultivating our future generation of business and technology leaders. She resides in Franklin Lakes, NJ with her husband, Frank, and three daughters.

Adam Klein

Adam Klein

Principal, Crestview Partners, LLC.

*Board Treasurer

Adam Klein is a Principal at Crestview Partners, a value-oriented private equity firm. He works with the energy team and specializes in oil-field services and unconventional energy investments. Prior to Crestview, Adam worked as an analyst at Centennial Ventures where he evaluated, executed and monitored investments in early to mid-stage companies across multiple industries, as well as at Compass Partners and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Adam is currently a director of FBR & Co, Select Energy Services, Silver Creek Oil & Gas, Synergy Energy and Texoma Transportation and Crude Marketing. He is also a board observer at Samsom Resources. Adam received his A.B. cum laude from Harvard College and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Irene Math

Irene Math

Chief Financial Officer, 9/11 Memorial Museum

Irene Math is an experienced financial executive and has worked in a number of start-up/growing entrepreneurial companies in the digital media, technology and services areas. She is currently a consulting CFO for a number of smaller growth companies. Previously Ms. Math held senior management finance roles at Geller for Bloomberg such as Division CFO for the News, R&D and Operations areas and Head of Finance, which included supervision of the global treasury and corporate planning and analysis groups. She has been a CFO of two venture backed technology companies, both of which had successful exits and one of which she took public. Ms. Math shifted into the internet media space when she joined News Corp. Internet at the dawn of the internet age in 1995. Prior to that she worked in banking and corporate finance for Chemical Bank and was a Manager at Arthur Andersen. Ms. Math graduated from Lehigh University with honors and is a CPA.

Paul Mutter

Paul Mutter

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.

*Board Vice Chair

Mr. Mutter is a managing director at Goldman Sachs in Credit Sales within the Securities Division, and is responsible for maintaining relationships with some of the firm's largest institutional fixed income clients. Mr. Mutter has also worked in Hedge Fund Specialty Sales and Credit Sales. He has a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Books for Kids and resides with his wife and two children in Tribeca, New York.

Graham S. Stephens

Graham S. Stephens

Managing Director, DTZ

Graham Stephens is a Managing Director for DTZ, a full service commercial real estate brokerage firm. He is an integral part of DTZ’s Capital Markets business and leads the Tri-State team. He advises clients in investment sales, mortgage brokerage and structured debt and equity placement. Mr. Stephens has a BA from Hamilton College and resides in New York City with his wife Lauren. They are active members in the NY Public Library Young Lions Program and a Patron of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Apollo Circle.


Ron Sussman

Ron Sussman

President of Sales Division, Sussman Sales

Ron is the President of the Sales Division for Sussman Sales Company, a leader in K-12 digital and print sales distribution that has served New York City schools for over 40 years. In 2011 he helped launch Lightswitch Learning, a national K-12 sales organization that has recently published several best-sellers in the parent engagement arena.  Mr. Sussman graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and currently lives in New York City. Ron had a 60-23 career record for Binghamton University Tennis. Sussman Sales was recognized in 2011 as one of "'s Fastest Growing Companies."

Executive Advisory Board

Gavin R. Berger

Director of Business Development, Yorke Construction

Anne DesBarres

Owner, Keep Me Company

Heather Hay

Talent Acquisition, Ogilvy & Mather Advertising

Tamar E. Ogburn

Event Planner, Emblem Health

John M. Toriello, Esq.

Partner, Holland & Knight

Scott H. Tornek

Co-President and CEO, So Smart! Productions

Osei A. Van Horne

Professor, New York University

Rick Viton

Partner, Inter-Atlantic Group

President’s Early Childhood Education Board

Christopher Cerf

President, Sirius Thinking Ltd.

Patricia A. Edwards

Professor, Language and Literacy
Michigan State University

Eugene E. Garcia

Vice President, Education Partnerships
Mary Lou Fulton College of Education
Arizona State University

Susan B. Neuman

Professor, Educational Studies
School of Education
University of Michigan
Former Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education (2001-2003)
*Chair of the President's Early Childhood Education Board

Sheila Smith Ph.D.

Director, Early Childhood National Center for Children in Poverty
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University

Dr. Tamara G. Spencer

Assistant Professor, Early Childhood,
Elementary, and Literacy Education
Montclair State University

Childhood Literacy and Author Board

Steven Braunstein

Muriel Feldshuh

Russell Freedman

Judy Gitenstein

Leonard Marcus

Denise Lewis Patrick

Susan Beth Pfeffer

Lucille Cole Thomas

John Graham Tucker


Amanda Hirsh

Amanda Hirsh

Executive Director

Amanda Hirsh is the Executive Director of Books for Kids since November 2012. She comes to Books for Kids from the Montclair Kimberley Academy in Montclair, New Jersey, working on alumni events, annual giving, and new initiatives, and before that as a Sales Representative for children’s books at HarperCollins Publishers. Amanda graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Comparative Literature, and the Trinity School in New York, where she currently serves as a class representative, raising money for the Trinity Fund. Amanda lives in New York City with her husband.

Laura Conrad

Laura Conrad

Program Officer

Laura is the Program Officer at Books for Kids. Prior to joining Books for Kids, she interned with the Aga Khan Foundation in Tanzania where she worked on teacher professional development initiatives and before that, she taught kindergarten and fourth grade in Washington, DC. Laura completed a yearlong teaching residency program in Washington, DC at an early childhood school and she taught at the early childhood level for two years. During this time, she developed a background in early literacy instruction, curriculum development and the developmental needs of young children. She received her Master’s in International Educational Development from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor’s in International Studies from American University.

Christie Steele

Christie Steele

Office and Grants Manager

Christie Steele is the Office and Grants Manager at Books for Kids. Christie oversees general office operations, visits Books for Kids library sites, and coordinates grant-funded projects and Books for Kids programming. Christie graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA where she earned a B.A. in Theatre and Dance. Prior to Books for Kids, she worked in University Operations at James Madison University as a Student Manager and also held a summer internship as an Administrative Intern at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, a non-profit theatre festival in Glens Falls, NY. Christie lives in New York City and currently serves as the Treasurer of Empire A Cappella.