The Fairhope Public Library Foundation’s mission is to develop, administer, and allocate funds to provide the extra margin of support needed to enhance the programs, services and facilities of The Fairhope Public Library, and to provide communications media and other resources for advocacy of innovative ideas that will help the library to further excel.
Foundation Board of Directors
Jim Smith, president
Jim Smith read everything he could find in the “airplanes and rockets” sections of every library he could get to as a boy. He eventually became a business lawyer with the Armbrecht Jackson firm in Mobile, where he practiced for over 35 years until he retired. He didn’t grow up to be a rocket scientist, but he never lost his love of reading and gratitude for the libraries that launched him into a fascinating world. He’s known since he came to Fairhope many years ago that the FPL is a special place. Jim and his wife Valery (who spent her childhood summers in the old Summit Street library) share a deeply-held belief that our library is essential to our community.
Charles E. (Chuck) Wilson, vice president
Chuck was born in Sylacauga, Talladega County, Alabama, where his Dad worked in the marble quarry. As an elementary and high school student he developed his love for the library from spending many hours in the B.B. Memorial Library, where he has served several years as a member of the Library Foundation board of directors. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force; retired from a forty year career as a community banker; and is founder and owner of a consulting company. He has a BBA degree from Mercer University, an MS degree from University of Louisville and a Professional Masters in Banking from LSU. He and his wife Carol moved to Fairhope four years ago from Newnan, Georgia, where they were active in creating a Foundation that brought back to life a closed Carnegie Library, which today is a valuable resource to that county seat town. He is an avid pickleball player, serves as Chaplain of American Legion Post 199, and is Dad of Dixie Girl (their 3 year old Shih Tzu dog).
Gloria Fisher, secretary
Dr. Gloria Fisher is a psychologist and has worked as a college professor and consultant. She and her husband Reed Givens moved to Fairhope in 2011 and she began volunteering at the Library soon afterward. She has been a member of the Friends of the Library board and works in the Friends bookstore each week. Her love of reading began early when she discovered the Nancy Drew series in a very small Kansas library.
Terry Delker, treasurer
Terry Delker is a native Kentuckian. She and her family moved to Fairhope in 2000 to begin the new millenium with warmer winters and water everywhere. A former yoga instructor, Terry found many wonderful volunteer opportunities in Fairhope, including serving on the boards of the Friends of the Library and the Eastern Shore Art Center.
Robin Fitzhugh, immediate past president
Robin Fitzhugh is a Mobile native who has called Baldwin County home for 17 years. A Spring Hill College graduate with a degree in English and free-lance writer, she has had a life time passion for words, books, and libraries. She is the mother of 4 delightful adult children and spent her working life in non-profit endeavors including religious education, counseling and, most recently, a decade as Director of the Eastern Shore Art Center. Retirement has made time for travel with her husband John and catching up on reading her favorite Southern authors.
Rick Bragg, director emeritus
Rick Bragg is the author of critically acclaimed and best-selling books All Over but the Shoutin’, Ava’s Man, The Prince of Frogtown, The Most They Ever Had, and Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. A native Alabamian, Bragg said he learned to tell stories by listening to the masters, the people of the foothills of the Appalachians. He also credits public libraries for imbuing him with a love for reading and writing in his youth, when he otherwise would have had scant access to books and the places they took him. Bragg contributes to several publications including Southern Living, where he writes the popular Southern Journal column on the back page. As a national correspondent at the New York Times, he won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.
Reed Coleman moved to Fairhope in 2017, and the Fairhope Public Library was one of her first stops. She is a shareholder with the law firm Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, but her proudest accomplishment is easily teaching her young son to use the Library's automated check-out. He's definitely a future Board member. Reed is a voracious fiction reader with an unhealthy devotion to her Goodread profile. She and her husband Ned also enjoy Fairhope's burgeoning food scene and escaping to New Orleans.
Drew Downey grew up in Mobile, Alabama. He moved to the Eastern Shore after graduating from Auburn University where he received his degree in Communications. He currently works with Center State Bank in Fairhope and is the current board president of Ecumenical Ministries. He enjoys playing trombone with the Baldwin Pops, singing in the choir at St. James Episcopal Church in Fairhope, and reading all genres of books available at Fairhope's beautiful library.
Tamara Dean is director of the Fairhope Public Library. She moved to Fairhope in 1985. She spent fifteen years in education and has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. In 2001 she began her career with Fairhope Public Library as the Youth Services Director. She earned a Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science, following her appointment to Director, in 2009. Tamara served six years on the Alabama Virtual Library Executive Council, and five years on the Library Services & Technology Act Grant Advisory Council. Under her leadership the library was awarded, for the first time, the Gold Standard Award, presented by the Public Library Division, signifying the library’s good customer service and community relations.
L’shele Hamilton grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but has lived in Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon before moving to Fairhope 14 years ago. She has a BS from LSU and an MBA from Suffolk University. Her work experience includes business development, marketing, and sales for both for profit and non profit businesses. L’shele enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family, shopping, being outdoors, and finding a great story.
Harvey E. Jones, Jr. (Skip)
Skip is native of Mobile. He graduated from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA, and spent the following several years in Washington, DC. Since 1995, he has been a homebuilder on the Eastern Shore. Most of his projects have been in Fairhope and have included several extensive historic remodels.
He is a past president of the Point Clear Rotary Club, member of the Fairhope Tree Committee, Fairhope Harbor Board, past president of the Eastern Shore Literacy Council, President of The Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts, and member of the Baldwin County Historic District Architectural Review Board.
His spare time over the past several years has been devoted to the restoration of a 1936 Biloxi-built shrimp boat and the building of two smaller boats.
Skip is married and has three children and nine grandchildren. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Fairhope.
Julia Lanaux is a native of Fairhope. She was a library volunteer while in middle school and
began working in the circulation department while she attended Fairhope High School. She
worked at the library for two years before attending Loyola University New Orleans where she
received a B.A. in English. She then received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health
Counseling from the University of South Alabama in 2017. Today, she is working towards
counseling licensure at an intensive day treatment program for children and adolescents. Julia
joined the library board in 2018, and is also a member of the Alabama Counseling Association
and the American Counseling Association.
Martin Lanaux, a native of Louisiana, has been a resident of Fairhope since 1977. He has loved
books his entire life and is a certified bibliophile. He is president of the Fairhope Public Library
Board of Trustees and a former President of the Fairhope Public Library Foundation. His wife
Gina was co-owner of Creative Outlet Dance Center in Fairhope for 40 years. She is now a
regular supporter of the Library and Foundation as a volunteer.
Martha Monckton was born & raised in Ohio and made the move to sunny, warm Fairhope as soon as she could after graduating from Bowling Green State University, OH. Relocating frequently throughout her life, the library was always a welcoming place. So much so, that she has worked in several libraries gaining insight into their workings and needs. She is a reader of various genre of books, reading multiple books concurrently as to obtain as much information & enjoyment as possible.
Debbie Quinn and her husband are a rare breed, natives of Fairhope and graduates of Fairhope High School. She’s a retired Registered Nurse and 16 year council member in Fairhope and now the Chairman of the Alabama Trails Commission. Living in Fairhope but working and driving the state, she’s learned to love audiobooks and has so many favorite authors...who could pick just one! She’s discovering more about the U.S. west coast, too, where both their sons and families live.
Mac Walcott is a founding principal of Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects, earning his Bachelor and Masters of Architecture from Tulane University. He is a member of various state and local boards including the Alabama Board for Registration of Architects; Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts; Fairhope Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee; Fairhope Center for the Arts Council; and the Baldwin County Architectural Review Committee. Part farmer, part beekeeper, part writer, part free spirit, he and wife Gina have three children and a host of farm animals at their Fish River home.
Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, Randal married an army helicopter pilot and flight instructor 51 years ago and made a home wherever the Department of Defense sent them. In 2012 they both decided it was time to retire, Gil after 37 years in the Army and Randal after 32 years as a teacher. For the first time, they had the opportunity to choose where they wanted to live. They are quite proud of their decision... Fairhope has been an incredible find and they love living here. No more snow-covered driveways to shovel, wonderful new friends, and an incredible, award-winning library are just a few of the pleasure they have found in Fairhope. Randal currently serves as president of the Friends of the Fairhope Public Library and in that capacity serves as an ex-officio member of the Foundation Board. She manages the used bookstore in the library and helps with book donations.