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Meet our board members

Linked2Literacy has an incredible board of directors who bring their unique expertise and resources into everything we do. This is what enables us to achieve our mission.



Tiffani Childress

I've always been an avid reader from a young age and that has been one constant that has transcended into adulthood. Books have provided a break from reality, a safe adventure, a place of introspection and the ability to dream free of judgement. I am incredibly passionate about people! Becoming a mother ignited me to want to make a difference in our community and advocate for those who couldn't or didn't know how to utilize their voice. I'm thrilled to be on this amazing journey with Linked2Literacy because everyone deserves the gift of choice in literature; especially our youth. To be able to provide books that people can identify with, offer representation where it's been traditionally lacking, promote growth and awareness is truly amazing. The mission, vision, and overall purpose of this organization is going to be impactful on so many levels



Erika Kirkland

I am a Lincolnite, a wife, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a coach, and a believer in the power of books as a tool to ignite imagination and affirm identity. When I think back to my childhood, so much of my time was spent at the library or curled up in a chair, reading a good book. I'm thankful that books enabled me to imagine places and spaces that were different from my own. I'm incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be on the L2L Board, because I believe that while we are providing students with wonderful books, we are actually giving them the gift of excitement about reading — a gift that is truly priceless


Board Member

Ashley Larson

I hold a degree in Social Work and was fortunate to dedicate nearly 10 years of my life to youth development and community engagement with local non-profits. I am passionately committed to using enriching books to establish safe spaces for meaningful conversations and exploration. Throughout my experience, I've witnessed how books bring healing, knowledge, and inspiration to youths from diverse backgrounds. As a proud mother of three wonderfully unique children and a partner to someone who shares my passion for community building and education, I am incredibly excited to contribute to the work of Linked2Literacy. Being part of this initiative means building bridges to further the mission of ensuring all kids have access to books!


Board Member

Megan Ruwe

Hello, I’m Megan! I moved to Lincoln with my family in 2013, and I am excited to work with Linked2Literacy to ensure that every child and family in our community enjoys the same access to books that I have always known. My parents read to me when I was young, and I loved picking books out myself as I grew older. Now that I am a wife and a mother, our family’s home is also filled with books. We read to our children from the moment they were born, and each member of our family continues to read on a daily basis, whether for work, school, or by choice. Reading allows us to independently learn about the world and the people who live in it. Moreimportantly, reading brings families, friends, and even strangers together as they discuss books to learn about their communities and each other. I can’t wait to see this love for books develop as Linked2Literacy expands its reach.

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Vice President

Amy Budler

I am married to Steve and together we have three children who are passionate about books. Books are a part of our everyday routine and have provided us with joy, laughter, deep conversations and have let our imaginations soar.

I was an Elementary ELL teacher for 11 years. I value equal access and book ownership for our youth. All children deserve the opportunity to see themselves in the pages of a book. I am thrilled to be on the board of Linked2Literacy because L2L cultivates curiosity, encourages the importance of choice and provides kids with a chance to fall in love with books. All kids deserve access to quality literature and educational materials. Together, we can empower the youth in our community with the gift of literacy!



Doug Ganz

I am a Lincoln native who moved to Scottsdale, AZ, in 1978 and earned my BS in Economics from Arizona State University in 1982. Returning to Lincoln in 1989, I joined the National Bank of Commerce's Private Banking Group. In 1998, I transitioned to Pinnacle Bank and have spent 25 years involved in consumer lending and mortgage banking. I've been happily married to my wife, Pam Sands, a pediatric oncology counselor and author, for 40 years. Outside of my professional life, I've actively served on several boards, including the Food Bank of Lincoln, the Lincoln Symphony, Family Service, Lighthouse, and the Community Health Endowment. Currently, I am honored to serve on the boards of the Cedar Foundation and the Pace Woods Foundation.

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Board Member

Jo Sheets

I have a passion for ensuring that people feel loved and included. With 25 years of experience in corporate management and 15 years in non-profit/church leadership, I deeply understand the significance of empowerment. When individuals feel empowered to utilize and celebrate their strengths, it truly makes the world a better place. As a new grandma, I am empowering my granddaughter through literacy by reading her meaningful and inclusive books. This has quickly become my new favorite hobby! Additionally, my husband and I cherish our shared interests in food exploration, taking leisurely walks, embarking on road trips, and spending quality time with our family and friends.

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Board Member

Derrick (DP) Pearson

I'm a sportscaster, radio and television host, writer, sports executive, and high school coach. My career has taken me nationwide, including stops in Washington, DC, Charlotte, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and now Lincoln, which I proudly call home. Alongside my media and coaching endeavors, I've also played a role in establishing Fat Guy Charities in Charlotte, an NFL Charity, and spearheading LovePrints, a national mentor program advocating Loving and Learning through Sports. You can catch me joining Jay Foreman every weekday from 4 pm to 6 pm.

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