Who We Are.

The Sacramento Literacy Foundation, formerly the Sacramento Public Library Foundation has raised more than $11 million for the Sacramento Public Library and recently has changed its name and broadened its focus on Literacy. The Literacy Foundation remains a community literacy convener and will direct all future fundraising toward accelerating language literacy rates in the Sacramento Region. Through donor support we have been able to make strategic investments in children’s literacy with positive results.

Revenue is generated by the Foundation through an annual giving program supported by more than 5,000 donors; major gifts from individuals including donor-named and donor-advised funds; foundation grants and corporate sponsorships; direct mail; and many planned giving opportunities including outright gifts of securities and gifts of life insurance, bequests, Revocable Living Trusts, Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Remainder Trusts as well as gifts of property.

The Foundation is an independent charitable organization.

Meet The Board President

Headshot Photograph of Team Member
James Deeringer has spent a lot of time during his adult life reading to children. Of that experience he says, “I’ve seen the magic that occurs when a child’s imagination is fired by the written word, especially when read aloud. Reading connects kids to the wider world and lets them know that there are many different ways to be in this world.” Jim comes to the Foundation board with extensive experience in non-profit governance, having previously served on the boards of the Sacramento Symphony, KVIE Public Television, and the Crocker Art Museum.

As an estate planning attorney, Jim also brings expertise in planned giving and has a special interest in endowment growth. He says, “I’m excited about the Foundation’s children’s literacy mission and look forward to helping the organization expand its service to this community and particularly to children of less advantaged families.”

Meet The Board Officers

Robert Honaker

Robert Honaker

Vice President

Regional Vice President, Anthem Blue Cross of California

Robert Honaker has worked for Anthem Blue Cross for over thirty years, with a focus on improving the well-being of the members he serves through creating programs designed to improve healthcare delivery, increase long-term stability, and support transformational ideas around individual’s engagement in their own health and the systems that provide their care. The importance of literacy started for Robert at an early age, with his parents both being educators. Their commitment to education, irrespective a child’s situation, extended beyond their jobs and was foundational for him. He believes that reading and providing support to those in need are fundamental to our society. Every child has the right to pursue happiness, which can only be available if they can read. This can only happen through the support of the underserved, and Sacramento Literacy Foundation’s dedication to raising funds in support of public efforts matched these values.

Sean Burke

Sean Burke

Treasurer

VP, Wealth Management Specialist, JP Morgan

Sean has been a resident of Sacramento since 2006 after graduating from Chico State University with degrees in Finance and Economics. He serves as Vice President and Wealth Management Specialist for JP Morgan. A founding member of the Council for Giving in Sacramento, an organization of 100 men that mobilize their talents and resources to enhance and improve local nonprofits, Sean’s first introduction to the Sacramento Literacy Foundation came in 2017. He has since served as a member of the Sacramento Literacy Foundation’s Finance Committee.

Denise Timmons

Denise Timmons

Secretary

Community Volunteer

Denise moved to Sacramento more than 50 years ago with her family. She spent most of her 25-year career with Wells Fargo here in Sacramento, except for a 5-year period when she managed three different branches on the Monterey Peninsula. She would eventually move back to Sacramento when she married her husband Donald Timmons. After leaving her Wells Fargo career, Denise felt a strong desire to be more involved in the Sacramento community and sought out volunteer opportunities aligned with her philanthropic interest to help children, whether that involved the arts, homelessness, education, health care, foster programs and hunger. Together Denise and her husband started Restoration House in 2003, a transitional living facility for male parolees. Denise has served on the Crocker Art Museum Board, Crocker Foundation Board, as well as the Verge Center for the Arts Board. When asked to join Sacramento Literacy Foundation’s Board, she felt it would be a good fit for her personally and that the Foundation’s strategic focus on children’s literacy aligned with her long-term charitable contribution plan.

Meet The Board At Large Members

Clark Carter

Clark Carter teaches at Estrellita High School, which is a continuing education high school in Galt. There he teaches US History and American government, where his main objective is to “help students realize their academic goals whether it be returning to their original high school or getting a diploma from Estrellita.” Carter has had a long standing relationship to the Foundation, having attended his first of eight consecutive Authors on the Move galas in 2006 where he enjoyed the musing of an up and coming author, now New York Times best selling author, Dave Eggers. Six years later Carter was invited to join the board. Clark is a tennis coach at Galt High School and a golf coach at Liberty Ranch High School. Carter also likes to read and travel, and in the last several years he has combined his travel with international humanity efforts.
Randy Getz

Randy Getz

Randy Getz is an investment broker with CBRE, Inc. He is married to the artist Pat Mahony and together they are the parents of Camille, a film editor in Los Angeles. Randy is also on the boards of LAI-Sacramento, an international invitation-only land economics society, as well as the American River Natural History Association. Randy believes that “one’s ability to read deeply and well and to think critically have never been more important. The Sacramento Literacy Foundation is an important source of support for the development of important learning skills that will lead to a better informed, more knowledgeable and perceptive community now and into the future.”

Nancy Lawrence

Nancy Lawrence

Nancy Lawrence, a former high school English teacher and staff development trainer, keeps herself busy as a community volunteer and managing partner for Lawrence Properties. Nancy is most interested in finding sustainable approaches to integrating reading curriculum with proven results and arts programming into all elementary schools. Her dual interests in education and the arts are the combination she believes will support a healthy, vibrant community. Nancy is known for her willingness to volunteer and support the organizations she believes will bring literacy and creativity to children. Nancy has served on several community boards including Friends of Sacramento Arts, The Kingsley Arts Club, Sol Aureus College Preparatory, and the Crocker Art Museum. She brings a great wealth of knowledge and curiosity which is sure to help us learn.
Abby Lunardini

Abby Lunardini

Abby Lunardini is a Sacramento native and life-long reader. She believes that early access in reading and the arts can change the trajectory of a child’s life – and transform our communities along the way. Abby brings an accomplished background in marketing — she is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Truity. Prior to Truity, she served as the Chief Communications and Brand Officer for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Vice President for Brand Marketing and Communications at Virgin America. Abby is also a volunteer for TurnAround Arts: California, the nonprofit organization co-founded by renowned architect Frank Gehry and arts education advocate Malissa Shriver.

Mary Ellen Shay

Mary Ellen Shay

Mary Ellen Shay’s professional background is in affordable housing and community development initiatives. Previous titles include State of California Housing and Community Development Department Program Manager and City of Redding Planning and Community Development Department Director. She is a licensed real estate agent and has been affiliated with the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program, California Housing Consortium, Northern California Association for Non-Profit Housing, Southern California Association for Non-Profit Housing, and Sacramento Habitat for Humanity (Past President 1989-1991). She is a co-Author of California Affordable Housing Handbook (1998). Her degrees are from San Francisco State College and University of Southern California. Mary Ellen is the Owner and President of M.E. Shay & Co.
Neill SooHoo

Neill SooHoo

Neill SooHoo is a hair stylist and owner of SooHoo Style. Neill has a passion for education, and has served as a board member for Attendance Institute. Neill is excited to get involved with the Foundation and get more kids reading.

Education Advisory Committee

The Education Advisory Committee is a formal group of educators and experts that inform the Foundation as we fund and support literacy programs.

  • Julius Austin, SHRA Promise Zone
  • Dr. JaNay Brown-Wood, CSUS
  • Todd Collins, California Reading Coalition
  • Araceli Sandoval-Gonzalez, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • Elise Spang, Zaner-Bloser
  • Becky Sullivan, Sacramento County Office of Education
  • Tami Wilson, Sacramento County Office of Education

Foundation Staff