Felipe A. Ortiz – Chair
Felipe A. Ortiz received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico and a Master of Public Administration from UNLV. A retired federal probation officer, Mr. Ortiz was appointed by the Las Vegas City Council and his term expires in April 2021. He enjoys reading presidential biographies and crime fiction.
Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod – Vice Chair
Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod was appointed by the Clark County Commission. She brings to the Board a passion for education and a commitment to service to others. She loves to learn about different time periods by reading historical fiction, and Jane Austen is one of her favorite authors. Her term will run through March 1, 2021.
Elizabeth Foyt – Secretary
Elizabeth Foyt's family moved to Las Vegas in 1957. As a young girl in Las Vegas, some of her fondest memories are family trips to the local library. Her life's careers as a librarian, editor, writer, and consultant have been bolstered by the concept of free access to information and resources. Ms. Foyt is a voracious reader and great believer in the value of public libraries. She adores the books about horse racing written by the late Dick Francis. Appointed by the Clark County Commission, her term expires March 2021.
Kelly D. Benavidez – Treasurer
Kelly D. Benavidez is a liaison to Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly. Having previously served as chair on the Library Board, her other community involvement has included work for the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce, Hispanics in Politics, and the Latina Network to name a few. Ms. Benavidez is a fan of Chicano writers, and her favorite book is Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor. She was appointed by the Clark County Board of Commissions and her term expires in March 2021.
Marilyn Francis Drake
Marilyn Francis Drake has served 30 years as an academic school librarian in Las Vegas. She was born and raised in Iowa and has lived in Las Vegas for 32 years. Her favorite books growing up were Wuthering Heights and The Count of Monte Cristo, and she enjoys young adult series as well as humor by authors like Fanny Flagg. Pictures books are her weakness, as they combine her love of art (she began as an art teacher) and literature. Her term ends in 2021.
José L. Meléndrez
José L. Meléndrez was appointed to the Library District's Board of Trustees by the Las Vegas City Council in March 2015, and then reappointed by the Clark County Commission. He is the assistant vice president in the UNLV Office of Diversity Initiatives and he received a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan. His term will run through August 2023.
Sandra Ramaker currently serves on the Mesquite City Council and has lived in Mesquite for 10 years, having moved from Portland, Oregon with her husband, Doug. She was a phlebotomy supervisor for 31 years, and currently volunteers at Mesa View Regional Hospital, sits on the Advisory Committee for Kids for Sports Foundation, and previously served on the Board of the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce. Two recent books Ms. Ramaker has enjoyed reading are, “Nevada’s Great Recession,” by Elliott Parker with Kate Marshall and “The Book of Bundy: The Chronicles of a Welfare Cowboy,” by Let’s Talk Nevada.com. And, she loves to read anything by James Patterson. She was appointed by the Clark County Commission and her term expires March 2023.
Robin Wadley-Munier was appointed by the City of Las Vegas to fill the unexpired term of M. Frances Barron. The liaison to Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, Ms. Wadley-Munier is a lifelong library user and is passionate about books and reading. She enjoys biographies of American history-makers, and her favorite author is John Grisham. Her term will run through April 2021.
Brian Wilson is an entrepreneur and a successful business owner for more than 25 years in the Las Vegas area. Mr. Wilson volunteers at his local church, and has served as a policy advisor in the 2015 Legislative Session. He believes that learning and education are a lifelong endeavor, and that public libraries play a critical role in the community by providing free access to an array of resources and information. With an occasional graphic novel thrown in to unwind, he enjoys reading nonfiction on a wide variety of subjects. Appointed by the Las Vegas City Council, his term expires in May 2023.
Dr. Ronald R. Heezen – Executive Director
Dr. Ronald R. Heezen comes to the Library District from Shreve Memorial Library where he was Executive Director since 2009. Among his leadership positions were Director of the Frisco Public Library in Frisco, Texas, and the Executive Director of the Omaha Public Library. Dr. Heezen has been recognized with numerous honors and awards and has been published in many professional journals. Dr. Heezen enjoys reading history, mystery, and science fiction and includes among his many favorite authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Sue Grafton, Robert Heinlein, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Kuhn, and Malcolm Gladwell.