Meet Our Team

The people who make it all happen

Amanda Collins, M.L.I.S.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BOARD PRESIDENT

Amanda Collins joined Access Books in 2015, and founded the Bay Area chapter in 2016. As a school librarian herself, Amanda is excited to be bringing the valuable work of Access Books to schools in need in the greater San Francisco Bay area. Amanda holds a B.A. in History from UC Santa Barbara, and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from UCLA, in addition to being a fully credentialed Teacher Librarian. The school library played an important role in Amanda’s early life as a child living below the poverty line, giving her access through literacy to worlds of information and fantasy she never would have been able to visit otherwise, and she can think of nothing better than helping to bring strong school libraries to students and schools in need.

Alison Guan

BOARD MEMBER, SECRETARY

Alison Guan was born and raised in Northern California and attended UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley, earning a Master’s from UCB’s School of Information. She had a career as a User Experience Designer which she’s now moved on from, but she retains a strong interest in design. Alison is also passionate about education and is an active volunteer with an organization that advocates for kids with special education needs. She also volunteers in a 3rd grade classroom in East Menlo Park, working with kids who are struggling with reading. Alison lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband and two sons, and is very pleased that her boys are avid readers. She loved reading all manner of things to her boys when they were younger, including Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings.

Linda Forrester

BOARD MEMBER

Linda Forrester has been volunteering with Access Books Bay Area since March 2017 and joined the Board in May 2017. She is passionate about reading and educational equality leading her to Access Books Bay Area .  Linda has been an active volunteer at her children’s schools for the last 15+ years while raising her two children to be avid readers, philanthropists, and caring global citizens.

Previously she worked in the field of rehabilitation counseling, working directly with clients who have developmental disabilities for many years and later working in rehabilitation counseling research.  Linda has a BS in Psychology from Michigan State University and a MA in Rehabilitation Counseling from The George Washington University.  Linda enjoys cooking, yoga, barre classes, skiing, cycling and of course reading in her free time.

David Wohlwend

BOARD MEMBER

David Wohlwend is a father to two amazing children and the Vice President of Finance for ModSquad, Inc.  David heads up our corporate fundraising endeavors along with grant application and administration efforts, and our Finance Committee. David was born and raised in Wisconsin but has lived in California since 1988.  David has a BBA in Accounting, summa cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.   David read Military History books along with The Hardy Boys series and Steven King Novels while growing up in Wisconsin.  He has fond memories of reading the Harry Potter series with his children as they grew up.  David is an avid downhill skier, cyclist, golfer, and chef in addition to being a voracious reader of many literary genres (he also enjoys reading our financial statements).

Dena Seki

BOARD MEMBER, TREASURER

Dena Seki has been an active volunteer in Palo Alto public schools since 2010. This has included serving four years on the Addison Elementary School PTA executive board in various roles, including co-president.

Prior to moving to Palo Alto, she worked for over ten years in various finance and banking roles. She was a VP/Account Officer for Wells Fargo Foothill and worked in various positions for GE Capital, the most recent being as a Deal Manager. While working for GE Capital, she served as the Elfun Chapter Treasurer and acting Secretary. Elfun is a global organization of GE volunteers.

Dena has a BA in International Politics from Penn State University and a joint MBA/MA from the University of Connecticut. She lives in Palo Alto with her husband and son.

Sammie Suresh

BOARD MEMBER

Sammie Suresh is a San Francisco Bay Area native from Cupertino, CA. She recently returned to the Bay Area after eleven years in Illinois, with a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and an M.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University. Sammie is a voracious reader with a strong interest in writing and design. She has a career as a Sr. Digital Marketing professional with a leading insurance brokerage, specializing in SEO and website content strategy.

Sammie is passionate about educational equality. She previously interned at the American India Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on accelerating social change in India through education, technology, and access to healthcare. Sammie is inspired by Access Books’ mission to bridge the literacy gap for low-income students in the Bay Area, and is excited to contribute to a local cause as an active and dedicated board member.

Sammie enjoys going to the beach with her husband and one year old daughter, hiking, practicing yoga, cooking, traveling, and reading crime fiction novels in her spare time..

en_USEnglish
en_USEnglish