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Meet the MLA Staff

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director

Since June 2019, Debbie has served as MLA’s Executive Director. She places a high priority on any organization or project that creates a sense of place, showcases a community’s authentic heritage, and contributes to the economic prosperity of a region. Libraries are no exception. For over 35 years, she has been a passionate advocate of arts and culture in the state and on a national basis – leading the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, ArtServe Michigan, Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies, and the League of Historic American Theatres. Debbie has a bachelor's degree in Theatre from Michigan State University and earned her Graduate Certificate in Arts Management from The American University in Washington DC. She currently serves as a board member on the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, is the President of the Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan, and also serves on the faculty at Michigan State University teaching Arts and Cultural Management.

Romy Fitschen
Associate Executive Director

Romy Fitschen joined MLA in 2016 as the Director of Finance and Administration but was promoted to Associate Executive Director in 2019. She is experienced in nonprofit finance, state and federal grant management and administration and has worked in nonprofit management for over 30 years. She has a long history of advising, training and serving on non-profit boards, including facilitating governance policy and internal control implementation. She currently serves on the board of a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop and on the Tri-County BSA District Commission team, where she earned the top volunteer award in 2014. She is a member of the nominating committee for Circle Pines Center, a peace and social justice cooperative in Delton, MI which is where her passions live. A graduate of Beloit College with a B.A. in theater management; she is currently pursuing her MPA at Kent State University.

Rachel Ash
Director of Membership, Communications and Marketing

Rachel joined MLA in 2015. As Director of Membership, Communications and Marketing, her focus on member satisfaction, event and program promotion as well as editing and composing effective advocacy communications have contributed to increases in membership and volunteer engagement, increased event attendance and successful advocacy campaigns. She received a general associate’s degree and an associate’s degree in computer programming from Lansing Community College and has a background in fine art. Prior to her employment with MLA, she worked for many years at small family-owned business. Libraries and library professionals have made a deep and lasting impact on her life from a young age. Access to books, summer reading programs and an amazing school librarian fostered her love of learning, curiosity about the world and a lifelong love of literature.

Amber Sheerin, CMP
Program and Event Director

Amber Sheerin joined the team in 2019 and is tasked to provide the best conferences, workshops and professional development opportunities for MLA members throughout the state. Amber holds an A.A. degree from Grand Rapids Community College, a B.S. in Business Administration and Human Resources from Ferris State University, and a Certificate in Event and Convention Management from New York University. She is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA), and previously served as the Lansing Women in Leadership Events Committee Chairperson for the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. Prior to her employment with MLA Amber spent eight years working for Marriott Hotels as a Sales Manager and Catering Coordinator. She lives in Lansing, loves to travel, and has never met a cup of espresso she didn't thoroughly enjoy.

Lisa Buttigieg
Administrative Assistant

Lisa provides the highest level of customer service to members and key constituencies. Most of Lisa’s experience has been working in roles that support others. She is a native of Detroit and moved to Lansing where she earned her associate degree in Commercial Art/Graphic Design from Lansing Community College. Prior to her employment with MLA, Lisa worked eight years for Michigan Hospice and Palliative Care Organization as the Communication’s Coordinator and office administrator, while sharing her creative skills to promote the organizations educational offerings.

 


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.