Board of Directors

Jean Ahrens

Jean Ahrens

Board of Directors

[TBA]

Beau Anders

Beau Anders

Board of Directors - Past President

Beau has been involved with SBF for the past 7 years and has served in various roles as Treasurer, Chair of the Author Selection Committee and President from 2018-2021. He is now in his second year as Past President and serves on the Executive Committee. He helped to focus SBF’s efforts before and during the pandemic. His professional background was in finance where he led efforts in three medical startups and finished his career at KPMG, a major accounting and consulting firm, as managing partner in Silicon Valley. Beau’s reading is extensive and covers a wide variety of authors, many of whom were first introduced at SBF. Over the past several years, over and above his normal reading, he has read upwards of 15 different SBF authors each year in preparation for the Festival.

Jeffrey Capshew

Jeffrey Capshew

Board of Directors

Jeff’s long career has been entirely in bookselling and publishing. After graduating from Miami University (Ohio), he was a manager for five B. Dalton Bookseller stores including their flagship in Manhattan. He has held senior management positions at Barnes & Noble, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan for 24 years, and is currently at Other Press. Jack Romanos invited Jeff to join the SBF Author Selection Committee in 2019. Jeff lives in Manhattan. His family lived in Savannah for many years at The Landings, and he spent lots of time finding gems at one of his favorite bookstores, E. Shaver Booksellers.

Ivy Council

Ivy Council

Board of Directors

[TBA]

Ariel Felton

Ariel Felton

Board of Directors

Ariel Felton is an established writer with work appearing in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Atlanta Magazine, The Bitter Southerner, and more. She also serves as Director of Youth Programs at Deep Center, a local nonprofit with a mission to empower Savannah’s young people to thrive as learners, community leaders, and agents of change through creative writing, cultural production, and art.

Ariel joined the board of Savannah Book Festival in 2021. Choosing one favorite author is an impossible task, but she consistently returns to classic memoir and essays by Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Joan Didion.

Rachel Young Fields

Rachel Young Fields

Board of Directors - President

Rachel Young Fields is the Chairperson and President of the SBF Board of Directors and has been a member of the Board since 2016. Fields is a partner at the HunterMaclean law firm where she focuses her practice on intellectual property law and complex commercial litigation.  Like many attorneys, she was inspired in her youth by Harper Lee’s masterful portrayal of Atticus Finch in the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird.  Fields volunteers her time to SBF because she believes in the power of books to help people challenge their beliefs, learn something new, and, as Atticus Finch said, walk around in someone else’s skin so that you can understand their point of view.

Matt Graham

Matt Graham

Board of Directors

Matt is the General Manager at Thompson Savannah, located in the new Eastern Wharf neighborhood. He lives in Ardsley Park with his wife Sarah and their sons Henry and Jack, Matt’s daughter is a school teacher in Rochester, NY. He is originally from the NYC area, and his career has brought him up and down the Eastern seaboard, as far north as Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and as far south as Miami, Florida. Matt grew up in a family of journalist and editors  has always had an appreciation for the written word. Matt studied literature at the University of Washington. Some of his favorite authors are T.C. Boyle, Pynchon, Gaddis, Wolfe, Garcia-Marquez, Greene, Hesse and Eco.

Judy Lautzenhiser

Judy Lautzenhiser

Board of Directors – Vice-President

Judy Lautzenhiser has been active in the Savannah Book Festival since 2011. She began as an usher for Festival Saturday. She then served as a Session Moderator, Venue Captain, Volunteer Committee, Special Events Chair, Volunteer Co-Chair, and Board of Directors for the last five years. She is currently Vice-President.

Judy’s favorite author is Geraldine Brooks. Her favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Kristin Prentiss Ott

Kristin Prentiss Ott

Board of Directors

[TBA]

Bruce Pendleton

Bruce Pendleton

Board of Directors

Raised in Anchorage, Kentucky, Bruce developed his life-long love of reading at the local library. He graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio with a B.A. in English Literature and spent most of his professional life running a precision valves and fittings distributorship. Now retired, Bruce and his wife Liz split their time between Mission Hills, Kansas and Richmond Hills, Georgia. Most of their four children and twelve grandchildren are voracious readers, and Bruce has encouraged all to spend as much time as possible lost to a good book.

Brooke Phillips

Brooke Phillips

Board of Directors

Brooke Phillips has always had an immense love for books. From the time she was a child to now, she can be found hiding away and escaping to the land of fiction. This is her second year on the SBF Board, and she looks forward to expanding the festival experience beyond the main festival weekend and into other events throughout the year. When she’s not reading, Brooke is the Executive Director of the Savannah Downtown Business Association.

Caroline Cay Powell

Caroline Cay Powell

Board of Directors

[TBA]

Jonathan Rabb

Jonathan Rabb

Board of Directors

Jonathan Rabb is the author of the novels Among the Living (a finalist for the 2018 Townsend Prize for Fiction), The Second Son, Shadow and Light, Rosa (winner of the Director’s Prize at Semana Negra, 2006), The Book of Q and The Overseer. He has published short fiction and non-fiction in a number of magazines and journals, including The Oxford American, The Strand, Lit Hub, Opera News and the Journal for Interdisciplinary History. He originated the role of Fermat in the Off-Broadway production of Fermat’s Last Tango, and has soloed with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the Albany Symphony, and the Harrisburg Symphony, among others. He has taught at NYU, Columbia and is currently a Professor of Writing at The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He has a BA in political science from Yale and an MA and MPhil in political theory from Columbia.

Jack Romanos

Jack Romanos

Board of Directors - Chairman Emeritus

Jack Romanos, retired CEO of Simon & Schuster, joined the Board of the Savannah Book Festival in 2009. He has remained involved for over 13 years, both as a Board member, president and currently as Chairman Emeritus. Jack served as head of the Author Selection Committee until 2020. His favorite book is The Godfather by Mario Puzo.

Carri Stoltz

Carri Stoltz

Board of Directors

After a career in Alexandria, VA working primarily with young children as a speech-language pathologist and early childhood special educator, it was only natural for Carri so seek opportunities to volunteer for child-related organizations when she and her husband Gerry moved to Savannah in 2014. She became a board member, Vice-President and then President of The One Hundred Children’s Foundation where she helped the organization become a 501(c)3, sought benefactors and reviewed and wrote grants. As an avid reader (she’s on her stationary bike reading every morning,) she looks forward to working with the Savannah Book Festival to reach new heights and continue the great tradition of providing the most interesting, entertaining and friendliest book festival in the country.

Deb Werner

Deb Werner

Board of Directors

Deb served as the Chair of the 2022 SBF Volunteer Committee and participated with the committee and as an usher since 2017. Professionally, she was Director of Member Programs and Services for the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, an association of grant-makers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. Prior to transitioning to the non-profit sector, she worked for 25+ years with graphic design and communications firms serving as a designer, creative director and manager. She currently serves on the board of Landings Landlovers and is active in two book groups.

“The reward and fulfillment of volunteering with SBF is exemplified in the readily-expressed appreciation of those who come from near and far to attend the Festival and offer thanks and appreciation about the authors, venues and Savannah.”

Lisa Yount

Lisa Yount

Board of Directors - Secretary

As a philosophy professor and former director of a university-wide writing program at Savannah State University, Dr. Lisa Yount began partnering with the Savannah Book Festival in 2012 through the SBF@Schools program.  This collaboration allowed SSU students to have contact with a variety of authors to learn about the craft of writing and the process of publishing.  Interviews with some SBF@Schools authors at SSU can be seen HERE. She joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and has been active on the Community Engagement committee. She currently serves as an officer on the Executive Committee in the role of Secretary.

Bob Zerbe

Bob Zerbe

Board of Directors - Treasurer

Dr. Robert Zerbe is an enthusiastic supporter of the Savannah Book Festival and has served on its Board since 2018 and as its Treasurer since 2020. He enjoys reading most anything, but has a particular interest in science, medicine, history and philosophy.  Dr. Zerbe is a retired physician who retired to Richmond Hill after a career as a pharmaceutical Research and Development executive. He and his wife Linda spend the winters in Georgia and the summers in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Staff

Tara Setter

Tara Setter

Executive Director

Contact: Tara@savannahbookfestival.org

Haylee Gemeiner

Haylee Gemeiner

Project Coordinator

Contact: Haylee@savannahbookfestival.org

Thank You to Our SBF Sponsors