The Fairhope Public Library Foundation’s mission is to develop, administer, and allocate funds to provide the extra margin of support needed to enhance the programs, services and facilities of The Fairhope Public Library, and to provide communications media and other resources for advocacy of innovative ideas that will help the library to further excel.
Robin Fitzhugh, president
Robin Fitzhugh is a Mobile native who has called Baldwin County home for 17 years. A Spring Hill College graduate with a degree in English and free-lance writer, she has had a life time passion for words, books, and libraries. She is the mother of 4 delightful adult children and spent her working life in non-profit endeavors including religious education, counseling and, most recently, a decade as Director of the Eastern Shore Art Center. Retirement has made time for travel with her husband John and catching up on reading her favorite Southern authors.
Jim Smith, vice president
Jim Smith read everything he could find in the “airplanes and rockets” sections of every library he could get to as a boy. He eventually became a business lawyer with the Armbrecht Jackson firm in Mobile, where he’s practiced for over 30 years. He didn’t grow up to be a rocket scientist, but he never lost his love of reading and gratitude for the libraries that launched him into a fascinating world. He’s known since he came to Fairhope over a decade ago that the FPL is a special place. Jim and his wife Valery (who spent her childhood summers in the old Summit Street library) share a deeply-held belief that our library is essential to our community.
Susie Caminiti, secretary
Susie Caminiti has made the sunny shores of Fairhope her home for the past 19 years. In 2004 she became an active advocate and benefactor for the Fairhope Public Library. She has served on the Friends of the Library Board in the past, and is always grateful for any opportunity to promote, serve and encourage readers, researchers and explorers in discovering the shelves of our beloved Fairhope Public Library.
Mary Hodgkins, treasurer
Mary Hodgkins is a native of Florida and a retired project manager with AT&T. She moved with her husband John to Fairhope in 1996. A professional volunteer who has donated her services to the Fairhope United Methodist Church, Eastern Shore Art Center, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, American Cancer Society, and Thomas Hospital. She is a passionate stained and fused glass artist and book reader who believes in giving back her time and talents to her church and community.
Barbara Bressette moved to the idyllic community of Fairhope twenty years ago to raise her family. She teaches AP, IB, and Organic Chemistry at Davidson High in Mobile, Alabama, and is currently working on her PhD. Sam Kean and James Patterson are counted amongst her favorite authors, eclectic though their styles may be.
Tamara Dean is director of the Fairhope Public Library. She moved to Fairhope in 1985. She spent fifteen years in education and has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. In 2001 she began her career with Fairhope Public Library as the Youth Services Director. She earned a Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science, following her appointment to Director, in 2009. Tamara is serving her 6th year on the Alabama Virtual Library Executive Council, and her fifth year on the Library Services & Technology Act Grant Advisory Council.
Eastern Shore native, George Fuller has been a salad chef, VISTA volunteer, singer/songwriter, newspaper reporter, and since 1979 an ad agency copywriter and creative director. Returning with wife Frances to Fairhope in 2015 after 25 years in Tampa, George now is exploring life as a photographer. His favorite writer? He loves the outlandish Carl Hiaasen. But would be a lot happier if he could crank out novels as fast as Stephen King.
Martin Lanaux, a native of Louisiana, has been a resident of Fairhope since 1977. He has loved books his entire life and is a certified bibliophile. He is president of the Fairhope Public Library Board of Trustees and was President of the Fairhope Public Library Foundation for the first eight years of its existence. His wife Gina is co-owner of Creative Outlet Dance Center and is just as involved in civic affairs as her husband is.
Mona Lester, a native of Clarke County Alabama, has been a resident of Fairhope for over 20 years. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing. She has supported the Fairhope Public Library since 1995, when she would bring her daughters to the weekly lap-sit and summer reading programs. Her interests include, reading, photography, cooking, kayaking, music, hunting and SEC football. She is married to Dr. F. Martin Lester and they have two daughters. As for those two daughters, one is starting college and one is starting law school. Both of them following paths that began at the library.
Debbie Quinn and her husband are a rare breed, natives of Fairhope and graduates of Fairhope High School. She’s a retired Registered Nurse and 16 year council member in Fairhope and now the Chairman of the Alabama Trails Commission. Living in Fairhope but working and driving the state, she’s learned to love audiobooks and has so many favorite authors...who could pick just one! She’s discovering more about the U.S. west coast, too, where both their sons and families live.
Tim Rosson has lived in Fairhope for over 23 years. He is retired Regional President from BBVA Compass (28 years). He has been Chairman of the Thomas Hospital Foundation and Chairman of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce. He is currently a member of the Fairhope Industrial Development Authority board. But best of all he was Co-Chairman of the Fairhope Library Capital Campaign that built our Library. He is married to Susan, they have two sons and two grandsons.
Brune Stewart is a native of Picayune, Mississippi, and a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. He recalls the wonderful times he spent walking the grounds at Rowan Oak, Faulkner’s home, while at Ole Miss. Recently retired, he enjoys hunting, fishing and playing golf. He and his wife, Barbara, a New Orleans native, also love to cook and eat good food, returning there often to visit family and sample their cuisine. A “newbie” to the board, he is impressed with its vision, and is happy to be of service.
Knight Upchurch grew up in the small town of Demopolis, Alabama. She attended Agnes Scott College and the University of Alabama School of Law. She and her husband, Michael, moved from Mobile to Fairhope in 2009. They have three young adult children, who reside in three different states, and a lovable pooch. Knight enjoys travel, keeping up with her adventuresome children, reading, painting, and bridge.
Mac Walcott is a founding principal of Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects, earning his Bachelor and Masters of Architecture from Tulane University. He is a member of various state and local boards including the Alabama Board for Registration of Architects; Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts; Fairhope Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee; Fairhope Center for the Arts Council; and the Baldwin County Architectural Review Committee. Part farmer, part beekeeper, part writer, part free spirit, he and wife Gina have three children and a host of farm animals at their Fish River home.