Meet the Board

Madelyn Thorne, Friends President, Whitney Book Corner Volunteer and Book Sale Cashier and Clean-Up Drudge, Director of Habitat for Humanity Schenectady. Also on the Upper Union Street BID and Board for The Umbrella of the Capital District. Member of the Tuesday night book club. Favorite things: reading, crossword puzzles and music.

Charlene Roman,  1st Vice President, manager of the Whitney Book Corner, online books, Book Sale committee, co-founder, along with Shawn Schultz, of Harry Potter Day.  Retired from retail management after 30+ years, relocated to Schenectady from Connecticut. Favorite things: my granddaughter, who has Angelman Syndrome, , going places with the Red Hats, reading and listening to music.

Val Catlin, Board Director, Past President. Valerie has worked for the Friends book sales for many years, and was Friends newsletter editor at one time; she served several previous terms on the Friends Board of Directors, and as president. She worked for the Mohawk Valley Library System for over 35 years.

Sara Carey, Board Director, Whitney volunteer. Originally from Brockport, NY, moved to Schenectady in 2008 after graduating with a Master’s in Social Work. Sara has been a social worker in the Capital District for the past twelve years. Her New Year’s resolution in 2018 was to start volunteering and she picked the Friends of SCPL. Her favorite pastime is curled up on the couch with a cat in her lap, and a good book in her hand!

Danielle Gray, Board Director, Newsletter Editor, Whitney Book Corner Volunteer. Danielle is a consultant, specializing in nonprofit management. She spends most of her free time reading, playing games, and working on projects for her house and garden. She also enjoys singing and dancing, photography and design, watching shows and concerts, and dabbling in a variety of arts and crafts.


Jaimie Williams-Peterson , Board Director She assists the Friends of the SCPL with archives, book sales and membership renewal mailings. Other volunteer roles include; data transcription for the New England Historic Genealogical Society, SGMS Founders Day Chair, and event volunteer for the Schenectady County Historical Society. She has previously worked in retail and the non-profit sector.

Chris Witkowski,  Board Secretary, Publicity Chair, Webmaster, Whitney Book Corner and Second Look volunteer. Retired New York State space planner and project manager. Fun facts/favorite things – grew up in a household that received five newspapers a day-no wonder I love words! Favorite thing -spending time with my adorable granddaughter, Imojean.

Geri Mulligan. Board Director, coordinator of Noon Programs,  literacy tutor. A fun fact: recently became a fan of the roll playing game Mice and Mystics.


Bob Symons, Board Director, Book Sale Committee; semi-retired building contractor; past president/teacher at Adirondack Bible College; ordained elder in the Evangelical Wesleyan Church. Favorite things: books, gardening, hunting/fishing, woodworking, grandchildren.

Chris Makofski, Board Director Chris has lived in the Schenectady area for most of her life. Retired now, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and volunteering at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen, the Zion Lutheran Church, the Central Park Rose Garden, Birthday Buddies, and at the Whitney Book Corner as a regular and a sub.

Norrine Thompson, 2nd Vice President, Board Director, Membership Chair, Whitney Book Corner and Second Look volunteer. Retired from Albany Medical Center Hospital after a 31 year tenure in the Microbiology Department. She works at the Whitney Book Corner, chairs the Friends Membership Committee, volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, and volunteers at her church as a Liturgical Minister.

Janice Walz, Winter Concert Series Coordinator.Janice is a retired teacher who loves music of all types.  She sings with the Octavo Singers, participates in musical theater productions when possible, and is a member the local German American Club. Other hobbies include crewing for hot air balloons, knitting, traveling, and doing social ministry work at her church.   As coordinator for the Beat the Snow Concert Series, it is Janice’s responsibility to contact local musicians and schedule concerts every Sunday from January through March.  She tries to balance favorites with new acts each year.  A big thank-you to all the participating musicians.

Charlie Richardson, Treasurer. Charlie deposits monies, writes checks for Friends sponsored programs, prepares financial statements for the Friends Board, pays sales taxes to New York State, and balances the books.  Charlie recently retired from Schenectady County Community College as VP of Administration and Treasurer.   His favorite pastime is reading history.