Paulette Stevens, Founder/Director 2012
After working as a journalist, Paulette became a personal historian in 2003 and has published over 50 books for clients. She served as the program chair for the 2008 Association of Personal Historians conference in Salt Lake City and began to build awareness of the value of saving life stories in the community.
Paulette served as the program chairman for the 2008 Association of Personal Historians Conference in Salt Lake City and began to build awareness of the value of saving life stories in the community. In 2010, she spearheaded the organization of the Utah Chapter of the Association of Personal Historians, an active and innovative group. They recently hosted a fine Make Your Story Count! Personal History Conference & Seminar, the first of its kind in the nation. The event featured keynote speaker, Mary O’Brien Tyrrell, president of IIRLR.
Paulette is passionate about life stories. In 2012, with a strong foundation already in place, she established the Life Story Library Foundation, now an IRS designated 501 (C)(3) public charity, and she has been building the team and concept ever since.
David Brake, Director 2012
David is a veteran of the book publishing industry where he developed a successful methodology for building “communities around content.” His career has taken him to some of the biggest publishing houses in the business, including McGraw-Hill, Prentice Hall, Time Warner and Times Mirror. At McGraw-Hill he was the publisher of best-selling titles in the Business and Information Technology areas.
In 2002 he started Content Connections, a company to help educational-publishing clients create viable communities and influence a brand’s “conversation space.” In 2010, Brake founded The Grandview Group to offer the same methodology to a larger and broader market.
David is also the coauthor of The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success, a best-selling book that puts his proven methodology into a framework that helps businesses leverage the power of social media. He is a natural storyteller and a long-time supporter of the Life Story Library.
Victoria Burgess, Director 2012
Victoria received her doctorate in psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She worked as a licensed psychologist and faculty member of eight different universities. She retired as a colonel in the US Army and belongs to District 1, Post 409 of the Utah Veterans of Foreign Wars.
A freelance writer, Victoria is the author of nine books, including Sister Saints (Brigham Young University Press, 1975) and The Midwife (Signature, 2012), a biography of a fundamentalist polygamist midwife who assisted in over 2,000 births without any deaths. Victoria is the parent of five high functioning children.
As an historian, Victoria is concerned with the preservation of documentation and reference materials that will be needed by researchers in the future, and she strongly supports the Life Story Library’s archiving efforts.
William Guillory, Director 2012
Bill, prior to founding the consulting firm Innovations International Inc., Bill was a physical chemist of international renown. He has lived, studied, and lectured in England, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Poland, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and China.
Bill has authored over 100 publications and several books on the application of lasers in chemistry and was Chair of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Utah.
Bill received his B.S. from Dillard University in New Orleans, his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Bill’s distinguished awards and appointments include an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt appointment at the University of Frankfurt, a Ralph Metcalf Chair at Marquette University, and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Lectureship at the University of California at Berkeley. Bill is passionate about personal development and transformation.
Maggie Peltier, Director 2012
Maggie completed a 23-year tenure with IBM during which she held positions in field service, customer center administration, artificial intelligence support, service research and development, information systems development, and marketing quality.
While on special assignment from IBM she served as adviser to the Executive Director and the Board of Directors of a local non-profit. Maggie’s IBM career concluded with a senior advisory position in US Marketing Quality and included leadership of an international creativity, education, and technical vitality initiative.
As founder and principal of a private management consulting partnership she works with Fortune 100 companies in Research Triangle Park, NC, to plan, implement, and document organization design, development, and change management projects.
Maggie is a graduate of Webster University and Santa Clara University and holds Master of Arts degrees in Business Management and in Counseling Psychology. She is a dedicated supporter of the Life Story Library and loves designing the innovative systems.
Lance Voss, Director 2012
Lance, a successful entrepreneur, spent 40 years in the construction industry and in computer sales, repair and networking. On the job training and many hours of class work contributed to his broad, practical knowledge of both industries.
Lance owned a small business and developed the expertise and financial skills necessary to be successful in the computer industry for over 30 years. He currently owns and manages Tech Pro, a computer services company.
Lance is certified as a Training Alliance Certified Coach with the International Federation of Coaching and works as a life coach throughout the United States. Many aspects of this certification coincide with the goals of Life Story Library Foundation, because people have an inherent need to tell and record their life stories.
Jerry Meiling, Director 2014
Jerry credits the beginning of his remarkable career to a University of Utah ceramic engineering professor who believed in him and recommended that he attend a top graduate school. After being accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jerry earned his doctorate in materials science.
Jerry began his career with Corning Corporation as a research scientist where his fundamental and applied research resulted in five U.S. Patents, including LCD and plasma panel displays, fiber optic waveguides and photo chromatics.
After taking on responsibility for product development and international R&D, he traveled extensively to assess technological advancements in Europe, Latin America, Russia and the Asian Pacific, regularly associating with giants such as Samsung, IBM, AT&T, 3M and HP.
Jerry served as Senior Vice President and Director of Research at Corning and as a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. While writing his own personal history, he discovered how valuable and life affirming the reflection process can be, which is shy he became involved with the Life Story Library.
Charmian Wright, Director 2014
As a non-species-specific doctor, Charmian Wright has been acutely listening to stories – both the spoken and the unspoken – for all of her professional life. She is passionate about the wonder and beauty of all life on this planet, even including the human kind. She is a great believer in the power of the written word in general, and the power of the story in particular. To her, our greatest hope for world understanding between all disparate peoples is held in the power of the story.
Charmian feels extraordinarily lucky to have spent the span of her entire life in her chosen profession, from the earliest years dreaming of being a veterinarian to the last 29 years working as a veterinarian. And, who knows, this may have been the preoccupation of her last life as well, if such a thing were possible. Upon graduation from veterinary school in 1986, she started her own equine practice in Park City, Utah, where she has worked until this day. She also started, managed, and sold the first commercial camel trekking business in the Western Hemisphere, and currently consults on camel medicine all over the world. Charmian has been self-employed her whole life, and even created several other successful businesses in her younger years in order to pay her way through college.
Charmian has had many of her own stories published over the years. She has many more stories she is working on putting to paper, but is having way too much fun spending her time being a veterinarian.
Jerry Bergner, Director 2015
Jerry has a diverse background that ranges from leading a successful construction company to serving for 20 years as a senior advisor in the financial services industry. Jerry is a Senior Financial Advisor at Edward Jones.
Jerry is a Certified Life Business Advisor, speaker, trainer, and coach who guides individuals and team members in seamlessly aligning their work with their deepest passions and focusing their time talents, energy and money in the areas that bring them the most satisfaction and reward. He presents regularly for associations, corporations, educational groups, senior centers and for such esteemed groups as Duke University, the Public Library System and the University of North Carolina.
Luke Russ, Director 2015
Luke has been an insurance agent in North Carolina since 2008. Currently working for Capital Insurance and Financial Services, Luke helps individuals and organizations find the right policies for their specific insurance needs, both large and small.
Prior to entering the insurance industry, Luke worked as public school teacher in Durham, NC where he developed his love for helping others. While Luke no longer teaches in the traditional sense, he still prides himself on being able to educate his clients on their insurance needs and options.
Luke volunteers as a youth ice hockey coach in Raleigh, helping local eleven and twelve year olds grow as hockey players and teammates. When not at his office or the rink, Luke enjoys traveling and spending time with his loveable Great Dane, ‘Blue.’
Sara Shelp, Director 2015
Sara brings more than 17 years’ experience in both public and private accounting with a healthy knowledge of managerial accounting, audit, and tax. She enjoys engagements with clients undergoing change and growth management challenges.
Sara has been involved with a variety of industries including manufacturing, medical devices, nonprofit, advertising, real estate, auto repair, equipment leasing, private and public schools, and municipalities. Her public accounting and private industry experience allows Sara to quickly assess risk and internal control issues while bringing fresh perspective to her engagements.
Sara can help her clients with ERP/ERM systems, inventory, job costing, international transactions, financial reporting, and mergers and acquisitions. She has expertise in providing comprehensive accounting and management services as well as system deficiency assessments and migration management.
Sara is a Partner at Rankin McKenzie.