Meet the MLA Staff

Debbie Mikula headshot

Deborah E. Mikula
Executive Director
(517) 881-1266
[email protected]

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 immediate past-president and a current member of the Cultural Advocacy Network of Michigan, and served for four years on the faculty at Michigan State University teaching Arts and Cultural Management.

Contact Debbie with questions about:

Rachel Ash headshotRachel Ash
Membership and Communications Director
(517) 881-6652
[email protected]

Rachel serves as MLA's Membership and Communications Director. She joined MLA in 2015. 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. Rachel 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 for a small family-owned business. Rachel lives in Mason, Michigan with her son and her cat Zuko. She enjoys reading, cooking, doing art projects and hanging out with family.

Contact Rachel with questions about:

You can also contact Rachel to:

  • Share a great story or breaking news about your library
  • Schedule a library visit

Lisa Buttigieg headshotLisa Buttigieg
Administrative Assistant
(517) 881-1683
[email protected]

Lisa Buttigieg joined the MLA team in 2019. In her administrative role, Lisa provides the highest level of customer service to members and key constituencies. Lisa serves as the primary contact for the MLA office and also assists her colleagues with special projects, meetings and conferences. 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 Coordinator and office administrator, while sharing her creative skills to promote the organization's educational offerings. Lisa loves to visit art galleries and museums, enjoys music and is a huge fan of Detroit Red Wing Hockey.

Contact Lisa with questions about:

Amber Sheerin, CMP, DES, CTAAmber Sheerin Headshot
Program and Event Director
(517) 881-3194
[email protected]

Amber is responsible for helping to provide the best conferences and other professional development opportunities to MLA members. Amber holds an associate’s degree from Grand Rapids Community College, a bachelor’s degree 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 Tourism Ambassador (CTA) with the Lansing Convention Bureau, a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), a Digital Event Strategist (DES), and is certified in Virtual Event and Meeting Management (VEMM) from the Event Leadership Institute. Prior to her employment with MLA, Amber spent several years as a hospitality sales manager and served as the Lansing Women in Leadership Events Chairperson for the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. When she isn’t working Amber enjoys practicing her photography skills, biking and kayaking, and exploring new travel destinations.

Contact Amber with questions about:


Keeley Briggs headshotKeeley Briggs
Database Coordinator
(517) 881-0496
[email protected]

Keeley joined the MLA team in 2022. As MLA's Database Coordinator, Keeley is responsible for maintaining the member database as well as playing a support role in special projects and events. Prior to employment with MLA, Keeley worked in a variety of public library roles from clerking in the teen department to managing a branch library.

Contact Keeley with questions about:

Ryan Logan headshotRyan Logan
Graphic Designer
(517) 394-2774
[email protected]

Ryan’s family of creatives influenced his decision to become a designer and he enjoys contributing to the region’s arts and cultural community through his work with us at the Michigan Library Association and at the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. In his free time, he enjoys biking, traveling, movies, and exploring all of Greater Lansing's nooks and crannies with his camera. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a BA in Graphic Design.





Meet the MLA Social Media Strategist Interns

Interested in interning with MLA? Click here to learn more about this opportunity.

Riz HattonRiz Hatton
Fall Semester 2021 Social Media Strategist Intern

Riz Hatton is the founder and chief editor of Peach Publications, an arts and culture publication, and also currently serves as the marketing intern for the Michigan State Alumni Office. And she also performs in a leadership role at VIM Magazine as the director of diversity and inclusion, which is a student-run fashion and lifestyle magazine at Michigan State. In December 2021, Riz will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a concentration in writing, reporting and editing.




Sophie TechentinSophie Techentin
Winter Semester 2022 Social Media Strategist Intern

Sophie Techentin is a student at Oakland University. Sophie is currently a Public Relations and Strategic Communication major with an Interactive and Social Media minor. In her spare time, she can be found flying high in the air on her aerial silks, recording VoiceOver projects, and experimenting with new recipes. She’s a big video gamer and can often be found at her local library looking for manga and cookbooks.





Kara MacKenzieKara MacKenzie
Summer Semester 2022 Social Media Strategist Intern

Kara MacKenzie (she/her) is a social media intern, technical writing specialist, and avid plant mom from Battle Creek, Michigan. She is currently a junior at Michigan State University, where she majors in Professional & Public Writing and Women’s & Gender Studies. Kara is interested in the intersections between rhetoric and social justice, and hopes to one day use her writing skills to benefit a nonprofit organization or work in the publishing industry. When she isn’t working, she can usually be found drawing, watering her plants, or reading books with strong queer representation and feminist or social justice themes. Kara is a strong supporter of local libraries and is excited to celebrate and showcase the amazing things that Michigan libraries are doing!


Uniting the Michigan Library Community

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

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