Madison Public Library Foundation’s board of directors recently welcomed five new board members: Laura Bird, Bryan Chan, JP Croake, Laura Murray, and Jessica Yehle.

Bird is a Milwaukee native with an English degree from the University of Notre Dame. Her literary-themed Instagram, @laura_at_the_library, led foundation Executive Director Conor Moran to invite her to serve as an ambassador for the Wisconsin Book Festival several years ago. Bird served as the Co-Chair for Lunch for Libraries last spring.

Bird is the author of a middle-grade novel, the award-winning Crossing the Pressure Line. The sequel, Marvelous Jackson, comes out September 10. When she’s not reading, writing, or reviewing books, Laura loves to exercise and explore the outdoors. She lives with her husband, three teenagers, and small dog on the west side of Madison. 

Chan is President and Founder of SupraNet Communications Inc., a local business Internet services provider that built fiber conduit into all the Madison Public Library locations as a gift to the City of Madison. He has served on many local boards, including the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Region Economic Partnership, Rotary Club of Madison, and United Way of Dane County. He has been a regular guest at the foundation’s Lunch for Libraries and Ex Libris fundraisers for many years and has served on the foundation’s Marketing Committee for the last year. 

Chan grew up in Los Altos, Calif. He lives with his partner, two children, and cat, and enjoys traveling and arts events in his free time. 

Croake is a corporate and real estate attorney with Stafford Rosenbaum LLP. He also volunteers on the boards of Monroe Street Arts Center and Madison Print Club, and served as board member and treasurer at Creative Learning Preschool. Croake has lots of experience in public service, with a particular interest in providing access to educational and cultural experiences.

The Madison native earned his JD from Marquette University Law School and an English degree from Hunter College. Croake lives with his spouse, Shira Phelps; his son, Henry; and his dog, Brooklyn. He enjoys travel, cooking, and street photography.

Murray has been a financial advisor at Baird since 2000, with extensive experience in investment strategy and financial planning She is passionate about financial literacy and education, which is reflected in her community involvement. Murray is the Dane County Humane Society Board of Directors President and serves on the Women’s Fund of Door County’s Advisory Board.

Murray enjoys spending time with her family and her black labs. She loves reading, cooking, golfing, and being outdoors, especially in Door County. She has a B.A. in behavioral science and law from UW–Madison.

Yehle is a retired nurse and community volunteer who grew up in Madison. Her first job was at Central Library while in high school! She has a history of involvement with the Lussier Community Education Center, Madison Symphony Orchestra League, Village Diaper Bank, and the local Ronald McDonald House.

Yehle earned a biology degree from Boston University and a nursing degree from Simmons College. In addition to supporting the mission of the library, she enjoys reading, traveling, and playing the flute. She lives with her husband, Jim, and her three children.