Friends of the Manchester Library

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Friends of the Manchester Library
Board of Directors 2016

President – Ralph Nelson, BS, MD, MS    
     A native of Boston, Ralph spent 40 years in medicine and 24 years in the Navy.  A tour as chief of EENT at Bremerton Naval Hospital in 1973 led to his Manchester residency.  Leaving active duty after 14½ years, he spent 25 years in Los Angeles at the House Ear Institute where he practiced otology/neuro-otology and taught as a professor of clinical surgery at USC.  Following his retirement in 2001, he and his wife Anne McKelvey Nelson, RN, PsyD moved back to Manchester where they have been active in Hospice, the Manchester Community Association and helping with grandkids.  Ralph is a retired Navy Captain and Vietnam veteran.

Vice President – Cherm Mercer-Gilbert
Cherm has lived in Manchester since 1998 and been a supporter of the Friends of the Manchester Library since shortly thereafter.  She believes strongly in the philosophy of ‘Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can.’  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from the University of Washington, a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership as well as a Masters’ Certification in Human Resource Management from Chapman University.  Prior to retirement she was a mediator, professional skills trainer, negotiator, and claims litigation professional.  In her professional career she successfully resolved multi party issues in both For and Not-for-Profit Directors and Officers conflicts, medical malpractice litigation, as well as employment conflicts.  Her volunteer efforts focused primarily on resolving interpersonal conflict in families or the workplace. 

Secretary – Susan Seykota-Smith
Susan moved to Manchester in late 2015 after living for twenty-five years in Gig Harbor. She has been participating in FOML meetings and events since attending her first meeting in 2016. Susan traveled widely as a young person and studied Occupational Therapy at Boston University and Business Administration at the University of Iowa before discovering her love of literature and art. She has held jobs in medical transcription, event planning, construction, nonprofit arts consulting, and editing. She worked for over ten years with Artifacts Consulting, an architectural and historic preservation firm in Tacoma, where she edited hundreds of archival documents distributed to individual, city, county, and state clients. She is a pastels portrait artist, focusing on the relationships between owners and pets, and her work has been exhibited locally, including at the Puyallup Fair and the State Capitol Museum in Olympia. She currently works as an online editor for Proofreading Pal and is now bringing her way with words to the office of FOML Secretary. In off hours, Susan also enjoys studying jazz piano, gardening, playing cribbage and mahjongg, doing yoga, and dancing.

Treasurer – Theresa McBride
Theresa was born and raised “semi-locally” in the Issaquah area (now Sammamish).   She received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Washington in 2002 followed by a Thesis Master’s in Chemistry in 2004.  Theresa has worked as a chemist at the Environmental Protection Agency’s local Manchester Laboratory for over 11 years (4 years as a contractor before being hired as a federal employee).   She moved to Manchester in 2010 and married Tony Morris in 2013.  Theresa is an avid reader and also tries to make time for gardening and birdwatching.

Director #1 – John K. Winslow
John has been an officer with the Friends of the Manchester Library since 2003.  He held a number of engineering management positions with Kenworth Truck Company during the course of his 35 year career.  John is a licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of Washington.  In his profession, John has been a board member of the Northwest Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers for over 40 years and has been the Section chairman three different times.  John has also served as a technical advisor to the Blue Sea Systems company, a marine electrical/electronics firm in Bellingham WA.  John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and served in the US Navy as an aviation electronics technician.

Director #2 – Eric Cisney
Eric has lived in Manchester for over sixty years.  He earned his college degree at the University of Washington and then taught school for two years and then went on to take a Master’s degree in Librarianship from the UW.  Eric then went on to become a reference librarian for Seattle Public Libraries for 39 years.  He retired in 2005.  Eric is busy with local efforts with the FOML, Manchester Community Association, Manchester Port Advisory Committee and the Manchester Citizens’ Advisory Council.

Director #3 – Captain William “Bill” Lounsbery, US Navy (Retired)

Bill received his BS in Mathematics from Auburn University.  Bill and his wife Janice began his naval career at the Nuclear Power School in Bainbridge MD.  In 1971 Bill received an MS – with distinction – in Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. In 1976 he transferred to the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 1982 he received an MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington in Seattle. After serving as NOAA’s Chief of Marine Operations and Assistant Director for the agency’s Office of Ocean and Engineering Services, Bill retired to Manchester, WA in 1991.


Officers and Directors, 2016


Ralph Nelson

term expires  12/31/2017

Vice President

Cherm Mercer-Gilbert

term expires  12/31/2017


Susan Seykota-Smith

term expires  12/31/2017


Theresa McBride

term expires  12/31/2017


John Winslow

term expires  12/31/2018


Eric Cisney

term expires  12/31/2019


Bill Lounsbery

term expires  12/31/2017


Friends of the Manchester Library Mission Statement

The mission of the Friends of the Manchester Library is to promote literacy and lifelong learning in Kitsap County.  We achieve this mission by raising funds which are applied to operating, maintaining, and improving the building which houses the Manchester Library as well as supporting programs for all ages; these programs will include early reading, teen use of the Library, after-school access and encouragement for students, adult education, and cultural events.