Our Board

Abigail-Daly

Abigail A. Daly

Founder and Executive Director

Abby spent several years representing both children and adults who were involuntarily committed to psychiatric hospitals and then the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services in abuse and neglect actions and termination of parental rights cases. She is a graduate of Smith College and Dickinson School of Law. In 2001, she left the practice of law to be at home with her children. Bringing the Bridge of Books to New Jersey provided a perfect vehicle for her to remain involved with at-risk children, to pursue her love of reading and to expose her children to the concept of giving back to the community.

Cindy Gagliano

Cindy left the practice of law seventeen years ago to spend more time with her young daughters and with the hope of finding a new career path. While she has tried a variety of things along the way, raising her four daughters has been her main and most favorite venture.  Cindy is a graduate of the University of Virginia and George Washington University National Law Center.  Working with Bridge of Books is the perfect combination of her love of books and helping children discover the power of books.

Susan Murray

Susan is the Educational Technology Coordinator at Oak Hill Academy and strives to combine her love for all things books with all things tech. In addition, Susan is the Managing Director of WasteNot Solutions, a waste and recycling consulting practice she launched in 2007. Susan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Villanova University and a Master of Science in Education from Wheelock College. The values evidenced by the Bridge of Books Foundation are near and dear to her heart.

Amanda Lehman

Amanda Lehman was born and raised in Monmouth County and has lived in New Jersey her whole life. She earned her BA from Rutgers College and her JD from Seton Hall Law. Amanda has an appreciation for the importance of a robust education. After working as a litigator for 15 years, she was looking for a way to give back to her community. Amanda was drawn to Bridge of Books as this organization provides books to children who might not otherwise have access to reading outside of school, thereby building an interest in reading and independent learning.

Kristy Rogers

Kristy Rogers learned about Abby and her commitment to The Bridge of Books shortly after relocating to Monmouth County from Pittsburgh, PA.  Abby and Kristy worked closely for years on the Book Fair at their kid’s school, both as the PTO Treasurer and then Financial Chair. Having volunteered for Bridge of Books as both a reader and a book sorter, Kristy jumped at the chance to work with Abby again when the position of Treasurer opened up. Kristy received her BS in Psychology from Allegheny College and her MS from Fordham University.

 

An avid reader, Kristy, staunchly believes that books provide the perfect avenue to experience new ideas and learn new words.  The better access a child has to diverse vocabulary, the more empowered he or she will become.  Words have vigor!

Liza Tamashunas

Liza Tamashunas spent over a decade teaching middle school ELA and Humanities in both New York City and New Jersey. As an avid childhood reader, teaching about reading and writing seemed the next best thing to reading books all day. Liza has a BA in English from Georgetown University and an M.Ed. in Secondary Teaching of English from Boston College. Liza first met Abby while working as the PTO co-president at her children’s school and serving as the liaison to the Book Fair.

 

They share a love of reading and a mission to increase kids’ access to books. After moving away from classroom teaching, Liza is enthusiastic about getting more involved with Bridge of Books. Reading and books provide us all with the opportunity to enter other worlds and access new experiences.

Colleen Seldin

Colleen has a BS degree in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island and a MBA in Finance from Pace University. With more than 25 years of experience in marketing and publicity, in October 2017, she launched COLCO Marketing and Media and is currently sharing her marketing and digital media skills and expertise with a wide range of companies and non-profit organizations including Bridge of Books.

 

After meeting Abby at a program for local non-profits at Monmouth University, Colleen was excited about the opportunity to work with Bridge of Books to help make a difference in the lives of children throughout New Jersey. She joined the Board in February 2020.

Danielle Sammut

Danielle Sammut is using her spotlight as the reigning Miss New Jersey for America Strong to promote the mission of The Bridge of Books Foundation. She fell in love with the organization when she heard about their Book Ark library project that unites community members together through the love of reading. Danielle graduated from The College of New Jersey with a BA in English and Secondary Education and plans to publish her first novel Love Yourself First in the fall. She dedicates her life to helping kids reach their potential as an advisor to the Monroe Township Middle School’s Builders Club, a Kiwanis youth program that aims to develop capable and caring leaders through the vehicle of service.

 

As a 7th grade Language Arts teacher for nearly ten years, she believes that there is no such thing as a kid who doesn’t like to read, but only a child who has not found the right book. She hopes to use her partnership with The Bridge of Books to ensure that all kids across the state, despite any barriers, have access to the most diverse and rich reading experiences that books can offer!

RITA COTTERELL

Rita, a lifelong resident of Monmouth County, worked as a CPA with an
international public accounting firm for 12 years until leaving the
workforce to raise her 4 children. While home taking care of the children, Rita spent a significant amount of time working with children including being a Girl Scout Leader, PTA Volunteer, Religious Education Teacher, Little League Coach, and Soccer Coach. After much thought, she decided to switch the direction of her career and focus exclusively on children. After receiving her teaching degree, she began working at Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft teaching math to upper school students and has just completed her 20th year there.

 

Rita’s inspiration to work with Bridge of Books stems largely from her
mother. Her mother, the oldest girl in a family of 7 children, was required to stop attending school after she completed 8th grade so she could help her mother take care of her siblings.. Her mother was deeply saddened that her formal education ended so abruptly, so she used books as her vehicle to continue to learn. At 95 years old, the doctors still comment on her vocabulary, which was primarily derived from her passion to read.