Verona Public Library Foundation (VPLF) announces the addition of three new board members – Will Battersby, David Hildebrandt and Joshua Lax. Each Board member is appointed as a trustee for a two-year term. Will Battersby and David Hildebrandt will serve until June 2025 and Joshua Lax will serve until July 2025. Each trustee is a resident of Verona who volunteers his time to help direct the Foundation’s fundraising activities. Will, David and Joshua join founding members Gale Berninghausen (President), Chris Barrows (Vice President), Sarina Rivera (Secretary) and Jennifer Zimmerman Quade (Treasurer). Library Director Claudine Pascale sits on the Board asa non-voting member.
Verona Public Library Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization founded in 2022. VPLF supports the Verona Public Library’s mission to promote literacy, advance knowledge, and enhance the quality of life for the community. The Foundation solicits, receives and administers gifts and grants which are used primarily for establishing an
Endowment, funding capital improvements, and underwriting certain non-operating library enhancements outside the scope of the municipality-funded budget. All funds raised by the Foundation are solely for the benefit of the Verona Public Library. When we invest in Verona Public Library, we invest in critical support for free literacy programs, life-long learning, technology skills development, and access to meaningful resources for Verona’s adults, children and youth.
For more information, visit https://veronaplfoundation.org/about/ and follow the VPLF’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Will Battersby is a partner at Reno Productions, a film, TV and theater production company. He has been producing and directing documentary and scripted features for over 15 years. His documentary Trumbo received the National Board of Review Freedom of Speech Award and his feature-length animated film The Spine of Night was shortlisted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
His other credits include the documentaries Salt in My Soul and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and the features Stephen King’s A Good Marriage, They Remain, The Bleeding House, and Runoff.
Will has lived in Verona for 17 years with his wife and two kids. He is currently president of the HBW Music Parents Association and a board member for the Girls Varsity Soccer Parents Association; he has served on the board of Verona United, on the school Curriculum Committee, and was a member of Sustainable Verona for two years.
David Hildebrandt attended Northern Illinois University and majored in business administration. He was offered an opportunity with Carpenter Steel/Carpenter Technology Corporation as an Eastern Region sale representative and moved to New Jersey. After 18 years with Carpenter, David started his own small steel company, Lahill Steel Corporation. Unfortunately, he had a heart attack at work and was blessed with successful open heart surgery. But shortly afterward, he sold Lahill Steel. At the turn of the century, David became a gift counselor for the New Jersey District of the Lutheran Church. In David’s 10 years of employment, gifting of Ministry Funding was over $3,000,000.
Currently, David is active in two important Verona roles as a Verona crossing guard and a staff member of the Verona Community Center. David’s other Verona activities included manager of Little League and Girls’ Softball as well as the president of the Verona Baseball League, the Verona Jaycees, Calvary Lutheran Church, and the Verona Lions Club. David resides in Verona with his wife, Barbara, a local artist.
Joshua Lax is an accomplished trial attorney focusing on criminal law, constitutional law, civil and human rights, and government affairs. In addition to representing clients in private practice, Joshua served as a senior counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department for more than a decade. He has taught
for the last several years as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, and serves as an instructor in trial skills for the Federal Bar Council Access to Counsel Program, and the New York City Law Department's Civil Trial Advocacy Training.
In addition to his work in the legal field, Joshua is an internationally recognized expert in fountain pen repair and maintenance. Joshua has lived in Verona since 2020 with his wife and child.