Howell woman tapped to lead state library association

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Debbie Mikula of Howell is the new executive director of the Michigan Library Association. She will assume the role beginning June 24. Mikula succeeds Gail Madziar who retired from the association on May 3.

Deborah E. Mikula headshot
Debbie Mikula

“The MLA Board of Directors is excited to have Debbie lead our organization. She comes to MLA with a great deal of experience as a director of nonprofit organizations and associations,” said MLA President Kristin Shelley. “She is a relationship builder and collaborator and has experience developing and implementing strategic plans. Both relationship building and strategic planning will be valuable skills as she advocates for Michigan libraries and moves MLA into the future. I can’t wait to see where Debbie leads us, and I look forward to working with her.”

Mikula brings extensive experience leading nonprofit organizations and advocating for the value of cultural institutions. She served as executive director of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing since 2013. Prior to that, she served for a year as vice president and chief operating officer of ArtServe Michigan, and for 10 years prior as executive director of the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies. She has also worked nationally as the executive director of the League of Historic American Theaters in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of historic theaters.

“This position will provide an excellent way for me to personally touch what I deem to be an essential and critical component to the quality of life in our communities,” said Mikula. “Working in nonprofit arts and cultural organizations for my entire career, I am eager to share my knowledge with another group of dedicated professionals. But, more importantly, I am ready to stand up to strongly and passionately advocate the value of our public, academic and school libraries across Michigan.”

Mikula has a bachelor’s degree in theater from Michigan State University, and a graduate certificate in arts management from The American University in Washington, D.C. She also serves as an adjunct instructor at Michigan State University, teaching Arts and Cultural Management, and serves at the pleasure of Gov. Gretchen Witmer as one of 15 members of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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