Local Leaders Join Friends Board

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library Confirms Four New Board Members for 2021

SAINT PAUL, MN, January 12, 2021 —The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library has elected four new trustees to its board of directors, effective January 1, 2021. The new members bring a wide range of experience to the organization, from communications to human resources.  

“The Saint Paul Public Library plays an essential role in helping our city grow, heal, and recover from the challenges of the past year,” says board chair Heather Anfang. “The contributions of these board members will be crucial as we strengthen the library to achieve a broader vision for our community.”  

The new members are Na Eng, Bryce Miller, Deepa Nirmal, and Mani Vang-Polacek. 

Na Eng Eng is Communications Director for the McKnight Foundation and a resident of Ward 3. Previously, she served in communications roles at Mercy Corps, the Minnesota Council on Foundations, and the American Refugee Committee. As a journalist in New York City, she earned an Emmy Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Documentary, and several National Headliner Awards.  

Bryce Miller Miller is a partner in the downtown Saint Paul law firm, Collins, Buckley, Sauntry & Haugh, PLLP and a resident of Ward 1. He has served as a board member of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association promoting the rights of employees. He also coaches his sons in Saint Paul youth athletics. 

Deepa Nirmal Nirmal is Associate Vice President, Senior Training and Development Consultant for RBC Wealth Management US and is a resident of Ward 5. She also serves on the leadership team of RBC’s Multicultural Employee Alliance, an employee resource group dedicated to diversity and inclusion within RBC. She has volunteered with the Hamline Midway Library and been part of the Hamline Midway Library Association for over a decade. 

Mani Vang-Polacek Vang-Polacek is Human Resources Director for the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota and a resident of Golden Valley. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including Cultural Jambalaya and Joy Academy (where she chaired the board). She also served as a mentor in the Saint Paul School District’s Mentoring Excellence Program.  

“This new class continues the 75-year legacy of strength and leadership for which The Friends’ board is known. Each of these new members brings exceptional professional expertise, immense passion for the Saint Paul Public Library, and an important voice that will inform and guide our work in the coming years,” says Friends president Beth Burns. 

Outgoing members of the board include Jim Bradshaw, Scott Burns, Pat Harris, Vineeta Sawkar, and Mike Zipko. 

Members are elected to a three-year term, which is renewable for up to three terms. The four new members complete a board roster that includes leaders from throughout Saint Paul and the greater metro area.  

About The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library  
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library acts as a catalyst for libraries to strengthen and inspire their communities. An independent, nonprofit organization established in 1945, The Friends invests in the Saint Paul Public Library through fundraising, advocacy, and programming; as a result, our Library is a nationally-recognized leader in serving its community. The Friends also serves libraries across the country and internationally through its consulting services, Library Strategies, and promotes literacy, reading, and libraries statewide as the Library of Congress’s designated Minnesota Center for the Book. For more information, contact The Friends at 651-222-3242 or visit thefriends.org