Board of Directors
Members of our Board serve three-year terms. The current board was seated in April of 2016. Two new board members will be added at our 2017 Annual Meeting.
Carrie La Seur, Board President
Carrie practices energy and environmental law on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and Native Americans—and does a little writing—from an office in Billings, Montana. Her ancestors homesteaded in Montana in 1864 and survived every sort of calamity and absurdity, so the book industry seems pretty tame to her by comparison.
Carrie’s improbable but apparently nonfiction résumé includes a degree in English and French from Bryn Mawr College, a Rhodes Scholarship, a doctorate in modern languages from Oxford University, and a Yale law degree. She is the author of The Home Place and has a second novel forthcoming from William Morrow.
A licensed private pilot and committed introvert, Carrie hikes, skis, and fishes the Montana wilderness with her family in her spare time. Her writing has appeared in such diverse media as Daily Beast, Grist, Guardian, Harvard Law and Policy Review, High Country News, Huffington Post, Kenyon Review Online, Mother Jones, and Salon.
Precious McKenzie, Vice President
Precious has a PhD in English from the University of South Florida. Her area of specialization is nineteenth-century British literature so, naturally, she loves those big, fat Victorian novels. She's taught at the University of South Florida, New College of Florida, and Montana State University's City College. She is currently an assistant professor of English at Rocky Mountain College.
She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association. Her poetry has appeared in ellipsis, Gemini, and as part of Tupelo Press's 30/30 Project. She is also the author of over forty books for children including Buff Ducks, Isle of Enchantment, One Thousand Miles, Now or Later Alligator, and Disaster Day.
Nina Hernandez, Treasurer/Secretary
Nina Hernandez works in business development for a Montana-based non-profit. Her background is in fundraising, where she has campaigned for large nonprofits in Texas and Montana, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Dallas, Texas. Her Montana roots brought her back to Billings after she and her husband adopted their first child. She worked as the Executive Director for the American Heart Association before taking her position for Youth Dynamics, a Montana-based nonprofit focusing on children’s mental and behavioral healthcare. With an emphasis on philanthropy and sustainability, she oversees business development, marketing and communications and community education for the state.
By serving on This House of Books’ board of directors, Nina is able to exercise one of her favorite out-of-office pastimes, as a bookworm and literature enthusiast. She and her husband have two children, believe in small houses, downtown communities, and cultural growth for Billings.
Jaclyn S. Laferriere
Jaclyn S. Laferriere practices law in Billings, Montana, representing personal injury victims. A Bozeman native, she graduated with highest honors from Montana State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Sociology. She then moved to South Royalton, Vermont, to attend Vermont Law School. After graduating cum laude in 2010, Jaclyn returned to Montana to practice law in Billings.
Jaclyn feels one of the best activities is picking up a random book by an unknown author and discovering a new favorite book. There is a book out there for everyone at every phase in life, and helping him or her to find it is an art. While there is nothing quite like the freedom of expression and exploration that works of fiction offer to both the reader and the writer, Jaclyn also loves a well-researched history or social science book. Her favorite type of prose is the short story.