Our Staff

Lisa Fryman

Executive Director


Lisa is the Executive Director of the International Book Project. An avid reader since childhood, Lisa believes that literacy opens doors to all worlds of opportunity. South African journalist and librarian Hazel Rochman said, “Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” Books sparked Lisa’s interest in international affairs and led to a varied and fulfilling career that has taken her from international management and business development with Fortune 500 companies to raising a family in Kentucky, working as a volunteer and board member for a multitude of philanthropic and charitable projects and managing a congressional campaign. Lisa feels at home anywhere and everywhere, having lived in Lexington, Kentucky and the family farm in Washington, Kentucky for two decades, as well as having lived, traveled and worked throughout Europe, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. A native of Southern California, Lisa holds a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA in Finance from UCLA. Her favorite author is Wallace Stegner, but she has too many favorite books to single out just one!

Charla Hamilton

Director of Operations


Charla is the Director of Operations at the International Book Project. At an early age, Charla became enthralled by the world around her and took every opportunity to explore and learn about the world. She has spent time traveling and studying throughout Europe and Australia. While earning a B.A. in Psychology at Berea College, she developed a passion for social justice and non-profit service that led her to the International Book Project. In 2015-2016, Charla served as AmeriCorps VISTA member with the International Book Project and learned firsthand the impact books could have on a global scale. As the Director of Operations, Charla oversees all large shipments, keeps the warehouse running smoothly, and manages volunteers. Charla continues to be interested in seeing the world, reading good books, and large cups of coffee.

Ryan Sparks

Books as Bridges Program Coordinator/VISTA


Ryan is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving International Book Project as a member of The Plantory Network. Ryan grew up in Eastern Kentucky and earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Education at Morehead State University. After becoming TEFL and TESOL certified, Ryan then taught English online for a year before working as an English instructor at Magoffin County High School. Hoping to hone his skills in a way that allowed him to share his passion for literature with others, Ryan continued his education, earning a Master of Arts in Literature at New Mexico State University. While there, Ryan’s primary area of research concerned modern, postmodern, and contemporary literature as understood from the critical perspectives of intersectionality, phenomenology, narrative, and metanarrative. As a teaching assistant, he also taught 100-level English courses on Rhetoric and Composition and 200-level English courses on Intersectionality as it relates to Language, Power, and Identity. As an Americorp VISTA serving International Book Project, Ryan coordinates the Books as Bridges program, a program that seeks to increase literacy and cultural awareness in Kentucky by establishing and maintaining global partnerships. Matching students in Kentucky with those around the world according to age and skill level, the program utilizes lessons taught from an intersectional perspective and works to increase student access to books and other materials that encourage literacy. Outreach takes many forms, but the program gives students the opportunity to exchange three letters with a pen-pal from another country and also invites schools to take part in creating and completing a service-learning project. In his free time, Ryan enjoys reading, writing, biking, yoga, and playing music. He also loves his cats, Fluff and Savage, very much.

Dana Cox

Director of Development


Dana is the Director of Development of the International Book Project. For as long as she can remember, books and words have been her inspiration. A native of Louisville, Dana has worked as a journalist, travel writer, magazine editor, and in academic publishing and retail book-selling before spending more than 15 years in fund-raising at the University of Kentucky. Dana earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism at UK and completed graduate coursework in Historic Preservation. She helped launch the Curry Stone International Prize in Design and has been active with the IdeaFestival in Louisville. Dana lives in Lexington with her husband, Jim, and her children, Annie and Christopher. Dana enjoys fiction and non-fiction and is a fan of poetry and short stories. She lives by the words of Robert Frost: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” In her role as development director, Dana seeks to make a difference in global literacy and education by expanding the resources and reach of the International Book Project.

Nick Farr

Operations Coordinator


Nick is the Operations Coordinator at the International Book Project. As a student at Berea College, he spent his time studying technology and design, while also working as an assistant at the college library’s educational technology studio and as a graphic designer for the marketing department. Nick’s experience in digital technology and the arts has enabled him to do everything from graphic design for non-profit organizations to designing and building custom electric guitars. Aside from working at IBP, he also assists patrons and teaches classes on digital technology at the Lexington Public Library’s Digital Studio. In his free time, he enjoys playing music, photography, running, and reading non-fiction books about nature, space, and music history.