Literacy Hero Award 2017 Maureen Minnehan Jones

Maureen Minnehan Jones, recipient of the 2017 Literacy Hero Award
Each and every day, ordinary people do extraordinary things to promote literacy in our communities. With these awards, we celebrate the selfless acts of three regional heroes who champion the cause of literacy in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

Maureen Minnehan Jones is a registered nurse, author, and speaker who lives in Oakdale, California. In 2012, she was invited to participate in a new festival designed to excite interest in reading and provide support for local authors. She immediately asked, “What can I do to help?”

Since that time, Maureen has worked hard to make the Great Valley Bookfest a huge success. From the outset, she invested many hours helping the nonprofit team find and enlist authors. In 2015, she became the chairperson of the Bookfest Authors’ Committee, bringing in increasingly well-known authors each year.

As the main contact for featured authors, Maureen responds to dozens of inquiries from interested writers. She helps to coordinate schedules and equipment needs for the various presentation stages, and she communicates information with each author, handling an endless flurry of questions and concerns during the weeks leading up to the Bookfest.

At the annual festival, Maureen and her husband Jerry arrive early to help set up tents, signs, and equipment. She fields questions from authors, double-checks preparations at each stage, and makes sure the event runs smoothly. At the end of the long day, she and her husband help to dismantle the festival.

Soon after the event is completed, Maureen helps to administer and interpret participant surveys, and before winter sets in, she starts helping to plan the following year’s Bookfest.

Bookfest founder Toni Raymus sings her praises. “Maureen Minnehan Jones provides stable, solid leadership for our authors’ committee, and she offers sensible, perceptive input to guide decisions. She has a positive, can-do attitude, tackling problems head-on. She has been a key factor in the Bookfest’s success.”