About us


The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) was founded in 1979 by Joan Austen-Leigh, Henry G. Burke, and J. David Grey. JASNA’s approximately 4,000 members are of all ages and from diverse walks of life.

The Greater Phoenix Region was formed on January 27, 2012. We have been experiencing steady growth and are confident that we will continue to grow and be enriched by each other and the better understanding of Jane Austen and her work. We have great plans for the future!


Our mission is to create community and provide a vehicle among the people of the Greater Phoenix area to study, appreciate, understand, and enjoy the works and life of Jane Austen, to reach out to the community through various services, and provide scholarships for Austen-related study and travel.

Emily Smith

Regional Coordinator

No one who had ever seen Emily in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a Jane Austen addict. The youngest of three, she was reared in the sleepy farm town of Belle Plaine, Iowa, to parents who had never heard of dear Aunt Jane.  It was not until her freshman year of high school that she was first introduced to the beloved authoress.  And like most girls of 15 years, Emily did not recognize genius when it was before her.  But when a young lady is to be a Jane Austen addict, something must and will happen to throw a novel in her way.  She enrolled in an English literature course at Arizona State University where she earned her B.S. of Life Sciences, and there her Austen obsession was firmly established.  For if adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them in a book.  Aside from her love of Jane Austen, Emily has an equal love for animals of all shapes and sizes and has been employed at the Phoenix Zoo in their animal show department for the past fifteen years.  During her time off, she can be found taking long walks with her rescue dog Lizzy, sewing Regency attire, playing the pianoforte, and traveling.  

Our Board

Emily Smith, Regional Coordinator

Renie Broderick, Treasurer

Kate Lyon, Membership Correspondence and Recording Secretary

Donna E. (Bella) Bennett, Historian

Sherry Moore, Electronic Media

Holly Welker, Discussion Facilitator

Peg Hesley, Regional Dance Caller

Perry Krowne, Northern AZ Book Club Leader

Elizabeth Pickens, Event Prizes

Diane Gorham, Founder

Paula Heil, Advisor



Join us!

Membership in JASNA is open to everyone, especially those who have an interest in Jane Austen and her works. We welcome your participation in JASNA’s activities, conferences, and regional groups.

If you’re ready to join, you may do so here!

You are also welcome to come to a few local events before you decide to join.

JASNA Greater Phoenix is a region of The Jane Austen Society of North America. If you’d like more info, please fill out the form below.

Get involved:

If you would like to be placed on our email list, please fill out this form. We promise not to fill your inbox, but keep you abreast of upcoming events which may be of interest to you.

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