This slate for the 2018-20 LWVUS Board of Directors and Nominating Committee will be presented to delegates at the LWVUS Convention in June. The Nominating Committee worked over the last two years to present a slate of nominees that they believe are ready to take the League to the next level as we look to our second century. This group was chosen from a strong group of leaders nationwide that were nominated and represents a mix of diversity in age, geography, ethnicity, experiences and skill sets to continue to elevate the League and our impact.
CHRIS CARSON, LWVUS president and LWVEF chair
Biography: LWVUS Board of Directors President (2016-Present); LWVEF Board of Trustees Chair (2016-Present); LWVUS Campaign Finance Reform Task Force (2012-Present); LWVUS Immigration Study Committee (2006-2008); LWV California government director (2005-2009), program director, Redistricting and Campaign Finance Reform (2009-Present); LWV Los Angeles County ILO Communications and Transportation director (2003-05); LWV Glendale/Burbank president/co-president (1993-95, 2001-05, 2009-11); member of the League since 1983; former college lecturer in American History.
Personal Statement: For me, the League is ‘the’ grassroots organization. It educates and trains citizens to get involved in their government at all levels. Nurtured in an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect, people are empowered to work to improve our communities and build democracy. You begin gathering questions at a candidate forum and later lead major government reform. Where else besides the League?
KAREN NICHOLSON, LWVUS vice president and LWVEF vice chair
Biography: LWVUS/EF: secretary, Education Fund chair; ED Search, Budget, Communication, Membership; LWVTX: president, organization vice president/services to LL’s; leadership trainer; public school finance issue chair. Study chair: teacher effectiveness (LWV Houston), child care (LWVTX), state education study (LWV Richardson). Various other offices in local TX LWVs. Long involved in education: current Midland ISD Board of Trustees Vice President; community college, middle and high school math educator. Public member of Grievance Oversight Committee and Commission for Lawyer Discipline, both appointed by Texas Supreme Ct., numerous non-profit boards and advisory committees.
Statement: In this age of dysfunctional politics, I am proudest of the LWV for being civil. We know to stick to the issues – not talk about personalities. We know to look at pros and cons – not immediately jump to conclusions without consideration. We know to advocate based on facts, not innuendo. We do it right.
TONI ZIMMER, LWVUS/LWVEF secretary
Biography: Toni Zimmer was first elected to serve as Secretary on the National Board in 2016. She was a member of the LWVUS Budget Committee, chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Development Committee. Toni currently serves as board liaison to five New England state Leagues, including Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. She is also a member of the League of Women Voters Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. As President of LWV of New Jersey (LWVNJ) from 2011 – 2015, she criss-crossed the state, visiting a total of 30 individual local Leagues. In 2014 at the LWVUS Convention, New Jersey was awarded the “High Impact Visibility Award” for producing a powerful documentary film “Hurricane Sandy: Storming for the Vote.” Toni also served the League as LWVNJ VP of Advocacy; LWVNJ Director; and President, LWV of Sussex Highlands NJ 2006-2008. She is currently continuing her college education by attending classes to earn a degree in Theatre Arts Education so she can teach acting to adults and children with learning disabilities.
Statement: As we approach our 100th anniversary, my hope is that the League will expand and broaden its membership so that it mirrors, represents, and responds to the growing diversity and evolving demographics of our population, to further raise the profile of the League as an advocate and fighter for voting rights, and to empower people of all walks of life to exercise those rights.
JESSICA LOWE-MINOR, LWVUS/LWVEF treasurer
Biography: LWVUS: board of directors (2016-present); LWV Tallahassee: secretary (2015-16); LWV Florida: executive director (2010-2014), contributed to a significant increase in organizational revenue (167%), membership (31%), and visibility. Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence: inaugural executive director (2015-2018), managed nonprofit management support organization serving over 160 member agencies throughout North Florida and South Georgia; state legislative advocate (2005-2010); experienced in nonprofit communications, financial management and fundraising. Mother to 4 year-old future voter, Madeline Grace Minor.
Statement: The right to vote is fundamental to our system of government. The League is on the front lines of democracy – fighting for fair and accessible elections as well as ensuring that voters have the fact-based, nonpartisan information they need to make an informed choice. I have seen, over and over again, the power of the League to affect positive change and am excited to support the League’s impact and growth through 2020 and beyond.
Biography: LWV Seattle-King County board of directors, technology chair (2017-present); member of the League since 2017; program manager in the technology sector.
Statement: I joined the League because I personally believe in creating a more equitable world by empowering people to become active participants in democracy. For me, that begins with protecting democracy, enabling voter participation and facilitating civil political dialogue across social and partisan boundaries.
Biography: LWV Chester County, PA (2009-Present); Education Funding Committee; Immigration Task Force; New Member Meet & Greet; Photo ID Law Public Education and Courtroom testifier; Senior Living Visitor; Board Member (2011-2016); LWVCC Board President (2012-2016); LWVPA President (2013 – Present); East Goshen Township Planning Commissioner (2002 – 2012); West Chester Area School District Board Director 2005 – 2009 (Legislative Liaison)
Statement: I believe in and am committed to the Leagues’ role as a beacon and defender of voters’ rights. Through expanded efforts toward inclusion and equity we will gain strength, broaden perception and expand our impact. Our future is only as limited as our perceptions of what we can become.
CATHERINE PERRY COTTEN
Biography: Catherine Perry Cotten is a professional educator/consultant and promotes education initiatives through the LWV. She received the National Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching and recognized by the President of the United States. She was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in state, federal, and private foundation funding supporting curriculum development, teacher education, technology innovations and workforce development. Her numerous leadership roles include the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, Humanities Council, and Nature Conservancy Boards.
Statement: Entering its next 100 years I am looking forward to the growth of the LWVUS and changes only the LWV can accomplish. As a Board Member and charter member of a new chapter, I am looking for viable partnerships that create more civil, just, and empowered lives for ALL.
Biography: LWVUS Shur Fellow (2015-current); LWVUS Bylaws Committee (2016); LWVUS Young People’s Taskforce (2012-2014); LWV Ohio Board Member (2009-2010), Inspire Campaign Committee member (2016-current); LWV Cincinnati Area VP Development (2014-current); president (2010-2012), VP Voter Service (2006-2010); member of the League since 1997; currently Senior Specialist of Development Communications, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and co-host of the What Would Alice Paul Do? podcast.
Statement: Our democracy needs the League now more than ever, and no other organization has the skills, history and values like us to empower voters. We are an invaluable force for change and it would be my honor to serve as we march towards our 100th anniversary.
Biography: Grateful member of the League since the early 90’s; LWV South Carolina co-president (2015- Present); LWV of the Charleston Area president (2011-2015); LWV Charleston Area education director (2014-2015); LWV Charleston Area poll reporting fundraising chair (1996-2006); additional League work has focused on public relations, education, and transportation; mother of two teenage sons; a public information and outreach consultant as owner of Civic Communications, LLC; has lived in Atlanta, Washington DC, Columbia, SC and Charleston, SC.
Statement: I joined the League for nonpartisan perspectives on hot policy topics and have remained a member for 25+ years because no other organization has been able to offer me the quality of information, training, and mentors needed to defend democracy and empower advocacy.
Biography: Gayla McCluskey joined the Radnor League in the early 1990s, president for four years, current voters’ services director, LWVPA membership and leadership development program coach, LWVPA 2017 Anna Estes Strawbridge Honor Roll. BS in engineering technology, MBA in engineering management, four professional certifications in environmental, health, and safety. She has served on several national and local professional and nonprofit boards.
Statement: As the League enters its second century, it must remain as viable as it was in the beginning by adapting to meet today’s challenges and opportunities. Democracy must work irrespective of political differences. The League’s members are the key to making that happen.
Biography: Jessica Rohloff lives in rural Minnesota. Her League work focused on increasing visibility and partnerships, developing programming in the areas of inclusion and equity, state level voting rights advocacy and voter education. Under her presidency, her local chapter revitalized a committed observers’ corps focusing on accountability at the municipal level. She holds a B.A. and has worked in human services. While on the National Board Jessica Rohloff has served on the audit and budget committees. She has also been highly involved in the crafting and implementation of the transformation process and the emphasis on equity and inclusion.
Statement: I envision a League that is stronger in both numbers and inclusivity. A League that maintains our deliberative process while being more transparent, responsive and understandable in how that process works. While it is true our organization needs to be reenergized, a common misunderstanding is the idea that we face the task of creating energy from nothing. There are many signs that a significant segment of the country is growing increasingly disenchanted and disenfranchised by the current money-flooded hyperpartisan political system. Who better to be the voice and organizer of these people than the League? The momentum is clear but in order to be a conduit for this energy the League must be known, relevant and willing to share power with new groups of people. I am seeking a second term on the board to continue the critical work we have undertaken in the transformation roadmap.
Biography: Co-president LWV Iowa 2015. Vice president LWV Iowa 2011 – 2015. President LWV Des Moines Metropolitan 2010 – 2015. Nominating committee LWV Iowa 2012-2015, Board LWV Iowa 2010 to present. Board LWV Des Moines Metropolitan 2009 to present. Gynecologic Oncologist 35 years in private and academic sector programs. Active in civic and community organizations.
Statement: Education is the foundation of LWV. As we march into our next 100 years we must continue to strengthen that foundation: educating citizens on critical issues and as importantly educating the public about who we are and what we do. There is no other organization as well respected as LWV placing it in a unique position to tackle the difficult social issues of our day.
SUSAN SMITH, chair
Biography: LWVUS: Nominating Committee (2016-2018); LWVMI: Board of Directors (2015-2019), President (2011-2015), Program Vice President (2007-2011), Nominating Committee (2005-2007); LWV-AA: President (2005-2009), Vice President Program (2002-2004), Nominating Committee (2002-2004). Central Michigan University Business Professor and Administrator (1980-2000). City of Mt. Pleasant: Mayor (1992 and 1994), City Council member (1990-1996), School Board President (1983-1988).
Statement: Serving on the LWVUS Nominating Committee would be both an honor and a responsibility. The Committee’s work in nominating a diverse group of national leaders with dedication to our principles and a bold vision for our future is crucial to the continued success of our League. We must build on the values of our great organization while embracing the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Biography: LWVUS Board Director (2016-present); LWVUS Advocacy and Education Committee (2016-present); LWVUS Lobby Corps (2016-2018); LWVUS Shur Fellow/National Coach (2014-2016); LWVUS Young People Task Force co-Chair (2012-2014); LWV of Falls Church Communications Team (2016-present); LWV of Eastern Upper Peninsula, MI Founder and President (2013-2015). Member in the League since 2006. Liberal Arts, A.A., College of Alameda (2006); Social Science, B.S., Portland State University (2008); Political Science, M.S., American Public University System (2012); Coast Guard veteran and spouse to active duty military member.
Statement: As a LWVUS Nominating Committee member, I understand the importance of ensuring that we diversify the leadership of our organization so that it represents the many talents, perspectives and experiences of American women today. I am committed to reaching broadly across our existing and our new, exciting networks to find the next extraordinary women who will take our legacy organization beyond 2020!
Biography: LWVUS Board of Directors, 2016-1018; chair of LWUS Governance Committee, 2016-2018; chair of Bylaws Committee, 2017-2018; LWVUS Ruth Shur Fellow (2011-2013); LWVODC past president, Nominating Committee chair, and Chatham Unit chair (2015-2016); LWVNC board and convention chair (2014-2015); LWVODC president/leader (2012-2015); LWVNC board member and vice president (2005-2009); LWV Wake board (2003-2005). Administrative vice president, NC Community College System (1997-2001) and institutional research/planning in higher education (1983-1997). Ph.D. vocational psychology (1983).
Statement: The League of Women Voters has a critical role to play in this divisive and often uncivil political environment. Public respect for the League is the result of our nonpartisanship and almost a century of tirelessly working to protect the vote. I am committed to making the League’s voice heard as we speak out to make our democracy work.