BOARD OF DIRECTORS DEFENDERS OF DEMOCRACY
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Gloria Pickar, Co-President
Gloria has served as Co-President of LWVOC for two years and former Second Vice President and Chair for Gun Safety. Professionally, she consults with businesses and universities for online learning best practices. She has more than 40 years in business and higher education, including President and Chief Academic Officer of the leading higher education online learning services company recently acquired by Pearson. She was named six times to Top 50 Women-Led Businesses in Florida. She holds Nursing degrees and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Florida. Gloria is also a nursing clinician, educator, and author of two nursing textbooks. She serves on the Board for the Art and History Museums—Maitland and is President of her neighborhood Homeowners’ Association. Gloria has a proven record of developing community, government, business, and education partnerships. Organizational leadership and coalition building are her passions.
Sandi Vidal, Co-President
Sandi describes herself as a girl who wants to change the world one day at a time. She is currently the Vice President of Community Strategies and Initiatives for the Central Florida Foundation. She is a graduate of the University of Miami school of Business with a degree in Business Administration. Prior to her role at the Foundation, Sandi served as the Executive Director and CEO of Christian HELP/Central Florida Employment Council and as Executive Vice President of Central Florida Commission on Homelessness. Sandi has been active with the Leaguers-in-Action Committee. She serves as current LWVOC Co-President and looks forward to her second term.
Leesa Bainbridge, Past President
Leesa served the League as Co-President for two years, Past President during 2019- 2020, and has agreed to serve for a second year as Past President. She was the former Second VP, and she has also served as Communications Co-Chairperson. Leesa has an extensive background in writing/editing and public relations and speaking. Also, she is a member of the Steering Committee for the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. After more than a 20-year career in newspapers, including as an editor at the Detroit Free Press and Orlando Sentinel, she served as the Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the Orange County Clerk of Courts.
Christine Bramuchi, First Vice President
Christine has been a League member since 2010, and she is an active member of the League Board and the Education Committee. She looks forward to continuing as First Vice President. Christine co-founded and is employed by the Alliance for Public Schools, a non-profit organization that engages the community to support public schools. She serves on various boards and committees, including Leadership Orange, PTA and Foundation for Florida Environmental Protection. She has been recognized for her advocacy including OCPS Volunteer of the Year and runner-up with her partners for Orlando Sentinel’s Central Floridian of the Year. She brings her experience managing non-profit organizations and her ability to advocate for common causes with diverse stakeholders to the Board.
Angela Melvin, Second Vice-President
Angela’s previous advocacy for education led her to the League and the Education Committee. She was a PTA/PTSA President for four years and a member of SAC for ten years. Presently, she is the Human Resources Director for the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort and oversees 200+ employees. Angela has been a trainer for over 25 years. She wants to utilize her talents and focus her passion into helping educate people about the League and its positions.
Karen Estrin, Treasurer
Karen previously served on the Juvenile Justice Committee. She believes it is as Treasurer that she can best contribute to the League. For 26 years, Karen and her husband worked together in their design/build company. Prior to opening the business, she worked in the financial services industry as a stockbroker. Karen helped open the first Orlando area office for Raymond James and later Charles Schwab.
Barbara Granade, Secretary
Barbara is currently serving on the LWVOC Board and is Co-Chair of the Speakers Bureau. Prior to accepting the Board position, she was an active member of the League’s Gun Safety, Voter Services and Nominating Committees. These committees and Board experiences have allowed her to develop a knowledge and understanding of League functions that enable her to serve the League as Board Secretary. Barbara was an Orlando travel agent who retired after 30 years in the business. She is a member of 100 Women Strong, a philanthropic Central Florida giving circle and served on their Leadership Committee. As a current member of its Grant Committee she researches community programs to discover innovative ways to improve the lives of economically challenged women and children in Orange County.
Pat Grierson, Elected Director
Pat has been the Chair of the Membership Committee for several years and is a former First Vice President. Under her direction the League membership has grown from 560 to over 900. Previously she managed the League’s statewide campaign in support of The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment and the League’s first, statewide membership challenge. She will bring this League experience and that of her professional career to the position as an officer of the Board. For 35 years she was a commercial office designer in Washington DC, first as owner of her own practice and then as vice president and studio leader with a leading architectural firm. She holds a Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida and a Masters of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, MO
Carol Wonsavage, Elected Director
Carol spent her career in a field she loves, television, holding management positions in production, programming, government relations and communications in TV stations in Washington DC; Baltimore; Denver & Charlotte. She was director of broadcasting at WMFE(PBS), Orlando and of marketing at WPSU TV/FM State College. Currently she is a course director in the business program at Full Sail University. She has a BA and MA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Carol would like to put her experience to work serving the League and its causes. She’s on the board of the Steinway Society of Central Florida, which provides music education to disadvantaged children; is secretary of her HOA and a DAR delegate. A League member for five years, she is on the government relations and communications committees.
Saudi Ellis, Elected Director
Saudi has been an active League member since 2016, serving on the Voter Services Committee and coordinating the LWVOC petition drive of the Voter Restoration Amendment. Her passion is voter education, registration, and battling any attempts of voter disenfranchisement. Saudi retired as an Intelligence Analyst from the Orlando Police Department after 28 years of service. She brings years of analytical experience, excellent research and writing skills, and strong organizational and interpersonal skills to successfully work with individuals and teams to accomplish a goal. Saudi is a graduate of UCF, and a licensed Realtor and Notary Public. She enjoys traveling, music, ethnic and cultural events, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Leah Nash, Elected Director
Leah Nash joined LWVOC because she’s passionate about her right to vote and wants
to ensure that others have the opportunity to take advantage of their privilege to vote as
well. In 2018, she became Chairperson of the Voter Services Committee, LWVOC’s
largest committee. She created a sub-committee structure that helped organize themany initiatives of the committee, which includes voter registration and voter education.
Outside of LWVOC, Leah is the Development Manager for the Hemophilia Foundation of Greater Florida. She has 20+ years of experience in non-profit/membership organizations, government, hospitality, and media, as well as owning her own company.
She believes in living authentically, open heartedly, and creatively. Leah also hosts a weekly radio show and is in a ukulele band..
Charles Davis, Elected Director
Charles was born in Frederick, Maryland. He attended Morgan State College, Baltimore MD, graduating with a BA in Geography. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Infantry, in the US Army Reserves in 1963 and retired twenty years later. Charles served tours in Ft. Benning, Ft. Hood, Ft Bragg, Ft. Riley, Ft. Holabird, and two tours each in Germany and Vietnam. Service included five years in the Infantry/Special Forces and fifteen years in Military Intelligence. After retirement, he worked at Lockheed Martin in Industrial Security Management in Orlando and in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, retiring in 2005. In 2010, Charles joined the League of Women Voters of Orange County. He is active in the Voter Services and Immigration Committees. He was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2018.
Sue Gilman, Elected Director
A member of the League for several years, Sue has primarily participated, as many members do, by attending the Hot Topics lunches. It is therefore fitting, that with her friend Barbara Lanning, Sue has recently volunteered to co-chair organizing Hot Topics. Making her home in Orange County since 1982, Sue and her husband have three grown sons who attended public school here and have made their homes in the area. Sue worked for many years in the corporate media world, producing magazines, websites and events until 2014 when she became a realtor specializing in residential properties throughout the Central Florida area. "Real estate provides an intimate perspective on what is important to a broad spectrum of people in the area, long-time residents, those brand new to the area, and everything in between,” Sue says
Kimberly Cohen, Elected Director
I am a Florida native and have lived in various cities before returning to Orlando in
2012. Though I've had a career path with multiple tracks there are common threads:
communication and organization skills, customer advocate, and excellent business
sense. These are all skills I believe I can bring to the Board. My work day currently consists of corralling multiple colleagues, across multiple divisions of a Fortune 100 company, and using influence and persuasion to bring them to consensus - a skill I believe would be especially useful on the board. While a fairly recent addition to the LWVOC, I'm very active: Sub-Committee Chair for Voter Registration and a core member of Leaguers in Action. I am passionate about protecting our democracy and
being a responsible citizen in our community, and I love the League and everything for which we stand. I would take my Board responsibilities seriously, and it would be an
honor to serve.
The following are Appointed Directors as set by the Bylaws; these individuals were appointed by the Board at the March 16, 2020 Board meeting to serve on the Board for one year during 2020-2021.
Susan Baxter, Elected Director
Susan is a passionate educator with experience working in the classroom, online, and in administrative roles. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate students. In her current role she is a full-time online graduate professor in marketing for LIM College. Prior to moving into education, she worked in mental health as a family therapist specializing in In-Home Family Therapy, managed non-profits focused on preventing child abuse and neglect for children aged 0-5, and in Managed Behavioral Healthcare Organizations. Susan has volunteered for organizations that focus on reproductive rights, food insecurity, and educational issues. She has been fortunate to live and work in various locations including Okinawa, Germany, Minnesota, Hawaii, New York, and Florida. She has called Orlando home for 24 years.
Georgiana Holmes, Director
Georgiana works with the First 50 Coalition, a broad-based alliance of organizations led by the League of Women Voters of Orange County that is pushing collectively to support environmentally sustainable policies in Central Florida. She is an attorney who focuses on environmental and land use law issues. She is a member of the Florida Conservation Voters Education Fund Board of Directors, the Florida Bar’s Environmental Land Use and City, County; Local Government Law Sections, Orange County Bar Association, Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, Central Florida Women Lawyers Association, and several other social justice and civic organizations.
Marilyn Baldwin, Director
Marilyn brings to the Board over 25 years of advocacy experience for those with physical disabilities and visual impairments. Her expertise in this area will enable the League to be more aware of and to work to remove barriers to fuller participation of this vital element of our society. She currently serves as Chair of the Transportation for the Disadvantaged, Local Coordinating Board of Metroplan Orlando. She is also the current President of the Central Florida Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. As a member of our League, she serves on the Transportation and Health Care committees. She is a longtime resident of Orlando and a proud graduate of Bethune-Cookman College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Specific Learning Disabilities.
Ginger Mundy, Director
Ginger has been a member of the League since 2018, participating in the Speakers Bureau, Hot Topics, Speakeasy events, Annual Planning meetings and joining fellow members at the 2019 Pride Parade. She’s always had an interest in social justice and equality and whole-heartedly supports the nonpartisan positions of LWV. She is a native Floridian, born in Pensacola, and is happy to have called Orlando home for nearly 20 years. She has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and after a long and varied career is now an entrepreneur, co-founder, and co-owner of Cater Nation, an online catering marketplace. Over the years, she has served on the Board for The Mustard Seed of Central Florida, on The Village Council for IMPOWER and as a crisis responder.
Lisa Poppe, Director
Lisa was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Lindenwood University with a B.A. in Political Science in 1996. Lisa joined the military later that year and continues to serve as a Public Affairs Officer assigned to Headquarters Southern Command, which oversees all U.S. military operations throughout Central and South America, and the Caribbean Islands. Major Poppe has received copious awards, decorations and accolades throughout her 23-year Air Force career. After years of moving and feeling unsettled, Lisa decided to make Central Florida her new home. She currently lives in Orlando and attends UCF (Go Knights!) in pursuit of her Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning. After attending her first League of Women Voters event, she was amazed by the compassion and dedication of those in attendance. Lisa had finally found her tribe - a group of proactive women that are truly interested in politics and making the world a better place for all! She is involved in the Affordable Housing and Transportation committees. However, LWV’s involvement isn’t limited to certain committees and as most members, Poppe is willing to serve, as needed, in order to see the organization grow and thrive. LWV is more than an organization - it’s a sisterhood of like-minded professionals, willing to take a stand for what is right.
Zeynep Portway, Director
Zeynep is the President and Co-Founder of RePiece, a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to assist those with significant barriers to employment. Prior to her role at RePiece, Zeynep served as the Market Leader of Manpower in Orlando focused on helping people to find jobs and Goodwill Industries of Central Florida as the Program Manager of Impact Families. Zeynep also serves as the Florida Region Director of Training for ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve), which is a department of Defense program to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers. She is also social media coordinator for GOOD Network (Greater Orlando Organizational Development Network). She a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Political Economy
Martin Rosenthal, Director
Martin is an Orlando area Estate Planning attorney originally from the South Florida area. For about 10 years he has owned and operated an importing and retail business in Boca Raton, specializing in home décor and accessories imported from China, India and Vietnam. After selling the business in 2015, he attended law school and was licensed to practice law in 2018. He is a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator and works with families to amicably resolve interpersonal and family disputes such as divorce, child custody, and child support issues. His goal in participating with the League is to extend and ensure that all citizens have access to the right to vote
Kathy Sheerin, Director
Kathy has been a League member since 2017. She is an active member of the Voter Services Committee and is their Volunteer Coordinator. Kathy is originally from New York but has lived in Florida for over 30 years. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in Health Insurance Management. Prior to her current career in health insurance, she has had many years of experience in the health field. She was a manager at Florida Hospital, a practice manager for a cardiology office as well as a medical assistant. Kathy is also active in local community affairs. She has been on the board of her Homeowners Association for the past 12 years as the Secretary and Treasurer
Barbara Lanning, Director
Barbara is co-chair of the League’s Hot Topics program where she enjoys the opportunity to help educate league members on a variety of issues. She moved to Florida shortly after graduation to further her career in international telecommunications, opening new markets throughout the world. Ready for a less nomadic existence, she later switched careers and became the Executive Assistant to the CEO of a media company where she found her managerial skills were an asset in in organizing events and tradeshows for brands that ranged from fishing to destination weddings. Barbara is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, with both BA and MBA degrees. She holds an MIM from the American Graduate School of International Management (also known as Thunderbird).