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Board of Directors, Elected & Appointed

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Rev. Kathy Schmitz, President

Rev. Kathy is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She has served congregations in Massachusetts, Texas, and Florida in a variety of capacities over the last 30 years. Her special interests in organizations in transition, especially during changing and challenging times. Originally from New England, Kathy has been a member of the Orange County League since 2010, when she was called to be the senior pastor of First Unitarian Church of Orlando, which she served until 2018. She has enjoyed being involved in the community, including interfaith activities and advocacy for various social justice issues. She is a committed environmentalist. Prior to entering seminary, Kathy was a software engineer. She has a BS in Computer Science from Cornell University and a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. Kathy is married to League member, Charlie Behrens.

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Lee Rambeau Kemp, 1st Vice President

Lee Rambeau Kemp, MPA, is the founder of Rambeau Consulting Group LLC and a seasoned executive bringing over 40 years of leadership and advocacy experience to the non-profit sector. Before heading up her own company in 2015, Lee was a senior executive at a non-profit in NYC where she directed a portfolio of outpatient, health and residential services assisting 4,800 individuals with special needs lead self-fulfilling lives. A native of Winter Park, Lee serves on the Boards of the Valencia College Foundation and the Welbourne Nursery and Preschool. She is also a member of the Historic Preservation Advisory Board for the City of Winter Park. Lee is an active advocate for increasing voting rights, participation, and protections for all citizens. She currently chairs the new Fund Development committee and serves on the Voter Services and Membership committees of the LWVOC.


 

Anna Alvarez Boyd, 2nd Vice President

Anna Alvarez Boyd is an International Coach Federation (ICF), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and founder of Executive Horizons LLC. She has over 25 years of executive leadership experience and has acted as an advisor for leadership development and DEI programs across government, corporate, and nonprofit sectors. Anna was named a Top Coach in Orlando by Influence Digest, and her clients include senior leaders with Federal Financial Regulatory agencies. Anna is also the co-founder of the nonprofit FairWays to Leadership, which serves women and students of color in building leadership skills through golf. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University and Georgetown University's Transformational Leadership Coaching program.

Karen Willis, Treasurer

Karen served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County from January 2007 to her retirement in the fall of 2022. She led a staff of over 65, two key contractors, and over 600 early care and education providers to invest over $90M in state, federal and local funding benefiting Orange County’s youngest citizens. Prior to her work with the Early Learning Coalition, Karen served as Executive Director for the Early Learning Coalition of Seminole County for 3 1/2 years after a 25-year career in public workforce programs. Karen has extensive experience in designing, managing, and administering publicly funded programs at both the local and state levels. In recognition of her contributions, she has received multiple awards, including induction into the Florida Family Child Care Home Association Advocate Hall of Fame and being named one of Orlando Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business. Karen is actively involved in several organizations and is a graduate of various leadership programs.



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Tamra Boone, Secretary

Tamra is a highly experienced fundraising professional with over 23 years of experience in the nonprofit field. She has worked in various capacities, including family and community services, resource development, and nonprofit management. Tamra currently serves as the Director of Business Development at Edgewood Children’s Ranch, where she is responsible for overseeing major gifts, special events, grants, corporate sponsorship, direct mail, and board giving. She has previously held fundraising positions at United Against Poverty Orlando and Covenant House Florida, among others. Tamra is skilled in interpersonal communication, social intelligence, and community engagement. She has a BA in Family and Community Services from Michigan State University and holds several certificates in fundraising, leadership practice, volunteer management, and nonprofit management. Tamra is also involved in several community organizations, including the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit RoundTable and the League of Women Voters.

Pat Grierson, Elected Director

Pat has been a member of LWVOC for 9 years; she joined specifically to manage the League’s successful campaign for the Florida Water and Land Campaign.  Pat has served as Co-Chair of Membership for 7 years and Events for the past year and has previously served on the Board.  Prior to this, she had a 25-year career in commercial office design.  Pat was a Partner/Owner of her own company for 12 years and ran the design studio for a prominent architectural firm for 8 years before returning to Florida.  She holds a Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida and a Master of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.



Kathy Sheerin, Elected Director

Kathy has been a LWVOC member since 2015.  She is the co-chair of Voter Services and a Board member.

Kathy and her husband are originally from New York but have lived in Florida for 40 years.  She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Health Information Management. Prior to her current career in health insurance, she was a manager at Florida Hospital, a manager for a cardiology office and a medical assistant. Kathy is also active in her community.  She has been on the board of her Homeowners Association for the past 14 years as the Secretary and Treasurer.  

In her free time, you can find her on her 5 acres growing fruits and vegetables.



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Saudi Muhammad Ellis, Elected Director

“Democracy works when we all VOTE!”

Saudi has been an active member of the LWVOC since 2016. Serving on the Voter Services Committee, Membership Committee, and DEI Subcommittee, Saudi was elected to the Board in 2019. Her passion is voter education, registration, and battling any attempts of voter suppression or disenfranchisement. Saudi retired as an Intelligence Analyst from the Orlando Police Department after 28 years of service. Her years of analytical experience, excellent research and writing skills, and strong organizational and interpersonal skills allow her to successfully work with individuals and teams to accomplish a goal. Saudi is a graduate of UCF, and a licensed Realtor.

She enjoys traveling, music, ethnic and cultural events, and spending time with her grandchildren.



Virginia Meany, Elected Director

Virginia Meany is retired after a career in financial services. She served in executive roles for Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She is a graduate of Boston College with a BA and MBA in Finance. 

Virginia has extensive experience serving on corporate and non profit boards and currently serves on the boards of the Longy School, the Women Donors Network and the Boston Women’s Fund where she is Treasurer. She is married with 3 children and a granddaughter.

Virginia is an advocate for racial justice through board, volunteer and philanthropic endeavors. She believes passionately in the power of an informed and engaged electorate . She is eager to bring her professional skills and experience to the LWVOC Board.

Gina Hall, Elected Director

Gina is an active member of the League since 2018 and has served on various committees, including Gun Safety, Membership, and Voting Services, and is currently the Co-Chair of the Voting Services Committee. She has a 25-year background in corporate Human Resources and started her own HR consulting company in 2011. She enjoys getting involved in action and outcomes through her professional and volunteer work. Gina is passionate about educating the public on voting rights and history and enjoys registering citizens to vote. She received a B.A. degree from Auburn University and has been an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for many years. She is a past president of the Greater Orlando Society for Human Resource Management (GOSHRM) and has served on the Board of Directors for more than 10 years. Gina is a lifetime member of GOSHRM and enjoys playing golf, gardening, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren.



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Marilyn Baldwin, Elected Director

Marilyn Baldwin's remarkable journey is a testament to her lifelong dedication to service and advocacy. Graduating from the Florida School for the Blind in 1977, Marilyn's commitment to community involvement blossomed early, as she actively participated in various high school committees. With a degree in Elementary Education and Specific Learning Disabilities from Bethune Cookman College in 1982, Marilyn embarked on a career focused on empowering others. From teaching children with learning disabilities to serving as an Administrative Receptionist for the City of Orlando, her passion for making a difference was evident.

However, Marilyn's impact extended far beyond her professional roles. Engaging with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) became a cornerstone of her advocacy work, where she served in numerous capacities, including her current role as President of the Central Florida Chapter. Beyond the NFB, Marilyn's dedication led her to become a member of the League of Women Voters of Orange County's Board of Directors, further amplifying her voice in shaping policies that promote inclusivity and accessibility. Marilyn's involvement with various organizations, such as the Florida Bar Citizens Forum and the Friends of the Talking Book Library, underscores her tireless commitment to serving her community. Today, Marilyn's boundless energy and unwavering dedication continue to inspire others as she actively works to create a more equitable and inclusive society.



Jean Yglesias, Elected Director

Jean has been a League member since 2007, initially in Orange County, then in Tampa for eight years serving as a board member there and then as Pres-Elect, until returning to Orange County. Her passion is voter education, particularly focusing on youth voting. She co-created a power point for engaging youth voters that the League presented from 2014-2019. Originally from NY, she and her family have lived in FL since 1999. She served as a founding member and later as Chair of the first Main Street program in Orlando, and served as an appointed City Task Force Member on the long-term redevelopment plan for the Michigan St/Orange Ave corridor in Orlando. She is a graduate of New York University with a degree in filmmaking. Jean has enjoyed a very eclectic career from producing TV commercials, making legacy films, managing a NYC law firm, doing communications work and campaign managing a FL House Rep race. Jean also serves as a board member with Ruth’s List Central Florida.

Lauren Zelek, Elected Director

Lauren Zelek is a seasoned marketing professional currently serving as a Director of Marketing at Orlando-based digital marketing firm Launch That. A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in Marketing, Lauren is also a devoted mother of three girls, finding joy in balancing her family life with her passion for running and exploring the world through travel.



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Samia (Sam) Solh, Appointed Director

Samia earned a B.A. from Pace University Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Political Management from George Washington University. Starting her career abroad, her commitment to Women Empowerment led her to publish the first business and empowerment Magazine for women in the Middle East. 

 

Samia has been living in Central Florida for over 14 years. Alongside her commitment to local and international politics, Sam is also an entrepreneur and a Realtor, Samia runs a women owned Real Estate development business in Central Florida focused on designing communities that elevate the human experience. She also serves on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for Osceola County.


Jane Hursh, Appointed Director

Jane Hursh, alongside her husband John, co-founded the 306 Foundation (501(c)3) 13 years ago with a mission to 'improve communities around the world.' Their local focus includes the Toolbox4Life curriculum, which aids men and women living on the margins by addressing holistic healing. Jane, formerly the owner of jane’s short & sweet LLC, a robust baking company, received support from Newman’s Own Foundation to develop her social justice business model. With experience at Cru International, she worked on ghostwriting and editing ministry leaders’ books, scripting videos, and managing internal communications while living in France and Budapest. She has taught public speaking at UT-San Antonio, directed marketing for a CPA firm in Miami, and written TV news in Cincinnati. Jane holds a BA from Western Kentucky University and an MA from Miami University. Currently, she provides contract work in writing, editing, and marketing for small businesses and volunteers her services to startups and non-profits. Her spare time is devoted to developing photography skills, advocating with LWVOC, mentoring Enneagram, and coaching the 55+ crowd at CrossFit Winter Park as an L1 trainer.

Sandy McAdams, Appointed Director

Cassandra McAdams, a newly appointed District Aide for the State of Florida representing District 41 under Representative Bruce Antone, brings a diverse background in education, history, and community organizing to her role. A staunch advocate for democratic principles, Cassandra's involvement in voting rights extends through leadership positions in organizations such as the Orange County NAACP and the Florida State NAACP, alongside active participation in the Orange County Voter’s League, Orange County Democratic Black Caucus, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.  Cassandra holds degrees from Loyola University of Chicago and The University of Michigan.

Her proudest roles include being a devoted wife, mother to two daughters, and a Gold Star mother to a son who served in the US Army. Inspired by the words of poet Marge Piercy, Cassandra embodies strength and determination in her commitment to effecting positive change and promoting equality within her community and beyond.

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Diana Smith, Appointed Director

Diana Smith, currently serving as co-chair of the Hot Topics Committee and a member of the Events and Communications Committees, brings a wealth of experience to her roles. Formerly executive editor at King Features Syndicate and Reed Brennan Media Services, she has a diverse background including roles as editor for College Press Service and High School News and Graphics, syndicate editor for Tribune Media Services, and reporter for the Associated Press across several states. Diana holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Liberal Studies from Rollins College. She is an active member of the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors and American Society of News Editors, serving as editor of The American Editor. Additionally, she completed the Hearst Corp.'s Foundations of Leadership program and currently serves as president of the Howey Music Series, a nonprofit organizing classical and jazz concerts in Central Florida, while also writing a syndicated trivia column.

Barbara Lanning, Appointed Director

Barbara is a highly accomplished professional with a diverse background in politics and business. Beginning her journey with the League in 2019 as Co-Chair for the Orange County League's flagship event, Hot Topics, she demonstrated early dedication to community engagement. Serving as Co-President from 2021 to 2023 further solidified her commitment to civic involvement. Currently, she holds the esteemed position of 2nd Vice President at the League of Women Voters of Florida, promoting democracy and informed civic participation. Prior to her League tenure, Barbara made significant contributions in international telecommunications, transitioning to managerial roles empowering CEOs in media and arts sectors. Her proficiency in event production and academic achievements, including a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Business Administration, and Master of International Management, underscore her leadership and global perspective.

Victoria Shinker, Appointed Director

Victoria is a Political Science student at the University of Central Florida, with a minor in sociology. Her academic interests include political theory, public policy, and social justice. She aspires to work for non-profit organizations and make a positive impact on her community.

She is also involved in National Organization for Women and League of Women Voters on the UCF campus. There, she has been able to develop critical thinking skills, as well as attention to detail and accuracy. She is open to new opportunities and challenges that will help me grow and learn.

Nomination Committee

Kay Hudson--Chair

Sara Rich

Sandi Vidal