Ruth’s List Florida, Inc. helps women run inspiring campaigns that WIN. We recruit, train and support Democratic pro-choice women to state and local office in Florida.
We envision a Florida in which Democratic pro-choice women not only serve in all statewide offices, but also in the majority of our key legislative bodies — the State Senate and State House — as well as county and city level seats.
What We Value
Relentlessly positive | We celebrate our victories, not for the victories themselves, but for what they will deliver — thoughtful, forward-thinking elected women who will roll up their sleeves and drive change. We know that positive political discourse builds civic trust and engagement, and inspires women to get involved in the political process.
Diversity & Inclusivity | We strive to create and maintain an environment that is inviting and supportive to and for everyone, and that reinforces dignity and respect for diverse experiences. We seek to have the diversity of Florida reflected in our board, staff, candidates and volunteers.
Equity & Intersectionality | We strive to use an equity lens in planning, executing and evaluating our work and our operations in order to make conscious decisions aimed at reducing persistent, systemic inequalities in electoral politics and our communities.
Community-Focused | We are community-oriented, working in service to the communities our candidates represent. We believe understanding the people who will most benefit from meaningful change is how we will develop winning campaign strategies and candidates. We seek to continually learn about the people our elected women serve to ensure we are improving their lives in meaningful ways.
Innovative & Courageous | We embrace innovation as the key to remaining effective and relevant. We stand on the frontline as the first to identify opportunities and embrace what others anxiously avoid. We are excited by emerging technologies and eager to champion good ideas. We work to always beat our best, to challenge ourselves to do more with what we have, to take on bigger fights and opportunities, and to make consistent, significant improvements to our work, while never compromising our integrity and commitment to helping others.
Outcomes-based | We are driven by the outcomes of our work, rather than the inputs. We’re relentless in the pursuit of results, and we measure and evaluate our impact through clear quantitative and qualitative metrics to maximize the effectiveness of each of our programs. We are accountable to ourselves, our candidates, and the state of Florida.
Collaborative | We strive to be collaborative, trustworthy, respectful, flexible, communicative, open, and supportive to our partners big and small, and to form and maintain strong, lasting relationships throughout all levels of our work. We aim to be seen as a team player, as an organization that supports the Democratic infrastructure to move our state forward, faster. We check our egos at the door and put aside the personal for the collective good.
Sisterhood | We are a women-led organization supporting women, inspiring one another, uplifting each other’s voices, learning from one another, and creating long-lasting bonds that deepen connection in our communities.
Mission-Driven | We have no litmus test for candidates beyond her being a Democrat, pro-choice, and reflecting our values. We do not want to add barriers to Democratic pro-choice women seeking elected office and will not deny support to anyone based upon their views on any one particular issue.
Integrity | We are truthful and honest in all aspects of our work. We are transparent in our decision-making processes, and take seriously the importance of building trust throughout our organization and the communities we serve. We do what’s right, even when it’s difficult.
Ruth’s List was founded in 2008 by the Honorable Alex Sink, who at the time served as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer. With women underrepresented in all levels of public office across the state, Alex saw a great need to build the bench of dynamic women leaders to serve in state and local government.
Ruth’s List is named for Ruth Bryan Owen, the first woman elected to Congress from the South. She ran office in 1928, only eight years after women were given the right to vote. Determined to reach as many citizens as possible in the district, Ruth cruised the coastline in a sporty green Ford coupe dubbed “The Spirit of Florida,” driving across the entire district which stretched more than 500 miles along the Atlantic.
During her six-year tenure in Congress, Ruth sponsored a bill to create a cabinet-level agency, The Department of Home and Child, and authored legislation to create Everglades National Park. She became the first woman to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In 1933, President Roosevelt appointed her Minister to Denmark, a diplomatic first for women, and in 1948, President Truman named her an alternate delegate to the U.N. General Assembly.
Ruth Bryan Owen is a shining example of the difference Florida women can make in public office. Ruth’s List was founded in her name to elect more trailblazers to state and local government in Florida.
President and CEO
Lucy Sedgwick has dedicated her career to building movements and training the next generation of Democratic leadership.
In 2020, she led Colorado’s Abortion Access for All campaign, a state-wide coalition that defeated a high-profile initiative to ban abortion later in pregnancy.
Through her work, Lucy has trained hundreds of organizers, campaign staff and candidates. She served as National Training Director for Warren for President and National Training Director for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, where she taught Democratic candidates at all levels how to run and win campaigns. Lucy is based in St. Petersburg, FL.
Chief Operating Officer
Before joining Ruth’s List Florida, Bessie was associate director of outreach for the University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability, overseeing marketing, communications, and outreach activities, including many global and educational outreach initiatives.
She began her tenure at USF’s Patel Center for Global Solutions as special assistant to the executive director, the Honorable Betty Castor. Prior to her roles at USF, Bessie served as deputy director of the Term Member Program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and worked at Human Rights Watch in New York and Brussels. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at USF.
Bessie is a member of the Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations and co-chair of the Host Committee. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her M.A. from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is fluent in French and Greek. She resides in Tampa Bay.
Vice President of Political and Programs
Kayla vanWieringen has dedicated her career to supporting Democratic candidates and causes. She has worked on campaigns at the local, statewide, and presidential levels.
Kayla was born and raised in South Florida and graduated from Florida State University with B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. She is currently based in Miami, FL.
Stefanie Clarke has built a reputation in state and national politics as a communications expert and powerful storyteller. Throughout her career, she has trained hundreds of individuals on how to tell their stories to build social change movements. Stefanie an accomplished writer, public speaking and media coach, and media strategist.
Stefanie served as the Communications Director for the Abortion Acccess for All campaign in Colorado, successfully defeating Proposition 115, the highly contested ballot measure to ban abortion later in pregnancy. Prior to that role, she oversaw communications for the Everytown Survivor Network, a nationwide community of survivors working to end gun violence, and created a flagship leadership program exclusively for survivors of gun violence. Over the course of her career. Stefanie has directed communications programs for candidates, ballot initiatives, legislative campaigns, and public education efforts.
Elise comes to Ruth’s List with over a decade of experience training up-and-coming Democratic leaders to run effective campaigns. She recently served as the Acting National Field Director for Grassroots Campaigns, where she trained hundreds of campaign staff and managed dozens of electoral and issue campaigns.
Elise specializes in developing and implementing empowering, confidence-building training programs to help people use their voices in new ways. In 2016, Elise oversaw an initiative to recruit, train, and place several hundred campaign staffers on critical campaigns around the country. She also managed a multi-state voter registration drive that brought in over 75,000 new voters from historically disenfranchised communities.
Elise graduated from Reed College with a B.A. in Sociology. She has dedicated her career to advancing progressive candidates and causes and building popular access to the political process. She and her husband reside in Miami.
Dallas Rawlins is a graduate of Washington State University (BA PoliSci 2010), the University of Arkansas (MA PoliSci 2012) , and the University of Florida (MA Political Campaigning 2016). His experience in politics is broad, with experience ranging from field to direct mail to fundraising. Most recently, he worked as a fundraiser on campaigns as far ranging from Tennessee to Georgia to North Carolina and elsewhere. He was an organizing fellow with the Obama 2012 campaign.
He is proud to be an ally of Democratic pro-choice women all across Florida by working with Ruth’s List. He is passionate about making a difference in this way and changing Florida for the better.
Ana Barragan is a current sophomore at Yale University majoring in American Studies. On campus, she is involved with the Yale Daily News Podcast, conducts judicial research with the Institution of Policy and Social Studies, and is an Under-Secretary-General for Yale Model Government Europe.
Born and raised in the panhandle of Florida, Ana has been involved in state politics as an intern for U.S. Congressman Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) and participant in the Florida House of Representatives Page Program.
Ana is excited to have an opportunity to work with an organization that makes a direct impact on Florida’s political environment on matters that she feels incredibly passionate about.
Elizabeth Logsdon is a rising junior at the University of South Florida with a major in Political Science and a minor in Women & Gender Studies. She currently serves as the Social Media/Publicity Coordinator for Planned Parenthood Generation Action at USF.
Her experience in Florida politics includes uplifting Florida For All’s voter registration campaign and volunteering for Lauren Baer’s congressional campaign in 2018. She also partnered with Vote America during the 2020 election cycle to register college students to vote.
Elizabeth is deeply passionate about the intersection of women in politics and is thrilled to be working with an organization that embodies this vision.
Charlotte Puopolo is a recent graduate of Florida State University and the U.S. Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in the Canary Islands.
She graduated FSU summa cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Spanish, and a concentration in philosophy and law. Her experience in Florida politics includes interning for the Andrew Gillum gubernatorial campaign in 2018 and working for State Rep. Dotie Joseph’s legislative aide in the Florida State House in 2019.
Charlotte is passionate about human rights-based policy reform and is thrilled to be a part of an organization that helps progressive candidates. She was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida.
Ruth's List Florida, Inc. Board
Susan Stackhouse-Bosquez, Acting Chair
Susan Stackhouse Bosquez acquired one duty free store at Tampa International Airport in 1988. Over the next 30 years, she grew her ACDBE-certified company to become one of the country’s leading airport retailers with over 40 stores, spanning the country in 10 major U.S. airports. Stellar was acquired by HMSHost in 2016. She remained active in the company, recruiting a new CEO and continuing to serve on the Board until she retired at the end of 2018.
A widely respected industry expert, Susan serves in numerous leadership roles at the local and national level focusing on issues affecting women, small business and education. She has served on the Boards of the International Association of Airport Duty Free Stores, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, SunTrust Advisory Board, and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of University of Tampa. Susan was the 2018 Chairwoman for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women in Tampa Bay and was named the 2015 Business Woman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
In retirement, she focuses her attention on women entrepreneurs, particularly their ability to access capital. Ms. Stackhouse attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, France and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.
Penny Parks, Treasurer and Secretary
Penny Parks is the president and founder of Links Financial. She has 35 years of experience in the financial industry, having held numerous financial leadership roles before starting her own firm, now in its 12th year. In her time at Links Financial, Penny’s areas of focus have been arranging over $2 Billion in corporate debt financings, real estate and corporate problem loan resolution and restructuring, and business acquisitions.
Jennifer Anderson has 25+ years of executive experience in sales, marketing, and human resources. She began her career with IBM in San Francisco before assuming expanded corporate roles in NYC, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. She later worked in strategic consulting and executive search. Jennifer most recently served as director of the Executive MBA program at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.
Jennifer currently serves as vice-president of the Eatonville Joe R. Lee Boys & Girls Club board and was recognized as the 2018 Board Member of the Year for Central Florida. She’s active with the Orange County League of Women Voters, 100 Women Strong, the Winter Park Historical Association, and the Albin Polasek Museum and Gardens.
Jennifer attended Vanderbilt University, graduated from George Washington University with a major in economics and statistics, and earned her MBA at Harvard University. She and her husband Phil have four grown children.
Tiffany Hughes is the child of immigrant parents from St. Vincent and the Grenadines who instilled in her a love for America and its promise of economic opportunity for all. Watching her parents strive for their American Dream has been her impetus for pursuing new opportunities, working hard, and never giving up.
Tiffany is a community advocate at heart, and in 2021, she was elected the 25th President of the Orange County, FL branch of the NAACP, the youngest in the branch’s history. She is also an education advocate and mentors for Seminole County Public Schools with the Take Stock in Children Program.
Tiffany owns and operates KBI Staffing Solutions, a staffing firm that helps hard-working Central Floridians a year find good-paying jobs in careers like construction, hospitality, and healthcare administration. Under her leadership, KBI Staffing Solutions has become one of the fastest growing companies in Central Florida, with clients across the state and around the country.
Tiffany is a graduate of the Florida International University and has a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. She is a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class 100, NAACP 2019 NextGen, and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s Political Boot Camp. She is a past recipient of the Orange County District 6 Citizen of the Year award and in 2021 was named an Orlando Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree.
The Honorable Arthenia Joyner
State Senator Arthenia Joyner has been a pioneer and political trailblazer throughout her impressive career. She was taught by her father, Henry Joyner — the owner of Tampa’s premier African-American night club, the Cotton Club — about the importance of sharing personal success with those less fortunate. Her mother, Jean Joyner, taught her to follow her conscience and her convictions, and never be afraid to speak up on issues that mattered.
In 1960, while an 11th grade student at Tampa’s Middleton High, she participated in her first civil rights demonstration, an event that would shape her entire life. As a college student at Florida A & M University, she was arrested twice in 1963 for civil disobedience and spent 14 days in jail.
After graduating with a J.D. from Florida A&M University, College of Law, she worked as a legal assistant to State Representative Joe Lang Kershaw, the first African-American to serve in Tallahassee since Reconstruction. When no law firm would hire her, she took out a $1,000 bank loan and opened her solo practice of law.
In 1991, she was a founder in the law firm of Stewart Joyner Jordan-Holmes Holmes. She became the first Black woman to practice law in Hillsborough County and the first Black person to practice law in Polk County.
Over her distinguished career in law and politics, Senator Joyner has broken many racial and gender barriers. She first rose to prominence in 1973 when she was elected as Treasurer of the National Bar Association. In 1984, she was elected President of the National Bar Association and she was arrested a year later at the South African Embassy in Washington, DC protesting apartheid. In 1991, she became the first Black person to be appointed by a governor (Governor Lawton Chiles) to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. She chaired the Authority for two years, from 1993-1995, during her two four-year terms of service. She held posts on various airport and civil rights committees before rising again to national prominence with appointments by President Clinton to the U.S. delegation for the World Population Development Conference, Cairo, Egypt (1994), the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995) and the Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Council (1999-2000).
After her turn in the national spotlight, she chose to run for state office in Florida. She served three terms as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from the 59th District (2000-2006). Subsequently elected to the Florida Senate, Senator Joyner served the people of the 18th District from 2006-2012. After political districts were redrawn, she won the race for the 19th District, serving from 2012-2016. Over her legislative career, Senator Joyner has held many significant posts, including being elected the first Black woman Senate Minority Leader.
In 2012, Senator Joyner received the National Black Caucus of State Legislators’ (NBCSL) Lifetime Achievement Award and the President’s Award from Florida A & M University. She was inducted into the Hillsborough County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014, and in 2015 the Democratic Caucus in the Florida Senate named their annual political dinner for women, The Annual Arthenia L. Joyner Women In Politics Dinner. She remains the longest practicing Black woman lawyer in the history of Florida and is currently of Counsel at Vanguard Attorneys in Tampa and a Supreme Court appointee to the 2017-2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Tampa-Hillsborough Library Board recently celebrated her many contributions to Florida and the community by naming its new $9.3 million library in her honor.
Throughout a long career in public life, Senator Joyner has always demonstrated a deep commitment to her foundational values of service, equality, and civil rights, and an unwavering dedication to her constituents in Tampa, and the people of Florida.
As a mother, first-generation American, and businesswoman, Janelle ran in 2022 for Florida State Senate to fight for opportunities for every child and family. Her personal experience battling illness and professional experience as an advocate and business owner has deepened her commitment to ensuring every Floridian has access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. Despite the election’s outcome, Janelle has a keen understanding of government and unyielding commitment to compassionate leadership that will improve access to healthcare, protect our environment, and support our small businesses.
Born and raised in Miami, Janelle graduated from Florida International University, and began her career on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., honing her policy analysis skills. She received her Master’s Degree from The Johns Hopkins University, and went on to work for a non-profit organization, leading the educational and advocacy initiatives to support federal funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Today, Janelle is one of the owners of a Hispanic-owned and family-owned Medicare company in Miami-Dade County. It is one of Florida’s fastest growing Medicare companies, providing affordable, high-quality medical services to Medicare beneficiaries in the county. She lives in Miami with her wife and two daughters.
Yanyn San Luis
Yanyn “Yany” San Luis is the founder of The Win Woman, a firm focused on helping forward-thinking companies and non-profit organizations maximize the revenue, impact, and effectiveness of their CSR and philanthropic initiatives.
As an adjunct professor, she has taught her fail-proof negotiation framework to hundreds of sales/marketing students at Florida International University. Through her tried and true methodology, she has secured millions in individual and corporate philanthropy for South Florida non-profit organizations. In 2020 during the global pandemic, she was able to raise over $5M+ in less than six months. She is passionate about helping individuals leverage their strengths, demystify the negotiation process, and ensure they walk away with what they are worth.
The Honorable Alex Sink
Alex Sink founded Ruth’s List Florida in 2008 to build the bench of dynamic women leaders serving in state and local government. She was Florida’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from 2007 to 2011 as one of four statewide elected officials. She managed over $15 billion in state treasury funds, was responsible for state accounting, and implemented reforms in contracting and transparency for citizens.
Before elected office, Alex had a 26-year career with Bank of America. She retired as President of Florida operations in 2000, managing the state’s largest bank with $40 billion in deposits, leading 9000 employees in over 800 branches.
From 2011 to 2013, she was Senior Advisor to Hyde Park Capital Advisors, a middle market boutique M&A firm. Alex founded Florida Next Foundation, a non-profit devoted to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Florida. She subsequently joined the board of Tampa Wave in 2016 to continue her work in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Florida.
Alex is a Life Trustee at Wake Forest University, serves on the boards of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, United Way Worldwide Leadership Council, United Way Suncoast, and Junior Achievement.
Felice Schulaner is a retired Human Resources executive who now spends her time serving on nonprofit Boards, including the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.
She served as Chair of the New College Board of Trustees from 2016-2020, making her the first woman and first alumna to hold the role. Previously she served as Director and Chair of the New College Foundation and on the inaugural Board of Visible Men Academy.
Felice worked for Coach, Inc., first as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and then as Executive Director of the Coach Foundation, which supports women’s empowerment and education for underserved populations. Her 25+ year business career also included senior Human Resources positions at Optimark Technologies, Salant Corporation, American Express, and Macy’s.
Felice has been honored for her work in the community with the Women in Power Award from the National Council of Jewish Women and the “She Knows Where She is Going Award” from Girls Inc.
Anna Maria Island
Barbara Zdravecky served as the interim CEO of Ruth’s List Florida. Prior to her appointment to CEO she helped lead the organization as a member of the Executive Committee. She is the Principal and Founder of Fern Consulting of Southwest Florida, lending her extensive knowledge and experience advising not for profits executives and their boards.
Zdravecky served as President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida for nearly 25 years. In 2015, Barbara led the successful regional merger of the affiliate, resulting in a 22-county service area with a team of 160 professionals, 25-member regional board of directors and a $17 million dollar budget. This visionary consolidation has enabled Planned Parenthood to serve more than 39,000 patients annually at its twelve health centers in Southwest and Central Florida, extending from Orlando to Sarasota to Naples. In addition, she served as the President of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, President of the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates and led numerous committees of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Prior to joining Planned Parenthood, Barbara worked as a registered nurse and social worker at Manatee Memorial for 10 years as the head nurse for inpatient psychiatric services and as the Director of Women’s Health Programs. Barbara also worked as the Patient Care Coordinator of the First Hospice Program in Key West, primarily caring for AIDS patients while coordinating research and care with local physicians and Jackson Memorial Hospital staff in Miami. She spent 5 years at the Manatee Community Mental Health Center as a crisis counselor specializing in emergency inpatient treatment in the Baker Act Receiving and Addiction Detox units.
Barbara’s service to her community extends well beyond her professional achievements, bringing expertise to numerous civic and not-for-profit boards including the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Florida and The League of Women Voters, of which she was the co-chair of Manatee County and served on the state board of Florida. She currently sits on the board for the Selby Foundation in Sarasota.
Barbara has received numerous awards, honors and recognitions, including the “Ruth Green Award,” as the top Planned Parenthood CEO in the country by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the “Voice for Equality Award” from Equality Florida, “A Woman of Power Award” from the National Council of Jewish Women in Sarasota, the American Association of University Women annual leadership award, “A Wonder Woman Award” from the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee County and ”The Distinguished Alumni Award” from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Ruth’s List Florida is currently seeking a full-time statewide Development Director to support the mission of Ruth’s List to increase the number of Democratic pro-choice women running for office and getting elected at all levels of Florida government by leading the organization’s fundraising efforts.