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Advisory Council

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Jennifer Anderson

Winter Park, FL

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.

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Maribel Balbin

Miami Lakes, FL

Maribel Balbin is committed to achieving parity for women in elected and appointed office. A tireless advocate for voter’s rights and fair elections through years of service with the League of Women Voters at the local, state and national levels. She’s received multiple awards and recognitions for her advocacy and volunteer work. A frequent guest on Spanish television and radio political programs. Maribel came to the US at age 14 as a Cuban refugee. She is a certified project manager and entrepreneur with a BA and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

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The Honorable Annie Betancourt

Coral Gables, FL

A lifelong activist, Annie Betancourt has an impressive record as a public servant which spans over three decades. The former member of the Florida House of Representatives (1994-2002) and Democratic nominee for Florida’s 25th Congressional District in 2002, Ms. Betancourt epitomizes the consummate change agent. She has been both a catalyst and a strong voice for education reform, economic development and environmental protection. In 2010 she spearheaded Sisters Across the Straits, a project sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Florida to bring women from Cuba closer to women from Florida in reciprocal visits. Ms. Betancourt is a graduate of the University of Miami and attended the Senior Executive Program in State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She continues to champion women causes as a grandmother to Sienna.

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Karen Buesing

Tampa, FL

Karen Buesing, of Akerman LLP (Tampa), has represented management in employment law matters for more than 35 years, and is one of only about 200 lawyers in Florida who are Board Certified by The Florida Bar as specialists in Labor & Employment Law. She has handled discrimination and harassment matters, whistleblower litigation, wage and hour claims, non-compete and trade secret litigation, employment contracts and disputes;  and all aspects of employment counseling and training. Karen has been recognized by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America, and has been named one of Florida’s Top 50 Women Lawyers and Florida’s Top 100 Lawyers. Karen was the recipient of the 2014 Tobias Simon Award, the state’s highest pro bono service award.

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The Honorable Heather Carruthers

Key West, FL

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The Honorable Betty Castor

Tampa, FL

Betty Castor is the former President of the University of South Florida and former Florida Commissioner of Education, the first woman elected to the Florida Cabinet.  She served three terms in the Florida Senate and was the first woman ever elected to the Hillsborough County Commission.  She is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and President of the Athena Society.  In addition, she was a founding member of the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy.

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The Honorable Karen Castor Dentel

Maitland, FL

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Danielle Cohen

Palmetto Bay, FL
Danielle Cohen Esq. is a native to Miami, Florida and began her legal career at one of the nation’s most prestigious law firms, Greenberg Traurig, where she gained extensive experience in complex commercial civil litigation. She started COHEN LAW ten years ago with the mission and commitment of providing excellent yet cost-efficient legal services to small businesses and the seriously injured.  Cohen is also committed to giving back to the South Florida Community by serving on the Board of Directors for the South Florida American Heart Association, serving as a Young Ambassador to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and serving on the Executive Committee of Take Stock in Children.
Anne Gannon

The Honorable Anne Gannon

Delray Beach, FL

Anne Gannon has a rich, distinguished and diverse record of public service in Florida.

As the Constitutional Tax Collector serving Palm Beach County, she was elected by an overwhelming majority in 2006. Re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Anne is the first woman to hold this office.

Anne is responsible for the collection and disbursement of $3.7 billion in tax revenues. Her agency is also responsible for issuing REAL ID compliant driver licenses and state-issued ID cards for Palm Beach County. Her agency employs over 300 who serve clients in its central office, seven service centers and a call center. Service centers collectively manage an average of 75,000 client transactions each month.

Anne’s top priorities are providing outstanding customer service, improving agency processes and increasing operational efficiencies. She has received local, state and national recognition including the “Excellence In Financial Operations Award” from the Florida Tax Collectors Association and the “Excellence in Government Leadership Award” from the National Association of Government Accountants.

Anne is committed to our community. She serves on the Pineapple Grove Arts Board, an arts and shopping district located in the heart of downtown Delray Beach. She is currently serving on the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee of Delray Beach.

Anne is a bicyclist, gardener, reader, and accomplished chef. She enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich

Miami, FL

Marty Haynie

The Honorable Martha Ogden Haynie

Orlando, FL

Martha Ogden Haynie retired in January 2017 at the end of her seventh term as the Orange County (Florida) Comptroller.  In Orange County, the Comptroller is an independent, constitutional officer who answers directly to the citizens.  The Comptroller serves a four-year term and is not term-limited.

A 1973 accounting honors graduate from the University of West Florida, Haynie worked at Walt Disney World, Ernst and Young CPA, her own accounting practice and as Finance Director of the Florida Symphony Orchestra before being elected as the Orange County Comptroller in November 1988. She is a Florida CPA.

The Comptroller is the county’s chief financial officer, recorder, auditor and clerk to the board of county commissioners.  As such, Haynie was responsible for administering the county’s budget (more than $3 billion in 2016) and all financial reporting, including the county’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, recording and maintaining the county’s Official Records, creating and maintaining all actions of the board of county commissioners, and auditing all activities under the county mayor as well as all county constitutional officers.

Haynie established improving citizens’ trust in local government as her top priority.  Using her experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, she emphasized providing quality service and consistent accountability.  By presenting audit reports directly to citizens through public presentations and the media, Haynie emphasized her watchdog role and the value of her independence as an elected official who answers to the public, not to other County officers.

In 1998 the Florida Institute of CPAs presented Haynie with the Outstanding CPA in Government award.  Haynie’s public engagement helped facilitate the passage of the Orange County Domestic Partner Registry in 2012, earning her Equality Florida’s “Voice for Equality” award. In 2013, the Orlando Business Journal (OBJ) named Haynie Executive of the Year as they recognized the top CFOs, CIOs, and COOs in the Central Florida business community.  In 2014 Haynie was presented with the Champion of Equality Award at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast, and in 2016 she was presented with the Central Florida Housing and Lodging Association 2015 Public Servant of the Year Award, as well as the Orlando Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Legacy award.

Haynie has participated as a board member for several community organizations, including the Women’s Resource Center, the Mental Health Association of Central Florida,and the Parkinson’s Association of Central Florida.  She was president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, and after PPGO’s merger with two affiliates, served as a vice president of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. from 2015 to 2017.  Haynie has served on the Rollins’ Holt School Board of Advisors since 1992, including two terms as board chair.

Since retirement she has joined the boards of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida.

Martha Haynie is married and has two grown sons and two grandchildren.

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The Honorable Pegeen Hanrahan

Gainesville, FL

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Rita Lowman

St. Petersburg, FL

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Diane Morton

St. Petersburg, FL

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The Honorable Amanda Murphy

New Port Richey, FL

Amanda Murphy is a proven winner, someone who knows how to win in a red seat.  She is a community activist, a financial advisor and a small business leader in her community.  With a blue-collar background and an up-by-the-bootstraps life story, Amanda is a fighter that knows how to win seats for Democrats.

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Burnadette Norris-Weeks

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Burnadette Norris-Weeks is a partner in the law firm of Austin Pamies Norris Weeks, LLC. She serves as counsel to various corporations and governmental entities, such as the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office and two Florida municipalities. In addition, the law firm also handles serious personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Burnadette is a member of the Broward County Charter Review Commission (second term). She serves on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Broward. She is a graduate of Leadership Florida and of Leadership Broward. Burnadette is founder of the Women of Color Empowerment Institute, Inc. (WOCEI), a membership organization with the mission to enhance and expand leadership opportunities by women of color. WOCEI spearheads a Fall yearly conference that brings together hundreds of women in leadership.

Burnadette’s extensive community and professional involvement has earned her the Above and Beyond Award from the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation; the Urban League’s Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award and an Lifetime Achievement Award from the T.J. Reddick Bar Association. She is a past honoree of the National Trumpet Awards Foundation and was recognized by Legacy Magazine as one of South Florida’s 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in Business. Burnadette has also received a “Leader of the Year” award from the Leadership Broward Foundation among other impressive awards and recognitions.

Burnadette is the Chair of the 17th Judicial Circuit’s Bar Leadership Committee. She is a past National Chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Litigation Section’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee and a former Chair of the ABA’s Young Lawyer Leadership Team. Burnadette is also a Past-President of the Tallahassee Barristers Association.

Burnadette is admitted to practice law before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida.

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Bobbie Nord

Jacksonville, FL

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Jan O'Rourke

Clermont, FL

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Danielle Prendergast

Orlando, FL

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Susannah Randolph

Orlando, FL

Susannah Randolph is the Senior Campaign Representative in Florida for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.  She is a trained community organizer and former candidate for U.S. Congress.

Susannah has spent her life organizing communities to protect the environment, civil rights, women’s rights, and worker’s rights.  Her campaign for congress focused on economic populism and helping expand and protect the American middle class by calling for policies such as paid sick leave, PAID family medical leave, a living wage, affordable and high quality child care, and of course, equal pay for women.

Susannah has worked for organizations such as the Public Interest Research Group’s, ACORN, and Clean Water Action. In 2011, Susannah was asked to run a state communications hub that would hold Florida lawmakers accountable for policies that threaten women, children, and middle-class Floridians.  Her campaign “Pink Slip Rick”,  aimed at pushing back on Governor Rick Scott’s job-killing, anti-middle class policies was featured on The Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball, American Prospect and The Ed Show and earned five “Pollie” awards.

Susannah served as former Congressman Alan Grayson’s District Director from 2012 to 2015 where she helped serve 700,000 constituents receive help from federal agencies such as the Veterans Administration, Social Security Administration, and Health and Human Services.

Susannah ran for Florida’s Ninth Congressional District in 2016 with the support of EMILY’s List, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women (NOW), along with numerous labor unions and progressive and women’s organizations.  Though she lost in the primary, Susannah continues to lend support and help to women and progressive candidates throughout the state.

She is also the wife of Orange County Tax Collector, Scott Randolph and mother to Hillary Eleanor Randolph, HER, who is a 6-year old force of nature and already a member of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

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Gloria Romero Roses

Miami, FL

Miami-based, hybrid-driving mom/wife with business interests in Broward, Palm Beach, Pinellas counties – motivated by progressive-values-driven policy and supporting inspiring and diverse women who pivot to public service.

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Sylvia Rusche

Gulfport, FL

PatSchroeder

The Honorable Pat Schroeder

Celebration, FL

Pat Schroeder graduated from Harvard law school and served in the U.S. Congress for 24 years representing Denver. Former Congresswoman Schroeder has lived in Florida for 12 years and is passionate about getting more women in office and turning the state blue.

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Alexis Searfoss

St. Petersburg, FL

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Judith Selzer

Delray Beach, FL

Katy Sorenson

The Honorable Katy Sorenson

Pinecrest, FL

Katy Sorenson currently serves as a consultant on governance issues, women’s rights, and citizen activism. She served as a Miami-Dade County Commissioner from 1994-2010.  She was also the founder, president and CEO of the Good Government Initiative at the University of Miami, an organization founded in 2010 to cultivate leaders of excellence in South Florida through the development and training of elected officials, as well as those aspiring to run for office, and to engage the community in its governance through outreach and education.

Becca Tieder

Becca Tieder

St. Petersburg, FL

Becca @youbexbelieve is a speaker, author, activist and host of the upcoming podcast, Oh So Opinionated. She is the co-founder of @onestudentorg and creator of @Sexversations. Becca has worked with over a million students on 500+ campuses. A Tedx Youth Speaker and subject of the documentary film You Are the One, her work has caught the attention of Dateline, NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, NPR, Cosmo and Marie Claire and The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. A fierce advocate and educator she never tires from working to create a #consentculture by activating students, changing institutional policies and working with legislator’s to systematically address the issue. Becca is relatable, impactful, funny and able to address the realities of sexual violence in a way that inspires people to act.  She is the mama of two children, one dog and a wife to her better half. She loves lipstick, coffee, donuts and the Target clearance rack.

Laurie Wack

Laurie Wack

Orlando, FL

An art history graduate of CUNY York, Laurie Wack migrated to Maitland, Florida, married her husband Rick and raised a family of two girls. She has been involved with diverse women’s organizations over the past several years and is passionate about the work that RUTH’s List is doing. Her specialty is social media, through which she plans to help make the 2018 “Blue Wave” a tsunami.

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Lauren Weiner

Tampa, FL

Lauren is the co-founder and CEO of WWC, a Tampa-based management consulting firm focused on the Federal government.  WWC recently won the $200m+ UEWTEP II contract from US Special Operations Command, the largest award from the headquarters command to a women-owned small business.

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Nancy Wolf

Lake Mary, FL

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