Board of Directors 2013-2015
Deirdre Macnab is in her second term as President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. Graduating with an M.B.A. from Columbia University in marketing and finance and a B.A. from New York University in history and political science, Macnab has worked for Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, Manville Corporation and Bankers Trust, and she was president of her own direct marketing consulting firm in Nashville, TN.
In addition to working in the prisons of New York City for the Board of Correction, a watchdog agency, Macnab was elected to the Board of Education in Nashville, TN (70,000 students) and appointed by Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta to serve as her designate on the Fulton County Library Board, prior to moving to the Orlando area. Macnab is a former member of the Board of MyRegion.org, a seven-county visioning coalition in Central Florida and a former member of WMFE's Citizens Advisory Board. She has been recognized by La Prensa newspaper as a “Community Champion” for their annual Mujeres Destacadas Awards, by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women as a recipient of their 2012 Florida Achievement Award, and by the Orlando Sentinel as the 2012 Most Influential Central Floridian of the Year.
First Vice President
Jamieson Thomson Thomas is the First Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. Her grandmother was President of the National Woman Suffrage Association in Albany NY. She is assisting the League with marketing efforts and product development to create retail products to generate income for the League. Prior to joining the League, Thomas served on the boards of the Museum Store Association, Orlando Rowing Club, Council of 101, All Saints Episcopal Church, PTA and her neighborhood Association.
Thomas is currently involved with two online retail ventures, The Rowing Store has been in operation since 2010 and Plum Curio will launch in 2012. She worked at the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) from 1999-2010 as Manager of the Museum Store and Curator of the Florida Artist of the Month Gallery. During her tenure with OMA, the OMA Museum Shop was nominated for the Niche Magazine Top Retailer Award in different categories each year for five years was voted Best Shop in Orlando in the Orlando Sentinel for 9 years in a row.
Thomas holds a B.A. in Art and Business and a Minor in Art History from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. She has extensive experience in the retail industry and owned and sold a manufacturing and product development business that provided product to museum shop industry as well as other retailers. She has worked with Associated Merchandising Corporation in New York in product development and with Federated Department Stores as a buyer.
Thomas is a nationally ranked masters rower and enjoys painting and photography in her spare time.
Second Vice President
Carolyn Gray is the Second Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. She is also the current President of the League of Women Voters of Sanibel. She received her Ph.D. from the Florence Heller School of Social Policy, Brandeis University, M.L.S. from the School of Library Science, University of Oklahoma, and B.A. in English from the University of Missouri at St. Louis. She grew up on a farm in Arkansas.
Carolyn is the founding dean of the Florida Gulf Coast University Library. She served as Dean of Library services until 2000. She served as Dean, College of Arts and Sciences from 2000 to 2004 and as Director of Global Exchange partnerships from 2005 until her retirement. She came to Florida from the Boston area where she served as Associate Director, Brandeis University Libraries from 1982 to 1994. Prior to her time in the Boston area, she worked as a high school English teacher, a school librarian and a reference librarian at the University of Oklahoma and as a trainer helping libraries with their first electronic processes throughout the Southwest in the mid and late 1970's.
Carolyn is married to Stuart Langton and they have lived in Sanibel since 1995. Carolyn devotes her retirement to the advancement of women through service activities and political action.
Lisa Meyers is the Secretary of the League of Women Voters of Florida and has been an active League member since 2007. She has served as Program and Action Chair where she coordinated local voter education and advocacy efforts for the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area. Meyers strengthened her commitment to the League by serving as Vice President and most recently as Co-President of the local League. Other community involvement includes Human Rights Council, Proofreading/Editing for the Distributed Proofreaders Foundation, Audiobook Reader for LibriVox and volunteer fundraiser for the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.
Strengthening the League’s social media presence has been the focus of Meyers's work at the state level. Since becoming an administrator for the League Facebook page, the number of fans has nearly tripled. Meyers is interested in making sure the League remains a strong voice on the state and local levels. She believes that by providing opportunities for involvement, membership will increase. Meyers has extensive professional experience in customer service, logistics, sales training and marketing. She holds an A.A. from FSU and is currently working towards a B.A. in Sustainability Management from St. Petersburg College.
Sandra Colyer is in her second term as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Florida. She learned of the League after eye-opening experiences in Miami serving as a poll worker and assistant clerk. She brings to the League more than 25 years of business experience, beginning her career as a small business owner and progressing to senior management positions with multinational corporations, including AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Getronics. Colyer has an M.B.A. from Seton Hall University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She looks forward to using her budget management, team building, customer care and project management skills in serving as Treasurer and an active voice on the Board of Directors.
Charley Williams is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. He is Director of Business Development with Geotechnical and Environmental Consultants in Orlando. Williams worked to lay the groundwork for the first Super Tuesday regional primary on March 9, 1988, when he served as director of the Atlanta office for the Council of State Governments. Southern states worked in concert to move from caucus to primary, requiring coordination and agreement between executive and legislative branches in fifteen states. Community-based projects for Williams include the 1994 World Cup, 1996 Olympic Soccer and Legacy Soccer Foundation. Williams is a graduate of Davidson College (B.A., political science) and grew up in Jacksonville. He has been a Central Florida resident since1990 and lives in Winter Park.
Annie Betancourt is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. A League member for more than three decades, Betancourt has shown true dedication to the cause of citizen participation and good government. She learned the ropes by conducting voter registration drives, monitoring local elections and participating in study groups focusing on Florida's fiscal policies.
Betancourt served as President of the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County from 1988 to 1990 and was later appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to serve on the South Florida Water Management District. Elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1994, Betancourt championed laws that promoted job opportunities and access to higher education. In addition, she fought public corruption on several fronts along with law enforcement agencies. Betancourt served in the House until 2002 when term limits forced her to step down. Between 2007 and 2009, she served a second term as League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County President.
Teresa Jenkins is the Communications Chair for the League of Women Voters of Charlotte County. She was the Vice President and President of the League of Women Voters of Charlotte County from 2009 to January 2012. Jenkins was instrumental in the transition of the Charlotte County MAL unit into a full and active League.
Some of Jenkins accomplishments with her local League include increasing membership from four to 45 in two months, moderating local candidate forums and debates, conducting voter registration services and citizen information activities including voter registration drives and GOTV, leading a petition drive for Fair Districts Constitutional Amendments and safeguarding the League's non-partisanship.
Her political beliefs are in sync with those of the League: representative government, voter power and the protection of voter rights, fair and competitive elections, protection of water and air quality, affordable health care, access to free public education, adequate notice of proposed actions by elected officials and open meetings, and a balanced approach to our energy problems.
Ann Hellmuth is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. She was also the President of the League of Women Voters of Orange County from 2011 to 2013. Ann was a journalist for 50 years working in her native England, South Africa, Canada and the United States. Ann retired as deputy managing editor at the Orlando Sentinel in 2008 and has since concentrated her energies on the League.
Sometimes the best journeys are those begun with no set destination or arrival date in mind. Lisa Hall’s career in public relations began with a detour into television news. But internships quickly led to job opportunities and a 17 year adventure as a news producer in markets from Oklahoma City to Miami. Lisa began following the Florida legislature in 1990 as manager of a television news bureau serving 10 stations across the state, and then later as news director for a Tallahassee television station and as managing editor for Florida’s News Channel.
The intended career in public relations finally got underway in the spring of 2000, when Lisa joined Herrle Communications Group. Now known as Salter>Mitchell, the firm has grown to a staff of more than 30 with offices in Tallahassee, Orlando and Washington, D.C. As Senior Vice President, Lisa leads the firm’s public affairs practice, creating and implementing communications campaigns that help good causes win in the court of public opinion and the halls of the capital. Lisa is accredited by the Universal Accreditation Board for public relations and is a Certified Public Relations Counselor.
Elizabeth C. Pines
Elizabeth C. Pines is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. She has been practicing immigration law for nearly 20 years and is the founding partner of Elizabeth C. Pines, PA, a boutique law firm dedicated to helping foreign nationals with immigration matters in the United States. Pines is very involved in the state and local communities in which she lives. She sits on the board of the League of Women Voters of Florida and the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County. She has taken on leadership roles, as Chair of the Fair Districts Committee and the Executive Committee at the state level and she chairs the nominating committee and the Immigration Task Force for LWV of Miami-Dade County.
Pines remains active in her local school as a mentor to high school girls from the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. She has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1996 and formerly served on the South Florida Chapter board.
Pines received her Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Miami in 1985 and earned an M.B.A. there in 1988. She received her Juris Doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in 1994. She is also a graduate of the University of Florida Wedgworth Leadership Institute.
Patricia (Pat) Schroeder is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. She was born in Portland, Oregon in 1940. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1961 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and went on to earn a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1964, where she was one of 15 women in the class. She married classmate James Schroeder, they settled in Denver, had two children and worked for the National Labor Relations Board. Pat also taught classes at several universities and was a hearing officer for the State before running for congress in 1972. The Democratic Party did not support her candidacy but she was elected and went on to serve 12 terms.
In Congress Schroeder focused on women, children and family issues but also served on the Armed Services Committee where she drew up alternative defense budgets every year and tried to improve the conditions of military families and military women. Upon leaving the house, Schroeder taught at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and left to become the President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP). She headed a several year project on the Civil Society. Schroeder is now the international and national chair of the English Speaking Union, the vice chair of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and on the national boards of Common Cause and the Communication Consortium. She retired in 2009 from AAP and resides in Celebration, Florida.
Alex Villalobos is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. Alex draws on more than two decades of legal and public service experience in counseling clients on a broad array of legal issues including State governmental operations and regulatory matters. Alex has represented clients before State and Federal trial and appellate courts including the Florida Supreme Court. He has also proven to be an effective advocate in the court of public opinion, engaging with media opinion leaders to generate editorial support for client objectives.
Alex served for eight years in the Florida House of Representatives where he was Chair of Criminal Justice Appropriations. In 2000, he was elected to the Florida Senate and re-elected to this legislative body in 2004 and 2006. During his legislative career, he held many leadership positions including Senate Majority Leader, Senate Majority Whip, Chair of the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation and Chair of the Committees on Judiciary, Criminal Justice and Education. Most recently, he served as the Senate Rules Committee Chair until November, 2010.
Theresa Francis-Thomas is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. Theresa has lived in the Orlando area for the past 25 years. She is a proud parent of her 23 year old son who serves in the military. Theresa has spent most of her career with a background in public service. She has served as a Legislative Aide, a Business Analyst, and for almost 30 years worked for the Florida Department of Revenue in various positions including her current position, Tax Audit Supervisor. She volunteers with the American Red Cross as a disaster assessment team member. Further, she is a runner and a quilter. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Jacksonville University as well as attended the University of Central Florida for post-baccalaureate work in accounting. Theresa is currently, the Chair of the Budget Committee for the League of Women Voters of Florida and is looking forward to expanding her service as a League member.
Pamela Goodman is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida. Educated at the University of Iowa in Journalism and Business, she spent her professional career in retailing, rising to President/CEO of Limited Express, with $1.5 billion in revenue. She served as League of Women Voters Palm Beach County President 2005 -2009 and has been serving on the League of Women Voters Florida State Board of Directors from 2007 to present. While serving in that role, she was appointed by the Supervisor of Elections Palm Beach County to head a review and audit of voting machines and processes for the 2006 and 2008 elections. Since 2006, she chairs the Fair Districts campaign statewide for the League, and was responsible for coordinating all League work during the most recent campaign to secure passage of the two Fair Districts constitutional amendments.
Pam has also served on the National League of Women Voters Nominating Committee and the National Membership Recruitment Committee. In addition to being a member of the first “Sisters Across the Straits” government and citizen education team that traveled and met with women in Cuba, she has received numerous awards including the Susan B. Anthony Award for Outstanding Feminist 2008 from the National Organization for Women.
She also serves as President of the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. She has recently served on the Community Advisory Board for WXEL radio and television PBS stations for Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast areas. She volunteers with Junior Achievement business preparation classes for High school seniors, teaches underserved adult communities with the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County and volunteers at her local community hospital. Pam resides in Gulf Stream with her husband Barry.
Executive Director Jessica Lowe-Minor worked as a women's rights advocate for six years before coming to the League of Women Voters of Florida in 2010. Most notably, she represented the Business and Professional Women of Florida and the Florida National Organization for Women as their lobbyist at the state Capitol. In addition to her legislative work, Lowe-Minor has worked as an organizer for the Service Employees' International Union and as an instructor at Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College.
She has a M.A. in Humanities from FSU and is currently completing her doctorate in the same program. She is married to Rick Minor and enjoys cooking, reading, horseback riding and registering young people to vote.
Office & Events Manager
Office & Events Manager Heather Hernandez is a graduate of Florida State University. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in International Affairs. She hopes to attend graduate school for Political Science in the near future. In her off-time she enjoys to spending time with her dog, reading, and knitting.
Communications & Development Manager
Communications and Development Manager Erin Jensen is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she earned her B.A in English Literature. Her interest in women's issues and political advocacy was awakened through multiple internships throughout college with Congresswoman Kathy Castor, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, and other great organizations. Erin recently finished working for the ACLU of Florida's Vote No Committee to defeat three amendments on the state-wide ballot, and is excited to be back home in Tallahassee and working for the League!
After years of League membership, Ben Wilcox was hired as the League's Governmental Consultant in 2009. One of the most respected citizens' advocates in the state of Florida, and a well-recognized expert on subjects in the area of public campaign financing and ethics, Ben has a long history of educating citizens and advocating for improvements to Florida's government.
After graduating from Florida State University in 1976, Ben Wilcox worked as a reporter for the Florida Public Radio Network, providing reports on state government and the Florida legislature to public radio stations throughout the state. In 1978, he became the news director for the network, and in 1994 he also became the news director for WFSU-FM, the public radio station in Tallahassee. As a journalist, he covered 23 sessions of the Florida legislature and won awards from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. He also hosted a statewide call-in program called Florida on the Line featuring the state's political leaders, including the governor, legislative leadership, and members of the state cabinet.
From 1999 to 2009, Wilcox was executive director of Common Cause Florida. He represented the League of Women Voters of Florida before the Florida legislature during the 2010, 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.
Alexandra Thomas is a junior at Florida State University and is majoring in History and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with an emphasis in Public Service. Attending college awakened her passion for human rights and activism. She is involved in several organizations on FSU’s campus including Peace Jam Southeast, FSU Women’s Center, and Trafficked at FSU. She is from Pembroke Pines, Florida and enjoys dancing, spending time with family and friends, and watching British TV and film.