LWVF Board of Directors
Deirdre Macnab, President
Deirdre Macnab is in her third 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. Macnab also sits on the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, charged with the responsiblity of selecting candidates for Federal Judge for submission to the President of the United States, for the state of Florida, appointed by our two US Senators, Senator Bill Nelson and Senator Marco Rubio.
Pamela Goodman, First Vice President
Pamela Goodman currently serves as First Vice President of the Florida State League of Women Voters. Educated at the University of Iowa in journalism and business, Goodman spent her professional career in retailing, rising to President/CEO of Limited Express, with $1.5 billion in revenue and over 850 stores nationwide. Her international business relationships involved the Far East, Europe, India and Israel. She served as president of the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County from 2005 to 2009 and has been serving on the League of Women Voters Florida Board of Directors from 2007 to the present. While serving in that role, Goodman was appointed by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections to head a review and audit of voting machines and processes for the 2006 and 2008 elections. Since 2006, she has chaired the Fair Districts campaign statewide for the League and was responsible for coordinating all League work during the campaign to secure passage of the two Fair Districts constitutional amendments. She continues to work with all litigation regarding this issue
Goodman has also served on the League of Women Voters of the United States Nominating Committee and Membership Recruitment Committee. In addition to being a member of the first “Sisters Across the Straits” delegation that traveled and met with women in Cuba, she has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Susan B. Anthony Award for Outstanding Feminist from the National Organization for Women. Goodman also serves as President of The Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, a nonprofit organization that has more than quadrupled its revenue under her guidance and now serves as the key fundraising, education and advocacy organization in Palm Beach County supporting the Ten Year Plan to end homelessness.
In July, 2014, Goodman was tapped along with legal experts, patient advocates, health experts, business leaders and government representatives to serve on the Blue Ribbon Commission of Florida For Care, a bi partisan commission to provide research, expert opinions and feedback on a wide range of medical marijuana issues with the goal to draft model legislation for the implementation if passed in November, 2014.
Goodman also serves as a Director on the Board of Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation and has recently served on the Community Advisory Board for WXEL radio and television PBS stations for Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast areas. Goodman volunteers with Junior Achievement business preparation classes for high school seniors and teaches underserved adult communities with The Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. She resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Carolyn Gray, Second Vice President
Carolyn Gray is the Second Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. She is the past President of the League of Women Voters of Sanibel and continues to serve on their Board of Directors. 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, Secretary
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, Girls Scouts, Proofreading/Editing for the Distributed Proofreaders Foundation, Audiobook Reader for LibriVox and volunteer fundraiser for the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. 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 and ensure the League’s sustainability and relevance. 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, Treasurer
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.
Annie Betancourt, Director
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.
Paula Dockery, Director
Senator Paula Dockery left the Legislature after 16 years—six in the Florida House and 10 in the Florida Senate. She served as Environmental Protection Chair, Criminal Justice Chair, a budget subcommittee chair and for three stints as majority whip. She has been very active on transportation issues and has been recognized nationally for her expertise on water resource issues.
Dockery earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master Degree in Mass Communications, both from the University of Florida. She has provided political analysis for ABC Action News in Tampa and is a frequent guest on political TV and radio programs. Her political opinion columns have been published in many of the 30 Florida newspapers that had the syndication rights.
Active in her community, Dockery is a board member of the Polk Education Foundation, a board member of Lakeland PigFest, a member of the Lakeland Kiwanis Club, and is organizing a citizens support organization for Colt Creek State Park. She has been married for 25 years to Doc Dockery and currently resides in Lakeland.
Patricia Drago, Director
Pat was born in Florida and with the exception of twelve years in New England, has lived in Florida her entire life. She attended Eckerd College (Florida Presbyterian College at the time). Pat worked for the Volusia County School system until her retirement in 2009 from her position as Executive Director of Facilities. During her 22 years of service with the school district she oversaw a $750 million building program, was responsible for management, operations and maintenance of 9 million square feet of education facilities and supervised a staff of 350. It was a privilege to serve in her home county and make a difference in the future of Volusia students. She treasures those years of hard work and creativity.
Pat has been a League member since 1981 and credits her League education and exposure for securing her the position with the school district. Pat has served as a local League President, Natural Resources Chair and on the State Board in the 1980’s. She is excited to be in a position to once again be an active and contributing League member.
In addition to her League activities, Pat participates in several local government boards, reads, cooks, sews, gardens and travels. Her husband, Arnie, is also a supportive League member and participates in many League activities. They have one daughter, Daria, who lives in Denver, CO., and is an environmental engineer. Due to her efforts, they have three terrific grandchildren.
Theresa Francis-Thomas, Director
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. 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 and currently is a Tax Audit Supervisor. She also volunteers with the American Red Cross. Furthermore, she enjoys spending time with her friends, reading, running, quilting and cooking. At Jacksonville University she earned her bachelor’s degree in Management and Economics and continues post-baccalaureate work in accounting at the University of Central Florida. Theresa previously served as the Chair of the Budget Committee for the FLWV and currently serves as a member of the Board, LWVF.
Ann Hellmuth, Director
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 boundless energies on the League.
Teresa Jenkins, Director
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.
Chuck O’Neal, Director
Chuck is a lifelong resident of Florida, having grown-up in Winter Park. He is a graduate of Duke University, with two majors – Mathematics and Public Policy, and an entrepreneur who has, among other things, produced local television programs. Chuck also has been for some years, and presently is, president of a residential investment and rehabilitation company.
Chuck has a lifelong attachment to Florida’s natural resources and beauty. His participation in the League of Women Voters has given him an opportunity to put that interest to good use. He now serves as chair of both the Natural Resources Committee of the League of Women Voters of Florida and of the Orange County League. His varied background has helped him draw media and community attention to Florida’s water and land conservation crisis.
Most recently, in addition to leading the League’s participation in the Florida Water and Land Legacy constitutional amendment campaign, Chuck has been working to restore the Wekiva River in Central Florida to its former health by addressing the problem of groundwater pollution by a water treatment facility and other sources.
Chuck is well versed in the many policy and fiscal challenges Florida faces as it struggles to preserve its great water and land resources – the bases of Florida’s beauty and its economy.
Elizabeth C. Pines, Director
Elizabeth C. Pines has been practicing immigration law for nearly 20 years and is the founding partner of Elizabeth C. Pines, P.A., a boutique law firm dedicated to helping foreign nationals with immigration matters in the U.S.
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 LWV of Miami-Dade County. She chairs the League of Women Voters of Florida Immigration Committee and is part of the Fair Districts Committee. She is also a graduate of the Wedgworth Leadership Institute. Ms. Pines was appointed by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to serve on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women in 2012. She was also appointed to serve in the Labor Relations Committee of the Gulf Citrus Growers Association for 2013 – 2014 term.
Pines remains active in her local school as mentor to high school girls from Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. She has been a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1996 and has formerly served on the South Florida Chapter board.
Ms. 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.
Patricia Schroeder, Director
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, Director
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.
Charley Williams, Director
Charley Williams is a Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida and currently chairs the Voter Services Committee. Under Charley’s leadership, the League has won two national awards for voter services. In 2008, LWVF was presented with the LWV national award for Best Voter Education campaign for “VoteAnywhere: Stay Home and Be Counted: Vote by Mail!” In 2012, the LWVF again won top national honors for its mobile campaign, Be Ready to Vote. The League’s campaign utilized 2-D bar code technology providing Florida mobile phone users with convenient direct access to their voter registration information as well as the League’s comprehensive Voter Guide covering 11 ballot initiatives. The mobile campaign was offered in both Spanish and English.
Williams currently directs business development initiatives for the Orlando-based engineering firm, Geotechnical and Environmental Consultants, Inc. Prior to moving back to Florida, he directed the Atlanta office of the Council of State Governments where he worked with the leadership in 15 southern states to launch the first Super Tuesday southern regional primary, March 9, 1988.
Community-based projects for Williams include the 1994 World Cup, 1996 Olympic Soccer (held in conjunction with the Atlanta Games) and the 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 since 1990 and lives in Winter Park.
Penny Walker Bos, Executive Director
Penny Walker Bos is a 32-year veteran of Florida politics having worked within public and private sectors. She is well versed in many critical issues affecting Florida and brings a wealth of expertise and insights in her new role as Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
Ms. Bos’ career began as a legislative aide immediately after receiving her Political Science degree from Florida State University in 1983. She served as a lobbyist and press secretary for a state attorney, public information officer for Senate Reapportionment Committee, and senior policy analyst for the Joint Legislative Committee on Juvenile Justice, program administrator overseeing the design and implementation of three state websites promoting health care transparency. She has worked on issues including welfare reform, Everglades’ restoration, and hunger/food security, developmental disabilities, food stamp fraud, and vocational rehabilitation. She has written and/or managed millions of dollars in federal grants. As a senior consultant for a national management consulting firm, Mrs. Bos helped state and local governments across the country improve efficiency and effectiveness through strategic planning, performance reviews, and program evaluations.
“The League has always been a leader in starting the conversation, whether that is through voter registration tables at community events across Florida or on the steps of the Capitol during the Legislative session.” Bos continued, “The League’s reputation for detailed analysis and non-partisan assessment of key issues is unparalleled. It is my privilege to take on this exciting challenge during this important time.”
Ms. Bos is married and has two sons in public schools. She is active within her church, secretary of her son’s Boy Scout troop and volunteers with the homeless shelter and Meals on Wheels programs.
Debbie Harrison-Rumberger, Legislative Advocate
Debbie Harrison Rumberger brings 3 decades of public policy experience to her position as Legislative Advocate for the Florida League of Women Voters. Working with local, state, national and international conservation organizations she has been a key player in the establishment of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Tortugas Ecological Reserve, Everglades Restoration, growth management and water quality issues and climate change initiatives. Ms. Harrison Rumberger has worked with World Wildlife Fund, The Wilderness Society, National Parks and Conservation Association and the Florida Keys Land and Sea Trust during the course of her career.
Ms. Harrison Rumberger has also served on numerous state and federal Commissions including the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, the South Florida Regional Planning Council, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Council, the Monroe County Land Authority, and the Florida Energy and Climate Commission. She also served as the President of her local School Advisory Council for five years.
Throughout her years of service, Ms. Harrison Rumberger has been recognized with the Chevron Conservation Award, the nation’s oldest conservation award for conservation achievements by an individual; NOAA’s Environmental Hero Award; The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Colleague Award; Audubon of Florida’s Conservationist of the Year and Florida Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Conservationist of the Year. Recognitions have also been bestowed by the Department of Interior, the Department of Commerce, the South Florida Regional Planning Council and the Monroe County School District for her work.
Ms. Harrison Rumberger is a graduate of Central Michigan University, Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology (Canada), an AICP certified planner and a member of the American Planning Association.
Shawn Sytsma, Office and Events Manager
Shawn Sytsma is a dynamic and talented woman who has taken on the position of Office and Events Manager. Her bubbly personality, high energy and organizational skills fit perfectly with the many demands of her job including all travel tours, Summit and Convention planning, Constant Contact event designs and marketing, as well as all office management details.
Shawn is married and has one daughter who is enrolled in middle school in the Leon County public school system.
Catherine Barrios, Legislative Intern
Our Legislative Intern, Catherine Barrios graduated from Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida and received an Associate of Arts degree in Political Science with Highest Honors. During her studies at Santa Fe College, she interned with the League of Women Voters of Alachua County where her passion for the League’s mission was ignited. She then transferred to Florida State University where she is currently a third year student in pursuit of a double major in International Affairs and Political Science with a minor in Chinese.Catherine plans to combine her personal experience and future graduate work to continue her involvement in public policy and in improving her community. When she is not working, studying, or traveling abroad, Catherine is learning more languages, playing tunes on her sax and spending quality time with her family and friends.
Abdelilah Skhir, Legislative Intern
Abdelilah is a native of Miami and has called Tallahassee home for the past five years. He is a Master’s candidate in the Applied American Politics and Policy Program at Florida State University. He graduated from Florida State in the Spring of 2014 with a double major in Political Science and International Affairs. In addition to being involved in the legislative session at the Capitol, he has also signed on part-time as LWVF bookkeeper. Abdelilah hopes to continue to be a part of the legislative process after obtaining his Master’s degree.