LWVF Board of Directors
Pamela Goodman, President
Pamela Goodman currently serves as 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. 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.
Goodman also serves as a Director on the Board of Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation.
She resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Patricia Brigham, First Vice President
Patti grew up in Orlando and attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in Liberal Studies. After several years at We Care, Inc., a suicide prevention/crisis intervention center, Patti forged a career in radio with responsibilities as a reporter, writer and producer. During this time she was recognized with several awards from media organizations including American Women in Radio and Television and the Associated Press. She also worked as a freelance reporter for the Orlando Weekly, writing about the arts
Patti formed the League’s statewide Gun Safety Committee, which she chairs. In her spare time, Patti volunteers for a marathon training program and cares for her retired racing greyhound, Callie, who is the fastest runner in the family.
Cecile Scoon, Second Vice President
Cecile Scoon received a Visual and Environmental Studies undergraduate degree from Harvard and is presently a small town civil rights lawyer in North Florida, commonly called “L.A.,” for “Lower Alabama.” After graduating from U. Virginia School of Law, ’84, she spent five years as an active-duty Air Force JAG prosecuting in military courts martial. She retired from the A.F. reserves as a Major in 2005.
Cecile attempts to protect the rights of those wronged at work due to their race, religion, age, disability, place of birth, or unwanted sexual advances made to them.
When not burning the midnight oil drafting lengthy pleadings, Cecile enjoys parenting her three children, 18, 21, and 24 and along with running, gardening, painting, and watching soccer with her best-friend, husband, law partner, and LWV member, Alvin Peters.
Cecile attended high school at National Cathedral School for Girls in DC. She has an under graduate degree in art design and a lot of art history from Harvard, more formally called Visual and Environmental Studies.
Patricia Drago, Secretary
Pat Drago 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, Treasurer
Theresa has lived in the Orlando area for over 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 volunteers with the American Red Cross.
At Jacksonville University she earned her bachelor degrees in Management and Economics and continued post-baccalaureate work in accounting at the University of Central Florida. Theresa has served not only as Chairperson of the Budget Committee for the last three years but has also served as a member of the LWVF Board.
Shawn Bartelt recently retired as Vice President and General Manager of WFTV, Channel 9 and WRDQ, Central Florida’s TV27. Bartelt joined Cox Television in 2000 as director of sales at WSOC-TV and WAXN-TV and was promoted to General Manager in Orlando in 2006. She began her broadcasting career at WWSB-TV in Sarasota, Florida in 1977.
Personally, Shawn has served on a number of boards, including the Board of Directors for Heart of Florida United Way where she chaired a United Way Campaign and Chef’s Gala. She has been a volunteer in the Read 2 Succeed program reading to second grade students; and was instrumental in the launch a groundbreaking mentor program, Operation Positive Direction, with Orlando Police Chief Val Demmings.
Shawn is from the “Conch Republic”. She was born in Key West, and has lived in Marathon, Miami, and Sarasota before college. She attended USF and graduated from UF. Shawn has two children and lives in the Delaney Park neighborhood of Orlando.
Lisa Hall draws from nearly three decades of media experience – on both the receiving and sending ends. After nearly 17 years as a broadcast news producer, she launched her intended career in public relations in 2000 and led the public affairs practice as Senior Vice President of Salter>Mitchell (formerly Herrle Communications Group) until July of 2013.
As director of public affairs, Lisa played an important role in strategic planning by facilitating brainstorming sessions, developing creative content and identifying news angles. Lisa has led statewide campaigns that have resulted in major client victories. She led a grassroots campaign that helped save Florida’s State Library, spearheaded media and community relations that resulted in the largest preservation land purchase in Florida history and creation of the Babcock Ranch Preserve in Southwest Florida, and engaged Florida newspapers as reliable and outspoken allies for three Supreme Court Justices facing organized efforts to remove them from the bench in the 2012 merit retention races. The more than 272 articles covering the unprecedented attempt to politicize the court included 120 editorials and opinion columns published during a 10 month period.
While Hall is continuing her work with Salter>Mitchell clients as a senior consultant to the firm, she launched Hall+Media in part to pursue additional opportunities to advocate on behalf of judicial branches that are under siege across the country.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Hall moved to Florida in 1987 to accept a position as news producer for WSVN in Miami. In 1990 she migrated north to Tallahassee, where she continued her journalism career as capital bureau chief and regional manager for a television news cooperative serving 10 stations across Florida. She went on to serve as News Director for WTWC and then as Managing Editor for Florida’s News Channel before making the move to public relations. Hall is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and is also credentialed as a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) by the Florida Public Relations Association. She is active in numerous community organizations and is currently serving on the state board of the League of Women Voters.
Dr. Julie Kessel
Dr. Julie Kessel attended New College in Sarasota Florida and then completed her medical degree at the University of Miami. She subsequently went on to complete a National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship in Psychopharmacology, Schizophrenia and Research in Philadelphia and formal training in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. She is Board Certified in Adult and General Psychiatry.
Her areas of clinical expertise include psychopharmacology, serious mental illness and pain management. In 1998 she retired from direct psychiatric practice and began working in the insurance industry, first in Philadelphia and then back in Florida where she has resided since 2004. She has extensive experience in the insurer aspect of the implementation of the consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act including appeal rights and prevention, as well as other aspects of PPACA.
She is presently employed as the National Medical Director for Coverage Policy for Cigna, overseeing the development, maintenance and implementation of prevention, medical, drug and reimbursement coverage policy for the company. Throughout her long career in health care policy, she has maintained a private forensic practice with a specialty in homicide and death penalty post-conviction work. She has been involved in more than 50 post-conviction death penalty matters, performing psychiatric assessments, consultation, and expert testimony.
Dr. Kessel resides in St Pete with myriad cats and dogs and her partner. She enjoys the kayaking, paddleboarding and all things Florida involving the sunshine and the water. Dr. Kessel joined the board of the LWV of the St Pete Area in 2010 and has been the local president there since 2013.
Maggie plays an active role in changing minds for the better as a project manager and media buyer with SalterMitchell, a behavior change marketing firm in Tallahassee. In her capacity with the agency’s public relations and behavior change divisions, Maggie leads and supports integrated marketing communications campaigns, with a special focus on paid media strategy and implementation, for high-profile governmental, nonprofit and corporate clients, including the Federal Voting Assistance Program, No Kid Hungry, Florida Impact, and the International Rhino Foundation.
Formerly a manager for the League of Women Voters of Florida, Maggie is well-versed in Florida state politics and public affairs issues, as well as voting rights issues and voter service initiatives. After leaving the state office, she maintained her involvement with the organization at the local level as a board director for the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee before joining the state board.
After graduating in 2010 from the University of Florida with bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism, Maggie earned a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Florida State University. In her free time, Maggie volunteers as a foster parent for the Tallahassee/Leon County Animal Service Center, raising homeless kittens into adoptable pets.
Michele was born in The Bronx, New York and she grew up in the city and attended public schools. She graduated from the City College of New York with a BA in English and a minor in Education. In 1973, Michele’s husband was transferred to Orlando and she began a new career as a social worker, and went back to School at UCF. She worked for the state in what was then the Department of Family Services determining eligibility for welfare, food stamps and Medicaid. Several years later she began working for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities and spent a rewarding career working with children and adults with developmental disabilities.
She retired in 2005 after 30 years and then began her own company, MRL Training Consultants where she trained job coaches, supported living coaches and direct care staff. In 2007, she joined the League of Women Voters in an effort to become more involved with community and local politics. She has served as co-president of the Orange County League for three years and as co-chair of the Government Committee for six years. She has worked the polls for the League since the historic election of 2008, and became interested in Open Primaries soon after. Michele chaired the statewide study on Open Primaries, and saw most of the consensus statements approved at our last Convention.
Stephanie Owens is a veteran a political strategist, who strives to deliver meaningful social change by engaging stakeholders to improve public policy and legislation. She is nationally recognized for creating powerful cross-sector alliances and coalitions that impact government and corporate policies and programs. Stephanie has spent over 20 years in public service, as an appointee of both President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton. She held senior official positions in the White House, and the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency. During her tenure, she created the strategy and policies for implementation of the Affordable Act; citizen participation in the community restoration process after the Deep Horizon oil disaster; and improving federal procurement policy for small and disadvantaged businesses. The consistent theme in her work is making government better for the people it serves.
Owens is the principle of Dolphin Strategies LLC, a community engagement and strategic partnerships firm specializing in creating corporate social responsibility and public participation strategies that create impactful civic engagement and foster healthy communities.
Stephanie also serves as the 2nd Vice President and Chair of Voter Protection for LWV of the St. Pete Area; Board Member of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida; and Board Member of the ACLU of Pinellas. She received her bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Mark S. Pafford is a native Floridian from North Miami. He earned his bachelor degree in Public Administration and minor in Political Science at Florida International University. As a college student he worked as a naturalist/interpretive guide at Arch Creek Park in Dade County. After college he worked for Congressman Lawrence J. Smith and later as State Representative Lois Frankel’s legislative assistant.
Pafford served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing District 88 (2008-2012) and District 86 (2012-2016) which included Haverhill, Loxahatchee Groves, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington and West Palm Beach in Palm Beach County. Pafford’s professional career in the non-profit sector includes work at the Alzheimer’s Association Southeast Florida Chapter, The Lord’s Place, Area Agency on Aging Palm Beach/Treasure Coast, Florida ACLU, Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades and Florida Community Health Action Information Network (FL CHAIN).
As a member of the Florida House Pafford served as the Democratic Caucus’ Policy Chair (2012-2014) and as the Democratic Leader (2014-2016). As a legislator Pafford was a an outspoken advocate for the People of Florida on issues relating to the environment, health care, public education and the annual budget.
Pafford serves as a volunteer for FL CHAIN and enjoys hiking and birding in Florida’s vanishing wilderness areas.
He worked with LWV Orange County on voter registration and served as chair of Orange County League’s Natural Resource Committee. Orange County League presented him “Natural Resources Hero Award” for winning major environmental battles.
He has worked as an environmental advocate, beginning in 1994 with George Barley’s Save Our Everglades campaign, and has served on regional and municipal boards advocating for quality of life and the environment. He chaired the MetroPlan Orlando Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and also served on City of Winter Park Utilities Advisory Board, Stormwater Board of Appeals, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, and Lakes and Waterways Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Orange County Public Works Advisory Board.
He is a professional engineer as were his father and grandfather, who also were surveyors in Tampa. He grew up there and moved to Winter Park in 1982. Marty holds his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of South Florida, an MS degree in economics (FSU) and an MS degree in engineering (U. of Central Florida). He is currently retired from work as a geotechnical engineer with a private firm. In his spare time he enjoys many outdoor activities.
Marty and his wife, Maura Smith, enjoy traveling, paddling, and camping together as well as spending time with their granddaughter Livvy, son-in-law Tom, and daughter Liz, who serves as Hillsborough County League treasurer. They now live on the Hillsborough River in the house in which Marty grew up.
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.
Kelly Quintero, Legislative Advocate
Kelly Quintero is a native Floridian and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in Political Science. Upon graduation, she accepted a position at the Orange County Tax Collector’s office, most recently serving as the Deputy Communications Director. While there, she spearheaded bilingual media relations, digital media, and community relations.
Quintero served as the Central Florida Political Director during the 2016 Presidential campaign coordinating activities throughout 11 Central Florida counties. She has also volunteered her time in leadership capacities in both political and social issues. Kelly resides in Orlando, Florida with her fiancé.
Abdelilah Skhir, Office Manager
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. After joining the League as a Legislative Intern in 2015, he also signed on as the LWVF bookkeeper. Abdelilah hopes to continue to be a part of the legislative process after obtaining his Master’s degree.