This report is submitted by 2019-20 Nominating Committee members Jill Willis (Chair), Helene Gabelnick, Clare McGuire, Kate Yoshida and Catherine Mardikes.
Board members Helene Gabelnick, Pat Graunke, Margaret Herring, Sameena Mustafa and Pat Vogtman are stepping down, and we owe them our most heartfelt appreciation for all they’ve contributed. The Board members serving new terms will be elected at the Annual Meeting. The slate of new Board directors and their bios appear below.
Elected Board members will serve two-year terms (2020-2022). Each director will be responsible for the portfolio identified herein. The officers comprise the Executive Committee.
Anne Jamieson has been a member of the League of Women Voters since 2017 and has served on the Board for LWV Chicago since last June. She has been serving in the role of President of the Board since last November.
Anne is a public librarian at the Deerfield Public Library in the north suburbs and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Hope College and a Master’s of Library and Information Science from Dominican University.
She is excited about the work of the Board and the ways the League has been able to adapt to these new and different times. She looks forward to continuing this work.
Vice President - Operations
After moving to Chicago in 2016, Jane Ruby quickly found her niche in political and civic organizations, eventually becoming a full-time freelancer for municipal political campaigns, working in both campaign strategy and management. Across her various campaign roles, Jane has leveraged her passion for design to inspire political advocacy and promote access. She is a member of the Polish Triangle Coalition and the IVI-IPO Northwest Chapter. Jane also is Director of Communications for a Solar Technology startup.
Currently, Jane is a member of the LWV Chicago Board of Directors and serves as its Event Coordinator. She is also chair of the Centennial State of the City event, which will mark a critical milestone in the organization’s history when it is held this coming December.
Hollis Burgess has been a member of League since 1995, first in Glencoe, and then in Chicago after moving back into the city. She was on the Board of the Glencoe League and also served on the LWVIL board. Married with two adult daughters and 2 grandsons, her husband and she run a summer business in Wisconsin. An administration geek (as opposed to a political wonk), her focus tends to be on education and finances.
Currently on the Chicago Board as Operations Chair, Hollis has also served on the Nominating Committee twice.
Director – Unit Coordinator
Melanie Norstrom has been a member of the LWV Chicago since late 2016 and is a co-leader of the South Side Unit and a member of evening Education Committee and Voter Service Committee. She has served on the Board for a term of two years as Unit Coordinator. Melanie received her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Chicago and is currently employed at the university as a regulatory affairs manager. She lives in Hyde Park with her husband and son.
Director - Issues & Advocacy
A civil rights activist for over 40 years, Betty Magness was a Facilitator for the 1996 Democratic National Committee Training Academy and first African American elected State Chair of the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO). Currently, she is Co-Chair of Chicago Women Take Action (CWTA) and the Illinois Political Director of National Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Betty has worked with the League of Women Voters for the past year and a half on voter registration. In January 2020, she represented LWV at the Chicago in Focus program on the importance of Census 2020. She plans to work diligently to get voters registered for the upcoming General Election, focusing on the 18- to 35-year-age group.
Director - Education
Clare McGuire has been a LWV Chicago member since 2017 and has participated on the Website Committee and Membership Committees. She is currently chair of the Evening Education Committee.
Clare has lived in Chicago since 2015 and is a member of the Ladder Up Associate Board as well as a tax preparation volunteer there. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in public finance and policy analysis from Indiana University, and is originally from Omaha, Nebraska.
Clare currently works for the Chicago Transit Authority as a Project Manager of Infrastructure Capital Controls and previously served as the school budget manager for Chicago Public Schools and as the budget and operations manager for the University of Chicago Poverty Lab.
Director - Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Ebony Harris is a Substitute Teacher with BA from the University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY) and a Master’s in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. She has been in a variety of settings in Chicago, including Case Management, tutor, Weekend Enrichment Assistant for Northwestern University, Chicago. She began with the League of Women Voters in Rochester, NY, in 2007 and has been active on LWV Chicago’s CODI.
Director – Event Coordinator
Sharon D. Welch joined the League of Women Voters in 2017 and works on criminal justice reform with the Illinois and Cook County Leagues. As a member of the Chicago League, she helped organize two Chicago in Focus events in 2019, one on "Chicago Community Policing in 2019: Changes, Challenges and Opportunities" with the Chicago Chief of Police, Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Dr. Helen Neville of the R.A.C.E. Lab(race, equity and civic engagement) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the other on "Breaking Hate: Building Communities to Counter White Nationalism" with the author and activist Christian Picciolini and Maureen Loughane, director of the Chicago chapter of Facing History and Ourselves. Her term with the Board of the Cook County League of Women Voters ended in May 2020.
Sharon has held faculty and administrative positions at Harvard Divinity School, the University of Missouri-Columbia and Meadville Lombard Theological School (Unitarian Universalist, Chicago). She is the author six books, the most recent being After the Protests Are Heard: Enacting Civic Engagement and Social Transformation (NYU Press, 2019).
Director – Collaborations and Partnerships
Molly Bartlett has been an active member of the South Side Unit and registered voters at City College events.
After working for many years in external relations at a series of nonprofit advocacy organizations as well as the UChicago Divinity School, Molly became a residential real estate broker six years ago – a change of pace in some ways.
She has planned to work with DCFS and other League members on strategies to increase voter registration among DCFS wards who are approaching or have reached 18 years of age.
The following Officers and Directors will continue to serve through June 2021:
Executive Vice President: Catherine Mardikes
Vice President – Citizen Engagement: Karen Sandrick
Secretary: Marnie Gielow
Director - Communications: Vanessa Bush Ford
Director – Fund Development: Lauren Rudolph
Director - Membership Recruitment & Retention: Susan Sosin
Nominating Committee 2020-2021
Kate Yoshida, Chair
Kate joined the League in 2016 to meet like-minded people and engage in informed, meaningful discourse on important topics. She served on the 2019-2020 Nominating Committee. She works at the University of Illinois at Chicago on grant writing/administration and campus mobility planning. With a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy and a BS in Economics, her hobbies are weaving, bicycling and gardening.
Elesha N. Nightingale
Elesha Nightingale is a third-year law student at UIC John Marshall Law School. She has been a member of the LWVCC Criminal Justice Interest Group since 2019.
Other non-for-profit involvement: Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Civil Rights Committee (co-chair, 2019-curent); Illinois State Bar Association Sentencing & Corrections Committee (appointed member, 2019- current); Access Living of Metro Chicago (2016-2019); The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (2014-2018); Volunteers of America (2014-2016); International Rescue Committee Refugee & Immigration Rights (2015); Community Works Domestic & Sexual Assault Resource Center (2011-2012), Women's Crisis Support Team (2011), and Serving the Hungry & Homeless SHARE (2008).
She is a steadfast activist for civil rights, housing access, disability rights, rights of the incarcerated, women's rights, and building youth leadership.
Karen Oliver has been a League member since 2018 and has served on the Membership Committee - Connectors and Orientation. She is also a member of the Loop Evening Unit. A life-long Chicagoan, she is a long-time volunteer with several Chicago Historic sites, including Glessner House, Clarke House and Friends of Historic Second Church, where she is also a Board Member.