Women. Power. Peace.

WAND Board

WAND is honored to have board members from around the nation from a great variety of backgrounds.

WAND members elect representatives to the WAND, Inc. board of the 501(c)(4) organization. The WAND, Inc. board then appoints the board for the WAND Education Fund 501(c)(3) organization.

Dianne Valentin, GA

WAND, Inc. Chair

Dianne Valentin is a consultant to small businesses and nonprofit organizations, working in national, regional, and community nonprofit organizations on the grassroots and executive levels, providing strategic advice, technical assistance, program development, community outreach and community organizing. As a political scientist with training in international affairs and national defense, Dianne has used her expertise to advocate grassroots and progressive issues on Capitol Hill. In addition to her consultancy and community service endeavors, Dianne is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Black Heritage Museum & Cultural Center, Inc. located in North Carolina. Dianne serves as President of the Georgia WAND Board of Directors.

Honorable Jennifer Maurine Seelig, UT

WAND, Inc. Vice Chair

Rep. Jennifer Seelig, a Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL) state director, was elected by District 23 residents in November of 2006 to serve in the Utah House of Representatives. She currently serves on the House Political Subdivisions, Legislative Management, House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committees, Executive Appropriations Committee, as well as on the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee. In 2010, Jennifer was elected the House Minority Whip. In 2012, Jennifer was elected as the first woman House Minority Leader by the Utah House Democratic Caucus.

Honorable Dorothy Rupert, CO

WAND, Inc. Secretary

Dorothy Rupert served in the Colorado Senate from 1995 to 2000 and in the Colorado House for eight years. An educator for 35 years, she was a counselor and English teacher at the high school level. She has been active in historic preservation, increasing penalties for hate crimes, the elimination of mandatory time for non-violent offenses and universal access to health care. In 2005, she was one of the "1000 women" nominated together for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jill Steger Rush, OK

WAND, Inc. Treasurer

Jill Rush is a therapist with a therapeutic foster care agency working with abused and neglected children. She is president of the Mayfair Hills Neighborhood Association seeking to revitalize and connect urban neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, and she is active with the National Association of Social Workers. She participates in community organizing with VOICE in Oklahoma City for Medicaid expansion. Jill managed a 2014 city council race in Norman, OK and worked for Barack Obama in Michigan as part of Obama for America in 2008. Jill is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Social Work.

State Representative Joni Jenkins, KY

Representative Joni Jenkins, a WiLL state director, has represented the Kentucky 44th House District since 1995. She was recently appointed by the Speaker of the House to chair a special task force on the Foreclosure Crisis in Kentucky.  Her history of legislation reflects her concerns for the safety of women and children, from the establishment of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) program to workplace safety to legislation to strengthen the Sex Offender Registry. Additionally, Rep. Jenkins has passed legislation dealing with Elder Abuse, High School Athlete Safety and Alternative Education Reform. She works at the Jefferson Community and Technical College with at-risk students.

State Representative Phyllis Kahn, MN

Rep. Phyllis Kahn is a member of the Minnesota Legislature serving her 20th term and is a WiLL state director. She has a B.A. in physics from Cornell, a Ph.D. in biophysics from Yale and a M.P.A. from the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard. She is currently the DFL-Lead of the State Government Finance Committee and a member of the Ways and Means and Capital Investment Committees. She is also a member of the Legislative Audit Commission and the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement. Her legislative interests include pension and investment policy issues, and science and technology.

Karen Jacob, IN

Karen Jacob began her peace career in 1979 working for Promoting Enduring Peace in Connecticut, a group that organized and led citizen diplomacy tours as a way to prevent and end conflict. She co-led three tours to the then Soviet Union. Jacob then became involved on the local level participating in activities to bring about the abolition of nuclear weapons. In 2000 she cofounded a chapter of WAND in Northern Indiana. In 2003 Jacob joined the national board of WAND and in 2006 became Chair of the board. WAND’s mission statement speaks to the core of Jacob’s activist life.  In addition to her work with WAND and traveling with, and supporting, her husband, David Cortright, Jacob is an active artist working in pastel and acrylic mediums and she expresses herself by depicting a beautiful world at peace.

State Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez, MD

Delegate Ana Sol Gutiérrez has represented District 18 in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2002, when she made history as the first Latina elected to the Maryland General Assembly. Gutiérrez was born in El Salvador and attended Pennsylvania State University, garnering a B.S. in chemistry, followed by an M.S. in technology of management, scientific & technical information systems from American University. She did her postgraduate studies in applied engineering at George Washington University; and executive management at The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee, the Joint Committee for Children, Youth and Families, and was the founder of the New American Caucus. She is also the co-chair of the Maryland Democratic Latino Caucus.

Kelli Hunnicutt, NC

Kelli Hunnicutt is an artist, mother and peace activist.  Trained as an artist, art has always been an important and influential part of her life. Though primarily a stay at home mother, she has also worked outside the home as both a paralegal and manager of a furniture store.  From 2007 to 2009, she returned to college and earned a certificate to teach art. In the build up to the Iraq war, she worked to prevent it, and then worked to end it through various channels. She has served as a lay leader in her church and as a leader and active member of various peace and social justice organizations. She previously served as a board member of Atlanta WAND. Her proudest accomplishment is raising two wonderful and socially conscious young women who both consider themselves children of WAND.

Honorable Pan Godchaux, MI

Pan Godchaux spends her retirement volunteering as an archivist and lighthouse keeper in the Straits of Mackinac, while dabbling in local government. After retiring from twenty years in elected office, school boards and the Michigan legislature, Pan signed up for her second tour in the Peace Corps, serving in the former Soviet Republic of Moldova. She is a founder of the Institute for Local Government at the University of Michigan Dearborn and does planning consulting with local NGOs.  She has taught little kids, been a print and broadcast journalist and now teaches Taoist Tai Chi. She can also be found babysitting three wonderful grandsons.

State Representative Gael Tarleton, WA

Rep. Gael Tarleton began her career as a senior defense intelligence analyst for the Pentagon, working on U.S.-Soviet nuclear security issues. Following a decade at the Pentagon, Gael ran two international subsidiaries of a Fortune 500 company in Russia and helped rebuild U.S.-Russian relations after the Cold War.  She also worked for eight years as a research advisor at the University of Washington, helping establish the Institute for National Security Education and Research. A resident of Seattle's maritime industrial center where the North Pacific fishing fleet is homeported, Gael first ran for public office in 2007 and was elected as a Port of Seattle Commissioner.  She was re-elected in 2011 and in 2012 served as Commission President. Gael was elected to the Washington State House in 2012 to represent the people of the 36th District. She currently serves on the Higher Education, Rules, Technology and Economic Development, and Transportation Committees. She founded and co-chairs the Economic and Community Resilience legislative caucus, and serves on the board of The Ploughshares Fund. Gael holds a Master's Degree in Government and National Security, and Bachelor's Degree in Foreign Service, from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Diane Haven, AR

Diane has spent most of her adult life as a military wife, raising two children, moving and traveling. She has volunteered for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate); worked with children in alternative education; was a Million Mom March advocate in Virginia; volunteered with the slow-reader program in Australia; was a coordinator for Model United Nations in Germany, traveling throughout Russia, Eastern and Western Europe; and helped coordinate one of the biggest bazaars in Europe. She has worked as a paralegal and full-time substitute teacher. She is very happy to be part of WAND, and is currently volunteering for Planned Parenthood. Diane also wants to advocate for sensible gun laws.

LaShawndra Vernon, WI

LaShawndra Vernon provides strategic coordination, facilitation, and participatory leadership in several initiatives focused on improving the quality of life in oppressed populations. She is the founder of Eternal Sunshine Productions, a social entrepreneurship organization that coordinates with universities, international organizations, and government leadership to craft and inform policies and legislation. She is also the Founding Chair of the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee (HTTFGM) which operates in the community to eradicate human trafficking through coordinated services, education and informed policy change. LaShawndra is the Director of the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families Collaborative, a collective impact effort to reduce the disparity gap in Milwaukee's infant mortality rates through policy, systems and environmental change.

WAND Education Fund Board

Susan Cundiff, OR

WAND Education Fund Chair

Susan Cundiff spent 34 years in public education as a school counselor where she learned the value of mediation. She draws on those experiences to find parallels between conflicts in middle schools and conflicts in world affairs. She is chapter leader of Oregon WAND and enjoys finding creative ways to depict our nation’s budget priorities. Since retiring, she has supervised school counseling interns for Northwest Christian University.  Additionally, Cundiff serves on the Safe Schools Network, a local human dignity group that encourages diligence in providing safe environments for LGBTQ students and staff.

State Senator Audrey Gibson, FL

WAND Education Fund Vice Chair

Senator Gibson has served in the Florida State Senate since 2011. Prior to serving in the Senate she served in Florida's House of Representatives from 2002-2010. She presently serves on several committees in the State Senate including serving as vice chair of the Criminal Justice Committee as well as the Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee. Senator Gibson is a member of the Women Legislator's Lobby (WiLL), a program of WAND, Women in Government (WIG), as well as many others. She has received many awards during her years of service. Senator Gibson was born in Jacksonville, and attended Florida State College at Jacksonville, receiving her associates degree in 1976, and then the Florida State University, graduating with a degree in criminology in 1978. She worked in public relations and as a legal liaison. Mother of 3, Senator Gibson also enjoys auto racing and flower gardening.

Edith Allen, MA

WAND Education Fund Secretary

Edie Allen has been active with WAND for many years as a volunteer, board member and donor.  She is president of the Colombe Foundation, which supports organizations working to create a more peaceful world through changes in American policy, and is a board member of the Ploughshares Fund.  She is also co-president of the Clever Hand Gallery, an artisans’ cooperative in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Caitlin Worm, IN

WAND Education Fund Treasurer

Caitlin Worm, a fervent supporter of women’s rights and empowerment, got involved in politics at a young age. While in college, she served as President of the College Democrats for the state of Indiana and worked with Hoosier youth to elect a Democratic President for the first time in 40 years. Now, she keeps busy in peace activism and philanthropy within her community. Caitlin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University South Bend and a Masters degree from the University of Chicago’s historic School of Social Service Administration. She is the Director of Development for St. Vincent de Paul, the largest non-governmental provider of social services in northern Indiana.

State Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, NV

Maggie Carlton has been working since age 15. A longtime waitress and Culinary Union shop steward since 1994, she helped employees address concerns with management including healthcare issues, contract negotiations, and working conditions. Elected in 1998 to the Nevada Senate, Maggie continued her advocacy for working people. In 2012, due to term limits, she won a state Assembly seat. She is a WiLL State Director and President of the National Labor Caucus of State Legislators. Maggie is a stalwart spokesperson for the working men and women who worry about job security, safety conditions, healthcare costs, and supporting themselves and their families.

Brenda Gray, PhD, MPH; WI

Dr. Brenda Gray is the Center Director of Milwaukee AHEC. Brenda received her PhD from Jackson State University’s College of Education and Human Development, where she completed her dissertation on “Health Value, Self Efficacy, Health Locus of Control: Cognitive Perceptual Factors Influencing Health Promoting Behavior in Minority College Students.” She also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Alabama.

Betsy Rivard, GA

Betsy has been active in Atlanta WAND for more than 16 years, serving on the board for at least eight years. Her chemistry background and Oak Ridge, TN past (her father worked for the Atomic Energy Commission) made her concerned about the nuclear issue (weapons and power). Betsy also serves on the boards of the UN Association of the USA, Nuke Watch South, Georgians for Gun Safety, and the Chattooga Conservatory.

Sayre Sheldon, MA

WAND President Emerita

A founding member of WAND and president emerita of the national WAND board, Sayre has been a long-time political and social activist. She was a college professor of literature and an author of several plays and articles about women's issues and peace issues. She edited the anthology Her War Story: 20th Century Women Write About War, published in 1999 by Southern Illinois University Press.

State Senator Charleta Tavares, OH

Charleta Tavares served as a member of the, Ohio House of Representatives (1993-98) Columbus City Council (1999-2010) and currently serves as a member of the Ohio Senate (2011-present). Ms. Tavares is a local, state and nationally recognized cultural competence, housing, health and human services advocate and policymaker. She is the Executive Director of the Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (MACC), a statewide non-profit membership organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of care in Ohio’s behavioral health system and to incorporate cultural competence into systems and organizations that provide care to Ohio’s vulnerable and at-risk populations. In addition, she was a founding member and is chair Emeritus of the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation.

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