Run Women Run’s board of directors meets quarterly to set policy for the organization. Read bios of officers and directors below.
President: Michelle Burton is managing partner of Shoecraft Burton, a civil litigation law firm specializing in complex coverage and insurance litigation. She graduated with distinction from San Diego State University and earned her law degree from California Western School of Law. Ms. Burton is licensed in California and Washington and is also a certified appellate specialist. Ms. Burton is one of the original members of RWR and is passionate about inspiring pro-choice, progressive women to run for political office.
Vice President: Carol Kim serves as the political director at San Diego Building & Construction Trades Council. The daughter of Korean immigrant parents, she is a UCLA graduate who began her career as a classroom teacher in an inner city school in Los Angeles, where she also coordinated a fine arts program and was the lead teacher of an after-school program for at-risk boys. Her years as a teacher were followed by several more working in HIV prevention, serving high-risk groups that included active and recovering substance users, adolescents in the foster care and judicial systems, LGBT communities, as well as communities of color. Carol also provided training on HIV and related topics for public health nurses, community service providers, and teacher candidates. This led to eight years as a research associate for an education nonprofit, working with schools and school districts in San Diego and throughout the state of California to provide effective programs that support health, safety, and well-being for students in public schools, and to develop career and technical education opportunities for young people in partnership with community colleges. Carol was a candidate for San Diego City Council, District 6, in 2014.
Secretary: Hilary Nemchik is currently communications director for San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry. She previously worked on Bry’s campaign and as a field representative for State Senator Marty Block, where she focused on healthcare, women’s issues, and housing. Hilary began her career in public service at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, shortly after receiving her graduate degree in Applied Communication from Northern Arizona University. As director of external affairs and events for the Borough President, Hilary managed community outreach and public events for the office and also served as chair of the Manhattan Domestic Violence Task Force. Hilary is a 2015 San Diego Leadership Alliance fellow and a member of the San Diego County Young Democrats and the Clairemont Town Council.
Board Member (Political Action): Kirsten Clemons is the political coordinator for the Service Employees International Union California (SEIU), an organization representing more than 700,000 Californians who work throughout the state. Its members are social workers, nurses, classroom aides, state workers, security officers, college professors, home care workers, janitors, and more, working in four primary areas: healthcare, long-term care, public services (both state workers and local), and building services. Earlier in her career, Kirsten worked as political/legislative director for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, an organization representing 135 labor unions and more than 200,000 working families across two counties. Kirsten is a native of Harrisburg, Penn., where she graduated from Shippensburg University with a BA in Psychology. Kirsten moved to San Diego in 2003 and got her start in San Diego politics working for the California State Assembly as district director to Assemblymember Lori Saldana. She has worked on several political campaigns in the last dozen years. Kirsten has served on the boards of various nonprofit and community organizations, including as president of California Women Lead’s San Diego chapter, chair of the North Park Project Area Committee, advocacy chair for the North Park Community Association, and as an assistant coach for In Motion Fit, a local running organization.
Board Member (Leadership Development): Katherine McGrath is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Katherine is also a member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego, the San Diego Young Democrats, the Welsh Inn of Court, and the Penn Club of San Diego.
Director: Kristen Aster is the Manager of the Hunger Advocacy Network (HAN), a collaborative of San Diego organizations working together to reduce hunger in San Diego by shaping state policy. In her role Kristen works to guide the network’s annual crafting and implementation of a collaborative advocacy agenda, create opportunities to educate elected officials and the public about hunger in San Diego, and increase the advocacy capacity of network partners. Kristen previously served as Associate Director of Refugee Council USA in Washington, DC, a national coalition of refugee-serving organizations seeking to affect national and international refugee and asylum policy. Previously she worked in External Relations for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and as a Fulbright Scholar researching refugee and migration issues in Morocco.
Director: Anna Lenhart works as a Salesforce customer relationship management software developer at Anani Cloud Solutions, a technology firm focused on the not-for-profit community. She is also the founder of the Next Generation of Service, a social enterprise that offers service oriented vocational mentorship to young people. Before joining Anani, Anna worked as the Senior Analyst at Oberon Fuels. She has also been involved with TEDx America’s Finest City. Anna graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BA in Civil Engineering and Engineering Public Policy. Following graduation, she studied sustainable waste management practices in Namibian townships on a Fulbright Grant. She loves surfing, rock climbing and camping, and has visited 22 out of 53 of the United States National Parks.
Director Emeritus: Christine Kehoe made history when she was elected to the San Diego City Council in 1993 as the first out LGBT candidate to win public office in San Diego. Chris went on to serve seven years on the City Council followed by twelve years in the legislature. While a city councilmember, Chris was successful in strengthening neighborhood services, funding programs for The Center and San Diegans living with AIDS, adding grade school classrooms in North Park and Normal Heights, and leading a major redevelopment in City Heights including the completion of the I-15 freeway. Chris was appointed to the California Coastal Commission and the San Diego Association of Governments while on city council. In 1998 Chris ran for Congress in the 49th district and lost a close election to incumbent Brian Bilbray. Two years later she ran for the 76th Assembly district to succeed Susan Davis and won. She was appointed Speaker Pro Tempore, presiding over many raucous Assembly sessions at the height of the energy deregulation crisis. During her four years in the Assembly, Chris authored legislation to establish the San Diego River Conservancy, chaired the Joint Committee on Emergency Services that grew out of the 2003 firestorm in San Diego, and was the founding chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Legislative Caucus. Water conservation and efficiency, fire prevention and fire-safe planning as well as local government reforms were addressed in her legislation. Chris was elected to the state Senate in 2004, succeeding Dede Alpert. During her eight years of service in the Senate, Chris chaired key policy committees including four years as chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Her legislation continued to define fire planning, energy and water conservation policy, advance alternative vehicle and fuels, reform local land use, and strengthen LGBT civil rights. Currently, Chris is the executive director of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative whose members include public and private sector leaders in advancing the adoption of clean EVs to meet California’s economic, energy and environmental goals.
Director Emeritus: Jamie Quient is an attorney at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, focusing on policyholder insurance coverage litigation and representation of licensed professionals and institutions in administrative proceedings. Jamie also volunteers her time as a pro bono attorney for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Casa Cornelia Law Center, and other organizations. Outside of her legal practice, Jamie is actively involved in the San Diego community and has focused her efforts on promoting diversity and furthering the advancement of women. In addition to her involvement in Run Women Run, she is president of Lawyers Club of San Diego and founder and chair of the Lawyers Club Human Trafficking Task Force. Jamie has served for the past five years on the planning committee for the Women’s Resource Fair, an annual event that provides medical, legal and social services to women and children in need.
Director Emeritus: Lisa R. Shaffer was elected to the Encinitas City Council in 2012, her first elected office. Her campaign platform was to work hard, tell the truth, and play by the rules. She came in first in a field of nine candidates. Lisa is the Encinitas representative on the SANDAG board of directors and represents the north coastal cities on the SANDAG Transportation Committee. Her career spans 40 years of service, primarily in international environmental science and policy. During 25 years in Washington, DC, Lisa held positions in NASA and NOAA, developing international cooperation in studying the Earth from space. She also worked for five years in strategic planning for a major aerospace company. In 1998 she joined UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she worked in the director’s office, responsible for international relations and policy programs. Lisa moved from Scripps to the main UCSD campus in 2007, where she helped found a campus-wide sustainability program, and then was asked to develop and teach courses on ethics and corporate social responsibility at the Rady School of Management. Lisa retired from UCSD in 2013. She has held many board positions, including at the Center for Sustainable Energy and Kids-vs-Global-Warming, and is currently president of her church congregation. Among her awards, she received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Climate Champion award from the City of San Diego, the UCSD Sustainability Award, and was one of the inaugural Muir Environmental Fellows at UCSD. She earned a BA in political science from the University of Michigan, a PhD in public policy from the George Washington University, and an MBA from UCSD. Lisa lives in Encinitas with her husband, Steve Bartram. They have four adult daughters.
Director Emeritus: Alejandra Sotelo-Solis was elected to the National City City Council, where she has served since 2008, including four years as vice mayor. She serves on the SANDAG Public Safety Committee and as an alternate on the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Board. Professionally, Alejandra is age friendly communities manager at The San Diego Foundation. Previously, she worked as development director for MANA de San Diego, in both the UC San Diego student affairs department and chancellor’s office, as well as with two California State Assemblymembers. A third generation National City resident and graduate of Sweetwater High School, she is proud to be a board member of the SUHI Foundation, which provides college scholarships to graduates of her alma mater, and to be engaged with social justice issues through American Diabetes Association Mission Delivery. Alejandra is married to her college sweetheart, Arturo Solis, and they bought their home in National City close to family and friends.
Barbara Bry, Founding President
Barbara Bry is a serial entrepreneur who is currently the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures, which invests in early stage technology companies. She has been on the founding team of three companies and three nonprofit organizations including Proflowers.com, San Diego Athena, and Connect.
In the community, she serves on the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, and the San Diego Jewish Women’s Foundation, and she is a member of San Diego Rotary Club 33.
In Barbara’s early career, she was a business writer for the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times. Her passion for electing more qualified pro-choice women started with her mother Adelaide Bry who was a psychologist, author and entrepreneur at a time when very few women had careers. Barbara is married to entrepreneur Neil Senturia, and they have four children between the ages of 25 and 29.
Francine Busby first ran for Congress in a grassroots campaign in 2004. In 2006, she gained national attention during a special election to replace the disgraced Rep. Duke Cunningham. Though she didn’t prevail, her strong showing was considered a bell-weather for the change in Congressional leadership that followed in November. Francine ran again in a challenging midterm election in 2010.
Francine has mentored women in offices from school board and city council to state assembly and Congress. She has served as executive director of Run Women Run and has worked with Emily’s List, the California List, California Women Lead, National Organization for Women, National Women’s Political Caucus, Emerge, Planned Parenthood, Girls Scouts, League of Women Voters and other organizations that foster women in leadership. Currently, she is Chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party and has been an elected delegate to numerous state and national conventions.
Francine served as President of the Cardiff School Board, President of the Cardiff Education Foundation and manager of the bond campaigns to modernize Cardiff Schools. As an adjunct professor of Women’s Studies at Cal State San Marcos, Francine taught “Women Changing the World”. Francine enjoyed a career in domestic and international tourism and marketing with the Walt Disney Travel Company.
Francine received the Rising Star Award by the National Women’s Political Caucus San Diego Chapter in 2005, the Henry Auerback Leadership Award by the San Diego County Democratic Party in 2006 and the Ron Platt Courage Award by the Red to Blue Grassroots Coalition in 2009. She was honored at the “All People’s Recognition Ceremony at CSUSM in 2006 and 2008. In 2008 Francine was recognized by Biz San Diego as one of the most influential businesswomen in San Diego. San Diego Magazine named her as one of their “50 People to Watch” in 2009.
Francine is a native Californian. She graduated from UC Irvine with a B.A. in Humanities. She earned a Masters In Governance certificate from the California School Board Association.
Ginny Armbrust is a Mechanical Engineer, educated at UCSD and SDSU. She worked for General Atomics and McDonnell Douglas before starting a company involved in the design and development of low observable materials and devices. While engineering is her profession, politics is one of her passions. The evolution of women’s rights has been a main driving force for political activism and for that reason is proud to be a part of Run Women Run.
Nadia P. Bermudez
Nadia P. Bermudez is a business and employment litigation attorney with Garcia, Hernández, Sawhney & Bermudez LLP, a majority woman owned law firm. From 2010 to 2013, Bermudez served on the San Diego County Bar Association Board of Directors (“SDCBA”). In 2014, she received the Diversity service award from the SDCBA. Bermudez is a past-president of Lawyers Club of San Diego, a bar association focusing on the advancement of women in the profession. Bermudez is also past-president of San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association and currently serves as President of its 501(c)3 charitable sister organization SDLRLA Scholarship Fund. Bermudez is also currently a regional leader for the Hispanic National Bar Association and the California La Raza Lawyers Association. In 2011, she was selected as one of five lawyers nationally to be recognized as a Top Attorney under 40 by the Hispanic National Bar Association. In 2007, she was honored on San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s “40 under 40” list and in 2009, received the Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal.
Ms. Bermudez received her B.A. from UC Irvine and her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2001.
Sarah Boot sits on the Board of Directors for the Lawyers Club, a San Diego specialty bar association dedicated to advancing the status of women in the legal profession and in society.
She began her legal career as an associate at the law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish, LLP, where she represented internet and technology companies with a focus on complex civil litigation and intellectual property litigation. She currently serves as an Assistant United States Attorney in the General Crimes Unit in the Southern District of California.
Boot received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School where she was an Articles Editor for the Michigan Technology and Telecommunications Law Review. During law school, she interned for a federal district court judge, a state court appellate judge, and the Detroit prosecutor’s office. She also spent a semester studying international law at Hong Kong University.
Prior to law school, Boot was Finance Director for the re-election campaign of a Washington D.C. City Councilmember At-Large. She also served as a Regional Field Coordinator for a New Hampshire Presidential Primary campaign.
Boot graduated from the University of Michigan with an honors degree in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. While at Michigan, she was elected Student Body President, representing over 38,000 students.
Julie Bronstein is Director of Philanthropy for the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation where she focuses on donor relations and development. In addition, she evaluates and advises on philanthropic opportunities in the community. Prior to this position, Julie ran her own political fundraising firm in San Diego, including such clients as Senator Feinstein, Lt. Governor John Garamendi and the California List.
Julie was Director of Government Affairs for Verizon in Los Angeles from May 2001 until September 2004 and also served as Manager of Government Relations for the Motion Picture Association of America from 1998 through 2001.
Julie currently serves on the boards of Rady Children’s Hospital, Run Women Run and the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation. Additionally, she volunteers as a room parent at Ocean Air Elementary and at the Lawrence Family JCC.
She has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College (Claremont). Julie and her husband, George, a general contractor, reside in San Diego with their three young children.
Lynn Bruser has served the public interest for nearly 20 years. When her son Josh was born prematurely in Hawaii in 1985, she visited him in the hospital and was confronted by demonstrators who thought that she was trying to get an abortion. This motivated her to become one of the forces behind opening the first NARAL chapter in Hawaii where she became one of the community’s most outspoken advocates for choice. After moving to San Diego in 1990, her tireless activism on behalf of choice led to appointments on the board of directors of both Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and she also served on the board of WomenCare. Lynn has walked precincts, raised money, demonstrated on street corners and collected signatures for the causes and candidates in which she believes. Recently she demonstrated against Ringling Bros Circus in San Diego, and she is proud to be on their wanted list. Currently she is focused on collecting signatures for Proposition 2 which calls for humane treatment of farm animals.
Anita I. Busquets
Anita I. Busquets, M.B.A. is a highly experienced, start-up executive who has served in a wide range of operating and financial management roles.
Ms. Busquets serves as President and COO of NCE Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a small agricultural biotech company focused on antifungal and antibacterial compounds and technologies. She is also the co-owner of Aliane Wines, a San Diego based wine importer and distributor of fine wines produced by small independent family owned vintners, and is a Founding Member of KI Investment Holdings, LLC..
Ms. Busquets currently serves on two boards including, NCE Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Athena San Diego. She also serves as Chairman of the Audit Committee of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. In the past she served as a director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Project Wildlife, Chairman of the Board of VNA and Hospice of South Texas and as President of the KLRN (local PBS station) Community Advisory Board, in addition to the boards of GeneTex, Inc. in San Antonio, Texas and IND, Inc. in San Diego, California. She is an active Member of Run Women Run and serves on its Advisory Board.
Jodi Cleesattle is a deputy attorney general for the California Department of Justice, where she works in the Civil Division’s Employment & Administrative Mandate Section in San Diego, litigating employment and administrative law cases on behalf of state agencies in state and federal courts and preparing and arguing appeals and writs.
Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, she was a partner at Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP (now Troutman Sanders, LLP), where she litigated complex cases in state and federal courts nationwide, including insurance coverage and “bad faith,” commercial, employment law, libel and defamation, and First Amendment cases.
Cleesattle is a member of the executive committee of the California State Bar Association’s Public Law Section, editor of the Public Law Journal, and a member of the CLE Advisory Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association. She also is a board member of Lawyers Club of San Diego, a bar association dedicated to the advancement of the status of women in the law and society. She co-chairs Lawyers Club’s Leadership Development Committee and chairs Lawyers Club’s Legislation Committee.
Cleesattle was named a 2009 and 2010 Top Attorney in Municipal & Government Practice by the San Diego Daily Transcript. She previously worked as a daily news reporter for The Lancaster (Ohio) Eagle-Gazette. She graduated summa cum laude from American University’s Washington College of Law and received her B.A. in communications/print journalism, cum laude, from American University.
Erika Couric works as an assistant account executive with the Clearpoint Agency, an award winning public relations firm which led the media relations efforts for our September event honoring Donna Frye. In her role, she manages PR, media relations and social media programs. She recently earned a master’s degree in communication and media studies from San Diego State University and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. While in graduate school, she began freelancing with San Diego businesses, developing marketing programs, social media strategy and copywriting. She comes to Clearpoint with more than 10 years of experience in financial services, data analytics, medical technologies and legal industries, and has lived and worked in New York, Philadelphia and Paris, France.
“I love being around interesting, forward-thinking and forward-moving individuals. I jumped at the opportunity to join RWR because of the people I met in the organization. The RWR mission really resonates with me. Recent literature and research demonstrates that organizations with more women in positions of higher influence and responsibility are performing better in every way: This benefits women and men equally. I feel the work that RWR is important and am excited about the changes and improvements it can have in our community,” said Erika.
Jennifer Dreyer is the president of Tamayo Consulting, Inc., a national training and consulting firm specializing in leadership and team development. She has worked with thousands of leaders and teams to help them learn, grow, and expand their capacity. Prior to joining Tamayo Consulting, Jennifer taught public speaking, argumentation, and organizational communication at San Diego State University. While at SDSU, Jennifer also served as the Director of Debate where she led the program to several national titles.
Jennifer has served on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties for five years and was recently nominated as Chair-elect. Jennifer is also the immediate past Chair of Planned Parenthood’s political organization, The Action Fund. Jennifer met her husband on the debate team, loves to talk politics, and is pleased that her two daughters (3 and 5 years old) readily recognize three women when the TV is on: Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Katie Couric.
Elizabeth A. French
Elizabeth A. French is a partner in the law firm of Green Bryant & French, LLP. Her practice emphasizes the representation of community associations, individuals in tort and personal injury actions, employers in all aspects of employment law and providing assistance and representation to families with children who require Special Education services including IEPs, related services, behavioral plans and appropriate placements in the least restrictive environment.
Elizabeth earned a B.A. degree in psychology from St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame, Indiana in 1990. In 1993, she earned her J.D. degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington. Her community activities include serving on the Board of Directors for Community Associations Institute (CAI), acting as a delegate for a legislative action committee related to CAI and she is a volunteer with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program, which is a non-profit organization that provides free legal services to people in San Diego County who can not afford to pay for legal services. Elizabeth also acts as a co-leader for her daughter’s Girls Scout troop. Elizabeth resides in Point Loma with her husband and four children, Brenna, Erin, Lucas and Kate.
R. Elaine Hanson M.D.
R. Elaine Hanson M.D. is a retired Ob-Gyn who was educated at the University of Iowa and UC San Diego. She served on the medical school faculty at UCSD until 1995 and at Scripps Clinic until 2001. She has served on the board of directors and as president of EdUCate! The University City Foundation for Public Schools, and is currently on the board of Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties. She is President of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Blood Bank. She and her husband and three adult children are all involved in various organizations and careers revolving around education, healthcare, and environmental conservation and sustainability.
Shana Hazan works at Jewish Family Service (JFS), where she oversees all aspects of the agency’s teen leadership programs, including the new Girls Give Back program, a thriving Hand Up Teen Leadership Program, and a network of Hand Up Clubs at 10 area high schools. Under her direction socially-minded San Diego teens participate in leadership development trainings and engage in issue advocacy, service project coordination, volunteer management, grantwriting, and event coordination.
Shana holds a master’s degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Before coming to JFS, she worked in Public Relations, taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city, and served as the Safe Routes to School Director for Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago, where she was actively involved in advocacy and program development to reduce childhood obesity by increasing physical activity and active transportation.
In addition to serving on the Run Women Run Executive Committee, Shana serves on the boards of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) and Stanley E. Foster Construction Tech Academy, and is an active member of Women Give San Diego. In 2009 she founded Emerging Leaders at JFS and currently serves on their Community Service Committee. Shana was named to San Diego News Network’s 35 Under 35 Community Leaders List in 2010.
Sarah Kruer Jager
Sarah Kruer Jager joined Monarch in 2005 and is a founding member of the Monarch Investment Funds real estate private equity funds family. Sarah is responsible for sourcing, underwriting, and managing investments as well as developing and managing relationships with Monarch’s capital partners. During her tenure, Sarah has acquired, developed, and sold over $1 billion in real estate investments, including over 7,500 residential units throughout the Western U.S. Prior to joining Monarch, Sarah worked at UBS Investment Bank in Chicago in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Diversified Industrials Groups.
Sarah attended University of Michigan, where she was awarded a four-year full tuition athletic scholarship as a member of the Division I Varsity Women’s Golf Team. Sarah’s academic and athletic honors include being named by the National Golf Coaches Association to the Division I All-American Scholar Golf Team and receiving Academic All-Big Ten Conference Honors. Sarah graduated from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with High Distinction. Sarah received her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Finance.
Sarah is passionate about her community as well as leveling the playing field for young women in sports and business. Sarah is currently involved in the following civic, charitable, and industry organizations: In 2016, Sarah was appointed by California State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to serve on the Commission on Judicial Performance, an independent state agency responsible for judicial discipline. Sarah is a Member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and its Bronze Multifamily Council. Sarah is also a Founding Advisory Board Member of Run Women Run and a Member of the San Diego Community College District Citizens’ Oversight Committee following her appointment by the Board of Trustees for the District. Previously, Sarah served as a Member of the California Task Force on Youth and Workplace Wellness following her appointment by California State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.
In December 2008, Elyse became the Executive Director of Move San Diego, the only non-profit in San Diego advocating for world class public transit and sustainable transportation and land use planning for our region. She is the sole full time employee of this small but mighty organization and is excited about Move San Diego’s important contribution to the future livability of our region.
After graduating UCSC with a degree in Environmental Studies and Earth Science, Elyse spent 11 years with the City of San Diego. She started her career in the Environmental Services Dept. managing citywide recycling and waste reduction programs, and also working a Budget Analyst for in the Financial Management department.
Elyse began to see herself as a change agent for San Diego. Her goal was to be a positive force for community improvement in her home town. After completing the Community Economic Development program at the SDSU School of Business, Elyse joined the staff of then San Diego City Councilmember Jim Madaffer. Elyse acted as Council Representative, and was appointed as the Crossroads Redevelopment Project Area Director, advising on land use, environmental issues and public policy. She became the Consultant to the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee and in her last year with the City, Consultant to the Rules and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
In these leadership positions, Elyse was able to enact change by working directly on community improvement projects, and advising on housing and land use policy decisions that affect the way we live in San Diego.
She has been involved in the past with the National Management Association, the California Resource Recovery Association, the Salvation Army Joan Kroc Community Involvement Committee, the Chamber of Commerce Land Use and Housing Committee, the City of San Diego Land Use and Housing Technical Advisory Committee, served as President of the Women’s Environmental Council San Diego Chapter, and acted as a liaison to various Redevelopment and Community Planning Advisory Committees for the City of San Diego. She currently sits on the SANDAG Stakeholder Working Group for the Regional Transportation Plan Update, the transportation committees for the San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association, the Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown San Diego Business Partnership’s. She is a member of the Herb Klein Leadership Roundtable, the Southwestern Yacht Club Family Friendly Committee, and as an Advisory committee member to Run Woman Run, a political action committee supporting pro choice San Diego women for elected office.
Cynthia Morgan is a partner at the law firm of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack where she has a transactional practice in land use, real estate, business and public agency. Cynthia received her B.A. from Michigan State University and her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.
In addition to practicing law, Cynthia is active in the East Village community of downtown and Co-Chair of the 2010 Women’s Resource Fair.
Cynthia has experience working for elected officials as a Deputy City Attorney in the Oceanside City Attorney Office and in the San Diego City Attorney Office. She has volunteered for national, state and local campaigns.
Carrie Morrow is a technology specialist with expertise in the legal industry. For close to 20 years, Carrie provided technology support and training to lawyers and staff at 3 international law firms including Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP.
Carrie’s passion for politics developed at a very early age. Although active in local politics for many years, her first professional campaign experience includes working on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. She worked locally in San Diego but also traveled with the campaign to Las Vegas to promote voting and assistance with the caucuses. Carrie also served as a key volunteer and organizer for Francine Busby’s most recent congressional campaign. She continues to support and volunteer on various local campaigns. As a founding member of Run Women Run, she has been active since its origination.
Carrie received a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles from Idaho State University. In 2007, after living in San Francisco for almost 20 years, Carrie relocated to San Diego with her husband, Bill Morrow. Bill is a tax partner at Cooley LLP. In addition to her activities with Run Women Run, Carrie is also a volunteer with the American Red Cross and an active member of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla.
Bonnie Burns Price
Bonnie Burns Price, Ph.D., has labored in the groves of academe throughout her adult life, as a student, a teacher, and an administrator. She earned a baccalaureate at Albright College, a master’s at the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate at Temple University.
When living in Pennsylvania, she taught at Albright College, Kutztown University, and Reading Area Community College, at which she was a member of the first year faculty; she also served RACC as a division head and academic vice president. Upon return to her native San Diego, she co-founded and led a private university, establishing branches in three nearby counties. After merging her university with another, she returned to community college work in teaching and administration at the San Diego and Grossmont-Cuyamaca Districts. Since retiring from Grossmont College, she has worked as a college accreditation consultant.
In Pennsylvania, Bonnie applied her political science knowledge to solving real political problems, engaging in service as a local public official for 20 years, as well as leadership in the American Civil Liberties Union and the Democratic Party. In addition, she was a founding board member of Planned Parenthood of North East Pennsylvania, which serves nine economically-depressed counties. Bonnie also raised a daughter, who lives in England and is an information technology engineer and mother.
Rosemary George Straley
Rosemary is national coordinator of Hillary Rodham Clinton Support Network, founded in 1992 with a membership nationwide of over 25,000. With HRC as role model, a priority activity of this organization is electing pro-choice women at every level. Rosemary serves on NOW’s national Committee on Global Feminist Issues and Strategies. She is active in many organizations locally which promote access and opportunities for women and girls. She is president of George-Straley Foundation which supports empowerment and income generation projects — especially microcredit — with women in developing nations.
Rosemary’s career in international development, primarily with U.S. government based in Washington DC and U.N. based in Paris, has taken her to 148 countries. Following BA and MA from Stanford, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana. She then earned a doctorate in administration from Harvard with a specialization in planning for developing countries. She later served as Peace Corps director in Cameroun, and as president of Worldwide Associates she carried out projects for many agencies including World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, U.S. Trade & Development Program, and private clients.
Carol Naiman Waldman
Carol Naiman Waldman developed an interest in politics by working on campaigns. Her professional campaign experience includes working for Lucy Killea’s first state senate campaign, and then as a volunteer coordinator for the National Abortion Rights Action League where she traveled to Illinois and Iowa to recruit and train volunteers. She served on the legislative staff of the Chula Vista City Council, then after NARAL joined the staff of former Assemblymember Dede Alpert. After attending graduate school in Los Angeles, Carol joined PR firm Millennium Services, Inc., where she handled media relations for political candidates, special events and businesses. Subsequently, she returned to legislative service on the staff of Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson.
Carol has also served as a delegate to more than a dozen California State Democratic Conventions and was elected as National Committeewoman and Vice President of the California Young Democrats. She is a founding board member of the Carmel Valley Democratic Club. She has also been in active in many community organizations including the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and the Anti-Defamation League, where she graduated from the Salvin Leadership Institute.
Born and raised in San Diego, California, Carol received her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California in 2000, and a B.A. in Journalism/Public Relations from San Diego State University. After living in Los Angeles for 13 years, Carol returned to San Diego and is raising three young children with her husband, Tom. She continues to be active in campaigns and in organizations as a volunteer.
Abby Silverman Weiss
Abby Silverman Weiss is a mediator, arbitrator and consultant, concentrating on employment law and employment-related business conflicts. Her expertise is commercial and employment dispute resolution, business and employment law litigation, and counseling. She serves as a mediator on the Employment Law panel of the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC)and as an arbitrator on the Employment Law and Complex Litigation panels of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). In July, 2009 she retired as a partner of Baker & McKenzie, LLP, after a 30-year career with the firm as trial lawyer and as managing partner of the SD office.
In addition to serving on the Run Women Run Executive Committee and as Programs Committee Chair, Abby is involved in a variety of community and non-profit organizations including: City of San Diego, Board of Library Commissioners; Scripps Health, Board of Trustees and Former Chairman; Scripps Translational Science Institute, Advisory Board; Planned Parenthood Legal Advisory Committee and Alumni Council; and University of California, San Diego, Board of Overseers.
Abby maintains her professional and law related memberships: Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego chapter, Emeritus Director; American Bar Association, Dispute Resolution and Litigation Sections; Lawyers’ Club of San Diego, President’s Circle; San Diego County Bar Association; San Diego District Attorney’s Office, Women’s Advisory Council; and University of San Diego School of Law, Board of Visitors. She also is on the following business-related boards: CONNECT, Board of Directors, Honorary Lifetime Member; Athena San Diego, Emeritus Director and Member of Pinnacle Awards Steering Committee; and Rancho La Puerta Group, Advisory Executive Board.
Ann F. Welton, PhD
Ann F. Welton, PhD, was a senior level pharmaceutical company executive leader in drug discovery research and early development for over 30 years before retiring in 2010. Since retiring she has devoted time to supporting local and national political activities, supporting the San Diego County Library Program, and consulting for start-up biotechnology companies. She has been particularly interested in supporting younger women interested in either political and/or scientific careers
Prior to retirement, Dr. Welton worked in multidisciplinary R&D environments in both large multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. From 1977 to 1997 she held leadership positions at Hoffmann LaRoche in Nutley, N.J. in Inflammation and Respiratory drug discovery research which culminated in her roles as Vice-President of Bronchopulmonary Research (1992-1994) and Vice-President of Nonclinical Development (1994-1997). From 1998 to 2003, Dr. Welton was Vice-President of Biology and Preclinical Development at the biotechnology company, Axys Pharmaceuticals (which in 2002 was acquired by Celera). From 2003 to 2010 Dr. Welton was Compound Development Team Leader for Immunology early development projects at the Johnson & Johnson Research Center in LaJolla, CA. Dr. Welton received her PhD in Biochemistry from Michigan State University and was a post-doctoral fellow at NIH in the Laboratory of the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Martin Rodbell, prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry.