National Women's Political Caucus Officers
Linda Young previously served as the 1st Vice President and Vice President of Development for the National Women's Political Caucus. She has served on the national board for over ten years, first as a Regional Director, and later as Vice President for Development. Young served more than 10 years on the NWPC-Texas board in various capacities, including serving twice as state president. On behalf of the Caucus, she recruited the first two co-chairs for the President's Circle, Liz Carpenter and Luci Baines Johnson, and has begun the groundwork for establishing the first endowment for the Caucus.
Young currently serves as Special Assistant to the President for External Affairs for Austin Community College District, the eighth largest community college in the country. Her professional career has included significant development work for education institutions and for public and private organizations, with more than $18 million in funds raised through Young's efforts. Young served as CEO of a small start-up state agency for five years in Texas, beginning during Governor Ann Richards’s administration. With almost four decades dedicated to working on women’s issues and equality, Young received the Medal of Honor/Veteran Feminists of America. Linda was one of the early recipients of the national leadership award for women, the Athena Award.
1st Vice President & Vice President, Political Planning
Donna Lent has been a vibrant part of the political scene on Long Island for over 25 years. In 1992 she helped lead the effort to establish the New York State CHOICE Party. In 1998, she carried petitions to gain ballot access for the Working Families Party and managed the field operations to establish the Suffolk County Committee of the WFP in 2002. Lent served as secretary of the Suffolk County Committee of the WFP and Brookhaven Town Leader for six years before moving to the Independence Party.
Donna served as Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Patricia Eddington for nine years before being appointed as Chief Deputy Clerk for the Town of Brookhaven in 2010; advancing important legislation that benefited women and families. As Chief Deputy Clerk for Brookhaven, the largest town in Suffolk County with just under 500,000 residents, Lent also serves as project manager for a 6.7 million dollar town-wide scanning project. In 2013, Donna was elected to the position of Town Clerk for the town of Brookhaven.
Donna Lent is a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus since 1995 and was first elected to the National Political Planning committee in 1999. She served continuously with the exception of one term. Donna served as both President and Vice President of her local caucus and currently serves as the President of the NY State Caucus.
Vice President, Communications
Paula Willmarth retired from a 30 year career in public service in the Missouri Departments of Social Services and Mental Health. She served 3 years as State Director of the Division of Family Services, which included responsibility for Child Welfare and Public Assistance. Paula currently works as a private consultant in the fields of human services and mental health programming.
Paula is a member of her local and state Caucus of many years; serving each as President; Vice President, respectively. She currently serves her state Board as VP for Political Issues. She also serves on several non-profits boards. Paula serves as Vice President of the Jefferson City Concert Association. In that role she has written grants; produced publicity; selected talent, etc. In the many political offices she holds, she has responsibility for several MO Counties and is charged with gaining their participation in the political process.
Vice President, Board Development
Donna Deberry is the CEO of Brand Inclusion. She has been described as a trailblazer and a pioneer. Her ascent to become the highest ranking African-American in the hotel and hospitality industry with Wyndham International, one of the largest public traded hotel companies and the first Vice President of Global Diversity for Nike is now legend. She has worked with the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and on many other high-profile projects.
Donna DeBerry is an award-winning strategist, author and journalist, as well as a sought after renowned speaker. With her unique “tell it like it is” style and approach, she has delivers highly customized and dynamic keynote presentations to organizations and clients globally. As an expert in building relationships and marketing, she has addressed thousands at major conferences and events. DeBerry’s success has been featured in some of America’s top rated print, electronic, and broadcast media including such magazines as: Fortune, Newsweek, Time, BusinessWeek, Essence (Top 50 Women Shaping the World issue), Black Enterprise, and Diversity Inc.
Lei Lewis, Development
Dr. Lei Lewis is the Publisher and CEO of Women of Wealth Magazine, one of the leading publications on mentoring and philanthropy. She is also the founder and President of 1000 Women Strong Mentoring (WSMI) Global Initiative “Changing The Face Of Wealth through mentoring and philanthropy” and the Executive Producer of America’s Next Woman PowerBroker Reality Show.
She believes that one can see the invisible by looking through rose colored glasses. Life is a bull, you pay the price, get on it and you ride it. You don’t stop riding it under the ride is finally over. Dr Lewis is the Author of 2 books, Empowered by Christ to Live and Eyes That See The Invisible. She hosted several television shows and all about transforming lives. She has a passion to see you at the top.
Shellie Hunt, Development
For 25 years, Shellie Hunt has pursued a mission to empower others. Shellie is the founder and CEO of Success is by Design, ReMake My Life LLC, The Women of Global Change and many more companies. An accomplished business strategist and leader, Shellie has appeared in national radio and talk shows, as well as being awarded the International Women’s Day Outstanding Service Award and the 2013 Global Humanitarian Award at the World Congress Center. Shellie is a member of the Alliance of Women and Media, and has taught Women’s leadership and business strategy at the University of Chicago and Harvard.
Ariana Ayu, Development
Often called America’s Mojo Maven, Ariana Ayu helps businesses grow and succeed with strategic consulting that brings their “IT factor” to life. She is a celebrated business and marketing strategist, interpersonal expert, international speaker, executive coach, and entrepreneur. Author of “The Magic of Mojo” series and the column “Business Mojo” on Inc.com, Ariana guides individuals on a step-by-step path to achieve both success and happiness – without sacrificing one for the other. Ariana was named 2014/15 Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women “for outstanding excellence and dedication to her profession and the achievement of women.”
Ariana earned her Masters degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and has worked as a high-level executive and board member for a multi-million dollar consulting company as well as working for and with companies ranging from 1 person to over 10,000. Along with a cover appearance on Savvy Biz Woman magazine, Ariana’s press includes interviews and articles in USA Today, International Business Times, ABC, CBS, CBS Money Watch, the CW, Eyewitness News, FOX, NBC, the World’s Luxury Guide, MoneyShow.com, and Hollywood Industry among others.
Ariana Ayu is a member and supporter of many organizations focusing on positive societal change through the advancement of women. Her philosophy is that your business should help you “earn more, live luxuriously, and be profoundly fulfilled.” Ariana is known for walking her talk and being living proof that success and happiness are not mutually exclusive. More information about Ariana can be found at www.Ayutopia.com.
Jen Myronuk, Education & Training
Jen Myronuk is a Silicon Valley-based media producer and oral historian specializing in women's history, public policy, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). She is the Co-Founder & Director of Content Media Lab and the producer of the living history theater productions Manya: The Living History of Marie Curie and Mosaic: Voices of Women's Suffrage. Her public policy videos have covered issues ranging from programs for equal pay, voter participation, and homelessness to gender analysis in local jails including “Breaking Cycles, Rebuilding Lives” — an award-winning video exploring programs & services for incarcerated women for the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy.
Myronuk has produced events and multimedia for various organizations including: Zamrize, Singularity University's Women@TheFrontier Summer Series, BST Innovation, Colorado Women's Hall of Fame 2012, Oral History Association, National Women's Hall of Fame, NWPC's 40th Anniversary Luncheon, Technically Speaking, Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America, NWPC-CA, among others. She previously served on the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women where she co-chaired the annual Women's Equality Day celebration.
Vice President, Membership
After completing her B.A. in Philosophy in Washington, D.C. in 1969, Sherrill moved to Paris, France where she completed graduate degrees in Religious and Medical Anthropology, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes des Science Sociales and the Université de Paris 7. From the mid-1970s until 2002, she pursued an academic career in France, teaching, doing research, serving on the scientific advisory boards of national and international conferences and publishing more than 40 scientific papers. She continues to serve on the editorial board of the international journal, Anthropology and Medicine.
Beginning in 1982, she assumed the presidency of the George W. Miller Real Estate Management Company and became a regular trans-Atlantic commuter. In 1997 she became president of the Master Craftsmen Foundation and in 2002 shifted her permanent residence back to the U.S.A. During the next few years she served as Co-Chairman of the Diversity Committee at the Central Exchange and as a member of the Kansas City Downtown Council Education and Development Committees and on the board of the Friends of Chamber Music. In 2005 she was elected President of the Alliance Française de Kansas City and served two terms. Subsequently she served successively as President of the Zonta International Kansas City II MO Club, Zonta District 7 Coordinator of Strategies to Prevent Violence Against Women (ZISVAW), and District 7 Legislative Awareness and Advocacy Coordinator.
Today she serves as a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus Foundation Board, the Women in Politics (WIP) Foundation Board, the Greater Kansas City Women’s Foundation Advocacy Committee, the Business Retention Committee of the Kansas City Downtown Council, the Kansas City Lyric Opera Board and Education Committee, the Trustee Education Committee at the Nelson Atkins Museum, and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival Board. She is also a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City Founders Circle, the Kansas City Ballet Advisory Committee, the Harriman-Jewell Series Advisory Committee, the Lyric Opera Circle, the Nelson Society of Fellows, and the Kansas City Art Institute Warwick Society.
Veronica Rivera is a Legislative Staff Attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where she focuses on education policy and serves as the Co-Chair of the Hispanic Education Coalition. Prior to joining MALDEF, Ms. Rivera worked in private practice in her native state of Texas where in the past had worked in the Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division. A former school teacher, Ms. Rivera previously served on the Austin Community College (ACC) Board of Trustees between 2004 and 2009 and was the Vice-chair from 2008 to 2009 and Secretary from 2006 to 2007.
Rivera has served on the Advisory Council of the ACC Center for Public Policy and Political Studies, the Board of Directors of the ACC Foundation, the Foundation Board of the Texas Community College Teachers Association, and served as the Chair of the City of Austin and AISD’s Joint Task Force on Education and Quality of Life for Hispanic Students. She is the co-founder and a board member of Las Comadres Para Las Americas, an international network for Hispanic women. A first-generation Mexican-American and native of Brownsville, Texas, Ms. Rivera graduated with honors from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas with a Teacher Certificate in Broad Social Studies. She received a Master’s in Business Administration from Texas State University in San Marcos and her law degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
Beth Lerner works for the Florida House of Representatives and is currently at work on the Broward Women’s Leadership. Beth was previously appointed to the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women and became Vice Chair, and then Chair. During her two years as Chair the CSW instituted a Needs Assessment Survey to evaluate the current conditions of living in Broward County for women and children. After her term ended, she was invited to join the National Women's Political Caucus of Florida, as well as the Broward County Women's History Coalition.
In 2012 Beth was elected to serve as President of Broward's Gwen Cherry Chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus of Florida. In her role as Vice President for the state caucus she worked to endorse good women throughout Florida and is in the process of launching two new County chapters. Recently elected President of the State Caucus, Beth is working to bring "Women on the Run" trainings statewide, focusing on helping pro-choice women of any party prepare for local or state office, or even leadership positions on Boards.
President, NWPC Foundation
Rosemary L. Smithson is currently the Acting President of The National Women’s Political Caucus Foundation. She was the co-founder and president of the Missouri Women’s Leadership Coalition from 2001 to 2011. She served as the Board President for US Women Connect from 2007 to 2011. Rosemary has been a strong presence in the woman’s community since the early 1970s, serving as President of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Mid-Missouri and Kansas in 1970 and the President of the Missouri Equal Rights Amendment Coalition in 1975.
Rosemary’s work with NWPC dates back to 1974 and 1975, when she was President of the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus. There, she co-founded and presided over the Endowment and Education Fund in the early 2000s, which is now the WIP Foundation (Women in Politics Foundation). Her daughters, Carol and Lee, who are now an attorney and psychologist, respectively bring her a great sense of pride. Rosemary lives with her husband Paul Coker Jr., a political cartoonist, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, while still working and voting in Kansas City, MO.