Ashley Raveche – President
Ashley Raveche is the President of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, currently focusing efforts to restructure the League for greater efficiency and benefits to its members. She believes it is her responsibility to set an example for her two young daughters, working to empower women to drive positive change in their community. As the former VP of Voter Services, Ashley also produced the Pro & Con Guide from 2011-2015, expanding access to the guide to the hearing impaired and renegotiating funding for translations. Under her tenure, the League was awarded the HERO Award from the Mayor of San Francisco for contributions made to voting rights.
Ashley is a bay area native who has a diverse background in high-tech, biotech and film, which she previously applied to intellectual property enforcement. Her career includes working in support roles for patent litigation, corporate licensing and consumer protection departments at the San Francisco office of a national law firm. Prior to this, Ashley worked as a trademark investigator for online brand protection where she collaborated closely with US Customs and Border Protection agents in the seizure of counterfeit goods.
Ashley graduated from Boston University and holds a Certificate in Biotechnology and a Certificate in Paralegal studies. She is passionate about increasing youth participation through community outreach and awareness education, and is currently partnering the League with Generation Citizen to help train the next generation of civic-minded leaders.
Martha Benioff – Immediate Past President
Martha Benioff was born in the Pasadena LWV and raised in the Mendocino MAL Unit (now the LWV Mendocino County). It never occurred to her not to join, any more than it occurred to her not to vote. She joined the LWVSF in 1995.
She works for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, but soon will be a member of the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Other non-League activities include the San Francisco Trail Advisory Group of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, the building she lives in, a co-operative built in 1927 which has 26 cantankerous owners, and the Hooker Alley Community Garden.
Karen Valentia Clopton – Past President
Karen is the Chief Administrative Judge for the Public Utilities Commission. Formerly, General Counsel for the California Department of Corporations and CEO and General Counsel for the Workplace Consulting Consortium and Chief of Operations and Corporate Counsel for the San Francisco State University Foundation, Inc., she has been active in San Francisco civic affairs for the last 20 years. She moderated the League’s televised CityWatch debates for several years. Karen was appointed by Mayor Frank Jordan to the San Francisco Civil Service Commission in 1993 and was re-appointed by Mayor Willie L. Brown. She was serving her fourth term as President of the Commission when she was recruited in 2000 to become the first Chief of Operations for the Port of San Francisco. Karen is also an employment law and traditional labor relations expert with over twenty years experience in the field. She is a graduate of Vassar College cum laude and Antioch University School of Law and was awarded the highly competitive Maguire Fellowship by Vassar College for post-graduate study in international and comparative labor management relations in London, England. Karen majored in Political Science and Hispanic Studies at Vassar, studied in Madrid, Spain and speaks Spanish. Her two daughters, Julia and Olivia, attend the French American International School and speak French.
Cheryl Harris – Treasurer
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Cheryl move to the Bay Area 10 years ago and worked in the accounting departments at several top law firms in the Bay Area. She is currently working for Flexible Funding as Operations of Payment Processing where she is responsible for writing operation procedures and applications for the past five years. She also supports the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly organization which help her engage the community where she lives providing her with a greater sense of family. Although she remains close with her large family in Chicago, she prefers California weather and the San Francisco environment which is more conducive to her further spiritual studies as Women Division District Leader of SGI-USA, Nob Hill District.
Leah Edwards – Vice President, Voter Services
Leah Edwards is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona, and received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. degree in Environmental and Water Resource Economics. She began volunteering on political campaigns at age 18, and is passionate about policy and civic engagement. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, she currently works at an investment management firm in San Francisco. In college, Leah was involved in many sustainability initiatives as a chairperson for Students for Sustainability and through her internship with the NASA Space Grant Consortium. In her spare time, Leah enjoys traveling, and has worked as an intern at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and volunteered at the Maya Mountain Research Farm in rural Belize.
Kathryn MacDonald- Secretary
Kathryn MacDonald is a San Francisco-based photographer, web designer and marketer who focuses on interiors and portrait photography, and designing photo-intensive websites for small to medium size businesses.
A California native, Kathryn holds a Liberal Studies degree from UC Santa Barbara. She studied photography at the Academy of Art University, and Marketing, SEO and Social Media at SF State University and Academy X. Pro bono projects and volunteering activities includes working with the Department of the Environment for the City and County of SF, Neighborhood Parks Council, Community Impact, Christmas in April, Matilda Cleveland Transitional House and The League of Women Voters – SF.
She joined the League with the simple belief that our country can be a better, more just place if we are all actively involved in the political process when empowered with non-partisan information when we vote. A member of the league since 2011, she serves on the Communications Committee and as the Board Secretary.
Maxine Anderson – Advocacy Chair
Maxine was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and attended the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana where she earned a BA in History. After graduation she worked in the insurance industry in the Chicago area before transferring to San Francisco. She continued to work in the industry until she had the opportunity to help develop and manage the claims function in the City Attorney’s Office of the City of Oakland. She now works for the City of San Francisco in the City Attorney’s Office. She became actively involved with the League in 2003. She also participated in the creation of another nonpartisan organization, San Francisco for Democracy, where she served as the Vice President for two terms.
Elisa Bond- Grants Chair
Elisa Bond has transitioned seamlessly from eight years in the for profit sector into the non profit sector. She has helped several non profits raise significant funds for their particular programs as well as for general operating support. She has a BA in Psychology with electives in Literature Writing and Law. She has had the great fortune of being able to live and work in two foreign countries and the international experience has broadened her world view, interest and sensitivity to other cultures and developed her ability to work with others holding different work values. With family roots in Rochester, New York the presence and legacy of Susan B. Anthony has always cemented in her the importance of women’s suffrage and for equal voting rights. She is an avid runner and participates annually in the North Face Endurance Challenge and the Oakland Running Festival.
Beate Boultinghouse: Education Chair
Beate hales from the Philadelphia area and attended Rutgers University. Beate’s twenty year career as a sales and marketing executive with Levi Strauss & Co. took her from Philadelphia to New York, Los Angeles and finally to San Francisco in 1993. She managed Levi’s advertising and product in stores such as Macy’s, Dillards, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and J.C.Penneys.
With the benefit of an early retirement package, Beate served on the Civil Grand Jury in San Francisco County for one year. She then served as president of the San Francisco Chapter of the California Grand Jurors’ Association (SFCGJA) for four years, and on the board of the state-wide organization for three years, during which she headed the Membership Relations Committee and chaired the Education Committee. Beate initiated the Mock Civil Grand Jury Program at Balboa High School to introduce Law Academy students to the workings of the jury and the positive impact that citizens can have on their local government. She improved communication between chapters by developing and facilitating regional meetings. She served as the President of the California Grand Jurors’ Association (CGJA) during her final year on the board.
In her life outside the CGJA, Beate manages the daily business of the 15 unit co-op where she lives, and assists global travelers to San Francisco as a volunteer with Mensa. She supervised over one hundred enumerators during the 2010 Decennial and is a Poll Inspector in San Francisco during elections. She loves to hike the hills in the San Francisco Bay Area and Yosemite and photograph their splendor.
Stow Chapman – Gala Co Chair and Budget Chair
Stow was born in San Francisco and raised on the Peninsula. After graduating from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA with a major in history and minor in economics, he moved to Seattle to pursue a career in banking. He quickly realized that his passion was hospitality and became the first catering coordinator for the Faculty Club at the University of Washington. He then moved to Richmond, VA where he co- founded and operated AstroEvents (which owned a moon-bounce company and paint your own pottery store). Missing San Francisco, Stow returned in 2002 and joined The Party Staff, first as a staffing manager, then Staffing Director of Northern California. In March of 2016, He became the General Manager over seeing the Northern Bay Area and Wine Country. Stow has always had an interest in politics, and his parents instilled in him a strong desire to give back to the community in which he lives. Both parents, but especially his mother, encouraged him to educate himself on political issues. Stow joined the League in 2015 to continue his family tradition of giving back and to share his strong belief that our right to vote should not be taken for granted and that every voice should be heard.
Alison Goh- Pro/Con Guide Chair
Alison currently works for the Organizing Department of the Service Employees International Union. During her time at SEIU, she has helped organize rallies, demonstrations, conventions, National Days of Action and international delegations, and provided logistical support for union members deployed during the 2012 presidential campaign. Previously, Alison worked on political campaigns in Virginia and Rhode Island. She received a BA in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in Chinese from American University in Washington D.C. Alison has also spent time traveling and studying in China, both during and after college. Having recently moved to San Francisco, Alison enjoys discovering the many craft breweries in the area with her husband.
Gabriela Jimenez – Membership Co Chair
Gabriela Jimenez grew up the youngest of five children, just outside of Los Angeles. She began her lifelong passion for advocacy and organizing as a toddler when her mother would take her and all her siblings out precinct walking and phone banking on weekends. As she got older, Gabriela learned about the importance of voting as she saw the profound consequences for communities who did not or could not vote and was determined to help give them a voice and the tools to take action.
Gabriela moved to San Francisco to study Political Science at San Francisco State University where she continued her active involvement in local politics. To broaden her knowledge and experience in the political process, she interned for a San Francisco Supervisor and the US Department of Labor, Office of Public Affairs. Gabriela is now the Senior Public Affairs Officer for Planned Parenthood Northern California.
She is excited to serve on the Board of LWVSF because she believes that a true democratic society includes an informed electorate. By providing objective information and being a resource for voter information, we can help ensure everyone has a chance to make informed decisions when they head to the voting booth.
Shauna Lawhorne- TV Productions Chair
Shauna Lawhorne has a decade of experience producing government and non-profit videos, and is passionate about creating videos that make a positive social impact. Shauna is currently a video producer and public affairs specialist with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), a federal government agency charged with investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public and the environment. CSB safety videos produced by Shauna have been viewed millions of times online, and are used extensively within the chemical industry for safety training. Prior to working with the CSB, Shauna was employed by a production company in the Washington, DC, area that produced advocacy videos for non-profit organizations. Shauna attended graduate school at American University’s School of Communication in Washington, DC, and has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. In her free time Shauna enjoys triathlons, hiking, traveling, and exploring the Bay Area. Shauna moved to San Francisco in 2010 and currently lives in the Inner Sunset with her husband and too many cats.
Julie Navejas – Membership Co-Chair
Julie was born and raised in Palo Alto. She attended UC Irvine and studied Humanities with an emphasis in Film Studies. In Irvine, she helped with voter registration at the University the year she experienced her first presidential election as a voter. Julie then moved to Seattle, WA and Buffalo, NY where she was a freelance writer and photographer focusing on community events for assorted newspapers. She also contributed to the local elections reporting for a local TV broadcast station in Buffalo.Settling in San Francisco in 1995, Julie’s career has been focused in sales and marketing in many different industries for non-profit organizations and entrepreneurial start-up companies. Julie has been a member of the League of Women Voters since 2009 and has contributed as a volunteer for the office and two Galas and is a member the SF League’s Speakers Bureau.
Heather Sterner – Bay Area League Liaison, Speaker’s Bureau Chair
Heather has been a League member for many years. She joined LWV in San Mateo County after returning from eight years of living in Latin America, where her husband was with Pan Am. Heather served on League boards in San Francisco and San Mateo County. Her employment career was with non-profits in several fields. She was League representative on the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force and was president of the board of Meritus College Fund, which gives scholarships to low-income San Francisco students.
Leuwam Tesfai – Communications Chair
Leuwam Tesfai is an attorney and serves as the Communications Co-Chair of the League of Women Voters San Francisco. Originally from San Diego, she moved to San Francisco from Atlanta, where she attended Emory University. Leuwam is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and works in the utility regulatory industry at the California Public Utilities Commission, with a focus on energy matters. Besides the League of Women Voters, Leuwam is on the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team with the San Francisco Fire Department, mentors high school students with the California Law Academy, and coordinates volunteer work for her office at the San Francisco Food Bank. In her free time she trains for triathlons, gardens, and enjoys live performances. She supports the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Blood Clot Alliance, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
Whitney Watts- Communications Co-Chair
Whitney Watts, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, is a Marketing Manager and specializes in campaign strategy, enterprise technology, and event management. She received a B.S. in International Affairs with a Minor in History from Georgia Institute of Technology and a M.A. in Sociology of Education from the University of Georgia. After working in education and women’s health non-profits, Whitney moved to San Francisco in 2010. She joined the Board in 2014 as Communications Co-Chair and brings a wealth of experience regarding marketing strategies and implementation. Whitney also enjoys volunteering for Reading Partners, a mentorship-based tutoring program, and supporting the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. In her spare time, she attends live music concerts, goes for runs in Golden Gate Park, and plays music at local venues around the Bay Area.