Board of Directors/Staff

Executive Board

Leah Edwards: Co-President

Leah Edwards works at an investment management firm in San Francisco. She is passionate about bringing about change at the local level, which led her to start volunteering with LWVSF as soon as she moved from Tucson, Arizona to San Francisco three years ago. She first began volunteering on political campaigns at the age of 18, and has tried to stay involved and informed on political issues ever since. 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.

Ashley Raveche: Co-President

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Ashley Raveche is the Co-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.

Karen Valentia Clopton: Past President

Karen CloptonKaren 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.

Martha Benioff: Co-Treasurer

mbenioffMartha 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.

Cheryl Harris: Co-Treasurer

cheryl-harrisOriginally 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.

Kathryn MacDonald: Secretary

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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.

Elisa Bond: VP of Development

Elisa Bond at SRK Headshot Day in San Francisco

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.

Board Members

Maxine Anderson: Advocacy Co-Chair

Maxine AndersonMaxine 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.

Jenny Tse: Advocacy Co-Chair

c6aa0009-48a0-4bab-8603-976d9477aae5Jenny Tse was born and raised in San Francisco, and graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in Humanities with electives in Religious Studies, Geographic Information Science, and Computer Science. Her career so far has been with UNITE HERE! Local 2 where she was the Child and Elder Care Plan’s plan coordinator and a research intern. Jenny is currently working as a project manager and apprentice success manager for Apprenta. She is also an active member of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and is on the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team with the San Francisco Fire Department. An avid open water swimmer, she swims in the SF Bay year round.

Amelia Wiederaenders: Education Chair

a_293Amelia Wiederaenders is the Education Chair of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco. Her focus is on voter education and educating the pubic on the Sunshine Ordinance. She plans to continue the partnership with Generation Citizen that her predecessor started along with possible other partnerships in the future Amelia is originally from Kansas City and moved to San Francisco in August of 2013. In her time in the Bay Area she’s worked on several campaigns, including Prop A in 2015 for Affordable Housing and voter registration in the South Bay with UpVote. Before moving to the Bay Area Amelia worked on Senator Claire McCaskill’s 2012 campaign and Representative Barbara Bollier’s campaign in 2010. Amelia
graduated from Kansas State University in 2009 with a dual degree in Political Science and International studies. After graduating she spent 5 months in Europe, two months in Norway and 3 in Germany in 2010. In her spare time, Amelia is active with a number of political clubs including her own neighborhood democratic club, and sits on the board of Democratic Women in
Action. She loves to read and always has a book on her. In the Fall of 2017 she will begin at the University of San Francisco pursuing a masters in Public Administration.

Alison Goh: Pro/Con Guide Chair

jpgAlison currently works for the Service Employees International Union. During her time at SEIU, she has helped organize rallies, conventions, National Days of Action and provided logistical support for union members deployed during Presidential campaigns. Previously, Alison worked on political campaigns in Virginia and Rhode Island. She has a BA in Political Science & International Relations from American University in Washington D.C. Alison moved to San Francisco in 2015 and enjoys discovering the many craft breweries in the area with her husband.

Shauna Lawhorne: TV Productions Chair

20150721Shauna-Lawhorne-lwvsf013-editShauna 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.

Allison Marseilles: Grants Chair

Allison Marseille PhotoOriginally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Allison moved to San Francisco in 2014 after several years living abroad. Excited to contribute to the community she now calls home, Allison joined the League of Women Voters of San Francisco in 2016. Allison is the Director of Grants and Contracts for a local, nonprofit law firm. She has been writing grants for government and nonprofit organizations since 2007 and has helped secure millions of dollars for organizations working in a variety of program areas including health and well being, social entrepreneurship, civil rights, and education. Allison can’t believe she is lucky enough to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and enjoys getting outside whenever she can. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and–even though she’s terrible at it–surfing.

Brendan Tobin: Technology Chair

B587E52A-D0AA-4610-BA5F-B9B6999307A7Brendan works in strategy and analytics at Credit Karma and holds a masters degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford. He has worked at a variety of technology companies and is passionate about using technology to improve processes and organizations. Brendan enjoys bicycling and travelling and has interned abroad during college in the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Belize.

Rebecca Saar: Membership Chair

fb02b3637572bdc59ee29b6efc463262_400x400Rebecca Saar is a Sr. Marketing Manager at Salesforce focused on educating, empowering and celebrating Salesforce Administrators. Her past experience includes developing marketing programs and growth strategies for technology startups and different bay area nonprofits. She launched the membership program for media nonprofit, CIR, and provided membership & marketing consulting for other nonprofits.  She has an MBA from Hult International Business School and a BA in International Studies: Political Science from UC San Diego.  She volunteers for VITA every tax season to provide tax filing services to low-income families. In her free time, she likes to be outdoors under the sun – running, hiking, biking, boating, skiing or picnicking!

Heather Sterner: Bay Area League Liaison, Speaker’s Bureau Chair

Heather SternerHeather grew up on the San Francisco Peninsula in San Carlos and graduated from UC Berkeley In Political Science. She met her husband when they both worked at the Pan Am office on Union Square. They and their young family lived in Latin America for eight years with Pan Am before returning to the Bay Area. She then joined LWV in San Mateo County where they lived for fifteen years in Burlingame. She and Paul moved back to San Francisco as soon as their two children went away to college. She joined LWVSF and is now serving her second stint on the board. Her employment career was with non-profits in several fields. She was LWVSF representative on the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force for five years and served as president of the board of Meritus College Fund, which gives scholarships to low-income San Francisco students.

Leuwam Tesfai: Communications Co-Chair

Leuwam TesfaiLeuwam 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 WattsWhitney Watts, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, is a Marketing Manager at Salesforce 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.