Board of Directors
Founder / President and CEO
Kathleen Unger is Of Counsel at Freeman, Freeman & Smiley. She was selected for inclusion in the prestigious, peer-reviewed 2016 and 2017 editions of “The Best Lawyers in America.” Previously Kathleen was in-house counsel and Vice President at MCA/Universal Studios (now NBC Universal) for 15 years. In 2007, she co-founded and edited ElectionPreparedness.com. Kathleen serves on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Eagles Youth Partnership. Formerly, she served as Managing Director/CEO of the Starbright Foundation (with Steven Spielberg as Chairman) and as a member of the Board of Directors of 1) both the Scott Newman Foundation and Center, including as President (with Paul Newman as Chairman); 2) the KCRW Foundation; and 3) the Valley Community Clinic, including as Vice Chairman. Kathleen holds a BS degree, a JD, an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, and a Mediation Certification from a program at Harvard Law School.
Treasurer and Secretary
Tim Hoy is an attorney in Los Angeles. He is Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Team Sports at Wasserman Media Group. Tim received his undergraduate degree from Oberlin College, his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and a Masters of Fine Arts in Independent Producing from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Tim lives in Santa Monica, California.
Tom Dempsey is a nationally recognized trial attorney, having obtained numerous million-dollar verdicts and settlements. His practice emphasizes spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries in state and federal courts, including as a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar. Named as a "Super Lawyer" yearly since 2004, Tom’s commitment to prosecuting socially-just cases is emphasized by his past presidency of and as a multiple Award recipient by the Public Justice Foundation. The National Trial Lawyers recognized Tom among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California. He serves on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice as well as on the Executive Committee and Board of the Melvin M. Belli Society. Tom has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates since 1978. He is a past President and awardee of Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Tom has been a commentator in electronic and printed media regarding legal issues.
Yolanda “Cookie” Parker
Cookie Parker is an entrepreneur with over 45 years of experience in technology. Most recently, she was the founder and President of KMS Software Company, a global software firm for Human Resource Departments that was acquired by SAP. A visionary and authority in process automation, Cookie began her career in 1968 with IBM, where she became the top Systems Engineering Manager and Marketing Manager in the Western Region. Cookie then continued at CGS, NCS and CPR before starting her own firm in 1994. Her philanthropic activities include memberships on the Boards of the National Foster Youth Institute, People for the American Way, Real Medicine Foundation and Democracy Alliance along with the Advisory Boards of MOM and View Park Conservancy. Cookie is also working with Los Angeles veterans groups and members of Congress to create a space for veterans for education, training, employment, benefits assistance, housing, and more.
Mona Strassburger’s career began as an IBM IT Consultant and Project Manager and has involved technology projects for decades. Her extensive experience in international and governmental affairs includes the World Bank, the US-Vietnam Trade Council in Washington, DC and Fox Entertainment Group. Mona’s volunteer efforts include her service as a Vice President and Treasurer for the Thai Association of Southern California. In 2007-2008, she co-founded and co-developed ElectionPreparedness.com and has served as the Digital Media Manager of VoteRiders since its inception. After creating and executive-producing TV Mandalay for the Myanmar community, Mona was a multi-faceted producer at the Thai Food Network. She has been based in Yangon, Myanmar, since February 2013, working as a film and TV producer and developing multiple projects with local and foreign investors. Mona has a B.S. in Computer Information Systems (American University) and an M.A. in International Relations (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies).
Stephen A. Unger
Stephen Unger is Managing Director of KSMU, LLC. He is a leading executive recruiter who has served as Managing Partner of the media and entertainment divisions at the three largest executive search firms in the world (Heidrick & Struggles, Spencer Stuart and Korn/Ferry International). Prior positions Stephen has held include: Vice President, International Sales and Acquisitions of Universal Studios; Vice President, International Distribution of CBS Theatrical Films (a division of CBS Inc.); Senior Vice President, International Sales of Filmways Pictures (later absorbed into MGM). He has served on various non-profit Boards including the American Cinematheque for nearly ten years. Stephen is a graduate of Syracuse University and attended New York University's Graduate Institute of Film and Television (Tisch). He is an expert in the field of leadership, having written a weekly column on that subject in 2004-2005 for Daily Variety.
Board of Trustees
Lee Bartlett is the former EVP of Discovery Communications. He oversaw global business strategies with day-to-day management of the acquisition and production of programming content for all of Discovery's networks and digital platforms. He was also President, Discovery Studios, which is the in-house production, distribution and merchandising arm of Discovery Communications as well as Discovery’s Global Music Services. Most recently, he managed the acquisition and was a Board member of Discovery’s content companies, UK-based Betty, raw television and All 3 Media. Prior to his joining Discovery, Lee served as: Managing Director of ITV Studios for ITV plc, the largest commercial television network in the UK; EVP, Business Affairs at Fox Broadcasting Company; and EVP, Business and Legal Affairs at Fox Networks Group, working with all entertainment cable networks. He received a Master of Law degree in international tax and finance from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University.
Jules Haimovitz’s experience incorporates all aspects of operating and managing diverse businesses through all their various phases. Jules’ background spans his starting-up the Showtime, Lifetime, Sundance and Smithsonian cable channels, to his managing numerous acquired companies such as MTV Networks, to his serving as President over turnaround companies such as Aaron Spelling Prods., ITC and as Managing Partner of Dick Clark Prods., to his management expertise having benefited virtually all the major players in Media and Entertainment including as President of MGM Networks, King World Prods. and Viacom Networks and Entertainment Groups. As Chair of the Audit and Strategic Planning Committees of Imclone, Jules was instrumental in its sale to Eli Lily. A current and former member of the Boards of several for-profit companies, he serves on the Brooklyn College Foundation Board. Jules holds a dual B.A. in Mathematics and Communications, as well as an M.A. degree in Mathematics from Brooklyn College.
Corky Hale was born in a small mid-western farm town and started taking piano lessons at age three, began studying piano at the Chicago Conservatory at the age of seven, and harp at the age of eight. She’s well known throughout the jazz community for her harp playing, accompanying everyone from Liberace, Tony Bennett, Bjork to George Michael. She’s also an accomplished pianist performing with such greats as Barbara Streisand, Mel Tormé, Harry James, Peggy Lee and most notably Billie Holiday. Corky is very active in women's health issues, serving on the boards of WRRAP and NARAL. She and her husband Mike Stoller, in partnership with Planned Parenthood, have built three state-of-the-art health centers in Los Angeles. In 2013 the Southern Poverty Law Center dedicated the "Mike Stoller and Corky Hale Stoller Civil Rights Memorial Theatre" in Civil Rights Plaza in Montgomery, AL. More information on Corky, her projects, and her performances is available at www.CorkyHale.com.
Tom Lehr is President and CEO of Dailey Advertising. Previously, he served as EVP and Managing Director, overseeing accounts such as Nestlé, Weyerhaeuser, ConocoPhillips, Dole, Del Monte and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Tom also held management responsibilities for Dailey's planning and research function as well as business development. He has been active in the industry as a Director with thinkLA, formerly known as the Los Angeles Advertising Agencies Association. Tom's career began in the Foote, Cone & Belding media department. After several years, he transitioned to account management, working at Della Femina McNamee, and then moved on to DDB. Tom lectures regularly at Dailey's renowned Account Management Training Program and at Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management, and speaks frequently on behalf of the Advertising Educational Foundation. He has also served as a National Trustee for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Mike Stoller is one-half of the legendary songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller. Over the course of a 61-year partnership, Mike and the late Jerry Leiber created enduring classics in a variety of genres including rhythm & blues, pop, country, jazz, cabaret, and—perhaps most notably—rock & roll. Elvis (over 20 songs) and The Coasters are only two of the acts whose careers skyrocketed because of Leiber and Stoller’s creative partnership. Comprising 39 Leiber and Stoller songs, Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller was nominated for seven Tony Awards and is still the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. Their many acknowledgements include: inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; and Awards: Grammy, NARAS Trustees, Johnny Mercer, Ivor Novello International Songwriters, World Soundtrack and Songwriters Hall of Fame Towering Song. More information about Mike is available at www.leiberstoller.com.
Laina Reynolds Levy
Director of Ops, Comms & Development
Laina Reynolds Levy, PhD has been engaged for nearly two decades in democracy promotion and citizen participation. She has extensive experience in building collaborative partnerships with grassroots organizations along with managing communications campaigns and network knowledge-sharing initiatives. Previously with Partners for Democratic Change for ten years, Laina created and built the organization’s online presence and led the communications team as well as organized peace and democracy-building programs from Albania to Indonesia. A skilled trainer and facilitator, she has led workshops in Evaluation, Communication, Strategic Planning, Conflict Resolution, and Facilitation for organizations all over the world. Laina has worked with William Ury at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She holds a PhD and an MA in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford, UK and a BA in Political Science from Sonoma State University in California.
Nicole Vazquez is passionate about ensuring that typically underserved groups are civically aware and engaged and has focused her professional career to this end. Her 15 years of experience both in the public and nonprofit sectors has included work with elected officials, in government agencies and in grassroots organizations, and her direct practice experience includes crisis counseling, in-home counseling, and case management. Nicole is also the Director of Field Education in California State University, Dominguez Hills' Master of Social Work Program. She holds dual Masters degrees in Social Welfare and Public Policy from UCLA.
Board of Advisors
Dr. Dawna Markova
Inspirational speaker, writer and researcher, Dr. Dawna Markova is internationally known for her groundbreaking thinking in the identification of core cognitive competencies. She has authored many books including Collaborative Intelligence and I Will Not Die an Unlived Life and has co-edited Random Acts Of Kindness and Kids’ Random Acts Of Kindness. Dawna founded the Institute for Human Ecology and has served as faculty member at the Union Institute, Antioch Graduate Schools; Senior Affiliate for the Organizational Learning Center at MIT; and board member of the Visions Of A Better World Foundation. She was given the Vision in Action award for her life work including the Foster Grandparenting and Peer Counseling programs, the Women's WorldWide Web, and the online SmartWired Program. Dawna has served as a Thinking Partner to senior executives in organizations such as Pepsi Cola, Frito Lay, Bolthouse Farms, Royal Dutch Shell, NATO, the Government of Nigeria and the Canadian healthcare system.
Ron Maxwell is an award-winning filmmaker. History has been of primary interest to Ron throughout his life, and so has the nature of American identity. Ron’s major debut as a director was a tender but unsentimental love story set in his parents' era that secured him an Emmy nomination: “Verna: USO Girl” (1978). His first theatrical release as director, “Little Darlings” (1980), opened at #1 on Variety's Top Hundred Grossing Films and has since become a classic of the genre. Ron produced, wrote and directed the landmark film “Gettysburg” (1993), which has been hailed as one of the greatest war movies in the history of film. His most recent movie is "Copperhead," (2013). Ron is a graduate of NYU’s School of the Arts, Institute of Film and Television. He is also a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Olivia Raynor
Olivia Raynor, Ph.D., is the Director of the Tarjan Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Semel Institute, UCLA. Her career spans over 35 years of experience in management, analysis, evaluation, training and public policy at the individual and system levels that support individuals with disabilities participation in inclusive postsecondary education, the arts, volunteerism, civic engagement and integrated competitive employment. Olivia is the Principal Investigator and Director of the California Employment Consortium for Youth and Young Adults with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities. She serves on the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities and its Executive Committee. Olivia’s several years of service with the Association for University Centers on Disabilities include her role as Board President. Olivia holds degrees from Boston University and USC in Occupational Therapy and a doctorate from UCLA in Educational Psychology.
Lance Simmens has spent the better part of four decades in senior level public policy, governmental, and political positions. He has served two U.S. Presidents, two U.S. Senators, two prominent Governors, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, and was a senior advisor on the President’s Commission on Y2K Conversion. Lance also served as National Director for Government Affairs for the Screen Actors Guild and Communications Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. He has devoted the past twenty years to environmental efforts including the establishment of the first Federal Office of Sustainable Development in the Clinton Administration and has been active in several environmental campaigns including opposition to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Lance has appeared in numerous documentaries, is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, and has authored two books, The Evolution of a Revolution, and Fracktured (to be released in March, 2016).
VoteRiders has been aided tremendously by these VoteRiders contributors, a group of talented, passionate and accomplished individuals. Without their help, VoteRiders would not be possible.
Hunter Holbrook is a Media Coordinator at Lowe Profero, a full-service digital media company in New York City. He is a graduate of Syracuse University with a major in advertising and media planning from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication. Hunter has worked in many areas of the marketing world and has extensive social media and copyediting experience. Previously, he handled customer data analysis for a small software development company.
Laurie Holz received her B.A. from UC Berkeley in English and is a writer and editor, having edited four published books. She has been civically engaged since college and has actively volunteered and successfully fundraised for city council, school board and presidential campaigns. In addition, Laurie has a long history of philanthropic activity, serving on the Boards of Camp Good Times and the City of Angels Ballet as Vice President (where she also wrote grants), along with past membership in the Women's Political Committee. Laurie has also served as a member of the Beverly Hills Education Foundation and actively served in the PTA while her children were in school, co-chairing successful fundraising events for her school district. Laurie’s experiences in civic engagement and volunteering in underserved areas strengthened her passion in social justice and civil rights. Laurie is a proud mother of three and a grandmother of two.
Steven M. Kamp, Esq., is a Senior Tax Counsel in the California State Board of Equalization Legal Department, California’s elected state tax commission. When not working on Board of Equalization business, he is also a regular contributor to Election Watch efforts and Promote and Protect the Vote operations. He has prepared a California Election Law Manual since 1988, and prepared Nevada and Kentucky election law manuals in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Mr. Kamp is a 1978 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and a 1981 graduate of Yale Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of California (116817), The Florida Bar (341010), and The District of Columbia Bar (389492), and can be reached at email@example.com.
Angie McArthur has developed an international practice in guiding Thinking excellence. Specializing in visual strategy work and graphic facilitation, and an expert in the new presentation software called Prezi, Angie has co-facilitated global conferences, leadership retreats, and ongoing supervision in organizations from non-profits to Fortune 500s. Co-author of recently-published Collaborative Intelligence, she is also one of the creators of the Worldwide Women’s Web, a network formed to develop and retain women in corporate leadership roles. Angie has worked extensively with youth via the company SmartWired, delivering programs worldwide in multiple languages to help children and the adults who support them to bring out their best. Angie’s clients include Bolthouse Farms, Pepsico, Royal Dutch Shell, Xerox, Chrysler, Green Mountain Energy Resources, the Institute for Storytelling, and the Society for Organizational Learning. She received her B.A. in Communication Theory from McGill University.
Professor Mary-Beth Moylan teaches at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She is the director of the Global Lawyering Skills program and teaches classes on California’s initiative process and election law. Before entering academia, Mary-Beth clerked for a federal district court judge, worked in a large law firm as a civil litigator, and spent two years in a small Sacramento law firm practicing political law. She has been a poll inspector for Sacramento County. Mary-Beth’s students present a forum on all California statewide ballot measures each election cycle.
Wayne Parsons is a trial attorney based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a past president of the Hawaii State Bar Association, founder of the Hawaii Association for Justice, a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, and is the current president of the Melvin M. Belli Society. Throughout his career Wayne has worked to educate the public about the law and the justice system in programs that deliver real law to real people. Promoting safety and preventing injuries is also a lifelong commitment, in efforts such as giving presentations to high school students to build awareness of the dangers of distracted driving in support of the Casey Feldman Foundation and 60 for Safety. With a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and an M.S. in physics, Wayne worked on the first Apollo moon-landing mission, firing a big laser at the moon when the astronauts disembarked.
David Peck is the managing partner of Professional Thinking Partners, a management and leadership consulting firm based in Park City, Utah. He also leads PTP’s technology and multimedia initiatives. David has designed and produced software and web applications including Pitch, The Smart Navigator and The Mind Museum; produced and directed training films including Bridging Our Differences; and co-developed PTP’s many print and physical products that support its training initiatives. He is also co-founder and Managing Partner at SmartWired, a web-based educational and family support initiative. David’s clients include PepsiCo, Bolthouse Farms, Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED), Frito-Lay, Hewitt Associates, Royal Dutch Shell, Xerox, Daimler Chrysler, and GE Capital Global Banking. A former Junior Olympic skier and frequent contributor to outdoor sports magazines, he continues to search for new ways to incorporate the lessons of peak physical performance into the workplace.
Grant Perry is a digital media entrepreneur and new media consultant based in Austin, Texas. He recently founded mPatient Solutions LLC. The company is developing PatientPilot, a mobile app that coaches patients, enabling them to be better self-advocates. Grant is an experienced digital media executive, journalist and lecturer, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. He was an award-winning journalist at CNN, first as a New York-based business correspondent and then as anchor of CNN International's London-based program, World Business Today. In recent years, Grant headed multimedia and partnerships at a leading online publisher of geopolitical and security news and analysis, and he founded Evolution Strategies, a new media consulting firm. Grant also taught graduate courses, including “Journalism in the Digital Age,” at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, he was Vice President for New Media Initiatives at Olivetti Telemedia in Milan, Italy.
B.J. Phillips was the Coordinator of the Philadelphia League of Women Voter's Photo ID campaign and the originator of its Voter Advocates program. A retired journalist of over 35 years, she started her career as a reporter and columnist at the Atlanta Constitution. At the Washington Post, B.J. wrote the lead story of the first issue of the Post's groundbreaking Style Section and covered major national stories, including Woodstock and Apollo 13. She then became a contributing editor writing for the Nation Section at Time Magazine, followed by Chief Correspondent of Ms. Magazine. B.J. returned to Time as an associate editor and sportswriter. After serving as a correspondent for the Time-Life News Service in Paris, she covered economics for Institutional Investor from London. B.J. then became a columnist covering economics for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since retiring, she has served as a consultant for a charter high school in Washington, DC.
Don Ringe is a California-based media strategist with an eclectic portfolio. He is an Emmy Award-winning writer-producer-director and has been a media consultant to AARP, the Humane Society of the United States, the national Business Roundtable and the AMA, among other organizations. Don has been the media consultant to several US Senate, gubernatorial and House campaigns as well as to successful pro-gun control initiatives in Colorado and Oregon along with the Save Our Sealife constitutional amendment in Florida, which banned commercial gill-net fishing. He has created national award-winning programs on alcohol and drug abuse for young children and teens as well as a PBS documentary on glass master, Dale Chihuly. Don’s pro bono clients include Planned Parenthood, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and VoteRiders. He is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (MS) and Hofstra University (BA).
Ellen Sloan consults with non-profits and philanthropists to package, develop and implement projects that promote social innovation. She is particularly interested in models and systems that can be replicated and/or scaled up to achieve maximum impact. Ellen provides assessments, plans, and implementation consultation for a wide range of projects. She earned an MBA degree from the University of Southern California. Ellen is also a CPA.
Camilo Wilson is a software author known for VolksWriter, Correct Grammar, a PC edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, Crossword Wizard and ViewsFlash. He is also a founder of Bayview Academy, a public Charter School in Monterey, California.
Peter Wright works to improve education outcomes for underserved and underperforming students as a Policy and Programs Officer with the California School Boards Association and is an Adjunct Professor in the University of San Francisco’s School of Management. He has previously worked in the California Community College Chancellor’s Office as the Director of Emergency Planning and Preparedness and the California Governor’s Office as a Capital Fellow. Peter spent two years teaching elementary school in Eastern North Carolina with Teach For America where his kindergartners reached TFA’s highest level of academic success. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics from Occidental College and is a past President of the Alumni Association. Peter earned a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Bill Zimmerman, Ph.D., is a partner in Zimmerman & Markman, Inc., a national political consulting firm based in Santa Monica. The firm has won dozens of ballot initiative campaigns, including historic first victories in Oregon for physician-assisted suicide, in Arizona for state-funded elections, and in California for medical marijuana, drug treatment instead of incarceration, and a tax on million dollar earners to fund community mental health programs. The firm was instrumental in building the online powerhouse, MoveOn.org. Bill produced advertising for Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, Colorado Senators Gary Hart and Tim Wirth, New Mexico Governor Toney Anaya, and many others. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and is the author of Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties, two other books and numerous articles and op-ed pieces. He founded and was the long-time chairman of Medical Aid for El Salvador.