Tuesday October 30, 2012
OWL Welcomes New Board Members
We are pleased to announce the election of OWL’s 2013-2014 National Board of Directors. Each board member was elected with overwhelming support and will bring unique range of experience and perspective to the organization.
The OWL National office is excited to have the new board taking the helm here at a time when – regardless of the outcome of next week’s election—our issues will continue to dominate the national stage. With their leadership, OWL’s voice will be heard at these critical policy debates, speaking out on behalf of the 74 million midlife and older women in the nation.
Joan is an award-winning author on Social Security issues with a long and productive history with OWL. She has served twice as President of OWL National, as Vice President and Chair of the Public Policy Committee, and currently serves as treasurer. Joan was a leader in the “Medicare for All” initiative of OWL and is a nationally-recognized expert in Social Security and Medicare. She practiced law in St. Louis, MO where she was a Commissioner and vice Chair of the St. Louis Housing Authority. She previously served as President of the St. Louis, MO chapter of OWL.
Tina Bigdeli has been advocating for women and girls for over ten years in many different capacities. Tina earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Mary Washington. She then worked for four years in the mortgage industry. However, because of her experiences as an advocate for women and girls, she felt a deeper passion for serving others. Tina received her Master of Social Work from Howard University last spring. During this program, she served as an intern at OWL. In this capacity, she represented OWL at meetings with national partners, leaders, legislators, and stakeholders; contributed to the 2012 report; helped manage the member database; and research development opportunities.
Carol Ann “Cari” DeSantis
Cari DeSantis is a Washington, DC-based independent management consultant specializing in reengineering the public human services sector. Cari offers clients her valuable experiences as a former state cabinet secretary and hospital executive, plus her national perspective and extensive network as a former president of the Board of Directors of the American Public Human Services Association. She has recently consulted on major reorganization efforts at both the state and county levels, and has been leading a national effort on the horizontal integration of health and human services. Her consulting work focuses on organizational transformation, strategic planning and implementation, and re-engineering for sustainable positive outcomes.
Beedie Jones is Manager of the Mather’s—More Than a Café located in the Chatham community in Chicago. Nationally, Beedie is an “aging network” advocate with more than 30 years of experience in the field of aging. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in management, training, counseling, project development, and community organizing. She serves on several boards in addition to OWL.
Prior to joining the Mather’s team, she was employed with AARP for 12 years in its Southwest Regional Office in Dallas, Texas, as the Operations Manager for the region and State Director for Louisiana and Arkansas. Other professional experiences include: Director of Mature Worker Training & Employment Program, Counselor at Pennsylvania State University, Texas Southern University, University of Texas Medical School, and Director of the Histology-Chemical Laboratory at Indiana University Medical School.
Daniella founded the Human Services Coalition (HSC) in 1996 to meet needs of families and communities through service, public education, and advocacy. In 16 years, the organization has become a hub for innovation in health and human services and an incubator for new approaches to community and economic development. More recently, HSC became Catalyst Miami and now gives greater focus to improving the performance of non-profits so they can increase their social impact.
Prior to launching HSC, Daniella worked with Legal Services of Greater Miami, Guardian Ad Litem Program, and the Florida Department of Children and Families. In addition to serving as Chair of the Development Committee of OWL, she has served on numerous philanthropic, university, and public policy boards. She has received awards from American Society of Public Administration, Florida International University, Red Cross, ACLU, League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, and National Council of Jewish Women among others.
Lida Rodriguez-Taseff is a commercial trial lawyer, who also handles intellectual property, employment discrimination and retaliation cases, and voting rights law. Among her professional activities, she provides legal commentary for national and international media outlets including BBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, FOX, CNBC, MSNBC, Univision, and Telemundo. She serves on the Board of Directors of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Friends of the Bass Museum of Art, and South Florida Jobs With Justice; she is Chair Emeritus of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. Among her distinctions, she was recipient of Business Leader magazine’s “Women Extraordinaire Award” in November of 2011. Lida is a partner in Duane Morris LLP, where she is a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Audrey Sheppard’s career has included directing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Women’s Health, advising women’s health companies, and running women’s health non-profits. She created a national program called “Women’s Health: Take Time To Care” (TTTC) to raise awareness about safe medication use. Since leaving the FDA ten years ago, she has directed two women’s health non-profits—The Jacobs Institute for Women’s Health as Interim Director (2004) and the National Women’s Health Resource Center as President and CEO (2006-2007)—while becoming a leading advisor to companies and non-profits in women’s health.
Audrey’s passion for women’s empowerment led her to the Board of Directors of Sewall-Belmont House and Museum on Capitol Hill, America’s leading suffrage and women’s equality museum. As President during 2005-2009, she enhanced the museum’s visibility with members of Congress and other opinion leaders, increased its programming to reach more diverse stakeholders, and put in place the funds to make the house accessible to individuals with individuals with disabilities.
Janna Starr is a Policy Analyst for the Oregon Health Authority, working on health care transformation for Oregon’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) populations and state implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. Before returning to Oregon in 2007, Starr was Director of Disability Rights, Technology, and Family Policy for The Arc and United Cerebral Palsy Disability Policy Collaboration in Washington, DC.
Previously, she was Executive Director of the Oregon State Council on Developmental Disabilities; Director of Public Policy for the national Brain Injury Association in Alexandria, VA; Senior Policy Associate for United Cerebral Palsy Associations in Washington, DC; Policy Analyst for the Oregon Advocacy Center in Portland, Oregon, and Executive Director of The Arc of Oregon in Salem, Oregon, the Arc of the Capital Area in Austin, Texas and El Centro Social in San Marcos, Texas. Janna has been honored with numerous awards over the years for her work with individuals with disabilities and disability organizations. The Arc of the United States recognized her with its Legislative Advocacy Award, and she was recently presented with the State of Oregon Administrator’s Excellence Award.
An accomplished public affairs expert with 30 years of experience working in Washington, DC, Robin Strongin is President and CEO of Amplify Public Affairs, and the Creator and Founder of the Disruptive Women in Health Care blog. Robin has worked with and for federal and state governments, regulatory agencies, Congress, think tanks, non-profit organizations, corporations, coalitions, and trade associations.
Before becoming President and CEO of Amplify, a woman-owned small business, Robin was a Managing Partner at the public affairs firm Polidais, LLC. Before Polidais, Ms. Strongin served as a Senior Research Associate with the National Health Policy Forum at George Washington University. She also served as acting Executive Director and Director of Research for the Health Care Technology Institute.
Robin is a member of the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation. In addition to OWL, she serves on the boards of Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy, The Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (a member of the Beth Abraham Health Services), Physician-Parent Caregivers, and The Hill Newspaper Publisher’s Advisory Board.