Meet U4E State Coordinators
ALASKA - Yeganeh Ataian
President, Alaska Women's Network
PENNSYLVANIA - Susan Marionchild
ERA Campaign Network
Yeganeh is a scientist and researcher, and one of the original founders of AWN from 1996. Ataian said that while attending the 1995 U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing, "I met women and girls from all over the world who had been victimized in different ways, such as sexual exploitation, economical set-back due to lack of education or male domination, lack of health care." The stories of their challenges, hopes and dreams inspired Ataian to work toward the empowerment of women across Alaska by joining with other like-minded Alaska women to found the Alaska Women's Network. he is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
ARIZONA - Kathie McKenna Kelly
Arizona Business and Professional Women
Married in 1958; stay-at-home mom with six children (5 girls, 1 boy), the youngest orthopedically handicapped so my first advocacy efforts were in special education and changing hospital policies. Now have six grandchildren - all girls! Divorced in 1989. Moved from NJ to AZ and got involved with BPW which gave me a platform to work on issues of importance to me. Studies finally underway to get a degree in Women's Studies/Political Science - a lifelong dream. The ERA has been my passion since 1998 (I know, I know, I'm late to the party) as I could see the futility of passing one law after another with no Constitutional backup. My ERA work includes: Arizona Coordinator for the ERA Campaign Network since 2000; Business & Professional Women/USA (BPW/USA) ERA Task Force Chair 2004-2008; BPW/USA Legislative Committee 2003-2005 and BPW/AZ ERA Chair 2004-2009
HAWAII - Heather Loughridge-buono
Small business owner
I am married with one adult son, and have spent the 1st 20 years of my adult life either helping to run businesses for other people, or running my own. I have been a merchandiser for Tommy Bahama for the last 10 years, and with my husband, we are partners in a coffee shop in Wailuku on Maui. We have lived on Maui for the last 20 years, and came here from Colorado, with a short 7 year stopover in Washington state. The Equal Rights Amendment is important to me because we owe it to our mothers and grandmothers to not let their sacrifices have been made in vain. We owe it to our younger Sisters and their daughters, and we owe it to ourselves and our communities to be the best we can be....and that means we must be equals with our Brothers in the highest law of the U.S.
ILLINOIS - Emily Battin
INDIANA - Mitzi Witchgar
Public Policy Chair, Indiana AAUW
Mitzi Witchger is nationally known for her support of Title IX, which provides that girls and women have equal access to the educational opportunities offered at all institutions of education who receive federal funding. Currently the Public Policy Chair for the Indiana American Association of University Women, Ms. Witchger is a gender equity consultant, advocating for equitable sports opportunity for both girls and boys. Her activities include writing, consulting and presenting on panels throughout the country. She is also involved with the Women’s Sports Foundation Advisory Board and the Women’s Athletics Task Force. Nominators describe her as a “person of great dedication to the cause of equity in education for women, a women who has made an impact both statewide and nationally.”
LOUISIANA - Camille Moran, CP
Louisiana ERA Coalition Lobbying Director
A lifelong resident of Natchitoches, Louisiana, Camille Moran is a freelance Certified Paralegal (CP). She is also the owner and CEO of Caramor Industries, L. L. C., which manages 220 acres of timberland, as well as the 4 Seasons Christmas Tree Farm. Camille serves as the lobbying director for the Louisiana Coalition for the Equal Rights Amendment as well as the Public Policy Chair for AAUW Louisiana. She is a Past State President and the ERA/Pay Equity Coordinator of the Louisiana Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW/LA). Camille was awarded their highest honor, the NIKE Award, in 2007. Camille also served on the BPW/USA Legislation Committee and the BPW/USA ERA Task Force. Moran plans to continue her work until gender equity is achieved for the women of her state and nation.
MARYLAND - Mike Hersh
Montgomery County NOW Action VP
Born and raised in upstate NY, Mike earned an BA in Government from Cornell University and a JD from Washington College of Law, with a focus on human rights. He builds coalitions on the state and federal levels, consults for issue and political campaigns, manages websites and online communications and trains people to lobby. Mike is on the staff of Progressive Democrats of America, the Steering Committee of the MD Progressive Working Group and Executive Director of the Mont. Co. Progressive Alliance. He is committed to passage of the Equal Rights Amendment by 2015.
MICHIGAN - Laura Carter Callow
Laura Carter Callow became an activist during the 1970s working for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment on both the state and national levels. Laura appeared on the "Point of View" radio program in Detroit from (1977 to 1986), speaking about various issues related to the ERA. Helen Milliken, whose husband was the governor of Michigan from 1969 through 1982, referred to her in a letter as "the Susan B. Anthony of Michigan." Laura was a founding member of Michigan ERAmerica in 1976, an affiliate of national ERAmerica. Although Michigan ratified ERA in 1972, Michigan ERAmerica helped thwart three rescission attempts, kept enthusiasm up in the state, and raised money for organizations within the fifteen states that never ratified. Callow served ERAmerica as co-chair throughout the extensions granted these states and beyond. ERAmerica continues to educate the public and support efforts in un-ratified states.
MINNESOTA - Barbra Peterson
Minnesota NOW - VP
I'm a fighter not a writer. I've been a member of NOW for 31 years, currently VP of MN NOW, VP of the DFL Feminist Caucus, Political activist, DFL Chair of Senate District 8 (1st Woman to hold that position), transplant from Chicago, now farming in EC Minnesota. Proud Mother of a Feminist Son, and last but certainly not least, an extremely proud grandma who wants my 3 yr old grandson to have a better, more equal world to live in. I'm also the recipient of MN NOW's 2011 Feminist of the Year award, and yes, there are Feminists in rural MN!
MISSOURI - Shirley Breeze
Missouri Women's Network
As a former American Association of University Women (AAUW) state president (Missouri), Shirley worked on the first ERA ratification efforts in the 70s and 80s. Currently, she serves as state chair of the Missouri Women's Network, the coordinating umbrella for the Missouri ERA effort and a statewide coalition of women's groups working for equity for women. A recently retired college professor, Shirley is now a full-time volunteer for ERA and other women's issues and is a member of numerous women's groups and advisory committees. She travels weekly making presentations on the value of ERA and the lack of support for women's issues. She lobbies legislatures, has written materials and trained women to advocate for ERA, and conducts a myriad of other activities connected to ERA’s ratification. Shirley held past offices in the Missouri Business Education Association and the Missouri Vocational Association.
MONTANA - Rebecca McClellin
NEW JERSEY - Lilyan Cralle
An ardent women’s rights activist, Lilyan volunteers at the Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel, NJ. She lectures on the life of Alice Paul, Quaker suffragist and author of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) whom Lilyan met twice. She is a member of the ERA Campaign Network & ERA Summit. She holds a BA in Math, an MBA and was employed in Accounting, Administration and Actuarial positions before retiring in 2003. She has two strong, independent daughters and a very special little grandson.
NEW YORK - Marcia Pappas
New York State NOW - President
NORTH CAROLINA - Roberta Madden
North Carolina Citizens' ERA Task Force
Robbie is one of the founders of Equal Rights Amendment North Carolina Citizens Task Force since moving to Black Mountain in 2009. Prior, Robbie served as Director of Racial and Social Justice at the YWCA Greater Baton Rouge. A longtime advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment, she has testified in legislative committees and given numerous speeches on ERA. Robbie was also a candidate for the Louisiana Senate in 1979. She has been honored by the NAACP, 100 Black Men, and the Battered Women’s Center, among others. YWCA USA awarded her the One Imperative Award for her work on racial justice in 2007. Robbie's commitment to the ERA cause is deepened by her love of her granddaughter, a smart young feminist.