Angela Andersen is president of the Asbury Park School District Board of Education. She is a highly successful motivational speaker, coach and on- camera talent. Angela began her on air career as a Jazz DJ for WDUQ-Radio in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the business owner of Rebuilding Me LLC which offers Life and Soft Skills Coaching for teens and adults. Her newest endeavor is The Eloquent Charismatic Orator, 14 week public speaking training program for pre-teen girls which culminates in an oratorical pageant.
Sarah Bear is responsible for engaging NJ communities as partners and allies to prevent sexual violence. This includes providing presentations to allied professionals and developing educational materials accessible for the general public. Additionally, she manages New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s (NJCASA) Social Media Ambassador volunteer program, a group of passionate online activists who promote constructive conversations about sexual violence and rape culture. Sarah is committed to the belief that ending sexual violence requires community-level change and, since joining the NJCASA team in 2015, has embraced the knowledge that prevention is possible.
Ashley Bennett is the newly elected Freeholder in Atlantic County. She ran as a first-time candidate and won against a long-time incumbent. After 9-11, Ashley became an EMT and discovered her passion to serve others in the back of the ambulance. She currently works as a psychiatric emergency screener in the crisis department at Cape Regional Hospital.
Ritu Chandra is a stand up comedian. The daughter of immigrants, she left home at 18 and has lived all over the country. Never feeling like she fit in anywhere, she quickly realized humor was a way to get along with others. Her comedy is based on her life experiences which continue to grow stranger by the years. Ritu has been seen on NBC on the Today Show and performs at clubs and colleges across the country.
Maura Collinsgru, is the Health Care Program Director for New Jersey Citizen Action, a statewide grassroots organization fighting for social and economic justice for all New Jersey’s residents. During her five years with NJCA, she has ACA education and outreach, and consumer health policy advocacy campaigns. Maura convenes and staffs NJ for Health Care, the state’s largest consumer health coalition, working to ensure quality, affordable health care for all New Jerseyans. She is an experienced advocate, presenter, program manager and media spokesperson with more than 20 years advocacy experience
Sandra Cunningham has been a New Jersey state senator since 2007. She is the Executive Director of The Glenn D. & Sandra Cunningham Foundation located in Jersey City whose goal is to help high school students who may not get the opportunity to attend college by providing them with scholarships and funds for books. Formerly,she was the Executive Director of the Hudson County Bar Association in Jersey City. Also, she wrote, produced and hosted a cable television program designed to help demystify the law and to define the role of lawyers to the general community.
Mariel DiDato is the Chair of the Monmouth County Young Democrats, Vice Chair of the Monmouth County Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and a Master’s student at Rutgers University. She is a crisis response advocate for two Sexual Assault Response Teams in New Jersey, and a volunteer for reproductive rights. She ran for the General Assembly in 2017 as New Jersey’s youngest candidate for State Legislature for that election cycle. Though Mariel plans to run again, her current political focus is to build up younger voters in the area and increase their involvement with government.
Joann Downey is a state assemblywoman elected in 2016 in district 11. Joann is a former Deputy State Attorney General who prosecuted cases of child abuse and neglect. Her experience prosecuting those cases moved her pursue her Masters in Social Work degree. She is currently an attorney in private practice.
Brenda S. “Sue” Fulton graduated West Point in 1980, part of the first class to admit women. In 2009, she co-founded Knights Out, an LGBT West Point alumni and allies organization. In 2010, she was a founding board member of OutServe, which actively serves LGBT military members. President Obama appointed Fulton as the first openly gay member of the West Point Board of Visitors and she became the first female USMA graduate to chair the Board in 2015. In 2017, she was recognized as one of NBC Out’s first #Pride30, a list of innovators, changemakers, and rising stars. Currently, Fulton is the Executive Director of Women in the Service Change Initiative (WiSCI), a new organization working for the success of gender integration in the US Armed Forces. In 2012, after 17 years together, Fulton and her partner Penny Gnesin became the first same-sex couple to marry in the West Point Cadet Chapel.
Mary Gatta is associate professor of Sociology at City University of New York. Her recent book, published in 2014, All I Want is A Job!, puts a human face on our nation’s unemployment and workforce development systems. Her research focuses on work and workplace policies that can improve the educational and economic opportunities for women and other marginalized groups. Specifically, she works with policy officials to develop, implement and evaluate public policy programs around women, workforce development and welfare.
Kim Guadagno was sworn in as New Jersey’s first Lieutenant Governor on January 19, 2010, and was elected to a second term in 2013. Kim has been lawyer for more than 3 decades. She began her public service career as a federal prosecutor with the Organized Crime & Racketeering Strike Force in Brooklyn, New York. She taught at Rutgers Law School 7 years. Her first elected office was as commissioner in Monmouth Beach. In 2007, Kim was elected as the first woman sheriff in Monmouth County’s history. And last year, she was the Republican nominee for Governor.
Yanishka Jean-Pierre currently serves as the Sexual Assault Services Prevention Lead Coordinator at CONTACT of Burlington County. Her formal introduction to the world of sexual violence occurred while volunteering for S.E.R.V. as both a sexual violence and domestic violence advocate. In the years to follow she has engaged with individuals who have been impacted by as well as those who have perpetrated various forms of sexual violence. Her current work utilizes media literacy to address how systems impact various vulnerable populations.
Marguerite King is singer/guitarist with the band Little Vicious based in Asbury Park NJ. King’s style has been described as “dancy punk riffs matched with howling, blues filled vocals.” The band was the 2015 Winner of Scene Magazine of Northern Colorado’s Fresh Talent Showcase and was selected as best New Artist at the FoCoMx Peer Awards in 2016.
Crystal McDonald is Associate State Director – Advocacy for AARP New Jersey. She joined AARP in November 2017 as the Associate State Director – Advocacy. During the last ten years, she has worked closely with community leaders, health advocates, providers and policy makers to improve the health care system to promote quality, access and efficiency. She has served in many roles in New Jersey-based non-profits, focusing on putting policy ideas into action. Crystal graduated from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2006 and grew up and currently resides in Monmouth County.
Maggie Moran is a managing partner at Kivvit, a company that designs and manages campaigns. Moran brings vast experience in corporate communications, federal and state government, political campaigns, and labor relations. Moran has served in senior roles for major public affairs campaigns in New York and New Jersey, worked for two United States senators, managed statewide political campaigns for president and governor, and served as the chief of management and operations for the State of New Jersey.
Maria Rodriguez-Gregg served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2014 to 2018, representing the 8th Legislative District.
Christine Sadovy is the Legislative and Political Director for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ. Christine is an activist, a mom, and a proud New Jerseyan. She has been a staunch advocate for social justice for nearly a decade. Christine started her advocacy in the environmental movement where she worked on state and federal climate issues. Her work at the Sierra Club helped stop fossil fuel pollution from contaminating the air and water of the Garden State. Christine joined Planned Parenthood in 2015 to continue her work fighting for women, men and families in New Jersey.
Julia Scotti is a nationally headlining comedian, former teacher, author, speaker, and woman of transgendered experience. She was a quarter-finalist and fan favorite on season 11 of America’s Got Talent on NBC in 2016. Originally from Fairview, New Jersey, for the first 48 years she was better known as comedian Rick Scotti. In 2000, Julia left comedy to begin her life altering transition, and also to begin her new career as a teacher, where she remained for seven years. In 2012, Julia had been named one of the Top Five Transgender Comedians in the country by Advocate Magazine. Today, you can find Julia performing at comedy clubs and theaters around the country. When she isn’t making people laugh, Julia often speaks at teacher in-services on the subject of bullying and transgendered youth issues.
Deseree Spinks performs with her group Des and The Swagmatics. Des and the Swagmatics is an Asbury Park Music Award winning band born to rock your funky souls! All of it’s members have been seen in several of Asbury’s most successful bands including Geena and Dragster, Last Perfect Thing, deSoL, Borialis, Spider Rockets and Hollywood Swingin’.
Shavonda E. Sumter is Majority Conference Leader in the New Jersey State Assembly. She entered the Legislature in 2012. By her second term in office she was appointed to Deputy Speaker. When Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman was elevated to Congress, Shavonda was tapped to serve as the Majority Conference Leader and continues to do so under the leadership of Speaker Craig Couglin. She received her Master’s in Business Administration from the Fairleigh Dickinson University Silberman College of Business. Her undergraduate studies in Political Science were completed at Kean University. Shavonda currently represents the 35th District that includes parts of Bergen and Passaic County. She is the Vice Chair of the State & Local Government committee, a member of the Labor & Public Safety committees. She is a staunch advocate for job growth, women’s health, voting rights, civil rights, and criminal justice reform.
Patricia Teffenhart is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA). Patricia has dedicated her career to the promotion and advancement of women and girls, having worked for county-wide, statewide, and national feminist organizations. In 2017, she received the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Award, an honor bestowed upon her from United States Senator Bob Menendez. For the last four years, Patricia was included in Senator Weinberg’s New Jersey Women’s Power List and recently served as a member of Governor Murphy’s Transition Team. The Star Ledger included Patricia in the “Top 25 New Jerseyans to Watch in 2018”. Patricia serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.
Loretta Weinberg was elected to the New Jersey State Senate (District 37) in November 2005, and prior to that served in the New Jersey General Assembly for 14 years. She is currently the Senate Majority Leader. She serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and is Vice Chair of the Legislative Oversight. Weinberg also sits on the New Jersey Israel Commission, New Jersey Historical Commission and State Legislative Services Commission. The New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice appointed her to an ad hoc committee looking at domestic violence and the court system. Senator Weinberg is the first person to run as a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in the State of New Jersey. In 2015 she received an award from the NJ Press Association for her tireless advocacy on behalf of transparency; in 2016 the ACLU honored her at their Lights of Liberty event with the Roger Baldwin Award for her leadership on civil rights issues.
Kristen Wilson is the Administrator for the Center for People in Transition, one of the fifteen Displaced Homemaker Centers in New Jersey, located on the campus of Rowan College at Gloucester County. Prior to this, Kristen held a few different positions with her local domestic and sexual violence program. It was also during this time that she became a Social Media Ambassador for New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault. In 2017, Kristen went into the world of higher education which has given her the opportunity to enhance conversations around campus sexual assault. She is currently overseeing plans for the campus’s first week dedicated to SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) activities.
Toni Zimmer currently serves as Secretary on the League of Women Voters U.S. board, served two terms as President of LWVNJ and 4 years on the state board. In 2006, Zimmer broke accepted tradition and barriers by becoming the first African American woman to run for State Assembly in Sussex County, NJ. She courageously ran against an entrenched conservative constituency that dominated the district for decades. Undaunted and undeterred, she put heart and soul into the campaign, debated her opponents, and spoke on behalf of supporters whose voices had not been heard in the past. Zimmer became a forceful and effective advocate for voter rights, and the return to fair and clean elections by eliminating special interest campaign funding.