Meet Our Team
Rev. Dr. Susan Smith
Belen de Leon
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Jen Miller, Executive Director
Sherry Rose, Development Director
Munia Mostafa, Membership and Project Manager
Nazek Hapasha, Policy Affairs Manager
Lisa Wurm, Redistricting Specialist
Jeff Keith, Accountant
Board of Directors
Iris Meltzer, President
Iris Meltzer is a member of the Kent League. Iris holds a Master’s Degree in psychology from Western Carolina University and a Master’s of Public Health from the Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health Program, for whom she served as Accreditation Consultant from 2013-2016. Iris retired from Akron Children’s Hospital after 28 years as the Administrator for Adolescent Health Services. Previously she was a founding member and director of Portage County’s first shelter for battered women and their children. She has been a member of the League since 2011 and served as its President for four years. She was also a member of Kent’s MLD team. She has been on the board of the Ohio League for the last three and a half years, serving as Secretary. Iris is a community activist, serving as Vice-chair for the Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board and as a member of the Kent Free Library Foundation Board.
Deborah Schmieding, 1st Vice President
Deborah Schmieding is a member of the Athens League. She recently retired from a 39-year career supporting kids and adults with developmental disabilities in Athens and Washington Counties. Her passion to advance disability issues did not end at that time, and she continues to find home for this effort with the League. Voting access is very important to her, and she is proud to be affiliated with the premier organization protecting this right for all citizens. She has served on the LWVO board from 2004 to 2011 and again in 2016-2017. Deborah has an undergraduate degree in Communication from Michigan State University, a Masters of Public Administration from Ohio University.
Pam Wilson, 2nd Vice President
Dr. Wilson is a Research Associate at Ohio University’s George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. Pam is an accomplished professional with multifaceted educational and corporate experience. Prior to joining the Voinovich School, Pam had over 25 years of industry experience and was a senior manager for IBM Finance responsible for the evaluation of business processes, regulatory compliance, and audit readiness. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education, Pam also has experience as a K-8 teacher, specializing in Reading. Dr. Wilson holds an MBA from the University of Dayton and a PhD in Higher Education from Ohio University. Dr. Wilson’s dissertation focused on Ohio’s implementation of a dual credit program. This qualitative case study examined policy implementation and fidelity to legislated requirements. Additional research and policy evaluation conducted includes assessment of state and county social services, poverty programs, educator and administrative shortages, and gifted charter school implementation. Pam is active in the community and seeks to support organizations and programs promoting equity, fairness, and social justice.
Lee McLaird, Secretary
A member since 2004, she has served on the LWVBG Board and as secretary and two terms as president. Her committee activities have included Voter Service and Education. She holds a B. A. in English and Library Science from the University of South Dakota and a Master of Librarianship from Emporia Kansas State University. She worked for 25 years as Reference Archivist and Rare Books Curator at Bowling Green State University, assisting researchers using local government records and the official records of some state legislators and US Congressmen. She is proud to be a third-generation member of League.
Scott Britton, Director
In 2002, Scott became executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. During his three years with the League, he increased member contributions to the annual fund, managed an ambitious judicial independence project, and coordinated direct and grassroots lobbying efforts on multiple good-government issues. In 2006, upon the birth of his son, Scott became a stay-at-home father. He joined the board of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus, where he led the redesign of the League’s website in time for the 2008 election. In October 2010, he returned to work part-time as coordinator of Advocates for Ohio’s Future, a statewide coalition of human service programs, including Public Children Services Association of Ohio, the association of county children services agencies. He joined PCSAO in 2011 as assistant director. Scott manages several grant-funded projects, media relations, website and social media, and human resources. Born and raised in Parkersburg, West Virginia, Scott is a 1993 graduate of Drew University in New Jersey.
Martha "Marti" Kleinfelter, Director
Marti Kleinfelter is from the Clermont League. She grew up in Maumee outside of Toledo and received her bachelors degree from Bowling Green State University and master’s from Northern Kentucky University. She was a teacher (Social Studies, English and driver’s ed) for 33 years. She joined the League in 2000 and has served as president, secretary and suffragist dinner chair for the Clermont League. She is a volunteer at the local library, the polls for election day, CASA volunteer and historical society in Clermont County.
Karen Leith, Director
As a member of the Hudson League since 1981, Karen is currently the immediate past president and chair of Advocacy. She chaired the committee that brought concurrence on the charter school position and has facilitated Great Decisions, the Foreign Policy Association’s program of discussion of our foreign policy, for their local League at Laurel Lake Retirement Center since 1982. Having worked as Director of the Catholic Commission, one of the five offices for justice education and advocacy for Cleveland Catholic Charities, Karen understands many of the issues. She has a BA in Math/Economics from Brown University; MA in Religious Studies from John Carroll University; MA Experimental Psychology and PhD Social Psychology from Case Western University. Her work experience has included educator from elementary through college levels (adjunct in both religious studies and psychology for over 15 years), author, youth minister, pastoral minister, and director of social justice. She is also a volunteer lobbyist.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith, Director
Rev. Susan K Smith is a graduate of Occidental College and Yale Divinity School. She is a communications consultant with the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc, a consultant with People for the American Way’s African American Ministers’ Leadership Council, and has served as one of the co-chairs of the minority vote subcommittee of the Nonpartisan Ohio Voter Outreach Committee. She also served as one of the tri chairs of the Ohio Poor People’s Campaign and is the founder of Crazy Faith Ministries in Columbus, Ohio.
Venezuela V.T. Robinson, Director
Venezuela V. T. Robinson has over 35 years of experience in teaching/training students and adults also. She holds a short-term substitute teaching license and a long-term substitute teaching license through the Ohio Department of Education. A language arts tutor for over 30 years and has a BA in Business Administration and a MA in Teaching and Learning with Technology. She currently mentors girls and does volunteer work with Ohio PTA, Junior Achievement, Ideastream, and the League of Women Voters. Mrs. Robinson is a widow and has two sons in the United States Air Force. She enjoys spending time with her mom, who is 92 years young – along with other family and friends.
Cynthia Peeples, Director
Cynthia Peeples is the founding director of Honesty for Ohio Education, a nonpartisan statewide coalition that believes every child deserves an honest high-quality education grounded in truth, facts, and diverse perspectives. In her role, Cynthia advocates for honest education at the Ohio Statehouse, State Board of Education, school districts, and higher ed campuses. As a proud Leaguer, Cynthia serves on the state board of the League of Women Voters Ohio and leads the League’s Northeast Ohio REAL TALK program. She also co-chairs the Akron NAACP ACT-SO program, helps build capacity for cultural proficiency and inclusive education in her local school district, and serves the Akron arts community as a board member of the Akron Civic Theatre. She transitioned into nonprofit service while working as a news anchor in Texas, marrying her passion for storytelling and advocacy. She has since moved abroad and domestically, always finding opportunities to serve social justice oriented and empowerment centered organizations. Living in Brazil, Cynthia helped launch the Campinas chapter of the American Society of São Paulo to support education programs and family services in São Paulo’s impoverished communities.
Cynthia grew up in California and Hawaii. She holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Akron.
Belen de Leon, Director
Belen de Leon joined the LWVO team in August of 2020 as a Latinx Outreach Coordinator. She earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and French from the Ohio State University. Inspired by her background as a DACA youth, Belen has worked in numerous social justice and community advancement areas in the past, including the Ohio Hispanic Coalition, Ohio State’s LASER program and YWCA Columbus - where she currently works as a program coordinator. Belen is driven by her passion for promoting equity and inclusion in our democratic process and she resides in Columbus with her fluffy cat, Pazuzu.
Sarah Warner, Director
Sarah Warner is a passionate advocate for voting rights, and the rights of survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Her recent work includes leading the Legislation and Policy branch of the Southwest Ohio Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (End Slavery Cincinnati), voter registration, education, and outreach as a board member of the League of Women Voters of Cincinnati, election protection and election policy work for the League of Women Voters of Ohio, serving as chair of the State Public Affairs committee for the Junior Leagues of Ohio, and lobby work at the Ohio Statehouse surrounding human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and poverty bills at the Ohio Statehouse. She is a 2020 recipient of the Cincinnati 40 under 40 for her advocacy work. She has a background in psychology, nursing, and nonprofit leadership and is currently at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law completing a Juris Doctorate, where she also serves as a representative of multiple student organizations including the Public Interest Law Foundation, The American Constitution Society, ACLU, and If/When/How. She is a member of multiple organizations in the community including Cincinnatus, the NAACP, Sew Masks for Cincy, and The Junior League of Columbus. She enjoys collecting and repairing antique typewriters, live jazz, snarky cross stitch, wine, travel, and ballroom dancing. Her go-to pandemic binge watch list includes The West Wing, Parks and Rec, M*A*S*H, and POSE. Her guilty pleasure is international home hunters, because she misses being abroad!
Audrey Morris, Treasurer
Audrey Morris is a member of the Greater Cleveland League’s Shaker Heights chapter. She has a long history of involvement with nonprofit organizations starting in her native NY, NY, and then at the Women’s Institute for Economic Progress in Boston, MA where she worked to secure housing for women and children with AIDS. She has a B.A. in economics from Harvard University and has worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as a writer and managing editor for a variety of publications too numerous to list. The focus of her work has been in protecting the interests of women and children, working to help them obtain the housing, health care, education, public benefits, and legal services available to them. Joining the League in 2014, she was elected Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland in 2018, and has served as Vice President (2017-2018), Shaker Heights Chapter Chair (2015-2017), and learned the process of League study on the League of Women Voters of Ohio Primary Election Systems Study Committee (2016-2017). She also is on the Community Advisory Councils of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women at Case Western Reserve University, and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Area (NOACA).
Eryka Harper, Director
Eryka Harper is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University and earned two B.A degrees in Public Management, Leadership and Policy and African and African American Studies, and History. During her collegiate career, she worked as a Student Ambassador for Women Student Initiatives at the Student Life Multicultural Center and created engaging programming to support and empower the women-identifying community of Ohio State. Eryka sat on the Executive Board for two student organizations at Ohio State. Ladies of Leadership, a peer mentoring organization for Women of Color and Take Back the Night, an organization dedicated to ending sexual, relationship, and domestic violence in all forms.
Eryka currently is a Compliance and Account Manager at McTigue & Colombo, an election law and campaign finance law firm in Columbus. In this role, she provides campaign finance bookkeeping and compliance services for candidates, PACs, and ballot issue committees. Outside of work, she serves as a volunteer on the Re-Entry team at The Legal Aid Society of Columbus.
Eryka resides in Columbus, Ohio with her partner and cat, Twix.
Ethan Lower, Director
Hello! I am Ethan Lower, an undergraduate student at Kent State University studying political science. While Kent is my home for half the year, I grew up in Canal Fulton, Ohio with my parents, two sisters, and two Shelties. I am a passionate defender of voter rights and believer in community organizing models for engaging young people in politics. Outside of my education and civic engagement work, I love reading science fiction and listening to music on my morning commute.
Jen Miller, Executive Director
Raised in small town Ohio, Miller has over twenty years' experience working with diverse communities to promote social justice and civic action through positions with Columbus Recreation and Parks, Martin Luther Jr. King Arts Complex, the Ohio State University, and Global Gallery. Miller earned her Master's in Arts Policy, Education and Administration, a program of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State. She holds bachelor's degrees in Vocal Music and History and Ethnic Studies from Capital University. Miller is a graduate of the US Department of Energy NREL Leadership Academy. She is a board member for the Ohio Debate Commission, the Ohio History Connection, and Kids Voting Ohio. Inspiring others to participate in civic engagement is her deepest passion. She is a jazz singer and proud mother of one daughter.
Sherry Rose, Inspire! Campaign/Development Director
Sherry Rose joined the LWVOhio team in July 2017 as the Director of Development. While addressing all development needs, Sherry's main focus is to guide and direct the five-year Inspire! Sustainability Campaign.
Ms. Rose has spent over 20 years in sales, marketing, business, economic and community development! Ms. Rose held the positions of Account Executive for GTE Mobilnet (Verizon Wireless) and Marketing Manager for Howard W. Sams, a Bell Atlantic Company, before turning her attention turned to business and economic development. For 16 years, Sherry served as Wabash Valley Power Association's (Indianapolis, Indiana) Director of Community and Economic Development. Ms. Rose worked in over 70 counties in a four state region. She provided facilitation services, development training, marketing assistance, grant research and project management to over 200 communities and businesses; and developed economic and community development plans to attract, retain and expand businesses across the Midwest. After representing Wabash Valley Power on several sales trips with the State of Indiana, Sherry was hired as the Director of Sales for the State of Indiana's Economic Development Corporation. She was instrumental in attracting national and international companies to the State of Indiana. In early 2015, Ms. Rose began her own consulting company providing business development, marketing, sales, economic and community development services to a variety of businesses, communities and non-profit organizations across the US.
Ms. Rose graduated cum laude with a degree in Communication Studies from Kent State University. When not working, Sherry serves as the President of the Delta Gamma Housing Corporation at Kent State University and serves as the Membership Chairperson and Board Director for the League of Women Voters of Kent. She is also a personal trainer, triathlon coach, and Yoga Teacher RYT200. Sherry lives in Kent, Ohio with her two dogs.
Munia Mostafa, Membership & Project Manager
In October 2011, Munia joined the staff at the LWVO. She started as project coordinator for the Clean Air Promise Campaign, and she subsequently assumed management of LWVO communication and publications. Munia enjoys helping League members and local Leagues be a strong voice for good government in communities across Ohio.
Prior to joining LWVO, Munia worked in several other nonprofit organizations including the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations (OANO), the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) and Muslim Aid (a British International Relief and Development Agency). She holds a Master's degree in Communications with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from the University at Albany, State University of New York and another Master's degree in Design Management from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Farnham, England. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from the University of Sussex, England. Munia is a mother of two children and resides with her family in Upper Arlington, Ohio.
Nazek Hapasha, Policy Affairs Manager
Nazek joined the LWV Ohio staff in 2018 after graduating from the Ohio State University School of Public Affairs with a Master of Public Administration (MPA). She has more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in different capacities, and is passionate about community engagement and social justice. Originally, from the New York metropolitan area, Nazek completed her undergraduate studies at William Paterson University in New Jersey, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication. Currently, she lives in Dublin, Ohio with her family.