Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors


President, bkgriffin [at] comcast.net (Barbara Griffin) 
Barbara Griffin is a past long-term Assistant Director of a State of Florida Governor's Agency that operated numerous federal and state programs and initiatives, and was responsible for several billion dollars in public funds. Examples of programs operated are: Statewide Universal Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten and School Readiness; Job Training and Job Placement Programs; Unemployment Insurance; Labor Market Information; special programs serving Veterans, the Elderly, Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, and Ex-Offenders; Economic Development; Apprenticeship; Disaster Recovery; and Employment programs for those on Public Assistance. After nearly 40 years of service, Barbara retired and moved to the Charleston area to be near her family (Kent, Coleen, Carter and Lindsey). Barbara joined the League several years ago and is especially drawn to the League's nonpartisan support of good government and citizen engagement.

Administrative VP, judypeper [at] gmail.com (Judy Peper)

Judy has been a member of the League since 2017. She knew immediately that this was
a perfect fit for her. Judy's interest in social justice and service began while employed at
the Department of Social Services. She administered federal funds in order to remove
barriers to employment for disadvantaged teenage moms. As Judy and her husband,
Warren, reared 3 children, her mission continued by working in public education. She
then transitioned her employment to her church, serving as the Director of Youth
Ministries, where she coordinated district-wide events for 88 churches and organized a
community-wide fundraiser that still exists annually. Judy considers herself a
Charlestonian, as she has lived here almost all her life (even though her parents were not
"from here"). She and her husband have 3 grown children, 2 daughters-in-law, and 2
grandchildren, all of whom live in the area. Judy currently serves on the Citizen's
Education and Voter Services committees and eagerly awaits additional responsibilities
and opportunities.

Community Engagement VP, paulaserv [at] aol.com (Paula Egelson)

Paula Egelson has been a League of Women Voters member and board member in North Carolina and South Carolina; she is originally from Wheaton, Illinois. Paula has worked as a community organizer, teacher, professional developer, and school improvement director. She currently serves as the Research and Accountability Divisional Director at the Southern Regional Education Board. She has degree in child development from Rockford University, a degree in reading education from Western Carolina University and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her adult children, Daniel and Ben, both live in Charleston.  

Communications VP, shaynahowell [at] gmail.com (Shayna Howell) 

Shayna is a native of Hampton, SC and moved to Charleston in 1998. She joined the League of Women Voters while finishing her Masters of Public Administration degree at the College of Charleston, where she also received a BS in Anthropology. She has also served on the LWVUS membership and leadership team and currently co-chairs the LWVSC Redistricting Workgroup. Shayna and her husband Travis live on Folly Beach with their two kids and two dogs.

Issues & Action VP, ccshad [at] aol.com (Sarah Johnson)

Sarah is a Charleston native who lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband and two children. After graduating from the University of South Carolina, she worked for several years as a paralegal for the US Department of Justice. Sarah has been very involved in public school advocacy and joined the League in 2013 during the League's study on teacher evaluation and retention. She has served the last three years in an elected position as Chair for the Moultrie District Two Constituent School Board. 

Treasurer, treasurer [at] lwvcharleston.org (Kathy Squires)
Kathy Squires, originally from Centerville, Indiana, has lived in many places including Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Charlottesville, Charlotte, and DC.  She currently lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband, Jerry, their two cats, and their son's dog. Kathy and Jerry travel as much as their discretionary income allows.  

A daughter and son-in-law live on James Island; a son and his family on St. Simons; and another son and his family live in Stavanger, Norway. Kathy is also very fond of a special-needs brother-in-law, Jay. Kathy volunteers for the MUSC Auxiliary and My Sister's House.   

Secretary, vwestberg.777 [at] gmail.com (Vicki Westberg)

Vicki Westberg, a native of Washington State, retired to Summerville after 39 years with a company that encouraged leaders to give back generously of time, talent and product to the communities in which they served. To continue that spirit of community service she joined the League in 2017 after finding it to be a good fit with her preference to set aside partisanship when advocating for issues and good governance.

Vicki has the good fortune to have two daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, and two grandsons some of whom live in Seattle, some in Summerville and all of whom are happy and healthy.

Elected Directors

Legislative Action, kirsten [at] leantoostudios.com (Kirsten Abrahamson)
Kirsten Abrahamson, originally from Delaware, has lived in Summerville for 18 years and joined the league over a year ago. She is a mother of two, a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son. She has been an architect for 25 years and currently has her own architectural practice, LeanToo Studios LLC.

Education, reginaduggins77 [at] gmail.com (Regina Duggins)
Regina Duggins received her doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on K-12 education and policies. Born and raised in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn NYC, Regina moved to Charleston in 2010. She has raised 5 children and is a grandmother of one. Regina serves on the District 20 Constituent School Board. She is founder of Charleston Black Pride, Founder of Black Magic Girls Mentoring Program, Parent Advocate for Charleston Rise, and is a Reading Interventionist for CCSD. Regina is also a local poet and self-published author of two poetry books.

Membership, roeferber [at] gmail.com (Roe Ferber)
Roe Ferber's career began in publishing, as Production Manager for McCall's (in New York City) and then Washington Calendar, a monthly magazine in the DC area. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Family/Community Health, has spent the better part of her adult life volunteering in a variety of capacities + among them, working on the Parents Anonymous Hotline, mentoring foster children, helping rising seniors chart their career path, conducting courthouse tours for the Junior League, serving as chairwoman for more than a dozen school functions, and, in recent years, on behalf of the League, promoting voter participation at Charleston's monthly Citizenship Ceremonies.

Roe grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, raised her family in Northern Virginia, then moved to Charleston in 2008. Roe and her husband Steve have three daughters and four grandchildren, all of whom keep her young and engaged. She is an avid tennis player and music lover.

Natural Resources, leah [at] ferrataconsulting.com (Leah Pederson)

Leah Pedersen received her undergraduate degree in economics from Smith College, and her M.A. in international economics and international relations from the Johns Hopkins University - SAIS. She is the cofounder of Ferrata Consulting and serves as an adjunct economics instructor at Trident Technical College. Leah worked for a decade in the institutional investment management industry, and has also served in a professional or volunteer capacity with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, the Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club's Inspiring Connections Outdoors, Greenville's acclaimed Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery, and Fundecor, a conservation organization in Costa Rica. She is passionate about sustainable food systems, clean water and fresh air, and appreciates the opportunity to assist the League in formulating its position on environmental topics and legislation, thereby supporting a healthy, vibrant future for the Lowcountry.
Leah resides on James Island with her husband, her hound dog, and a small flock of chickens.

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, cpwright1 [at] aol.com (Carolyn Wright-Porcher)

Ms. Porcher is a native Charlestonian who attended local public schools and graduated from
Burke High School. After high school she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology
and went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University (NYU) and a Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from the City University of New York (CUNY). 

In 2014, Ms. Porcher returned to the lowcountry after she retired from the New York City Department of Education as a School Social Worker. She currently resides in her family home on the Peninsula and is active in the community. Her present involvements include the Charleston Commission on Women, the Illumination Project, and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. where she is involved with social and political action. Ms. Porcher is also the Co-Chair of the State League’s working group focusing on greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the LWV.

Health Policy, wilmsnd [at] musc.edu (Deborah Williamson)

Deborah Williamson received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, and her Doctorate in
Health Administration from MUSC. As an Associate Dean at MUSC, she was awarded over six million dollars in federal and foundation funds for community-based initiatives to promote health equity.
Currently, she is vice-chair of the Fetter Health Care Network board, and also serves on the New Morning Foundation Board, as Chair of the Grants, Research, and Evaluation Committee.
Dr. Williamson has been recognized by the Charleston Regional Business Journal as a Health Care Hero, by the Trident Literacy Association for making a difference in the Charleston Community (Pat Gibson Founder's Award), and by the SC Primary Care Association, for being persistent in overcoming obstacles to provide quality care to those in most need (Margret J Weston Award).  She was also the recipient the MUSC Earl B. Higgins Diversity Award. She and her husband David have lived in Charleston since 1985.

Criminal Justice, karla.lainez [at] gmail.com (Karla Martinez)

Karla is a criminal defense lawyer with South Carolina's 9th Judicial Circuit Public Defender's Office, where she represents indigent persons charged with a variety of criminal offenses. Prior to working at the Public Defender’s Office, she dedicated years of her legal career to advocating on behalf of migrant and seasonal agricultural workers in civil matters related to violations of federal and state employment laws, including wage and hour and contract law. She has also represented immigrant victims of crime and labor trafficking.

An immigrant from El Salvador, Karla spent her early childhood in Mexico and later lived in Los Angeles, California where her family immigrated to and made their permanent home. She lived there until she graduated college. Karla is a graduate of the University of Iowa, College of Law and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently serves in the South Carolina Bar House of Delegates, Academic Solutions Academy board of directors, and is a member of the Charleston Immigrant Coalition. She is admitted to practice law in Florida and South Carolina and has resided in South Carolina since 2016.

Voters Service, Joan.M.Zaleski [at] hofstra.edu (Joan Zaleski)

Dr. Joan Zaleski is Professor Emerita at Hofstra University. She has spent more than 4 decades devoted to research in literacy education in libraries and classrooms. A native New Yorker, she is delighted to call Mt. Pleasant her home since 2013. In addition to her passion for libraries, education, social justice, and the League of Women Voters, she also volunteers at the Gibbes Museum of Art as a museum educator and docent. She fills her spare time playing tennis, reading, and enjoying the low country with her husband and visits with their two sons and daughters-in-law.

Citizen Education, ziab1 [at] comcast.net (Barbara Zia)

Barbara Zia has served in League leadership positions since the 1980s--as president and board member of her state and local Leagues, and LWVUS board member. She is a retired developmental psychologist and taught in elementary, preschool and higher education programs. She moved to SC from Boston in 2000 and lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband Bob.

Resource Development, defactor1649 [at] gmail.com (Donna Englander-Factor)

Donna Englander-Factor moved to Folly Beach with her husband in 2017 after living in Northern Virginia for 30 years. She has worked for a variety of non-profit organizations as a fundraising professional. Currently she serves as Director of Development and Assistant Dean for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at The Citadel. Her passions include public education and social justice issues.

Off-Board Directors

Web Technology, nancypmoore [at] mac.com (Nancy Moore)

Dr. Nancy Moore, a retired literature teacher and administrator from USC Upstate, began LWV service in 1977 as SC ERA chair. Among her passions are civil rights, for which she holds a statewide ACLU award; the arts, natural resources, and family. SInce moving to the Lowcountry in 2009, she has chaired the board of the Footlights Players and been named Folly Beach Citizen of the Year.

Good Government and Special Projects, leslie.skardon [at] gmail.com (Leslie Skardon)
Leslie is strategic communications and marketing professional with a background in public policy and advocacy. She supports a myriad of clients' social impact initiatives and earned her MBA from Georgetown. She lives on James Island with her husband and puppy.

Historian, mcshaffer1 [at] gmail.com (Christine (Tina) Shaffer)

Though a Mount Pleasant resident only since 2014, Tina is not new to the LWV. She was president of the League in Bucks County, PA, for four years in the 1990s and has been a member at the local, state and national levels wherever she has lived since then. Tina spends half the year in SC and half in Rhinebeck, NY, so that she can stay connected to the worlds of her four children and grandchildren.

Tina spent half her childhood growing up in France, graduated from Barnard College with a degree in anthropology, lived for two years in West Africa serving in the Peace Corps with her then husband, and subsequently raised the children on a working farm in Maryland. After moving to PA, in addition to the League she was closely involved with Planned Parenthood. Tina is excited that all her passions have come together participating in LWVCA at this particularly transformative time in the country.