Officers and Board 2019-2020

Linsey Grove, President, 2019-2020

Linsey Grove, DrPH, CPH, CHES is a visiting instructor and program coordinator for the Health Sciences program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She also works as a public health consultant for various public health agencies, social change organizations, non-profits, and businesses and is co-owner of Carriage House Consulting, 

In March 2017, Linsey launched a public health podcast called Viral as a way to educate audiences about public health and create a fun, energetic space for current public health professionals.  She writes, produces, and co-hosts the podcast.LLC.  Linsey serves as the project co-lead for the Engage St. Pete initiative with Dr. Julie Kessel and co-chairs the Empowering Pinellas Youth Collaborative, a comprehensive sex education campaign as a part of her activity on the LWVSPA Reproductive Rights Action Team. She has helped secure $140,000 for the LWVSPA in grants to help fund projects like the Voter Guide and Engage St. Pete. Linsey has been on the Board since 2017, having also served as 1st Vice President and Membership Committee Chair.

Linsey is an avid rock climber and free diving enthusiast with her husband, James.  She enjoys being active in the St. Pete community through civic engagement. Linsey volunteers with Family Resources on the LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth Steering Committee and serves as a State Science and Engineering Fair Judge for the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists. She was appointed by Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice to the County Council for Persons with Disabilities in 2017.

Robin Davidov, 1st Vice President, 2019-2020

In June, 2016 Robin Davidov was living on her sailboat in St. Petersburg and wandered into a LWVSPA meeting.  She asked for a volunteer job which could be completed by November because she was planning to continue sailing.  Voter Service was the perfect fit. In May of 2018, after living on their boat and sailing for five years, Robin and her husband Christopher (a League member) choose St. Petersburg as their full time home. She eagerly returned to work with friends on the Voter Service committee.

Robin had a 30 year career in Maryland developing, financing and operating waste management and renewable energy projects for an award winning regional government agency.  In Maryland, she enjoyed working with elected officials and community groups. She was on the board of the South Baltimore Learning Center, an adult literacy program. After retiring, Robin became a consultant in sustainable projects and helped clients in Australia, the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Robin is currently a member of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC).  She is also a Guardian ad Litem for the 6th Circuit Florida.

Robin enjoys kayaking, theater, music, travel, and reading books the old fashion way.   

Maryellen Gordon, 2nd Vice President, 2019-2020

Maryellen Gordon is new-ish to St. Pete, enjoying her ongoing transition from a life well- and happily-lived in NYC to a life in the city of murals and sunshine. She joined LWVSPA in 2017, soon after relocating, and has been enthusiastically engaged in voter registration efforts as part of the Voter Services leadership team.

She currently works as an editorial/brand voice/storytelling creative lead via Stable of Content, her consulting service. Through SoC, she collaborates with brands and their creative teams to create strong identities and ongoing multi-platform content with a unique editorial bent. Creative approaches to brainstorming, problem-solving and collaborating within deadlines and budgets, is all part of the special SoC sauce. Maryellen has been deeply entrenched with brand and publishing clients including Michael Kors, Tory Burch, J. Crew, Madewell, NYU and Time Inc..

Prior to starting SoC in 2010, she was charmed (and energetic) enough to have a career initially as a magazine writer, writing for publications including The New York Times, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle, among others, followed by an exhilarating/exhausting decade as an award-winning deputy editor of Glamour magazine. There—and at more recent gigs—she found deep satisfaction in providing guidance and mentorship to next-gen colleagues, offering honest feedback, advice and wine, as needed.

In addition to the wine thing, she is a fan of her husband and their two cats, the Yankees, music (though not all music), sunsets, paddleboarding, swimming, cycling and traveling..

Caroline Bloodworth, Treasurer, 2018-2020

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Caroline is a Florida native, USF grad, and licensed CPA, currently working as the Finance Director for the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. She finally joined the LWVSPA in 2008 because she always intended to. The League is in her genes – her mom was a chapter president. She was tapped as Treasurer in 2010 and is happy to make that contribution to a great League chapter. Caroline has previously served on WMNF’s Board of Directors and the Board of the (unfortunately, now defunct) Florida Curling Club. She’s lived in St Petersburg for more than 20 years and particularly loves our rich theatre, opera, and arts community.

K.W. (Ken) Wrede, Secretary, 2019-2020

Ken Wrede has been a resident in St. Petersburg for three years, a member of LWVSPA since 2017, and a member of the Board since April 2018. A business executive, veteran, and entrepreneur, Ken has wide-ranging background in the worlds of international business, international security, consulting, and startup businesses. He has 27 years of experience living and working around the world: South Korea, The Netherlands, Spain, and France.

Ken was commissioned in the US Army from Mississippi State University, holds an M.Sc. from the Golden Gate University in telecommunications, and an EMBA from École des Hautes Études Commerciales d’Paris (HEC Paris), Paris, France with an emphasis in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Ken splits his time between working with non-profit organizations, speaking, and writing extensively on leadership and leadership modeling.  Ken writes in a blog on issues concerning leadership, business, and critical thinking.

Ama Appiah, Director, 2019-2021

Ama Appiah grew up in Niagara Falls, NY. She has lived in St. Petersburg, FL since the fall of 2003. Ama has been a practicing attorney since 2004, and has owned and operated her own firm for 11 years. Her practice areas are criminal, civil and family law appeals; immigration; and entertainment law. She is also a Special Assistant Public Defender with the Tenth Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office in Bartow, FL. Prior to starting her firm, Ama was a Program Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program, and the FL Statewide Guardian ad Litem Program.

Ama earned her B.S. degree from SUNY College at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY. She worked as a legal assistant and paralegal in the legal department of the U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Office in Niagara Falls, NY. Thereafter, she attended Albany Law School in Albany, NY, and earned her J.D. degree in 2003. While in law school, she interned for the NY State Department of State Corporations Office, the Albany District Attorney’s Office, and for the Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy of the US District Court of the Northern District of New York.

Ama has been a member of LWVSPA since the summer of 2018. She serves on the Publicity Committee and the Election Protection Action Team. Ama has served on the Board of Directors of Gulfcoast Legal Services since 2015, and is currently the President-Elect. She served on the Board of Directors of Creative Clay from 2015 to 2018. She has volunteered as an election protection attorney during several previous elections. Ama is also a published author and an arts enthusiast.

Caitlin Constantine, Director, 2018-2020

Caitlin Constantine has been a member of the LWVSPA since January 2017, when she joined shortly after taking part in the Women’s March. She currently serves on the publicity committee and edits the monthly Voter newsletter.

She is the deputy managing editor of The Penny Hoarder, which is one of the largest personal finance sites in the country. Prior to that, she worked as a senior web producer for Bay News 9 for eight years. She’s a 2008 graduate of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s journalism program, where she co-edited the student paper and helped organize a science journalism conference about sea level rise in Florida.

Caitlin’s writing has also been published on Jezebel, the Huffington Post, and Ironman.com. An avid triathlete and runner, she maintains a popular blog about the intersections of feminism and fitness called Fit and Feminist. She’s a transplant who has lived in Pinellas County for 16 years, and is proud to call this community her home.

Amanda Dodge, Director, 2019-2020 (1-year term)

Amanda Dodge has been involved with the LWVSPA since June 2017 and on the Board since 2018. She started volunteering with the Media & Publicity Committee and has worked to expand its online presence.

Amanda has a background in marketing with a Public Relations bachelor’s degree from FSU. She has worked for major corporations in the area along with agencies and nonprofits. Her specialties include digital marketing, SEO, SEM, and copywriting.

Outside of work and the League, Amanda tries to support local literary and theatre organizations. She enjoys creating art (even if it’s not good) and traveling as much as she can.

Raechel Garafalo, Director, 2019-2021
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As a previous board member and First Vice President of the LWVSPA, Raechel Garafalo has led the Voter Service Committee through the past few very busy election cycles, spearheading voter registration efforts, managing candidate forums, identifying and developing voter education opportunities, and directing the development of the League’s highly successful online voter guides.

She has lived in St. Petersburg since early childhood. Raechel comes by her interest in the LWVSPA naturally as her parents were political and social activists who were also members of the LWVSPA. She enjoys collaboration but is also comfortable with working independently to get things done. Her work experience includes retail management, manufacturer sales, and corporate and residential interior design. Raechel brings valuable knowledge and skills to our board from those endeavors.

Stephanie Owens, Director, 2019-2021

Stephanie Owens has spent over 20 years in public service, as an appointee of both President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton. She held senior official positions in the White House, and the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency. During her tenure, she created the strategy and policies for implementation of the Affordable Care Act; citizen participation in the community restoration process after the Deep Horizon oil disaster; and improving federal procurement policy for small and disadvantaged businesses.

Stephanie, a native of Detroit, Michigan, has called Florida home for the past 18 years. In 1996, she was appointed by President Clinton and HUD Secretary Cisneros to lead a Presidential Task Force, formed in response to civil unrest in St. Petersburg FL. She directed the collaborative efforts of nine federal agencies providing $46 million in federal assistance programs. Ms. Owens also engaged state and local elected officials and business leaders in creating an economic development plan for community revitalization.

Owens is the principle of Dolphin Strategies LLC, a community engagement and strategic partnerships firm specializing in creating corporate social responsibility and public participation strategies that create impactful civic engagement and foster healthy communities.

An active member of many professional organizations and boards, Stephanie has served as the 2nd Vice President and Chair of Voter Protection for LWVSPA, as well as a member of the LWVF Board and Chair of Voter Advocacy and Election law. She is a board member of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and the ACLU of Pinellas and ACLU of Florida.

Ms. Owens earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Past Presidents
 
Julie Kessel, M.D.
President 2014-2019
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Karen Coale
President 2012-14

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Darden Rice
President 2010-12
Darden Rice Photograph