Officers and Board 2018-19

Julie Kessel, M.D.

Julie has served on the LWVSPA Board since 2010, and has been president since 2015. A physician by training, Julie is Board Certified in Adult and General Psychiatry. In 1998, she retired from direct psychiatric practice and began working in the insurance industry, first in Philadelphia and then back in Florida where she has resided since 2004. She has extensive experience in the insurer aspect of the implementation of the consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act including appeal rights and prevention, as well as other aspects of PPACA.

She is presently employed as the National Medical Director for Coverage Policy for Cigna, overseeing the development, maintenance, and implementation of prevention, medical, drug and reimbursement coverage policy for the company. Throughout her long career in health care policy, she has maintained a private forensic practice with a specialty in homicide and death penalty post-conviction work. She has been involved in more than 50 post-conviction death penalty matters, performing psychiatric assessments, consultation, and expert testimony.

Julie enjoys kayaking, paddle boarding, and all things Florida involving the sunshine and the water.


Linsey Grove
1st Vice President


Linsey Grove, MPH, CPH, CHES is a public health consultant for various public health agencies, social change organizations, non-profits, and businesses and serves as the Chief Creative Officer and co-owner of eunoia Media Lab.  She is also a graduate student in the Doctorate of Public Health program at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  Linsey works as an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Sam Houston State University teaching public health policy and social marketing, respectively.

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 bi-weekly podcast.

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, Complete Streets St. Pete, and as a State Science and Engineering Fair Judge for the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists.

Lisa Yacso Vanover
2nd Vice President
Lisa Vanover

An innovator, relationship builder, and advocate, Lisa Vanover works to accomplish social and environmental equity through strategic, systemic change. She grew up in Columbus, Ohio and followed education and job opportunities around the country before settling in Pinellas County in 2004. With an M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance from Texas State, she’s pursuing her MBA at USFSP.

Lisa’s career has taken her from higher education administration to energy management. She is the Academic Services Administrator in the Graduate and Executive Education Office of the USFSP Kate Tiedemann College of Business. She serves on the board of Community Leveraged Learning and has volunteered for United Way, Pinellas Hope, and the Edible Peace Patch Project. She loves to kayak and hike.

Joining the LWVPSA in 2016, Lisa also serves as the Co-Chair of the Sustainability Action Team. She works to advance solar energy for people of all incomes to create environmental equity and reduce our footprint. Lisa is very excited about Making Democracy Work!

Caroline Bloodworth
Treasurer 2016-2019


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.
Susan Mayer


Susan Mayer is a Florida native, born and raised in Miami, and a St. Pete resident since 2002. She became involved with the LWVSPA when she retired in 2011. A graduate of the University of Florida with a BA in English Education, Susan has been a flight attendant, flight attendant supervisor, and flight attendant training manager for a major international airline. She also taught high school English, serving as a department chair and district-level in-service training and curriculum developer in Miami-Dade County. After leaving her public school career, Susan worked as an educational consultant and regional manager for a nationally-recognized educational software corporation. While living in St. Pete, she was employed as a new teacher mentor in the Pinellas County Public Schools Transition to Teaching program.

Susan’s work with the League has been in member communications. She is editor of the LWVSPA Voter newsletter and supports other member communications by sharing her expertise in Constant Contact, the League’s email marketing provider. She enjoys living in St. Pete with her husband and two fur babies and is grateful for the opportunity to support the League through her volunteer work.

Caitlin Constantine

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 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.

K.W. (Ken) Wrede



Ken Wrede has been a resident in St. Petersburg for three years and a member of LWVSPA since 2017. Ken is a business executive, veteran, and entrepreneur with 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.

He was a founder and principle executive in four European startup companies and a principle executive two startup companies.  His first startup was a small boutique consulting company in the Netherlands, followed by two telecom companies in the emerging liberalized markets of The Netherlands and Spain, and he started one of the earliest private incubators in Spain.

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.

Raechel Garafalo

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.

Karen Coale
President 2012-14


Darden Rice
President 2010-12

Darden Rice Photograph