Officers and Board 2020-2021

Linsey Grove, President, 2019-2021

Linsey Grove, DrPH, CPH, CHES was elected as President of LWVSPA in 2019 and is running for re-election. She also 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 $185,000 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).

Linsey 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, LLC.  

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.

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, 2019-2021

Robin was elected to the position of 1st Vice President in 2019 and is running for re-election. She is astonished  by the hard work of  the LWVSPA’s volunteers and the dedication of the team leads and board members.

Robin had a 30 year career in Maryland developing, financing and operating waste management and renewable energy projects for a  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 and an education surrogate for the Pinellas County School System.  

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

“To the wrongs that need resistance, To the right that needs assistance, To the future in the distance, Give yourselves.” – Carrie Chapman Catt, Founder League of Women Voters.

 

 

Amy Keith, 2nd Vice President, 2020-2021

Amy Keith has 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and is currently the Grants Director for the Suncoast Hospice Foundation. She has spent most of her career working for international humanitarian and refugee organizations, serving in a broad scope of program management, policy/advocacy, grant management, and human resources roles in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. 

Amy joined the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area in 2018 and has co-led Election Protection poll monitoring for the 2018 midterm election, the 2019 municipal election and the 2020 presidential preference primary. Amy also worked as a consultant for the League in 2019, managing the Engage St Pete Project and supporting proposal development for the League’s work with returning citizens. She holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a BA in Philosophy from Bates College. She is originally from New Jersey, but since moving back to the US has joined other transplanted members of her family in happily calling Florida, and St. Pete, home.

Gina Gallo, Treasurer, 2020-2022

Gina joined LWVSPA in 2018 after she bought a house in St. Pete and was looking for somewhere to direct her enthusiasm about the 2020 Census. She is currently the Census lead for the League. 

Gina is currently a Program Consultant for the West Central Florida Mental Wellness Coalition. Prior to that, she worked in the United Way system for a decade, most recently spending over four years at our local, United Way Suncoast. She has a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University, did graduate work in Political Science at University of Rhode Island and will receive an EMBA from Quantic School of Business & Technology in 2020.

Other than being exuberant about civic engagement, Gina enjoys reading, traveling, pursuing tennis mediocrity, problem solving, hiking, biking and baking.

K.W. (Ken) Wrede, Secretary, 2019-2021

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.

Nita Carroll, Director, 2020-2022

Nita Carroll is a Staff Attorney at the Community Law Program in St. Petersburg, Florida.  She graduated from Stetson College of Law in 1995 and has practiced law locally (save a several year adventure to Austin, TX and Asheville, NC) since that time. Prior to law school, Nita graduated from USF – Tampa, HCC , and Hillsborough High School in Tampa. During her stays in Austin and Asheville, she worked at several non-profits, including a domestic violence service provider as a Systems Advocate.

In addition to her professional social justice work, Nita has been involved in the movement to end gender-based violence since her first year of law school. She has also volunteered as a literacy tutor for both children and adults.

Nita loves to create. Her current hobbies/interests include: painting, beading, sewing, embroidery, cooking. She loves a good spreadsheet and overall organizational tools too. She’s learning to play Dungeons and Dragons, her character is Ha’zel, a Druid Wood Elf. She’s also getting back to her family’s roots in gardening, pun not intended but a happy accident.

Ann Dieterle, Director, 2020-2022

Ann Dieterle joined the LWVSPA in January 2019.  She was looking for ways to become more civically engaged and read in the Tampa Bay Times about several initiatives that the LWVSPA sponsored.  That’s how she knew that she found her place.  She has volunteered with several of the Hopped Up On Democracy events and helped edit the 2020 Voter Guide.

Ann is an Episcopal Priest and currently serves as an assistant in a congregation in St. Petersburg.  A graduate of St. Petersburg High and FSU, she left Florida for an extended sojourn when she went to graduate school at Sewanee and then served in congregations in Virginia, the Chicago area, and North Carolina.  She returned to St. Petersburg in mid-2018 and is thrilled to be back in the community.

When she’s not working or volunteering with the LWVSPA, Ann enjoys walking her dog, cooking, writing, tai chi, and hanging with friends and family.

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.

Beate Marston, Director, 2020-2021

Beate Marston had the good fortune to have spent her childhood growing up in Portugal, India, and Germany. As a young adult she came to the US and prior to moving to Florida she worked with dually diagnosed adults in daycare and residential settings.

She has lived in St. Petersburg since 1984 and was a state employee throughout her career locally, experiencing the transitions of a state agency from HRS to CYF to DJJ respectively and serving in capacities such as Rehabilitative Counselor; Children, Youth and Families Counselor; Liaison for the Pinellas Marine Institute; Juvenile Probation Officer; then working within the Pinellas Country Court system as an administrative assistant for the Staff Attorney’s Office, and finally as assistant to a General Magistrate in the Family Court Division of the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

 

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

Karen-Coale

Darden Rice
President 2010-12
Darden Rice Photograph