2023-2024 WPCNJ Board Members
EXECUTIVE BOARD BIOGRAPHIES
Eileen Kean, Esq.- President
Eileen Kean joined Komjathy & Kean, LLC in 2010 bringing her vast experiences lobbying in Washington, DC and Trenton. She is well versed and respected in New Jersey politics having excellent relationships with legislators on both sides of the aisle. Eileen was confirmed by Governor Murphy to serve as a Commissioner of the Monmouth County Board of Elections. The Governor also appointed her to serve on the NJ State Board of Pharmacy. She also is a trustee for the Drumthwacket Foundation, the historic home of all NJ Governors.
Jayne O'Connor- VP of Finance
Jayne O’Connor is Vice President at Taft Communications, a purpose-focused consultancy and has advised CEOs and political leaders in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
Before joining Taft, Ms. O’Connor served as head of communications and marketing at Capital Health, and director of corporate affairs at Bristol Myers Squibb. Prior to those positions, she was press secretary to Gov. Christie Whitman. A community leader with a history of service on nonprofit boards, Jayne also serves on the board of Eden Autism Services. She has been recognized by a number of organizations, including NJBiz as one of the “Top 50 Women in Business,” Princeton YWCA’s “Tribute to Women,” Girl Scouts of Southern and Central NJ as a “Woman of Distinction.”
Sabeen Masih- VP of Membership
Sabeen Masih is the Vice President of Public Affairs at Capital Impact Group (CIG), and her broad range of policy expertise includes healthcare, cannabis and alcohol regulatory issues, and animal welfare. Sabeen has worked in state and local levels of government in NJ and PA, previously in Philadelphia on local and budgetary issues for Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., and on state campaigns as a Fundraiser and Speech Writer. Sabeen earned a Masters of Public Policy from Rutgers, and as an Eagleton Governor's Fellow, was placed in the NJ Department of Human Services. Sabeen co-founded the growing Asian Women of Trenton Networking Group, connecting the increasing number of Asian women who are politically engaged throughout the state. Sabeen serves as a Mentor for: Gail Bierenbaum Women's Leadership Council at Rider University, Rutgers’ Road to Government, Policy and Service (RTGPS), and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Sabeen also is a member of Senate Majority Leader Weinberg’s Working Group on Harassment, Sexual Assault and Misogyny in NJ Politics, which aims to utilize the voices and experiences of survivors to help guide and lead to informed policy to improve the political climate for women throughout the state.
Sonia Das - Secretary
Sonia Das serves as a senior advisor to Speaker Craig Coughlin. A graduate of the University of Washington, she began her career working on political campaigns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She transitioned into government work during Governor Jim McGreevey’s administration, where she served as an Advance Representative. Sonia went on to become Assistant Press Secretary for Governor Richard Codey and later served as a Senior Research Associate in the New Jersey Senate Democratic Office. As Senior Research Associate Sonia oversaw legislative committees focused on public employees, elections, State Government, and gaming issues. Sonia left the New Jersey Senate Democratic Office to serve as Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s Chief of Staff, managing the Senator’s legislative agenda.
Scarlett Rajski - Treasurer
Scarlett Rajski is the Director of Legislative Affairs at the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, where she serves as the primary liaison between the Authority and members of the New Jersey State Legislature. She joined Governor Phil Murphy's administration in January 2018 as the Director of Appointments and prior to that worked in the Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Department of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. She has also worked at MWW, a public relations and public affairs agency, and as Special Projects Director for United States Senator Robert Menendez. Scarlett holds a degree in Political Science and American Studies from Boston University and a Master of Public Affairs and Politics from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Scarlett resides in Hamilton Township with her husband, Jeff, and daughter Olivia, where she is involved in numerous community events and nonprofit organizations.
Grace Strom Power, Esq. - PAC Chairperson
Grace Strom Power is a Partner at McCarter & English, LLP in the Government Affairs and Energy & Environment practice groups. She is a former Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities during the Murphy Administration where she was responsible for the development and implementation of policy along with the day-to-day management of the agency. Grace chaired the 2019 State Energy Master Plan Committee. She began her career as the Legislative Liaison at the BPU. Active in state and local politics, she is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law - Newark. She has a Master’s Degree from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers and an undergraduate degree from Rutgers College, and was affiliated with the Eagleton Institute of Politics as a graduate fellow and undergraduate associate. Grace lives in West Windsor with her husband Dennis and two children, Abby and Jack.
Pamela L. Yuen - PAC Treasurer
Pamela is the Director of Federal Government Relations, Policy and Advocacy at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) where she focuses on national priorities that help Clubs advance their mission and ensure youth reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. She has over a decade of government relations and advocacy experience and regularly liaises with Members of Congress and the Administration on a range of issues including federal appropriations, education, youth justice & safety, and childcare among other issues affecting youth today. Prior to joining BGCA, Pam served as the Senior Director of Government Relations at YWCA USA where she led the government relations & advocacy department and managed a wide portfolio including gender-based violence, childcare, federal appropriations & racial justice issues impacting women & girls of color. She also served at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) after completing her tenure as Scheduler and Staff Assistant to Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.
Pam is a graduate of The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management where she earned a dual degree in strategic public relations and campaign strategy. She also holds a bachelor's degree from Douglass College, Rutgers University. While at Douglass, Pam served two terms as president of the Rutgers Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey. During her tenure, the student organization doubled its membership and maintained an active role on campus, raising awareness for a greater need to have young women involved and active in the political process.
Board At Large:
Zoe Baldwin: Zoe Baldwin leads research, planning, and advocacy activities in New Jersey, where she works to advance RPA programs that facilitate equitable, vibrant, and resilient communities through sustainable infrastructure and development. Zoe draws on her considerable experience in public policy and community engagement to build diverse support for policies that promote a stronger, more connected region.
Zoe works to implement key components of RPA’s Fourth Regional Plan – a blueprint for the region’s growth, sustainability, good governance and economic opportunity for the next 25 years. This includes building support for the Gateway Tunnel project and more NJ Transit funding, diversifying and expanding affordable housing through legalization of accessory dwelling units, and advancing policies that support climate change adaptation and clean energy.
Prior to joining RPA, Zoe was the Director of Government Affairs for the Utility & Transportation Contractors Association, and served United States Senators Cory Booker and Frank Lautenberg. Zoe got her start in infrastructure policy as the New Jersey Director for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and began her career as the Legislative Director for NJ State Senator Loretta Weinberg.
Rosemary Bernardi: Rosemary is the WPCNJ communications chairperson. Rosemary is a former elected official, elected three times to Evesham township school board and served as New Jersey School Board Association's Vice President of Legislation. She was an Alt-delegate to the DNC in 2012.
Rosemary has 16 years of software development and project management expertise in the IT industry. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania, Rosemary is also a graduate of Leadership NJ, one of the most prestigious leadership development programs in the state. Rosemary currently resides in Evesham Township in Burlington County. She volunteers on local civic and school booster clubs, including a former role as PTA president. She is a proud mom of two young men.
Jade Bechelli: Jade has 15 years experience in public policy and government affairs. Currently, she serves as the State Government Relations Director for a national public health organization. Previously, Jade served as the Director of Policy to Majority Leader Louis Greenwald in the General Assembly Majority Office and a Democratic Committee Aide to the Assembly Education Committee and the Assembly Budget Committee. Jade is a graduate of The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management where she earned a master’s degree in political management. She holds a bachelor's degree from Arcadia University in political science and women and gender studies. Jade is active in the Cherry Hill and Camden County Democratic parties. She previously served as the Executive Vice President and Women’s Caucus Chair to the New Jersey Young Democrats. She lives in Cherry Hill with her husband Chris, daughter Matilda and stepson Lincoln.
Chrissy Buteas: Chrissy Buteas is Chief Government Affairs Officer of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the nation's largest state-level business association whose member companies collectively employ more than one million people. Prior to joining NJBIA, Chrissy served as the president and CEO of the Home Care & Hospice Association of New Jersey.
Chrissy most recently served on the Murphy-Oliver Transition 2018 Healthcare team. She is also a member of the board of Executive Women of New Jersey, which is committed to increasing the presence of women serving on corporate boards of companies in the state. Buteas serves as a member of the New Jersey Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Commission, which responds to requests from the State Legislature to provide independent analysis of the medical, financial and social impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates. She is also a member of the New Jersey Medical Assistance Advisory Council, which advises the state Department of Human Services on matters of medical care and health services.
Chrissy served as a Raimondo Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She holds an MPA from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark and a BA from Rowan University.
Lisa Chapland: Lisa is an attorney and a government affairs agent. She is the Senior Managing Director of Government Affairs of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Lisa is also of counsel to Hill Wallack LLP in Princeton. Prior to her work at the NJSBA, she was a full-time attorney at Hill Wallack where she focused her practice on commercial litigation. She specialized in election law, having represented clients on a number of issues related to ballot access, campaign finance matters, pay-to-play issues, and election day matters. In 2009, while at Genova Burns, Lisa developed and oversaw the election day volunteer attorney network for the Corzine for Governor campaign managing over 80 attorneys statewide. Prior to practicing law, she was a political consultant for Message & Media in New Brunswick, where she helped to develop multi-media campaigns for private corporations, special interest groups, and high profile federal, state and local candidates throughout the country. Lisa is also Vice Chair of the Staffing and Oversight Review Subcommittee of the New Jersey Task Force on Abuse and Neglect; a member of the Middlesex County Board of Ethics; and a trustee of Embrella. Outside of her work with the NJSBA, Lisa focuses her work on child welfare issues, focused on improving New Jersey's child welfare system and resource parent rights.
Marilyn Davis: Marilyn joined Altice USA in January 2017 as the New Jersey Area Director for Government Affairs. Ms. Davis manages relations with elected officials and community partners as well as oversees legislative and regulatory matters.
Previously, Ms. Davis worked at the Democratic National Committee as the National Director of Community Engagement until December 2016. She lead a team of nine individuals responsible for engaging stakeholders in the African American, Hispanic, AAPI, Jewish, LGBT, youth, women, ethnics, veterans, rural, and small business communities. She served in the Obama/Biden Administration as a political appointee at the United States Department of Labor where she worked under the leadership of Secretary Thomas E. Perez. As the Deputy Director of the office of Public Engagement, Ms. Davis managed labor and African American outreach. Ms. Davis's professional career began on Capitol Hill for several members of Congress. She later served as chief of staff to Governor Jon Corzine, and also in the New Jersey State Legislature.
She was also the president and chief executive officer of the consulting firm, Davis & Associates, LLC. As a consultant, Ms. Davis specialized in campaign management, fundraising, strategy development and community engagement.
Eileen Della Volle: Eileen currently serves on the board of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, on the Brick Board of Adjustment. S. She also has served on numerous industry-specific boards, including Women in Transportation Seminar and the Society of Marketing Professionals. She was named one of the “Top 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ Magazine and was the recipient of its “40 Under 40” award; earned the SMPS New York City Chapter Marketing Achievement Award; was named “Outstanding Woman” by the Women’s Building Council; and received an “Award of Excellence” in recognition of her commitment to maximizing contracting opportunities for women and minority owned firms.
Eileen is a recognized business development executive and community leader with professional experience in business development in the A/E/C industry. She maintains an extensive network of influential business leaders, government officials, diversity representatives, and trade organizations to create change and results in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Within this network she is committed to helping to shape public policy and contribute to the education of stakeholders related to business diversity in public project delivery at state and municipal levels. In addition Eileen also serves on the DEI committees of WTS and Women Builders Council.
Athina Fassu: Athina Fassu moved to the United States (Hamilton, NJ) in October of 2005 from Cameroon and was a proud resident until 2019. She Graduated from Steinert High School in 2013 and continued her academic endeavors at Rider University where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and American Studies in 2017.
Her political career started with an internship for Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo in the spring of 2016. Athina then started her first political job at The Middlesex County Democratic Organization as an Assistant. Then she worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Assembly Majority Office for two years. She later joined the office of Assemblyman Anthony S. Verrelli for a year. Most recently, she served as Legislative Director to Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo.
In April of 2019 Athina successfully rebooted the Mercer County Young Democrats and was elected as Chair. She continues to serve as Chair for the 2022-2023 year. In 2020 she was named Young Leader of the Year by the Mercer County Democratic Committee. She was named a Rising Star on the InsiderNJ’s 100 Millennials List. She was also awarded 30 under 30 Trendsetter Award by SNJ Millennials in 2022. Athina is currently a Senior Legislative Aide to Governor Phil Murphy and resides in Ewing.
Jeanne Fox, Esq.: Jeanne is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (2015 - present). Ms. Fox is a co-founder and Board member of the non-profit Center for Renewables Integration. She served as a Commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (January 2002 -September 2014) and was its President and a member of the Governor’s cabinet (January 2002 – January 2010). The NJBPU has regulatory jurisdiction over telephone, electric, gas, water, wastewater and cable television companies and works to ensure that consumers have proper service at reasonable rates.
She is a member of: The National Academies of Science Panel on Resiliency of the Transmission and Distribution System; the Carnegie Mellon University’s Advisory Board for the Center for Climate Energy Decision Making: GRID Alternatives Tri-State Board of Directors; Rutgers University Trustee Emerita; Associate Alumnae of Douglass College President; Women’s Political Caucus of NJ Board; New Jersey AARP’s Executive Council; and the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern NJ Board Development Committee.
Petra Gaskins: Petra Gaskins is the Chief of Staff to Senator Andrew Zwicker after undertaking a historic campaign for then Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker to become the first Democrat Senator in New Jersey’s 16th Legislative District. She is responsible for increasing his profile and creating opportunities for him to lend his voice to critical issues such as passing early voting and fostering New Jersey’s innovation economy. Driven by a desire to help others effectuate policy change, she takes great pride in mentoring the next generation of civic leaders by serving as the Director Emeritus of New Leaders Council-New Jersey.
Previously, she served as Director of Outreach & Programming for Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and as an Aide to Governor Phil Murphy. She is most known for creating outside-the-box opportunities to elevate those whose voices have been systemically ignored. Petra was sworn in on January 2, 2023 to the New Brunswick City Council; she is the first black woman and the youngest in history to serve on Council.
Kate Gibbs: The Deputy Director for the Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative, ELEC 825, Gibbs leads Business Development for the organization by promoting economic development and advocating for investments in all types of infrastructure. She has established a strong record of shaping policy, building coalitions and implementing successful strategies and tactics that include political advocacy, government relations, communications and social media in pursuit of organizational goals.
In November of 2015, Gibbs was elected to the Burlington County Board of Freeholders; becoming the youngest woman in NJ to be elected to countywide office. During her first two years in office, Gibbs served as Deputy Director before being elected in January of 2018, in a unanimous and bi-partisan vote of her peers to serve as Freeholder Director.
Prior to joining the Freeholder Board, Gibbs served on the Board of Trustees for Rowan College at Burlington County, where she worked closely with the County’s new Workforce Development Institute and played an active role in establishing the College’s partnership with Rowan University.
Gibbs actively participates on boards and committees for various Chambers of Commerce and business and industry organizations throughout the entire State of New Jersey. Gibbs earned her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, graduating Summa Cum Laude and a B.A. from The American University, with a Double Major in Public Communications and Political Science.
Jeanette Hoffman: Jeanette Hoffman, President of Marathon Public Affairs, specializes in strategic messaging, crisis communications and public affairs campaigns. An experienced government relations professional and statewide media spokesperson, Jeanette enjoys strong relationships with elected officials and key decision-makers on both sides of the aisle – in New Jersey and beyond. She has over twenty years experience in issues advocacy, politics, policy and state government.
Jeanette was awarded the Carol Murphy Award by Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, and she’s been named to ROI-NJ’s Top Women in Business, as well as NJBIZ’s prestigious Forty Under 40 list. Since 2012, Democratic State Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-37) has consistently featured Jeanette on her New Jersey Women of Power List. She’s also been named one of the Right Women to Watch and one of PolitickerNJ’s top political operatives several times.
Jennie Lamon: Jennie Lamon is the Assistant Director of Government Relations at New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association – NJPSA. She is an experienced Chief Of Staff with a history of working in the government relations industry. Jennie graduated from Rutgers Law School.
Jeralyn Lawrence: Jeralyn is the Managing Member and Founder of Lawrence Law, and devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce, and family law, and is a trained collaborative lawyer, divorce mediator, and arbitrator. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney, Jeralyn represents clients with matrimonial and family law needs. Jeralyn is President of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), where she is slated to become its President in 2022. She is Vice President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers New Jersey Chapter and is certified by the Academy as a Family Law Arbitrator.
Jeralyn was selected by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey to receive their Carol Murphy Award and received the 2014 New Jersey Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. She was honored by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business and was selected as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna. Jeralyn was honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission On the Status Of Women. She received the NJSBA’s Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award and received three Annual Legislative Recognition awards from the NJSBA. She was named a 2019 New Jersey Legal Trailblazer by the New Jersey Law Journal and is one of the New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Family Law section.
Marcela Ospina Maziarz: Marcela Ospina Maziarz, MPA, serves as vice president for Community and Government Affairs. Reporting to the president and serving on President’s Cabinet, Maziarz leads the University’s efforts advocating for TESU’s mission and students on the federal, state and local levels and plays a pivotal role in expanding Trenton and Mercer County relations for the University.
Prior to joining the University, Maziarz served as deputy commissioner (Health Systems) for the New Jersey Department of Health, where she oversaw licensing, inspections and enforcement of regulations for approximately 4,000 licensed healthcare facilities, the certificate of need program and major funding programs such as charity care and graduate medical education. She played a key role in the COVID-19 pandemic response and vaccination rollout among the state’s underserved communities; leading community outreach, door-to-door campaigns in Trenton and directing a team in successfully increasing vaccination rates for traditionally at-risk communities across 30 of the state’s municipalities with the highest social vulnerability index. During her tenure, Maziarz led a strategic plan focused on restructuring government policies and interventions to address poor outcomes for minority mothers in the state. The strategic intervention led to the creation of the New Jersey Maternal Care Quality Collaborative and the award of $12.75 million for the state to create replicable health interventions to eliminate preventable deaths and morbidities
She has strong experience working within and across the government and community affairs landscape having served as assistant director of Budget and Fiscal Analysis in the New Jersey Senate Democratic Office as well as a public information officer for the New Jersey Department of Labor.
Maziarz holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Rutgers University-Newark and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her professional accolades include Senator Loretta Weinberg’s Women of Power List (2016 – 2020); ROI Influencers – People of Color, 2020; and the Rutgers Faculty Award for Academic Excellence (2010). Noted for her expertise in government administration, public policy and analysis with a focus on health equity, Maziarz has a wealth of experience in legislative affairs and consensus building.
Elizabeth Murray: Liz Murray is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Comcast, the nation’s leading provider of broadband and entertainment products and services. She is responsible for coordinating regulatory strategy and advocacy in 11 states.
Liz serves as Chairman of the NJ Cable Telecommunications Association and is a member of Comcast’s Northeast Division Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. In addition to serving on the Board of the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, she also serves on the Board of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.
Liz is an alumnus of Douglass College at Rutgers University and resides in Metuchen with her wife and adult children.
Antonia Ricigliano: The first woman Mayor of Edison Township from January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2013. An Edison resident who served on the Township Council from 1998 to 2001 and again from 2006 to 2009. She and her late husband of more than 65 years, have nine children, sixteen grandchildren most of whom live in Edison and one great-grandson. Antonia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary & Secondary Education, K-12 certification with a focus on History from Kean University.
Joyce Watterman: Joyce is the first African American female, to sit as Council President for Jersey City. She serves as a Planning Commissioner, Chairs the Disabled Parking committee, serve as a member of the Affordable Housing Trust Funds, the Budget Committee, The Jackson Hill Main Street SID, Dissolution of Parking Authority, Chairs the Street Naming and Re-naming committee, Chaplin for the Hudson County Sheriff’s Department, member of NAACP, Licensed Realtor, Co-Chairperson of Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, and former President of the Women Political Caucus of Hudson County.
Shari Weiner, Esq.: Shari Weiner, Esq. is a partner with the law firm of Murphy McKeon P.C. where she specializes in municipal and land use law. Ms. Weiner followed a career in government relations as an elected official with a second degree in the field of law in 1986. She served as Mayor of Livingston, New Jersey, after serving as Deputy Mayor and Councilwoman. In 2002, she was appointed Livingston Township Attorney, a position she held until her retirement last year.
Ms. Weiner is the past chair of the Local Government Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association and is assistant counsel to the New Jersey League of Municipalities. Shari was awarded a Diplomate in local government law by the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys and she was recognized as one of New Jersey’s best 50 women in business by NJBIZ.
Shari is past President of the WPCNJ, has remained active in the Caucus by chairing its Political Resource Committee.
Alix James, Esq.:
Alix has served as WPC NJ’s Co-Board Counsel since 2014. Working as an in-house attorney for an international real estate investment trust, Alix manages corporate legal matters and specializes in obtaining construction and land use approvals. She also oversees government affairs and community group engagement. Alix brings with her over a decade of experience working in a law firm, government agencies, start-up ventures and politics. While attending law school, Alix worked in the Constitutional Litigation Clinic on congressional redistricting and voter protection issues, where she was awarded the Mark J. Lopez Civil Liberties Award and the Frank and Marilyn Askin Award for Excellence in Clinical Studies. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and Rutgers University School of Law, Alix enjoys skiing, cooking and travel in her spare time. She lives in Jersey City with her husband and daughter.