Karen Carroll: “Get Involved. The world is run by those who show up,” has been Karen’s motto for most of her adult life. Karen began “showing up” in the 1970s, joining the local League of Women Voters and serving in several positions, including President of the Bridgewater chapter, and then serving on the state level as Public Relations Director and Trustee for the LWVNJ and their Education Fund. During that time she completed her degree from Rider University and served as the PR Director for the Women’s Vote Project in New Jersey. In the 1982 Karen founded WIN (Women In Network) of Somerset County to encourage the Freeholder Board to establish a Commission on the Status of Women. Within two years this commission allowed for the availability of state funds for Domestic Violence Programs and the Rape Crisis Center—previously unavailable in the county. In the ’90s Karen served as President of the Bridgewater Democratic Club and as a board member for Somerset Family Planning. She was a Regional Vice Chair for the County Democratic Committee, President of Women’s Health & Counseling Center in Somerville, a board member for the Home Sharing Program and an ongoing volunteer for the Food Bank. Karen has served the party as a candidate on multiple levels: running in the Congressional primary in 1992, for the 16 Assembly seat against Walter Kavanagh in 1993 and again for the Congressional seat in the 7th Congressional District in 1994, winning over 49% of the vote with 2% of the money. She worked on Larry Lerner’s Congressional campaign in 1996 and then took a hiatus as a candidate. In 1998 she moved to Bound Brook and once again got involved running local campaigns, serving on committees and running for office. Karen has been an active county committeewoman since the 1980s and is a County Election Board Commissioner and the former Bound Brook Democratic Municipal Chair. She makes her living as a self-employed, Independent Agricultural Crop Insurance Adjuster serving New Jersey and Pennsylvania and New York and Massachusetts.
Paula Chapman Windus Somerville
Paula Chapman Windus: Born in Columbus, Ohio, Paula’s introduction to politics came when she shook President Kennedy’s hand at a 1962 Indianapolis campaign rally that JFK attended to support Birch Bayh’s Senate race. She received a B.A. in history and political science from The University of Vermont and has lived with her husband Charlie and 3 children in Somerville since 1974, where as a New Democratic Club of Somerville member and 7th District committeewoman, she enlisted their help with literature drops. In 1984 she served on Somerville’s 75th Anniversary Committee. She was an Election Board worker before returning to the work force as an administrative assistant, first for HomeSharing of Somerset County and later at a local Presbyterian Church, retiring in 2014. Paula has been active at St. John’s Episcopal Church for more than forty years. She was a member of the Somerset Medical Center Auxiliary’s Ivy Twig, and was a 20 year volunteer for Somerset Medical Center’s Hospice program. She was a member of the Somerville Area branch of the American Association of University Women and is a founding member of the Jessamine S. Henderson Scholarship Fund. She is a long-time volunteer for Somerville Area FISH and serves on the board of Somerset Valley Players, a community theater group. In 1999 she received an award in the volunteer category from the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.
Dr Ann Christian D'Adamo Hillsborough
Ann Christian D'Adamo: Ann is a retired Emergency Department Physician and an Internist. She holds an MS degree from Fordham University and an MD degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her medical residency was at Columbia Presbyterian College of Physicians and Surgeons. She worked at Emory Department of Medicine where she was Director of the Emergency Department of Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. She is married to Amadeo D'Adamo (Professor Emeritus of York College - City College) and is the proud mother of four children, as well as four grandchildren and two foster children. In 1958, Ann arrived in America with hat, gloves, $100 in her pocket, and South Africa in the rear view mirror. Once in the US, she worked to support herself and pay her tuition. The most important event in her life was her participation in school programs in Soweta (an area which was termed a Black "Location") where she led a demonstration against the government in their attempt to ban persons of color from transfusing blood to white persons, while allowing white persons to transfuse their blood into persons of color. A banner "Disease Knows No Color" summarized the nascent resistance. Relatedly, she experienced an enchanted summer in Basutoland working with a physician who served her patients by two engine aircraft, horse and mule trips up steep mountainsides, sometimes returning down narrow roads in pitch darkness. In the US, Ann has worked for Habitat for Humanity, the Harlem Soup Kitchen in NYC, taught Red Cross courses for new parents in newborn child care, worked with abused women support services, and was a volunteer in the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. She is an active member of the Hillsborough Democratic Organization, the Democratic Alliance in Hillsborough, and served as a secretary to the HDO, and is an active District Leader.
Virginia "Ginny" Fisher Bedminster
Virginia Fisher: "Ginny" is New Jersey born and bred. Raised in Essex County, she was introduced to the spirit and values of the Democratic Party by her mother, a life-long Democrat who actuallyknew Eleanor Roosevelt and worked with her in Mrs. Roosevelt’s efforts to advance the cause of the United Nations. Serving the community has always been a big part of Ginny’s life. Her association with the Democratic Party began through the League of Women’s Voters in New York City. Locally, she has been active in voter registration drives, serving as Secretary to the Bedminster Democratic Committee, and walking with its candidates in meet-and-greet tours of The Hills in Bedminster. She is also a regular volunteer at the Cancer Support Community in Bedminster; in 2013, she received its Spirit of Service Award. In prior years, she was also active in Girl Scouting. Ginny’s professional career spanned several fields. They included international education; foreign student admissions at three New York City universities; real estate broker; and relocations consulting for 18 years, with travel assignments across the U.S. and in Europe. In that work, at Forward Mobility Inc., she won an Annual President’s Award and, on two occasions, its Outstanding Consultant of the Year Award. Ginny is a graduate of Bucknell University and holds a master’s degree in Public Law and Government from Columbia University. She and her husband David have two daughters and four grandchildren. They have lived in the Somerset Hills for over 35 years, and in Bedminster since 2003.
Johanna McCarten Far Hills
Johanna McCarten: Johanna was born in Boston, Massachusetts and returned to New Jersey at 3 years of age where she still resides. She is one of 8 children whose parents were life long Democrats. Johanna graduated from Summit High School and received an Associates Degree from the County College of Morris, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey. Johanna is married to Michael T. Watson, Jr. She has 2 daughters who reside in neighboring communities and is grandparent to 5 granddaughters. Johanna claims her grandchildren as one of the reasons she looks to model the life of Eleanor Roosevelt - that Eleanor reflected the roll a young woman must be willing to emulate. Johanna is an experienced and highly competent expert professional in many service fields, including the dining services industry, part time sales, and residential property sales. She also has a sound background in zoning and food service regulations, in addition to a knowledgeable real estate background. She is currently the District Supervisor for Essex County Vocational Technical Schools dining services, a large, diverse, school district where she spearheads all facets of the dining program. Johanna has been a program coordinator, worked with local Senior Citizen agencies creating newsletters and programs for seniors, designed and renovated “The Senior Center,” “The Art Studio,” and “The Senior Kitchen” with the assistance of an $80,000 block grant from the County of Morris. She has an extensive list of volunteer service from her civic involvement, including holding the position of Democratic committee member in Morris County. She was appointed by Mayor Norman Block of Morristown as the Mayor’s Liaison to New Jersey Transit during the renovation project of the Morristown Train Station. She served on the Morristown Board of Adjustment, including positions as Secretary, Vice Chair, and Chairwoman.
Keiona R Miller Councilwoman, North Plainfield
Keiona Miller: A commitment to the most vulnerable among us, and an abiding belief in the power of individuals to transform society for the better, most accurately defines the life and work of Keiona Miller. Drawn to the art of inspirational singing at a very young age, Keiona competed and performed as a soloist and in groups throughout her entire teen and young adult years; refining a voice that would later find full expression in public service. It was in church that she first heard her calling to devote herself to the public good. After attaining a Psychology degree from Seton Hall University and completing internships in several communities with at-risk inner city populations, Keiona combined her voice and her passion for helping others and started a local church youth choir. For over seven years, she provided guidance and safe social activities for local area youths as a Youth Choir Director and Youth Leader/Speaker. Additionally, she created a concert series to raise much needed funds for the local church charity. In 2003, she joined forces with several other local vocalists and became a founding member of HERITAGE Inc., a non-profit volunteer adult choir performing to raise funds for scholarship programs and resources benefiting disenfranchised communities. A dedicated volunteer and activist, Keiona also participated in grassroots organizations, such as the Obama for America Campaign of 2008, and the People’s Organization for Progress, and became involved in various community efforts seeking to improve conditions in local communities, and to expand social and economic opportunities for all. In 2009, North Plainfield Mayor, Michael Giordano appointed her to the North Plainfield joint Youth Services Commission & Municipal Alliance Committee Against Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (MAC). She served the joint committee as both Chair and Coordinator; securing annual grant funding and managing the budget for the Borough’s drug, alcohol and juvenile delinquency prevention programs for four years. In 2012, Keiona became the first African American ever elected to the North Plainfield Borough Council. Today, in addition to holding office on the local governing body, she serves on the New Jersey State League of Municipalities General Legislative Committee, she is the current Vice President of the Somerset County Governing Officials Association, Executive Board Member of the Somerset Community Action Program, Council Liaison to the North Plainfield Youth Services Commission, and the North Plainfield Rent Stabilization Board, and the current President of the North Plainfield Democratic Club. Keiona’s professional work includes group psychotherapy facilitation, health counseling, grants and programs coordination, project management, writing, and corporate communications. She frequently extends her influence as a community leader making regular inspirational speaking appearances and contributing articles as an online political columnist. This summer, she founded the Keiona Miller Public Discourse & Ideas in Action Events Series; envisioned as a forum for engaged and vigorous discussions on pertinent issues of public interest. “My only aspiration was to inspire others to make changes necessary to live socially responsible lives," Keiona says. “I never thought pursuing that desire would one day lead me to serve in public office, but it has, and I thank God for the opportunity to serve others.”
Sandra Rhue Bridgewater
Sandra Rhue: Sandra has been a resident of Bridgewater for the past 30 years. She is committed to doing her part to turn Somerset County "blue" by supporting democratic candidates through phone calls and canvassing communities. She is active on the Bridgewater Democratic Committee, where she serves as Committeewoman for District 32 and Public Relations chairperson. In 2015, she unsuccessfully ran for a Bridgewater Town Council position; then, in 2016, she was selected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention pledged to Bernie Sanders. Post convention, she became involved in the progressive movement, “Our Revolution”, which focuses on winning local races for progressive Democrats. Growing up in South Carolina during the days of segregation and the subsequent Civil Rights movement, Sandra Rhue became acutely aware of racial injustices and discrimination. She became active during high school where she became passionate about making a difference in the lives of disenfranchised people. She continued her activism at the University of South Carolina (USC) where she participated in the Black Student Union and tutored high school and college students in computer science and math. Immediately after receiving her BS in math from USC, Sandra moved to New Jersey to work at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories. Living in East Orange, Sandra jumped into public service and worked on the mayoral campaigns of Kenneth Gibson in Newark and William S. Hart in East Orange as a volunteer. Subsequent to his election, Mayor Hart appointed her to the East Orange Board of Education. Several years later, when she moved to New Brunswick, Sandra made a successful bid for Middlesex County Democratic Committeewoman. She continued her service in her professional work as well. Together with AT&T and Bell Labs professionals, Sandra created and delivered a Saturday morning enrichment program that introduced creative concepts in math, computer science and economics to New Brunswick middle school students. She received the Newark YW/MCA 1984 Black Achiever’s award for this program. Currently, Sandra serves as Vice-president of the Bridgewater Garden Club, where she is responsible for club programs, meeting logistics, and decorating the Cancer Support Community Johnson House in Bedminster. She continues her involvement in the New Brunswick community through her leadership role as a Board of Trustees officer on the Civic League of Greater New Brunswick. She is developing a financial coaching business which specifically focuses on women. Additionally, Sandra’s affiliations include membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Midtown Toastmasters, and Association for Financial Professionals. Sandra’s professional career has been in telecommunications and corporate finance, where she worked at Bell Labs, AT&T, Telcordia, and Verizon. During her career, she achieved a MS in computer science from Stevens Institute of Technology and an MBA from Rutgers University. One of 10 siblings, Sandra believes that her large family played a significant role in teaching her the importance of public service and knowledge sharing. Sandra has one successful daughter, Lauren, an amazing son-in law, Justin, and a beautiful brilliant granddaughter, Lia.
Cynthia Starke-Meanwell Bernardsville
Cynthia Starke-Meanwell: Cynthia is a 15-year resident of Bernardsville. She has a professional background in pharmaceutical sales in the US and international pharmaceutical marketing in Asia and Europe. In 2015, Cynthia completed a master’s degree in US Healthcare Policy, with an emphasis on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, from Penn State. Cynthia has been an engaged member of the Bernardsville Democratic Committee since it's reconstitution in 2006, most particularly through the building and management of the Committee's website and social media platform. Currently, Cynthia assists the Somerset County Coordinated Campaign with social media strategy and fund-raising while she seeks a larger role, at the state or federal level, in healthcare reform ... or as Lilly Ledbetter famously said, “whatever needs doing”.
Sponsored by Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women