Meet A Matriot: Shellee Fisher

1.You recently joined The Matriots PAC. How did you learn about The Matriots and what drew you to our work? As a Corporate Photographer, I saw an increasing presence of The Matriots. Although I am not a ‘political’ person, by way of my upbringing and my affiliations, I have been around game changers all of my life. My father was the first black prosecutor and judge in Dayton, Ohio, back in the ’50s and remained in office for 40 years. I photograph for Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and I am the City of Columbus’ and Mayor Ginther’s primary photographer. So I get to see up close and personal the sacrafices, the movements and the accomplishments of people for the people.

2. You work in City Hall and often have a camera pointed at some of the city’s biggest events. Can you share with our members what drew you to this work? My father and uncle were photography hobbyist. When I graduated from high school I wanted to go to photography school but my parents would not allow it. They said I had to get a “real” education. So, not until 12 years ago did I finally pursue my dream as a full-time professional photographer. As for being the City’s photographer, the opportunity began with Mayor Coleman. I have seen over the years the City’s good works in order to make Columbus the best place to live, work and raise a family.

3. You started your own business, Shellee Fisher Photography & Design, a dozen years ago and you had an office-supply business before that. Why do you think it is important to women entrepreneurs to have more female representation in political office? And how do you suggest that women business owners in particular get more involved in their communities? When I was a Xerox reseller, I was in an all-male environment. It was pretty lonely out there. I had breast cancer twice, divorced halfway through my first business and raised two beautiful children. Fortunately, I had a strong network. However, having more women in political office will ensure that women are continually uplifted and protected as equal and positive contributors to our communities. Plus, we have to be at the table to play at the table. Although I’m not actively involved in politics, showing up in support is essential.

4. The Matriots endorsed 34 women in 2018 and 9 running in May primary elections in 2019. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why? I am so inmpressed with (Columbus City Councilmember) Shayla Favor. I love her spirit and her commitment to the community. I see her everywhere and involved. I feel this is just the beginning of her impact on Columbus. She is a shining star.

5. Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It could be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state! I am a cyclist. The City’s bike trails are amazing! There are so many trails to cycle, walk or run around the city. They are pretty and well-kept and safe. I think trails are one of the signs of a healthy city.

The Buzz From Sally – July 2019

Dear Matriots,

While it may seem like a relatively quiet time politically, The Matriots PAC has been hard at work screening applicants for endorsement and, as important, attending to the organization’s long-term sustainability. We are so pleased to announce here two major developments on that front.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a couple who have become two of our newest members—and who have set a new standard of commitment to our goal of electing more Ohio women to public office. Kitty and Dick Rosenthal, who are well known in the Cincinnati area for their generosity, but are new to us, have each committed to be “all in” to The Matriots, by making a three-year combined pledge of $75,000, just shy of the maximum allowed by election law.

The Rosenthals came to our attention through our board member, Myrita Craig, who has worked tirelessly–and very successfully–to promote The Matriots in southwest Ohio. From hosting numerous gatherings for Matriots-endorsed candidates, to introducing the PAC to her network, Myrita has put her all in to our collective success. No celebration of Matriots work in Cincinnati would be complete without recognizing Myrita’s dedication.

The Rosenthals were early, strong supporters of The Matriots’ very first endorsed candidate, Kathleen Clyde, who ran unsuccessfully in 2018 for Ohio Secretary of State and was subsequently appointed Portage County Commissioner. The Rosenthals are deeply committed to women-friendly policies and are excited to join the work of The Matriots PAC to safeguard Ohio women’s human and civil rights through political representation.

Beyond the Rosenthals’ allegiance to our values, we are eager to celebrate their monetary contribution to the PAC because it demonstrates outstanding leadership. It can be challenging for any of us to compare our philanthropic giving, which carries tax benefits, to political contributions, which feel more transactional. But like philanthropy, political giving can be a strategic means of supporting positive societal change, only through policy. Matriots believe that female political leadership will lead to policies that benefit the majority of our population–our chief caregivers and consumers—and therefore families and society as a whole.

Also cause for celebration is another contribution to the PAC (also coming in from the Cincinnati area). Nikki Foster, who was one of our 2018 endorsed candidates, ran valiantly but unsuccessfully in an uphill race for Ohio House against a male incumbent. Because she put in an outstanding performance, winning 39% of the vote, Nikki is now a 2020 candidate for U.S. Congress in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District.

Election law required Nikki to close her local candidate committee account and she contributed the balance in her account–$419.98 – to The Matriots PAC, telling us she did so in honor and appreciation of our support and for those who will follow.

There really are no words for the loyalty and generosity of our endorsed candidates. Knowing that research shows they will have to work three times as hard as their male opponents, these women pour everything they have in to their campaigns. In Nikki’s case, her 2018 campaign coincided with her giving birth in September to her second child, a son who was born with a hole in his heart. This didn’t cause her to give up, it caused her to dig in. An Air Force Academy graduate with over 200 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Nikki is now more committed than ever to ensuring that women and their families get the healthcare, education and other family-friendly policies they deserve.

Seeing the experiences of other families whose children were going through medical challenges prompted Foster to seek this second run for office. “We need to step up,” Foster told cincinnati.com. “There are other families, single mothers, who don’t have time to advocate for themselves. They’re too busy working. I feel like this is a calling.”

May this letter serve as a celebration of all of us who feel that female political leadership is a calling, whether that manifests as a run for office or a generous contribution to a candidate. Thank you to all of you who support The Matriots in all that you do!

Onward,

Sally Crane Cox
chair, board of directors

Meet A Matriot: Darci Congrove

By day, she’s managing director of GBQ Partners and co-owner of the German Village Guest House, by night (or at least many nights!) she’s serving area non-profits on boards, volunteer committees and by hosting fundraisers – for which she was honored as a 2019 Woman of Achievement. 

1) You are a Matriarch and Founding Member of The Matriots PAC. Can you share with our members why you think The Matriots’ vision for more women in elected office is the solution to today’s political rancor?
The U.S. was founded as a representative democracy. Simply stated, a representative democracy is a system of government in which all eligible citizens vote on representatives to pass laws for them. It only makes sense to me that we should elect representatives who actually reflect the amazing diversity of our voting citizens – on the basis of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, wealth, education, etc. The U.S. is not a country of white men, so there is no reason that those chosen to represent “us” politically should be primarily white men. Additionally, research conducted by Goldman Sachs and the World Bank, amongst others has shown that when women are fully engaged in a society through education, participation in the economy, or representing others in a government, the measures of a healthy society are noticeably improved.
2. In 2010 you became the first female managing director of GBQ Partners, a Columbus -based accounting firm. Why do you think it is important to have more women in positions leadership? And what advice do you have for our members hoping to climb their own respective career ladders?
More than 50% of the American population are women. 47% of the American labor force are women. In my own profession, 50% of the accounting degrees earned in the U.S. for the last 20 years have been awarded to women. It’s honestly hard to understand why we still have to ask this question. We ought to instead ask, “Why aren’t half of our leaders in business (and government and nonprofits and everywhere) women?” Young people need to “see it to be it.” Women striving to succeed in their careers need to build a team of sponsors – both men and women – who can give them advice and advocate for them. Nobody succeeds alone.
3. You are actively involved in the Columbus community, serving on the board of the Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Board member of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of Committee4Children. You’ve been recognized as a leader in the Columbus community, most recently recognized as a 2019 YWCA Woman of Achievement. And on top of that – we hear you are a fantastic cook! How do balance all of your involvements? And what initiatives are you excited about in the Columbus community?
I let the idea of balance go a long time ago and stopped keeping track of how much time I should spend on any one thing. I simply focused on doing the things that need to be done and that made me feel good. I have found that it generally works out fine to mix work and community involvement and friends and hobbies and fun into one big pot and enjoy all of it. I’ve currently found an intersection in my community service that aligns around education, workforce and addressing poverty. My volunteerism with the E3 program at United Way and on the workforce committee at the Columbus Chamber inform one another, and I know from my time on the board of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio that poverty has a disproportionate and devastating impact on women and their children. This broad topic feels like a good place to focus for now.
4. The Matriots endorsed 34 women in 2018 and 9 running in May primary elections in 2019. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why?
In the 2018 endorsement cycle, The Matriots endorsed Stephanie Summerow Dumas for Hamilton County Commissioner. I heard Stephanie give a very brief speech, all of which was about commitment and hard work and her own belief that if she just did what was right and worked hard, she could help others. Her words have been stuck in my head ever since.
5. Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It could be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!
My very favorite thing to do is host parties. I love planning, decorating, cooking and making people happy through enjoyment of food, drinks and friendship. We generally have at least four big parties a year and a lot of little ones along the way as well.

Sharon Sweda is Changing the Game

Q&A with Sharon Sweda

LORAIN COUNTY COMMISSIONER

We know the question on our members’ minds is what are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

Lorain County is located in northeastern Ohio and includes the cities of Elyria, Vermillion and Avon Lake. 

 

1) You ran a hard-fought campaign in 2018 for Ohio Senate District 13. Can you tell our members what you have been up to since the election?

I immediately became re-engaged within the party and my community – as if the election had yet to take place.  I initially felt that it was therapeutic for me to stay busy as well as to help me determine my next step.  I had essentially passed the torch within my business in order to run for office.  I did not want to upset the new dynamic by returning.

Secondly, I needed time to evaluate my new direction with an emphasis in determining how to stay relevant. I felt that the campaign impacted and changed me in a way that would forever alter my purpose.

As fate would have it – staying relevant served me sooner, rather than later. A long-time County Commissioner announced his intention to seek the appointment for a vacated City Clerk of Courts position in November. In December he acquired the appointment, resigned as County Commissioner and on Feb 10, 2019, I was appointed to the vacated Commissioner seat in a run-off of 7 candidates. My term expires in 2020 when I will be campaigning again.

2) In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

We made the decision to fold into the coordinated campaign which resulted in ignoring the need to cut our own turf.

3) We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

Nationally, women made an impact in 2018 and will continue to make a difference provided we continue the momentum and focus.  Locally, gender never garnered the national momentum.

4) The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

I am excited to hear that you will support the local races, not simply because I am soon to be a county candidate, but because we know that good government begins on the local level. If we are going to change the landscape of Ohio elections, we need women at every level of government.

6) Now for fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It can be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!

Black River Landing is located within Lorain, Ohio.  Lorain is a city like many in the Midwest, which have suffered over loss of its industrial base.  The city is working to revitalize and rebuild its downtown.

Black River Landing is 25 acres of Riverfront property used for festivals, picnics and my favorite, a summer concert series.The summer concerts are every Friday evening as well as some Saturdays. Cost is $5.00 for excellent cover band attractions. Black River Landing has been known to attract 4,000-6,000 attendees at every performance. There are food and beer trucks, and never any disturbances.

Louise Valentine is Changing the Game

Q&A with Louise Valentine

DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF LEAD OHIO

We know the question on our members’ minds is what are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

Louise ran for Ohio Senate District 19 which includes the cities of Delaware, Powell and parts of Columbus. 

1) You ran a hard-fought campaign in 2018, can you tell our members what you have been up to since the election?

After a tremendous effort in 2018 and coming up just short of a win for Senate District 19, I took some time with family over the Holidays and then joined LEAD Ohio as the Deputy Director.  I previously spent 12 years in corporate retail, but wanted to stay in a more political field since I now have such an appreciation for how important it is to have great leadership in government.

LEAD Ohio is a non-profit that, among other things, helps train candidates in how to run for office with extensive programming, mentoring and networking.  LEAD Ohio brings training classes to locations all across Ohio and has some new programs in development that focus on specific topics.  I went through the LEAD Academy from October 2017-March 2018 and it helped me through the campaign process in so many ways.  Now I’m excited to be a part of elevating it to the next level to continue grooming the next generation of diverse leaders!

2) In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

Ohio is ready for more women leaders!  I was prepared to get plenty of comments about how I could possibly run for office as a mom to young twins and get questioned as to why I thought I was qualified, but these things actually came up far less than I would have expected.  I had support from such a wide group of individuals and more often than not, especially among women voters, they were excited to see a mom with professional skills on the ballot and not just another older white male.

3) We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

I think in 2018 with so many capable women on the ballot, especially for legislative races, we as women proved that we are ready to make an impact at the Statehouse and have what it takes to compete in these races.  Women picked up several legislative seats in Franklin County (and elsewhere) and all were running against men.  Women in legislative races raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, knocked thousands of doors and built grassroots coalitions within their communities, all of which really opened the eyes of voters to see that when women decide to run, they are committed, capable, honest candidates.  I think with the results from 2018 in mind, 2019 and beyond will continue to offer prime opportunities for women to continue to win seats… but only if we continue to recruit and support women so that they know they CAN do this.  Let’s keep the dialogue going!

4) The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

If a woman has any thought that she may want to run for office, offering encouragement and support for her to run in a local race is so important.  The 2019 non-partisan local level races are the perfect opportunity for women to throw their name in the ring for something they care about, whether it’s school board, township trustee or city council because typically the time commitment is far less than higher level offices and she won’t have to fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars to compete.

These races are a good way to test the waters of elected office before committing to something higher and are actually one of the best ways to have a direct impact on your community.  Take your district school board, for example, school board members are making decisions throughout the year that affect the district budget, what infrastructure projects are prioritized and how to ensure state mandated curriculum is executed while still giving teachers flexibility in their lessons.  This work all impacts the success of the students in the district… which is critically important for both the future of those students and for the community!

5) Now for fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It can be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!

As far as a destination activity in Ohio, I love to go to Cedar Point.  I’m a roller coaster lover and now that my kids are old enough to ride all the kiddie rides (and maybe this summer even some “big kid” rides) I enjoy creating these memories with them, too.

Susan Vaughn is Changing the Game

Q&A with Susan Vaughn

We know the question on our members’ minds is what are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

Susan ran for Ohio House District 51 in 2018, which includes parts of the Cincinnati metro area. 

1) You ran a hard-fought campaign in 2018, can you tell our members what you have been up to since the election?

After a couple of months of R & R, enjoying my newly retired life (as of August 2018 32 years at Miami University), I’m now back in the race!  I am seeking a seat on Hamilton City Council.

2) In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

The people I met, the relationships that were created, the knowledge I gained about issues within my district, changed my life.  Though disillusioned at times and brief feelings of defeat, I realize I am a better person for having run for office (first attempt) and I am even more passionate about serving my community.

3) We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

Women changed the conversation because we bring unique perspectives to issues that impact everyone. There is strength in numbers and I believe The Matriots Class of 2018 caused people to listen and together, we were a stronger force. The women I met through Matriots events and within the endorsed Class of 2018, are unbelievably talented, dedicated to causes, educated, passionate and willing to wear many hats to accomplish our goals.

4) The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

I echo what I said above (#3). The Matriots endorsement, financial support and weekly communication/motivation all were extremely beneficial.

5) Now for fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It can be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!

Ohio, in particular Hamilton, Ohio, has been my home my entire life.  I have visited every corner of our beautiful state, hiked and biked the countryside, stayed in small inns, enjoyed fabulous meals in unique restaurants and met so many people who also call Ohio home.  But, there is no place like home, Hamilton! I invite everyone to visit Hamilton and enjoy the famous “Donut Trail”, wonderful music and entertainment at the beautiful River’s Edge, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, ArtSpace, bike trails and unique boutiques throughout our city.

Kathleen Clyde is Changing the Game

Q&A with Commissioner Kathleen Clyde

We know the question on our members’ minds is: What are The Matriots endorsed candidates up to? Whether representing their district, pursuing careers in the private sector or planning a future run for office, our Class of 2018 is changing the game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORTAGE COUNTY COMMISSIONER

 

You ran a hard-fought campaign for Ohio Secretary of State. After the election, you were appointed as Portage County Commissioner. Can you tell our members more about your day-to-day responsibilities as commissioner?

For most Ohioans, county commissioners play a critical role in everyday life. We are charged with providing vital services on the state’s behalf, from elections, to justice and public safety, as well as infrastructure and human services. In my new role, I will continue to fight for quality economic development, workers and their families, and effective and efficient government.

In January we gathered our Class of 2018 candidates for a post-election candidate conversation, where we debriefed on our candidates’ experience in 2018. Can you share with our members one of the lessons you learned from running for office in Ohio?

Although, we didn’t see the results that we worked so hard for on election day, I’m proud of the campaign we ran and honored to have been the only woman on the ballot for statewide executive office. With that said, there are always lessons to be learned.

It is undeniable that Ohio is growing older and less diverse, making the state less friendly toward progressive candidates. In no way does this mean we should give up the fight for Ohio, but we must do a better job connecting with independent voters, and even some republicans. Nonpartisan organizations like The Matriots can be essential to those efforts.

We believe that when women are involved in the political process, they change the conversation. From your perspective, how did women change the conversation in 2018? And how do you think women will continue to change the conversation in 2019 and beyond?

Women changed the conversation in 2018 by showing up and taking action – whether it was attending marches, making a monetary contribution, talking to your neighbors or running for office themselves. Every action taken made a difference and I’m hopeful that the energy and engagement we saw in 2018, will only continue to grow as we head into 2019 and beyond.

The Matriots PAC will endorse women running for city and school board seats in 2019. Why do you believe it is important to support women running for local offices in 2019?

Supporting women candidates for local office is so important. It’s important because although we’ve seen increasing numbers of women running for office, we still have a long way to go. Investing in women early and at the local level will not only give women a voice locally but also help create a bench of women officeholders that can take on important issues at the state and federal levels.

Now for fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It can be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state! 

It’s been great to live in Portage County full time and be able to enjoy our beautiful running trails. Whether it’s running the Portage Hike and Bike trail along the Cuyahoga River through downtown Kent or backroads in our beautiful rural townships, I love to get out and put some miles on my running shoes! I also recently discovered Icy Blast, a rolled ice cream shop in downtown Ravenna. It’s delicious and a great way to treat myself after a long run.

We are looking to expand our team!

Want to join a team committed to electing more women to public office in Ohio?

We are looking to add to our dynamic team. If you’re interested in helping us expand our statewide footprint and endorse women running for office, we’d like to meet you!

We are seeks a reliable and detail oriented Administrative Coordinator to help assist with endorsement, membership and event programs.

Job Description:

The ideal candidate will be highly organized, with a strong attention to detail, and be comfortable adapting to changing needs and priorities. She or he will be dependable, with the ability to remain calm under pressure and tight deadlines.  The principal areas of responsibility include: providing administrative, endorsement and event support  and serving as the project manager on all mass communication, digital and print.

Administrative    

  • Serve as committee liaison by providing meeting support, scheduling, minute taking, agenda, and documentation.
  • Maintain an open and service-oriented relationship with committee chairs.
  • Provide meeting management support by coordinating meeting logistics for internal and external meetings, ensure all resources are prepared for meetings (room, AV, presenters, agenda, materials, etc.)
  • Manage volunteer involvement and communication.
  • Complete other administrative tasks as needed.

Marketing & Communications

  • Assist with email marketing, including content creation, contact list management, and distribution scheduling.
  • Support marketing team with writing, graphics, and implementation of external communication.
  • Maintain wordpress website content.
  • Project manage and collect content for the monthly e-newsletter, the Hive.
  • Develop and maintain all social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. Schedule posts in coordination with the Marketing Committee and executive director.

Event Coordination

  • Develop and maintain event information, including print and digital assets such as event invitations, website event calendar, social media events.
  • Communicate with marketing team to create effective advertisements for each event. Organize all marketing activations for grassroots event promotion and coordinate invites and RSVPs as needed.
  • Manage and overseeing events on the day of, including problem-solving, welcoming guests, collecting contact information, directing event set-up, communicating with staff, and organizing vendors, and managing take-down.

Candidate Support

  • Provide additional candidate and political research to compliment endorsement and research committees.
  • Answer procedural questions from candidates and campaigns.
  • Ensure strict and complete compliance with election law and guidelines.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts Degree is preferred.
  • 1-year experience required.
  • Political campaign experience, either working on a campaign and/or working in a political organization, is helpful.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to produce written reports, talking points, and briefings on deadline.
  • Demonstrated ability to use spreadsheet and constituent relationship software.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in politically sensitive and high-pressure environments.
  • Ability to work independently within the context of a plan.
  • Effective time management skills, including prioritizing and managing multiple tasks.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing personal work plans and goals.
  • Ability to work irregular hours and travel as required.

Competitive full-time hourly pay rate, based on experience.

Working for The Matriots offers the unique opportunity to work in a fast-paced start-up organization with big aspirations. We offer a vibrant workplace with opportunities for growth. If you, too, passionately believe in the importance of women’s leadership for our state, this is your chance to join our team!

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and a resume via email to info@matriotsohio.com by Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Introducing Shiloh Todorov!

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Shiloh Todorov who is joining The Matriots as our Development/Finance Director.

Shiloh Todorov joins The Matriots with over a decade of nonprofit experience. Shiloh previously served as the Executive Director of the German Village Society and as the Marketing/PR Director for The Wellington School. Prior to her career in nonprofit and development, Shiloh was a journalist, most recently serving as the Managing Editor for KETV.COM. Shiloh was born and raised in Omaha Nebraska and holds a Masters in Broadcast and Public Policy from American University.

We are excited to bring Shiloh’s energy, enthusiasm and experience to our team! She is a dedicated and passionate community leader and we know she will help The Matriots reach our long term organizational goals.

Want to check out the rest of our fabulous team? Click here!

Meet a Matriot: Cathe Kobacker

Cathe Kobacker is a woman of many titles. She is one of the original founding marchers who returned from the 2017 Women’s March with an idea that more women in elected office could be the solution to our country’s political stalemate. She is one of The Matriots most loyal supporters, a Matriarch, and a member our our Research Committee. She is a community activist who helped found The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, served on the board of the YWCA,  and has dedicated over 30 years of her life to advocating for end of life care. In 2004 in Cathe was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement for her many years of community service.  Cathe is an amazing woman, Matriot and member of the Columbus community – we are proud to count her among our hive!

Cathe, you are one of The Matriots PAC original founding marchers. You traveled to Washington D.C. for the Women’s March in 2017 and returned with the inspiration to create The Matriots PAC. Can you share with our members why you think The Matriots’ vision for more women in elected office is the solution to today’s political rancor?

When we returned from the Washington March the founding marchers sat down and consensus was that marching was not enough. The amazing thing is that I was struck by the wide range of ideas that were given a hearing. The path was made clear after by much research and interviews with Trail Blazers.

The idea that we could sit with a group of strong-willed women with diverse points of view and come up with the PAC idea is a perfect example of why we need more women  in political office. Thanks to the PAC and Sally Crane Cox’s coming up with the name The Matriots I know we are doing something important. Keep in mind we are 51% of the population and have 21% of the political representation in Ohio.

In 2004 you were recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement for your many years of community service and activism. What is your advice to women hoping to make difference in their communities?

Believe in what you are doing and gather interested people around you. There is a lot of talk about passion these days and I think of it more like what my Mother used to call “stick to it ness”. Recognize what you are good at and find people who have skills you do not. I got important training from my fellow board members of the YWCA. Hospice volunteering and the Harmony Project Tapestry  choir at the Ohio Reformatory  for Women have taught me that there are important and satisfying lessons in all volunteer work.

You’ve invested more than three decades in community hospice efforts, a passion that took you around the world to study best practices and culminated in a TED Talk in 2016. Can you tell our members what you learned on your journey and how you found this passion for hospice and palliative care?

Forty years ago a close family friend was dying of a brain tumor. There was no hospice care in her community so a “we group “ formed to support her family.

When I returned to Columbus I found we had a hospice program in Columbus and I signed up as a volunteer. Supporting Good, wholistic end of life care has become a driving force in my life. I also have worked to change vocabulary so that people living with a life limiting illness are not required to use battle metaphors unless they themselves choose those terms.

The Matriots endorsed 34 women in 2018 and 9 women in the May primary election. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspires you and why?

How to pick? What impressed me about the candidates was the diversity of training and experience they brought to their races. The experience of doing research on these women made it clear to me that we are on the right path to have more women in all levels of Ohio politics.

Now for something fun: Tell us about your favorite thing to do in the great state of Ohio. It could be a hobby, a favorite place to eat or something we might not know about our state!

One of my favorite hobbies is watching equine competitions. Two young women I have known most of their lives compete at national and international levels in different disciplines. They are cousins and both are from Columbus, Ohio (Ellie O’Neal and Ali Wolff) they make me proud every time I watch them.

My other is walking half-marathons. I have walked eight 1/2 Columbus Marathons. Nothing like thirteen miles on a cold October day..come join me.