Emerge Virginia Board

Board Members

Sandra Brandt, Vice-Chair

Sandra is a veteran of Virginia Democratic politics.  Serving in many capacities, including local Democratic Party Chair, 2nd CD District chair and staff and advisor to dozens of Virginia candidates, Sandra has played major roles in Virginia Beach, Tidewater region and statewide campaigns for many years. 

Leigh Anne Collier, Treasurer

As a Partner at PoliOps, Leigh Anne works with leaders in the progressive community to help build strong, efficient organizational infrastructure.   A former Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, Leigh Anne is a veteran of campaigns including Kaine for Governor, Hillary for President, and Obama for America 2012.

Elizabeth Cranwell

Elizabeth has extensive experience in Virginia politics at both the state and national levels.  She was Press Secretary to Congressman Rick Boucher and Communications Director for Congresswoman Leslie Byrne.  Early campaign experience came as 7th Congressional District Field Coordinator for the Wilder, Beyer, Terry Joint Campaign and as Campaign Manager for Delegate Alan Mayer.  A native of Northern Virginia, Elizabeth has spent the last 19 years raising her family in Roanoke.

Doris Crouse-Mays

Doris Crouse-Mays started her Union career with the Communications Workers of America. Her first political campaign was for Congressman Rick Boucher, who unseated a sixteen year incumbent. . 

Doris worked for the ILGWU (now UNITE/HERE) and CWA as an International Organizer. While at CWA, under her leadership, CWA had 4 elections in one year, winning 3 of the 4. As a result, CWA District 2, received the Joe Beirne Award, CWA’s highest award for organizing. In 1997, Doris went to work for the National AFL-CIO. 

Hon. Sandra Duckworth

For 25 years, Sandy was President of Duckworth & Associates in Virginia and Duckworth & Stebbins in Hawaii – a fundraising, event and conference planning company.  She has designed and developed training manuals and conducted workshops on fundraising, conference planning and facilitating.  Sandy retired June 30, 2000 to become Governor of Rotary International District 7610.  She has been active in many aspects of community, state and national affairs, and has served on and/or chaired numerous boards and commissions during her career.  She was twice elected to fou

Sara Garland, Chair

Sara Garland began her political career as a volunteer for the Presidential campaign of Sen. Eugene McCarthy in 1968.    Since then she has served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and founded her own Capitol Hill government affairs consulting company, the Greystone Group.  She splits her time between Washington, DC and Woodstock, VA. 

Hon. Kate Hanley

Kate Hanley served as Providence District Supervisor for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors from 1986 – 1995. She was first elected chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in a special election held in February 1995. 

Eucharia Jackson

Eucharia brings her professional excellence in marketing, networking, fundraising and communications to the table across multiple civic associations and services, having built and led regional teams for Eli Lilly where she was a top-grossing Senior Manager with $25+MM pharmaceutical sales. Today she serves as Chair for Open Your Heart Campaign & Executive Leadership Team, AHA Association Richmond, VA, is a Science Museum of Virginia Liaison Committee Member, a National Medical Association Auxiliary Member, American Heart Association – “Go Red for Women” Auction and Committee Member and Founding Member of Progressive Women for Obama

Gaylene Kanoyton

Gaylene has over 20 years in Sales and Marketing and currently serve as a Advertising Executive.  She received her B.A. degree in political science from Hampton University.

Gaylene has been a leader in Democratic politics both locally and at the statewide level.  She is currently 1st Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia and serves as Executive Director of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.

Annie Kasper, Secretary
Annie has been an active member of the Richmond community for many years.  She was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to the Capitol Square Preservation Council and to the Council on the Status of Women by Governor Tim Kaine in 2009.  She also serves on the board of Voices for Virginia's Children, an advocacy group working to protect the welfare of Virginia's children.  Annie is a charter member of the board of DemBiz RVA, an organization furthering the interests of small business and elected leader
Maggi Luca

Maggi has elected and worked for a number of Democratic women in Virginia, including as campaign manager and Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Leslie Byrne, campaign manager and legislative aide to state Senator Janet Howell, and legislative aide to state Senator Toddy Puller.

She was appointed to the State Board of Social Services under Governor Mark Warner, served as President of the Virginia Electoral Board Association and was Secretary of the Fairfax County Electoral Board.

Hon. Kathleen Murphy

Kathleen Murphy is President of Johnson Murphy & Associates, a consulting firm based in McLean that provides strategic counseling and builds legislative strategies for companies and non-profit organizations.

Delegate Murphy was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in January, 2015 and was re-elected in November, 2015.

Atima Omara

Atima Omara was elected President of the Young Democrats of America (YDA) at YDA’s 2013 biennial convention in San Antonio, Texas. She is the first African American President in YDA’s 81 -year history. She previously served as Vice President from 2011-2013; Director of YDA’s Mid-Atlantic Region from 2009-11; and as Chair of YDA’s Women’s Caucus from 2006-09.

Alexsis Rodgers, Alumnae Relations

As Policy Director for Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, Alexsis leads state legislative affairs and message strategy for his office. Before working in state government, Alexsis managed award-winning communications and advocacy campaigns focused on college affordability, public transportation, pediatric care, labor rights and environmental initiatives.

Cianti Stewart-Reid

Cianti Stewart-Reid is the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia and Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC which handles all of Planned Parenthood’s electoral work in Virginia. In her current role with Planned Parenthood, Cianti coordinates all advocacy work including legislative lobbying, regulatory outreach, and electoral campaign work for the statewide organizations.

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