Last weekend, Tennessee Equality Project (TEP; 501c4/lobbying) elected its 2013-2014 Board of Directors. The board is now comprised of continuing members: Bleu Copas (who was named Principal Officer for East Tennessee earlier this year), Drew Baker, Herb Zeman, Michelle Bliss, Becky Lucas, Felicia Oglesby, Jeff Kirwan and Tommy Schlindwein.

Those successfully re-elected include: Jonathon Cole, Anne Gullick, Mary Littleton and Chris Sanders. 

New members voted to the board include: Toby Compton, Robin Alberts-Marigza, Linda McFayden-Ketchin, David Glasgow, Ashford Hughes, Yeshu Holiday and Harry (Skip) Ledbetter. Continue for brief bios of new TEP Board members.

In addition to the elections, Officer positions are now held by:

Chris Sanders- Chairman of the Board/President

Bleu Copas- Vice-President

Jeff Kirwan- Treasurer

Robin Alberts-Marigza- Secretary

Michelle Bliss- Executive Committee Member at-large

At their annual meeting, Sanders also announced Anne Gullick as the Principal Officer for West Tennessee. Gullick succeeds Jonathon Cole. Reports were also given from Principal Officers from each region regarding upcoming Tennessee Marriage Equality Day set for August 31 across Tennessee.

Tennessee Marriage Equality Day comes in response to a resolution passed by the 108th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee passed Senate Joint Resolution 134 designating August 31, 2013 as “ido4life Traditional Marriage Day." Read the full TEP proclamation here.

Don't forget Athena returns for Olympus Chapter 2. For more information about Olympus, go to OlympusTEP.org .  For more information about the Tennessee Equality Project, go to TNEP.org .

New Board Member Bios

Toby Compton:  Toby Compton is a fourth generation Nashvillian who was recently chosen to lead the Nashville Sports Authority.  He previously served as the Director of Strategy for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and as Mayor Karl Dean’s Senior Advisor specializing in policy and legislation.


Toby holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Lipscomb University and a master’s degree from Cumberland University in public administration.  He has previously served on several boards and is currently on the board at Dismas, Inc. Last year, he was chosen as one of “40 People Under 40” to watch by the Nashville Business Journal.


Robin Alberts-Marigza: Robin currently serves as the Campaign Manager for Jim Cooper for Congress, where she is responsible for developing and implementing a winning campaign strategy for one of the lone congressional Democrats in the South, including messaging, communications, fundraising, and political outreach. She has served as a key operative and chief adviser to Congressman Cooper’s successful congressional campaign during two challenging electoral cycles. 


As the campaign’s Finance Director, she has created a modern campaign that fundraises year-round, increases low-dollar, grassroots donations, attracts first-time donors, and implements new technologies with data-driven results, raising over $1.5 million during her tenure. 


With Congressman Cooper, Robin is currently working on a party-building project in collaboration with 50 state Democratic leaders and stakeholders to implement a year-by-year path to statewide victory by 2018.


Prior to her current position, she worked as the Campaign Manager for Jeff Yarbro for State Senate, coming within 17 votes of unseating a 40-year incumbent in a Democratic primary election. With her leadership, the campaign set a new standard of organization and fundraising for state-level races by executing a campaign focused on infrastructure and integrating fundraising, voter outreach and volunteer efforts.


In her efforts to raise money, coordinate volunteers, and contact voters, Robin has developed strong coalitions and working partnerships in the Nashville community. Throughout her campaign work, she has been committed to building an electoral infrastructure that supports progress, and electing leaders that share her vision for an equitable, inclusive Tennessee. 


Robin double majored in Sociology and Psychology at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, where her studies focused on the intersection of social media and social theory. She is a native of Nashville, Tennessee—attending East Literature Magnet middle and high schools—and currently lives in East Nashville. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and training to compete in her first triathlon.


Linda McFadyen-Ketchum:  Linda McFadyen-Ketchum is a political consultant who specializes in Davidson County races.  She worked on the campaigns of former Mayor Bill Purcell and Mayor Karl Dean, and managed campaigns for Vice-Mayor Diane Neighbors, Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman, Chancellor Richard Dinkins (now Appeals Court Judge Dinkins), Circuit Court Judge Amanda McClendon,  School Board Member Kathleen Harkey, and Metro Council candidate Nancy VanReece.  Linda has a special interest in identifying, encouraging, and electing talented women to public office.

Though her primary focus is on local races, Linda also believes that statewide and national races matter deeply to the people of Davidson County. Accordingly she was the Front Desk Manager for the Gore-Lieberman Campaign in 2000, worked on Phil Bredesen’s campaign for Governor in 2002, managed the Davidson County canvassing operation for Harold Ford, Jr.’s Senate race in 2006, and was particularly proud to work in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Montana as a Field Organizer for Hillary Clinton in her 2008 presidential campaign. 

After Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination in 2008, Linda managed the phone-bank at the Nashville Obama Headquarters and operated a state-wide absentee voting initiative for the Tennessee Democratic Party.  In 2012 Linda worked for the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus, coordinating polling and mail programs for several targeted races.


A native of North Carolina, Linda holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in special education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.  She taught Davidson County children and young people with severe behavioral disorders and autism for twenty-five years.  She also served in supervisory/administrative positions and trained new staff and student teachers.  During her teaching years Linda was awarded two HCA Teacher Awards for independent summer study and won Channel 5’s Golden Apple teaching award and cash prize in 1994. 


Linda represented District 24 on the Davidson County Democratic Executive Committee for six years, and served as Treasurer for three years.  In 2006 she was honored as county Volunteer of the Year at the 2nd Annual Gore Family Dinner.


Currently Linda works on gun violence issues as a member of the steering committee for the Nashville/TN chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

  

Linda and her husband, Dr. Steve McFadyen-Ketchum, have been married for 39 years.  They have two adult children and two granddaughters.  In her spare time, Linda enjoys hiking, identifying wild flowers, and choral music. 


David Glasgow:  David serves as Communications Director for the state field office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development. He is responsible for internal, community and legislative outreach for an agency that delivers and manages an active portfolio of $4.3 billion in financial resources for job development, community infrastructure and affordable housing in rural Tennessee.


David's work with USDA on national initiatives has been recognized with the agency’s High Mark Award. He has twice been awarded Presidential Volunteer Service Awards in recognition of more than 500 hours of local community service in a year.


David currently serves as vice chair of the Metro Property Standards and Appeals Board and as Vice Chair for Tennessee Conservation Voters 501c3 Board. He has previously served on the Metro Nashville Tourism and Convention Commission, Convention and Visitors Bureau Strategic Planning Committee, Metro Environment and Beautification Commission, and as Chair of the Metro Tree Advisory Committee.

David also serves as head coach of the Nashville Grizzlies Rugby Football Team.


An advocate of healthy public green space, David has helped raise money and coordinate more than 400 volunteers who together have planted more than 3,500 trees and saplings in parks, green spaces in Hillsboro Village, several Nashville Neighborhoods, Beaman Park at Bells Bend and communities across Tennessee.


David earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Birmingham-Southern College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama, School of Law. He successfully completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


David and partner Van Pond, Jr support numerous community organizations including Nashville CARES, The Belcourt Theater, Tennessee Conservation Voters, Greenways for Nashville, Conexión Américas and many others. In 2010 they were honored by the Nashville GLBT Chamber with the Mark Lee Taylor award for Community Service.


Ashford Hughes:  Ashford Hughes is a native son of Knoxville, TN. He holds a B.S Degree in Political Science from Tennessee State University. While at Tennessee State University, Ashford served as the V.P of the Africana Studies Society and well as being a founding member and reestablishing the T.S.U College Democrats.


After graduating from Tennessee State, Ashford worked as African American Outreach Coordinator for the Harold Ford for U.S Senate Campaign in 2005-2006.  Since then Ashford has gone on to both manage and work as senior staff on various issue based and candidate driven political campaigns in Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi. His main focus has been political strategy and organization building.


Ashford recently served as the Political Director at the Tennessee Democratic Party. He is currently the Assistant Business Manager for the Southeast Laborers’ District Council. (LIUNA) Ashford is one of the founding members of the Nashville affiliate of the national New Leaders Council, where he serves as Chapter Co-Director. This is an organization that seeks to train, educate and empower the next generation of progressive political and professional industry leaders.


Ashford aspires to empower the community he grew up in through political engagement and economic empowerment.  He serves on the Board of Directors for the Martha O’Bryan Center, Fifty Forward and is a current fellow with the Truman National Security Project. 


Yeshua Holiday:  Yeshua A. Holiday aka Joshua, has volunteered and worked for non profit organizations such as Housing Works, Inc, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, New York Harm Reduction Educators and the National Black Justice Coalition and others. He has advocated for public policy in NYC, Louisville, KY, Atlanta, Ga and recently in Memphis and Nashville, TN. Yeshua's passion, as a trans person, is the trans community and the issues that they are faced with on a daily basis.


Skip Ledbetter: A former Eagle Scout, Skip Ledbetter helped 123 Boy Scouts achieve the award as the adult Eagle Scout Coordinator. He was also awarded the Congressional Gold Award by the US Congress in 1997. He served as the Emergency Operation Coordinator during Hurricane Georges.  He served as the corporate coordinator for the American Red Cross and the March of Dimes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Between 2004 and 2011, he served 47 months of deployment with the US Army, most of that in Southwest Asia. Since returning from deployment he has volunteered  with the Shelby County Democratic Party, registering voters, raising funds, developed strategy and administered polling places. He has also been Host Committee with MidSouth Aids fund. 

 

 

 

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