League of Women Voters of Los Angeles 2018 - 2019 Board of Directors
Martha Sklar, Co-President
Martha Sklar was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Detroit, MI when she was eight and a half years old. Martha has a BA and MA in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. She taught mathematics at high school and community college levels. Later she entered administration and was Dean of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles City College until her retirement eleven years ago. Upon joining the League she served on both the LWVLA and the LWV Ed Fund Boards. She previously served as Treasurer of LWVLA for six years and is currently co-President of the League with Maria Montero. She has two sons, Benjamin and Jonathan.
Crissi Avila, Co-President
Crissi Avila has been an active Real Estate Agent in the City of Los Angeles since 2004 and is now working with the collective, Realty. In 2009 she started her own company CnC Group LLC partnering with other investors to provide above average returns in real estate during the financial downturn. Crissi has been a resident of LA since her beginnings and has volunteered with many local community groups and organizations. She started in the 1990's with the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Political Committee and helped elect local officials. Later she worked with the California Clean Money Campaign as the Pasadena Coordinator and sat on the Board of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning a BA in Communications and is very excited to be the 2nd Vice President of the Board of the League of Women Voters, Los Angeles!
Mona Field, 1st Vice President
Mona Field retired from a long career teaching Political Science at Glendale Community College. She also served 4 terms on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, helping oversee the operations of the nine colleges in the nation's largest community college district. During her 16 years on the LACCD Board, she served twice as Board President. She is author of a widely used college textbook (California Government and Politics Today, 14th ed), and has written numerous articles on California politics, labor issues, environmental concerns and much more. Mona currently volunteers with the LWVLA, the Executive Service Corps and the Los Angeles Leadership Academy.
Nancy Watson, 2nd Vice President
Nancy Watson has worked with government and non-profits across Los Angeles County and the U.S. to strengthen public health systems for children and adults and is currently at First 5 LA. She led local and state-coalitions to strengthen the safety net in Los Angeles and pass state legislation as a Policy Director at Community Health Councils (CHC). She also engaged elected officials, policy experts, advocates and community groups to develop the South LA Health Equity Scorecard, a report that provided recommendations to improve residents' health resources, environmental conditions and safety to create a healthier South LA. She has developed and managed staff teams and was part of CHC's senior management responsible for strategic planning, fundraising, and other operations. At First 5 LA, she works with grantees and partners to improve services, leadership and advocacy to promote the well-being of young children. She served on the California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Task Force subcommittee from 2006-2009. Nancy became an active member of the League of Women Voters Los Angeles in October 2016 and is a volunteer on the Development Committee. She has a Master of Social Work and a BA in Psychology. Nancy enjoys sports and cultural activities and has a 5-year old daughter, Cadence.
Jodi Doane, Secretary
Jodi Doane is a native of Chicago and was an active board member of the League of Women Voters of Chicago from 2012 until she relocated to Los Angeles in August 2015. She is committed to social justice and performing tikkun olam, repairing the world. She fights for youth development, common sense gun laws, sensible juvenile justice practices, fair and compassionate immigration, self-sufficiency through employment, and animal welfare; and against human trafficking. She assists non-profit organizations across the nation in their efforts through program development, board training and grant writing.
Tom Carson, Treasurer
Tom has a strong financial background, having been partner in an international accounting firm and chief financial officer of several public companies. Over the past ten years he has been very active at all levels of League, most particularly in financial roles, and has worked with numerous local Leagues around California and other states. Tom served on the LWV California Board of Directors, as Treasurer, following four years as its Budget Chair. Tom also focuses heavily on voter service activities, both locally and with LWVC.
Tom was treasurer and then president of LWV Glendale/Burbank. He is currently treasurer for the LWV Los Angeles County ILO, and primary LWVUS consultant for Leagues wishing to consider converting to tax status under Sec. 501(c)(3).
Sharon L Aikins, Board Director
Sharon L. Akins owns and operates Precision Management Solutions, LLC, a professional business management consulting firm with particular expertise in transformation strategies involving the trading and operational processes within investment banking global markets.
Sharon has over twenty-five years experience in the securities and investment industry working with such firms as HSBC, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, NASDAQ OMX, Oracle, Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Salomon Smith Barney and Prudential Securities. She has effectively combined her experience with principles of efficiency, strategy development and execution and program management. She delivers to her clients a vision of both top-down and bottom-up approaches to managing everyday business processes, regulatory change initiatives and pivotal business strategies.
Ms. Akins also has extensive not-for-profit experience. She was a Campaign Associate at the United Way of New York City, a charitable health and human services organization, where she organized and managed a $5.5 million dollar fundraising campaign from New York State Employees and local chapters of national unions. She has been a volunteer at the Fresh Air Fund, where she served for three years as a career mentor and fundraiser, serving as a role model for underprivileged youth. Sharon has also participated for several years as a Junior Achievement volunteer teaching economics and the fundamental principles of money and investing to seventh, eighth and ninth grade students. Sharon is a 1988 graduate of Vassar College, where she majored in both political science and economics and a 1992 graduate of the University of Baltimore, School of Law.
Harriet Borson, Board Director
Harriet Borson graduated from UCLA with a degree in education and from CSUN with an MA in Child Development/Education Psychology. She taught in LAUSD and in BHUSD. She was a member of the LWV in Los Angeles and then in Beverly Hills in the sixties and seventies. She has always been an involved advocate for the education and health of children and families. Harriet was a long time member of the California State PTA Board serving on the Legislation Action Committee and was Director of Legislation for eight years. During that time she chaired the CSPTA participation in many State Ballot measures. Since rejoining LWV in 2009 she chaired the National Education study 2010-2011, has presented ballot Pros & Cons, been active with the Voter Service Committee and the Program Committee and is a member of the Education Committee. Harriet served on the LWVLA Board and LWVLA Education Fund Board 2013-2115. She has two sons and is grandmother of two grandsons who attend Eugene Oregon Public Schools.
Carol Eisner, Board Director
Carol Eisner is a publicist with 20+ years of experience across a wide range of industries, topics and issues. Carol obtains press coverage and has garnered national visibility for clients on outlets like CNN, Fox News,The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Tavis Smiley Show, Link TV, Huffington Post, Voice of America, Los Angeles Business Journal, KCET-TV, and local news outlets.
With respect to social change, Carol has garnered coverage on issues like healthcare, children's health ("First Five"), global water issues, diabetes, ("Diabesity" from Random House). Many of her author-clients have books associated with university-based publishers including Yale University Press, Columbia University Press, and Oxford University Press. Eisner has also worked on one of the most highly visible national criminal murder cases of 2014. Carol has also been involved with high-profile live events on Capitol Hill, working directly with members of Congress.
Passionate about her work, Eisner began her career at Paramount Studios on production staff for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" during its first five seasons. A member of the Writers Guild of America, she also serves on the advocacy committee of the American Diabetes Association, which takes her to Washington every other year, and is a board member, NCMNetwork ((Nonprofit Communications & Media).
David Meadow, Board Director
David Meadow is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University, where he teaches “Speaking and Writing for Social Justice.” This builds on many years working in after-school, high school, ESL, and college settings, with a strong emphasis on media and civic literacy. He has been involved with the League in both NYC and Los Angeles over the last two years, writing or editing extensively for our Grants and Development Committees, as well as other ad-hoc projects. He is currently Chair of the Los Angeles Bi Task Force, a bisexual advocacy nonprofit, and has worked with several LGBTQ and environmental organizations.
Penny Sommers, Board Director
Penny Sommers came to the attention of the College Board and was elected to the Board of Trustees. At the end of her term, the College Board recruited Penny to serve as Senior Educational Manager, assisting superintendents, administrators, counselors and teachers from school districts in southern California, Idaho, Arizona and Hawaii. Always a student advocate, she missed the direct contact with schools and returned to LAUSD to work as counseling coordinator and as an interim administrator at high schools. She believes that every student deserves to graduate from high school equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors to be successful in college and the workforce.
Carving out more time to devote to volunteering, Penny identified these causes as most important to her: voter registration and participation, eliminating homelessness, guaranteed health care, gun control, and campaign finance reform. The League of Women Voters is a perfect match for her. Penny has found a home and a purpose in LWVLA.
Virginia Wexman, Board Director
Virginia Wexman moved to downtown Los Angeles four years ago after retiring from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was Professor of English and Art History. She is the author of several books on film as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals and the popular press. At UIC she initiated and chaired the University's program in Moving Image Arts, and she was President of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies from 1993-95. Her BA, MA and PhD are all from the University of Chicago. After moving to Los Angeles, she became fascinated with the challenges the city faces, especially in the realms of housing and transit. Since joining the League in 2016, she has presented Ballot Pros and Cons, participated in interviews with state legislators, and helped to register voters. She also serves on the League's Homeless Action Committee.