Immediate Past Chair - Penny Githens
Penny considers the DWC her political home and wants to help more progressive, Democratic women be elected to political office, from local township boards all the way to the White House. Her roots as a Democrat run deep, and she likes to tell about her maternal grandmother, who at the age of 100 insisted on being picked up from her assisted living quarters so that she could attend the monthly meetings of her county's Democratic party. Penny is especially focused on issues of public education, corporate power in elections, voting rights, and an improved, accessible health care system. She ran for the office of State Representative, House District 60.
Vice Chair - Jill Jolliff
Jill was drawn to politics in the late 70s by the women’s and lesbian/gay rights movements. She has been involved with the DWC since shortly after its inception, including a previous stint on the Steering Committee. She served on the Monroe County Women’s Commission in its first years and has been involved in various capacities in a number of campaigns, including managing a City Council campaign. Her background includes approximately 40 years’ experience in the non-profit and public sectors, both locally and around the state, as both paid staff and volunteer, and with a primary focus in justice and equity.
Treasurer - Michelle Bright
Michelle started her political career in 2010, when she became enraged when allegations of political corruption involving her local public officials emerged. Not being satisfied unless she was part of the solution, she was caucused into the position of Benton Township Trustee in March 2012. Some of the highlights of her time in office so far has been working with community youth organizations to start a Township Food Pantry and a Little Free Library, restoring two historical cemeteries in Benton Township, and was one of the first Townships in Indiana to partner with the American Red Cross for the Home Fire Campaign. Michelle has always been very grateful to the DWC for helping train and support her over the years, and was endorsed both times she ran for re-election. She is a Business Analyst at Indiana University; and is currently settling in to being an empty-nester with her husband in Unionville
Bridget Anderson is the Director at Patronicity, a crowdfunding platform designed to support creative placemaking projects around the country. It's powerful work that empowers hyperlocal community development and investment. She also hosts the Building Vibrant Communities Podcast, and is the Lead Consultant and Community Advocate for Bench Consulting. She has more than six years working with statewide and national non-profits including civil justice and educational organizations as well as six years serving elected officials and political campaigns. Anderson graduated from Indiana University with a degree in political science, and is inspired by civic engagement as a means to improve lives.
Margaret Clements serves as President of the Monroe County Plan Commission as well as the Monroe County Board of Zoning Appeals. In addition, she serves on the Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Margaret has also served as leadership in several grassroots movements that demonstrate her community organizing skills. She directs a research institute and has enjoyed an international career. If she were to be elected to the steering committee of the DWC, she would look forward to collaborating and coordinating with women across Monroe County and the State of Indiana to further opportunities and well-being for women’s representation in politics.
Pam received her B.A. from IU in 1975, and graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1979. She was an examiner in the IRS Estate and Gift Tax Division and practiced law in Indianapolis before joining the nonprofit sector in 1985. She has been a nationally recognized motivational speaker in charitable gift planning for decades. She is President of Davidson Gift Design, consulting and specializing in presentations about all aspects of gift planning for nonprofits. From 1985 - 1996, she was with IU Foundation as Executive Director of Planned Giving and Associate Counsel, quadrupling expectancies in only two years. She has served on many boards, including a nationally recognized women’s shelter and public radio and TV, on the APTS Leadership Council.
Christina "Chrissie" Geels
Christina "Chrissie" Geels grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, and graduated from BHSS before heading off to college. After completing her undergraduate degree in gerontology and an MPA at IUPUI, Chrissie returned to Bloomington. Although she is a life-long Democrat, it wasn't until Chrissie became involved in Isak Nti Asare's primary race for Congress that she became truly active in politics. After serving as Isak's field coordinator, Chrissie became Penny Githens' campaign manager in Penny's 2022 campaign for Indiana State Representative. Chrissie is currently working on Isak's campaign for an at-large seat on the Bloomington City Council. In her free time Chrissie volunteers at the Bloomington Animal Shelter.
Jillian Kinzie works in educational research at Indiana University and is committed to serving the community in a variety of roles including boards and commissions. She currently serves on the City of Bloomington Plan Commission, was past chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, chaired the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation and served two terms on the board of Girls Inc of Monroe County. She joined the DWC Steering Committee in 2007, following her run for city council, served as Vice Chair, and lead efforts to refine the endorsement policy, coordinate election day point-of-sale, and develop training sessions to support women in their election bids. Following several years away from the DWC Steering Committee she is eager to re-engage and help the organization continue its mission to support women in elected office and re-envision the next phase of its work.
Susan has lived in Monroe County for over 30 years. She retired from the Department of the Navy (civilian) in 2019 as Counsel for the Crane Naval Base, where her duties included advising the Captain of the Base and the Board of Directors on legal matters and supervising 8 other attorneys and several support staff. She has a J.D. from I.U. and a B.A. from Purdue. Susan also worked for the State of Indiana as a Mediator for teacher/school board contract disputes and as an Environmental Law Judge.
After her retirement and the worst of the pandemic had passed, Susan began looking for volunteer opportunities. She realized she wanted to assist the Democratic Party in her home state and researched candidates to back. She began volunteering for Penny Githens’ campaign in early summer 2022, and worked several times a week phone banking, writing postcards, and canvassing voters. Susan is a strong Democrat and has always been interested in politics but faced restrictions in participation prior to retirement due to the Hatch Act and her position as ethics counselor for the Naval Base. She is passionate about promoting progressive values, including racial justice and equity, abortion rights, and improved access to mental health care.
Efrat Rosser serves as the current Trustee of Bloomington Township. A 22-year resident of Monroe County, Rosser holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Public Administration. She has spent her career in local government and nonprofit leadership, including the City of Bloomington United Way of Monroe County. She has also volunteered on public boards and commissions including leadership roles with Monroe County’s Women’s Commission and Redevelopment Commission. Rosser is passionate about effectively and compassionately serving the community.
Doris earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from IU SPEA. Her first job after graduation was with Bloomington’s Redevelopment Department. In the past, she’s volunteered for many area service agencies, from Girls Inc. to United Way. She currently serves as the Director of Bloomington Housing and Neighborhood Development, having also served as the Human Resources Director for the City of Bloomington.