Slate of Candidates
LWV-VA Nominating Committee
We are pleased to present the following slate for presentation and election at the Convention.
President: Deb Wake (Fairfax)
1st Vice President: Joan Porte (Arlington)
2nd Vice President: Erni Bridges (Fairfax)
Secretary: Jes Davis (Montgomery County)
Treasurer: Debbie Combest (Fredericksburg)
Doris Bey (Richmond)
Janet Boyd (Arlington)
Carolyn Caywood (South Hampton Roads)
Denise Harrington (Williamsburg)
Andrianne Konstas-Salvettas (Fairfax)
Natalie Miller-Moore (Williamsburg)
Mary Crutchfield, Chair (Richmond)
Chris DeRosa (Arlington)
Elizabeth Obenshain (Montgomery County)
Deb Wake has been a volunteer for most of her life: in schools, with a local food bank, and with the homeless. When she moved with her family to Northern Virginia, she joined the League of Women Voters to learn more about her new community and her elected officials. She quickly learned that Metro needed dedicated funding and soon became involved in advocacy. Deb was a major contributor to a LWV Fairfax study about the need for dedicated funding for Metro. She served as the Transportation Chair for the Fairfax Area League, as the LWVFA liaison to the National Capital Area League (ILO), and as Action Coordinator for LWV-VA. In 2019, she was elected as president of LWV-VA, a position she currently holds. She is also a LWVUS Lobby Corps volunteer.
First Vice President
Joan Porte is a graduate from The George Washington University with a B.A in Political Science. She worked for ten years as a legislative aide and lobbyist and then political Action Committee director for two trade associations. She has operated a successful small business in Arlington since then.
Currently, she is in her second term as President of the League of Women Voters of Arlington and serves also as the First Vice President of the LWV of Virginia.
She is an avid cook and author of a cookbook and a fair but aspiring gardener. Joan has lived in Arlington since 1985.
Second Vice President
Erni Bridges is a passionate advocate for young people and voting. After retiring as Vice President at McMurry/TMG, a D.C. Custom Publishing Firm, she found the perfect volunteer opportunity: working with LWV-Fairfax to register high school students to vote. She later served on the LWV Virginia Board where she served as Director, Student Intern Program. Making the experience more rewarding and inspiring was working with the dedicated group of hardworking, committed women.
Her family instilled in her that you “couldn’t live in the world free” … you had to give back. She grew up understanding the value of giving back and how important it was and still is. Erni serves on several other boards in the Northern Virginia area and resides in Alexandria with husband Michael Borden.
Jes, with one S, Davis (she/her) is a two-time graduate of Indiana University where she earned her Masters of Public Affairs with a concentration in policy analysis in 2018. She is also a current part-time PhD student in the Higher Education program at Virginia Tech. Jes found her love of leadership and service by serving in Circle K International where she held past leadership positions as a club vice-president, state secretary, and served as the International Vice President. She currently works to develop a new generation of community leaders through her role as the Assistant Director for Leadership & Civic Engagement within VT Engage: The Center for Leadership & Service Learning at Virginia Tech where she works on democratic engagement programming and helping students to develop their civic identity and ethos. She believes that higher education has an obligation to prepare students to be active in their communities and is committed to practicing what she teaches. Jes currently serves as a planning commissioner for the Town of Christiansburg. She is also active in several university governance positions at Virginia Tech and is a previous member of the LWV in Indianapolis and is a current member of the Montgomery County League. Jes looks forward to continuing to have a positive impact on communities through democratic engagement and civic learning.
Debbie Combest has worked 13 years as the Bookkeeper/HR – using QuickBooks – for a company based in Jacksonville, FL and Atlanta, Ga with 10+ bank accounts and 30+ employees. Debbie was part of the group who helped form the Fredericksburg League in 2016 serving as the Secretary/Treasurer and remained as Treasurer until June 2020. She became the assistant to then LWV-VA Treasurer, Linda Garvelink, in late 2019 converting several years of the financial data from spreadsheets to QuickBooks. February 2020 Linda resigned and Debbie was elected to serve out her remaining term.
Doris Mallory Bey is a native of Richmond, where she worked as an educator for over 15 years. Doris is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, an international public service organization of college educated women. As a member of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, she diligently served as the chair of the Political Awareness and Involvement Committee for over eight years. She spearheaded the installation of a state historical marker located in South Richmond honoring Richmond native Dr. Dorothy Height, a staunch advocate and leader in the civil rights arena who also served as the 10th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and the President of the National Council of Negro Women.
Doris enjoys volunteering within the community and works to educate the community on major issues, specifically voting and voter rights. Doris is an active member of the League of Women Voters–Richmond Metro Area where she serves as a member of the Voter Services and Election Modernization Committees. She began working with the state league through her activities with effort to make Virginia the 38th state to ratify the ERA. Doris also represented the state league during the Centennial Celebration held in Richmond where she spoke on the steps of the General Assembly. Doris currently serves as the Coordinator of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee, one of the recently formed Virginia Issue Groups.
Janet Boyd is an attorney and lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband, Rob, and two young cats, brothers Cisco and Poncho. Her daughter lives in Boston. Janet has served as the Chief for the Glencarlyn Precinct for over 25 years. She currently serves on the LWV-VA Board, as Director of Voter Services since April 2020 and assisted in preparing the Election Position Report. In 2020, she joined the Legislative Committee and leads the Campaign Finance Reform Issue Group. Janet is a member of the Arlington Local League, serving on the League’s Election Integrity Committee. She is also a member of the LWVUS Lobby Corps. Prior to retiring in 2019, Janet worked as a tax and political compliance attorney, lobbied Congress and the Administration, for Dow in the company’s Washington D.C. office, and as a partner in the law firm of Akin, Gump, also in Washington D.C.
Carolyn Caywood worked as a public librarian for over 40 years, focusing on service to children, teens, elders, persons with disabilities, and marginalized people. She has a passionate belief that in a functioning democracy the essential role of the people only begins with voting. In retirement, that led to her involvement in the League where she has been South Hampton Roads’ Voter editor, Program Chair, and co-Vice-President, and is currently managing Facebook and Zoom. She is also participating on the LWVUS Climate Team. Locally, she serves on the board of PFLAG Hampton Roads, the Legislative Collaborative Table of Hampton Roads, and the Virginia Beach Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities. She is an active member of the Virginia Library Association.
Denise Harrington is a graduate of Hampton University with a BA in Music Education. She has MS in Diagnostic Reading and is working on her PhD dissertation. While teaching music in the York County School Division for 16 years, she became active in issues concerning children and public education. As a passionate advocate, she has served on numerous educational and political boards.
As a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., she became familiar with the League of Women Voters during their partnerships on many activities, inspiring her to join the League and get involved. She feels much work can be done through the League’s pledge to be “Issue Driven and Party Blind.” Denise believes that “In our country’s current climate, there is a need for an organization to continue to make a difference and hold true to the mission of preserving our precious Democracy by ensuring that the Country’s ideals of voting being a right and not a privilege are upheld. I would be honored to serve, ensuring the public’s right to vote is my passion, but advocacy is my calling.”
Andrianne Konstas-Salvette, lifelong resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, received her BA in International Affairs from James Madison University and an MBA from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. In between pursuing her degrees, she severed as an Agroforestry Extension Agent Volunteer for the Peace Corps in Cameroon from 2006-2008, recruitment for the U.S. Agricultural Department’s Farmer-to-Farmer Program – connecting U.S. agricultural specialists with agricultural projects worldwide, and Programs Coordinator for the U.S. Agency for International Development on energy and power infostructure projects in East Africa’s Drift Valley and sub-Sahara Africa.
Andrianne has served as Membership Director of LWV-VA since July 30, 2018. As a member of LWV-Fairfax Area, she serves as an observing board member on Fairfax County Public School’s Advisory Committee on Disability Services. In addition to her work with LWV, she serves as an Elections Officer for Fairfax County. When she isn’t working on elections or voter issues, she is a small business owner of Bloom Impact, a floral design business. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, she has focused on providing a safe virtual schooling environment for her two sons. Andrianne looks forward to supporting LWV-VA’s membership growth in the coming years.
Natalie Miller Moore specializes in health care communications, publicity, social media content and marketing campaigns. She built her reputation as a knowledgeable and savvy marketer, bringing more than 20 years of experience in writing and journalism. Natalie’s ability to find the “treasures” of publicity, awards, grant money and testimonials means her clients have their own personal treasure hunter.
She has a journalism degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and continues her education through leadership programs such as the Sorensen Institute for Political Leaders and professional development opportunities such as the Patient Experience Summit and Executive Visitors Program at the Cleveland Clinic.
Natalie currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Williamsburg Regional Library and is a graduate of LEAD Historic Triangle, legendary class of 2013. Natalie works to make Williamsburg a more innovative place through support of Arts District events, mentorship of entrepreneurs at START! Peninsula and the co-creation of Work Nimbly, Williamsburg’s first creative co-working space.
Mary Crutchfield served as President of the League of Women Voters of the Richmond Metro Area for two terms, July 2015-July 2019, and has been active in several committees: Voter Services, Election Modernization, and Communications. She also served on the Sierra Club Falls of the James Group Board and was a member of the Richmond Peace Education Annual Auction Committee. From 2015 to 2020 she was a passionate advocate in the Campaign for ERA ratification in Virginia.
She has served on the LWV-VA Board as an Assistant Lobbyist as well as Second Vice President and Legislative Coordinator and lobbied for ERA ratification, redistricting reform, and for fair election laws and expanded access for voters in Virginia. She also led the committee that planned speakers for the Pre-Session and for Women’s Legislative Roundtables. She is currently a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees of both the LWV-Richmond and LWV Virginia.
Chris DeRosa is a member of the Arlington League. She has served as co-coordinator of the State Redistricting Issues Committee since 2019. Chris is also a member of the Virginia Voter Rights Issues Committee.
Chris was a special education teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools for over 20 years. After retiring in 2006, she began a private tutoring and consulting business and became an active community volunteer. Chris devotes many hours as leader of the Arlington-Falls Church chapter of Spread the Vote, a 501c3 organization that helps community members, many of whom are homeless, obtain their DMV IDs, request the restoration of their civil rights, and register to vote. In addition, she volunteers with Doorways for Women and Families and the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Chris also chairs the scholarship committee for the Japanese American Veterans Association. Chris lives in Arlington with her husband, Dean. Her adult daughters graduated from Arlington public schools and live and work nearby.
Beth Obenshain is a native of Blacksburg and still lives on the family farm on Prices Fork Road. She worked for 30 years in journalism as a reporter at The Richmond Times- Dispatch and editor at The Fayetteville Observer and The Roanoke Times.
After taking early retirement from the paper, she helped found and was the first executive director of the New River Land Trust, which worked with landowners and community members to save farms, create parks and conserve special places.
She has been president of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County for two years. She grew up hearing her older brothers constantly arguing politics if not talking about Tech football. She has been involved in political campaigns since the 1970s.