Woman's National Democratic Club

Board of Directors

WNDC Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Laura Foster Whitaker brings over two decades of experience leading teams and organizations in the private sector to her service to WNDC. Her professional background includes starting up offices overseas, overseeing budget and project management for large company divisions as well as startup organizations, developing relationships with corporate executives, public speaking at industry conferences, and most importantly nurturing the careers of staff.

Active involvement with the Club includes diving in to participate in the Program Committee, as well as Board service with the WNDC Educational Foundation where she serves as liaison for programs. As a WNDC Board Director for Programs since 2020, Laura ensured the continuation of a robust calendar of popular and diverse virtual events during the unforeseen Zoom era, keeping the Committee engaged through new technologies that boosted collaboration and using data to refine the ways the Club thinks about its Program offerings.

A California native, Laura has lived in Washington DC on and off for over twenty years where through community networks, she has led multiple pro bono nonprofit consulting projects. Laura holds a BA from Princeton University and is active on her Class’s scholarship committee; and received an MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. She and her husband Joel live and pay taxes in Washington DC without Senate or full House representation.

Rosalyn L. Coates recently retired after 40 years of federal service. She began her legal career as Assistant Regional Attorney with Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.

She moved to Washington, DC to serve as Legal Counsel to the Chief of the Equal Employment Opportunities Office at the Library of Congress. During her tenure at the Library of Congress, she served in several positions including Assistant General Counsel and Legislative Counsel. She retired as legislative counsel with the US Merit Systems Protection Board in January 2020.

Ms. Coates has extensive experience in strategic planning, budgeting, and organizational development gained through her years of service as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union and President of the Board of Directors of the Oracle Set Foundation, Inc.

Ms. Coates holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Iowa, College of Law.

Carol Baer Mott has been active as a volunteer and staff person at non-profits for all of her life. Highlights of her volunteer work in both Philadelphia, her hometown, and Washington, her home since 1994, include leadership roles with the League of Women (LWV) and the WNDC.

At the LWV, Carol served as Philadelphia president and on the state board. Also, for many years she negotiated, produced, and arranged television coverage for local and state primary and general election debates. She was Philadelphia debate director for the 1984 Bush-Ferraro Vice Presidential debate.

Carol joined the Woman’s National Democratic Club twenty years ago, serving as secretary, vice president for administration, and nominating committee chair. She also headed events and worked on the fund raising, bylaws, building, and finance committees.  She is currently a member of the board of the WNDC Educational Foundation.

At her synagogue in Bethesda, Carol is a long-time member of the finance committee and has served as chair and treasurer. She also manages large building repair/replacement projects for the organization. Carol currently chairs the audit committee of a national organization.

Professionally, Carol worked in communications for architecture firms before becoming the executive director of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). At the national AIA in Washington, she held several positions including running a leadership non-profit within the professional society and 850-person conventions.

Michelle has been an active member of the WNDC’s GOTV Committee since 2019, working with the Winning Wednesday team of activists. After earning a BA in Political Science and JD from the University of Buffalo (UB), she began her career as a litigator before moving to the DC area to work as Legislative Counsel for US Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY 29th). She went on to serve as VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for the American Cleaning Institute, a DC-based trade association, for nearly a decade before starting her second career as a yoga studio entrepreneur, founding Grace Studios in 2014.

She has served on executive committees at Woodlin Elementary and St. Andrew’s Episcopal schools, as well as Chair of UB Law School’s DC Alumni Chapter. Michelle lives in Silver Spring, MD, where she raised her two college-aged children, Robyn and Callie, with her husband Brian and two dogs, Coco and Lucky.

Committee Directors & Chairs

Conceico has been the Chair of our Archives Committee since 2021. Born in Horta, Faial, Azores Islands, Portugal, she currently lives in Maryland.  She taught Portuguese at Harvard University and The World Bank Organization.  She also worked as a translator, interpreter, and editor and in library science at several university libraries. She has a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Diploma and a bachelor’s degree in French and Anthropology, from American University, Washington DC, and graduated from Horta High School, Portugal.

She examined the story of Snow White or Mary of the Wooden Dress, (included in Stories of My Azorean Grandmother/Histórias da Minha Avó Açoriana) at the AICL Colloquium (International Association of Colloquiums of Lusofonia) in her presentation, Stories of My Azorean Grandmother: The Symbolism of the Bull.  Additionally, she authored various manuals for teaching Portuguese, namely Portuguese for Business Travelers I, for the World Bank, as well as other works for Library Science, Boletins Bibliogáficos e Informativos, e o Manual de Biblioteconomia for the Library of Public Works, Maputo, Mozambique.

She volunteers at various organizations in the Washington D.C. area, including teaching English to immigrants. Her other interests include painting (her works have been exhibited in Brazil and the US), birding, astronomy, and learning languages.

As Director for Building and Grounds, Michael Beidler is responsible for property management and maintenance.

As Principal and founder of Trout Design Studio, Inc., a full service architectural and interior design firm in Washington, DC, Michael has been implementing custom, highly specialized architectural design for over 35 years with a focus on high end residential and specialty commercial projects.  He is actively involved in local and regional historic preservation organizations serving as long term active member, frequent officer, committee chairperson and President of both the Dupont Circle Conservancy, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, and the ANC2B Preservation Zoning and Development committee. Michael is a former Historic Building Inspector and Senior Preservation Specialist in the DC Historic Preservation Office in the DC Office of Planning. 

Michael is a current Board member of the WNDC Educational Foundation, having served as its President from 2013-2016.  He was also a member of the WNDC Board of Governors and the EXCOM from 2013–2019.

Michael coordinated renovations of Whittemore House (the Wolf Ballroom, first and second floor bathrooms and extensive building infrastructure improvements) over the last eight years with long term solutions to major building systems problems, creating a firm footing on which the WNDC continues to build its organization and generate income.

Professionally I started out as a biologist, but after 6 years in the lab turned this experience to editorial matters, going into business for myself in 1978. From 1984 to 1995, I was managing editor of National Geographic’s scholarly quarterly, Research & Exploration, and when they closed the journal, I returned to free-lance employment full-time and evolved into a science writer who attends federal meetings (often 1 or 2 days long), takes notes, and tells people what they talked about.

I joined WNDC after I began to retire, in 2015, VAMA in 2016, EF in 2017 (I now serve as EF board’s secretary), and became Director of Communications in 2019.  Member since 2015.

Maddie Stilley joined the club in 2019 and has been an active member as co-chair of the Young Democrats Committee from 2021 – 2022 and a member of GOTV, focused on voter outreach training and deep canvassing. Maddie is a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and supports government clients in developing strategic communication plans, implementing change management, and building targeted national campaigns. She is looking forward to taking on a new role and using her professional expertise to further club efforts. 

Courtney Phelan currently works at the National Wildlife Refuge Association as their Director of Development and is in charge of building a vibrant and sustainable individual and major giving program. Prior to NWRA, Courtney worked at Restore America’s Estuaries as their Senior Development Manager. She focused on fundraising for their 1,200 person biennial Summit and their individual giving program. Prior to that, she was the Director of Development at Earth Day Network, where she raised $750,000 in a matter of a few months for an event on the National Mall and raised over $100,000 in new donations in a single week using online crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising.

Courtney received her B.S. in Sustainability, focusing on Sustainable Ecosystems at Arizona State University, and her M.S. in Environmental Studies, focusing on Sustainable Development and Climate Change at Antioch University New England. Courtney received her international Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification in October 2021 which is the gold standard of fundraising with only 8,000 people in the entire world with it. Courtney enjoys spending her spare time with her three cats and husband. She also enjoys camping, fishing, and golfing in the great, local spots by her home in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Mindy Burrell has been active in the WNDC since 2012, most recently leading the GOTV task force and its contribution to the 2018 and 2020 Blue Waves. Having held leadership positions in various nonprofits, international organizations, and political campaigns, Mindy brings decades of experience managing large and diverse teams in cross-cultural settings. 

Michelle has been an active member of the WNDC’s GOTV Committee since 2019, working with the Winning Wednesday team of activists. After earning a BA in Political Science and JD from the University of Buffalo (UB), she began her career as a litigator before moving to the DC area to work as Legislative Counsel for US Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY 29th). She went on to serve as VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for the American Cleaning Institute, a DC-based trade association, for nearly a decade before starting her second career as a yoga studio entrepreneur, founding Grace Studios in 2014.

She has served on executive committees at Woodlin Elementary and St. Andrew’s Episcopal schools, as well as Chair of UB Law School’s DC Alumni Chapter. Michelle lives in Silver Spring, MD, where she raised her two college-aged children, Robyn and Callie, with her husband Brian and two dogs, Coco and Lucky.

Mindy Burrell has been active in the WNDC since 2012, most recently leading the GOTV task force and its contribution to the 2018 and 2020 Blue Waves. Having held leadership positions in various nonprofits, international organizations, and political campaigns, Mindy brings decades of experience managing large and diverse teams in cross-cultural settings. She is excited for the chance to support WNDC’s talented and committed staff.

A senior digital strategist at a political consultancy, Lilly spends her days working with candidates, PACs, and organizations under the Democratic Party umbrella. She graduated in 2018 from Wellesley College, with cross-registration certifications from MIT and Harvard, and her political background includes internships with both of MA’s US Senators, roles at the HQs of Hillary for America and Obama for America, along with an internship at the Environmental Voter Project, and leadership positions within Wellesley Students for Hillary and College Democrats of Massachusetts.

Whilst in university, she was recruited by Google for the Elections Advertising Team based in DC and has worked in marketing for foundations and professional theaters such as ART at Harvard and Second City, where she also performed as a dancer, actor, and writer.

Finding the club during her first weeks in the DMV, Lilly aims to use her marketing skills and intense work ethic from years of classical ballet to build an interactive and inclusive membership base and make the club a hub for people in political fields for networking and activism.
 
A Board member at Grab Your Wallet Alliance, a San Francisco based nonprofit focused on helping marginalized communities flex their economic power, she has held similar roles at Harvard Museum of Science and Culture and worked with our GOTV Task Force as campaign liaison and lead activist trainer. Lilly is excited to give back to our beautiful club in a new way and help our membership engage and grow!

Karyl Berger Cafiero was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. Her high school history teacher sparked her interest in politics, leading to summer Washington Workshops and her decision to attend American University. After college she returned to Buffalo to help her parents in the family business. Karyl then moved to New York City, obtaining her master’s degree in public administration from the Wagner School at NYU. After grad school she worked as an analyst and researcher at the NYC Department of Sanitation and later, NYC Transit, and as staff to a citizen’s transportation advisory/advocacy organization.

In her spare time, Karyl served on the board of the Wagner School Alumni Association, organized fund raisers for the PTA at her daughters’ school, was president of the local Parents of Twins club, and president of her co-op apartment building. In 2016 she was elected to the board of the Park Slope (Brooklyn) Civic Council.

In the summer of 2019, Karyl and her husband Peter relocated to Washington, DC. Karyl was soon elected to the board of her apartment building’s resident’s association, where she serves as Vice President and chairs the events committee. Karyl and Peter joined WNDC in February 2020, and have enjoyed attending a number of in person and virtual events since then.

Karen worked as a nurse practitioner for 40 years. Highlights of her career include serving as Director of Quality Assurance and Risk Management at Planned Parenthood of Metro DC (20 years), while also providing direct patient care and teaching as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University (15 years) in both clinical practice and bioethics. She developed a syllabus and trained Peace Corps medical officers (10 years) and served on the DC Board of Nursing (9 years), heading a task force that established the first rules and regulations governing nurse practitioners’ practice.

In 1989 Karen received WUSA’s One and Only 9 award “In recognition for Outstanding [volunteer] Service to HIV/AIDS Patients and their Families.” She is a lifelong member of the ACLU and the ADA. Karen has been a proud progressive Democratic activist since 1960, active in presidential campaigns and movements for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, for reproductive choice, and for AIDS awareness and compassion. 
 
Karen served as Vice President for Public Policy and Political Action from December 2014 to June 2017. Karen is currently completing a two-year term as the Director for Public Policy and Political Action. She is seeking a second two-year term in the same position.

Nuzhat Sultan has been active in the arts community since 1972. Prior to opening her own business, she worked for the Smithsonian Resident Associates program. She was Executive Director and Principal for 29 years of Washington Arts Associates, conducting educational art tours and seminars in the United States for major museums, in the UK, US and Canada. She was the Exhibitions Chair of the Arts Club of Washington for a number of years, where she curated and juried exhibitions, and organized an art lecture series. She has also chaired numerous benefits and was a board member of Art Table and on the board of Pyramid Atlantic, a nationally respected center of print and paper making. Her work brought her in touch with museum professionals whose advice she relies on for her work at the WNDC.

Since 2011, when she joined the WNDC, she has taken an active interest in the WNDC collection and eventually created the Visual Arts and Museum Committee for the purpose of restoring and cataloging the collection to meet museum standards. Nuzhat continues to curate mid-career artists from the Washington area to exhibit in the Ballroom Gallery and the Upstairs Gallery. This has brought the local arts community to the Club, including collectors, directors and curators of museums. More importantly, the art works sold at these exhibitions generate income for the club. Recently, with the help of committee member Jennifer Post and the very able and consistent help of Claire Sandberg, VAMA Coordinator, a docent program has been implemented.

Since joining the Club in the mid 1990s, Judy has served in the following positions: VP for Membership; VP for Administration; Chair of the Nominating Committee; and, several terms on the Board of Governors. From 2016-2019, she served as Secretary to the board and then as Co-Secretary until 2022. Judy was the Project Manager for Women’s Voices: An Oral History of DC Women for the Educational Foundation.

In December 2014, Judy retired from the staff of Ward 3 DC Councilmember Mary Cheh. Her main career was working for architectural firms and nonprofit housing organizations. She held elected positions to the Ward 3 Democratic Committee and the DC Democratic State Committee. She has a BA in Political Science and BA in Interior Design with a concentration in historic preservation.

Nuchhi Currier served twice as President of WNDC—from November 2009 to June 2013 and July of 2016 to June of 2021. Under her leadership, the Club became the Hillary Clinton DC Campaign headquarters and then post-election the hub of the March on Washington. She has been actively engaged in the private sector in strategic planning, pricing, and marketing in senior management positions in South Asia, the Persian Gulf and North America. She subsequently worked at the United Nations, contributing articles to the UN Chronicle as well as engaging in consulting projects for UNICEF and CIPE.