Board of Directors

Alison Ricker, Co-President

Alison Ricker is from the Oberlin Area League. She has been the Science Librarian at Oberlin College for 32 years; prior to that, she was Librarian at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Georgia. Alison became active in League in 2004, after an intensive volunteer effort to register new voters with the "Oberlin Votes!" coalition (a grant-funded project led by a group of residents including League leaders Mary Kirtz VanNortwick and Linda Slocum). She has served on her local League board for many years, as Member-at-Large, Secretary, Membership Chair, Treasurer and President. Alison also serves as a Precinct Election Official. She is proud to say that her mother, Janet Ricker, served as President of her local League in Pittsburgh, PA in the 1960s - a wonderful role model for valuing democracy.

Mary Kirtz Van Nortwick, Co-President

Mary Kirtz Van Nortwick is from the Oberlin Area League. She has a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and is now Professor Emerita of English and Canadian Studies at the University of Akron, where she taught from 1985 to 2003. She was on the Board of Trustees of the League of Women Voters of Ohio from 2007 to 2011, and served as the Chair of the Personnel Committee. She is currently First Vice-president of her local League and has served on the boards of the Oberlin Public Library and the Oberlin Heritage Center. In 2013-14, she was a member of the Oberlin City Charter Review Commission. She and her husband are theater buffs, traveling annually to the Stratford and Shaw Festivals in Canada. Last year, to their great joy, they became first time grandparents.

Andrea Cobb, 1st Vice President

Andrea Cobb is from the Greater Dayton Area League. She is employed in tax preparation and is currently working towards her Enrolled Agent certification. Andrea has a BA in International Trade from Auburn University and continued her education in accounting at Louisiana State University. She has been Membership Director in her local League, will be Treasurer in 2015, and is a state MLD coach. As a (now-retired) military spouse, Andrea spent 20 years serving on various Boards for non-profit organizations within the military community all over the US and Europe before settling with her husband and four children in Ohio a few years ago. She loves to travel and is passionate about women’s rights.

Marlene Muse, 2nd Vice President

Marlene Muse has served on the LWVO state board as chair of the Development Committee for the past two years. In her first term, she was chair of the Personnel Committee. Marlene has held board positions in development and program in 3 local Leagues, as well as serving as president of the Omaha, NE and College Station, TX Leagues. Her B.A. degree in education and history is from the University of Akron. She loves to read, garden, cook for friends and family, travel with her husband, hike with her dog and just enjoy her three children and seven grandchildren.

Janet Kershaw, Treasurer

Ms. Kershaw currently serves as Treasurer for the League of Women Voters of Ohio. Janet is a graduate of The Ohio State University and is a Registered, Licensed Dietician. She has done additional coursework in business at Baldwin Wallace College and currently works in the optical industry. She has been an active volunteer in the Westlake school system and at a local hospital. Janet has been a member of League for nearly 30 years and has held numerous board positions and offices during that time.

Alfreda Brown - Director

In the fall of 2009, Dr. Alfreda Brown was appointed as the first vice president for the division of diversity, equity and inclusion at Kent State University. Dr. Brown joined Kent State after serving 22 years at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. She has responsibility for the executive leadership and management of Kent State University’s diversity and inclusion matters, leading diversity strategic planning for the university and ensuring successful implementation of related policies, programs, and projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Roberts Wesleyan College, a master’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and a doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University. She is a strong advocate for women in leadership.

Janet Chittock - Director

Janet Chittock is currently 2nd Vice President of the Greater Youngstown League. She was a non-traditional student at Youngstown State University and a sociology major with a graduate degree in community counseling. She was a case manager, mental health counselor and worked with state institutions to release clients back into the community. As a League member she has worked on studies and interviewed local office holders.

Dorothy Kane - Director

Dorothy Kane is from the Greater Youngstown League. She has a B.S. in Education and a Masters in Religious Education. She is a former educator and currently serves as director of the VIP Workplace Program and coordinator of the VIP Family Violence Prevention Coalition for Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Ashtabula counties. She has been secretary for her local League for more than 6 years.

Marti (Martha) Kleinfelter - Director

Martha (Marti) Kleinfelter President of the Clermont League. Grew up in Maumee outside of Toledo. Received bachelor degree from Bowling Green State University and master’s from Northern Kentucky University. I was a teacher (Social Studies, English and driver;s ed) for 33 years. I have belonged to the League since 2000. I have served as secretary and suffragist dinner chair for the Clermont League. I am a volunteer at the local library, the polls for election day, CASA volunteer and historical society in Clermont county.

Iris Meltzer - Director

Iris Meltzer is with the Kent League. Iris holds a Master’s Degree in psychology from Western Carolina University and a Master’s of Public Health from the Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health Program, for whom she served as Accreditation Consultant. Iris retired from Akron Children’s Hospital after 28 years as the Administrator for Adolescent Health Services. Previously she was a founding member and director of Portage County’s first shelter for battered women and their children. She has been a member for the League for six years and is currently in her second two-year term as President and is a member of Kent’s MLD team. Iris is a community activist and, in her insufficient spare time, likes to read and travel.

Deborah Schmieding - Director

Deborah Schmieding recently retired from a 39-year career supporting kids and adults with developmental disabilities in Athens and Washington Counties.  Her passion to advance disability issues did not end at that time, and she continues to find home for this effort with the League.  Voting access is very important to her, and she is proud to be affiliated with the premier organization protecting this right for all citizens.

Deborah has an undergraduate degree in Communication from Michigan State University, a Masters of Public Administration from Ohio University.


Alice Schneider - Director

Alice Schneider is from the Cincinnati League. Currently, Alice is director of communications for Applied Information Resources, a non profit public policy research group in Cincinnati Before that she was an educator in the Cincinnati Public Schools. She earned a BA from Ohio State University and a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. Alice has been president of the Cincinnati League of Women Voters. In addition, Alice was state president of the American Association of University Women. In the Cincinnati League, she managed candidates’ forums and has chaired the Speakers’ Bureau for several years. She has lobbied on many issues, at the state and local level. She co-chaired the committee for campaign finance reform (2001) for Cincinnati. She currently serves on the LWVO Board and is co-chair of the Advocacy Committee.

Kristin Vessey - Director

Ms. Vessey joined the League in Mayaguez, PR (1966-1969) and edited a bilingual VOTER. In Ohio, she’s served three terms as president of the Bowling Green League, one as LWVO treasurer (1977-1979), coordinated Ohio elections returns in 1980 for ABC News, based on exit polls by LWV members (pre-cell phone days!) and co-chaired the LWVO Land Use Study in 1999. She has a PhD in developmental genetics from BGSU and was a faculty member there in the Center for Environmental Programs. Natural Resources are her chief interest in League and she’s the current Land Use Specialist in our Lobby Corps.

Lisa Givan - Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) Program Coordinator
As the Associate Director of Pre-College Initiatives and Diversity Training at Kent State University, Lisa is responsible for developing, coordinating and delivering diversity related training for the campus community as well as surrounding areas in northeast Ohio. With almost twenty years combined experience from both Corporate America and Higher Education, Lisa’s area of expertise is content development that promotes and sustains cultural competence, leadership, inclusion, equity and respect. An engaging facilitator, Lisa’s ability to be transparent with her participants allows them to push through topics that can be of a sensitive nature toward a growth mindset. As a seasoned facilitator, she travels extensively and presents on local, regional and national levels. Lisa is also an licensed Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory.