Some Biographical Insights:
"Today we are sending a clear message to the Illinois members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that the time has come to act. While bigotry cannot be legislated out of existence, a forceful, moral response to hate violence is required of us all," -Sheila Luecht of the American Association of University Women.
This quotation led fundraising efforts for over 5 years on the national website of AAUW in the public policy area.
I have worked with non-profits for over fifteen years. My work has spanned cultural, socioeconomic and political barriers. I have experience in human resources, with small business, management and fund development.
I participated as a member of the Illinois Assembly on Political Representation and Alternative Electoral Systems in October 2000, which was published in 2001. I was a speaker on behalf of Women in Politics, for the MS. Foundation Whitehouse Project event, AAUW, and the Women’s Leadership Council. I was also honored by AAUW in Illinois as the Agent of Change, selected out of 4000 women in the state; also as a Rising Star of the Women’s Leadership Council 2001. I am a Leadership Academy graduate, Class of 2006, and was also honored for work on a successful non-profit capital campaign. I formerly served as branch president, state director of communications, and on the public policy committee for the American Association of University Women Illinois, as well as on their Gender Equity Advisory Council. I was also a media consultant for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and a board member. Part of my work has been creating relationships through media, writing, and public speaking. Most prominently, I coordinated two major media events on behalf of the UnitedAgainstHate Campaign of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to support Hate Crimes Legislation.
I am a creative individual who enjoys painting murals and working on all sizes of canvas- usually in oil or acrylics. People, travel and personal experiences fuel my drive to create art and the written word.
The motivation for most of my writing has always been issue based and with the purpose of advocacy. In the past few years, I have begun writing about travel, creating fictional stories, and sharing life experiences. I have a passion for the WWII era, and that passion fuels my creative drive to write and research on the topic.
Some favorite authors include: Erik Larson, Steve Berry, Clive Cussler, Tim Bonyhady, Herman Wouk. Of course, I am someone who can enjoy the works of Alcott and Hemingway or wrap myself up in a formula fiction adventure and live vicariously through what almost any good storyteller can write.
I want my history, my action, my deep thought and analysis, but most of all, I want the story to give me something else to think about after I have finished the book. Several years back now, when I read Hitler's Willing Executioners... by Goldhagen, I used that historical account as a jump off point for further research and some writing. Books and authors that can inspire me in such a way become the most memorable for me.
Nice to see you, too, Sheila. Now I'm off to read your story...and soon I'll put up one of my own. Cheers!