Meet Our Team

Kerri Kennedy
Founder and Chairwoman
Tricia Maguire
Founder and Executive Directo
r
Linda Peng-Grooters
Founder and Treasurer
Kathy Williams
Vice Chairwoman
Suchitra Kamath
Founding Board Member
Cara Parmigiani
Founding Board Member
Saily Avelenda
Founding Board Member
Mariel DiDato
Administrative Lead

Kerri Kennedy

Kerri Kennedy is Founder and Chairperson. She is a global peacebuilder, international executive and co- editor of the book Indivisible: Global Leaders for Shared Security. Kerri has dedicated more than twenty years to lead international peace, disaster relief, and humanitarian organizations in the US and across 50+ countries and has spent her career working to reduce conflict, advocate for human rights and women’s leadership in politics and the private sector globally. Currently, she is the International Associate General Secretary for American Friends Service Committee, overseeing operations in 17 countries. After her time supporting women politicians in Afghanistan, she created Represent PAC to support progressive women candidates in Pennsylvania, and beyond, to ensure that all have a voice in policy and politics. She is a Truman National Security Fellow, a board member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding and has an M.S. from American University
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Tricia Maguire

Tricia Maguire is Founder and Executive Director.  Owner of 3E Grassroots Political Consulting, she has twenty-five years of experience as a community focused professional, advocate, and executive board level volunteer.  She is a graduate of the Emerge New Jersey training and a two time candidate for municipal office.   Tricia is a life long champion for women;  beginning in the 1990’s interning for a Women’s Health Clinic in Chester, PA as well as researching, presenting, and programming on campus rape;  serving on numerous committees to boost female representation in education and politics; and her current fierce support of female candidates in elections.  A local activist, Tricia is a former Steering Committee member from Indivisible CD4, Community Action Team Leader with Planned Parenthood, Now Committee Chair, and County Co-Chair of the Shore Area Action Together NJ. Tricia holds a M.Ed. from Lehigh University.
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Linda Peng-Grooters

She is a communications designer by trade, working for a worldwide publishing company. In her spare time she volunteers her services for women run businesses and women’s rights and health organizations. As a local activist, she is involved with Indivisible Bayshore, Mom’s Demand, councils for survivors of domestic violence, she is a commissioner on her town’s Environmental Commission, and is a County Committeewoman for her district. Linda holds a BFA and MFA from The New School University.
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Kathy Williams

Kathy is a Founding Board Member. She is a longtime educator with over 25 years of experience leading, teaching and advocating for fair and equitable treatment for children and their families in education. Kathy is currently the Founder/Executive Director of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Friends in Need Children’s Center (FINCC). She also holds the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of SeBriN Technology, Inc; A technology consulting company that provides consulting and support for technology businesses in the field of STEM. Kathy has been imbedded in the thick of politics since a young age. She came from a family in New York City that is heavily involved in the political arena, fighting for the rights of underrepresented people including the African American community, women and children. She has continued with her advocacy work throughout her 30 plus years of being in New Jersey through her non-profit organization and her partnership with various activist groups. Kathy has been a candidate for Township Committee and her local school board. She is currently a County Committeewoman for her local district. She is also currently an appointed member of the Monmouth County Supreme Court District IX C Arbitration Committee. Kathy holds a BS from Syracuse University, a MA from Adelphi University and a MA from Kean University.
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Suchitra Kamath

Suchitra Kamath is an entrepreneur. Currently, she runs the Minuteman Press of Edison, whose  core business is printing, graphic design and promotional products.  Before making this career change to a business owner, was directing and managing the strategy and compliance of global programs for regulatory and  policy change for Tier-1 investment banks on Wall Street, New York City. 

Suchitra holds a degree in Instrument Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi), India as well as a Masters in Library and Information Sciences with a concentration in Digital Information Organization from Rutgers University.

An EMERGE alumni, Suchitra has been politically active in the past several years, helping  with election day and poll workers management in Edison township and  statewide fundraising for several Democratic candidates.She is the Executive Director and President of ISAAW (Inspiring South Asian American Women), an organization which educates, empowers and mobilizes South Asian American Women for political and civic engagement. She is the founding President of the Democratic Club in Edison, NJ. Suchitra also sits on the board of the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey. Back to top…


Cara Parmigiani

Cara earned her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law and was admitted to the Bars of the States of New Jersey and New York. As a general practitioner/litigator in her own firm, she solves a wide variety of problems every day to assist adults and children through our legal system. In particular, she has provided pro-bono legal assistance for women in arranged marriages, as well as represented vulnerable populations of patients in psychiatric facilities. Cara co-founded Morris County Pride, a continuing organization that promotes visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. She has run for both county and local offices, and is an exhibiting graphic artist and writer. Back to top…


Saily Avelenda

Saily M. Avelenda is the current Executive Director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.  Prior to becoming ED of the party, Ms. Avelenda ran the Currie/Shaffer chair campaign in 2019-early 2020.  Ms. Avelenda was a founding Steering Committee member of NJ 11th for Change in 2016 and 2017, and served as the group’s Executive Director from February 2018 to January 2020. Until May 2017, Ms. Avelenda was employed as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at a community bank in northern New Jersey.  Ms. Avelenda left her position shortly after her then-congressman, Rodney Frelinghuysen (R; NJ-11) alerted a member of her employer’s Board of Directors about her activities with NJ 11th for Change. Ms. Avelenda, in turn, alerted the media about Congressman Frelinghuysen’s actions, and he announced his retirement in January 2018.  In November 2018, NJ’s 11th Congressional District overwhelmingly elected Mikie Sherrill (D) to take his seat. NJ 11th for Change is widely credited with having paved the way for the Congresswoman’s victory.  Ms. Avelenda received her J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School and her B.A.from New York University. Back to top…


Mariel Didato

Mariel DiDato is the co-chair of the New Jersey Young Democrats Women’s Caucus, Recording Secretary of the Monmouth County Democrats, and just received her Master’s in Women’s and Gender Studies with a concentration in Politics from Rutgers University. In 2017, she ran for General Assembly in Legislative District 13, and has been dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected office ever since. She is incredibly excited to join the Elect Women NJ team and continue to work towards increasing gender parity in New Jersey politics. Back to top…


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