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
Rachel Green
Board Member
Gina Trish
Board Member
Daryl Eisenberg Knegten
Committee Chair
Cori Menkin Herbig
Committee Chair

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


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.


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.


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.


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. B


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.


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.


Rachel Green

Rachel C. Green is the Founder and CEO of Women of Color Coalition. Rachel has served many years as the President and Vice President of the Deptford Township Board of Education. The first black women to serve as President of the Board of Education. A community advocate for children, women and all marginalized groups for many years. Rachel currently is the Interim Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Acenda, Inc. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, a postgraduate degree in Public Administration and currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Management of Organizational Leadership. Rachel has served and advocated on many boards and organization. The following are just a few of the many boards, committees and awards she has received and served on over the years for the community: 2021 NJ State Women’s March Steering Committee Member, Founder of Jersey Girls4Joe/Kamala/Women for Biden/Harris New Jersey and State Director/now Jersey Girls for Democracy, 2020 Presidential Biden District Delegate-New Jersey, 2nd Vice President NJ State Federation of Democratic Women 2021-2023, Action Together State Civil Rights Director, Gloucester County NAACP Executive Board Member-present, Member of the SNJ Black Political Caucus, Former Member of Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholder’s Tolerance Project and Parks and Recreation Committee, Gloucester County NAACP Image Award in Education 2010, and SJ African American Chamber of Commerce President’s Award 2014. Former Member of Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholder’s Tolerance Project and Parks and Recreation Committee.


Gina Trish

Gina is a communications professional with the State of New Jersey, serving as a public information official, writer, spokesperson, senior advisor and digital communications lead. She brings an equitable and progressive voice to her external communications work in the public and private sector. Prior to her work with the State, she taught technology and design in the art department at Centenary University and worked independently on digital design and web development projects for education, technology, manufacturing, not-for-profit, and political campaigns.In 2017, she ran for State Assembly in the 24th Legislative District in Northwestern New Jersey. She currently serves as a Democratic County Committeewoman and is the Municipal Chair of the Blairstown Democrats in Warren County. She is an activist and community organizer who believes in order to achieve equal representation for women at all levels of government we must organize, engage and support each other. Gina holds a degree from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.


Daryl Eisenberg Knegten

Daryl Eisenberg Knegten – Somerset County Film Commission Chair and Owner and Managing Partner of Eisenberg/Beans Casting – an Artios-nominated full-service casting office. Daryl Eisenberg served as a Watchung Borough Councilmember from Jan 2019 through Dec 2021. Daryl is a lifelong resident of Somerset County and launched the Watchung Chamber of Commerce. She was awarded the 2021 Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer Service Award by the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women. Daryl was listed in the Insider 100: Millennial Power List and is a recipient of the Somerset County Business Partnership Top 40 Under 40 Award. She holds a BFA from Tisch School of The Arts/New York University and Playwrights Horizons Theater School. Member of Casting Society of America.


Cori Menkin Herbig

Cori Herbig is a two time candidate for the Parsippany-Troy Hills Town Council.  With over two decades of government affairs experience, Cori currently works as the Director of  U.S. States Public Policy at Mars, Inc, focusing on a broad range of issues, including sustainability, consumer privacy, and animal health and welfare. Prior to joining the Mars team, Cori worked at Everytown for Gun Safety for five years as the Director of State Government Affairs, where she built and executed gun violence prevention legislative strategies.  Earlier in her career, she spent 13 years advocating for animal welfare at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where she worked to pass legislation on the state and federal levels and build consumer campaigns to keep animals safe from abuse and neglect. Before joining the ASPCA, Cori practiced housing law at Westchester/Putnam Legal Services, where she advocated to keep struggling families safe from unlawful eviction. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a certificate in Criminology from Rutgers College in 1998, before going on to obtain a law degree and a certificate in Environmental Law from Pace Law School in 2001. While at Pace, she was the managing editor of the Pace Law Review. Cori grew up in Chester and moved to Parsippany in 2013, where she now lives with her husband and two children.


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