Staff & Board of Directors
9to5 is a national organization with offices in California, Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin, and members in every state. To get connected with activists in a state not listed, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-669-0769.
Linda Meric, National Executive Director (Colorado office)
Linda helped found 9to5 Colorado in 1996 and served as the chapter’s Director until fall 2004 when she became 9to5’s national Director in a planned organizational transition. Under Linda’s leadership, 9to5 has won important anti-discrimination, living wage, work-family, welfare and child care victories. Read Linda’s full-length bio here.
What’s the best advice received/given: Be true to yourself, your ideals and your values.
Wacky skill: I’m a kid magnet!
Favorite quote: “Don’t mourn. Organize!” Mother Jones
Favorite part of job: Having the privilege of working with and learning from women who are taking action to improve their workplaces, their lives and the world.
Gloria Smith, Co-Chair of the National Board of Directors
Gloria Smith, an active member of 9to5 since 2000, is the legislative assistant of constituent services for a state house representative. In 2012, she was elected to serve as both the 9to5 Georgia Chapter Board Chair and to serve on the national board for 9to5. Gloria also served from 2005-2010 with Atlanta YMCA Head Start Policy Council, Advisory Board of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity from 2006 to present. Gloria was currently nominated to serve on Project Healthy Grandparent Advisory Board for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, which is another passion of hers. She is currently raising her two grandchildren. Gloria is pleased and honored to be a part of 9to5, a group of hard working, positive women that are about making changes to better impact the lives of others.
Cathy Deppe, Co-Chair of the National Board of Directors
Cathy has coordinated the 9to5 Los Angeles office since 2006. She encourages leadership development of the many student volunteers who provide her continuing inspiration. A former single Mom, she is committed to building a movement for women’s economic independence. Cathy serves on the Speakers Bureau of the Dolores Huerta Labor Foundation in Los Angeles, and represents 9to5 in local community coalitions that fight for working people.
Favorite part of the job: I must admit I love the opportunity to march, picket and rally for justice. “Aqui estamos, y no nos vamos” says it all! (“Here we are, and we are not going away.”)
Wacky skill: Propping a book on the steering wheel and memorizing poems or songs while traversing Interstate 5 through California’s central valley.
Favorite Quote: “People will show you who they in the beginning. Believe them the first time.” (Amanda Touchton)
Unwinds by: Reading the comics and horror-scopes.
9to5 National Staff
Cindia Cameron, National Organizing Director (Georgia office)
Cindia coordinates issue campaigns, and provides leadership and program development support to chapters and staff across the country. She is a media spokesperson and public speaker for community and employer audiences on a range of working women’s issues. She has worked for 9to5 since 1983.
What’s the best advice received: Keep an open mind, but don’t let your brains fall out (Karen Nussbaum, 9to5 founder)
Loves: Listening to/playing old-time fiddle music
Unwinds by: Unstructured time with my camera
Nasreen Jilani, National Development Director (Georgia office)
Nasreen manages fundraising planning and activities, including foundation grants, donor cultivation and special events. She has worked on a range of issues including winning rights for women inmates with Amnesty International, and researching living wage legislation nationwide with Good Jobs First in Washington DC.
Best advise received/given: Follow your gut instincts!
Loves: Traveling, but also being at home with a good book and a warm bath.
Wacky skill: I can do pretty much anything around the house with a baby in one arm.
Linda Garcia Barnard, National Operations Director (Wisconsin Office)
Linda oversees the organization’s financial, personnel and administrative divisions. Linda began her 22-year career with 9to5 as a single parent activist and leader.
What’s the best advice received/given: Listen
Unwinds by: Reading
Loves: Being a mother of 5, grandmother of 2 and married.
Lindsey Challis, National Online Organizer (Georgia office)
Lindsey coordinates the 9to5 Action Network, made up of 9to5 members who are not close to a chapter but want to do work in their own community. Lindsey’s prior organizing experience includes interning with 9to5 Atlanta, and working to defend LGBTQ rights and end environmental and social injustices of corporate hog farms.
What’s the best advice received: Move through the world mindfully (advice from my mom).
Wacky skill: Absurd costume design—the sillier and cheaper the better!
Loves: Mint tea, Indian food, collecting inventively-named paint chips
Favorite quote: “We all do better when we all do better.” Paul Wellstone
Helen Cox, National Public Relations Coordinator (Georgia office)
Helen coordinates our national communications efforts. She has been involved in social justice work for the past 15 years. She has a strong commitment to intersectional organizing, building grassroots capacity, and strengthening the progressive movement. Since 2010, Helen’s done communications for AFSCME and Planned Parenthood Southeast.
Favorite Part of Job: I love hearing people’s stories and making them echo across multiple platforms.
Unwinds By: Meditating and reading in my hammock.
Favorite Quote: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Lilla Watson
Yaneth Solano, National Financial Coordinator (Wisconsin office)
Yaneth prepares financial statements and budgets, and ensures proper allocation of overhead charges, and manages relationships with independent auditors.
Unwinds by: Switching off technology devices for an hour
Favorite quote: “The time is always right, to do what it is right.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
John Madden, Helpline Organizer (Georgia office)
John is a Quaker Voluntary Service fellow, whose role at 9to5 encompasses coordinating the Job Survival Helpline, as well as assisting with the organizing efforts of the Georgia Chapter and Action Network. A recent graduate from Guilford College with a degree in Sociology & Anthropology as well as Community and Justice studies, John is committed to devoting his work to supporting social movements toward broad liberation.
Unwinds by walking, listening to music, drawing, and making gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.
Loves to unwind.
Favorite part of the job is connecting with the amazing people that make 9to5 what it is!
9to5 Job Survival Helpline: 1-800-522-0925
Los Angeles, California
630 Shatto Place, 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 201-7029
Fax: (213) 389-1816
1634 Downing Street, Unit A
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: (303) 628-0925
Fax: (303) 628-3888
Neha Mahajan, Chapter Director
Neha is the daughter of South Asian immigrants and has supported social justice and community organizing work for over 15 years. Locally she has served as Co-Director of the Chinook Fund, Colorado’s only community-led social justice foundation, and Survivors Organizing for Liberation, a statewide organization dedicated to LGBTQ justice and youth organizing. She is also on the board of GIFT and a member of Standing in Our Power, a national network of women of color committed to transforming leadership for social justice movements.
Best Advice Received/Given: Any healing that you can undertake in your lifetime extends backwards to generations of ancestors and forwards to the generations to come.
Favorite Quote: “They said: ‘You are a savage and dangerous woman.’ I am speaking the truth. And the truth is savage and dangerous.” – Nawal El Saadawi
Favorite Part of Job: Creating space for women directly impacted by the issues we work on to claim their own power and leadership!
Bridget Kaminetsky, Chapter Lead Organizer
Bridget completed a one-year field placement at 9to5 through the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Bridget won an award from Denver University for her student activism and commitment to social justice. She led the Colorado chapter’s very successful Election Connection civic engagement organizing project, and then joined the team as permanent staff.
What’s the best advice received/given: Fully appreciate the moments of today.
Wacky skill: I have become extremely proficient in using just one arm while carrying my toddler
in the other.
Favorite quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi
Judith Marquez, Chapter Organizer
Judith has a strong background in grassroots community organizing for racial and economic justice in Denver, Colorado. Having grown up as a daughter of Mexican immigrant parents, Judith roots her work in her own family and community’s struggle for justice and liberation. Judith has worked in community on legislative campaigns to promote immigrants and workers rights, campaigns to stop community members’ deportations and most recently organizing with Latino day laborers to fight wage theft. She is passionate about bringing an anti-oppression and intersectional frame to the social change work in the state.
Wacky skill: Researching the origin of words! It’s fascinating to see how the world’s cultures have fused to create our evolving languages.
Loves: Music, Art, Dance! Family!
Favorite Quote: “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” -Cesar Chavez
Andrea Chiriboga-Flor (AKA Dre), Transit Organizer
Dre is from Groton, MA. She has interned with labor rights organizations in the past and one of the most influential experiences was working with organizations involved with outsourced apparel factories, particularly in the Dominican Republic. She speaks Spanish fluently because of experiences abroad and growing up in a bilingual household and offers if her translating/communication skills can be of help to anyone, please let her know!
What’s the best advice you’ve received: Embrace contradictions, the world is full of them and possibly made up entirely of them.
Wacky skill: I can eat as much as someone twice my size.
Loves: Bluegrass music
Favorite part of job: There are so many awesome parts of the job that I have not explored yet, so as of now, the supportive work environment is my favorite.
Shelby Ramirez Martinez, Chapter Organizer
Shelby started with 9to5 as a grassroots member about 4 years ago. She has personal experience around issues that women face surrounding paid family leave. This is what originally brought her to 9to5 she then became a board member to assist in the fight for paid leave and has now transitioned into an organizer. She works on family-friendly workplace campaigns in Colorado.
What’s the best advice you’ve received: Don’t do unto others as you would not want done to one’s self.
Wacky Skill: I make natural skin care products.
Loves: Going to the University of Denver Colorado Women’s College with my two daughters while working on advancing our education together.
501 Pulliam Street SW #344
Atlanta, GA 30312
Phone: (404) 222-0001
Fax: (404) 222-0006
Erica Clemmons, Georgia State Director
Erica is a Community activist at heart, who believes that we should have full access to all civil and human rights equally. Her fight for economic and social justice started as a political organizer with The United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Erica has a passion and commitment to build Young People’s involvement in the movement of social and economic justice.
What’s the best advice received: You reap what you sow, therefore always sow good seeds.
Favorite part of job: Working directly with the community that our work impacts the most
Loves: My daughter and her beautiful spirit!
Best Advice: “You are in charge of the legacy you leave behind, Own it, and make it great!” -My Dad!
Dee-Dee Lay, Georgia Organizer
Dee-Dee Lay is an Organizer for the Georgia Chapter and she is very proud of the fact that she went to Washington, DC. to have spoken up for the formerly incarcerated. President Barack Obama heard her message and the voices of others, banning the box. Dee-Dee takes pride in knowing she was a part of history that has had a profound, positive impact. She is also very proud to be a mom, wife, grandmother, and best friend.
Best Advice: The best advice Dee-Dee has ever received was to stand for something or fall for anything.
Favorite Part of the Job: Her favorite part of the job is bringing people together to make a positive difference in their communities.
Favorite Quote: “No woman is an island.”
Shanda Neal, Organizer II
Shanda’s passion for empowering others is rooted in a strong moral obligation to create a worthwhile legacy. As a teen mother who fought against adversity, she developed a mind state that allowed for the belief in the impossible. She is a firm believer that someone else’s opinion does not define you or what you can accomplish in life, if you are willing to fight. A graduate of Winston-Salem State University with a degree in Political Science, Shanda was a vanguard for grassroots organizing and politics. Collegiate activism lead to campaign work for city council elections in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In collaboration with a small network of students, secured a victory for one of the youngest elected officials to city council, and a student of WSSU. She has worked in labor organizing for the purpose of improving workers’ economic status, working conditions through collective bargaining with the right to form a union. Shanda seeks to leave the world a better place, whether by given a voice to the voiceless, or redeeming social, political, and economic conditions that keep people oppressed.
What’s the best advice received: The world doesn’t owe you anything.
Loves: People, Music, Dance and Conversation
Favorite quote: “Freedom by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders.” –Diane Nash
207 E. Buffalo Street, Suite 211
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 274-0925
Fax: (414) 272-2870
Astar Herndon, Wisconsin State Director
Astar served as a non for profit advocate and community organizer since her undergraduate tenure in 2006. She’s managed various policy campaigns aimed at changing communities of color and readily uses her skills and talents toward the missions of equality, and unity. Astar proudly serves as a volunteer at her local church; loves cooking, music, art and culture.
Best advice received/given: Guard and protect those qualities that you love about yourself.
Favorite quote: Life isn’t about how much money you make, but the difference you make in a person’s life.
Favorite part of job: I love building strong connections around social issues and its ability to change popular opinion
(414) 274-0925 ext. 204
Rhonda Willette, Chapter Organizer
As a third generation organizer, Rhonda has organizing in her DNA. Over the past twenty plus years her primary focus has been working to build grassroots leaders in the many venues of injustices faced within her community from low wage working populations, renters & homeowners, youth and elderly, low income housing tenants and parents of school age children. I have also organized the homeless population, citizens of mass incarceration and prisoners of inhumane treatment. In my passion for social change, I’ve managed to engage and empower with the barriers of no personal security (homelessness) and beyond bars of correctional institutions (prisoners). In each opportunity, the goal was to transfer contacts into activist/leaders for the social justice movement. I have been active in the progressive movement of policy change work with 9to5 since 2008.
Wacky skill: Recycled Landscaping..ask me and I will share.
Loves: The beauty of trees, and being outside enjoying all aspects of nature. (bugs included)
How do you unwind: Chilling with Max my furry companion dog outdoors in all four seasons, sipping flavored teas, while listening to Rachelle Ferrell, Nancy Wilson, Nina Simone or the sounds of nature.
Meghan Grahs, Chapter Organizer
Meghan is a Lutheran Volunteer and a recent graduate of Augustana College with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature. She has previous experience interning with an immigrants’ rights organization. She is passionate about social justice and anti-oppression work and hopes to pursue a career in community organizing after her volunteer year.
Favorite quote: “I am not free when any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own” -Audre Lorde
Loves: Sushi, dark chocolate, watching documentaries
Unwinds by: Listening to music or reading