Founder and President
Valerie McGinty is a civil rights and consumer appellate attorney. Valerie was named 2014 Street Fighter of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys of California. Having raised over $1,000,000 for California state progressive causes and candidates, Val realized after the 2016 election that state governments pose a unique opportunity. While other organizations offer training and recruitment resources for progressive women candidates, no other PAC is dedicated to closing the gender gap in state politics.
Chief of Staff
Meryl Ellingson is an experienced strategic communications consultant with a background in political economy. Originally from Wisconsin, she attended Colorado College before moving to Los Angeles, which she has called home for the past six years. Meryl is inspired by the progressive model that California sets for the rest of the country, and is honored to join the Fund Her team to empower women to lead the future. In her free time, you can find her exploring the mountains and beaches of the West Coast with her Siberian Husky, Mikka.
Chief Political Strategist
Samantha Helton is responsible for coordinating Fund Her’s political strategy and at her day job serves as CAOC’s Deputy Political Director. She earned degrees in history and government from CSU, Sacramento. Samantha served as the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Communications and Media Officer, past president of Sacramento County Young Democrats and co-chair of the CYD Progressive Caucus. She is Chair of the City of Sacramento's Animal Care Services Board and volunteers as a board game tester for a major gaming company.
Social Media Manager
Kathy Vu oversees the social media marketing and content creation for Fund Her. She serves as the PAC and Development assistant at CAOC and also assists in the company’s social media marketing. She is passionate about women’s rights and the fight for equal representation. She’s inspired by all the incredible work Fund Her has accomplished and is thankful to work alongside so many empowering women.
Design and Strategy Consultant
Savitha Viswanathan is a visual designer in the fields of science and healthcare. She began her career in advertising, and served as creative director for a leading life science marketing agency. As an information and UI designer, Savitha's work is focused on women's health, child advocacy, and environmental justice.
Chief Marketing Advisor
Rachel Sterling is a marketing executive at Twitter where she leads marketing activities. Prior to her time at Twitter, Rachel supported Nest’s Hardware division and Google’s Small Business Advocacy team. She also has a background as a television producer and video editor. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. A fierce feminist and advocate for women running for office, Rachel joined Fund Her in 2017 as Chief Marketing Advisor.
Fund Her is proud to have assembled a Board of visionary leaders. The Board is the voting body which determines our endorsements, including which races are priorities within a given election cycle.
All Board members serve a 12-month term, and are joined by Fund Her's Founder and President, Valerie McGinty.
esley Clement is a trial lawyer known for her groundbreaking work representing victims of elder abuse and neglect in institutional settings. Lesley has been featured in Time Magazine, People, Frontline, and the New York Times. As an advocate and an educator, she teaches attorneys across the country in the field of elder abuse.
Lesley Clement >
Don Ernst is an award winning trial lawyer with over 30 years of civil rights experience. He served as the President of Consumer Attorneys of California in 2008 where her traveled around the state and founded The Women’s Trial Lawyers Group, now called the Women’s Caucus. He was also responsible for the legislation permitting telephonic court appearances in 2006 and 2008, as well as the electronic discovery bill that is the current law in California.
Don Ernst >
Rachael Jeck recently left her position after eighteen years as Vice President & Co-General Counsel for VCA Inc., the nation’s leading provider of pet health care services in the United States. Rachael voluntarily left VCA in order to pursue a second chapter of her career focusing on social justice. She currently volunteers for Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project, Los Angeles.
Rachael Jeck >
A passionate gender equity activist, Harini Krishnan has enjoyed wearing many hats, as a Human Rights & Public Health Nonprofit Professional, Public Education Advocate & Presidential Campaign Organizer. Harini is an Elected Assembly District Delegate & Platform Committee Member of the California Democratic Party & currently pursuing Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
Harini Krishnan >
Deborah Chang is a trial attorney with Panish Shea & Boyle LLP in Los Angeles. She was named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California, she has received Consumer Attorneys of California's Consumer Attorney of the Year Award, and is a National Board Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. She mentors women lawyers throughout the country.
Deborah Chang >
Kat Chevalier is a law student at UCLA and former Chief of Staff at Fund Her. Previously, she worked in Special Projects at the Broad Center, and completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs (Southern California) after earning a degree in Political Science and Government from The George Washington University.
Kat Chevalier >
Jill Demby Guest
Jill Demby Guest is an Emmy nominated, and Film Festival winning producer, writer, and director. Trained by the legendary Maysles Brothers, (Grey Gardens) she went on to produce documentaries for public television and Lifetime as well as for Warner Brothers and Disney DVD releases. Her latest film is a feature documentary biopic, “And Now, Love.” (Andnowlovethemovie.com)
Jill Demby Guest >
Adina Goldin graduated from Bates College and spent two years directing leadership infrastructure strategy across the southwestern United State for a progressive student organization. Adina then joined Fund Her in 2017 as their Chief of Staff. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Adina Golden >
Reena Krishnan is an accomplished finance professional and an advocate for social justice and women’s leadership. Reena spent nearly 15 years on Wall Street as a Vice President and Sell Side Research analyst, analyzing the operating fundamentals and growth prospects of companies across multiple industries. In her current role, Reena works directly with private equity and venture capital technology investors to source new investment opportunities.
Reena Krishnan >
Lea-Ann Tratten is the Political Director for Consumer Attorneys of California and Founding Partner of TrattenPrice Consulting. Lea-Ann is an attorney with more than 20 years of experience navigating every phase of political work, including lobbying, grassroots campaigns, fundraising, and managing large PACs.
Lea-Ann Tratten >
Our advisory BOARD
We are grateful to receive support and insight from the following leaders:
Carly O'Halloran Alameda
Lucina Di Meco
John Wellington Ennis
F. Edie Mermelstein
Ibiere N. Seck
Daniel U. Smith
Andrea Dew Steele
Erika Jacobsen White
Lacy Lew Nguyen Wright