Board of Directors
WCF is driven by the passion of leaders with the talent, wisdom, and experience to guide you – and people of other parties and points of view – to #5050x2028.
Jennifer Atkinson believes in the ability of women to create the solutions that make things work. She worked her way through college, rose into senior positions at the Missouri Department of Transportation, and up the ladder at one of the world’s leading contracting companies. She’s seen women become roughly half the students at the engineering school where she earned her degree. In a field dominated by men, she leads a dynamic team of men and women crafting lifesaving tech and practices at the leading edge of transportation. At WCF, she focuses on attracting women under 50 as well as corporations — to help get #5050x2028 done.
Georgia Berner, Chair
Georgia Berner works for our country — and for women. Women in elected office. Women in crisis. Women in industry. While CEO of Berner International, she raised the profile of women in manufacturing. She sees the needs of women through her service on the Federal Reserve Board/Pittsburgh, as well as the boards of the Lawrence County Crisis Center, Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, and Catalyst Connection, which supports small manufacturers in her region. Berner’s considerable network of men and women innovating in their fields is strengthened by memberships in the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the Women Presidents Organization, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Women Impacting Public Policy. Since 2008, she has focused on giving the Women’s Campaign Fund every opportunity to make women in elected office the norm in every party, in every office, and at every level of government.
Jamie Covello wants women to understand their power. Thirty years ago, she co-founded the most prestigious and coveted women’s industry networking organization in New York and continues to mentor young women, opening her doors, her dinner table, and her database as they build their careers. She broke barriers to become one of the first female Principals of the largest global commercial real estate firm, Cushman & Wakefield, and now is Executive Director at innovative industry pace setter, Avison Young, building a network deep and strong. While long active on the WCF board, she also helps those most in need in New York City, serving on the board of Samaritan Daytop Village. Covello lights up her network for WCF, to bring people and corporations onboard with the common sense concept of #5050x2028.
Grace Flores-Hughes champions children and their courageous parents. She works with unaccompanied minors, protecting them from human trafficking and other dangers. She guides immigration policy to safeguard families. Serving in both Republican and Democratic Administrations, including appointments by 3 Republican Presidents, she helped resettle Cuban/Haitian refugees and tackled racial and ethnic conflict at the Department of Justice, and mediated thorny issues at the NLRB, among other roles. Flores-Hughes leads from the lessons of growing up female and Hispanic in tough Texas towns, authoring two books shaped by her experiences, one of which is due for publication shortly. At WCF, she focuses on bringing corporate leaders and new voices to the table for #5050x2028.
Betsy Hawkings believes in our democracy. She served as chief of staff to four Republican House members, working across the aisle to create the 9-11 Commission and Congressional Accountability Act (and the legislation to make them work), among 25 years of groundbreaking projects. She now works to reduce incentives for hyper-partisanship and gridlock, deepening leadership among members of Congress and their staff, while fostering new ways to do their jobs that get better results. Hawkings helps steer WCF on several fronts, including how it uses resources and how it talks about its intentions, ensuring that the most people get behind the simple idea of #5050x2028.
Candis Hewitt has a mission statement: to help women understand the depth of their capabilities and their ability to create change. She digs deep to model her mission, marshalling her energy for service on the boards of state chapters of the Children’s Diabetes Society and the National Leukemia Foundation, along with the Denver Opera and a Special Olympics golf charity. All the while, she managed decades of achievement as a female force in the real estate industry, serving for 30 years as an Executive Director and shareholder of Cushman and Wakefield and now leading her own global consulting firm, HPRE. Along the way, Hewitt stepped up to chair annual fundraising activities to support the United Way, the American Cancer Society, and the Make-a-Wish Foundation and was appointed by the Governor of Colorado to serve on the State Medical Board. WCF is fortunate to bring her creative energy to the change it seeks: #5050x2028.
Maureen Koetz cares about how things work in a sustainable system of government – and the rule of law that supports it. Koetz served as Counsel to the Senate Energy Committee, on the legal team at EPA, as a JAG in the Navy, as acting Assistant Secretary for the Air Force, and as Policy Director of the Nuclear Energy Institute. She learned how to get things done while sustaining the ability of air, land, water, and space to support what public and private interests need to do. Using insights from her own race for NY State Assembly, Koetz helps women candidates at WCF by bringing industry and others together around the need to use 100% of our human capital to make good government and laws that last.
Lorie Masters cares about the way gender, race or ethnicity impacts the careers of women, particularly lawyers. She writes about it, studies it, and volunteers with groups that work on it, like the ABA’s Gender Equity Task Force. She leads pro bono work for victims of human trafficking and volunteers with Washington, DC, legal and justice groups that help make the city a better place for all the people it serves. A partner in the insurance practice at Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP, Masters ran in the first-ever race for DC Attorney General in 2014. She brings insights from that campaign and her legal work to WCF, helping drive the national movement for #5050x2028.
Carla Reed is passionate about making life better for people. Better at work, in government, and in their ability to thrive in the world around them. She works for those who have low incomes, particularly people of color, supporting the grassroots leaders who organize and fight for them. She has worked for women, for young people, recruiting students to boost diversity and inclusion in higher ed, and for the rights of the vulnerable. Reed knows you have to be it to see it and see it to be it. She helps WCF strengthen the platform on which we, the people, make decisions, bringing the experience of women to bear, 50/50, at every level of elected office from schoolhouse to the White House.
Diane S. Samuels models, teaches, supports, and remains committed to a world view in which women are strong, capable, independent, equal, and equally represented. She has spent her accounting career strengthening the capacity of women to manage their financial lives while, in her personal life, dedicating her time to mentoring, mothering and volunteering in support of vulnerable women and children. In retirement, she uses her decades of experience as a volunteer and CPA to support causes she believes in, such as WCF, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, the National Council of Jewish Women, and Congregation Beth Shalom. Diane is passionate about working to create a government that reflects our country in all its diversity. She believes that only by empowering women to bring their perspectives and values to the political arena – and ensuring those voices carry equal weight – will we thrive with the benefit of the leadership we deserve.