The League of Women Voters – Washington County is organized by a volunteer Steering Committee, headed by co-chairs Josie Koehne and Kathleen Hersh. Other members of the Steering Committee are Megan Rutherford (media relations), Eric Schmidt, and Amelia Nestler (webmaster).
Josie Koehne, co-chair. Josie is a retired web/DVD project manager/multimedia producer of business training and former artist for children’s educational software. She lives on a mini-farm near Hagg Lake in Gaston and is an oil painter on the side. For many years, Josie has been active in Oregon public policy issues focusing on campaign finance, trade treaties, tax and transparency reform, and is a member of several other civic groups. In addition to being a co-chair of the Washington County Unit of the LWV, she is a member of Tax Fairness Oregon, the Oregon Democracy Coalition, and formerly active with the Economic Justice Action Group of the First Unitarian Church of Portland, and the Taxpayers Return on Investment Act coalition. She is currently following bills in the Legislature focused on governance, transparency and public records for the LWV of Oregon and is interested in issues of healthcare, homelessness and protections for immigrants and DACA kids. Contact Josie.
Kathleen Hersh, co-chair. After receiving her degree in Biology, Kathleen worked as an investigator for the Food and Drug Administration, first in the San Francisco office then in the Portland office. She then started and ran her own business, a travel agency, for a number of years. Most recently she worked as an administrative assistant through a temporary agency at a number of Portland area businesses–large and small. She has served the Portland League as a unit leader, Voters’ Guide editor, Web Editor and Co-President. She joined the Board of League of Women Voters of Oregon in 2015 as Membership Director. In 2016 she moved to Washington County and worked to establish a State Unit there. She has two grown children and two grandchildren. Contact Kathleen.
Megan Rutherford, media relations. After more than a decade as a newspaper journalist and earning a Journalism degree at the University of Arizona, Megan switched fields and went into Marketing and Communications, then became a freelance writer and researcher after the birth of her child. Since moving to Oregon in 2010, she has also delved in to community activism and volunteering, with leadership roles at the local Parent Teacher Organization, the county Community Participation Organization program, Pantsuit Nation Oregon, and the League. She lives in North Bethany with her daughter, husband and two pets. Contact Megan.
Eric Schmidt, Steering Committee member. Eric has been a voting, taxpaying resident of Washington County since 1983. For nearly 20 years, he worked for commercial television and radio news departments in the Portland media market. For 11 years, he served as the Communications Manager for the Association of Oregon Counties. In addition to his professional work as a journalist and a public servant, Eric has been a volunteer for several different organizations, notably, the Beaverton Committee for Community Involvement. Still an at-large member of BCCI, Eric has been chair three terms and is currently the group’s recorder. Eric and his wife Suzanne live in Beaverton. Three of their four children graduated from Aloha High School They have six grandchildren and are expecting a seventh in July, 2018. Contact Eric.
Amelia Nestler, webmaster. Amelia is a Project Manager at Northwest Green Chemistry, a regional non-profit dedicated to advancing human and environmental health by fostering innovation and economic opportunies. Previously, Amelia supported GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals at Clean Production Action. Amelia earned her doctorate in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.A. in Biochemistry at Lewis & Clark College. Amelia now lives in Hillsboro, OR, with her husband and two poodles. Contact Amelia.
Esther Schwartz, editor. Esther is an Honors graduate from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Political Science. Her first job after graduation was as an Assistant Editor for an international union’s monthly publication. Later in life she became a Corporate Trainer, teaching adults to use software programs in the workplace. When she left the corporate world, she and her husband owned a business and technology consulting firm during the last fourteen years that they lived in southern California. In 1998, she moved to the central coast of Oregon where she was elected to serve on the North Lincoln Health District Board. During her service on that Board she worked to improve access to quality healthcare for the county through her collaboration with a variety of non-profit organizations. She is a life-long political activist for social justice. She has two grown children and three grandchildren. Esther currently lives in the West Hills. Contact Esther.