Victory Fund Board of Directors
Chris Abele is bringing a new form of leadership to Milwaukee County and Wisconsin, redefining what government can be. By combining social responsibility and fiscal discipline, County Executive Abele has lowered the County’s deficit by more than $70 million and successfully instituted domestic partnership benefits for employees; at the same time, he has introduced three consecutive budgets that didn’t raise taxes. County Executive Abele’s bold approach has strengthened critical safety net services like public transportation, child support and mental health care.
One of County Executive Abele’s priorities has been to reform Milwaukee County’s mental health care system. County Executive Abele has also moved aggressively to make Milwaukee County a more transparent and highly regarded government.
For more than two decades, Abele has been a highly successful business owner. He currently runs a growing real estate company, CSA Commercial, and venture fund, CSA Partners. Prior to taking office in 2011 he also ran a medical waste company and served as CEO of the Milwaukee-based Argosy Foundation, where he remains a trustee.
Chris is a dedicated philanthropist focused on empowering others. For nearly 20 years, his volunteer work has included serving on and leading numerous local, national and international nonprofit boards. He currently serves on boards at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Schools that Can-Milwaukee, and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. He has received numerous awards for his effective leadership and speaks regularly on leadership, philanthropy and nonprofit best practices.
Campbell Spencer is a nationally known Democratic strategist and public affairs consultant with more than fifteen years of experience in navigating the complex intersection of policy, business, and politics. She is a veteran of national politics, having served on three presidential campaigns, advised on numerous House and Senate races, worked for the Democratic National Committee, and served as the White House Midwest Political Director under President Obama. Spencer offers extensive expertise in developing and managing issue campaigns, field operations, legislative strategies, constituency relations, and building bi-partisan coalitions for businesses, trade associations, and non-profit organizations wishing to engage in and influence public policy debates.
As White House Midwest Political Director in the Obama Administration, Spencer worked closely with members of Congress, governors, state legislative leadership, business, and key stakeholders in the region to further the President’s agenda. In addition, Spencer worked closely with the Hill to advance the President’s legislative priorities including - The President’s 2009 Budget, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, The American Clean Energy and Security Act, The Affordable Health Care for America Act, and The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. She served with the President’s Auto Task Force to manage stakeholders in the Chrysler and General Motors restructuring.
Prior to founding The Campbell Spencer Group, Spencer served as a Vice President at one of the nation’s largest public affairs firms where she developed strategy and managed bi-partisan public affairs campaigns for Fortune 15 companies in the telecommunications and healthcare sectors.
Chrys is a partner in McIntyre & Lemon, PLLC, in Washington, D.C. He specializes in financial services law, particularly related to marketing of consumer financial products and services, privacy law, insurance law, and regulation of financial institutions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Previously, Chrys was an instructor pilot in the United States Air Force as well as having worked as an analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Mattheus Stephens is a partner in the San Diego law firm Progressive Law Group (a general civil litigation firm) and a Lecturer at the University of California, San Diego, where he teaches four courses including “The Law & Sex.”
After graduating from Rutgers School of Law, Stephens’ legal career began at Gray Cary Ames & Frye (now DLA Piper) as a litigation associate. His community service includes being the two-time Chair of the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission; serving on the Board of Directors for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center as well as the ACLU. He has also served as a Pro Tem Judge in Small Claims Court since 1999. He was appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders to the City Civil Service Commission in 2008 and now serves as President.
His awards include being named a Top Attorney in 2013 by San Diego Magazine, named Top Attorney by the San Diego Daily Transcript in 2008 and nominated for the award in 2011; receiving the San Diego County Bar Association Award for Outstanding Service to the Community; the Pro Bono Publico Distinguished Service Award from the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program; the San Diego Democratic Club Gloria Steinem Communication Award; California State Bar Access and Fairness Committee 2002 Diversity Award Nominee; Champion of San Diego Pride in 2000, and UCSD Chancellor’s Commendation for Dedication to Social Justice Issues.
Important litigation matters have included the groundbreaking Title IX case against Mesa Community College and the case against the City of San Diego concerning the public parkland leases with Boy Scouts of America.
Stuart Appelbaum is the Executive Vice President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. He ascended to the presidency of the RWDSU/UFCW in May of 1998 and has been reelected four times since. Stuart is an active member of the DNC, serving on its Executive Committee, and as Vice Chair of the DNC Labor Council. He is also the Vice President of the national AFL-CIO and a member of the Federation’s Executive Council.
After nearly 30 years in communications, including teaching at the university of Tulsa, Susan founded Atkins + Associates - a media and investor relations consulting firm serving the biotechnology industry - and sold the company to Porter Novelli, a global public relations agency. She was a leader in the biotechnology industry for more than 20 years, as director of communications for Genentech and as a corporate officer and vice president of communications for Ligand Pharmaceuticals and Rorer Group. She was also a member of the executive committee of the San Diego BIOCOM board of directors and active in the international Biotechnology Industry Organization. She was group vice president of Ketchum Public Relations in San Francisco, and was also appointed Library Commissioner in San Diego and served on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood. Now retired, Susan is on the Board of Directors of the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund where she was Board Chair for two years. Additionally, she has received several awards for philanthropy including an award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Pia is a partner at Campaign Group as well as having previously served as a top aide and Chief of Staff to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Pia has worked on a number of campaigns, including Representative Carol Shea-Porter’s 2008 bid in New Hampshire. In addition to running the Campaign Group’s D.C. office, Carusone also works part-time for Americans for Responsible Solutions, Giffords’ gun violence prevention group.
Michael Grover is Executive Director of Government Affairs for Cox Communications, Inc. In that role, he works on federal, state and local policy and legislative matters, serves as an internal consultant on franchise renewals and compliance issues, serves on his company PAC board, and monitors political contributions. Michael started his career in cable as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit and counsel to the City's Cable Commission. In 1996 he joined Continental Cablevision as Director of Legal Affairs for the Midwest (Michigan and Ohio) region. Michael moved to Georgia in 1999 and worked for MediaOne/AT&T Broadband until joining Cox in 2001. A longtime support of LGBT organizations, Michael served on the Georgia Equality board of directors for several years before joining the Victory Fund Campaign Board. A graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Detroit Law School, Michael and his husband Nunzio Lupo call Atlanta, Georgia, home.
Richard Holt is a Senior Director with Alvarez and Marsal and National Leader of Thought Leadership and Publications. He is an accomplished business leader with special focus on organizational development, information alignment and delivery, and distressed business situations.
Richard has volunteered in the educational and political space for almost 20 years - dedicating time to leading children’s reading programs, developing youth into future leaders and engaging all aspects of society in the political process via large-scale voter registration drives and equal access programs. He was the lead coordinator for a youth development group for over 10 years.
Richard served three terms on the board and as chair of education for St. Paul’s Houston. He has been actively involved with Victory Fund for the past 4 years - coordinating the local Houston Victory Fund board members, leading large-scale candidate fundraisers and co-chairing the Houston Champagne Brunch in 2012 and 2013.
Richard has a four-year-old daughter, Lucy and resides in Houston, TX with his partner, Mark. He holds Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Finance degrees from Texas A&M University.
Kimberly Hoover has been acquiring and operating boutique apartment buildings and other properties in Washington, DC for more than a decade. In addition, she has a background in financial services law, having practiced in DC for more than twenty years. She has taught financial services law at American University’s Washington College of Law and served on the boards of two local banks. She has been involved in fundraising on behalf of a number of community organizations, educational institutions and political campaigns.
Kim and her partner, Lynn Hackney, have been together since the 20th Century and have two daughters. On September 4, 2013, Kim and Lynn were married in New York City. Kim holds a J.D. from Duke University and a B.A. from Baylor University.
Stephen leads MWW’s LGBT practice, joining MWW from Macias Media Group where he served as President and Managing Partner. Previously, Stephen has worked with and for numerous LGBT non-profits, including the National Entertainment Media Director at GLAAD, the AIDS/Lifecycle as well as having served as Co-President of Outfest.
Sue Burnside's expertise is in voter identification, targeting and contact, Vote-By-Mail, as well as coalition building, neighborhood organizing, direct mail and post-election voter canvasses.
Among the highlights of Burnside's historic campaign wins: Janice Hahn's Congressional race in 2011; in 2010 the 22 vote victory for State senator Juan Vargas; Senator John Kerry for President's victory in the state of Oregon in 2004; an independent expenditure PAC that moved Colorado's House and Senate back to the Democratic column; Vice President Al Gore's 2000 victory in the state of New Mexico; Wendy Greuel for Los Angeles City Council 2001, a special election decided by a 225-vote win margin in a post-election canvass; Joe Baca for Congress 1999; Lois Capps for Congress in 1998; L.A. Unified's Proposition BB in 1997, the second attempt by the School District to pass the largest local school bond in California history; Jane Harman for Congress 1994 -- an election was so close that Harman's opponent traveled to Washington expecting to be sworn in, only to return to the district two weeks later after Harman's come-from-behind victory created by Burnside's vote-by-mail program; and Tom Hayden for Senate 1992, with the underdog Hayden beating the better-funded incumbent Hirsch Rosenthal by 582 votes.
Sue Burnside grew up in Southern California and got her political start during Santa Monica's acrimonious rent control battles. She lives in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Sue is the Co-chair of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund's Campaign Board, and sits on Equality California board. In her spare time Sue like sailing, DIY projects and land banking.
Daniel is a Principal at The Raben Group. His work is serious - addressing youth homelessness, people who’ve spent 30 years in jail for crimes they didn’t commit, and veterans with severe brain injury. But Daniel maintains his optimism that good things can (still) be done in Washington. And, incidentally, he makes them happen.
Advocacy has everything to do with relationships - building trust and candor so he can move policies that clients want - and Daniel does much more than just shake hands, grin, take the meeting, and move on. He knows no strangers. Daniel uses humor to bring people together and help them get through the sausage-making of how policies are shaped and moved.
In addition to knowing how a bill really becomes a law, Daniel decrypts the Byzantine complexities of federal funding streams for various clients, instructing them which grants to pursue and how to go about doing so. He lead the charge to save a rehab program for disabled veterans. He helped policymakers understand the need to improve the quality of forensic science, a leading contributor to wrongful convictions. He worked to ban BPAs from baby bottles and sippy cups, and phthalates from toys. He fought for, and helped preserve, DC’s marriage equality law.
Work isn’t enough; and Daniel is active in a number of extra-curriculars to improve lives locally and across the country. He's past president Q Street, an association of over 1,000 LGBT advocates and lobbyists; he is on the Victory Fund Campaign board, which helps to elect openly LGBT officials; and he is organizing the LGBT community to provide assistance to DC-area LGBT asylum seekers from around the world.
Daniel graduated with honors from New York University – and is likely the only lobbyist who’s graduated from film school.