Regional Leadership

Regional Leadership

Together Women Rise is divided into 13 U.S. regions, each of which is managed by a volunteer Regional Leader or Co-Leaders.

Regional Leader Committee Chair


Anna Schoon

From a deep desire to see people flourish by bringing their uniqueness to bear in the world around them, Anna Schoon thinks, writes, and teaches about what it means to be human and to participate in the mission to redeem and restore all of creation. Anna is particularly interested in place-making and belonging as means to help disinvested neighborhoods organize for the resurrection of their communities.
Anna has over 25 years of leadership experience in a variety of human service settings. Since 2006, she has been working as the Director of Planning and Business Development at Northwest Indiana Community Action, based in Crown Point, Indiana. In her role, Anna leads the organization’s community needs assessment processes, develops outcome-oriented strategies for change, and leads the organization’s efforts to measure and document success.
In 2018, Anna completed a master’s degree in social justice at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.
Anna started her Together Women Rise chapter in Valparaiso, Indiana in 2013 and serves as chair of the Regional Leader Committee.
She’s a collector of friends and loves to gather with people around a table to share life and great food.

Carolinas Region

NC, SC – email:

Beth Medlock – Co-Leader

In her 27 years of work as a psychologist, consultant and coach, Beth’s mission has been to leave communities, people, and organizations better than when she found them—to be a change agent, solutions finder, and advocate for better results. Her passion is to help people who do good, do better. Beth works in all phases of the life cycle of organizations and initiatives; from mission and program development, strategic planning and resourcing to evaluating outcomes, impact, and sustainability. She has focused on initiatives that impact community, maternal and child health, serve victims of violence and assault, and improve long term outcomes for communities of color and the unsheltered. As a coach Beth has worked with people across the lifespan with diverse backgrounds and goals. In that capacity she has been a blogger for the Huffington Post, a TEDx speaker, and an author.
Beth’s path has been both an exciting and challenging one, as she has navigated upheaval and major life changes. In 2010, she became visually impaired after a traumatic injury. She translates her growth and lessons in transition into her work, especially the work she does with people with different abilities and chronic conditions. Beth is a mother of a teenage daughter and loves to sing, design spaces, work out, and travel. Creativity, inquiry and authenticity is what I am usually seeking.

Regula Spottl – Co-Leader

Regula is originally from Switzerland. Before immigrating to the US, she lived in Switzerland for more than 20 years and in New Zealand for five years. In the three decades she has lived in the US, she has been inspired by the kindness and generosity of Americans. In her pursuit of degrees in Communication Studies and Liberal Studies, she developed her vision for a worldview that ensures societies are more sustainable, inclusive, peaceful, and meaningful. Since joining Together Women Rise in 2015 and learning about the challenges the women our grantees support face, that worldview has expanded many times over. With that focus and her positive energy and enthusiasm, she has been leading a chapter in Greensboro, NC for three years. Her hobbies include Pilates, two book clubs, entertaining, and traveling.Follow


Central Region

IN, KY, MI, OH – email:

Tamara Peterson – Co-Leader

Tamara has been a part of Together Women Rise since 2012 when she co-founded the Hudson, Ohio chapter with her daughter Rachel. She has a long history of activism and advocacy for marginalized voices, from her early career as a critical care nurse to her current work as a patient advocate. Tamara also works as an interior stylist, with a focus on bringing joy and peace into the physical spaces of her clients through design. She and her husband, Mike, have two adult daughters, Sarah and Rachel. In her spare time Tamara enjoys the outdoors, visiting her family, working on creative projects, and traveling both nationally and globally. She is thrilled to take on the inspiring challenge of regional leader. Follow


Florida Region

FL – email:

Kay Yoder – Co-Leader

At her very first Together Women Rise meeting in April 2013, Kay was hooked and instantly felt a special kinship with the members of her Sarasota/Bradenton, FL chapters. The Together Women Rise mission especially resonated with Kay and was a perfect complement to her involvement with Ripple Africa, a nonprofit working in Malawi, Africa, where she has served as the US Director of Operations since 2012.
Over the years, she has had the extraordinary privilege of participating in the Together Women Rise process in various capacities – serving as a Chapter Co-leader and Mentor, as well as a Featured and Sustained grantee. She considers herself very fortunate to have played a role in the merging of her two passions and has seen firsthand how the partnership between Together Women Rise and Ripple Africa has significantly impacted the lives of women and girls in rural Malawi.
Along with these involvements, Kay has been very active with a local Rotary Club for the past eight years. She has served in all aspects of leadership and has played an instrumental role in raising money for a variety of local and international causes, as well as providing hands-on involvement.
Kay is married with two adult children who both reside in Colorado. She and her husband enjoy dividing their time between Florida and the Rocky Mountains, as well as exploring sites around our country and throughout the world.

Carol Buzilow – Co-Leader

Carol is a retired RN with a passion for being involved in her local community and globally. She has been a Together Women Rise chapter leader in Sarasota, FL since 2013. Carol is looking forward to meeting other women in Florida and to sharing the wonderful ways that Together Women Rise helps to advance women and girls worldwide. She is proud to be involved in the organization and has learned and experienced so much over the years.Follow

Heartland Region

MN, ND, SD, WI – email:

Donna Neshek– Regional Leader

Donna became involved with Together Women Rise in 2011 after a friend attended a dinner in North Carolina, and upon her return, decided to start a local chapter in Southeastern Wisconsin. Together Women Rise has opened Donna’s eyes to various cultures and communities that inspire her to work, share, and engage with women from all parts of the globe. From her time as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she had the opportunity to live and study abroad in Spain for two years, she has had a serious case of wanderlust. Donna received a BSN in nursing and a BA in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin. She is a retired School nurse and ELL(ESL) instructor. Donna is happily married to her husband of 34 years and is the parent of three adult children. After a Together Women Rise trip to El Salvador, she was told that you can only do one thing to affect change. This lead to her continued volunteer work as an RN and Spanish interpreter at Open Arms Free Clinic, which provides quality health care serving uninsured patients who are 200% below the poverty level. Recently retired from her position as School nurse/ ELL instructor, she enjoys many hobbies including volunteering, travel, painting, tennis, hiking and everything she can do to take in the outdoors.Follow


Mid-Atlantic Region

DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA, WV – email:

Annette Hearing– Co-Leader

It was a moment of serendipity that brought Annette to Together Women Rise several years ago. She attended a lunch event and happened to sit next to someone who mentioned Together Women Rise. Annette knew immediately that Together Women Rise’s mission and its format were a perfect match for her passions! She has been an active member of the DE, Wilmington-1 chapter since 2015.
Annette came to the role of Regional Leader after retiring from a career that included working for legal services as a lawyer, several years as a stay-at-home mom with four young children, teaching in a Quaker school, and her final role as a school administrator.
Spending time with her grown children and grandchildren is a source of joy for Annette. Retirement has allowed her to do many things she loves like reading a book in the middle of the day, taking a long walk, or taking her kayak out on a local lake or river.

Tracy Ritter – Co-Leader

Tracy Ritter is a bachelor’s prepared Registered nurse, with a Master’s in Public Health. For over 18 years, she has worked with a variety of nonprofits both locally and internationally. She currently works part-time for United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, coordinating several community impact projects. Additionally, when Tracy is not working at United Way, she consults with a network of partners in Kenya to facilitate sustainable, community development in the health, economic, and nonprofit management sectors.
Over the last 18 years, Tracy has worked and traveled frequently in many resource-poor countries and lived in West Africa for a year, supervising a surgical unit on a floating hospital. Tracy is passionate about empowering communities to identify and develop their potential, maintaining dignity to make positive choices, leading to self-sufficiency and thriving development.
Tracy is the founder and current chapter leader of our MD, Salisbury-1 chapter.

Midwest Region

IA, IL, KS, MO – email:

Vicky Bush-Joseph– Regional Leader

Mark Twain observed, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness …” Vicky has loved to travel since she was lucky enough to visit Peru as an exchange student during high school. In 2018, Vicky joined the IL, Western Springs-1 chapter, outside of Chicago, after reading an article by Nicholas Kristof. When she retired as an attorney, Vicky stepped up her international travel, including two trips with Together Women Rise to visit grantees in Bhutan and Guatemala. Vicky is also a member of the League of Women Voters, a volunteer for Election Protection through the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, on the Advisory Council for World Bicycle Relief, and active with Impact Grants, an organization that gives grants to Chicago nonprofits. Vicky feels the best part of Together Women Rise is meeting like-minded people from all over the US with a common goal of raising women up around the world. When she is not traveling, Vicky enjoys trying new recipes for her home-grown vegetables, biking, and reading.Follow


Northeast Region

CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT – email:

Barbara Conti Boehly – Co-Leader

Barbara joined Together Women Rise’s NY, Rochester-1 Chapter in 2016 years and was so inspired she decided to help start and co-lead the NY, Rochester-2 Chapter. “Meeting women locally and nationally, while supporting women around the world has become a real passion”, she says. Barbara retired from a career as a NYS Licensed Massage Therapist and business owner of a therapeutic massage center. Before that she stayed home with her two children working part-time as an Adjunct Faculty teaching Massage, Tai Chi, and Stress management at the local community college. “I am just getting used to retirement and am excited about this next chapter in my life. Hopefully when things open up I can once again travel, take art classes, and enjoy our Together Women Rise meetings in person!”Follow

Rita Delgado – Co-Leader

Community service has been a priority for Rita Delgado, both personally and professionally. She was, for many years, a teacher at the New York School for the Deaf. After moving to Florida, she instituted an American Sign Language program at Coral Spring High School, where she also was active in leading service programs for her students. Currently working at an all-boys boarding school as the Director of Community Service, she has sought opportunities to engage the young men on gender equality issues. She built a strong relationship with the local domestic violence agency, and has been able to build awareness of women’s issues with the students. While completing her tenure as Co-Chair of Women’s Support Services’ annual fund-raising event, she attended her first Together Women Rise meeting in February 2012. She knew immediately that she would start a chapter in her hometown. Since November 2012, the Salisbury, CT chapter has thrived. The monthly gatherings of women passionate about making a difference in the lives of our global sisters are the highlights of the year.Follow

Northwest Region

AK, ID, MT, OR, WA – email:

Theresa Beaver – Co-Leader

Theresa first learned of Together Women Rise in 2013 while visiting a friend in Portland OR. Its mission resonated deeply with her, and she immediately went home to Moscow ID and started a chapter, which led to a second chapter by a member in the neighboring town of Pullman WA. Theresa remains the co-leader of our ID, Moscow-1 chapter.
Theresa retired from Washington State University where she managed an online educational program for adults on winemaking and growing grapes. It is her ‘customer service’ skills from running a large program that she hopes to bring to role as Co-Regional Leader.
She loves to travel and a memorable trip was going to Myanmar with Together Women Rise to visit the Colorful Girls project that we supported in 2012. Meeting the girls first-hand and hearing about their personal growth due to the project was amazing. It brought the work of our organization to the first person and deeply impacted her.
Theresa is a passionate flower gardener. When not working in her gardens she is doing yoga, swimming, walking or reading. She lives on a beautiful acre with her wife, Rebecca.

Deborah Shimkus – Co-Leader

Deborah knew after attending her first meeting that Together Women Rise was an organization to which she wanted to give her energy. With a master’s degree in environmental policy and a humanitarian heart, Deborah has spent her entire career working in the nonprofit world, focusing on strategic planning and development, volunteer management, and sustainability. She has served local, national, and international organizations and thrives on the connections and friendships she has made around the world. Steeped in the understanding of the oneness of all life, Deborah is passionate about empowering others to help make the world a better place. She has called the Pacific Northwest home for 32 years, though her adventurous soul leads her to explore cultures around the globe. She loves to hike, kayak, and teach English to speakers of other languages. Deborah thrives on being in service and has the goal of volunteering throughout the world.Follow

Rocky Mountain Region

CO, NE, WY – email:

Betty Purkey-Huck – Co-Leader

Betty joined Together Women Rise in 2012 as a Chapter Leader and also served as a regional Mentor for two years. A resident of Sedalia, CO, Betty is married and has three adult children. Betty's background is in Human Resources and as a retiree, enjoys time at their cabin at Lake George, CO and with family. Betty is passionate about helping Together Women Rise remain sustainable and loves creating new chapters and agents of change to overcome poverty and obtain equity for women and girls.Follow

Mary Romano– Co-Leader

Mary has been a member of Together Women Rise since 2015. She started a Together Women Rise chapter in Lafayette, CO in the fall of 2017. Her years as a member and a chapter leader, and her attendance at Together Women Rise regional and national conferences, have enabled her to learn and understand the programs, grantees and women and children served in a deeper way.
Originally from the Philadelphia area, Mary has lived most of her life in beautiful Boulder County, Colorado where she still lives with her husband Jeff. She has two grown sons (and 2 step daughters) who are also doing their part to make this world a better place. Her career has been in sales and marketing in various forms over the past 30 yrs. She is currently working as a Realtor.
Mary's drive and interest in serving the mission of Together Women Rise comes from her mother who has had a large influence in her life. With a bold spirit and sense of adventure, her mother jumped right into the women’s movement and the communal life popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s. She put herself through school (with 5 children in tow) and then spent the balance of her life involved in the nonprofit world helping women and children in poverty who were lacking healthcare, suffered domestic violence and/or substance abuse. Seeing her mother’s strength and commitment made its mark, and Mary has grown to realize how fortunate life circumstances and opportunities have been for her. After being invited to her first Together Women Rise’s meeting, she knew it was the organization she wanted to put her energy and efforts in an attempt to give back.

South Central Region

OK, TX – email:

Kasey Henry – Regional Leader

Kasey is a native Texan, a Texas A&M graduate, a CPA, and an ardent champion of others. Kasey and her husband currently live in Houston after prior stops in Baltimore and Baton Rouge. Kasey’s career has led her to working exclusively with non-profits as a consultant for organizations that need CFO/controller support. Her work with these organizations has given her insight into the challenges non-profits face as they strive to serve their communities. Kasey’s compassion for helping others continues in her personal life. She has volunteered and served on the boards of several non-profit organizations in the various cities where she’s lived.
After arriving in Houston, Kasey was introduced to Together Women Rise in 2017. After just a year with the organization, Kasey realized she wanted to be more involved in Together Women Rise. She and several of her friends from book club decided to start their own chapter.
When not engaged in work or outreach opportunities, Kasey enjoys reading, cooking, and attending shows in Houston’s top-notch Theater District. Kasey and her husband live in downtown Houston with their cat, Lily, and recently graduated from an improv class.


Southeast Region

AL, AR, GA, LA, MS, TN – email:

Linda Schneckenberg – Co-Leader

Linda Schneckenberg became involved with Together Women Rise as an active member in the Denver/Stapleton, CO chapter in 2015. Linda and her husband Dan divide their time between Denver and New Orleans, usually rotating on a monthly basis. In New Orleans, she organized a Together Women Rise chapter in 2017 and in 2019 joined the Regional Leader team as Co-Leader for the Southeast Region.
Education, marketing and finance have been the unifying areas in Linda’s career. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in English literature, followed by a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan, she taught high school English in Wisconsin. After later earning an MBA, she taught college finance and completed her career as Director of Sales & Marketing for a financial firm in Minneapolis.
A passion for justice and a love of people are the drivers in Linda’s commitment to Together Women Rise.

Jen Walters – Co-Leader

Jen is a Georgia native but a Texan at heart. She and her husband Brian have two boys -- 11 and 8 years old. After relocating from Texas to Georgia in 2016, Jen launched the Cumming, GA chapter of Together Women Rise in 2018. While growing the North Georgia Chapter with her co-leader, Sharon, she has also volunteered as a Chapter Mentor. She has a B.A. in Marketing from Texas Christian University and spent the first part of her career pursuing success in corporate sales and business development. With a heart for helping, she decided to put her business skills to use in the non-profit sector at a Houston area literacy organization. Many years and roles later, she shifted to the philanthropy side of the non-profit sector where she was introduced to Together Women Rise in her role as a Grants and Communication Coordinator for a Houston-based private foundation. Jen now offers Marketing and Communications services though her contract business, but only when not on the sidelines cheering on her kids or volunteering for Together Women Rise or locally as a middle school leader for her church. Thankful to the many women who have mentored and guided her throughout her life, she enjoys the opportunity to learn and inspire other women to action and advocacy through Together Women Rise. Jen is most interested in helping Together Women Rise grow in diversity and impact in her volunteer role as Co-Leader for the Southeast Region.Follow

Southwest Region

AZ, NM, NV, UT – email:

Betty Purkey-Huck – Co-Leader

Betty joined Together Women Rise in 2012 as a Chapter Leader and also served as a regional Mentor for two years. A resident of Sedalia, CO, Betty is married and has three adult children. Betty's background is in Human Resources and as a retiree, enjoys time at their cabin at Lake George, CO and with family. Betty is passionate about helping Together Women Rise remain sustainable and loves creating new chapters and agents of change to overcome poverty and obtain equity for women and girls.Follow

Mary Hake – Co-Leader

Mary first became active in local issues as a member of the League of Women Voters from 1995 to 1998 working on voter registration drives and voter initiative information panels. After moving to Arizona with her husband and daughter, Mary continued to volunteer as a Girl Scout troop leader from 2003 to 2006 and was a member of the Parent Teacher Association at her daughter’s elementary school. When her daughter went to college, Mary went back to school, obtaining her BS in Political Science in 2015.
During her school career Mary participated in the 2011-2012 Student Public Policy Forum cadre. She also partook in the Model United Nations of the Far West (MUNFW) during the same time period. In 2018 Mary was invited to chair at the 68th MUNFW on the panel of the Commission on the Status of Women: Empowering the Economic, Political, and Social Life of Women.
Mary joined Together Women Rise in 2014 and shortly after became co-leader of the AZ, Phoenix-4 chapter. Mary also works with a local non-governmental organization helping Syrian refugees to learn English and navigate the American culture.


West Region

CA, HI –

Debbie Hirsch – Co-Leader

Debbie is an accomplished employment lawyer and an agent of change advocating for social justice, with specific interest in issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion. Her achievements were accomplished by building communities of adversaries and allies, and community outreach. She earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and finished her career at Santa Clara University in 2014 as the Director of Affirmative Action and Diversity and Inclusion.
In 2015, she and her husband purchased a small hotel in South Lake Tahoe, the 7 Seas Inn, and repositioned the hotel as a “Boutique Inn with a B&B Attitude”. Today, the Inn is successful and a global award-winning hotel as recognized by TripAdvisor.
In 2012, Debbie started the Together Women Rise Solana Beach Chapter, and became a Mentor in 2020. She is currently serving as the Chapter Leader in Encinitas. Her career and beliefs align with the vision and mission of Together Women Rise, and she looks forward to a future with Together Women Rise as a dedicated leader.
Debbie is the mother of three adult children, and proud grandmother of five grandchildren and one great grandson. She lives in Encinitas with her husband Bill and their two dogs, Bart and Lovie.

Rosalie Cornew – Co-Leader

Rosalie has been a member of Together Women Rise since the beginning of her local, Portola Valley chapter in 2012. She immediately connected with its mission. Rosalie had the opportunity to live, study, and work abroad as a child and adult. At eight-years-old, she moved from France to Mexico, where she became aware of the opportunities she enjoyed that her doorman’s daughter did not. They were playmates yet had very different futures. Why? Rosalie turned this personal experience of “birth-injustice” into her many volunteer involvements over the years to help alleviate poverty and help women gain more self-reliance.
Rosalie retired from corporate life after 30 years in high-tech focusing on global business development and marketing. Along the way she took a break from computers and imported Australian wine for eight yrs. She has discovered a second career in real estate management which she greatly enjoys. In her spare time, she plays pickle ball (former tennis player), hikes, bikes, and loves to travel to experience new places.
Rosalie lives in San Francisco area with her husband where they raised their four children. Her desire to get more involved with Together Women Rise stems from having more time now but more importantly as a way to turn into action her gratitude of having had healthy educated children with bright futures. She is very excited to be a regional manager, work with a great team, and through our work be able to give back in such a meaningful way.


Our international chapter applications are temporarily on-hold as we research the legal requirements for the growing demand to expand globally.