Regional Leadership

Regional Leadership

Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women 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:

Julia Edelson – Co-Leader

Julia has been a part of Dining for Women since the early days and has been Co-Chapter Leader of NC, Charlotte-2 for 10 years. Originally from the northeast, Charlotte has been home to her and her family for over 20 years. While launching three sons into the adult world, she has remained active in a number of church and school volunteer activities. Maintaining close ties with extended family is also a priority. Julia is happy be to be involved with Dining for Women on the regional level. Follow

Meredith Stoudenmire – Co-Leader

Meredith has a background in Recruiting and HR and hopes to be an asset to Dining for Women in helping the organization grow. She has been a member since 2015 and recently became a Co-Chapter Leader of SC, Greenville-13. “I love socializing with substance. Dining for Women is such a great concept combining cooking and eating and togetherness with making a great differences in the health, safety, and education of women and girls all over the world.” Meredith lives in Greenville, SC with her husband and two young children. Follow

Central Region

IN, KY, MI, OH – email:

Tamara Peterson – Co-Leader

Tamara has been a part of Dining for Women 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

Rachel Peterson – Co-Leader

Rachel has been a part of Dining for Women since 2012, when she co-founded the Hudson, Ohio chapter with her mother (and fellow regional leader) Tamara. She currently works full-time as the head of marketing at a global analytics consultancy, and in her spare time lends her writing and marketing skills to causes devoted to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. In addition to her work with Dining for Women, Rachel is a volunteer writer and editor for former DFW grantee READ Global, and speaks publicly on issues of gender equality and women’s leadership in the workplace. She enjoys spending time with her fiancé and family, traveling, baking, and studying early US history. Follow


Florida Region

FL – email:

Jan Richards – Regional Leader

Jan is a relatively new transplant to Southwest Florida. She spent her career in continuing medical and nursing education administration in both academic and member association settings. Currently, she stays engaged professionally with a bit of consulting. She is also involved in committee work at her condominium association, where her spouse serves as board president.
Many years ago, she had the amazing opportunity to live in Southern Chile during the final days of the Salvatore Allende regime and during the military takeover of that country. Research work through an anthropologist husband took them to Mapuche reservations near Tolten – a community in which the grandmas managed the household and cared for the little ones because the parents of these children had moved into the cities to seek work. The entrepreneurial spirit of these older ladies, particularly in the selling of textiles and pottery was always amazing, and perhaps was the spark for a renewed interest in supporting women and children internationally. Jan has been Co-Chapter Leader of FL, Venice-2 since her relocation from Washington DC.
Jan has two grown daughters and four wonderful grandchildren. She enjoys knitting, reading, and recently began taking piano lessons.

Kay Yoder – Co-Leader

At her very first Dining for Women meeting in April 2013, Kay was hooked and instantly felt a special kinship with the members of her Sarasota/Bradenton, FL chapters. The Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women 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.

Heartland Region

MN, ND, SD, WI – email:

Donna Neshek– Regional Leader

Donna became involved with Dining for Women in 2011 after a friend attended a dinner in North Carolina, and upon her return, decided to start a local chapter in Southeastern Wisconsin. Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women several years ago. She attended a lunch event and happened to sit next to someone who mentioned Dining for Women. Annette knew immediately that Dining for Women’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:

The Regional Leader position for Midwest is vacant at this time.


Northeast Region

CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT – email:

Barbara Conti Boehly – Co-Leader

Barbara joined Dining for Women’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 DFW 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 Dining for Women 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:

Karen McCune – Co-Leader

Karen joined the first Portland, OR Dining for Women chapter six years ago and was hooked at the first meeting. A year later after the Portland chapter saw a huge surge in membership (from 20 to 75), she and two other women started a chapter on the Westside of Portland. This chapter is alive and well and celebrated its 5th anniversary in October. Karen was also on the planning committee for the first Northwest Region conference and participated in the Dining for Women trip to the Dominican Republic in 2015.
Karen's passion for providing support to women and children guided her professional life. Starting out as an early intervention specialist and parent educator and retiring in March 2015 from her job as National VP of Employee Assistance and WorkLife at Optum/United Health Care, she brings leadership and management experience to her new role as Northwest Regional Co-Leader. Karen and her husband live in Beaverton, OR. They have two grown married children and one 20 month-old granddaughter who is the love of their lives.

Rocky Mountain Region

CO, NE, WY – email:

Betty Purkey-Huck – Co-Leader

Betty joined Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women since 2015. She started a Dining for Women chapter in Lafayette, CO in the fall of 2017. Her years as a member and a chapter leader, and her attendance at Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women’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 Dining for Women in 2017. After just a year with the organization, Kasey realized she wanted to be more involved in DFW. 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 Dining for Women 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 DFW 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 Dining for Women.

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 Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women 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 DFW 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 Dining for Women. Jen is most interested in helping Dining for Women 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 – Regional Leader

Betty joined Dining for Women 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 Dining for Women remain sustainable and loves creating new chapters and agents of change to overcome poverty and obtain equity for women and girls.Follow


West Region

CA, HI –

Debbie Hirsch – Regional 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 DFW 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 DFW, and she looks forward to a future with DFW 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.


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