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RADR Meeting: The Women Who Are Changing the Landscape of Virginia Politics
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In November 2017, voters transformed Virginia politics when a half-dozen Republican incumbents were unseated by barrier-breaking challengers. Join us for a morning of inspiration as we hear from some of Virginia’s women legislators. Panelists include the state’s first openly lesbian delegate (Dr. Dawn Adams), one of the state’s first Latina delegates (Elizabeth Guzman) and a state senator who previously served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 11 years (Jennifer McClellan).

 Export to Your Calendar 7/26/2018
When: Thursday, July 26, 2018
8:00 am until 10:00 am
Where: Map this event »
Stratford University
11104 W. Broad St
Glen Allen, Virginia  23060
United States
Contact: Townley Goldsmith-Ray, Member Experience Manager

Online registration is available until: 7/26/2018
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In November 2017, voters transformed Virginia politics when a half-dozen Republican incumbents were unseated by barrier-breaking challengers.  Join us for a morning of inspiration as we hear from some of Virginia’s women legislators.  Panelists include the state’s first openly lesbian delegate (Dr. Dawn Adams), one of the state’s first Latina delegates (Elizabeth Guzman) and a state senator who previously served in the Virginia House of Delegates for 11 years (Jennifer McClellan).



Del Dawn Adams
Virginia House of Delegates
District 68 (City of Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield)


Dr. Dawn M. Adams is serving her first term in the Virginia House of Delegates representing District 68 (City of Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield) and is the first openly gay representative elected to the Virginia Assembly.


Prior to serving as Delegate, Dawn has dedicated her career to serving her community, solving problems, and improving lives. For more than 20 years, Dawn has lived and worked in Richmond as a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, access to care researcher, health advocate and most recently, as the Director for the Office of Integrated Health for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS).


Dawn grew up in a home dedicated to public service. At a young age, Dawn learned the importance of community with her mother working a registered nurse and her father serving as a Captain in the US Coast Guard and working as a Search & Rescue pilot. At age 17, Dawn left for college, and has since received degrees from four Virginia public universities. She has an unparalleled work ethic, often working more than one job, or working and attending school at the same time. Since becoming a nurse practitioner, she has been a pioneer in every role and job she’s held.


Dawn’s passion for people and health was augmented by her doctoral education and a renewed understanding of the direct link between policy and our day-to-day life. This relationship was the basis of her research project that focused on nurse-led clinics and their potential to drive down healthcare costs. Dawn’s insightful research led her to win the Old Dominion University (ODU) Nursing Scholar award.


Prior to beginning her tenure as an adjunct faculty member at ODU, Dawn worked alongside nursing advocates in Richmond. Dawn’s role afforded her the opportunity to engage in community stakeholder meetings concerning Medicaid expansion, advocate for healthcare access, and attend the 2014 General Assembly (GA) session. This experience led Dawn to author a proposal for a Health Policy Fellowship for nurses—a fellowship that is currently available to nurses who attend graduate programs within Virginia.


While at the GA, Dawn was asked to join the DBHDS team in order to develop a network of health supports and services across the Commonwealth for the developmentally disabled. Her experience in the public sector spawned her interest in public office, where she has seen both the amazing work of State employees as well as the archaic and fragmented systems that create an inefficient government and wasteful spending.


Throughout her career, Dawn has worked to build relationships with all people irrespective of their backgrounds. She is deeply concerned with the partisan rhetoric that has replaced healthy public discourse. She believes that all people inherently want the same things: well-being, safety, love, inclusion, job security, healthy food, and to be happy. That is why Dawn stresses the importance of finding common ground from which to start conversations.


Senator Jennifer McClellan
Virginia State Senator
9th Senate District (Charles City County and portions of Henrico County, Hanover County, and the City of Richmond)

Jennifer McClellan was elected to the Senate of Virginia in January 2017. She serves on the Agriculture, Conservation & Natural Resources, Local Government, and Transportation Committees. Jennifer chairs the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and serves on the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the Task Force on the Preservation of the History of Former Enslaved African Americans. She co-chairs the Capital Region Caucus, serves as Vice Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, and is a member of the Rural Caucus, Women’s Health Care Caucus, and Fire and EMS Caucus. She also serves on the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council. In 2017, she was selected to be a Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow. Since 2008, she has served as a guest columnist for the Richmond Times Dispatch during the General Assembly Session.


Prior to her election to the Senate, Jennifer was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 11 years, serving on the House Education, Commerce and Labor, and Courts of Justice Committees, the Virginia Crime Commission (Executive Committee) and the Virginia Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council.

During her tenure in the General Assembly, Jennifer has served as a member of Governor Ralph Northam’s Transition Committee, Chair of Governor McAuliffe’s Transition Team, and as a member of Governor McDonnell’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board, Governor Kaine’s Poverty Reduction Task Force and Commission on Sexual Violence, and the Civil Rights Memorial Commission.

Respected on both sides of the aisle and the recipient of numerous awards, Jennifer has earned a reputation as an effective, constituent services oriented legislator who can find common ground with Republicans while standing up for progressive values. She has been a leader on improving education, breaking the school-to-prison pipeline, criminal justice reform, combatting domestic and sexual violence, diversifying Virginia’s economy, civil rights, and ethics reform. As the only House member to be pregnant while in office, she has been a fierce protector of women’s reproductive rights, children, and families.

Jennifer’s legislative accomplishments include establishing anti-bullying and lactation policies in public schools; reporting school discipline outcomes by race, gender, ethnicity, and disability; clarifying responsibilities of school resource officers; increasing penalties for stalking; strengthening law enforcement tools to combat crimes against children; reforming Virginia’s child marriage laws; authorizing new business models such as benefit corporations; establishing protections against predatory lending; and eliminating mandated waiting periods for sterilization.

Jennifer is an Assistant General Counsel at Verizon Communications, focusing on state regulatory and government affairs for several states. She is a member of the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) Board of Governors, the Virginia State Bar, the Metropolitan Women’s Bar Association, the Richmond Bar Association, and the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Bar Association. She previously served on the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference, Young Lawyers Conference (Past President), and Corporate Counsel Section (past Chair), and as Vice Chair of the VBA Pro Bono Task Force.

Jennifer’s community service extends to a wide variety of state and local organizations. She serves as a member of the Boards of the YWCA of Richmond, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Chippenham/Johnston Willis Hospital, the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood, the Moton Museum, and Virginia Premier Health Plans. She is also a member of the Virginia Center on Aging Advisory Committee.

Jennifer is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Junior League of Richmond, the Fan District Association, the Fan Women’s Club, the League of Women Voters, the Richmond NAACP, and the Richmond Crusade for Voters. She is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership’s 2001 Political Leaders Program and 2005 Candidate Training Program, and member of the 2004 Class of Leadership Metro Richmond.

Jennifer has also been a longtime Democratic Party activist and leader at the local, state, and national level. She serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee. She previously served as a member of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee (2015-2017) and the Association of Democratic Chairs (2002-2010). On the state level, Jennifer is a member of the Democratic Party of Virginia Steering and Central Committees, and previously served as 1st Vice Chair, Organization (2007-2010), Vice Chair for Outreach (2002-2007), and Chair of the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Committee (2001-2002). She has been active with local Democratic committees in Richmond, Chesterfield County, and Charlottesville. She served three consecutive terms as president of the Virginia Young Democrats (1994-1997), and is the founding president of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats (1997-2004). She served as a page to the 1996 Democratic National Convention and a Delegate to every convention since 2000.

Prior to elected office, Jennifer was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Virginia College Building Authority (2002-2005), serving two years as Vice Chair. She also served on the Board of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority from 2004-2008.

Jennifer was born in Petersburg, Virginia. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and law degree from the University of Virginia.

Del. Elizabeth (Liz) Guzman
Virginia House of Delegates
District 31 (Counties of Fauquier [part] and Prince William [part])


Elizabeth Guzman is serving her first term in the Virginia House of Delegates and is the first Latina elected to the Virginia Assembly. Elizabeth is a public administrator and a social worker who resides in Dale City. Elizabeth has been working in the public sector for 10 years, and currently works as the Division Chief for Administrative Services for the Center for Adult Services for the City of Alexandria.

Elizabeth came to the United States from Peru as a single mom, looking for a better future for her oldest daughter. She remembers those early years; working three jobs in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment for her and her daughter. Despite graduating with honors from high school in Peru, Elizabeth's parents could not afford to send her to college. With her love of learning Elizabeth persevered, and enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College, obtaining her degree in Office Administration and Management. Elizabeth also holds a Bachelor's in Public Safety from Capella University, a Master's in Public Administration from American University, and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Southern California.

Elizabeth is a long time resident of Prince William County, living in the community for more than 15-years. She fell in love with Prince William County because of all of the opportunity the area offered to her as a community leader and homeowner, and her desire to raise her children in a diverse, engaging environment.



Craig Carper
News Director
88.9 SCVE Public Radio


Craig Carper is the News Director for 88.9 WCVE Public Radio. Craig studied journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University and has worked in broadcast news since 2001. He’s worked in various capacities covering Virginia politics for WCVE PBS since 2006. For six years starting in 2009 he served as the political reporter for 88.9 WCVE before being promoted to News Director in July of 2015.


Craig served as the host of Assembly '17 (previously titled Capitol Events) during the General Assembly Session on WCVE PBS, a daily 90-second update on legislative issues.


In 2012 he conducted an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama. In 2015 he interviewed former President Jimmy Carter.


In 2016 he provided daily updates from Havana on Governor Terry McAuliffe's trade mission to Cuba.


Craig has contributed over 140 nationally run news stories to NPR and has been featured on the PBS NewsHour with Judy Woodruff and the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
He's served as a moderator or panelist at debates for U.S. Senate, Congress, Mayor and other state and local elected offices.


He’s covered 3 Governors, the 2009 and 2013 gubernatorial campaigns, the 2012 and 2014 U.S. Senate races, the 2012 Presidential campaign and in 2014 he provided daily national coverage of the trial of former Governor Bob McDonnell for NPR.


Megan Pauly
WCVE Public Broadcasting


Megan Pauly covers education and healthcare for Richmond, Virginia’s NPR affiliate. Her reporting has appeared on national programs such as NPR and Marketplace. Before coming to Richmond in fall 2017, Megan reported for an NPR affiliate in Wilmington, Delaware where she also worked as a youth media producer for Generation Voice, teaching radio journalism to Delaware high school students.



8:00 - 8:30 am Light Breakfast/Registration/Networking
8:30 - 10:00 am





The price to attend this event is $10 until July 23, then $15 until the day of the meeting.


Program has been submitted to SHRM for 1.0 PDC towards SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification and to HRCI for 1.0 (GENERAL) credit towards PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification.

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