Obama 2012 General Election Campaign Organization, Maryland
Obama for America/Organizing for America  

MARYLAND  |  Obama Main Page

(page revised April 17, 2013)
...for additions, corrections and other changes contact

facebook  |  twitter  |  state page

In July 2012 Obama for America Maryland merged with the Maryland Democratic Party to form the Maryland Victory 2012 Coordinated Campaign.  This page is different than the other state organization pages which mainly show Obama for America/Organizing for America staff (directors, deputy directors and RFDs).  The listing below includes some of the top volunteers upon whose efforts the campaign was built.  Although Maryland was one of the most uncompetitive states in the presidential campaign, it was a key export state, initially focusing on Pennsylvania and Virginia and then completely on Virginia.  According to the campaign, in the second half of 2012 Maryland volunteers made 4.5 million calls to Virginia and knocked on 626,000 doors.

Obama for America State Director  Jason Waskey

(July 2009)  Special assistant to Secretary of State John P. McDonough, 2007-09.  One of five founders of OFA-MD in 2007-08 and a near full-time volunteer on the Obama Maryland campaign in 2008.  Degree in American studies from University of Maryland College Park, 2005.

Senior Aide to the Obama State Director  Simone Lavine

(Aug. 2012)  Student at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA.  Started as a campaign volunteer in Claremont, and then was a Summer Organizing Fellow in Maryland from May-August before she was hired as senior aide.

Coordinated Campaign Executive Director  David Sloan

Experience includes political director of the Maryland Democratic Party in the 2010 cycle and media events coordinator in Gov. Martin O'Malley's press office.

Deputy Coordinated Campaign Director  Matt Verghese

Political/communications director for Maryland Democratic Party from Jan. 2011.  Deputy political director during 2010 cycle.  Master's in public policy from University of Maryland College Park.

Ben Cardin Campaign Director  Shelly Hettleman

Hill staffer for then-Rep. Cardin from 1987-1991.  B.A. in political science from Northwestern University.

Field Director  Lilla Weinberger

(March 2012; promoted from the campaign in California)  Regional field director for OFA in Sacramento during the 2010 midterm elections.  Owner of Readers' Books in Sonoma, CA, 1991-2010.  B.A. in comparative literature from UC Berkeley.

Deputy Field Director  Chuck Cook

(Aug. 2012)  Real estate agent on the Lower Shore since Oct. 2009.  Regional field director for the Maryland Democratic Party, Jan.-Nov. 2010.  Java developer/report manager at BarNone, 2006-09.  Degree in computer science from Salisbury University, 2006.  Served in the U.S. Army and Maryland Army National Guard.

Deputy Field Director  Anthony Jones

Sen. Ben Cardin's state field manager in 2011 before the Cardin campaign merged into the Maryland Coordinated Campaign.  During the 2008 cycle Jones served on the political staff at the DSCC.  B.A. in political science from Morgan State University.

Data Director  Laila El Gohary

(March 2012)  Initially digital strategies director.  Freelance communications consultant in Bahrain, 2010-11.  Account executive at Hill & Knowlton, 2009-10.  B.A. degrees in political science and philosophy from The American University in Cairo, 2009.

Deputy Data Director  Jamie Shopland

(Aug. 2012)  Initially regional digital lead, Oct. 2011-May 2012, then regional data lead.  Project manager for Unison Site Management, 2007-12.  Paralegal, legal assistant, 2004-06.  Training administrator at Lockheed Martin/Aspen Systems Corporation, 2001-04.  Operations agent at BAX Global, Inc. 1999-2001.  B.A. in Law & Society from Hood College, 2012; A.A. in general studies from Frederick Community College, 2009.

Deputy Data Director  Rebecca Newman

(Aug. 2012)  Student in political science at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Started as a member of the Students for Obama executive board at UW-Madison, serving as director of outreach, 2011-12, and worked as a field organizer in Wisconsin before returning to Maryland.

Operations Director  Jon Randall

(Aug. 2012)  Education policy and nonprofit advocacy consultant.  Organizing for America regional lead for Montgomery County, 2009-12 volunteer.  Full-time volunteer on 2008 Obama campaign in Bethesda, MD. 

Operations Assistant  Martha Steinbock

(Aug. 2012)  Retired in 2009 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations after 30 years as an economist dealing with international and national agricultural scientific issues and policies.  Canvassed in Ohio during the 2008 campaign.

Voter Protection Director  Amanda LaForge

Communications Director  Isaac Salazar

Finance Director  Bob Fenity

Deputy Finance Director  Andrew Lee

Scheduling and Advance Director  Wiltina Wilson

Scheduling and Events Director  Emily Barkdoll

MDP Data Director  Mike Biggs

MDP Compliance Director  Meredith Bowman

MDP Deputy Political Director  Brandon Cloud

MDP Staff Assistant  Betsy Dudley

MDP Staff Assistant  Toni Byrd

Volunteer Recruitment Specialist  Clare White
(Aug. 2012)  Full-time volunteer for the Obama campaign in New York City and Boulder, CO, 2007-08.  OFA at DNC, recruitment and recorded all robocalls for OFA and DCCC, and polling for OFA Analytics (2009-10).  M.A. in drama from the University of Toronto.

Deputy Volunteer Recruitment Specialist  Jennifer Hosey
(Aug. 2010)  Researcher/biographer to (retired) Bolivian Minister, 2009-12.  Sen. Ted Kennedy’s foreign policy and defense intern, 2008.  Chanukah on the Ellipse organizer/assistant to Chabad Emissary, 2007.  B.A. government and politics from University of Maryland College Park, 2007.

Director of Special Projects  Robert Yochem
(Sept. 2011)  Started as data director for Organizing for America in Jan. 2010.  Yochem helped lead volunteer organization efforts for the Obama Maryland campaign in 2008.  Research specialist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Political Advisor  Bill Romani
Candidate for Maryland House of Delegates District 46 in the Sept. 14, 2010 primary.  Associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  Ph.D. in education from University of Virginia; M.H.A. from Cornell University; B.S. in physical therapy from University of Delaware.

Messaging Director  Michael Buckley

White House Liaison  Michael Novelli

Summer and Fall Fellows Manager  Sara Lemke-Von Ammon
(March 2012; also served as GOTV Overnight Canvass Coordinator)  Moved from being volunteer on the campaign in Northern California. J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, 1983; A.B. Occidental College, 1979.

Regional Fall Fellows Manager  Sharon Jones
(May 2012)  Started out as an Organizing Fellow, then became the Fall Fellows manager for Howard and Prince George's Counties and served as a GOTV Overnight Canvass Coordinator.

Regional Fall Fellows Manager  Jerusalem Demsas
(July 2011)  Fall Fellows manager for Montgomery County and regional data lead for Prince George's County and the Eastern Shore.  Before and during the campaign, Demsas was a high school student who entered her senior year at Richard Montgomery High School in Fall 2012.

Regional Field Directors
Western Maryland & Montgomery Up-County  Alexandra Smith
(Aug. 2012)  Initially an Organizing Fellow for Obama campaign from Jan.-May 2012 and regional data lead from May-Sept. 2012.  Elementary teacher for Teach for America Corps, June 2009-July 2012.  M.A. in teaching from Johns Hopkins University 2011; B.S. in political science and international business from Olivet Nazarene University 2009.

Anne Arundel & Howard County  Amanda Pleasant
(Aug. 2012)  Started on campaign as a Summer Organizer and Fellows manager.  Degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland College Park, 2012.

Eastern Shore  Andrew Kastner
(Aug. 2012)  Started working on the campaign as a Spring Organizing Fellow, then worked as regional data lead until being hired as regional field director.  B.A. in psychology from Dickinson College, 2010.

Baltimore Metro  Andrew Mallinoff
(Aug. 2012)  Before starting as a regional field director, Mallinoff served as an OFA intern in Spring 2011, Fellow in Fall 2011-Spring 2012, and Fellows manager in Summer 2012.  Student in government and politics at the University of Maryland College Park.

Greater Silver Spring & Bethesda/Chevy Chase  Ashwani Jain
(Aug. 2012)  Started as a volunteer with the Obama campaign in 2007, and has served in various roles including Maryland student director and Summer Fellows manager.  B.A. degrees in political science and business management from the University of Maryland.

Southern Maryland  Brian Kemmet
(Aug. 2012)  Logistics coordinator for Sen. Barbara Mikulski.  Regional field coordinator for Gov. Martin O'Malley during his 2010 re-election campaign.  B.A. in political science from Salisbury University.

Prince George’s County  Leathia West
(Aug. 2012)  Started out as an Organizing Fellow in June 2011, then served as a regional lead.  Thirty years experience as a psychotherapist and art teacher.   ...registered more than 1,300 high school students as new voters and implemented the Barber Shop and Beauty Salon Program.

Baltimore City  Shiara Fayson
(Aug. 2012)  Extensive organizing and canvassing experience including volunteer coordinator on Rawlings-Blake for Baltimore, March-Sept. 2011; regional field director for the Maryland Democratic Party, June-Nov. 2010; field organizer/recruiter on Bill Halter for Senate (AR), May-June 2010, office director for the For Maryland Campaign, June-Nov. 2008; field organizer on V.I.P. Voting is Power campaign in MS/LA, Jan.-May 2008; and petition circulator/canvasser/team lead on a couple of campaigns in Ohio in 2006 and 2007.

Field Organizers
Prince George’s County  Eva Lewis
(Sept. 2012)  Started as a Summer Organizing Fellow in June 2012.   Litigation associate in Chicago, 2009-11.  Peace Corps volunteer in Benin, 2004-06.  J.D. from Northwestern Law, 2009; B.A. in economics from Spelman College, 2004.

Baltimore Metro/Baltimore City  Britney Lomax
(Aug. 2012)  Bachelor's degree in political science, English from University of Alabama, 2009.

Regional Leads
Western Maryland  Boyce Rensberger
For more than 40 years before retiring Rensberger was a newspaper reporter and editor, mainly for the New York Times and Washington Post, specializing in science, medicine and the environment.  Master's degree in mental health communication from Syracuse University; bachelor's degree in zoology and journalism from the University of Miami.

Montgomery Up-County  Lori Plazinski
Out-of-state volunteer on the 2008 campaign travelling to eight states (IA, SC, DE, MD, VA, WV, PA, CO).  Experience includes MCtime project (electronic timesheet system) program manager for Montgomery County Government.  Degree in psychology, personnel and labor relations from University of Maryland College Park.

Anne Arundel  Dennie Martin
In 2009 started up and managed OFA operations in the 1st CD.  Managed a Maryland office for Obama in the 2008 campaign. 

Howard County  Mary Marker
Teacher/reading specialist for Howard County Public Schools 1979-2012.  M.S. in special education and reading from Johns Hopkins 1983; B.A. in early childhood education from University of Maryland College Park 1978.

Eastern Shore  Carl Widell
Chief operating officer at Development Equity Associates, Inc. from Jan. 2010.  CFO at Network Technologies International, Inc., 2004-09.  President of Ventel Telecommunications, Inc, 1999-2004.  President of Widell Software Company, 1984-97.  A.B. and B.A. degress from Princeton University.  Author of "How to Debate Your Republican Relatives."

Baltimore Metro  Chris Lines
Producer at Between The Lines films since 2008.  M.A. in mass communications/media studies from Towson University, 2001.

Baltimore Metro  Kathleen Miller
Pledged delegate to Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Greater Silver Spring  Neeta Datt
Started with Organizing for America in Feb. 2011 as constituency groups team lead for Montgomery County, and later area teams advisor and issue team lead.  Hub director at the Obama-Warner campaign office in Midlothian, VA in 2008.  President of WeGreen USA, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the carbon footprint, greenhouse gases and environmental pollution, from Dec. 2008.  Owner/operator of a graphic design business, 2000-08.

Bethesda/Chevy Chase  Jon Heintz
Formerly lived in Los Angeles from the mid-1990s to 2007.

Southern Maryland  Lewis Powell
A co-founder of Maryland for Obama, 2008.  President and CEO of Antiok Holdings Inc. from March 1998-present.

Prince George’s County  April Jordan

Baltimore City  Hope M. Williams
Special assistant to Rep. Elijah Cummings.  Worked for the Mayor's Office of Baltimore City leading the Cleaner Greener Baltimore Initative, 2007-10.  B.A. biology from Hood College, 1993. 

Maryland Democratic Party        +

Chairman  Yvette Lewis

(announced as acting chair on May 12, 2011)  Founder and director of “So This is Opera,” a program that introduces young audiences to the world of opera in performance, workshop and residency settings.  Lewis is also a lyric soprano.   Almost fifteen years experience as an elementary general music teacher in the Baltimore City and Montgomery County, Maryland Public Schools.  Staff assistant at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Mus.B. from Howard University.