Meet the AHEAD Leadership Team

AHEAD makes a difference because of all of its talented, committed, creative members. Here’s a look at the AHEAD leadership team, which coordinates efforts of the full group.

Members are in alphabetical order.

Amber Basares: “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas” as Shirley Chisholm is quoted saying.  These are morals that have been embedded in Amber’s head and lifestyle.  She is a nine year Marine Veteran, with a heart that drives her to pursue change.  As an activist within the community of Lima, she is driven by women’s rights, minority injustices, and advocating for children.

Amber3_small

Sheila Coressel is originally from Defiance (just an hour north) in the country, surrounded by corn and soybeans. She has spent time in five other states before returning to the area in 2016. She has experience with event planning and volunteering for community organizations. The results of the 2016 election spurred Sheila to become more active in political groups such as AHEAD (where she also serves as treasurer) and the Hardin County Democratic Party, where she is Vice Chair. She is also on Ada’s Village Council. 

Sheila

Originally from Wisconsin, in 1999 Mary Drzycimski-Finn moved with her husband to Ada to teach at Ohio Northern University. Excited to contribute to the growth of her adopted home, Mary has run for Village Council and serves as Secretary of the Hardin County Democratic Party. Mary’s particular interests include education; fair voter representation at the local, state, and national levels; and making government work for the common good.

Elizabeth Eley was born in Cleveland and has lived in four other states. She has been a registered Democrat since her earliest voting days and has always supported Progressive causes. She has canvassed in Lima for Janet Garrett, Dave Berger, Sharetta Smith, as well as supporting various levies. She was elected in 2022 to serve on the Allen County Democratic Party’s Central Committee as Captain of the Lima 4A Precinct.
 
She has a Masters degree in Library and Information Science and has been employed as a librarian since 1972, retiring in 2007. She has three adult children, four grandchildren ranging in age from twelve to mid-thirties and a great-grandson who is sixteen. 
 
IMG_0376
 
 
In addition to Rochelle Twining’s role with AHEAD, she is Vice Chair of the Allen County Democratic Party. She is also a current CASA volunteer.
 
Rochelle is a “Retired Four Star General in the War on Poverty.” She actively worked as a volunteer for Gilligan, Metzenbaum, Johnson, Clinton, Gore, Clinton and Glenn. She is a former Allen County Democratic Party Chair and a candidate for Ohio House in1986.
 
Rochele worked for Secretary of State Sherrod Brown as public information officer and Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher. She served as State President of NARAL and Vice President of Allen NAACP. Locally, she worked with others to create the Literacy Council, and Crossroads Shelter for Battered Women.

She has 3 adult children and eight grandchildren.

Rochelle

Moved Away but Still Support

Some members of the Leadership Team have moved away, but they still support from a distance. Here are those folks.

Kerry Bush is a professional graphic designer and photographer located in West Virginia (formerly in Bluffton). She was an organizing fellow on the Hillary Clinton campaign in fall of ’16 and founded many of AHEAD’s communications efforts. Kerry is particularly passionate about LGBTQQI2A rights, getting money out of politics, and smashing the patriarchy! You can follow her on Twitter at @kerrybush.

Maya Fischhoff lived in Ada for 9 years and moved to Pittsburgh in 2022. She loved her time as part of the dynamic, committed, innovative AHEAD group. Living outside Ohio, she tries to support AHEAD with technical matters and occasionally dives into the exciting dialogue on the Facebook group.

Beth Sutton-Ramspeck came to the Lima area in 1998 to teach English at the Ohio State University and stayed until moving to North Carolina in 2021. She first became active in politics as a team leader and staging location director during the 2008 Obama campaign and was re-energized after the 2016 election and the 2017 Women’s March in Washington. She joined AHEAD leadership in 2018. Her political interests include health care, eliminating partisan gerrymandering, and social justice. She has also written a book about resistance in the Harry Potter series.