Lauren Beth Gash, Chair, has led the Lake County Democrats since August of 2020. A former Illinois Human Rights Commissioner and four-term state representative who served several years as the only Democrat in the legislature from Lake County, Lauren made it her mission to elect more Democrats. She founded Tenth Dems with the goal of electing a Democratic Congressperson and worked to help turn our area blue by recruiting good candidates and equipping them with the resources and messaging to win. Previously, Lauren worked in DC and has served on the staffs of two U.S. Senators. An attorney, Lauren created the Democratic Election Protection Team. Lauren is an elected Precinct Committeeperson in Highland Park.
Nancy Shepherdson, First Vice Chair, has been focused on electing Democrats since moving to southwest Lake County and finding there were no local Democrats to vote for. Candidate recruitment and training are her specialties, resulting in victories up and down the ballot, including the unexpected victories of Melissa Bean in 2004 and Sean Casten in 2018. She recently helped lead a petition drive to fill vacancies in nomination after the primary that put new State Senate and State Representative candidates on the ballot in less than a week. A freelance writer, Nancy is an elected Precinct Committeeperson in Deer Park.
Barbara Altman, Vice Chair, an attorney and acting chair of Moraine Dems, is a longtime Democratic leader. Barbara helps organize and train the Democratic Election Protection Team, helps staff the 24-hour Voter Information Hotline, drafts information for emails and posting about when, where, and how to vote, and helps with challenges to our candidates’ opponents’ petitions. She also helps organize and staff Deputy Voter Registrar events. Barbara is a member of the Lake Dems Communications Team and an elected Precinct Committeeperson in Highland Park.
Jose Rivera, Vice Chair, a Long Grove Precinct Committeeperson, has become an indispensable member of our leadership team. He co-chairs a working group that has spent countless hours helping us update our Lake Dems bylaws and policies. Jose also serves as one of our Election Protection lawyers. José is a retired executive who led various legal departments at Abbott, including as chief compliance officer, and a successful health care start up. He also serves on the board of directors of the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic.
Vance Wyatt, Vice Chair, provides invaluable guidance and local government experience to the board of Lake Dems. He has served as the Shields Township Democratic Party chair and as a Lake County Board member. He is the elected Democratic Treasurer of the City of North Chicago and a Foss Park District Commissioner. He is a financial analyst for CVS and is an elected Precinct Committeeperson in North Chicago.
Dan Matzkin, Treasurer, is a Lake Zurich Precinct Committeeperson. A CPA in the technology industry, Dan has been in charge of keeping track of Lake Dems finances and preparing our quarterly filings and other legally required financial reports. He has set up a sophisticated financial management system for Lake Dems that tracks contributions and helps manage expenditures. Dan also helped with our transition to NGP8, a powerful accounting and volunteer management system.
Farah Laman, Recording Secretary, is an elected Precinct Committeeperson in Ela Township. In her current role she does recordkeeping, and has helped Lake Dems in various ways, including by supporting voter drives, election campaigns, and organizing events. Farah is a Senior Manager in the Information Technology space for a global software services company. She is a founder and board member of the board of the Northern Illinois American Muslim Alliance (NIAMA), a local PAC that supports candidates in Lake County and its vicinity. She was two times a candidate for Hawthorn Woods Trustee and was appointed by the Village President to the Blooms Committee.
Bonnie Berger-Neel, Corresponding Secretary, has been active with Lake County Democrats for many years and has served in a variety of roles including delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She has served as a Precinct Committeeperson and she helped found Warren Township Democrats. She was a board member of Eighth District Democrats and Independents and later Tenth Dems after redistricting. Bonnie was a microbiologist in Abbott’s Diagnostic Division and earned numerous awards and patents. She lives in the Wildwood section of Grayslake.
Marc Jones, Sergeant at Arms, is tasked with making sure meetings run smoothly. Now that in-person meetings are once again possible, Marc’s assistance will become even more important. Marc has served as a Precinct Committeeperson and is the township supervisor in Waukegan Township and was formerly in charge of the Eddie Washington Center, providing transitional housing for homeless men. He has frequently partnered with Tenth Dems, and now Lake Dems, to organize important social justice events.
Cynthia Alexander Jackson, Parliamentarian, is an attorney and certified professional parliamentarian. She is a current member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, and has a detailed command of Robert’s Rules of Order, the authoritative publication that governs meeting procedure. She serves as church clerk for First Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church and is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Cynthia is an elected Precinct Committeeperson in Waukegan Township, and was recently Waukegan Township Democratic Chair.