Meet the MWEG Team
Emma Petty Addams : Co-Executive Director
Emma Petty Addams serves as co-executive director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Stanford University, she spent time in Boston and Silicon Valley working in contracts negotiation, corporate transactions and capitalization, and investor relations. In addition, she has built and run large piano studios in California, New Jersey, and now Omaha, Nebraska, where she currently resides with her husband and three sons. While seemingly unrelated, these previous career opportunities were excellent preparation for the fast-paced yet methodical and collaborative nature of the work at MWEG. Every time an MWEG member writes an op-ed, speaks out against injustice, or expresses her opinion peacefully on social media, Emma is grateful for the chance to help women contribute their part to the complex multi-voice symphony that is our democracy.
Jennifer Walker Thomas: Co-Executive Director
Jennifer Walker Thomas is the co-executive director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She received her bachelor’s degree in art history and Italian from Brigham Young University and went on to do graduate work in art history at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. She worked as a consultant for underperforming schools in the New York City public school system and then worked in event planning and major gift fundraising for Massachusetts General Hospital. Following the birth of her four boys, Jennifer became a full-time parent and has consistently volunteered in her community. She currently serves as an elected member of the town government in Belmont, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and sons.
Rachel Albertsen : Director of Special Projects
Rachel Albertsen is the director of special projects for Mormon Women for Ethical Government; she previously worked as the virtual conference director for the 2021 spring conference. She received her BS in mass communication from the University of Utah. She’s used her skills working in investment communications with client and broker groups. She volunteers in her children’s school community and recently wrapped up a third year on the elementary PTSO executive board most recently as president. Rachel’s interests are many, but she especially likes to explore National Parks with her family and taking the scenic route. She currently lives in Gilbert, Arizona with her husband Ryan and their four children.
Danica Baird: Senior Director of Proactive Root
Danica Baird is the senior director of the proactive root. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature with studies in Italian, editing, and journalism from Brigham Young University. She then received a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School and currently works full time as an attorney. Danica has been involved in the civic process from a young age, when she went door-to-door to help people register to vote and volunteered at the caucus by handing out pencils and collecting votes. She has also served as a state delegate. Now, she is actively involved with prevention efforts surrounding human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Danica and her husband reside in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.
Christie Black : Business Manager
Christie Black is Mormon Women for Ethical Government’s business manager. She earned a master’s of accountancy from Brigham Young University but did not attempt to pass the CPA exam — which was a good call since she only worked in the accounting industry for five years. Since then she has been raising her two children in Arizona while working with various nonprofits. (In other words, none of her jobs pay monetarily.) The return is in love and friendship, which is arguably well worth it. Lately, she has been especially busy working with and advocating for refugees in the Phoenix area.
Merinda Cutler : Engage Director - Immigration
Merinda Cutler serves as the Engage Manager over immigration for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Teaching from Brigham Young University, and has taught high school English in inner-city Washington, D.C., adult literacy in rural Mexico, and English for speakers of other languages in Austin, TX. She lived in New Delhi for nearly three years with her husband and their three small children while learning to navigate expatriate life and drink in the rich culture and history of India. She has worked as a volunteer coordinator at Refugee Services of Texas and loves to organize and drag along her friends and family to all manner of service projects, especially those that benefit refugees, immigrants, children, schools, and democracy. Now a mother of six, she currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her family, where she enjoys hiking, skiing, cycling, gardening, reading, and traveling.
Wendy Dennehy : Senior Director of Engage Limb
Wendy Dennehy currently serves as the senior director of the engage limb for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is a mom to four and a nana to seven and loves spending as much time as possible with each of them. She and her husband started a dental equipment and repair company in 1984 and have since served hundreds of dentists throughout California. They currently divide their time between there and Utah when not traveling. Wendy attended BYU studying art and recently returned back to school to earn a degree in biotechnology for the sheer love of science. She is an artist and musician and loves all things creative. She designed and installed the landscaping at their home in Utah and recently designed a water-wise landscape for their business. Historically, she has been politically apathetic but has recently found a passion for fighting for ethical governing. She wants to help ensure a better world for her grandchildren.
Ashley Dickson : Chief Editor
Ashley Dickson is the chief editor for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Ashley earned bachelor’s degrees in journalism and marriage/family/human development at Brigham Young University, which led to her dual passions for both the news and motherhood. After receiving her master’s degree in library science, Ashley became the editor for a financial research firm and began freelance writing and editing for a variety of magazines, lifestyle websites, tech firms, and book authors. Ashley is now a full-time mother to three boys and has recently taken on the roles of foster mom and homeschool mom. But she manages to squeeze in some work hours when the house is quiet at 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. She loves living in the Boston area with her family.
Catherine Eslinger : Director of Empower Limb
Catherine Eslinger is the director of the empower limb for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She holds an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and has taught English to adult learners in the US and China. She is curious about almost every subject and loves to read. Catherine ran for Utah House of Representatives in 2020 and has been involved in voter registration and voter education efforts for several years.
Shauna Fisher : Senior Director of Operations
Shauna Fisher serves as the senior director of operations at Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Shauna enjoys her work with both the limbs and chapters of MWEG. She and her husband have six children, whom she homeschools. Shauna graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in recreation and leisure studies with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation. She has spent a large portion of her teen and adult years working with and advocating for children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in a variety of settings and roles. Her love for her family, neighbor, community, and faith have driven her work and volunteer efforts. Shauna consistently finds ways to volunteer within the communities in which she lives, seeking ways to fulfill the needs found there. In recent years this has led her to start a homeschool cooperative and serve as board president for a local nonprofit in her home state of Texas. When she finds time to herself she enjoys reading and weaving.
Meredith Gardner: Director of Media Literacy
Meredith Gardner serves as the media literacy director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has experience working as a full-time newspaper reporter, editor, and freelance writer. She has a passion for helping people gain news literacy skills and believes Russell M. Nelson’s philosophy that “good inspiration is based upon good information.” She is also an American Association of Suicidology-accredited crisis worker and worked for seven years at a national crisis and suicide prevention hotline. Meredith currently lives in central Texas with her husband and five children.
Abby Greenwald: Chapters Director
Abby Greenwald is a chapters director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She holds a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in theology. She has used her training to teach all ages at home and abroad, but believes that church music is where the magic really happens. After working as a hospital chaplain and hospital ethics committee coordinator in Albuquerque, Abby enjoys the slower pace of part-time work with Mormon Women for Ethical Government and the freedom of homeschooling two happy little kids.
Molly Cannon Hadfield: Co-lead Moderator
Molly Cannon Hadfield serves as co-lead moderator for the national Facebook MWEG Discussion Group and helps run the Awareness Wednesday Team. She has a bachelor's degree in interior design and a minor in fine art from Brigham Young University. Since graduating, Molly has worked as designer and dabbled in many creative endeavors, including illustration. She has enjoyed volunteering for several local community organizations over the years, and is always trying to keep up with her two now-teenage boys. She loves exploring Utah, and anywhere else she can manage, with her family.
Kristine Haglund: Senior Director of Faithful Root
Kristine Haglund is the senior director of the faithful root for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is a writer, editor, independent scholar, and former editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, from 2009-2015. Her most recent publication is Eugene England: A Mormon Liberal, part of the series "Introductions to Mormon Thought" published by the University of Illinois Press. She blogs at By Common Consent (bycommonconsent.com). She is a member of the Board of By Common Consent Press, Vice President of Mormon Scholars in the Humanities, and Program Co-Chair for the Mormon History Association conference in 2022. Her degrees are in German Studies and German Literature (Harvard, University of Michigan), and her research interests include LDS women’s and children’s history and the intersections of religion and social media. She lives with her husband in St. Louis, Missouri.
Lisa Rampton Halverson : Director of Engage Communications
Lisa Rampton Halverson is the director of engage communications for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She helps craft papers on each of MWEG's Principles of Ethical Government, as well as white papers and policy papers. Lisa studied international relations (BA) and modern Jewish and Middle Eastern history (MA) at Stanford University and then taught high school English for 10 years. She holds a PhD in instructional psychology and technology from Brigham Young University, where she researched learner engagement in blended and online settings. She is a civics education scholar with Utah Valley University's Center for Constitutional Studies. A native Oregonian, Lisa now lives in Springville, Utah, with her husband and two children.
Jillaire McMillan : Director of Volunteers
Jillaire McMillan serves as director of volunteers at Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She was born in Delaware and raised in the western U.S. Since leaving home for college she has lived in a major east coast city, a southwestern suburb, the English countryside, a small town in the Northwest, and teeming Silicon Valley. She now resides in Colorado with views of the mountains out one window and the prairie out the other. Such varied homes let her rub elbows with people with education, income, and life experiences both very similar and very different from her own. She has served and cheered alongside them on PTA boards, bond measure phone banks, soccer game sidelines, and church assignments. Jillaire has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in American history from Boston College. She had a brief career in museum education before choosing to become a stay-at-home mom. As Jillaire’s four children began entering school, she became an avid school volunteer.
Charlotte Mountain: Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Charlotte Mountain serves as the director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Charlotte lives in Newburgh, N.Y., is a graduate of Mercy College, a working mother of wonderful men, and active in her church community.
Kimberly Powell: Chapters Director
Kimberly Powell is a Chapters Director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with an Elementary Education Degree and spent the next eight years working in public schools in North Carolina and Utah. Now she works as a full time mom and part-time administrative assistant for the family business. She enjoys camping with her family, traveling, reading, and gardening.
Rachel Fisher Scholes : Senior Director of Encircle Limb
Rachel Fisher Scholes is the senior director of the encircle limb of Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She received her degrees in math (BA) and physics (BA) from Brigham Young University and spent four years teaching science and alternative education in North Long Beach, CA; Provo, UT; and Tucson, AZ, where she has resided for the last 26 years. She has spent many years full-time mommying her seven children and learning much more than she ever imagined or desired to learn, including tax accounting, rental property management, pig farming, dog whelping, mental health counseling, homeschool teaching, conflict resolution, and advocating for kids with special needs. Her unpaid work also includes coaching an elementary school cross country team, PTG volunteer and accidental president, refugee mentor, and her favorite, leading 20 15-year-olds on a five-day backpacking adventure that ended at Lake Powell. She loves all outdoor adventures and is much more comfortable leading a 10-mile trail run than she is doing pretty much anything else.
Megan Seawright : Senior Director of Communications
Megan Seawright is the communications director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government; she previously served as the peaceful root director, one of the Utah chapter leads, and on the conference committee. She received her BA in English teaching from Brigham Young University and taught junior high and high school English for several years before taking a break to raise her three kids. She currently works as a freelance writer and has continued to advocate for education by serving on school community councils and PTA boards. Megan has a love for children’s literature, hiking and enjoying the outdoors, and inventing pies. She and her family currently live in Provo, Utah.
Emily de Schweinitz Taylor : Senior Director of Peaceful Root
Emily de Schweinitz Taylor is the senior director of the peaceful root for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Emily is a certified mediator, conflict coach, communications trainer, and mother of five growing children (aged 10-16). As the assistant director of BYU's Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, she supervises the mediation and arbitration program on the university campus. She holds master’s degrees from the University of Chicago (international policy) and the University of Denver (conflict resolution). She is a regular guest on BYU Radio, sharing ideas about how to build bridges between cultures and people and ways to use constructive conflict resolution principles in everyday life. She also participates on BYU’s Jerusalem Center Alumni executive board and the Schweinitz Family board in Germany.
Tiffany Tertipes : Creative Director
Tiffany Tertipes is the creative director for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University while simultaneously pursuing her creative career. Tiffany worked as a wedding and portrait photographer while managing a portrait studio in Utah Valley and proceeded to build her own photography business in both Utah and Ohio. She has volunteered her time in a variety of arenas, including as a precinct caucus delegate, at the school book fair, and as an ESL speaking partner. She currently runs her own online graphic design studio in the Seattle area where she lives with her husband and son.
Megan Rawlins Woods: Senior Director of the Nonpartisan Root
Megan Rawlins Woods earned a bachelor’s degree in Planning and Resource Management from Brigham Young University. She grew up in the Salt Lake area and served a proselyting mission in Australia. Megan's political views have been influenced and tempered by living in places as diverse as New York (where her husband taught in the Bronx) and very rural Utah. She has been a full-time parent for many years, choosing to homeschool her five children until the last few years. Her interests include politics, education, environment, and encouraging civil discourse. She does not enjoy cooking but does enjoy eating. Her pastimes include reading, yoga, sauntering casually outside (very different from hiking which is more strenuous), and listening to U2.
Board of Directors
Lori Hickman : Chair of Board of Directors
Lori Hickman serves as the chair of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Brigham Young University (B.S. Business Management) and a cum laude graduate of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. Lori has practiced law in New York, Utah, and Idaho as a litigation associate, an in-house counsel at a semiconductor company, and a United States District Court clerk for the District of Idaho. She now works for a small law firm in Boise and does pro bono work in child protection cases. When she's not wearing her lawyer hat, Lori enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, practicing yoga, trying new recipes, and helping refugee families adapt to their new lives in America.
Denise Furlough Grayson : Vice Chair of Board of Directors
V. Denise Furlough Grayson serves as the vice chair of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. Born in Oceanside, California — a military brat and, later, wife — she has lived around the country and world. She is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University with a BS in nursing. She has served in various leadership roles in nursing and received her CDE in diabetes management. She and her husband owned a Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy for 25 years while raising four children and gaining three sons-in-law and 10 superb grands. After retiring, they were called to serve a three-year mission as mission president and wife of the Georgia Macon Mission. Denise has loved being politically active with her involvement in voting drives, canvassing for candidates, and other efforts. She now resides in San Antonio, TX.
Stefanie Condie : Secretary of Board of Directors
Stefanie Condie serves as the secretary of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is a marketing strategist, writer, and career development coach. Before going freelance in 2018, she had a 20-year marketing career with organizations including Adobe, Ancestry, Columbia Business School, and KPMG. Her areas of expertise include communications, content strategy, and brand, demand, and product marketing. Stefanie holds master’s degrees in business and journalism from Columbia University, as well as a master’s degree in international affairs from American University. She is proficient in German and Russian and conversant in French and Finnish. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Patrice Mano : Treasurer of Board of Directors
Patrice Mano serves as treasurer of Mormon Women for Ethical Government’s board of directors. She is a certified public accounting licensed with over 25 years of experience in public accounting. Patrice holds bachelor's and master’s degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University. She lives in San Francisco, CA and enjoys the city's food, arts and weather.
Karen Hall : Member of Board of Directors
Karen Hall is a member of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She is the Deputy Executive Director with the Rule of Law Collaborative at the University of South Carolina where she focuses on designing and implementing programs to enhance people-centered justice and fight corruption. She served for ten years with the U.S. Department of State in its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. While there, she directed the development and management of State Department assistance to the criminal justice system in Afghanistan as part of the overall U.S. foreign assistance initiative. There, she developed programs dealing with institutional reform, access to justice, protection of women’s rights, and legal education. She spent 2006-2008 living at the Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan directly managing the State Department’s criminal justice and corrections programs. In recognition of her work, she has earned multiple Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards from the State Department.
Rachel Esplin Odell : Member of Board of Directors
Rachel Esplin Odell serves on Mormon Women for Ethical Government’s board of directors. She is an expert in U.S. strategy toward Asia, Chinese foreign policy, and the politics of international law. She holds an AB summa cum laude in East Asian studies with a secondary field in government from Harvard University. She is currently an international security fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and a PhD candidate in the MIT security studies program. Rachel has worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and in the China Affairs bureau of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She has received numerous fellowships as well as a research award from the International Studies Association. She has advanced proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. She lives in Worcester, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.
Jill Piacitelli : Member of Board of Directors
Jill Piacitelli serves as a member of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. She recently graduated from the MBA program at Brigham Young University after spending a decade in Atlanta as executive director of Break Away, a national nonprofit developing college students in community work and active citizenship. Jill works at the Ballard Center for Social Impact at BYU and is a co-founder of Creating the Virtuous Organization, a faculty- and student-based project that researches, teaches, and convenes conversations on the topic of redefining the purpose of business to serve all shareholders. She lives in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Shauna Summers: Member of Board of Directors
Shauna Summers serves as a member of the board of directors for Mormon Women for Ethical Government. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in English, she received a master's degree in American Studies from Boston College. Shauna has worked in book publishing for more than 25 years and is currently an executive editor at Random House. A longtime New Yorker, she loves travel, food, the arts, and politics.