Board of Directors
Kitchen Table Democracy (formerly PCI) is governed by a Board of Directors from all over the United States. The Board includes governors, mayors, state legislators, leaders from state and local government and universities, and experts in the field of collaborative governance.
James Geringer (Co-Chair)
Governor of Wyoming, 1994 to 2002
Former two-term Wyoming Governor Geringer is Director of Policy & Enterprise Solutions for Redlands, Calif., based GIS software developer ESRI — a leading authority on the use of GIS data and systems in Western state governments. He is a past chair of Western Governors' Association, and has participated extensively in policy development for all levels of education. He was chairman of the Education Commission of the States, was appointed to Senator John Glenn's National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, the National Commission on Service-Learning, the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, and continues as charter member of board of trustees of the Western Governors University, which certifies competency based education.
Ruth Ann Minner (Co-Chair Emeritus)
Governor of Delaware, 2001 to 2008
Governor Minner was Governor of Delaware 2001 until 2008. Ruth Ann began in politics stuffing envelopes, then worked as an aide in the state legislature and as receptionist to then-Gov. Sherman Tribbitt. She was elected to four terms in the state House of Representatives beginning in 1974, to three terms in the state Senate beginning in 1982 and to two terms as Lieutenant Governor in 1992 and 1996.
Mayor, Salt Lake City
Ralph Becker has been Mayor of Salt Lake City since 2008. For 11 years he served in the Utah House of Representatives, including five years as Democratic Leader. Ralph’s work has included serving as the State Planning Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget under Governor Matheson. In 1985, he co-founded Bear West, an environmental, planning and policy consulting firm. He graduated from and now teaches courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah in environmental planning, policy and law, environmental assessment, public involvement, and public lands.
Representative, Ohio House of Representatives
Ohio Representative Ted Celeste grew up in a family committed to public service. In the 129th General Assembly, Rep. Celeste serves on the Education Committee, the Economic & Small Business Development Committee, and the State Government & Elections Committee. Rep. Celeste co-chairs both the Children’s Caucus and Mental Health Caucus, and is an active member of the Autism Caucus. One of Rep. Celeste’s priorities while in office has been increasing civic engagement and the public’s involvement in the political process to combat apathy and disenfranchisement. As such, he’s held over 35 district dialogues all across the 24th district, which serves as a collaborative and positive discourse between him and his constituents. Rep. Celeste is presently Vice-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Effectiveness Committee, as well as Vice-Chair of the Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference Economic Development Committee. Rep. Celeste recently served his appointed post as Commissioner representing Ohio on the Midwestern Higher Education Commission Compact, and as a Board Member for Prevent Blindness Ohio.
CEO, Cenla Advantage Partnership
Jim Clinton is CEO for the Cenla Advantage Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating more and better economic opportunities in Central Louisiana. Prior to joining Cenla, Jim served as Director of the Southern Growth Policies Board, a North Carolina-based think tank providing public policy expertise to 13 Southern states and Puerto Rico. Southern Growth Policies Board is a multi-state compact whose mission is to help create economic opportunities throughout the region. Jim previously was president of the Louisiana Partnership for Technology and Innovation and President of Gulf South Research Institute. He has served in a variety of state government positions in Louisiana and was lead author of the plan that reorganized Louisiana's executive branch from more than 250 governmental units into 20 principal departments.
Senator and Assistant Majority Leader, Maine State Senate
Senator Andre Cushing, the Assistant Senate Majority Leader, is currently serving his second term in the Maine State Senate. Senator Cushing has been a small business owner for more than 30 years and is currently a realtor and a home builder. Additionally, he has been engaged in public service as a member of two town councils, a land use review board, charter review board, and member of the Penobscot County Budget Committee. Most recently, Cushing completed six years on the Hampden Town Council, where he served as deputy mayor. Prior to being elected to the Maine State Senate, Senator Cushing served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives. Senator Cushing grew up in Bangor and attended John Bapst High School and the University of Maine. An advocate of community service, he has served on the board of numerous civic and community organizations including Rotary and Kiwanis, Jaycees, the EMMC Children’s Miracle Network, and Black Bear United Football Club.
Leon (FL) County Commissioner and 1st Vice President of the National Association of Counties Board
Bryan M. Desloge has served as a Leon County Commissioner since 2006. He is 1st Vice President of the National Association of Counties Board; serves as chair of the NACo Financial Committee; is a board member and past President for the Florida Association of Counties Board; and was appointed by the Governor of Florida as the director, and currently serves as a board member, of the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend. He is a founding board member of the Village Square Organization and serves as a member of the Knight Creative Community Initiative. He has served as board member and past chair of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and the Leon County American Red Cross. He has served as a past board member of the Senior Center Foundation; Florida State University, School of Business, Board of Governors and many others. He is a graduate of Leadership Tallahassee and Leadership Florida. He currently serves as member of the Capital Region Transportation Planning Agency (CRTPA), the Intergovernmental Agency and the Tourist Development Council. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Real Estate from Florida State University in 1983. After college, he spent almost 10 years with IBM in the Florida Panhandle working with public sector accounts in an administrative and marketing capacity. He founded Desloge Home Oxygen & Medical Equipment, a Tallahassee company that specializes in providing durable home medical equipment and respiratory services.
Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation, University of Virginia
A mediator, Dr. Dukes directs the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia. He has worked at local, state, and federal levels on projects involving environment and land use, community development, education, and health. He founded the Community-Based Collaboratives Research Consortium and is co-founder and core faculty of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute. His Resolving Public Conflict: Transforming Community and Governance describes how conflict resolution can assist in strengthening democracy. He is also co-author of Reaching for Higher Ground in Conflict Resolution, which describes how diverse groups and communities can create expectations for addressing conflict with integrity, vision, and creativity.
Former Colorado Senate President
Colorado State Senator Peter Groff served as President of the Colorado Senate until May 2009 and is the first African American in Colorado to hold that post and only the third in the nation’s history to hold the post of state Senate President. During his legislative career, Senator Groff passed landmark legislation prohibiting racial profiling, requiring booster seats for young children, creating visionary education reform measures, securing tens of millions of dollars to combat health disparities and crafting Referendum C, which generated billions of dollars for critical state needs and infrastructure. Senator Groff is the founding director of the University of Denver Center for African American Policy, a non-profit organization whose mission is to work for and achieve a positive change in the present and future lives of African Americans through academics, the arena of public discourse, community and public service. He served as the Director of U.S. Department of Education's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2008-2010 and the Director of the National Alliance for Charter Schools from 2010-2012. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education and Principal at MCG2 Consulting, LLC.
Senior Vice President, Compass Lexecon
Eric Henson is a Senior Vice President with Compass Lexecon and is based in Boston, Massachusetts and Tucson, Arizona. He provides a range of economic and financial analyses, particularly in the energy industries. Mr. Henson also has an interest in Native American economic development and governmental design and has done work on issues relating to economic development, health services, irrigation, and coal production on behalf of Native Americans. Prior to joining Compass Lexecon, Mr. Henson was an industry analyst at Fidelity Investments in Boston. From 1995 to 1996, Mr. Henson was the manager of the United States Economic Database at Haver Analytics in New York City. Mr. Henson has a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, an M.A. in Economics from Southern Methodist University and a B.B.A. in business economics from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He was the Kennedy School’s Christian Johnson Native American Fellow. Mr. Henson currently serves as a research fellow for The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.
Robert M. Jones
Director, FRCR Consensus Center, Florida State University
Co-Chair, University Network for Collaborative Governance
Bob Jones has served as FCRC Consensus Center Director since 1990. He works with representatives from state and local government, the private sector and citizen and community groups in Florida to design and implement collaborative consensus building and dispute resolution approaches to public issues. He has facilitated more than150 public policy projects, including 40 statewide policy forums in Florida, and has mediated land-use, development and environmental disputes. As a trainer in negotiation and mediation skills, he has conducted workshops for state and local government staff and elected officials and has taught graduate level course on dispute resolution for planners.
Senator and Assistant Minority Leader, Ohio State Senate
Senator Tavares has served in the Ohio State Senate since 2011. She currently serves as the Senate ranking member on both the Ways and Means and the Health and Human Services Committees. Tavares previously served as member of Columbus City Council from 1999-2010. Prior to joining Council, Tavares served in the Ohio General Assembly as a State Representative. Tavares is the first African-American woman ever to hold a leadership position in the history of the Ohio General Assembly. Tavares is the President/CEO of Columbus Neighborhood Health Center, Inc. (CNHC), a federally qualified primary healthcare system to provide access to services that improve the health status of families including people experiencing financial, social, or cultural barriers to health care. Tavares previously served as Executive Director of the Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (MACC). She is a native of Columbus. She attended Eastmoor High School, Spellman College in Atlanta, GA, and The Ohio State University.
Stephen Percy (Ex-Officio)
Dean, Portland State University College of Urban and Public Affairs
Dr. Percy previously served as the Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore from 2011-2014. While at the University of Baltimore he championed efforts to expand community-university partnerships focused on experiential learning for students, community revitalization, combating structural racism, and building capacity within faith-based communities to pursue community building strategies. In his prior position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—where he served as Professor of Political Science, Director of the Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, and Acting Dean of the new School of Public Health—he was actively involved in university-wide initiatives to promote university-community engagement. His work in community engagement—pursued through the Milwaukee Idea Initiative—is outlined in two books:A Time for Boldness: A Story of Institutional Change;andCreating a New Kind of University: Institutionalizing Community-University Engagement. His research interests include public policy and policy implementation, urban politics, disability rights policy, and university-community engagement.
Ashley Trim, (Ex-Officio)
Co-Chair, University Network for Collaborative Governance
Ashley Trim has worked in public policy at the local, state, and national level, for both governments and non-profit organizations. Her experience as communications specialist for the City of Lancaster, CA established her interest in public engagement while also offering insight into the challenges facing local government officials who wish to engage their residents. Ashley spent a gap-year after graduate school teaching in a low-performing public school, an experience which reinvigorated her interest in the potential of public engagement to address some of our most pressing public issues – especially at the local level. She is particularly interested in ways that stronger community associations and engaged residents can meet public needs both in partnership with and beyond government programs. She has written on themes related to these questions in The Front Porch Republic, California CityJournal, and Zocalo Public Square, among others. Ashley has a BA in Government from Patrick Henry College and an MPP from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy.