The NC Center For Women In Public Service Hosts Panel On Engaging Women Leaders

Top Quote Workshop Encourages Women To Serve In Public Office. End Quote
  • Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC (1888PressRelease) February 02, 2012 - The NC Center for Women in Public Service (NCCWPS) (, a nonpartisan organization that prepares women for elected and appointed offices statewide, has announced that the center partnered with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women's Summit to co-host a Women On Board Workshop panel discussion held in December at the UNC Charlotte Center City building. The panel presentation focused on the importance of women to state and local policy agenda, process and legislative outcomes, and it was intended to show women how to seek out and secure positions on appointed boards on commissions. Participants learned about board and commission service and expectations, identified their public service interests and values, explored the appointment process, and were encouraged to develop a personal action plan for securing an appointment. In the panel discussion, local female public officials and inspirational leaders told their stories about their pathways to success in public service and their experiences with serving.

    Panelists included:
    - Melissa Duscha - Originally from Fremont, Calif., Duscha is currently a Ph.D. student in public policy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where she is the president of the Graduate Public Policy Association. She was appointed to the Mecklenburg County Women's Advisory Board, which consists of 15 members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, for a three-year term ending April 2012.

    - Andrea Huff - Huff was a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer for 11 years, retiring as a captain in 1988. She graduated summa cum laude from Gardner-Webb University with a B.S. in criminal justice, earned an M.A. in communications at Pepperdine University and completed a graduate fellowship in Community Development at M.I.T. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Political Caucus, the Democratic Women's Club of Mecklenburg County, and is immediate past president of the Black Women's Caucus of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. In addition, Huff has served as chairperson of the Shelter for Battered Women's Resource Committee, on the Executive Board of United Family Services (a United Way agency), the Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Advocacy Council, and the Mecklenburg County Juvenile Services Board. She was chairperson of the political action task force of the highly successful Charlotte Mecklenburg Women's Summit.

    - LaWana Mayfield - As Charlotte City Council District 3 Councilor-Elect, Mayfield brings more than 15 years of activism and organizing to the community. She is currently a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee and chair of its Young Leaders Sub-committee. Mayfield has served on many government and nonprofit boards, commissions, and committees including: the League of Women Voters, the Charlotte Community Justice Coalition, the Human Rights Campaign and the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund.

    "We were pleased to be able to partner with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women's Summit to provide this workshop for local women interested in serving in public office," said Annette Taylor, executive director of NCCWPS. "The North Carolina Center for Women in Public Service believes that women from all backgrounds have the skills necessary to pursue public service opportunities in municipal, county, and state government."

    - For more information about Women On Board Workshops, visit

    The NC Center for Women in Public Service (NCCWPS) is a nonpartisan organization that prepares women for elected and appointed offices statewide. As a provider of comprehensive political leadership training programs, NCCWPS teaches women how to enter the political pipeline, building their confidence and developing the practical skills to run successful campaigns and serve as powerful and effective leaders. Its Women on Board Workshops prepare women to serve on appointed boards and commissions. Its Women in Office Institute is an intensive seven-day residential program that introduces women to public service work, including appointed and elected office, the rigors of campaigning, the skills needed for successful fundraising, and the effect that campaigning or service in office may have on families and professional lives. Through building the involvement of women at all levels of governance in North Carolina, the NCCWPS helps women channel their passion, find their voice, expand their support network and ultimately get elected or appointed to a position where they can be an influential leader and make a real change through public service. For more information, call (919) 832-9996 or visit

    Emily Packard
    MMI Public Relations
    (919) 233-6600
    emily ( @ ) mmipublicrelations dot com

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