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Elizabeth Melson

President, Founding Board Member

A native of Ohio, Elizabeth relocated to Virginia in 2004. She now lives near the beautiful Shenandoah National Park with her husband and daughter. After a windy path, including a few hard knocks, she established herself as a successful businesswoman in sustainable agriculture and became motivated to work on the issues facing her community.

 

Initially, she got involved in local level party politics, but is now a self-labeled rural independent. She values transparency in government and appreciates candidates who can debate civilly about the issues. She believes candidates should earn their constituents' votes without divisive campaign tactics. Ranked Choice Voting appeals to Elizabeth because she feels that "Our right to vote is something precious, our citizens should be empowered to fully express their preferences, and the winning candidate should be required to rise to the top with a true majority." Elizabeth has been working with local representatives to introduce ranked choice voting in the Virginia General Assembly since a conversation with Delegate Nick Freitas at the end of 2016.

 

She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology from Northern Kentucky University and a graduate certificate in Business Administration Essentials from Shenandoah University. She serves on Boards of state-wide organizations related to agriculture and marketing, and advocates for a reformative justice system and alternative energy.

Mike Cantwell

Vice President

Mike Cantwell is a 21 year resident of Arlington County, Virginia and an active democracy reform leader.  In 2017, Mike launched the Unite America – Northern Virginia Chapter and was later selected to lead Unite America’s grassroots efforts for the entire East Coast. He organized and hosted dozens of Unite America grassroots events in the DC area and attended the Unite Summit in Denver in August 2018. For the 2018 and 2019 election cycles, Mike actively supported local independent candidates in Maryland and Virginia. Mike is the President of the Yorktown Civic Association and a Board Member for the citizen-led Lee Highway Alliance. Mike is a retired Naval Officer and currently works as a Partner Engagement Officer for the Department of Defense. Mike is a 1987 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He also has a MBA from George Washington University and a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

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Austin Sachs

Treasurer

Austin Sachs is dedicated to working to create more inclusive and prosperous communities and economies. Austin serves as the Director of Protect US, an economic policy organization working on issues in Virginia. He also works in the audit and assurance line for PBMares, LLP, a regional accounting firm. Austin is a graduate of Eastern Mennonite University with a B.S. in Accounting and Economics and is currently working towards a M.A. in Applied Economics at George Washington University. He currently resides in Harrisonburg, VA. 

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Donald E. "Don" Scoggins

Board Member

Donald E. Scoggins, “Don” has resided within the Washington, D.C. metro area approximately fifty years and in the Northern Virginia community almost thirty years. Over twenty-five years before retiring he was CEO of small real estate brokerage firm which bought, sold, and managed diverse portfolio of investment properties. He also served commercial and residential real estate roles within Federal government, and urban planning at the local government level.

 

Over twenty-five years ago Don helped establish Frederick Douglass Housing Corporation, multi-unit income assisted housing facility in Washington, D.C. Don is board chair, First Home Alliance, and co-founded Veterans Housing Foundation of Virginia. Other civic and volunteer activities include: Prince William Committee of 100, Mid-County Civic Association, Lake Ridge Occoquan Coles Civic Association, Woodbridge Potomac Communities Civic Association and Dale City Civic Association, Prince William NAACP, former member Prince William County Human Rights Commission, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (life member).

 

Don’s also member of American Legion Post 114 (Manassas), immediate past commander; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1503, member; Bronze Star recipient for meritorious service in Vietnam (housing advisor to the Mayor of Danang) and is U. S. Army Reserves retired officer. American Legion Post 114 (Manassas), immediate past commander; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1503, member. He graduated from Hampton University, B. Architecture and University of Pittsburgh, master’s in Urban and Regional Planning; and attended University of Virginia, Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

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Nicholas Cote

Board Member

Nicholas Cote is an activist for a free, prosperous, and inclusive society. He works as Director of Donor Communications for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. He currently serves on the board of directors of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and is a former board member of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Virginia.  Nicholas graduated from Providence College in 2008 with a B.A. in political science and American studies. He lives in Huntington in Fairfax County with his dog Ollie, a beagle mix.

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Scott Burger

Board Member

Scott grew up in Norfolk, went to college in Connecticut, and now lives in Richmond. He and his wife Nina have three dogs and a horse. He has worked in music/radio, as well as corporate IT. He is one of the founders of WRIR and the RVA Environmental Film Festival. Currently he is working with a barter company called TradeBank.com. He has always had an interest in independent politics and is a Green Party member. He has served on numerous neighborhood, City, and nonprofit boards and commissions. 

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Trey Gordner

Board Member

Trey Gordner is a digital marketer and civic tech entrepreneur. His company, Koios, helps public libraries and nonprofits appear first in Google search results. When he’s not lost in the Googleverse, Trey can be found foraging for wild mushrooms, working the polls, or nagging his friends to join county commissions. He was also product manager for rankit.vote.

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Nancy Springer

Board Member

Nancy Springer currently works as a defense contractor in support of a Northern Virginia-based government agency.  Previously, she was a career Marine Corps Officer, commissioned from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1987.  After her Marine Corps retirement in 2017, Nancy settled in Arlington, VA and became active in local civic and service organizations.  Her volunteer work includes Unite America (member), Vice President, Arlington Ridge Civic Association (2d Year); Life Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars; and Past President and Board of Advisors Member, Quantico Area Chapter, U. S. Naval Academy Alumni Association.  She became interested in the centrist movement and governmental reforms at the urging of a friend in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election.  Nancy views ranked choice voting as a pathway to a more representative government and enthusiastically looks forward to its implementation in Virginia local elections.  She has a Master’s degree in National Resourcing Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Webster University.  

Mason Liddell

Board Member

Mason was born in North Carolina, but within two years, he and his family moved to McLean, Virginia. He moved a few times since then, but always stayed in the same area in order to continue attending Langley High School. At Langley, he regularly rowed at a national level. In his senior year, Mason was selected as a captain of the crew team. After graduating, he started attending college at William & Mary, where he is currently a senior. As a government major, he did a research project on the effects ranked choice voting has on voter turnout and candidate turnout. This set him on the path towards FairVote Virginia and local advocacy in Williamsburg, where he lives now. Now, he spends most of his time running, attending class, playing D&D, and taking care of his ball python named Shiloh. First an Intern with FairVote Virginia, Mason was then nominated to serve as a Board Member.

Inderjeet Bhatia

Intern

Inderjeet Bhatia (Inder) is a political science student at Christopher Newport University and has lived in the D.C. metropolitan area for 22 years. Originally from Falls Church, Inder has been exposed to diverse people and cultures throughout his youth and it has inspired him to become a passionate human rights activist, believing that all people deserve to be treated equally in society. Since his time graduating from Falls Church High School in 2017, Inder has worked with several nonprofit and political organizations including his recent internship with the Democratic National Committee this past fall. After graduating in the spring, Inder hopes to move back to D.C and work in the city to advance human rights and protect American democracy. Fun fact: Inder loves to travel and has been to 16 countries!

Alistair Watson

Intern

Alistair Watson was born and raised in Arlington, VA and is a Junior at Goucher College studying Philosophy and Environmental Studies. He has been a vocal supporter of Ranked Choice Voting for over a year now and is pleased to be working on making it a reality so quickly thereafter. He firmly believes that now is the “fun part” of the job by spreading the word of Ranked Choice Voting across the Commonwealth to ultimately have all of Virginia’s 133 Counties and Municipalities adopt it. Alistair asserts that it sends a strong message across the U.S. if Virginia, one of the 13 original Colonies and steeped in history, gets Ranked Choice Voting adopted by all its 133 Counties and Municipalities. Alistair was Prom King and is an Eagle Scout.

Soraya Hayes

Intern

Soraya Hayes is a senior at James Madison University double majoring in Political Science and Justice Studies and minoring in Sociology and Pre-law. Previously, she interned in the Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office working on domestic violence and criminal cases, and in the Office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. After graduating this spring, Soraya aspires to work in D.C. then attend law school. Soraya has interest in criminal justice reform, environmental law, and Civil Rights law. She is from Loudoun County and enjoys taking care of her new boxer mix puppies.

Patrick Byrne

Intern

Patrick Byrne was born in Japan and lived in Australia, Hawaii, Washington, and Belgium before eventually settling in Virginia. Since graduating from Nansemond Suffolk Academy, Patrick has attended the College of William and Mary where he studies public policy, focusing on welfare and immigration policy. As a student at William and Mary, he is a news writer for the college paper and a member of the undergraduate foreign relations journal. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, biking, and tennis.

Maeve Davis

Intern

Maeve Davis grew up in Herndon, Virginia and attended Chantilly High School in Fairfax County. She is currently a junior at James Madison University, graduating in 2022 with a major in Public Policy and a minor in Economics. Her areas of interest include women's health and environmental policy. She is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and a Dukes Vote volunteer, and has customer service experience through various sales and restaurant jobs. In her spare time, she enjoys finding new vegetarian recipes, quality movies, and running.

Hannah Williams

Intern

Hannah Williams grew up in Chesapeake Virginia, and graduated from Indian River High School before moving to Virginia Beach, Virginia in 2017. She is currently a fourth-year student at the University of Virginia majoring, in American Government and minoring in Public Policy and Leadership. Her policy areas of interest include immigration policy, criminal justice policy, and social policy. Hannah has previously interned with The Borgen Project, Vote-USA, and EMILY’s List. She is passionate about any project that makes our government more equitable and representative, including ranked choice voting. In her free time, she is an avid sports fan, and enjoys reading, learning new skills (her newest venture is piano), and spending time with family. 

Nick Gada

Intern

Nick Gada was born in Norfolk, Virginia, where he briefly lived before moving to Tucson, Arizona, where he spent most of his early years. Nick’s family moved back to Virginia in 2010, this time in Lynchburg, where he finished his primary schooling. Currently, Nick is attending the College of William and Mary, where he is double majoring in Government and Music. William and Mary is where Nick developed a strong interest in politics, including an affinity for electoral reform in order to expand and improve our democracy. Nick’s interests include writing, playing and recording music, reading, and spending time in nature. 

Guy Cammilleri

Intern

Guy was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.  Then, studied Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.   Subsequent to Berkeley, he focused on Religious & Theological Studies at Wheaton College, IL.  Guy has spent the last twenty-plus years leading, influencing, managing, and directing two global brands – one in the cosmetics industry (JOICO salon hair care) and one in the fitness industry (World Gym International).  He has now transitioned into making America fairer for ALL people using the skills and experiences he gained in over 20 years in the for-profit business world to impact his true passion – working to ensure that ALL American’s voices are heard by making our electoral systems fairer and more representative.  When not reading, or listening to podcasts, he likes to throw barbells around, hike and trail run, explore great restaurants, and sip margaritas poolside or beach side with his friends in Palm Springs and Puerto Vallarta.