Meet the Team
Erin Vilardi, Founder & CEO
Erin Vilardi is the Founder and CEO of VoteRunLead, the nation’s largest and most diverse training program for women to run for office and win. She first launched VoteRunLead as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, where she served as the VP of Program and Communications. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including Fortune 100 companies, global girls’ initiatives and the U.S. Department of State, reaching women leaders in a dozen international cities. Vilardi is the co-author of the the Athena CORE10© – an innovative set of leadership competencies for 21st century women leaders based on the latest research and gender analysis for the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College. She has appeared on the mainstage at Personal Democracy Forum, on CNN, BBC, and Fox News and her work was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, New York Magazine as well as numerous international and domestic articles on women and leadership. She is an Executive Producer of Ann Richards’ Texas, a documentary about the late pioneering governor.
Heather Barmore, Director of Public Affairs
Heather Barmore is a digital and political communications professional who currently serves as Director of Communications for VoteRunLead. Prior to joining VoteRunLead she was the Director of Advocacy at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) and the Director of Digital Communications for Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC. She has also held positions with the Democratic National Convention Committee and the Democratic National Committee. Her political career began with an affinity for watching CSPAN’s Senate coverage, a passion she holds to this day. Heather is an advocate for women in politics and excellent storytelling. Her work has been featured in The Guardian, Refinery29, The Huffington Post and Mic. Heather has been on the Advisory Board of Running Start, a nonpartisan movement of young women leaders since 2014. Though a native upstate New Yorker, Heather will soon be calling New York City home.
Amanda O’Donnell, Chief Operating Officer
Amanda O’Donnell is a finance and operations expert who helps innovative and high-growth organizations build capacity to scale and significantly increase impact. She is passionate about empowering women and girls in leadership, bridging digital divides, and increasing diversity in our democratic systems. Amanda is thrilled to have joined VoteRunLead in 2017 as the organization’s first Chief Operations Officer.Prior to VoteRunLead, Amanda built over a decade of experience in the technology sector: as a founding member, CFO, and Partner at Control Group, where she developed financial and operational strategies that enabled the company’s transformation from startup to industry leader to acquisition and merger; and as SVP of Finance at Intersection, a Sidewalk Labs company committed to improving the urban experience, and the team leading LinkNYC. Throughout her time in the industry, Amanda has been a leader of Women in Technology initiatives. Amanda graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Environmental Science and earned her MPA from NYU-Wagner. She has been a Board Member of MOUSE, a national youth development nonprofit, since 2015. She is also a proud mom of two native New Yorkers. She resides in Brooklyn, works in Harlem, and loves to travel with her family to far-flung places with just one backpack and a Lonely Planet guide.
Maria Elena Garcia, Special Projects Manager
Maria Elena Garcia is the Special Projects Manager at VoteRunLead. Maria Elena previously interned for VoteRunLead as a Junior Project Manager in the summer and fall of 2017, managing our National 2017 training and alumnae outreach. She recently graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in Sociology. Maria Elena is also a scholar in Barnard’s Athena Scholars Program, a program dedicated to training and studying women in leadership. She is dedicated to serving and empowering marginalized communities, particularly communities with women of color. She hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Policy and maybe one day you’ll see her in office.
Tyler Shaffer, Lead Graphic Designer & Social Media Manager
Ty Shaffer is a conceptual, visual designer with a love for branding, typography, and creative direction. Ty is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design, from where he earned his BFA in Advertising and Graphic Design. After completing his co-op as a design intern at The Switch: National Anti-Human Trafficking Network, he relocated to New York City. He’s excited to be a member of the VoteRunLead team, where he can continue to focus his design career on social justice and equality.
Starre Haas, National Program Manager
Starre Haas is the National Program Manager at VoteRunLead. She earned dual degrees in Accounting & Finance, obtained her Masters in Public Service (MPS) at the Clinton School of Public Service, and is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. Starre is an expert in women’s empowerment, southern women’s engagement & leadership, women’s political & professional leadership, networking, and civic engagement. Formerly, she has served as a Gender Equity Development Associate with the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, a Commissioner for the Little Rock City Beautiful Commission, an Advisory Committee Member for the Little Rock Capitol Zoning District Commission, and as President-elect of the Downtown Little Rock Neighborhood Association. Her focus on advancing women in leadership is directly tied to a practice of participation in her home state of Arkansas, where she resides with her husband and two daughters, Ella & Scarlet.
Katie Paris, Graphic Design & Social Media Associate
Katie graduated from Bowdoin College in May 2018 with Visual Arts and Neuroscience majors. During her time in college she worked with and lead a group called “Safe Space,” in which students became trained advocates for those in the campus community who have been affected by sexual and gender violence. She also worked as the Graphic Designer for the college’s Student Activities Department. She is excited to continue pursuing a Graphic Design career while also working to support women’s empowerment and presence in government.
Sophie Cappello, Media & Communications Fellow
Elena Taeyaerts, Program & Fundraising Fellow
Delilah Kutler, Program & Fundraising Fellow
Ireland Twiggs, Program & Fundraising Fellow