Miami Beach Dems 2022 Board Elections: Part 3 - Candidate Bios

Learn more about the candidates who are running for positions in our 2022 Board Elections below. The election itself will be held during our March General Membership Meeting on Monday, March 21 at 7 PM. We will continue to take nominations for each position until the meeting and from the floor of the meeting before voting begins. See our previous blog post for more info about the election.

If you have questions for any of the candidates ahead of the election, please email [email protected] and we will be sure to connect you directly with those candidates.

 

Candidate Biographies

 

President - David Geller

I am running for President of the Miami Beach Democratic Club. I want to continue the great work and success of President Matthew Land and those before him in making the Miami Beach Democratic Club one of the largest and most successful Democratic Clubs in Miami-Dade County. Our Club has proudly been on the forefront of so many important issues in our City, County, and State, and I want to continue with and build upon our efforts of attracting new members, conducting voter registration drives, sending postcards and calling voters, canvassing and literature drops, and so much more. We are also coming into an extremely important election year where we have the chance to elect Democrats to defeat Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio, Maria Elvira Salazar, and so many others. I want to continue our Club’s important role of working with the campaigns and our local elected officials to get out the vote in our community and help our Democratic candidates on their path to victory. I know we can do it.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I have been an active member of the Club since joining several years ago and I am currently serving as the Campaign Chair. As Campaign Chair, one of my responsibilities has been to invite and help schedule our democratic elected officials and democratic candidates to speak at our monthly meetings. Also, I am extremely proud of the work of our Campaign Committee who put on a successful Miami Beach Mayoral and Commissioner Candidate Debate last year. I have also been involved with the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee and currently serve as a District Committee Member and Bylaws Chair. I have been active in many democratic campaigns and with the Democratic Party throughout the years.

I am very excited to be running for President of this great club, and I know we have a lot of work to do this year, and together, I know we can do it.

 

Vice President - Amanda Knapp

I am the current Miami Beach Dems Vice President and Outreach Chair. I am a first-year Public Affairs Ph.D. student and an Academic Advisor at FIU. My research focuses on human trafficking policy in the United States. Raised in a civically active family, I learned the importance of community involvement at an early age. Recently I was appointed by the Miami Beach Commissioners to serve on the Miami Beach Human Rights Committee and am the Academic Chair of the FIU Ferre Institute for Civic Leadership. My main goals are to promote education, human rights values, and civic involvement. I will continue to work hard to increase membership and voter registration, as our Vice President and Outreach Chair.

 

Secretary - Janet Silverman

I have been an active member of the Miami Beach Dems over the last several years. I became active supporting the Democratic party in 2010, volunteering to elect President Obama and have participated in all major elections since. I moved to Miami Beach in 2015 and with the Miami Beach Dems, I have been volunteering since 2016 including phone banking, writing postcards and voter registration activities. Last year I was elected to the Board as its Secretary. The Democratic agenda strongly reflects my values and I am committed to helping elect democrats up and down the ticket, especially here in Florida. Clubs like the Miami Beach Dems do important work toward this goal. It is also nice to get to know people in the community who share these values.

I am a native New Yorker and moved South in 2010 after a long career in finance. In Florida, I co-founded a real estate investment firm which I sold in 2017. I am currently self employed and have the desire and flexibility to be more involved in the club. I believe my professional background and life experience could bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the club.

 

Treasurer - Susan Holden

Susan Holden has been an enthusiastic member of the club for about 5 years and has attended many meetings and Days of Action as well as financially supporting many of our events and causes. Susan is a Sunset Harbour resident who, after a career in advertising in New York, now works as the CFO for 4 start-up companies, mostly in the advertising space. She is the author of From Prostitutes to Presidents: Tips to Empower Every Working Girl - an advice book for young people in business. She worked on Hilary Clinton's 2016 Presidential campaign in marketing and as part of the National Finance Committee.

 

Parliamentarian - Linda Kolko

Originally from New York City, Linda Kolko retired in 2011 after forty years of federal service, 33 years of which were managing international development assistance programs in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. She worked at the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) for the past 20 years, serving as its interim President twice. Linda held a variety of positions at the Peace Corps, including Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, Deputy Director of the Peace Corps in Belize and Jamaica, Deputy Director of the Africa Region. Linda bought a nine-unit Art Deco apartment building in Miami Beach in 1989 and became a Florida resident in 2020. Linda has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Vermont. Linda was the Takoma Park Maryland Neighborhood Team Leader for the 2012 Obama campaign. She was President of the Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County, Maryland and received the Democratic Volunteer of the Year Award in 2017 from the Montgomery County, MD Democratic Central Committee. Linda has volunteered for various Democratic candidates in local, state, and national elections. She serves on the City of Miami Beach Transportation, Parking & Bicycle-Pedestrian Facilities Committee and volunteers for various organizations.

 

Board of Director #2 - Steve Hawes

My name is Steve Hawes. I’m currently the MBDC Board of Director #2 and I am running for re-election. I have also served as the Communications Co-Chair for 2 years.

I’m proud of the work our Club has done over the past 2 years. We’ve helped keep Miami-Dade blue by supporting and helping to elect Democrats to office, and turning out Democratic voters during election time. My vision for the Club for the coming year involves hosting events to grow our size and strength, registering voters non-stop, energizing our people, and driving voter turnout when the election season arrives - Register, Energize, Vote.

 

Board of Director #3 - Bill Warren

Bill Warren is a native of Virginia but has lived his entire adult life in South Florida. Bill has been a resident and homeowner on Miami Beach for the past 25 years. Bill is also a business owner on Miami Beach. Bill is the founder and President of Benefits Design Resources, an employee benefits insurance agency located on Lincoln Road.

Bill and his family are lifetime Democrats. Taking an active role in the election process and voting have been instilled in Bill by his family from a very young age. To this day, his family members communicate prior to election day to ensure everyone is aware of the upcoming election, knows which candidates to support and, most importantly, will be voting.

In 2016 after Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, Bill was inspired to become more involved in the political process. Although Bill campaigned for Hillary, he felt that perhaps there was more he could have done. This inspired Bill to join the Miami Dade LGBTA Democratic Caucus where he served as Treasurer until the Caucus became inactive in 2018. It was in 2018 that Bill joined the Miami Beach Democratic Club and immediately became Program Committee Chair, which is a role he continues to serve.

For the 2022 Miami Beach Democratic Club election, Bill has decided to run for a Board of Directors position. Bill has been a loyal and reliable member of the Club since joining in 2018. As Program Chair, Bill has been responsible for managing the Club's participation in the Miami Beach Pride Parade, organized several lectures and arranged for guest speakers during regular membership meetings.

Bill asks for your support to the Board of Director #3 seat during the upcoming election.

Bill Warren holds a BA in Business Administration from Virginia State University, an MBA from University of Miami, a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist designation and a 218 Florida insurance license.

 

Board of Director #4 - Tim Johnson

I am again running for my position on the Board of Directors - #4.

Why I serve: As a lifelong Democrat, I am appalled by what is happening to our country and our State by Republicans in general and the Republican Party of Florida in particular. I want to make a difference at the local level by doing all I can to ensure that Democrats are elected up and down the ballot, both here in Miami Beach and in Miami Dade County. We cannot win State wide without a very strong performance here in Miami Dade! I will actively work to get as many voters involved to make the changes that are necessary to achieve the goals of the Democratic party.

Who I am: I have lived on Miami Beach for almost 20 years. Like many of us who have lived here for a long period of time, I have seen tremendous change on the Beach. It remains my home. I am committed to making the Beach a better place to live and work.

Prior to moving to Miami Beach, I lived and worked in Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. I was born in Buffalo, NY.

My professional background is in marketing, advertising and sales, with a focus on the Hospitality Industry.

I have been an active member of the Miami Beach Democratic Club for many years and am anxious to see it live up to its potential. I have been involved in several political campaigns, both local and national and will continue to try to make a difference in our political climate.

  • Steven Hawes
    published this page in Announcements 2022-03-15 13:26:23 -0400