WIN List Leadership Academy
The WIN Leadership Academy (WLA) is the highly successful Georgia WIN List flagship training program designed to train the next generation of Democratic women leaders for Georgia.
Many graduates of the program already serve in the Georgia General Assembly and others serve their communities across a wide range of Democratic Party offices and elected or appointed positions. The program allows participants to make connections which lead to new and exciting paths for community involvement and public service.
The annual program focuses on preparing women to run for office, hold leadership positions in campaigns, or seek appointed positions which affect public policy such as state or local boards and commissions or judgeships. Women of all ages, races, backgrounds, professions, and geographical areas within the state of Georgia are invited to participate. WIN List recognizes that women make decisions to run for office or participate in the political process at different times in their lives and for a variety of reasons.
In a group of their peers, WIN Leadership Academy class members study a textbook-based curriculum offered by WIN List staff and local or national experts. The curriculum includes, but is not limited to:
- Campaign Planning, Budgeting & Finance Compliance
- Messaging and Communications, Social Media and Presentation Skills
- Field Operations, Volunteer Management and Cultivation and GOTV Strategies
- Policy Development and Reaching Across the Aisle
- Leadership Development
- A “Day Under the Dome” for Advocacy Training & Observation
The WLA program meets once a month on Sunday afternoons and for a total of 10 classes. Classes are generally held within Metro Atlanta, but participation is available both in-person and remotely via web conference. Further, participants will spend a “Day Under the Dome” to familiarize themselves with the legislative process and watch both floor debates and committee hearings.
All WLA class members commit to 20 hours of volunteer time during the course of the year to work on a WIN-endorsed campaign, assist with WIN List events, or work in some fashion to assist the election and re-election of WIN List endorsed members of the Georgia General Assembly.
ALUMNAE SUCCESS STORIES
Congresswoman Nikema Williams
Elected to serve Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District in 2020, eight years after being a member of the first WLA class. Georgia Senator from District 39 from 2017-20. In 2019, became the first black woman to serve as Chair Georgia Democratic Party.
Tybee City Councilwoman Nancy Devetter
Devetter is a member of the Tybee Island City Council where she has resided with her husband and two young children since 2013. According to Nancy, the most beneficial part of being in WLA came from the relationships and support network formed in class. “Being surrounded by like-minded women who believe in running for office has been so valuable,” she says.
Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez
The Western Judicial Circuit spans Athens-Clarke and Oconee counties, which Gonzalez represents with pride. “WLA was instrumental in terms of the training that I took with them, the networking, and the sisterhood we created with the other women who were in my class. My favorite thing was meeting the women, for me it was really such a great opportunity to be with other women who felt the same way I did and that we needed to do something,” Gonzalez says on her WLA experience.
Former HD 99 Rep. Brenda Lopez
Became the first WLA graduate and first Latina to serve in the Georgia General Assembly when elected in 2016 for the first of two terms. An immigration attorney, she was a member of the 2015 WLA class and has received numerous awards for her community service and inclusive leadership style for mentoring other young leaders.
DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox
Sheriff Maddox has 20+ years of law enforcement experience and is the first female elected sheriff of DeKalb County. “As women, we are natural-born leaders. WLA is an environment which validates a woman’s ability to not only lead but lead in areas with a history where women are underrepresented,” Maddox said, noting WLA helped shape her to become the sheriff of DeKalb County.
Senator Jen Jordan, SD 6
Graduate of the 2012 WLA class, Senator Jordan flipped Senate District 6, a longtime Republican stronghold, during the 2017 special elections. She won re-election in 2018 and is currently serving her second term during the 2019 Legislative Session
Representative Angelika Kausche, HD 50
Rep. Kausche graduated in the 2018 WLA class and flipped a long time Republican district. Rep. Kausche is the first Democrat to serve in HD 50 and is also the first German-born immigrant to be elected to Georgia’s legislature
Other Notable WLA Alum:
- Rebecca Mitchell – elected state rep in 2020
- College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom
- Savannah District Attorney Shalena Cook 2019 Class
- Nikki Merritt – Class of 2019
- Zulma Lopez – Class of 2019
- Kim Jackson – Class of 2017
- Jacquie Bettadapur – Cobb County Democratic Party Chair
Paid for and approved by Georgia WIN List. Contributions to Georgia WIN List are not deductible for income tax purposes.