Regional Leadership

Regional Leadership

Dining for Women is divided into 12 U.S. regions, each of which is managed by a volunteer Regional Leader or Co-Leaders.

Carolinas Region

NC, SC – email:

Kay Manley – Regional Leader

Kay has been a member of the NC, Asheville-1 (Downtown) chapter since 2013. An avid traveler, she participated in DFW's Peru trip in 2014. A retired community college administrator and former bookstore owner, she is now an adjunct instructor. Volunteering at the local level is one of Kay's passions. Additionally, in 1994 she was a volunteer English teacher in Slovakia. Kay believes wholeheartedly in the mission and vision of DFW. Follow

Central Region

IN, KY, MI, OH – email:

Corinne Blakemore – Co-Leader

Corinne lives in South Bend, Indiana and is married with two daughters. Being from a family of all girls and raised by her single parent mother, she has experienced first-hand the benefits of an empowered, educated mother. She has had the opportunity to travel to over 40 countries and has helped with international development projects in Mexico and Nepal. She has been involved with DFW since 2011, first by starting the first chapter in Indiana and then by being a member of the Grant Selection Committee. 'Dining for Women has allowed me to be involved in what I am most passionate about - bringing women and girls up from the depths of poverty and submission. As American women, we are so fortunate, and I feel compelled to help other women attain the rights that we all deserve and require. It is so awesome to be able to do this with other American women in such a fun, rewarding way!'Follow

Leslie Galup – Co-Leader

Leslie's involvement with Dining for Women began in 2011 when she was invited to join a new chapter in South Bend, Indiana. 'As we all know, we are often guided in directions we aren't aware will open us to the experiences that may be life changing, which is what that initial conversation accomplished.' In 2016, Leslie became Co-Leader of the South Bend chapter, along with Corinne Blakemore. Originally from Indiana and now living in southwest Michigan, Leslie's background is in laboratory medicine, teaching in clinical and employee success settings, and advocacy - enabling others is a common thread in her work. 'I have always felt that the next challenge will be the one that I will enjoy the most, and frequently I find that those challenges present themselves at just the right moment. I have watched, impressed, as DFW has made its impact through the amazing work of impressive women, enabling other impressive women who need help with those first steps to independence.' Follow

Florida Region

FL – email:

The Regional Leader position for Florida is vacant at this time.

Heartland Region

IA, IL, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD, WI – email:

The Regional Leader position for Heartland is vacant at this time.


Mid-Atlantic Region

DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA, WV – email:

Merle Steiner – Co-Leader

Merle spent many years overseas with her Foreign Service husband (unfortunately, married women couldn't come into the Foreign Service until a class action suit was filed against the State Department). Her Masters in International Affairs, the years she spent abroad, and other foreign travel heightened her interest in the developing world. Her career in local government also gave her a lot of experience with non-profit organizations and the problems that poverty can cause. Merle and her husband, Steve, have three grown children and even some grandchildren. She spends her spare time playing tennis, reading for two book clubs, hiking, biking, playing the piano, knitting, and cooking recipes from around the world. As Co-Leader of the MD, Rockville-1 chapter and Co-Leader of the Mid-Atlantic region, Merle spends a lot of her time dedicated to this amazing organization.Follow

Peggy Smith – Co-Leader

Peggy founded her business — Smith and Associates, a consulting and training organization — after a varied career working for the DuPont and Agfa corporations, serving in the Peace Corps and teaching in New York City. Peggy heard about Dining for Women from a Peace Corps friend during a visit to Santa Fe in 2011. 'When I looked on the DFW website I discovered Delaware had no chapters.' So she and a group of friends started one. Delaware boasts six chapters and more on the horizon. 'It is such a joy to meet and know women who are so passionate about helping women in need. As a Regional Leader I hope to continue to inspire women to join and use their passion to support Dining for Women as we impact the developing world, one project at a time.'Follow

Northeast Region

CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT – email:

Kathy Williams – Co-Leader

After moving to the Boston area to be near family, Kathy started the first Dining for Women chapter in the Boston area in Holbrook MA in 2014. Kathy is a former nurse and retired after 30 years with Sanofi Pharmaceuticals. She loves to cook and travel internationally to cooking schools, and runs a cooking school for small groups in her home. Kathy has shared her cooking talents with Dining for Women’s education team, writing about the customs and cuisine of countries where grantees are located, as well as assisting with recipe development. Women's rights have been a very important focus for Kathy. She has been inspired and motivated by Dining for Women and all the members she has met. She hopes to inspire and motivate people in the Northeast region in order to promote awareness about Dining for Women and grow our chapters and membership. Follow

Susan Prener – Co-Leader

Susan and a friend started a Dining for Women chapter in Fairport, NY in 2003. They were drawn to the simplicity of DFW’s model of 'transforming lives one woman at a time' for women and girls in developing countries. 'Our chapter members look forward to stimulating discussions about our sisters and their communities across the world, and therefore are inspired to contribute to our grantees.' As a founder and former executive director of a local domestic violence agency, Susan witnessed the power of such change assisting and advocating for survivors. She understands first-hand how volunteers are often the backbone of an organization like DFW. As a lifelong volunteer herself, often for women’s issues, Susan is honored to bring her experience and energy to DFW’s regional team. She also enjoys watercolor painting, art, travel, and anything outdoors.Follow


Northwest Region

AK, ID, OR, WA – email:

Karen McCune – Co-Leader

Karen joined the first Portland, OR Dining for Women chapter six years ago and was hooked at the first meeting. A year later after the Portland chapter saw a huge surge in membership (from 20 to 75), she and two other women started a chapter on the Westside of Portland. This chapter is alive and well and celebrated its 5th anniversary in October. Karen was also on the planning committee for the first Northwest Region conference and participated in the Dining for Women trip to the Dominican Republic in 2015.
Karen's passion for providing support to women and children guided her professional life. Starting out as an early intervention specialist and parent educator and retiring in March 2015 from her job as National VP of Employee Assistance and WorkLife at Optum/United Health Care, she brings leadership and management experience to her new role as Northwest Regional Co-Leader. Karen and her husband live in Beaverton, OR. They have two grown married children and one 20 month-old granddaughter who is the love of their lives.

Kathi Jaworski – Co-Leader

Kathi has worked in the nonprofit field for her entire career, starting as a VISTA volunteer in Chicago and subsequently serving nearly 20 years as a nonprofit executive director with a specialty in rural economic development and community capacity building. She has volunteered for and chaired many nonprofit boards, including the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, and written extensively for the Nonprofit Quarterly. Since 2009, she has had her own consulting business and also teaches persuasive nonprofit writing in the University of Oregon's planning, policy and public administration department. Attracted to the giving circle model of philanthropy, she's been a Dining for Women chapter member since 2012, and now leads the OR, Eugene-1 chapter. She and her husband John live in Eugene, Oregon. They love to travel for fun and adventure, as well as to visit their five grown children and two grandchildren scattered throughout North America. Follow

Rocky Mountain Region

CO, MT, WY – email:

Betty Purkey-Huck – Regional Leader

Betty joined Dining for Women in 2012 as a Chapter Leader and also served as a regional Mentor for two years. A resident of Sedalia, CO, Betty is married and has three adult children. Betty's background is in Human Resources and as a retiree, enjoys time at their cabin at Lake George, CO and with family. Betty is passionate about helping Dining for Women remain sustainable and loves creating new chapters and agents of change to overcome poverty and obtain equity for women and girls.Follow

Southeast Region

AL, AR, GA, LA, MS, TN – email:

Terri Abraham – Regional Leader

Terri is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has over 30 years of consulting experience, working with medical clinics, hospitals, mental health centers, home health care agencies, software companies, and investment firms. She is the founder and CEO of the Marietta West Cobb Counseling Center. A strong believer in giving back to the community, Terri has served on the Boards of non-profit and advocacy organizations. Terri has been a member of Dining for Women for over five years and co-leader of the GA, Marietta-1 chapter much of that time. Terri says, 'When I first learned of DFW, I was impressed with the mission of empowering women and girls to improve their lives and communities. The benefits I've received from DFW have been a great surprise. Where else can you get an education, have fun, eat well, and make the world a better place all at the same time?'Follow

Southwest Region

AZ, NM, NV, UT – email:

Tammy Frazier – Co-Leader

Tammy was invited to attend a DFW meeting in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and fell in love with the program so much that she brought it back to her home in Scottsdale, Arizona that fall and started a chapter in January 2014. She has led the chapter since then and recently participated in the DFW trip to the Dominican Republic in 2015. Tammy has a background in Critical Care Nursing and is currently using her nursing skills as a volunteer RN in a free health care clinic in Wisconsin. She has been a member of the Sonoran Centennial Chapter of National Charity League, Inc. for the last eight years and has held several board positions. Her involvement in National Charity League led to her passion for philanthropic work. Tammy is married with four grown children and currently one three-year-old granddaughter with another on the way! Follow

Lisa Kerley – Co-Leader

Lisa has been a member of DW since January 2014 when her Co-Regional Leader, Tammy Frazier, started the AZ, Scottsdale-3 chapter. She has traveled to both Peru and the Dominican Republic with DFW and was fortunate enough to visit and interact with organizations who have directly benefited from DFW grants. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who enjoys travelling, crafting, philanthropy and time spent with family and friends. She has been a member of National Charity League for 10 years and has served on several boards. She has worked in pharmaceutical research for 21 years with the last 18 years at Merck & Co. Inc.Follow

Texokana Region

KS, OK, TX – email:

Sybbie Fox – Regional Leader

Sybbie was a guest at a Dining for Women dinner in Illinois and came home to Kansas, excited to start her own chapter. ‘The beauty of this organization is the celebration of friendship among women and being conscious of the need for solidarity among women everywhere. I enjoyed learning how DFW makes participating in the collective effort simple and enjoyable. No huge sacrifice or grand gesture required. TOGETHER we make the grand gesture. It’s a rare, truly nonpartisan way to do good in the world.’ Sybbie lives in Prairie Village, Kansas with her husband of 25 years and two children and works as a professional organizer. As a native of Texas, with relatives from Oklahoma, she could not pass up the opportunity to help grow the global giving circle in these areas. Follow

West Region

CA, HI –

Patty Karabatsos – Co-Leader

Patty Karabatsos joined Dining for Women in 2008. She served as a mentor before volunteering to be Regional Leader, and enjoys working with new Chapter Leaders as they launch their chapters. 'I love when the new chapter is close enough for me to attend the first meeting. Sharing my experience with DFW and meeting all the new members is very exciting!' Patty's background is in teaching and banking. A resident of San Jose, she is married and has three adult children. In addition to her involvement with DFW, Patty volunteers with the Stroke Awareness Foundation, an organization that helps to educate people about Stroke and provides resources and support to stroke patients, caretakers and families.Follow

Linda Dougall – Co-Leader

Linda was introduced to Dining for Women in 2009 and had the fortune to travel with DFW to Uganda in 2010 and to Vietnam and Cambodia in 2013. She is a retired child welfare social worker and social work coordinator and, since her retirement, has volunteered for a number of non-profit organizations in the Santa Cruz, CA, area; in Quito, Ecuador, where she lived for 4 1/2 years; and now in Oakland, CA. 'When I returned to the United States in late 2013 to live closer to my daughter, I knew Dining for Women was going to be an important part of my life. What I didn't know was that I was going to become a regional co-leader and a co-leader for the Oakland chapter. I'm really excited to have an opportunity to be more involved with this outstanding organization.'Follow


Our international chapter applications are temporarily on-hold as we research the legal requirements for the growing demand to expand globally.