National Staff

Donna Smith

Donna Smith

Executive Director

Donna has been active with PDA since 2007. She co-chaired PDA’s national “Healthcare Not Warfare” campaign, and she has spoken in 43 states, DC, Canada and Australia about the U.S. healthcare system and single-payer reform. Donna was also featured in Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary film, SiCKO.

Donna served most recently as executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation. She has been a guest on Bill Moyers’ Journal, CNN, Thom Hartmann’s show, CBS news, and numerous other programs. She blogs on PDA’s site, MichaelMoore.com, Common Dreams, and DailyKos.

Donna worked from 2008 to 2013 as a national health care reform advocate and community organizer for National Nurses United/California Nurses Association. Though she was born and raised in Chicago, Donna and her husband of 40 years, Larry, now live in Denver and they have six children and 15 grandchildren.

Kimberly Buchan

Kimberly Buchan

Administrative Coordinator

Kimberly has been volunteering and working for PDA since 2004. Since moving to Arizona in 2003, Kimberly discovered her inner progressive and volunteered with the Kucinich Presidential Campaign and later the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus.

She is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelors Degree in Music Therapy, and a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a masters degree in Speech and Language Pathology.

Kimberly now resides in her home state of Michigan, where she lives with her husband, Bryan, her adorable boy, Elliot James and daughter Cora Beatrice.

Judy Hess

Judy Hess

Associate Director - Field Operations

Judy attended San Diego State University and graduated from the University of Cincinnati. She retired from a 30 year career in the insurance industry. Judy has been the National Litigation Manager of a California based property and casualty insurance company. She has become a full time activist, founding the Metro San Diego Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America in January 2006, and the Fresno Chapter of PDA in January, 2010. She ran and won as an Assembly District Delegate to the California Democratic Party in 2007 in San Diego, and in 2011 for the 29th District in Fresno, and is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Democratic Club. She has recently accepted an appointment as Regional Coordinator of 5 counties for the Campaign for a Healthy California. Judy helps develop and coordinate PDA chapters–the fundamental structure for PDA’s grassroots operations. She is PDA’s California State Co-Coordinator.

Dan O'Neal

Dan O'Neal

National Field Organizer for Chapter Development

Joining PDA shortly after its formation in 2004, Dan became the Arizona State Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America in 2006.

Dan is a PDA National Board member in addition to his position on our National Staff, as the National Field Organizer for Chapter Development.

Dan is a Vice Chair of Arizona Democratic Party and a member of its Executive Board. He was one of three Bernie DNC Delegates on the ADP Board.

He is a long time progressive activist in the Arizona Democratic Party serving as a Precinct Committee-person, an elected member of the ADP State Committee, and he is an appointed delegate from CD-5 to the ADP Executive Committee.

Dan is a staunch supporter of  Bernie Sanders. He was a CD-5 Bernie Delegate to the DNC in Philadelphia.  First organizing PDA’s “We Want Bernie” chapters in Arizona and later serving as a volunteer adviser and Maricopa County Coordinator for the Bernie Sanders for President in 2016.

Janis Kay

Janis Kay

National Online Media Director

Janis has always had a longterm interest in progressive politics and social justice issues. In relocating to many states, due to her husband Mike’s career, Janis has had the opportunity to see politics up close and personal in many areas of the country. This only intensified her interest in progressive politics and the need for grassroots activism. In 2008, she was a volunteer for the Obama campaign while living in FL. Soon after Janis answered the call from PDA Florida to manage their Facebook page and Twitter accounts. Early in 2011, upon relocating to the state of Washington, Janis added the responsibilities of the PDA Washington Facebook and Twitter pages and soon afterward with PDA National social media as well. Janis and her husband currently live in Tampa Bay area.

Mike Fox

Mike Fox

Fundrasing & Phonebanking Coordinator

Mike is an activist and progressive candidate campaign manager. Since running PDA-endorsed Sam Simpson’s congressional campaigns in 2006 and 2008, Mike has run numerous successful races for local progressives in the Tampa Bay area, and has been the PDA Florida State Coordinator for the last 3 years, helping to build 9 chapters across the state, with more coming in 2012. Known as PDA’s “phone guy,” he has run very successful national phone banks for PDA-endorsed candidates, as well as fundraising efforts via the phone. Fox has his Masters’ in Mass Communication, has done post graduate work in Political Science, and has taught at 3 universities. He now works full time as an activist and campaign manager. Mike is a board member of his local Democratic Executive Committee, is active with the Awake The State and Occupy movements in Florida, and as Florida State Coordinator, is a firm proponent of PDA’s “Inside-Outside” strategy.

Debra Schrishuhn

Debra Schrishuhn

Database Administator

Debra is also PDA’s Illinois Coordinator. She earned a BFA and MA from UIUC. She managed David Gill’s winning 2012 primary campaign, and developed a strong progressive network in downstate Illinois. Politics is her passion. As part of PDA’s national team since 2012, she mobilizes progressives, and helps to build the PDA member database. Debra and her husband live in rural Illinois with four Desert Arabian horses, and a clowder of feral cats.

Mike Hersh

Mike Hersh

Communications Coordinator

Mike was born and raised in upstate NY. Mike earned an AB in Government from Cornell University where he was on the Dean’s List and served in the Student and University Governments. He earned a JD from the Washington College of Law. Mike helped progressive candidates win elections at the local, state and federal levels. He works with PDA’s national, state, chapter, and issue teams implementing communications strategies: drafting, editing, and sending email blasts, action alerts, press releases, and letters to legislators as well as designing graphics, leaflets, programs and updating websites. Mike is PDA’s Maryland State Coordinator, the Executive Director of the Keep Our Promise coalition and the Montgomery County Progressive Alliance, a Steering Committee member for the Maryland Progressive Working Group and Progressive Neighbors, the D.C. Director of the Jobs for All Campaign, and Co-President of Montgomery County Maryland’s NOW chapter.

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