Our Leadership Team
We are happy to announce the 2018 leadership of STAND CNJ. We have been meeting and planning for many exciting activities in the new year. We welcome people with ideas and energy! Please contact us with your interests or suggestions for initiatives.
Karen Haskin, who has been with STAND CNJ from the start, is honored to serve as STAND’s President. Karen has been involved in activism for many years, including anti-apartheid protests, defending abortion clinics, and joining the “stroller parade” with her family at the Million Mom March for common sense gun legislation in 2000. In her early career, she worked as a program evaluator on school reform and community capacity-building projects in Philadelphia and Chicago. Karen has a full-time job as a university administrator. She and her husband have two college-age children and a friendly cat. In addition to her activist experience and knowledge, Karen brings to us her management expertise to keep our team on mission and on track – no easy feat with such a motley, at times over-enthusiastic, and busy crew!
Olga Starr, like Karen, has been involved with STAND since day one, and serves as STAND’s Vice President and Director of Education. Olga’s professional background includes work in training and adult education, organizational development, and nonprofit consulting. For the last 14 years, she has run a successful small business. She has volunteered and organized fundraising efforts for organizations serving children, people with disabilities, and domestic violence survivors. She also now serves as a Democratic Committeewoman. Olga uses her instructional design expertise to create training and educational materials to support our mission. She has always liked using her words – writing, brainstorming, presenting – but since November 2016 has found herself using some REALLY CHOICE words, and finding it quite therapeutic. She lives in East Brunswick with her husband, 3 sons, and not-too-bright dog.
Neena Singh, our Director of Public Relations, is a community activist who has been passionate volunteer in Somerset county for 20 years. She founded a service oriented non-profit, served on the multicultural Outreach committee and co-chaired the Grants and Publicity Committee at Montgomery PTA. She ran for Montgomery Township Committee in 2010. Montgomery Township commended her volunteer efforts over the years, with a proclamation ceremony at the township municipal offices. Neena is the recipient of Wynona M. Lipman Synergy award from the State of New Jersey; the Governor awards this honor to a NJ citizen for generating positive community change within the State. She works as a senior partner with Keller Williams Cornerstone. STAND’s leadership team is lucky to have Neena as our marketing mastermind and networking pro!
Jamie Evanini is a stay-at-home mom who has been a part of STAND since December 2016, when she began writing brief calls-to-action for our fledgling Facebook group. A former adult ESL instructor and La Leche League leader, she brings two passions to her work for STAND: helping people communicate and take action effectively. Her nine years of experience with positive discipline, logical consequences, and “diplomacy” (that is, dealing with multiple kids in the house) has served her well in the last year. As STAND’s Director of Civic Action, she writes calls-to-action and coordinates our Civic Action Team of Issue Trackers. Jamie has a unique talent for looking at everything from a positive perspective and always having a smile on her face, which adds a wonderful energy to our leadership and to all of STAND’s activities! She lives in Hopewell Valley with her husband, three young kids and numerous pets.
Fatima Mughal is active in many local grassroots groups. Along with serving as STAND’s Director of Community Outreach, she is in the leadership of the Fair & Welcoming Coalition of Mercer County and Ewing People Power, working to support the undocumented community by bringing Fair & Welcoming policies to both Ewing and Mercer County, and the Central Jersey Coalition for Justice, a coalition of local groups with a shared mission of social justice. She worked with CJCJ to organize the 2016 March 4 Racial Justice sister event in Trenton. Fatima is also involved other local groups, and volunteers with LALDEF in Trenton and newly resettled refugees in Camden. Fatima is a former elementary school teacher and now has her own portrait and wedding photography business. The other STAND leaders are always on her case to find out how she squeezes 36 hours into each 24-hour day.
Nadine Stern made the mistake of asking how to get more involved. A long time political wannabe, since the 2016 election she has been actively seeking ways to be more politically active and STAND is providing that opportunity. In addition to her role as STAND’s Secretary, she now serves on the Pennington Democratic Committee and is a Trustee on the newly formed Hopewell Valley Democratic Club. Nadine also participates in activities with Moms Demand Action, Mercer County and Hope Rises Up. Nadine has a full-time job in information technology administration. She and her husband have two daughters and sons-in-law who are all proud feminists and political progressives. Nadine’s special passions are around social justice, women’s rights, and environmental action.
Charmi Patel is a documentary wedding photographer based out of Princeton, NJ. Her wedding work is focused on chasing the emotions of Indian weddings and she is passionate about preserving the intimacy of all weddings, but especially her culture and cross cultural gatherings. Encouraged by her friends and colleagues, Charmi has also found a home speaking to and teaching other photographers internationally. As a proud, steadfast feminist and woman of color, she remains engaged in advocacy and activism in her free moments. While her schedule stays full, her one true joy & main priority are her family — her husband Patrick, and their two little boys, Viru and Jai.
Diane Carlino has found it difficult to remain in the background this past year. With this being is her first venture into grassroots involvement, she is excited to support a group whose goal is to create better informed community. STAND’s talented leaders and impressive programming drew her in and she now holds the role of Treasurer. With her interests ranging from the environment to reproductive rights to social justice, STAND has offered a space to learn more about the political drivers impacting these issues. With many years of finance and administrative experience, Diane brings her operational know-how and cautious reason to the group, ensuring that we handle our finances strategically and on-mission. She lives in Griggstown and was quietly content until this bunch of rabble-rousers got all her digital devices beeping and dinging all day long in the service of democracy!
Ayesha Hamilton, an employment lawyer, and immigrant and a mom, truly believes that the work of the people happens through increased voter education and participation. She has seen STAND CNJ’s work and was eager to get more involved as STAND is making the difference she ants to see in the world. Ayesha also serves on the Township Council for West Windsor Township, N.J. Ayesha says that “STAND and its leadership team inspire me to remain “woke:: and to be an Upstander rather than just a Bystander.