Meet our Board

2016-2017 Board of Directors

Tara Romano


President, Executive Committee
Member Organization: NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina

Tara Romano has been involved with NCWU since 2006, when she co-coordinated the 2006 Wake Women's Agenda Assembly. She joined the board in 2008, a became President in 2013. Tara has been active in the women's movement in North Carolina for more than a decade and believes that public policy informed by women's actual experiences, and with women's input, is a key component of building a more just and equitable North Carolina. She is the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. In 1999, Tara climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Chavi Koneru

Policy Director, Executive Committee
Member Organization:


Charnessa Ridley


Secretary, Executive Committee
Member Organization: North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA)

Charnessa Ridley is the Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator at the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA), a statewide nonprofit working to end sexual violence through education, advocacy, and legislation. Her dedication to NCWU is fueled by her passion for activism and belief in the power of collective efforts to address a social problem. In a rebellion against saving money and having a spare bedroom, her parents decided that having a baby the month before their oldest left for college would be a great idea! When she is not working, Charnessa enjoys spending quality time with the coolest and most brilliant twelve-year-old she knows, her brother Jabari.


Jessica Reinholz


Treasurer, Executive Committee
Member Organization: Ipas

Jessica Reinholz specializes as a project manager at Ipas, an international nonprofit focused on women's health and rights. She has worked and volunteered for social justice organizations focusing on affordable housing, LGBTQ rights, workers rights, and women's health and rights for over 8 years, as she understands that these issues are all connected in North Carolinian women's lives. You can find her watching Gilmore Girls with her pet bunny in her down time. 


Jen Ferris


Communications Director
Member Organization: Progress NC

Jen Ferris is the Director of Reproductive Advocacy at Progress North Carolina. A third-generation feminist activist, Jen was drawn to NCWU’s mission of bringing diverse women together in coalition. She lives in Chapel Hill, where she is also the President of the Community Home Trust Board of Directors.


Isabella Higgins 


Communications Director
Member Organization: Ipas

Isabella Higgins is an Accessibility Associate at Ipas, an international nonprofit focused on women's health and rights. With a dedication to incorporating intersectionality, she is proud to be a part of NCWU's efforts to advocate for policies that improve the lives of all women (working class, Latina, LGBTQ, etc.). In her free time, you can find Isabella baking a delicious dessert or watching a documentary. 


Pat Orrange 


Membership Director
Member Organization: Women's Forum of NC

Patricia Orrange, a life long advocate for women's issues and concerns, was born and educated in Buffalo, NY.  Upon retiring, she moved to Raleigh, NC and became active in a number of women's organizations, serving as an officer and on the Boards of NARAL ProChoice NC, League of Women Voters, Blueprint NC, and the Women's Forum of NC. In 2010 she became the convening chair of NC Women Matter, a project of the Women's Forum, which is a coalition of women's organizations from across the state focusing on women's issues and getting out the female vote.


Sarah Hogg 

Outreach Director
Member Organization: NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina 


Want to join our board? Check out vacant positions below. If you are interested in joining, email us at
Vacant Positions:
Vice President
Outreach Director
Technology Director 


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