NDFA Leadership

Per our bylaws Northside DFA is led by a steering committee of up to ten members. That committee must include a Chair and Treasurer. Due to a change in the By-Laws in 2011, the steering committee, including the chair and treasurer, are now elected by the voting members in the spring of even-numbered years.

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2011-2014

Melissa Lindberg (Chair, Chair of Membership Committee) has been a member of Northside DFA since its beginning. She volunteered to be a member of the Steering Committee at its inception, and was elected to the Committee during the first round of Steering Committee elections. She was the chair for the By-Laws Committee through two versions of the by-laws, including the final version currently in effect. She currently serves as the chair of the Membership Committee, and formerly served as the recording secretary for meetings. She became interim chair early in 2011 until being elected to that position in the fall. She lives in Albany Park, and has a kid in a Chicago Public School. She has volunteered on numerous NDFA campaigns, and believes the best antidote for depression about the state of politics today is to get out and work for change.

Mary Koczorowski (Treasurer) Mary is an enthusiastic new (ish) member of Northside DFA, and has been a member of the Steering Committee since November, 2010. Mary was a long time resident of the western and northern suburbs, but feels she really "came home" when she moved to Chicago in August of 2009.

Barry Aldridge (Recording Secretary, Chair Website/Communications) has been a member of the Steering Committee since 2007, serving as Treasurer until 2011. Currently, he manages the content of the new website and is working to make the website more useful for our members, overseeing a major updating of our web and database software. He also serves as recording secretary for NDFA; his notes on our meetings are posted on the website. He has volunteered for many NDFA candidates, including: Daniel Biss, Ed Mullen, Barack Obama, Forrrest Claypool and John Arena.

Joe Fedorko (Co-Chair, Fundraising Committee) has been a voting member of NDFA since 2006. His campaign work includes volunteering through NDFA for Dan Seals, Jeff Smith, and Miguel Del Valle, among others. He helped secure Roosevelt University for an NDFA training in 2009 and has also done campaign work for Jan Schakowsky and through the Illinois Education Association, and raised money for Dennis Kucinich and other worthy causes through his theatre company Democracy Burlesque. Joe is interested both in winning more elections and in exploring ways to make sure officeholders who win with help from NDFA continue to work to promote the issues they ran on ... or, he wants to keep the fire going and find ways to keep candidates' feet to said fire.

Peter Kalenik (Chair, Training Committee) is committed to improving his community and his country through direct service: first, as a Soldier in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve, and second, as an AmeriCorps volunteer and an educator in one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. With respect to politics and social activism: Pete is a Co-Founder and Executive Board Member of the New Leaders Council – Chicago, a committee member at the Progressive Alliance Cook County, an Auxiliary Board Member with Chicago’s Big Shoulders Fund, and a regular volunteer with Leave No Veteran Behind, a non-profit entity working to place returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with direct-employment opportunities.
Pete is a Chicago native – born and raised in Jefferson Park. He is a product of the Chicago Public School system and a graduate of Lane Tech High School. Pete also holds a MS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University, a BA with Honors in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and he is also near completion of the Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy degree program offered by the University of Illinois at Chicago, specializing in community development.

Nate Lefebvre (Chair, Campaigns Committee) was first introduced to Northside DFA by Carl Nyberg and John Burros through his work as a political consultant on John's campaign for State Representative, and has grown more attached thanks to the many friendships he made here. He particularly enjoys working to build NDFA's organizational strength (and the greater Progressive movement). To this end he was fortunate to lead a great team of activists from the Progressive Alliance to offer 20 full tuition scholarships to the DFA Campaign Academy in June 2011. This scholarship introduced many new people to NDFA. He intends to continue working on similar projects to train strong activists and develop our organizational capacity as a member of the Steering Committee.

Theresa Mah (Chair, Organizational Effectiveness) Her first encounter with NDFA was in the fall of 2007 when groups of dedicated members came down to her Bridgeport neighborhood to canvass almost every weekend for the NDFA-endorsed congressional candidate Mark Pera. She joined in the fun then and continued to stay in touch even after that disappointing primary, traveling up to the Northside periodically to attend meetings. In the last two years, she attended the Candidates’ Training in 2009 and became a voting member shortly after. She attended the last two voting member retreats and found herself becoming increasingly involved and invested in the group’s longevity and success.

Carl Nyberg (Chair, Candidates Committee) is a Navy veteran who was raised in Oak Park. He has served on a number of non-profit boards, including as the chair of Illinois Peace Action and Campaign for UN Reform PAC. He wants Northside DFA to increase the number of people participating and the amount of volunteering on political campaigns.

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2009-2011
Sandra Verthein, Chair
Ed Mullen, Chair
Melissa Lindberg, Interim Chair
Barry Aldridge, Treasurer
Mary Koczorowski, Treasurer
Owen Brugh
Cynthia Fox
Lisa Ginsburg
Frank Palmer
Jeff Waldhoff
Mike Wood

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2007-2009
Sandra Verthein, Chair
Barry Aldridge, Treasurer
Owen Brugh
Shannon Fisk
Cynthia Fox
Jim Ginsburg
Lisa Ginsburg
Melissa Lindberg
Frank Palmer
Jim Schmidt
Jeff Waldhoff

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2005-2007
Sandra Verthein
Shannon Fisk
Barry Aldridge
Owen Brugh
Cynthia Fox
Jim Ginsburg
Carol Levy
Melissa Lindberg
Michi Schulenberg