Rachel Amdur: Chair
If you don’t count knocking on doors with her mom for George McGovern in 1972, Rachel Amdur has been active in politics since she campaigned for Bill Clinton in 1992. Rachel has lived in Havertown for 22 years and has been volunteering with the Haverford Democratic Committee since 2000. In 2004, she agreed to fill a Committee vacancy in Ward 3, Precinct 2, was then elected to that post in 2006, and has been on Committee ever since. In addition, she has taken on a variety of roles in the local party, from canvassing and delivering lawn signs for candidates to organizing volunteers for the HTDems’ table on Havertown Day and managing our Facebook posts from news outlets. Rachel was elected Vice-Chair of the HTDems in 2014, and her efforts in that role have included shepherding last year’s re-design of our local party website and advocating for Action Teams to expand leadership opportunities within the organization. Her goals as Chair of the Haverford Democratic Party are to build upon the dramatic, post-2016 growth in political activism in the township by inviting broad participation in party business, cooperating actively with non-partisan progressive groups like H-CAN, improving voter education and turn-out, and standing for transparent processes to strengthen local government and our own party.
Rachel brings with her extensive volunteer experience outside of politics. She has served in various leadership positions at her synagogue, Temple Sholom in Broomall, since 2001. She has also been very active in the Haverford School District, serving as President of the Oakmont Elementary School PTO (2004-2005), Treasurer of the Band and Orchestra Parents (2009-2013), and President of the Haverford Choral Association (2013-2015). Rachel holds a BS in Mathematics from Penn State and has acquired a variety of business skills through experience working with local startups and small businesses. Since 2014, she has served as the Office Manager at MaassMedia, a Philadelphia-based digital marketing analytics consulting firm that was recently acquired by Hero Digital. Rachel and her husband Brett are proud to have raised their two children, Jeremy and Haley, here in Haverford Township.
Co-Vice Chairs: Sherry Forste-Grupp and Jon Larsen
Sherry Forste-Grupp has lived in Ward 2 of Haverford Township for over 20 years and was elected in May to serve as Committee from Ward 2, Precinct 1. In the fall of 2017, Sherry took on the daunting task of running for Township Commissioner from Ward 2 against incumbent Mario Oliva. She waged such an energetic campaign that she increased the number of Democratic votes in Ward 2 by 72% and cut the Republican victory margin by 36% from 2013. That experience taught Sherry that having a strong, well-organized Democratic Party in Haverford Township makes all the difference at the polls. As vice-chair, Sherry would advocate for an all-out effort to educate township voters about why voting in every election matters and how we can all influence government at every level by getting involved and staying informed. Her goal as co-vice chair will be to strengthen and grow the Haverford Democratic Party and increase voter turn-out in every election.
Sherry is an English teacher in the Upper School at the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr. She served on the Board of the Haverford Township Free Library from 2002-2009 and currently serves on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre. She and her husband, Dr. Stephen Grupp, raised their children in Haverford Township.
Jon Larsen took on several active roles in the Haverford Democratic Party soon after the election of 2016. He was appointed Committee from Ward 3, Precinct 1 until he was elected to that post this past May. He also became “apprentice” to Mary Hediger as Ward 3 Leader, and joined with Gwen McCullough to co-lead the Grassroots Action Team. Jon’s goals as a co-vice chair of the HTDems will be to increase grassroots engagement with policy, fundraising, and voter turnout. He is also committed to working with Democrats throughout Delaware County to advance shared progressive goals. Having worked closely on the grassroots campaign that his wife, Kristin Larsen, waged to win a 4-year seat on the Haverford School Board, Jon is very familiar with both the mechanics and clear messaging required to win elections.
Jon holds a JD from Temple University’s School of Law and an MA in Public Policy from George Mason University. He has broad policy experience in healthcare, medical research, and health insurance, including the ACA and Medicare. He currently draws on that experience in his position as Policy Consultant at McGivney Global Advisors, a healthcare consulting firm in Wayne, PA. He and Kristen have lived in Haverford Township since 2012 and are raising their two-year-old daughter, Magdalena, here.
Corresponding Secretary: Lisa Taglang
Lisa has been a Committee member from Ward 6, Precinct 3 since 2016 and stepped up to serve as HTDems’ Corresponding Secretary in January, 2018 when the post was vacant. She has lived in Ward 6 for 18 years and has been volunteering to work for Democratic candidates since she moved into the neighborhood. In addition to her post as Corresponding Secretary, Lisa is also Ward 6 Leader. As Corresponding Secretary, Lisa is charged with email correspondence to local Committee. She is currently working with leaders of HTDems’ Action Teams to systematize access to common data, and she looks forward to continuing that work if she is elected.
In her professional life, Lisa is Programs Manager of the University Connection Team at Penn. Her mission is to help international students and English language learners to build strong applications to undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S. On behalf of these students, Lisa oversees academic advising and college counseling, supervises classes in writing application statements, and manages scholarship programs. She brings to this role over two decades of experience working with English language learners in the U.S. and overseas, where she taught English in Japan, the Czech Republic, and South Korea. Lisa is the mother to two Haverford High School Students, Julia & Jamie, and the Taglang household is a full-scale Democratic Party enterprise: her husband Matt is 6-3 Judge of Elections and Jamie founded and leads HHS’s Young Democrats Club.
Recording Secretary: Alex Brophy
Alex is an attorney who has lived in Haverford Township since 2013 and volunteered to do election protection work for the 2016 Clinton campaign. Shortly after the 2016 election, he was appointed to fill a Committee vacancy in Ward 3, Precinct 1, and in the recent May primary, he was elected to Committee from that ward and precinct. Alex agreed to fill a vacancy as Recording Secretary for the HT Dems in January, 2018. It is his responsibility to produce the minutes of our monthly meetings and to participate in Executive Committee meetings (where Committee members have commended Alex for his “informative” minutes). In the recent primary election, Alex assisted the Grassroots Team with creating and administering the ‘straw poll’ for congressional candidates.
Alex has been a practicing attorney for almost 15 years. He and his wife and law partner, Kate Lenahan, currently own a small law practice – Brophy Lenahan Law Group, P.C. Their work focuses on helping immigrants, particularly LGBTQ immigrants, who are in immigration proceedings or are applying for immigration benefits. Like Alex, Kate also serves as Committee for Ward 3, Precinct 1. They live in the Oakmont neighborhood with their two young children, Thomas and Eloise.
Treasurer: Christine Seewagon