2018 Board of Directors
Board members serve for three year terms with a normal limit of two terms. Board members are volunteers and receive no financial remuneration for their service.
Chelsie Acosta - Chelsie is a secondary educator in Salt Lake City School District. Chelsie teaches ELD and Latinos In Action. She is currently ex-officio of the Utah National Association Multicultural Education (NAME), the NEA/SLEA Social Justice Trainer of Trainers, member of the UEA Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee, NEA Social Justice in Education and Teaching Tolerance blogger, NEA Hispanic Caucus Western Director and serves on the Salt Lake City School District . Chelsie was a finalist for the NEA Social Justice Activist Educator of the Year 2017. Chelsie is currently a grad student in the University of Utah, Education, Culture and Society. Her activism is centered but not limited to; the protection of the undocumented community, LGBTQIA+ issues and the School to Prison Pipeline. She joined the Board in 2018.
Heidi Chamorro (Vice President) - Heidi graduated from the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2015 and is a California barred attorney who currently works in a compliance position for Goldman Sachs. She served as an intern for the ACLU of Utah in 2012 in a project, in conjunction with several community groups, which helped disseminate information and make resources available for undocumented youth to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). In 2014 she joined the board for the ACLU.
Gina Cornia - Gina has served as Executive Director of Utahns Against Hunger since 2001. She has been involved in community welfare, employment, food policy, and mental health care work since 1993. She is a founding member of the Salt Lake Food Policy Task Force. She also works with Downtown Alliance Farmers Market at the food stamps booth. She served on the board of the People’s Market from 2009 to 2012. Gina received a Bachelors Degree in Environment and Behavior from The University of Utah in 1992. Gina joined the board in 2014.
Forrest Crawford - Forrest has served Weber State University in various capacities since 1977 including Assistant to the President for Diversity for 17 years. He is a co-founder of several organizations including the Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission and the Utah Black Education Forum. Forrest has received numerous awards for his civic engagement like the NAACP’s Medgar Evers Medal of Freedom, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Civil Rights Award and Pete Suazo Memorial Award for Life-Time Community Service. He has chaired and served on many boards and commissions including the Utah Disability Law Center and Northern Utah Coalition for HIV/AIDS Education. He has received a B.S. from Weber State College, a Masters Degree from the University of Utah, and a Doctorate from BYU. Forrest joined the Board in 2015.
Roni Jo Draper - (National ACLU Board Representative) Roni is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education of the McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University. Recently, she has turned to queer pedagogical approaches to her work with teachers to help them rethink their taken-for-granted notions about teaching, learning, literacies, and the children and families they serve in schools. In addition to her university work, Roni Jo works as an advocate in the LDS LGBTQ community and serves as the vice-president of the Utah County chapter of PFLAG. She is a former high school mathematics teacher who worked primarily with adolescents at risk of not completing high school. Roni Jo earned her Bachelors of Science, masters, and doctoral degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno. She joined the Board in 2017.
Russell Fericks - Russell is an attorney in Salt Lake City with Richards Brandt Miller Nelson. His area of practice includes real estate, construction, business contracts and insurance. He graduated from S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah in 1982. He is active with the Salt Lake Rotary Club and has served as a Little League Baseball Coach and Cubmaster/Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America. Russell joined the board in 2013.
Mary Hall – (Affirmative Action Officer) Mary served as executive director of the Ogden Nature Center where she expanded the education programs, created habitat for wildlife, and oversaw the construction of the new environmentally sensitive visitor center. Mary’s community service includes a term on the Ogden City Council, which she chaired. Other service highlights include: vice chair of the Community Foundation of Utah, president of Boys and Girls Clubs, chair of Weber Pathways, president of Weber State University Alumni Association, membership on the WSU boards of the Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service, the National Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees. Mary graduated Cum Laude from Weber State College in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She joined the Board in 2018.
Kass Harstad - Kass is a partner with Strindberg & Scholnick, LLC, a boutique law firm located in Salt Lake City that specializes in plaintiff-side employment law. Kass obtained her B.A. from Oberlin College in 1994, and she graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Law in 2000. Before joining Strindberg & Scholnick, Kass spent two years working with migrant farm laborers, did individual projects for the Jalisco State Commission for Human Rights in Mexico and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, and spent five years working for a large law firm in Chicago. In Salt Lake City, she has represented numerous plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases, and she especially enjoys multi-plaintiff cases. Kass joined the Board in May 2018.
Danielle Hawkes (President) - Danielle is a founding partner of The Salt Lake Lawyers and focuses on family law litigation. 100% of her pro bono work is done in the LGBT community. Danielle received her law degree in 2010 from the University of Utah. After graduating, Danielle served a fellowship in Washington DC with Georgetown Law and the Law Students for Reproductive Justice working in women’s and immigrants’ rights with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. In 2014, she was named best lawyer by QSaltLake and in 2016 she was named to Utah’s Legal Elite by Utah Business Magazine as well as a Mountain States Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2016 and 2017. Danielle joined the Board in 2015.
Brian King - Brian has served Utah House District 28 since 2008, currently as House Minority Leader. When not at the legislature, Brian is a practicing attorney who focuses on plaintiffs who were improperly denied health, life or disability insurance. He is also a past president of the Utah Association for Justice (formerly Utah Trial Lawyers Association). Brian and his wife have raised four daughters in the Salt Lake Valley and have loved every minute of it. Their family continues to be involved in church, school and community service. Brian joined the Board in 2017.
Roderic Land - Roderic is Special Assistant to the President at Salt Lake Community College. Previously he was Associate Director of the Department of Human Services for Salt Lake County and an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah specializing in cultural/ethnic studies and educational policy. Roderic received his Doctorate in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois in 2005. Roderic joined the board in 2013.
Kathryn Lindquist - Kathryn earned a BA and MA in English and PhD in American Studies from the University of Utah. A retired University of Utah Professor, she previously directed the Bachelor of University Studies program and taught humanities courses. Kathryn is incredibly generous with her time and serves on a number of advisory boards and committees at Weber State University and the University of Utah. She is also a trustee for The Nature Conservancy’s Utah chapter. She is married to Jim Moore, a retired environmental attorney. Kathryn joined the Board in 2018.
Bill Orchow (Treasurer) - Bill has over 40 years experience in executive and financial management, strategic planning, and legislative lobbying in the global mining industry. He continues to serve as a consultant and board member for several companies as well as the Board of Trustees for Westminster College. Bill has served on the ACLU of Utah Board of Directors from 1988 to 1993 and 1995 to 1997 serving as President & Treasurer during his tenure. Currently, he is a member of the ACLU of Utah Finance and Investment Committee. Bill received a Bachelor of Science from the College of Emporia in Kansas. Bill returned to the board in 2014.
Richard Van Wagoner (Legal Panel Representative) - Richard graduated from Weber State in 1982 with a B.S. in English and from The University of Utah College of Law in 1985. He has been with the law firm of Snow Christensen & Martineau since 1986. His practice areas focuses on criminal defense, commercial litigation and First Amendment. He has served as a volunteer cooperating attorney on ACLU of Utah cases including Weaver v. Nebo School District (1998) and East High School PRISM Club v. Cynthia L. Seidel (2000). Richard previously served on the ACLU of Utah board from 2009-2011 and rejoined the Board in 2018.
Suresh Venkatasubramanian - Suresh has worked as an Associate Professor at the University of Utah, since 2007. He completed his undergraduate work in India and his Ph.D at Stanford University. Suresh’s background is in theoretical computer science: the study of the intrinsic complexity of computations, with an interest in problems of data analysis. Suresh, as a sci-fi fan, has spent many years reading and studying about the possibilities of our machine-enhanced future - living in a world where our decisions are controlled (or nudged) by algorithms that learn things about us. He realizes that we’re barreling into a future driven by algorithms that aren’t that smart, and aren’t particularly fair, and is interested in finding out how we might fix this. Suresh joined the Board in 2017.
Robert Wood - Robert runs his own financial consulting business. Through his more than thirty-five years of business experience, Robert has been involved in business start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, and organizational restructuring. He has served on the Board of Directors of Rowland Hall-St Mark’s School and the Salt Lake Legal Aid Society. Robert joined the Board in 2001 and served as President from 2009 to 2013. After a leave of absence in 2014, Robert rejoined the Board in May 2016.