Meet Our Facilitators

Presently, Next Generation has trained nearly 50 current or former legislators as Facilitators to lead Workshops and be civility ambassadors in their state. Read more about each Facilitator below and contact Next Generation to join the next Facilitator Training!

Next Generation National Network Co-Chairs

Kelley Packer
National Network Co-Chair

Kelley Packer

Former Idaho State Representative

Kelley Packer has over a decade of experience as an elected and appointed official. She served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2013-2018 and on the McCammon City Council from 2008-2012. During that time, she served on multiple committees including serving as Vice Chairman of the Health & Welfare Committee for four years. Recognized as a leader amongst her peers, she was selected by the Speaker of the House and appointed by the Governor to serve on the Idaho State Health Insurance Exchange from 2014-2018. She attended the Council of State Government’s Western (CSG West) Legislative Academy in 2014 and was elected class president. Additionally, she is a trained facilitator for Next Generation, a program of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), since 2016. In this capacity, Kelley has facilitated civil discourse discussions for state legislatures throughout the country. Beyond serving in an official capacity, Kelley has taken her responsibility as a citizen of her communities seriously, as she co-founded the Marsh Valley Education Foundation and served as its president from 2011-2013 and formed a beautification committee for her hometown in 2010.

Kelley led the Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses under Governor Brad Little, an agency which serves more than 73,000 licensees and registrants and 28 Boards and one Commission and played a key role in the Governor’s initiative to reduce barriers for people who want to work in Idaho while ensuring public protection. Currently, Kelley serves as the Executive Director for the Idaho Association of Cities which provides advocacy, training, and research on behalf of Idaho’s 199 cities.

Kelley is also a small business owner and she holds a degree in Business Administration.

Kelley has been a trained Next Generation Facilitator since 2015. She has many ideas to expand the delivery of civil discourse training to local government elected officials.

John Unger
National Network Co-Chair

John Unger

West Virginia State Senator

Senator John Unger has committed his life to being a public servant-leader and bringing together his many experiences in theology and public life. John was first elected to the West Virginia Senate in 1998 at the age of 28 – making him one of the youngest elected state senators in West Virginia history.

He is currently the pastor at three historic Harpers Ferry Civil War churches: St. John Lutheran Church, Camp Hill - Wesley United Methodist Church, and the priest of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

During his Senate tenure, Senator Unger expanded the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. While Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he sponsored groundbreaking legislation including the Community Empowerment Transportation Act (CETA) enabling local communities to address transportation needs, the Electronic Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Act (ETOPIA) supporting the deployment of broadband, water protection legislation, and transportation legislation and funding for the completion of Route 9 (VA/WV Line to Martinsburg) and Raleigh Street Extension (Martinsburg). Senator Unger sponsored the creation of the State Division of Energy, Farmland Protection Act, Water Resource Protection Act, West Virginia Early Child Education Act, anti-animal cruelty legislation, anti-litter legislation and numerous education bills.

Unger is a Rhodes Scholar who graduated from WVU with a BA in Liberal Arts / Biology, Oxford University with a BA/MA (Oxon) in Philosophy, Politics and of Economics, and Wesley Theological Seminary with the M.Div (Honors). He resides in Martinsburg with his wife Cara.

John has been a trained Next Generation Facilitator since 2015. He has innovative ideas on how the program can foster stronger legislative relationships and mentoring, improve its curriculum, and adapt it to a virtual format.

Active Facilitators

JeniArndt
Colorado State Representative

Jeni Arndt

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Elaine Bowers
Kansas State Senator

Elaine Bowers

Trained Facilitator since 2014
Terry Hayes
Former Maine State Representative, Former Maine Treasurer

Terry Hayes

Trained Facilitator since 2013
Stephanie Howse
Ohio State Representative

Stephanie Howse

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Rosie Berger
Former Wyoming State Representative

Rosie Berger

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Sam Hunt
Washington State Senator

Sam Hunt

Trained Facilitator since 2014
Marc Miller
Wisconsin State Representative

Mark Miller

Trained Facilitator since 2014
Tom Niehaus
Former Ohio Senate President

Tom Niehaus

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Frank LaRose
Former Ohio State Senator, current Ohio Secretary of State

Frank LaRose

Trained Facilitator since 2014
Matt Pouliot
Maine State Representative

Matt Pouliot

Trained Facilitator since 2014
Fred Strahorn
Former Ohio State Representative

Fred Strahorn

Fred Strahorn returned to the Ohio House in 2013 after serving as State Senator from 2009 to 2011 and Senior Political Advisor to the Ohio Democratic party from 2011 to 2013. Fred previously served citizens of the greater Dayton area as state representative from 2001 to 2008, including two years as House Minority Whip, before term limits prevented him from seeking reelection. Strahorn has also served as Vice President of Government Affairs for the Ohio United Way, in addition to managing residential properties and selling real estate. His civic experiences have included serving on boards at Wright State University, Wesley Community Center, Mary Scott Nursing Home, Childcare Works, Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation, and he is a former member of the Southwest Dayton Business Association and the Dayton Area Board of Realtors. Fred graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. degree in Aviation Management. He is a member of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and his greatest joy in life is his daughter, Morgan Allison Strahorn.

Fred has been a trained Facilitator since 2019.

Chuck Winder
Idaho State Representative, Assistant Majority Leader

Chuck Winder

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Mike Mrowicki
Vermont State Representative

Mike Mrowicki

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Kim Norton
Former Minnesota State Representative and Current Mayor of Rochester

Kim Norton

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Former Representative and current Hamilton County Commissioner

Denise Driehaus (D-OH)

Denise Driehaus is a lifelong resident of Hamilton County and current resident of Fairview Heights. She is honored to serve her hometown as President of the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners.

Prior to serving as County Commissioner, Denise served four terms in the Ohio Legislature as the Representative of the 31st Ohio House District. During her time in the legislature, Denise brought a collaborative and bipartisan approach to passing laws, focused especially on education, job creation, and the opioid crisis. As the first woman to serve as Ranking Member of the House Finance Committee, Denise collaborated with other representatives and community leaders to secure state funding for infrastructure and economic development projects throughout Hamilton County.

Excited to be the second woman ever elected to the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, Denise has made women’s issues a priority and established the first-ever Commission on Women and Girls.

Before entering public service full-time, Denise owned and managed two small businesses. She has two wonderful kids, Sarah and Andrew.

Roger Katz
Former Senator and current Attorney

Roger Katz (R-ME)

Roger Katz finished serving his final term in the Maine State Senate in December of 2018. Prior to his legislative service, Senator Katz was Mayor of Augusta for two terms. Senator Katz has long been active in his community, serving as Chair of United Way and Co-Chair of Team Cony, which helped raise $1.5 million for Augusta’s new high school. He has also served as President of the Kennebec Valley YMCA, Chair of the Augusta Charter Commission, Co-Chair of the Augusta Bicentennial Celebration, Chair of the Augusta Development Corporation, and Vice President of the Maine State Music Theatre.

For his dedication to the community, Katz has been honored by both Le Club Calumet and the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce. An accomplished attorney, Senator Katz is a former President of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association and has been named as one of the “Outstanding Lawyers in America.” He also co-hosts a statewide television program with former Speaker of the House, Hannah Pingree, “Pingree & Katz: The Maine Event.”

Roger Katz resides in Augusta with his wife Ericka. He is the proud father of two adult children, Shari and Jonathan.

Sharon Wylie
Washington State Representative

Sharon Wylie

Trained Facilitator since 2014
Melissa Wintrow
Idaho State Representative

Melissa Wintrow

Trained Facilitator since 2015
JoAnn Ward
Former Minnesota State Representative

JoAnn Ward

Trained Facilitator since 2015
Hans Zeiger
Former Washington State Senator

Hans Zeiger

Trained Facilitator since 2014

Trained Facilitators

Scott Bedke
Idaho Speaker of the House

Scott Bedke

Trained Facilitator since 2019

Connie Bernardy
Minnesota State Representative

Connie Bernardy

Trained Facilitator since 2015

Beth Beskin
Former Georgia State Representative

Beth Beskin

Trained Facilitator since 2016

Toni Boucher
Former Connecticut State Representative

Toni Boucher

Trained Facilitator since 2019

Joyce Chandler
Former Georgia State Representative

Joyce Chandler

Trained Facilitator since 2016

Pam Delissio
Pennsylvania State Representative

Pam Delissio

Trained Facilitator since 2014

Nancy Garland
Former Ohio State Representative

Nancy Garland

Trained Facilitator since 2014

Jon Hardister
North Carolina House Majority Whip

Jon Hardister

Trained Facilitator since 2019

Beth Harwell
Former Tennessee Speaker of the House

Beth Harwell

Trained Facilitator since 2019

Beth Harwell served as State Representative for Nashville. First elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1988, Harwell served as a Minority Whip and Commerce Committee Chair before being elected to the Speakership in 2011. She was the first woman to serve as Tennessee's Speaker of the House. Beth has won numerous awards, including the Tennessee Press Association’s Open Government Award, the Champion for Children Award, the Conservation Legislator Award, and the 2015 Legislator Award from Mental Health America. Presently, Beth is a Consultant for G2Lytics and 86Boarders, as well as a distinguished visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Beth received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, her M.S. Degree from George Peabody College, and her B.A. Degree from David Lipscomb College. Beth has been married to Sam for over 25 years and they have three children – Allie, Sam, and Tucker. Beth enjoys spending time with her family, likes the outdoors, and is an avid reader.
Kathy Hawken
Former North Dakota State Representative

Kathy Hawken

Trained Facilitator since 2016

Jeff Hickman
Former Oklahoma Speaker of the House

Jeff Hickman

Trained Facilitator since 2019

Doug Hunt
Former Indiana State Representative

Doug Hunt

Trained Facilitator since 2014

Kristin Jacobs
Facilitator Emerita

Kristin Jacobs

Trained Facilitator in 2016

"She was smart, determined and a very active participant in our civility discussions." ~ Denise Driehaus, National Network Co-Chair

"Kristin had a strong quiet presence and when she spoke, in a deep almost husky voice, she spoke from deep experience and firm conviction. She was a natural facilitator and careful listener. I also recall that she was full of life and had a great sense of humor. What a tragic loss." ~ Dr. Kirk Emerson, Next Generation Facilitator Trainer, member of the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona

Helene Keeley
Former Delaware State Representative

Helene Keeley

Trained Facilitator since 2019

Greg Leding
Arkansas State Representative

Greg Leding

Trained Facilitator since 2015

Garrett Mason
Former Maine State Senator

Garrett Mason

Trained Facilitator since 2015

Heath Mello
Former Nebraska State Senator

Heath Mello

Trained Facilitator since 2014

Dan Pabon
Colorado State Representative

Dan Pabon

Trained Facilitator since 2015

Ann Pugh
Vermont State Representative

Ann Pugh

Trained Facilitator since 2015

Phil Spagnuolo
Former New Hampshire State Representative

Phil Spagnuolo

Trained Facilitator since 2019

Jerry Stebelton
Former Ohio State Representative

Jerry Stebelton

Trained Facilitator since 2015

David Steil
Former Pennsylvania State Representative

David Steil

Trained Facilitator since 2015

nick zerwas
Former Minnesota State Representative

Nick Zerwas

Trained Facilitator since 2015

Next Generation holds a Facilitator Training for 12 state lawmakers at a time to become trained Facilitators for Next Generation’s Building Trust through Civil Discourse workshops. The two-and-a-half-day training is provided at no cost to participants so long as they sign the Facilitator Agreement Contract.