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Board of Directors
2016-2017 YDG Elected Officers
Sarah Z. Beeson
Sarah Zibanejadrad Beeson is a Georgia native whose maternal ancestral roots have called the Georgia red clay home for centuries and whose father emigrated to the United States in 1977.
Sarah is currently the Online Strategy Writer for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, and is a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). She specializes in creating fundraising and advocacy-focused digital strategies, including social media and email campaigns.
Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Political Science from Georgia State University in 2010 and her Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Georgia. She also completed the Semester in Washington Journalism program at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she interned for non-partisan news outlet The Washington Independent and covered national political events.
In the past, Sarah served as Secretary for the Young Democrats of Georgia. On the local level, she has served as the Activism Chair (2014) and on the Communications committee for her home chapter, Young Democrats of Atlanta. She is the first Iranian-American President of Young Democrats of Georgia.
Executive Vice President
Luke Boggs is a lifelong Georgian and a dedicated progressive, currently enrolled as a student at the University of Georgia. Luke is committed to helping everyday Georgians succeed through fair, responsible governance. While at UGA, Luke was an intern at the State Capitol for House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams before going on to work as a Field Organizer for Michelle Nunn’s U.S. Senate campaign. Currently serving as the Chief of Staff for State Representative Spencer Frye, Luke works to make Georgia a better place while finishing up his education in History and Political Science.
Vice President of Membership
Brandon Brown is a native of Stone Mountain, Georgia. As a graduate of Morehouse College, Brandon has shown an interest in politics and improving the social conditions of mankind. His professional experience includes being a lead organizer for United Auto Workers, field organizer for Michelle Nunn for Senate’s coordinated campaign, and political director for Greg Hecht’s Attorney General campaign. Currently working as a political consultant for Razor Solutions Group, Brandon helps local and state candidates win campaigns in an effort to make Georgia a better place for everyone.
Vice President of Finance
Born in the Peace Corps to two activists, Vice President of Young Democrats of Augusta Richmond County and Young Democrats of Georgia Training Director Joey Traina was 3 years old when he and mother Denice made downtown Augusta, Ga home.
Exposure to political activism from family and motivated church groups prepared Joey to lobby Senators in Washington, DC for Comprehensive Reproductive Education and Georgia Representatives for workplace protections alongside multicultural, interfaith allies. In 2008 he coordinated the C-SPAN 2008 Election Bus visit through Augusta University and has represented Augusta Young Democrats in national conventions throughout his time with the organization. Other campaigning has taken him to each coast with a Rhode Island governors’ race and a Seattle, WA universal background checks initiative, returning him home where revitalization efforts in volatile corners of the city has resulted in his appointment as Director of the Street Justice Council.
Encouraging Young Dems to make elections matter continues to be his mission nearing a decade of action. Addressing the Better Georgia rally at the Capitol in 2010 his call and response rang “When we show up, We Make Change!” Change that strengthens public education and our communities to be competitive is paramount to Traina’s purpose in political work. “Titles are meaningless if the work isn’t meaningful,” informs his work ethic and what he looks for in the next generation.
Vice President of Programs
Haley’s path was undeniably sparked as a child, raised in a politically active family. Some of Haley’s first memories are of political events, doing visibility and canvassing for Gov. Zell Miller and Cong. Sanford Bishop. Haley began working on campaigns in high school and has continued, in both Georgia and Florida, since graduating with a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Georgia Southern University. In 2008 after graduating, Haley worked to manage interns and mobilize volunteers for then-Candidate Barack Obama in South Georgia. Haley, herself, is a two-time candidate for the GA House of Representatives, running for office when she was only 24 and 26 years old. Haley continues to work with various non-profits and organizations to improve quality of life and education throughout South Georgia, including forming her own theatre company with her childhood friend. Haley is the Co-Founder and Board Member of the Red Hills Players, Archivist for Thomasville On Stage And Company, a theatre company formed by her parents in 1979, and State Committee Member for the Democratic Party of Georgia. Haley also works to raise funds in honor of her classmate who was KIA in Afghanistan in 2010, Spc. Shannon Chihuahua. In 2014 Haley reconnected with college chum Jim McGuire and is now the Political Director for MOS Strategies. Haley currently lives in Thomasville, Georgia.
Sharné Haywood is a junior at the University of Georgia, where she is pursuing a degree in Political Science and International Affairs. She is a Georgia native, whose interest in democratic politics sparked in 2008, when she would tune in to watch the Democratic primary debates. Although she grew up in a Republican community, she saw value in the Democratic fight to ensure all Americans are given equal opportunity to fulfill their top potential. Her excitement grew in 2012, when she was a senior in high school and was able to cast her first vote for President Obama.
Sharné currently works as a Legislative Aide for Representative Scott Holcomb, and as an intern for Planned Parenthood Southeast under its Vice President of Public Policy Nikema Williams. She has been an active member of her college chapter, the Young Democrats of UGA. When she comes home from college she is an active member of the Young Democrats of Atlanta. She furthers her devotion to Democratic values by working tirelessly on campaigns. Sharné has clocked in many hours for campaigns statewide and in the local Metro-Atlanta area, and she is happy to join the Young Democrats of Georgia’s mission to work and elect great Democrats across the state and to improve the lives of Georgians by standing up for our values.
Randy is a native of Fort Valley, coming on to the Georgia political scene in 2010 after serving as a student senator in the Fort Valley State University Student Government Association. He helped co-found the Peach County Young Democrats in 2012 and served as its chapter president. On the congressional level a veteran of central and southwest Georgia politics he helped assisted in the forming of Randolph and Crawford County Democratic parties and served as the Northeast Quadrant Chair of the 2nd CD overseeing the development and assisting of (Peach, Sumter, Taylor, Crawford, Bibb, Macon, Dooly, & Crisp) counties. Randy was elected as chair of the Peach County Democratic Party in 2015 after serving as 1st Vice Chair for 2 years. Randy has served in the United States Marine Corps reserves for 8 years.
National Committee Man
Mathew Plott grew up in Young Harris, GA but attended high school and college in Chattanooga, TN. While there, he took on a number of leadership rules within Democratic politics, including serving as College Democrats of Tennessee president and Tennessee Young Democrats national committeeman. Mathew has worked on a number of political races at the local, state, and federal level and managed two campaigns in 2014.
Plott returned to Georgia in 2015 to pursue a JD at Emory University School of Law. In addition to serving as Georgia Young Democrats national committeeman, Mathew is the current chair of Young Democrats of America’s Chapter Building Committee. Mathew is deeply committed to ensuring that local chapters, particularly here in Georgia, feel connected to Young Democrats of America.
National Committee Woman
Deja Frederick is an avid Atlanta, GA transplant with neighboring South Carolina roots. Her passion for business and culture led her to the capital and heart of Georgia upon finishing college 2 years ago.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and a Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in International Business from Winthrop University. She studied abroad in Paris, France and Barcelona, Spain while earning her MBA and was President of the university’s international business program, Enactus for 3 years.
Deja is currently the Commercial Effectiveness Sr. Coordinator for international hospitality company, IHG. With an affinity for brand consumer strategy, she focuses on creating compelling consumer experiences through integrated marketing approaches and operational programming all driven by the brand’s positioning and strategic vision.
Passionate about the intersection of business & politics, she began her political career in 2010 by interning for the South Carolina House of Representatives’ Democratic Caucus where she leveraged her PR and marketing background to write proposals, press releases & press kits, editorials, and web content for the Caucus. She is now the President of Cobb County Young Democrats of Georgia and working to launch her own strategic PR firm consulting on sociopolitical, business, and disruptive technology issues through an informed millennial lens.
College Democrats of Georgia
Jake is currently pursuing a degree in Public Policy at Georgia Tech. He serves as President of College Democrats of Georgia Tech and College Democrats of Georgia. He worked on both the 2014 Coordinated Campaign and the Taylor Bennett Campaign in House District 80. Jake became interested in democratic politics while growing up in Southern Georgia and witnessing the damage of Republican policies and rhetoric firsthand.
High School Democrats of Georgia