WONF Vice President and Attorney, Partner w/ Fried Saperstein Sakway, PC
Layne A. Sakwa received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Juris Doctor from The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She is a partner at the firm of Fried Saperstein Sakwa, PC. Her practice primarily focuses on criminal defense and consulting for both recreational and medical marijuana companies. Prior to joining the firm, she worked at the Misdemeanor Defender’s Clinic at the 36th District Court in Detroit, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Thav and Ryke, PLLC, and most recently, was an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney with the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for 8 1/2 years. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Michigan and the United States District Court, Eastern District Of Michigan.
Layne is a Steering Committee Member of the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence and the Vice President of the Women Officials’ Network Foundation. In 2018-2019 she was the Chair of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Criminal Law Committee. She currently sits on Oakland County’s Criminal Assignment Committee and Michigan Indigent Defense Commission. She is also an Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellow. She won the Spirit of Detroit Award in 2004, was one of the Most Esteemed Women of Michigan 2012 by the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic, and a member of L. Brooks Patterson’s 2014 Class of Elite 40 under 40.
Circuit Court Judge
Lorie Savin was elected to the Oakland County Circuit Court in November 2020. She serves in the Court's Family Division. Prior to election, Lorie was a Referee with the Oakland County Friend of the Court for almost 18 years. She also worked at legal aid, in private practice, and at a non-profit where she represented children in juvenile court.
Lorie is a member of the Oakland County Bar Association, the Women Lawyer's Association of Michigan, the Michigan Judges Association, and the Michigan Inter-Professional Association on Marriage, Divorce and the Family. Lorie serves on the State Bar of Michigan's Judicial Ethics Committee and the SBM's Professionalism Workgroup. She is a Wayne State University Law School graduate and obtained her BA at the University of Michigan.
Director Oakland County Youth Assistance Coordinating Council
Mary Schusterbauer was twice elected to the Ferndale Public Schools School Board and has
served in the capacity o the school board as: Vice-President, Chairwomanship of the following
committees: 1) Staff Relations, 2) Finance, 3) Building and Site, 4) Adult and Community
Education and 5) Program and Technology. Mary was also served on the board for the Mayor of
Ferndale Blue Ribbon Commission on Ferndale Human Rights Ordinance. She also has to her
acclaim that she was one of the founding members of the Citizens for a Fair Ferndale.
Mary recently retired as Chief of Oakland County Youth Assistance, prevention department of
the Oakland County Circuit Court, which provides casework services for youth and families at-
risk for court involvement and primary prevention programming. Includes 27 offices, 35 staff,
and over 1,000 volunteers. She is currently serving on the Board of the Pontiac Promise Zone.
Some of her associated affiliations have included: Mentor Michigan Providers Council of
Community Services Commission - past president, Healthy Oakland Partnership, Oakland
County Council for Children and Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities, Oakland County Human
Services Coordinating Council, Oakland County School Truancy Task Force, Oakland Schools -
Project Aware, Oakland County Great Start Collaborative, Parenting Awareness Michigan –
Oakland, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Children Task Force and the Oakland County
Board of Commissioner Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.
It should also be noted that this is not Mary’s first go-round with the Women Official Network
Foundation. She has served on the board of directors prior to this appointment as a Past
Eleanor (Coco) Siewert
WONF Secretary and Professional Registered Parliamentarian, Consultant & Trainer
Coco Siewert served in elected office in a number of position, as a Birmingham City Commissioner and Mayor as well as a Trustee on the Baldwin Library Board and as it's President. She has received the following awards and recognitions: WONder Woman; Michigan Municipal League Distinguished Woman in Government Award; Ethics & Civility in Local Government Award. Her work serving as a parliamentarian includes work for a variety of charitable, educational non-profit organizations as well as a municipalities and other publicly elected bodies, too numerous to list here.
Attorney and frequent speaker/ instructor on LGBTQ issues
Amanda began her professional practice in 2004 in the commercial litigation department at Pepper Hamilton LLP ("Pepper") a national law firm with attorneys throughout the United States. As an associate, she litigated at the state and federal level for large and small corporate clients. Her areas of practice included general commercial litigation, employment, insurance claim defense (commercial), bankruptcy preference litigation, and construction litigation. Together with Mary K. Deon, another Pepper associate attorney, she started the Shelton & Deon Law Group (SDLG) in 2011.
SDLG is a litigation boutique serving individuals and business. Her commercial practice focuses on general business counseling, commercial transactions and litigation, non-profit management, real-estate disputes and employment matters. In her commercial practice, she frequently appears in state and federal courts (both trial and appellate), regulatory and other administrative proceedings and various private arbitration and alternative resolution forums.
For individuals her practice includes family law, probate, general civil litigation including real estate, employment matters and estate planning. Beyond her paid services to corporate and individual clients, she has worked pro bono throughout her legal career to improve the lives of LGBTQ people in Michigan. At Pepper, she worked with the ACLU on cases that led to marriage equality. SDLG frequently offers its services at no or low cost to LGBTQ people seeking to secure their rights in family and probate matters and to create same-sex estate and family planning arrangements. She is also a frequent speaker and instructor on LGBTQ issues.
Oakland County Mental Health Network Citizens Advisory Committee Chair
Born and raised in South Haven, MI; Currently, 2020-2021, a Flex Teacher at Roeper in Bloomfield Hills, MI.; Oakland County Mental Health Network Citizens Advisory Committee Chair and member of the Recipients Rights Committee; Editor of the Community Mental Health Association of MI Connections Magazine; Disability Rights of MI, Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council Member; Michigan State Association Parliamentarian Historian; Volunteer with the Oakland Mediation Center; Volunteer at the Freedom Centers at DTW Airports; Volunteer at SOUL; volunteer Ombudsman for the State of MI Longterm Care Ombudsman Program; Volunteer Freedom Road Transportation and serve of Eligibility Determination Committee; Toastmaster, member, Northwood Toastmasters and a Registered Parliamentarian with the Detroit Unit.
Farmington Hills School Board, Trustee
Angie Smith is a member of the Farmington Public School Board (FPSB) and is
currently serving as the Vice President of the FPSB. She has served on the FPSB for
the past six years and is a certified board member and is also currently serving on the
Police advisory committee. She is the first African American Latino to serve on this
She is the first person (and currently the only person) of color to also serve as PTA
council president in her community and also at the state level. Karen Bolsen and Ms.
Smith co-chaired the very first MLK walk in Farmington/Farmington Hills.
Ms. Smith welcomes all who would like to reach out to her to contact her directly at
(248)-505-1938. She considers here membership in the Women Official Network
Foundation as an opportunity to meeting and networking with an amazing group of
women and is looking forward to being part of this organization.
Yours For Children.
Farmington Public School Board
Oakland County Commissioner D17, and Realtor
V.P. Programs - WON Foundation, Oakland County Commissioner D17, and Realtor
Yolanda Smith Charles is a woman of many talents and accomplishments. She is an elected
official, realtor, educator, and small business owner. Yolanda is also a technology influencer who
loves to share her knowledge with others.
Yolanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems from
Hampton University and a Master of Education - Instructional Technology from the American
Intercontinental University. Yolanda served as Southfield Board of Education Trustee via a
write-in campaign for nearly 9+ years where she was Board President, Board Vice President,
Board Secretary, and Board Treasurer. She believes school boards are the best place to
begin a political career because you are the closest to the people and responsible for
In 2020 Yolanda won a seat on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners representing
District 17 and was just re-elected, overwhelmingly, in November 2022. Another proud
achievement Yolanda has is receiving her real estate license earlier in the year to bolster and
support families and investors in Oakland County.
She is devoted to her family - her handsome husband Brian and fur baby Bella Amor, Boston
Terrier - and loves spending time with them. Her motto is taco's over everything. Yolanda is a
tree-hugger and self-proclaimed French fry snob. She is also an avid reader and Toastmaster
having achieved the Competent Communicator award.
Retired Michigan State Representative and Oakland County Commissioner
Phone: 248-858-8870 (c)
Shelley Taub’s career in public service began, she says, “on a dare.” In 1992, due to redistricting, her Oakland County commissioner seat had no incumbent. She mentioned the fact to her husband. “And he said four fatal words,” Taub recalls. “‘Why don’t you run?’”
A former teacher who managed her husband’s medical business, Taub was essentially a political no-name. But she hit the pavement and won her Republican primary by 239 votes. Since then, Taub hasn’t stopped moving. She created the human services coordinating council, a countywide work group that led to better cross-agency cooperation on social services. She was also instrumental in creating Michigan’s first-ever children’s summit, which focused on early childhood health and brain development. Shelley also got tired of hearing about untested rape kits sitting for years in Lansing and decided to do something about it. She wrote the resolution in Oakland County which both established and funded the Oakland County DNA lab. With her pushing and prodding as well as support from Sheriff Michael Bouchard, this service is now available free of charge to all Police Departments in Oakland County.
Taub intended to retire from politics in 2007 after a failed state senate bid, but her passion for public service drew her back and she was re-elected to the county commission the following year. Shelley served on the Oakland County Commission through 2020 when she decided that it was time to retire.
BIrmingham Youth Assistance
Substance Use Disorder Oversight Policy Board
General Government Appropriations
RX Task Force
Jail Diversion Task Force
Human Trafficking Network
National Association of Counties (NACO) Arts and Culture Commission
Women Official’s Network
Oakland County Human Trafficking Network
Cranbrook,” Le Gala de Cuisine “
Jail Diversion Task Force
Governing Magazine’s “ Women in Government “ Leadership Award: 2016
Oakland County Health Network (Mental Health & Substance Use ):
“Distinguished OPB Member” 2020
Americans for the Arts & NACO: County Arts Leadership, 2020
“The Senior Show,” a cable television program
“Their Life is in Our Hands,” a booklet in English and Spanish for new mothers about brain development in an infant.
Dr. Sheryl Lynn Mitchell Theriot
Past WONF Director, and President and Director of External Affairs - Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)
Phone: Phone: 248-709-2492
Sheryl L. Mitchell Theriot started as Director of External Affairs for SEMCOG in 2023. Most recently she served as Parliamentarian and Policy Analyst for the Detroit City Council. She was appointed the 1st women and person of color to serve as City Administrator for Lathrup Village in 2018. Prior to this she served for nearly four years as the city manager for the community of Albion. In both these communities she was the 1st women to be appointed to fill the position.
Dr. Mitchell began her public service career working for Detroit City Council for 13 years and then as Senior Analyst for the Oakland County Board of Commissioners for 17 years. The Albion City Council appointed Mitchell as city manager in September 2014. Mitchell was the city's chief administrative officer, including the oversight of its $14 million annual budget, and coordinated all city departments to implement the programs and policies of the city council. She focused on building a more vibrant community. Key components were economic vitality through job creation and stabilizing and revitalizing the businesses and neighborhoods.
Dr. Mitchell Theriot received her Doctorate in Business Administration from Lawrence Technological University. In 2014, Dr. Sheryl Mitchell published the first doctoral dissertation on Priority Based Budgeting and the impact it's having on communities. Her research is entitled, An Exploratory Study of Priority Based Budgeting: Identification of Public Values and Public Priorities through Citizen Engagement in Government Budgeting Decisions. Sheryl has served on the Board of the WONF and served as President from 2018-20. She is a recipient of the WONder Woman Award. She is married to Louis Theriot and they have a son, Allen.
Awards: MML - Community Building Award (2020); WONF WONder Woman (2015); Dr. Gary Burnstein Esteemed Woman of Michigan Award (2012)