Watch Recordings of the 5th Annual Summit!

Recordings of our Annual Summit are now available! Learn more about The Confluence of Essentials: Power, Water and Leadership. Or host a circle meeting using one of these panel discussions and our new Power and Water Brief!

The Policy Circle Team

Courtney Lesskis,  Esq.

Courtney Lesskis, Esq.

Director of Briefs and Communications

As the Director of Policy and Communications for The Policy Circle, Courtney manages the development and execution of The Policy Circle’s strategic communications and policy briefs. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and American Studies from Muhlenberg College and her Juris Doctorate from New York Law School. She is a licensed attorney in New York and Texas. She began her career in the litigation sector before transferring to media, where she applied her legal experience and expertise in leading television and digital news platforms – most recently as a legal analyst, senior researcher, and content producer. Courtney is fiercely committed to empowering women by providing them with the information and tools they need to enable them to become knowledgeable, engaged, confident, inspired, and impactful members of their communities and our democracy.

 
 
Jane Leigh

Jane Leigh

Director of Technology

Jane Leigh has worked in the IT industry for fifteen years. As the Director of Technology for The Policy Circle, Jane is responsible for choosing technology vendors, implementing and maintaining software applications, and making decisions that will allow the organization to scale. Jane handles the technology help desk, software integrations, and Salesforce administration and architecture.

Jane has extensive Salesforce.com experience including several full life cycle Salesforce implementations. She has worked in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud, and Non Profit Service Pack. She has been in charge of Salesforce business analysis, administration, development, testing, and training. She holds three Salesforce certifications: Salesforce Administrator, Salesforce Advanced Administrator, and Salesforce Platform App Builder.

She has a B.A. in Technical Writing from the University of Central Florida. Jane has experience in Technical Writing for the software industry including training, release notes, and online help articles.

Jane has a passion for international travel and has been on an African Safari in Botswana. Her favorite part of the trip was petting a lion at a lion rescue reserve. She has been to Vienna, Paris, Santorini, and Machu Picchu. She lives in the mountains outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband Andrew.

 


 

Stacy Blakeley

Stacy Blakeley

Executive Director

Stacy Blakeley brings 25 years of professional experience to her role as Executive Director of The Policy Circle. Her career commenced at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. as a staffer for the House Majority Leader Dick Armey. She transitioned from planning events for political leaders and diplomats to event marketing for corporations including Dean Foods, BMW, ATT and Exxon. In 2004, Stacy pursued her life-long dream to become an attorney and graduated from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. As a commercial litigator, Stacy’s practice focused on federal class action, construction and corporate disputes. In 2013, Stacy launched KSG, an event and consulting firm that served international ministries, national nonprofits and corporations. As President of KSG, Stacy and her team built and executed communications and event strategies to fundraise, launch products and build brand awareness. As a nonprofit consultant, Stacy has helped numerous nonprofits raise millions of dollars. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Wezmore, Marketing & Communications Task Force for Girls, Inc., C-Level Advisory Board for 4word, and the Legacy Council for Fair Park.  Stacy and her husband Jeff Blakeley have two teen daughters, 2 adult stepchildren and 5 grandchildren.

 


 

Janet Burt

Janet Burt

Director of Operations & Programs

As the Director of Programs and Operations, Janet oversees research, development, delivery and success of content and programs offered by The Policy Circle.  She is responsible for continued membership retention, engagement, and delivering a superior member experience.  Janet also oversees the operations of the organization, including team accountability, finances, outcomes, and compliance. Janet has over thirty years of leadership and operational experience in growing the success of private and non profit companies with organizations like Fidelity Investments, the American Heart Association and Catholic Charities, in addition to her senior role as Chief Operating Officer of Westlake Financial Group, Inc.  Janet graduated from the University of Illinois with a liberal arts degree.   She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her two of her four children, and enjoys travel, decorating, being a grandmother, and investing.

 


Nicole Cline

Nicole Cline

Director of External Relations and Expansion

Nicole Cline has spent over a decade working in the public policy space. Currently, she is responsible for The Policy Circle’s national recruitment efforts and strategic growth initiatives. In leading The Policy Circle’s expansion, Nicole plays a leading role in engaging with investors, collaborators and aligned networks to recruit aspiring civic leaders to participate in leadership programming and to become active members of The Policy Circle community. 

The Policy Circle empowers women to take ownership of solutions in their communities by providing pathways to become active citizens who are knowledgeable about the impact of public policy.  

Prior to joining The Policy Circle, Nicole was Public Affairs Manager at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the state’s largest business association. She worked with Connecticut’s leading companies to influence the legislative process, frequently employing grassroots and grasstops strategies to achieve legislative and regulatory goals. She is most proud of spearheading the organization’s key contact program, “Adopt a Legislator.” 

Nicole has also worked on over a dozen federal, state and local political races as a campaign manager, fundraiser and writer.

She earned her B.A. in communications and political science from the University of Connecticut. She is also a graduate of the The Campaign School at Yale University and is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network. 

Nicole is also an accomplished food publisher. Her food photography and recipes have been featured on the websites of Time, Inc., Country Living, Women’s Day, The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. Her recipes and photos can be found at seasonlycreations.com 

 


 

Beth McQueen

Beth McQueen

Membership Coordinator

Beth McQueen brings years of experience in education, administration, leadership and outreach. After receiving her BA in Early Childhood Education from Clemson University, Beth began her career as a teacher and developed the prekindergarten program in her county, a first in the state of Florida. She later spent a semester studying literature and writing in Australia through a Michigan State University education abroad program. She then received an MEd in Educational Leadership from University of North Florida. Her passion for people and culture soon brought her to the nonprofit sector where she served as an outreach director for a multicampus, megachurch. Beth has experience developing partnerships, training volunteer teams and traveling globally to provide support and encouragement to missionaries and agency representatives. Beth is an avid reader, loves to travel and enjoys hiking and exploring her surroundings wherever she may be.

 


 

Corinne Winters

Corinne Winters

Policy Editor

As the Policy Editor, Corinne is responsible for curating policy briefs to ensure all information provided to The Policy Circle members is fact-based, unbiased, and reliably sourced. Corinne Winters previously served as a policy intern for The Jack Kemp Foundation through the Koch Internship program in Washington, D.C., where she was able to apply her problem-solving, research, and analytical skills. She now brings her enthusiasm for diving deep into and breaking down complex public policy issues to The Policy Circle team.

Corinne is a graduate of The College of New Jersey and holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. She lives in central New Jersey, where she spends as much time as she can hiking, baking, and planning her next international adventure.


 

 

Kim Borchers

Kim Borchers

Associate Director of Civic Engagement

Kim currently serves as National Committeewoman for the great state of Kansas and is the President and owner of Bird Dog Recruitment and Consulting LLC. Kim’s firm focuses primarily on placement of senior talent at the highest levels of state and federal government along with management development. Prior to opening her firm, Kim was the Executive Director of Leadership Development at a national think, the Foundation for Government Accountability, where she created and launched the organization’s Talent Bank Project. Kim has spent 20 years in the grassroots movement starting as a young mom fighting pornography in her public library. She has served in a myriad of roles in the republican party starting as a precinct committeewoman and most recently as Deputy Chief of Staff for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s administration. During Brownback’s tenure, she also served as his Director of Appointments for Boards and Commissions and the Director of Personnel for then Governor- Elect Brownback’s transition team. Upon graduation from the University of Kansas with a degree in Human Biology, Kim’s early career began in the healthcare industry working for TAP Pharmaceuticals. She also worked part-time in the radio business and was afforded the opportunity to create and host a local radio talk show program known as “News You Need to Know” on KMAJ 1440 AM. 

Kim’s work on the national level has led her to be recognized by the national conservative Independent Women’s Forum(IWF) in their Champion Women’s Series and as a featured speaker for the Policy Circle’s 2018 Circle Leadership Summit in Chicago. She is also a mentor and coach for women in politics for Michigan’s Republican Women’s League of our Own. 

Currently, Kim serves as, a Director for Kansas Delta Dental, a board member for the Eisenhower in Public Service Series, a board member for Cair Paravel Latin School, a volunteer for Topeka Civic Theatre and as an advisor for an anti-sex trafficking task force Freedom Now-USA and JAG-K. Kim and her husband of 25 years, Dr.Tim, reside in Topeka. Kim and Tim have a newly married daughter and son-in-law, Hannah and Garry, a daughter who is in her 2nd year at Liberty University in VA and her15 year old son, Jude.  

 


 

Board of Directors


Sylvie Légère,
Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board
Angela Braly,
Co-Founder and Secretary
Kathy Hubbard,
Co-Founder and Treasurer

Laura Cox Kaplan,
Creator/Host She Said/She Said

In 2020, The Policy Circle’s National Advisory Council was launched to provide a forum to share insights that will help shape The Policy Circle’s expansion, experience and impact.  

We’re proud to partner with the following leaders:

  • Cathy Cranberg, Founder Authentic Agility Games, business leader, community builder 
  • Jessica Dean, Senior Vice President, Bradley Impact Fund 
  • Rebecca Walter Dunn, Dunn Foundation, Trustee 
  • Jackie Emmet, Supporter
  • Beth Feeley, Senior Advisor, Woodson Center
  • Troy Fowler, Director, Triad Foundation, Inc. 
  • Elizabeth Fowler, Director and Executive Vice President, Triad Foundation, Inc.
  • Mary Beth Weiss, Supporter