Helen is a newer member of OWIG, having just moved back to Ohio in May after graduating from Furman University. She has already made an impact in the political and government arena since her return, however, through her active and committed work with The Matriots, a nonpartisan political action committee working to elect women at the state and local levels.
Name: Helen Fite
Place of Birth: Columbus, OH
Place of Work: The Matriots PAC
Tenure at Current Place of Work: 4 months
OWIG Involvement: member since May 2018, member of the Steering Committee
In what has been dubbed as “the Year of the Woman,” Helen can honestly say that her work helped make that slogan a reality for the people of Ohio. The Communications and Political Relationship Manager for the Matriots was a part of the team that helped launch an additional 15 Matriots-endorsed female candidates into office this year, a good chunk of the 34 total who were elected across the state. The Matriots has grown its membership over the past year and a half to over 675 men and women, and contributed over $150,000 to candidates.
But the wins this year were not confined to what could be seen at the ballot box. As Helen says, “Victory was in the campaign of every woman who stepped up to lead, in every dollar women contributed to the political process and in every instance our candidates moved the needle in their district and paved the way for women to run, and win, in the future.” The Matriots has a goal of helping women hold 50% of elected seats In Ohio by 2028, and the group believes the groundwork has been set to reach that goal.
Helen earned her current position after proving herself a competent and passionate volunteer for the Matriots, an engagement she began immediately after hearing about their work when she returned to Columbus. Abiding by her guiding principle to “just show up,” Helen showed up for the Matriots. She was invited to travel with founding member Sharon Steele one day to an event in Cleveland, and her colleagues like to joke that once she got in the car she never got out! Previously, Helen had already been working to encourage female leadership as a collegiate development consultant for her sorority, Delta Gamma. But she found a true alignment of passions in joining the Matriots, where she has been able to increase women’s political representation and “build a network of women making waves in politics” while also engaging more people in the political process. The female candidates she works with every day from across the state serve as a daily source of inspiration to Helen, and she continues to be impressed with who they are both as people and candidates.
But if you thought election season would have kept Helen busy enough, you were mistaken! The highly self-motivated young leader is taking the LSAT this week and just finished her first half marathon. As a parting thought, she expresses her extreme gratitude to OWIG and “the kind, inclusive women who make up its membership.” OWIG offered an immediate community for her upon her return to Columbus, and Helen believes that the organization “truly lives up to the ideal of women helping other women.” Let’s keep it up, ladies!