CEO Cheryl Contee on the Importance of Progressive Leadership in 2022 & Beyond

The Impact Seat Foundation
3 min readSep 21, 2022
Photo credit: @jnfr via Twitter

As we approach the 2022 elections, we’re reminded how imperative diverse and progressive leadership is to our democracy and our economy. Progressives are the key players our country needs to ensure equity and equal opportunity for marginalized groups, and access to healthcare for women across the US.

A key part of the mission of The Impact Seat Foundation is advocacy and grantmaking to nonprofit organizations that are supporting the needs, including policies, of female business leaders. In the progressive space, advocates are working tirelessly to ensure equal access across all forums and to level the playing field for women. To further our mission, this year we joined forces with the Netroots Nation conference, held in Pittsburgh, PA, which brought together the leading progressive minds ahead of the 2022 election. From addressing gaps in diversity and inclusion, to recent Supreme Court rulings and other pressing issues in our political landscape, Netroots Nation aims to create collective action and energize the Democratic base to take action, organize, and lead, especially in an election year.

Cheryl Contee, our CEO, is the first Black Board Chair of Netroots Nation. She kicked off the event Thursday afternoon with a keynote address titled “All Eyes On PA”. In her speech, Cheryl touched on Pennsylvania politics and the momentum being built into the 2022 midterm elections. With key races coming up in PA that will impact the rest of the country, organizing is more important than ever to shape the future of the legislature and elect progressive leaders in the Keystone state.

Watch the full keynote address below (Timestamp 10min 20 sec):

In her follow up panel titled “Turns Out TV Ads Do Matter: Inspiring Stronger Democratic Messaging,” Cheryl spoke with experts Jehmu Greene (Co-Founder and CEO, We Defend Truth), Gretchen Barton (Principal, Worthy Strategy Group, LLC), and Kristian Ramos (Media and Public Relations Consultant, Autonomy Strategies) on the importance of TV ads in political messaging and how they continue to be a crucial part of the advertising space entering the upcoming elections. Despite movements toward social media being the primary form of political advertising, TV ads continue to play a crucial role in determining electoral and economic outcomes. The panel discussed how these ads have evolved, how tracking their success is important, how to shift your messaging, how to employ creative advertising, and how to combat misinformation.

Women are more likely to vote, women engage more on social media and women are more likely to donate and volunteer. Thus, finding effective ways to spark conversations and civic engagement with female voters is essential to economic prosperity and advocacy as our nation recovers from the system shock of COVID.

At Netroots Nation, leaders come together with activists to have important conversations and grow together in successful advocacy. In doing so, coalition-building is prioritized and movements that get progressives elected succeed. Next year’s convention will be held in Chicago — don’t miss it!



The Impact Seat Foundation

Creating a world in which women can succeed as business leaders.