~ Executive Board ~
Diana DeLong Egozcue
Diana Egozcue took the wheel as President of Virginia NOW in 2010. She has also served as the organization's Executive Legislative VP and as Fredericksburg NOW's Chapter President.
Diana worked with Fredericksburg NOW to bring the Equal Rights Amendment back to the Virginia Legislature over six years ago, and Virginia NOW picked up the fight and was able to get sponsors in the VA House and Senate.
She lobbies in Richmond every year for multiple women’s issues such as the Medicaid expansion, ERA, minimum wage raises, stalking laws, campus harassment and rape laws, domestic violence, voting rights, etc. Diana's efforts gained Virginia NOW's alliance with four coalitions: the Pro-Choice Coalition, the Medicaid Coalition (HAV), the Women’s Equality Coalition (WEC), and the Transparency Coalition (TVA).
She has been a dedicated advocate for the ERA for over 15 years. She founded the Virginia ERA Network in hopes of energizing ratification efforts among younger generations. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master's degree in Geography from the University of South Florida.
Diana's earlier life was spent as a teacher, an Army wife and an all-around trouble maker. She has been married to Joe Egozcue for over 30 years. They have one son and two grandchildren residing in Florida. Joe Egozcue has also spent tireless hours, months, and years assisting with untangling membership lists from National NOW and placing current members in their correct chapters. We thank him for his contributions.
Listed below are just a few of Diana's achievements during her time as president:
- Hired a NOW member as a paid webmistress to assist and teach Paradise and Simone to create a new website and logo; she is on contract to work as we need her.
- Convened a meeting in Richmond with chapter leaders, officers, members and college women to talk about planning a future; a paid facilitator was hired from the VCU campus to direct the meeting.
- Helped all chapters get their IRS accreditation back as well as VA NOW; It took her 4 years and a mountain of paperwork.
- Found a new lawyer to get back our business license and solicitation license.
- Stated and restarted chapters around the state plus visiting them during the years.
- Joined and worked with coalitions.
- Hired a friend at minimal expense to us to create a VA NOW database to handle the membership lists and make them work for us as we wanted.
- Hired a member who is a tax professional each year to file our taxes so we would not run afoul of the IRS.
- Approved sponsorships to charities dedicated to historical women in Virginia, including Patsy Ticer's Tribute on March 19, 2018.
Women's Rights Historian,
DC & Virginia NOW Activist
I was born in Chicago, IL on January 16, 1942. Although my parents were Worcester, Massachusetts natives, and returned there in 1945, My father was doing war-related research in Chicago, so like many of my generation, I was born in a 'foreign' place (foreign to New England, that is)!
My mother was an only child who was not allowed to get dirty or have pets, so of course I had plenty of siblings and a reasonable number of pets. The postwar housing shortage meant that an affordable house had to be outside Worcester, MA (their birthplace and where they had friends and relatives) – considerably outside. We ended up, and I spent my childhood, in Barre, Massachusetts, a picturesque New England village about 25 miles north of Worcester, most of whose inhabitants were direct descendants of the original 18th century settlers. It didn't even have a full stoplight – just a blinker, which most of the residents ignored. It was one of those towns that time forgot, but mostly in a good way. Until television came along, most of the outside world was seen through newspapers and radio, but mostly ignored; the bestselling magazines were movie magazines, and second and third run films were shown in the Town Hall.
We were brought up in the local Unitarian tradition of plain living and high thinking, mind your own business and do no harm. But mainly it was a typical 50's childhood with lots of woods to roam in, friends' houses to visit, wild animals to watch, church suppers, band concerts in the summer, and fall fairs featuring lots of apples and cider and in winter sledding, ice skating and the occasional Aurora Borealis,. Compared to today's children, we had a lot of freedom; no one worried about children being kidnapped or molested.
The nearest thing we had to today's right-wing nuts and conspiracy theorists was one neighbor who probably saw Communists under her bed. My parents opined that she probably would not have recognized a real Communist if one walked up to her and bit her. My parents were not social activists in any sense of the word, but were of the firm opinion that one can get away with doing wrong to others for only a while, and then things will have to be put right.
I can recall some things that should have incensed me at the time, but didn't move me to do anything about it. One was when I applied for summer work at the local mill (now long gone to South Carolina where there were no pesky unions) I was told that the higher paying night shift was for men only. The convenient day shift was reserved for those with seniority – men of course. This was the way things were. It was only later that the true nature of the beast became clear. If we are ever to succeed in getting our rights, we have to make sure small town women isolated in rural America are aware that the future does not have to be like the past.
Coming to Washington in 1965 with its southern culture more blatantly on display than it is now, really opened my eyes. The Washington Post ran ads for men's jobs and women's jobs, for example. In the 70s I spent a lot of time pestering the DC Office of Human Rights for fair treatment of female complainants and two of my Capitol Hill members were dissed by that office and the city attorney when they filed complaints. One was raped and told that the prosecutor had 'more important' cases to work on (than one where he would actually get off his butt and present evidence). The other was fired for not wearing a skirt and heels to work. I was later appointed to the DC Human Rights Commission in 1978 by Mayor Walter Washington and reappointed by Mayor Marion Barry, and served as vice chair person for three years, leading to the successful elimination of the case backlog (Some cases had been pending for seven years!).
A freelance technical writer and software tester, I was a National Organization for Women (NOW) activist since 1974 and was a founding member of Capitol Hill NOW.
From 1990 to 2012 I was a member of, and held various offices in, the Alexandria Business and Professional Women (BPW) and in BPW Virginia.
Currently, I serve as treasurer of Virginia NOW, and maintain an online history collections of DC and VANOW actions in the Washington DC area. The collection includes documents, messages, clippings and photos.
Executive Vice President, PWC NOW President
Hala Ayala is the founder and president of the Prince William County Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She is a single mother of two who worked her way from retail at a gas station to cybersecurity specialist with the Department of Homeland Security. She serves on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Council on Women. The issues Hala is most passionate about are job growth, educational opportunities, and health care. Hala helped organize Virginia for the Women’s March on Washington in 2017. With the PWC NOW chapter, Hala has fought for raising minimum wage, medicaid expansion and the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
In 2018, Hala became the Democratic Delegate in Virginia’s 51st District, in Prince William County, Virginia. She quit her job as a cyber security specialist for Homeland Security to run for office. She also stepped down from her roles as Executive Vice President of Virginia NOW and President of PWC NOW. “It was a hard decision,” but she told herself that she was going to “get off the sidelines.”
Katie Regan graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a double major in English and Women's and Gender Studies. A self-proclaimed feminist writer, she composed a senior research thesis entitled "Nineteenth Century American Women Writers who influenced the Rise of Feminism," which she presented in 2015 at the Annual Undergraduate Research Forum on Women’s Studies.
She currently works as a Technical Writer for SCCI and is the Web Editor for Virginia NOW. She is an advocate for women’s reproductive rights, campus rape and sexual harassment laws, and the ERA. She loves feminism, books, and her cat, Bean.