National Council

The National Council of Alpha Epsilon Phi is elected at each national convention for a two-year term.  These seven volunteers are the governing body of the organization and are responsible for ensuring the sorority continues to fulfill its mission.  Council members may serve in the same position for two bienniums and may not serve more than 12 consecutive years.

The 2017-2019 National Council was elected in June 2017 at the sorority’s 43rd Biennial Convention at the Hilton Norfolk The Main in Norfolk, VA.

National President

Deborah Friedman
Phi Sigma Chapter, Wayne State University
Oak Park, MI 
nationalpresident@aephi.org

Debbie is serving her second term as national president. She assumed the presidency after completing a two year term as the Alpha Epsilon Phi Foundation president.

As an undergraduate member of Phi Sigma Chapter, Debbie served as secretary, treasurer and president. She continued her active involvement on the alumnae level serving as chapter advisor and province director to both Phi Sigma Chapter and Pi Chapter at the University of Michigan. In addition, Debbie has been treasurer of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Foundation and a finance specialist.

Having served on National Council from 2003-2013, Debbie has held the positions of vice president-finance, vice president-chapter administration and vice president-chapter opera- tions. She has also served as the house corporation president and treasurer for Pi Chapter as well as house corporation president for Epsilon Chapter at Tulane University. 

Debbie is employed by General Motors in Detroit where she is currently working in the Global Business Services Real Estate Department. Her current responsibilities include managing the Lease Administration Services for the company as well as serving as the Business Planner for Real Estate and Asset Services/User Experience.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling (especially her annual cruise with her Mom) and spending time with her nephews, Kevin and Zachary. She also finds time to work with the family’s busi- ness (KIF’s Collectibles) by attending science fiction conventions all over the United States and Europe.

Vice President Chapter Administration

Sharon Block Raphael
Epsilon Theta Chapter, American University
Arlington, VA
vp-chapteradminstration@aephi.org

Sharon returns to National Council for a fourth term, having served two terms as vice president-alumnae and one as vice president-alumnae. As a member of Epsilon Theta Chapter, Sharon served as ritualist, assistant new member educator, spirit and sunshine chair, alumnae chair, formal chair, Greek Week chair and Junior Panhellenic delegate.

After graduation, Sharon worked as an event planner in New York City for a year before returning to DC and earning a certificate in event management from George Washington University. Upon her return to DC, Sharon began her alumnae involvement serving as an advisor for Alpha Mu Chapter at the University of Maryland. She went on to serve as a finance specialist, membership specialist, team captain, alumnae agent director, member of the nominating committee, director of alumnae groups, and a member of the alumnae experience task force.  She continues to serve as house corporation president for Kappa Chapter at Cornell University and Alpha Gamma Chapter at George Washington University.

Sharon is the Director of Meetings and Events for Arlington Economic Development. She, husband Ross, son Benji, and daughter Mila live in the Washington, DC area. Sharon is very active in her synagogue where she serves on the religious school committee. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, going to the beach and visiting the many museums in DC.

Vice President Finance

Mary Sowder Lakes
Alpha Kappa Chapter, Miami University
Hamilton, OH
vp-finance@aephi.org

Mary is serving her first term on National Council having served Alpha Epsilon Phi as a volunteer for 15 years in numerous capacities. She most recently served as director of alumnae groups. Her previous positions have included chapter advisor to Alpha Kappa Chapter at Miami University, operations specialist, team captain and director of alumnae Programming. Mary has also served on several committee and task forces including nominating and collegiate programming.

Mary, and husband Keith, reside in Hamilton, Ohio (Cincinnati). Mary is employed by American Homeland Title Agency, Inc. as the escrow account manager.

In her free time, Mary enjoys traveling to the Caribbean, watching HGTV, collecting giraffes (she has over 100!), and spending time with family and friends.

Vice President Membership

Jen Werger Feldman
Alpha Tau Chapter, University of Florida
Chevy Chase, MD
vp-membership@aephi.org

Jennifer returns to the role of vice president-membership for a second biennium. Before joining National Council in 2017, Jen servied Alpha Epsilon Phi in several capacities.

Jennifer's alumnae volunteer service has included being a team captain, membership specialist, chapter advisor, director and a year as a trustee of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Foundation.

As a collegian at the University of Florida, Jennifer was an active member of Alpha Tau Chapter, serving as parliamentarian and chapter president. For her involvement within the sorority and throughout campus, she was tapped into Florida Blue Key in 2002. Jennifer’s younger sister, Ashley, is also an AEPhi from Alpha Tau Chapter.  Following graduation, proudly served AEPhi as a Traveling Educational Consultant for the 2003-2004 academic year, during which she had the pleasure of colonizing the Beta Eta Chapter at the University of California, San Diego.

Jennifer is licensed to practice in California, Maryland and the District of Columbia where she currently works as a family law litigator at the Montgomery County District Court as a staff attorney.

Jennifer resides in Kensington, Maryland with her husband Jay (Managing Director of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation) and their two dogs. Jennifer is also a two time breast cancer survivor and a volunteer for Sharsheret’s link program. Aside from her passion for AEPhi service, she also enjoys spinning, crafting and baking.

Vice President Chapter Operations

Lisa Spector Miller
Omega Chapter, University of Texas
Houston, TX
vp-chapteroperations@aephi.org

Lisa joins National Council after a biennium as both director of officer transition and advisor to the colony at Texas A&M University. Prior to 2015, Lisa served as a province director, team captain and membership specialist.

While an undergraduate at Omega Chapter, Lisa served as vice president-philanthropy and as a member of the chapter’s standards board. She was also vice president of membership for Order of Omega.

Prior to starting graduate school, Lisa worked in the Office of the First Lady of Texas. During graduate school she interned for ABC World News with Charles Gibson. After receiving her masters, she worked at Yale University and spent four years as the Director of Communications & Marketing for a private school in Houston, Texas.

Lisa, and husband Mason, are the proud parents of twins Charlotte and Hunter and reside in Texas. Lisa enjoys running, SoulCycle, and watching and cheering on the Texas Longhorns!

Vice President Chapter Programming

Shari Lieberfarb Schwartz
Epsilon Theta Chapter, American University
Montville, NJ
vp-chapterprogramming@aephi.org

Shari returns for her second term as vice president-chapter programming having served 3 years as vice president-membership and 2 years of vice president-chapter operations. As an undergraduate, Shari held numerous positions in her chapter including president, treasurer and standards board chair.

Prior to joining National Council in 2008, Shari served as a team captain and membership specialist. She also served as Sharsheret liaison for the 2013-2015 biennium.

After receiving her MSW, Shari moved to Boston and worked as a clinician, program coordinator and event planner. There he met her husband, Louis. In 2011, Shari and family moved to New Jersey where she is a stay at home mom for Elissa and Addison. Shari has been Co-President of William Mason Elementary Home and School Association for two years, President of Presidents’ Council and an active board member of OneMontville. When she isn’t running her daughters to activities, or volunteering, she dreams of laying on the beach with a good book.

Vice President Alumnae

Shannon Cohen
Beta Beta Chapter, University of Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, MI
vp-alumnae@aephi.org

Shannon joins National Council having both worked and volunteered for Alpha Epsilon Phi since graduation. She most recently served as director of collegiate programming, a position she held for 5 years. She has also served as a chapter advisor, membership specialist, operations specialist and a member of the nominating committee.

As a collegian, Shannon served as vice president-programming and co-chair of University Dance Marathon (UDance) that was run through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Upon graduating, Shannon took to the road as a traveling educational consultant for AEPhi before pursuing her master’s degree. While in graduate school, she worked with the Pi Chapter at the University of Michigan. 

Shannon worked for Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity for more than 2 years as Coordinator of Leadership and Training and as Director of Retention, Leadership and Training before returning to Ann Arbor, Michigan. She currently serves as Interim Associate Director of Greek Life and Panhellenic Advisor at the University of Michigan. 

In her free time, Shannong enjoys biking, reading and spending time with family and friends.