Antoinette 'Toni' Gingerelli
Chief of Staff, Office of New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal
What was the most valuable thing you learned from WeLead?
We need to lift as we climb. In the WeLead program, I learned to never be afraid to reach out to the women who came before me to ask for advice and support. Most are eager to provide support for the next generation of women in politics, with the understanding that I have a responsibility to continue to pass down that knowledge to women who follow.
What was your favorite part of the program?
WeLead provided a space to have conversations about the challenges women face in the work place, especially in the realm of politics. We were able to have open dialogue about the challenges we face, the best ways to support each other, and systemic changes that can increase women's representation. During challenging times in your personal and professional life, it is easy to feel alone. WeLead reminded me that I am not alone and made me hopeful for what the future looks like.
What advice would you give to the current WeLead class?
Even though I am not in the DC area at the moment, I still keep in touch with my WeLead cohort and other alumnae. Take advantage of the fact that you have an incredible group on women from diverse backgrounds all together every weekend. They will be lifelong connections and friends.
How did you secure your current position, and did it include any WeLead networking or alumnae?
The job was secured from connections I made during former work in Monmouth County (where my hometown is located).
Any other thoughts on your WeLead experience?
For any young women in politics, I would highly recommend WeLead. Whether you are looking to make a career pivot, rise in your current role, or simply grow on a personal level, WeLead can be a helpful resource.
Gingerelli advises New Jersey State Senator Gopal on policy, as well as managing his appearances, communications and schedule. She also established and manages his office’s internship program. In addition to continuing to support WeLead, she is an Ambassador with Planned Parenthood of Washington, D.C. and has volunteered as a tutor and Girls on the Run coach. Gingerelli earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies from Rutgers University.