Still in formation
RJ Aguiar is a writer, performer, activist, and content creator best known for his lifestyle, comedy, and social commentary videos on the YouTube channels "shep689" and "TheNotAdam". He has had work featured on Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, Upworthy, Mic.com, The Daily Dot, Out, Remezcla, The Advocate, Queerty, The Washington Blade, and New Media Rockstars. He's been honored as a member of YouTube's "NextUp" Class of 2013, one of The Advocate's "40 Under 40" of 2014 , Queerty's "Twitter Account You Should Be Following" in 2014 and a finalist for their "Best YouTube Channel" of 2017. He's also spoken at venues such as VidCon, Playlist Live, San Diego ComicCon, and The White House.
Jeremy Blacklow is a journalist, writer, and digital media expert, living in West Hollywood. Over the course of his career, Jeremy has worked for CNN, NBC’s “Today” show and “Access Hollywood,” Yahoo!, and WhoSay, and he currently writes freelance for Variety. Additionally, Blacklow works as a top DJ and electronic music producer, playing weekly at parties and events around the country.
JORDAN C. BROWN
Jordan Brown operates in politics, philanthropy, and entertainment, and specializes at building coalitions that span those three spheres. In 2016 he joined SB Projects, where he works with Scooter Braun, and the artists he manages (including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, Usher, and a dozen more) to shepherd their political, philanthropic, and advocacy goals.
At the XPRIZE Foundation he co-hosted the annual “Visioneering” conference from 2012-2016. He works with celebrities and other influencers to advance advocacy goals for issues like cancer prevention, self-esteem, gay rights, and HIV prevention. He also advises political campaigns on how best to engage the entertainment community. He served on Hillary Clinton's National Finance Committee, Entertainment Advisory Council, and her Innovation policy advisory committee. In May 2016 he led a delegation to the world's largest refugee camp, Zaatari as part of an effort to revamp refugee housing.
President/CEO of Ten Thirty One Production
After a decade long career running the largest revenue market in the world for Clear Channel Media + Entertainment; launching the first ever entertainment company the creates, owns and produces live horror attractions; securing the largest deal in history on ABC’s smash hit show Shark Tank in 2013; becoming business partners with billionaire Mark Cuban then turning that into a partnership with the worlds largest entertainment company, Live Nation; what becomes clear is that Melissa Carbone at 40 years old is just getting started.
Ten Thirty One Productions has pioneered a new industry that is growing rapidly. In 2014, Ten Thirty One Productions has been named the premiere leader in the horror attractions industry with Los Angeles Haunted Hayride being the most popular haunted attraction in the country.
In addition to the Los Angles Haunted Hayride, the launch of Ghost Ship, a live attraction that takes place on a ship that sets sail into the dark ocean at night; and The Great Horror Campout, a 12-hour overnight immersive horror camping adventure that tours nationally, over 500,000 people have gone through the gates of Ten Thirty One Productions attractions to date and it’s just the beginning as the company has started a intensive expansion plan. Already the expansion has recently launched their flagship Haunted Hayride brand in New York, birthed a brand new asset, Great Horror Movie Night which starts each year in February and aggressive and an aggressive plan that continues as we speak.
Melissa has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc., CSQ Magazine, on The Today Show as an industry expert in immersive entertainment, coined a "market maker" by Bloomberg News, as well as Squawk Box, CNN, CNBC Power Lunch and many more.
Melissa was named CSQ Magazines 2016 Entertainment Visionary, was a top ten finalist for the LA Business Journal’s prestigious “Woman Of The Year” Award in 2010, was voted as one of the “Top 7 Pitches” in the history of Shark Tank by the Young Entrepreneur Council. Melissa was the keynote speaker at the elite industry conference, Music Matters Live in Singapore in 2015 and along with Co-founder Alyson Richards was the featured keynote speaker at
Wal-Mart’s Innovation Summit Conference in 2016 at the Wal-Mart World Headquarters in Arkansas.
Melissa is a steadfast environmentalist, animal activist, and humanitarian who believes it is all connected and must be addressed together to produce real change. She brings this passion into the professional realm of her life by integrating these values into the blueprint of Ten Thirty One Productions.
Melissa Carbone graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in Communication Sciences/Journalism. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her two pups Macy and Gwen, frequents her favorite restaurant Crossroads, loves horror films, tailgating at country music festivals, poolside canoodling with her pals and hip hop dance classes.
Craig Charles is a civil litigator, specializing in consumer advocacy and civil rights law, with a special emphasis on LGBTQ issues. His law firm is located on the Sunset Strip in the City of West Hollywood.
Peter is the Associate Director at APAIT (Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team), an AIDS service organization based in Los Angeles. Peter began his career in the HIV/AIDS field in 2003, and has extensive experience in program development and community engagement. In 2016, Peter and his colleagues at APAIT established and organized #NotOurPride, a coalition of LGBTQ groups and individuals who spoke out against proposed changes that were planned for that year’s LA Pride Festival by Christopher Street West (CSW). As a result of #NotOurPride’s advocacy, the proposed changes were rescinded by CSW and approximately 17,000 LGBTQ individuals and allies were offered free admission to that year’s Friday night festivities. Peter is steadfast in his commitment to advocate for LGBTQ individuals and is proud to be a part of the Resist March.
Born in NYC, Marco Colantonio is a longtime resident of West Hollywood, local realtor and publisher of WEHO TIMES @ wehotimes.com. He has served as an appointee and Vice Chair on the West Hollywood Disabilities Advisory Board. As a local community activist, Marco is a passionate advocate for pedestrian safety, tenant rights and aging in place.
Lindsey Deaton is a conductor, guitarist, singer, speaker and a fierce transgender and LGBTIQ youth advocate.
Mrs. Deaton is the Founder/Artistic Director of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles (TCLA). Founded in 2015, TCLA fiercely empowers Trans and gender non-binary people to discover, love their voices and by using them, change the social ecology.
In it’s inaugural year 2015-16, the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles performed at the 2015 West Hollywood Transgender Day of Remembrance with Alexandra Billings and Our Lady J from ‘Transparent’; the GMCLA 5th Annual Voice Awards; True Colors debut concert with TCLA, GMCLA and Vox Femina; LA Pride, Long Beach Pride and TransPride LA; Kol Tikvah Temple; St. John’s Cathedral, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the first Trans chorus to perform in a Cathedral anywhere; opening ceremony of LGBT Heritage Month with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council; the Williams Institute UniTy Awards with Laverne Cox; and Interscope Records song ‘Hand’s, a musical tribute to benefit Orlando victims and LGBT organizations. The song features: Mary J. Blige, Jason Derulo, Tyler Glenn, Selena Gomez, Halsey, Ty Herndon, Imagine Dragons, Juanes, Adam Lambert, Mary Lambert, Jennifer Lopez, Kacey Musgraves, MNEK, Alex Newell, P!nk, Prince Royce, Nate Ruess, RuPaul, Troye Sivan, Jussie Smollett, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor and Justin Tranter (songwriter).
Mrs. Deaton came to Cincinnati as the conducting apprentice to Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Deaton has guest conducted the San Francisco Ballet, the Louisville Orchestra, the Spokane Symphony, The Winston-Salem Symphony, the Youngstown Symphony and Chorus, the Schenectady Symphony and numerous orchestras at the Aspen Music Festival, among others.
Mrs. Deaton served as Contemporary Music Director at the Cathedral St. Peter in Chains, Cincinnati, Ohio since 2003. She led the professional instrumental and vocal ensemble for the weekly contemporary Mass for more than a decade.
An active music educator, in 2002 Mrs. Deaton received the Dalcroze Certificate and the Dalcroze License from the Juilliard School in New York City.
Mrs. Deaton’s principle teachers were famed conducting pedagogue Leon Barzin in Paris, Gunther Schuller, Murry Sidlin, and Celin Romero. Mrs. Deaton studied with Dalcroze experts Robert Abramson and Marta Sanchez. She received her MFA in Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University.
Lindsey is married to Joan her wife of 37 years, has two daughters Mary and Joci, and runs regularly with her pooch Roosevelt.
Marna Deitch is an Interpreter for the Deaf and Motorcycle Instructor in the state of California. She has been active in the LGBTQ community since 1980 when she first joined the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee in NYC (very first job was marching in front of the Big Apple Marching Band and finding potholes, stepping in them herself thus saving many trombonist and flutist from falling in). She was one of the 2 women credited with bringing the Women's Motorcycle contingent back into the Los Angeles Gay Pride parade in 1995 and has been involved in many organizations throughout the years.
John Erickson is the President of the Hollywood Chapter for the National Organization for Women. John is a Ph.D. Candidate in American Religious History at Claremont Graduate University and holds a MA in Women’s Studies in Religion; an MA in Applied Women’s Studies; and a BA in English and Women’s Studies. He is the President of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s LGBTQA+ Alumni Association, Vice-Chair of Public Relations and Social Media for the Stonewall Democratic Club, a Diversity & Inclusion Fellow at Claremont Graduate University and currently serves on the Advocacy Committee for the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles. In April 2017, he will be the first openly gay athlete to be inducted into the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Hall of Fame. Most recently, he was one of the coordinators of the Women’s March Los Angeles, which brought together 750,000 people in downtown Los Angeles on January 21, 2017.
Vice Mayor Joel Fajardo is serving his second term on the San Fernando City Council (March 2013-March 2017), first elected in 2012, and again in March 2013. Vice Mayor Fajardo served as Mayor from March 2015 to March 2016.
Joel attended local private and public schools in the San Fernando Valley, graduating from Grant High School in 2001 and Boston University in 2005, where he received his degree in International Relations.
Joel has always had a passion for public service and tackling challenging issues. Since serving on the council, Joel’s primary focus has been on balancing the city’s budget, upgrading the city’s infrastructure, fighting the negative impacts associated with the proposed California High-Speed Rail Project and promoting the city’s rich cultural programs, healthy lifestyles and LGBT inclusiveness.
Chris Fraley is the founder and President of evolve, a Los Angeles based real estate investment and management firm. Prior to founding evolve, Chris was Partner and Managing Director of Rockwood Capital, a national real estate private equity firm with approximately $8B under management. Chris is a member of the Board of Directors of GLAAD and is Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of StartOut, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship within the LGBT community.
Chris is married to his best friend Victor Self and they are raising two daughters Coco (7) and Kiki (5) along with their dogs Nene and Snowball.
Sue Freitag is a National Board Certified Teacher and a 17-year veteran high school theatre teacher at El Camino Real Charter High School. Sue sponsors a very healthy GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) and is a strong advocate for LGBTQ youth.
One of Sue’s missions has been to identify, develop, and lead social justice initiatives to engage students and community. Some of these initiatives include establishing a Human Rights Watch Student Task Force to facilitate student participation in its global campaign; secured permission to be one of the only high schools in the nation to do a stage reading of Dustin Lance Black’s documentary play on Proposition 8, marriage equality; and performedThe Laramie Project in Scotland at the Fringe Festival as an American High School Theatre Festival Winner.
Robert Gamboa has been serving on the West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board since 2012 where he has helped bring attention to a number of LGBT related issues. Gamboa also serves on the Board of Directors for both the international organization of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association and the West Hollywood-based Tweakers Project, an anti-meth campaign. Additionally, Gamboa is a member of the Revolution Los Angeles LGBT Marching Band and the Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles. Gamboa has been playing saxophone since 1989 when he was 13 years old and plays to this day to help promote LGBT visibility and pride wherever he can, including marching in President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Parade with the Lesbian and Gay Band Association.
As a gay, HIV+, Mexican-American man who is openly in recovery, Gamboa has been very involved in the treatment-to-care pipeline and helping LA County residents, and people across the United States, into the care and services they need. While there has been a special focus on those with substance abuse and mental health challenges, he has begun helping people from all walks of life- regardless of sex, religion, gender, gender identity, race, creed, or immigration status. Gamboa has also helped lead the production of large scale alcohol and drug free events such as #BOOM! (New Year’s Eve) and #SIZZLE (LA Pride) in West Hollywood, along with gracious partnerships from the City of West Hollywood, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Christopher Street West and many other wonderful organizations.
Being educated, visible, and engaged in the community is one of the most important things we can do as Americans and as citizens. As Harvey Milk said, “Hope will never be silent.” To Gamboa, this march is the application of that hope. It is about coming out to let your voice be heard, to activate what you believe in, to fight for your right just to be. We are not equal until we are all equal and he will fight until every American achieves that glory.
Vic Gerami is the Manager of Events for the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. His career in West Hollywood began at Frontiers Magazine where he served as Advertising Director for six years, followed by his tenure at LA Weekly and Voice Media Group. He is a LGBTQ Activist, Writer and Media Contributor whose work has been featured in The Advocate, OUT, LA Independent, Edge Media Network, Queerty, Rage Magazine, West Hollywood Lifestyle Magazine and Fight Magazine.
In 2009, he was featured in the Wall Street Journal as a “Leading Gay Activist” for his work leading up to and subsequent passing of Prop 8. He organized fundraisers for organizations such as Love, Honor, Cherish, Equality CA and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to repeal Prop 8. In 2015, he was noted in the landmark Supreme Court lawsuit, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Alongside Brian Pendleton, his husband, Chad has become a philanthropist at heart. Education, healthcare, and human rights are his passion. Before taking on #ResistMarch, Chad and Brian ran a company that raised nearly a billion dollars for cancer research and innovative treatment. In addition to sitting on the committee for #ResistMarch, Chad is a board member at his beloved College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Tennessee.
Abdullah Rasheen Hall (They/Them/Theirs) is an advocate for LGBTQI equality throughout the United States. With a firm commitment, Hall serves on the board(s) of HRC as Volunteer Co-Chair and 1st year Governor, APAIT (Asian Pacific Aids Intervention Task Force), Volunteer Coordinator for GMCLA (Gay Men’s Chorus Los Angeles) and TCLA (Trans Chorus Los Angeles) as well as, singing with the Trans Chorus in the 2nd Tenor section; LGBTQ, Chair at Paramount Pictures where he works as a Dubbing Contract Administrator & Legal Assistant. I am so grateful and thankful to be a part of #RESISTMARCH. Together we will bring equality to the citizens of the United States.
Simon Halls is a founder and a partner at SLATE PR, the entertainment industry’s leading PR agency. With more than 450 clients, he and his partners manage the media relations activities for such luminaries as Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, Sam Mendes, Ridley Scott and Ang Lee. The company also oversees release and awards campaigns for their film and television clients. To date, SLATE clients have received 54 Academy Award nominations and more than 200 Emmy nominations.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, Halls began his career in the publicity department of Warner Brothers. From there, he landed the position of Public Relations Manager for the first McDonald’s Restaurant in Russia, where he lived and worked for two years. Upon returning to the United States, Halls returned to the entertainment world as an account manager at BWR Public Relations, where he managed the publicity campaigns for Jude Law, Sarah Jessica Parker, The Coen Brothers and Annette Bening.
In 1995, Halls and his partners formed Huvane Baum Halls, which became one of the most successful boutique agencies in Hollywood. The success of HBH quickly caught the eye of Madison Avenue and in 2001, Halls and his partners sold their company to the Interpublic Group and merged their agency with industry giant PMK, to form PMK/HBH.
From 2001 to 2010, Halls served as CEO of the newly formed entity and ran the company that boasted revenues of more than $15 million annually, with more than 100 employees. During his tenure at PMK/HBH, Halls managed the release and Oscar campaigns for such films as American Beauty, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain and Gladiator.
In 2010, Halls and his partners split from PMK/HBH and returned to their roots as a boutique agency with the founding of SLATE PR. Halls currently manages the media relations campaigns for such clients as Ang Lee, Ridley Scott, Sam Mendes, Joe Wright, Ryan Murphy, John Wells, Brett Ratner, Bryan Singer, Neil Patrick Harris, Annette Bening, Frances McDormand and others.
Halls sits on the board of Project ALS, and served on the Entertainment Council for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the USC Annenberg School of Communications, where he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Public Relations Program.
JEFF ZARRILLO & PAUL KATAMI
Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami began their journey together when they met in 2001. In 2009 Jeff and Paul joined the federal lawsuit against Proposition 8 in California and took the case before the United States Supreme Court. The couple won a landmark decision and on June 28, 2013, Paul and Jeff were married at Los Angeles City Hall by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The couple’s journey has directly impacted the lives of millions of Americans who have battled for full federal recognition.
Jeff and Paul’s story was featured in HBO Documentary Films’ Emmy-nominated The Cast Against 8, which debuted in theaters and then on HBO in 2014. The couple more recently appeared in the ABC miniseries When We Rise and continue to tell their story and fight for equality with their weekly podcast, The Husbands, which airs on UBNRadio.com and is available on iTunes.
Michael has served at various times as a community activist since 2003. He has worked with many organizations and projects beginning in his middle school years by becoming certified as a peer counselor and continuing with The Gay Straight Alliance.
The Imperial Courts of the Americas were also a large part of his outreach through coordinating and participating in many events produced by this Non-Profit organization.
In more recent years he has worked with many groups to bring to light the inequality of youth with non visible disabilities. Some of these include Autism Speaks, The Youth Leadership Forum, Disability Rights California, and the Human Rights Campaign.
While traveling for his career he has used many of these opportunities to attend or provide outreach and resources to many local areas he has visited. His belief, as stated by the #resistmarch, is that when you come for one person with a disadvantage in society you have targeted all of us. He continues to work with youth on the spectrum consistently to help ensure they have the tools to advocate for themselves in today's world.
Abbe Land is the former Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. A recognized and respected health care professional and activist, Abbe has an impressive history of ensuring care to underrepresented populations and advocating for youth in the LGBTQ community. Prior to joining Trevor, Abbe served as Co-CEO of The Saban Community in Los Angeles, an organization dedicated to providing healthcare to the underserved.
In addition, Abbe has a wealth of public policy knowledge as an elected Councilmember of the City of West Hollywood from 1986-1997 and from 2003-2015, Abbe served as Mayor five times. She is known for her support and leadership on women’s issues, LGBTQ rights, affordable housing, healthcare access and civil liberties. Through her political advocacy, she was instrumental in the development of the City’s Women’s and Disability Advisory Boards, domestic violence prevention program for same-sex couples and landmark gun control legislation.
She is also involved with the Women Against Gun Violence; the L.A. County Department of Health Services’ Women’s Health Policy Council; Planned Parenthood Advocacy Board; TransCanWork and the AIDS Community Action Foundation. Most recently she co-founded an Indivisible Los Angeles Chapter: ROAR Resistance.
Abbe is a sought-after speaker and moderator. She has been recognized by the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her commitment to affordable housing and by APLA Red Circle Project with a Spirit of CommUNITY Award for her work to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. She also received the inaugural Legacy Award for Women in Leadership for her work on behalf of women in West Hollywood, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles: Good Neighbor Voice Award 2016 for her work on behalf of the LGBTQ community and the 28th Congressional District 2016 Women of the Year award, as well as numerous other recognitions.
Nicole Lynn is a LGBTQIA activist from the San Fernando Valley. Her journey in activism began while she was in junior college, during the battle over Proposition 8 in California, and she has not looked back since.
She has traveled to experience LGBTQIA culture in different countries and learn from activists locally as well as abroad, and volunteers with multiple organizations in the Los Angeles area.
Macias leads the LGBT Practice at MWW PR which represents a multitude of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, to entertainment and media brands to the most influential organizations and individuals in the LGBT community. Macias has played a major role in the changing landscape of the mainstream market by facilitating relationships between leading corporations and the LGBT community rendering better business results and positive social change. Additionally, Macias has expanded MWWPR’s entertainment division with award winning campaigns for Emmy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning projects like TRANSPARENT, THE DANISH GIRL, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS and LOVING.
Macias was the principal in Macias Media Group with a focus on the LGBT marketplace with clients like; Here Media ,OUT Magazine, The Advocate, Here TV, HIV Plus, Gay.com, Gay.net, OutTraveler.com, and SheWired.com, SPRUCE Radius Films/The Weinstein Company, CauseForce, The Vail Film Festival, SPRUCE, and Netflix ‘s Original Series “Orange Is the New Black”. Macias has also worked closely with MMG’s clients in executing sales strategies and marketing activations with brands like Macy’s, Hilton Hotels, Stoli, Absolut, Wells Fargo, Lexus, Buick, and countless other brands that have expanded or grown their presence into the LGBT market space.
Prior to launching MMG, Macias served for eight years as Executive Vice President and General Manager for Here Media Inc. directly overseeing the most influential and well-respected brands serving the LBGT community. Macias was part of the original executive team leading the PR and Corporate Communications strategy for the nation’s first LGBT cable television network, Here TV. After successfully securing national distribution for Here TV with cable partners like Time Warner Cable and Comcast, Macias led the acquisition and integration of brands from Planet Out Inc. that included the aforementioned LGBT media properties and led the company’s strategy as it became the world’s largest multi-platform LGBT media company, renamed Here Media Inc.
Prior to joining Here Media Inc., Macias was the Entertainment Media Director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) where he guided the organization’s national entertainment media strategy and crisis communication. Macias was a national on-air pundit for GLAAD speaking out for accurate, fair and inclusive representation of LGBT storylines and characters on television and in film. Working closely with studios and networks, Macias forged working partnerships with these content creators in order to facilitate positive LGBT images. Macias also oversaw media strategy for the organization’s signature awards event, The GLAAD Media Awards and negotiated with Viacom’s LOGO the first ever television broadcast of the event.
Before working with GLAAD, Macias served as Vice President at Michel Levy Enterprises managing writers, directors, and actors, as well as packaging financing and talent for independent film. Macias served for eight years on the Board of Directors of Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, with 4 of those years as President. During his tenure as President, Outfest expanded its programmatic work and created the first LGBT POC film festival and launched the first and only LGBT film and television archive with UCLA. Today it is the largest collection of LGBT images in the world with it preservation and restoration of LGBT content, including the only LGBT film that survived Hitler’s Germany.
Macias currently serves on Board of Directors for D.C. based Victory Fund and has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ,The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles Board and Equality California.
Lulu Malaya is the Membership President and Board Secretary for the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, as well as one of the organization's original singers. Born and raised in Metro Manila, Lulu came to the United States to pursue her own version of the American Dream - to experience a world-class education and find stability and success freely as the woman she was meant to be. Diligence, excellence, and beneficence are this recent UCLA graduate's north stars.
JAMES DUKE MASON
James Duke Mason is a writer, activist and city official in West Hollywood, California. Since 2015 he has served on the West Hollywood Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation.
He works as a freelance writer for major publications such as The Huffington Post, The Advocate, OUT, The Hollywood Reporter and many others. He served on the Board of Directors of OUTFEST from 2012 to 2015, the youngest board member in their 35 year history. He was an official surrogate for the campaigns of Barack Obama in 2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016, and was appointed to be a Page in the U.S. Congress during the summer of 2008.
Michaela Ivri Mendelsohn is a transgender activist, professional speaker and corporate CEO with over 40 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience.
Her leadership and advocacy for trans women in the workplace has positioned her as the "go to" representative of the Transgender Community for major news organizations all over the country, and an in‐demand speaker all over California.
She is currently the CEO of Pollo West Corp, one of the largest franchises for El Pollo Loco restaurant in the Western Region of the United States. A groundbreaking business leader, Michaela passionately advocates for trans women in the workplace through her work with the California Restaurant Association. She is the founder of the California Trans Work Project (CTWP), which creates models for transpositive workplaces in California and across the country. This project was 4 years in the making and was modeled after the success of her own restaurants.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti recently appointed Michaela as the first trans person to serve on his board.
Estevan Montemayor is the Director of Communications for Los Angeles Councilmember David Ryu representing Council District 4. He serves as the primary contact for reporters and anyone seeking public information regarding the Councilmember’s office and Council District.
Estevan previously worked at NationBuilder, focusing on educating local governments on new media techniques. Prior to that, he worked on the communications and research team for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the sole sponsor of the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.
He has served in senior management positions for numerous political and advocacy campaigns. Estevan started his political career as a legislative aide to L.A. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. He currently serves as Chair of the Public Safety Commission in the City of West Hollywood, where he's lived over the past six years. A native of San Diego, Estevan graduated with a B.A. in Theater from UCLA.
Jeff Olde is Executive Vice President, Programming & Development, E! Entertainment. In this role, Olde oversees all unscripted original programming and series development for the global pop culture powerhouse, seen in 160 countries, translated into 26 different languages.
Brian Pendleton founder of #ResistMarch, is a Los Angeles-based philanthropist, activist and entrepreneur. As founder of CauseForce, Pendleton used his personal experience, entrepreneurial vision and motivating style create programs that raised nearly 1 billion dollars for life-saving research and care for premier institutes around the world. In 2013, he sold his company and now volunteers his time mentoring, supporting and advising individuals and organizations. He currently is on the Los Angeles City Police and Fire Pension Board and has served on the board of the Human Rights Campaign and as chair of the board of the Trevor Project.
Mark has been producing events, creating experiences and managing environments for companies and luminaries around the world for over 30 years. Recent positions include Executive Producer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, broadcast on ESPN and Head of Production for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the European Games in Baku, Azerbajian. He was also responsible for the PyeonChang handover portion of the Closing Ceremonies of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games and Business Producer for the Rio 2007 and Guadalajara 2011 Pan Am Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Since 2006, he has been balancing the technical infrastructure and the precise protocol required to bring together the world’s political, governmental and business leaders for the Clinton Global Initiative. He has led all the versions of CGI, including the Annual Meeting, CGI America, CGI University and CGI International (in Hong Kong, Rio, & Morocco).
Past events include 2004 Women’s March in Washington DC, the first California AIDS Ride, and the 2006 & 2007 Los Angeles HRC Dinners.
Mark’s company, PeakXV, has offices in Los Angeles and Washington DC. Current projects include the Clinton Global Initiative, the Third Way Advance Nuclear summit, and the Facing Addiction summit with US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
HAZEL JADE PREJEAN
Committee Member, Designer
Hazel Jade Prejean, a proud trans woman of color, is a fierce activist for the equal rights of the transgender and gender diverse community, along with a focus on the equal visibility of trans men. She is also a classically-trained actress, writer of screen and stage, and theatrical director; along with being a campaign model and ambassador for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and other LGBTQ+ organizations.
As the Marketing Designer for Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and one of the leaders of the #ResistMarch - An LA Pride Project, Miss Hazel Jade aims to promote the FACT that trans people can be as professional and equally normal as any other cisgender member of society. For more info on Miss Hazel Jade and her advocacy, please visit: www.MissHazelJade.com
Angela has actively led a life of service since 1992, when she began as a youth mentor for criminally convicted children—teaching photography and art therapy. At nineteen, she co-founded a low-income food project in Texas, feeding 10,000 families annually.
In 2007, she began teaching with PAX Programs, which educates men and women about the predicament of gender, the interaction of masculinity and femininity, and the principles of the paradigm of Partnership. She helped with the launch the Cerebrum Health Center in Dallas, which provides no-cost brain treatment for military veterans suffering with PTSD.
A long time member of the automotive industry, she has injected charity works into every possible partnership and is a member of the SEMA Businesswomen's Network.
Gary Turner is Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Patient Experience at Exer More Than Urgent Care. An expert in strategic communications and brand marketing, Turner is passionate about all human rights, particularly involving healthcare and youth education. As the former Vice President of Communications and a Brand Executive at CauseForce, LLC, Turner and his teams helped raise over $500 million for world-leading cancer institutes across 4 countries. Privately, Turner supports several LGBT organizations through volunteer and charity work. Since 2013, Turner has served as a Board Member of GMCLA and a Co-Chairman for the GMCLA Voice Awards, the organization’s largest fundraiser which powers youth programs such as The Alive Music Project and the It Get’s Better Tour in pursuit of ending bullying in schools across the US through the performing arts.
Alan Uphold is a communication consultant and teacher who has dedicated much of his adult life to the advancing the cause of LGBT equality.
He began his activist career by volunteering for Project Angel Food as a communication consultant. He then served for five years on the Human Rights Campaign Board of Governors (the last two years of which he served as the national co-chair), and eventually advanced to the HRC Board of Directors.
He also served on the board of Equality California and was a former Development Director at Point Foundation. Currently, Alan is the chair of the Board of Directors for the Transgender Chorus of Los Angeles and a member of the National Advisory Council for the Stonewall National Museum & Archives.
Alan is currently an adjunct faculty member at LA City College where he teaches courses in Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication.
In his communication consulting role, he has worked with a diverse range of corporate and non-profit clients including NBC/Universal, Viacom, Warner Bros., Disney, Frito-Lay, Cunard/Princess Cruise Lines, Deutsche Bank, Bayer, HRC, Project Angel Food, among others.
Alan and his husband, Jeff Olde, are celebrating 20 years together in 2017. They live in Miracle Mile with their aggressively friendly rescue dog, Bailey.
Allison VanKuiken is one of Equality California’s two program directors and focuses on advocacy, education, and mobilization campaigns, in addition to leadership development programming. Her 15-year career has spanned roles in higher education, the entertainment industry, corporate America, and the political realm. She is proudest of her work getting a diverse array of candidates elected to office, passing nondiscrimination ordinances, and preparing future leaders for public service. Allison is a proud member of the transgender community, a supportive spouse, and loving mother to a beautiful seven month baby girl.
For over 20 years Rob Wilcox has worked in senior level strategic communication, public policy and community relation positions. For the last three years, he has spearheaded Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer's community engagement and outreach efforts which includes the communications operations. During the last decade he has run the statewide communications for three of the highest profile public issues in California: the stimulus spending, redistricting of Congressional and legislative districts and high-speed rail. For many years he helmed his own public relations practice which specialized in the entertainment industry.
Nancy Williams is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, CA, where she has taught for fourteen years. For the last four years, she has volunteered with the Leadership LAB of the LA LGBT Center, having doorstep conversations with voters intended to reduce prejudice, particularly against transgender people. She is honored to be in her first season of singing with the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.
Jeanie You is a Digital Media Expert, Corporate and Social Enterprise Consultant, Branding Ninja, Sustainability Specialist & Social Justice Advocate. She has been awarded accolades as an expert business consultant for startups to Fortune 300 companies.
2004 founded All For You Productions Digital Media & Design Haus: a Graphic, Photo, Film, Consulting, Marketing & Management boutique where she’s had the pleasure of working with companies like Nike, Kraft Foods, Tiffany & Co and Vogue.
2005 while working as a VP of a financial institution, she founded SavingGenie – a company focused on consumer financial advocacy, credit/tax issues and wealth management. Through this business she worked closely with the Daley Center and Cook County Courts to review, amend, affirm and notarize documents and contracts. Her biggest win through these efforts is that she can honestly say that she fought the IRS (on behalf of her clients) and won!
2010 spawned by the BP oil spill - created a bio-diesel fuel initiative in Texas to help businesses (and tax payers) with their triple bottom line.
2013 Director of US & surrounding territories Taiwan's Fortune 300 Skwentex International for their solar, Electric Car chargers & hydrogen fuel cell initiatives.
2015 partnered with EcoDivas TV & TEDxLA to produce Beyond the Label to educate consumers on the true environmental, social and health consequences of their fashion purchases and empower them to write a different story.
2016 founded Gud Urth: an earth friendly sustainability business focused on health, beauty, nutrition and fashion.
Although Jeanie has found much success in the business sector, philanthropy has always been her calling. At age 12, unbeknownst to the parents of this “latch-key kid”, she volunteered at a soup kitchen. The desire for community & paying it forward gushed from that point forward. To date she has helped more than 70 philanthropic organizations. The total accumulated by her fundraising efforts alone = more than $570 million. The total of hands on volunteer work she's put in (and the humbling experiences that live in her heart) = priceless.