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Lorri L. Jean is nationally recognized as one of the most seasoned and effective leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ("LGBT") civil rights movement. In 2007 and 2008, OUT Magazine listed her as one of the 50 most powerful gay and lesbian people in the nation. In November, 2006, Los Angeles Magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people in Los Angeles. Jean currently serves as CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, the world's largest LGBT organization with nearly 400 full time employees and 3,000 volunteers serving over a quarter million people each year.
Jean has been an activist on LGBT issues since 1979. She served as the lead plaintiff in the successful landmark lawsuit against Georgetown University to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She also was the first openly gay or lesbian person in history to receive a top secret security clearance from the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1989, with her appointment as Deputy Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA"), she became the highest-ranking openly gay or lesbian person in the Federal government (a distinction she held until 1993 when President Clinton appointed Roberta Achtenberg).
In 1993, Jean began her first six-year tenure at the helm of the Center (to which she returned in June, 2003). She led the Center through a period of unprecedented expansion, dramatically increasing the number of clients and volunteers, the diversity and volume of services, the number of staff, and the size of the budget. She also oversaw the purchase and renovation of a $7 million facility and built the nation's first $10 million dollar LGBT organization endowment fund. During her second tenure, Jean has returned the Center to financial stability, dramatically expanded programming and increased the revenue budget by 100% to $63 million.
From 2001 to 2003, Jean served as executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, leading an organizational turnaround that brought the Task Force to financial solvency and increased the annual revenues to what was then an all-time high of $5 million. Among other program accomplishments, she focused the organization's political efforts at the state and local level by building a field organizing department which orchestrated the defeat of nearly all anti-LGBT ballot measures in the 2001 and 2002 election cycles.
Prior to 1993, Jean spent 10 years as an attorney with FEMA, including three years overseeing the disaster response and recovery operations of its largest region, where she was responsible for the management of a staff of 1,000 and a budget of more than $1 billion. Jean holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Science degree in communication from Arizona State University and is a member of bar in California and Washington, D.C. She and her wife of 21 years, attorney Gina M. Calvelli, live in Hollywood and were legally married in September, 2008.
As Chief of Staff, Darrel
Cummings works closely with senior management to ensure smooth
day-to-day operations for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and
holds final responsibility for the internal management of the
organization. He also plays a leading role in directing the
organization's external relations efforts, including its work in public
policy advocacy, its participation in significant coalitions, its
relationship with other community-based organizations, its private
fund-raising initiatives and its efforts to obtain government funding.
Cummings has worked in
non-profit organizations for 25 years and has held numerous paid and
volunteer positions in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
From 1993 to 1999, he served as
the deputy executive director of the Center and in that capacity served
as the senior manager for all programs and related government affairs.
During his tenure as deputy executive director, he oversaw the
procurement of millions of dollars annually from all branches of
government, the development of many new and innovative programs, and
overall internal management of the Center's program and policy efforts.
Cummings also provided national advocacy leadership related to
the HIV/AIDS and social service needs of the LGBT community.
Before joining the Center as
chief operations officer in June 2003, Cummings served for two years as
deputy executive director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
and previously held upper-level management positions in several
organizations representing the needs and rights of low-income people,
women, consumers and the LGBT community.
As Chief Administrative Officer,
Kathy Ketchum oversees Human Resources, Volunteer Resources, Cultural
Arts programming, labor relations, and the director of facilities in
maintaining facilities and security for all of the L.A. Gay &
Lesbian Center's sites.
Prior to joining the Center in
1994, Ketchum spent 17 years with Pacific Bell in various management
positions in the areas of human resources, finance, engineering,
operations, marketing and external affairs. She spent five years in
real estate sales and management and mortgage banking and served on the
Manhattan Beach Planning Commission for four years.
As a Los Angeles Area native,
Ketchum received her bachelor's in psychology from California
State University, Fullerton, and an MBA from Pepperdine
University. She resides in Sherman Oaks with her partner, Gay.
As Chief Public Affairs Officer,
Jim Key is a veteran activist and communications specialist responsible
for all of the Center's internal and external communications, including
community relations, media relations, publications, marketing and
promotions. He re-joined the Center in 2004, having previously
served as director of communications from 1994-1998.
Most recently Key was a vice
president with Edelman, the world's largest independent public
relations firm, where he developed and managed communications programs
for healthcare companies. Prior to joining Edelman he was
corporate communications director for VaxGen, a biotechnology company
that was the first to advance an AIDS vaccine to the final stage of
clinical testing. He began his career in communications as a
Marine Corps journalist and public affairs specialist.
During his four years as director
of communications for the Center, Key worked with local, national and
international media to promote public understanding of the diverse LGBT
community, heighten awareness of the issues affecting LGBT people, and
promote the work and programs of the Center. He also supported
the organization's public policy department by working with the press
to hold political officials publicly accountable for their actions or
inactions on legislative and policy issues that affected LGBT people.
Most notably, Key helped create
public awareness of the growing incidence of HIV infection among gay
youth by working with MTV, the major TV networks, the Los
Angeles Times and other media to develop responsible stories
that humanized the issue. When a White House report on youth
and AIDS failed to specifically address gay youth, Key organized a news
conference that resulted in national news coverage that pressured
health officials to address the issue. Key was also a leader
in promoting public support for same-sex marriage by publicizing the
first "Freedom to Marry" day in Los Angeles, generating supportive
media coverage in print and broadcast media throughout the county.
Key is a recipient of several
public relations awards, including "Best Integrated Campaign - 1998"
from Healthcare P.R. & Marketing News for the opening of the
Center's Lambda Medical Group, "Best Newsletter" award of merit from
the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)—Los Angeles for the
Center's Vanguard and "Best New Media" award from
PRSA—San Diego for his work on behalf of Gateway computers.
As Director of
Strategic Initiatives, Alan Acosta is responsible for spearheading
implementation of key elements of the Center’s strategic plan. He also
oversees Legal Services, Seniors Services and Cultural Arts &
Acosta came to the center from Stanford University, where he served as
Associate Vice President and Director of University Communications. As
associate vice president, Acosta was the chief university spokesperson
and oversaw the Stanford website, news and media relations, external
and internal communications and video production. Acosta also served as
a resident fellow at Stanford’s Chicano/Latino theme dorm, Casa Zapata,
and worked closely with the senior executive staff on a wide array of
strategic management and communications issues.
Prior to his tenure at Stanford, Acosta was the deputy city editor of
the Los Angeles Times; during his tenure at the Times,
he shared in two Pulitzer Prizes awarded to the staff for coverage of
the Los Angeles riots and the Northridge earthquake. He also worked as
an editor and reporter at the Orange County Register,
the Dallas Times Herald and the Hartford
Acosta has taught journalism at the University of Southern California
and creative nonfiction writing at Stanford. He has co-chaired the
board of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and has served on the
executive boards of numerous other organizations, including the
National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Lesbian and
Gay Journalists' Association and Kitchen Sisters Productions. He also
served on the Center’s board from 1991 to 1996.
Acosta earned a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of
California, Santa Cruz, and received a master’s degree in journalism,
with honors, from Columbia University. He lives in Los Angeles with his
longtime partner, Tom Gratz.
professionally, Christopher Brown has been a dedicated, longtime
advocate for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, sexually
transmitted infections (STIs) and the LGBT community as a whole.
Professionally, Brown has more than 28 years of experience working in
public health at both state and local levels of government and in the
non-profit arena. Before joining the Center, he served as the assistant
commissioner of the STI/HIV Division with the Chicago Department of
Public Health for more than 10 years. Before moving to Chicago, he
worked with the Arizona Department of Health Services (Phoenix) for
seven years as the chief of the Office of HIV/STD/Hepatitis C Services.
Prior to this position, he held various positions with progressive
responsibilities over an 11-year period with the Pima County Health
Department (Tucson) in the HIV and STI programs. Brown has bachelors’
degrees in biology and psychology and masters’ degrees in public health
and business administration.
Brown has served on various government commissions, and boards of
directors for local and national AIDS service organizations. He is
currently a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. He is a
past board member of the CAEAR Coalition, the National Association of
People with AIDS (NAPWA) and The AIDS Institute. Over the past two
decades, Brown has received numerous awards for his advocacy and
services to the HIV/AIDS community.
Personally, Brown has been living with HIV since 1983. He has
a true understanding of the HIV epidemic and its impact on our
families, communities and society as a whole.
Michael Ferrera joined the
staff of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center in July of 2009 as the
Director of LifeWorks with over 16 years’ experience as an LGBT youth
advocate. Michael founded LifeWorks as an independent LGBT
youth mentoring, non-profit organization in 2005. Since joining the
Center, LifeWorks has grown to become a nationally recognized LGBT
youth development program. In his capacity as Director,
Michael is responsible for program development and
fundraising. He oversees LifeWorks’s signature one
on one mentoring program, an afterschool program, weekly and monthly
life skills and social networking activities, a high school diploma
program collaboration with Opportunities for Learning Charter School,
and film, theatre and music programs. In 2010, Michael and
LifeWorks were asked to take over the Models of Pride Conference, the
largest conference of its kind for LGBT and straight ally
youth. Michael also serves as a subject matter expert on the
federally-funded RISE Initiative and a Steering Committee member for
Prior to starting LifeWorks,
Michael worked at one of only two agencies in the nation providing
foster care services to LGBT youth and has become a national expert on
the child welfare system and the needs of LGBT youth in out of home
care. He trains child welfare administrators, agency staff,
attorneys and governmental officials and presents at Conferences all
over the country and works as a trainer/contractor for the All Children
All Families initiative of the Human Rights Campaign. He
co-authored the Foster Care Non-Discrimination Act of 2004 (California)
and served on the statewide Children’s Roundtable.
Michael teaches cultural
competency classes at the University of Southern California’s School of
Social Work, Antioch University and California State University,
Michael is a native of
Connecticut, though he has lived in Los Angeles with his partner for
over 20 years. He holds a BS in Political Science and BA in
Film/Theatre Production from Hofstra University and an MA in Clinical
Psychology from Antioch University.
Chief Development Officer
As Chief Development Officer,
Bill McDermott leads the fundraising team responsible for raising
nearly $12 million through special events, planned and sustained
giving, membership, corporate sponsorships and more. Prior to
joining the Center in January 2011, Bill served as the Director of
Development for the Stonewall Community Foundation, the local LGBT
Community Foundation in the New York region.
work is Bill’s third career. He was a Roman Catholic priest
in the diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis but left the church
principally because of its anti-LGBT teachings and his desire to be
true to himself. He was fortunate to enter the personal
computer business at the ground floor in sales and marketing, first
working for Tim Gill at Quark, Inc. then with Apple Computer, Inc. for
It was after meeting Lorri L. Jean and getting a whirlwind introduction
to all the services the Center offers that Bill received his job
offer. He chuckles and says that he has worked for God, Steve
Jobs and now Lorri and doesn’t know which was more persuasive. Bill
says working at the Center has helped him capture a sense of personal
inspiration similar only to what he experienced as a
As a new-comer
to Los Angeles, Bill looks forward to engaging and connecting with
Angelenos and is already serving on an advisory committee with the
Liberty Hill Foundation.
Susan Cohen joined the Los
Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center in October of 2006 as the
Director of Health Education & Prevention. In this
capacity, Cohen oversees the operation of the Center’s health
education and prevention programs, which include prevention for
HIV-positive and HIV-negative communities, alcohol and other drugs
outreach and education, outreach and education to transgender
communities, mobile HIV/STD testing and counseling, as well as social
marketing campaigns to motivate and encourage long term safer sexual
For the past 18 years, Cohen’s
career in public health education has spanned issues related to sexual
health, chemical dependency and non-profit management
issues. She is a national speaker on such topics as long term
behavior change, program design and evaluation, understanding sexuality
development and sexual orientation, women’s sexual health,
understanding sexuality and chemical dependency relapse, as well as
AIDS in the workplace. In her early years of public
health, Cohen worked with AIDS Project Los Angeles, where she
coordinated Los Angeles County’s first sexual negotiation skills
workshop for the prevention of HIV within gay male populations, drug
treatment and the Los Angeles County prison system.
Working at the JWCH
Institute, Cohen managed the agency’s juvenile court
reproductive health program, providing sexual health education to
juvenile inmates throughout the county juvenile court system.
During her tenure at AIDS Service
Center, Cohen developed the agency’s first AIDS in the
Workplace program, working with San Gabriel Valley businesses,
assisting them in the integration of HIV-sensitive workplace policies,
the agency’s first treatment advocacy program, and the expansion of
ASC’s Speakers’ Bureau.
Most recently, Cohen
spent seven years at California State University, Northridge
in their Student Health Service. In this capacity, she oversaw all
health education and prevention programs that worked to remove
health-related barriers to students’ success at the university.
Cohen holds a bachelor's
degree in health education and a master's degree in public health from
California State University, Northridge.She is also a part-time
professor at CSUN, with more than 13 years of college-level classroom
Cohen is a native to Los Angeles and lives with
her partner and two
Dr. Robert Bolan joined the L.A.
Gay & Lesbian Center's Health Services Department as Medical
Director of the Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic in May 1996.
Bolan has been active in gay health issues since 1975. He was the
Medical Director of the Gay Venereal Disease Clinic during his Family
Medicine Residency in Milwaukee from 1975-1977. Bolan was a
member of the National Coalition of Gay STD Services, the group that
wrote and actively promoted the first safer-sex guidelines at a time
when syphilis and hepatitis B were the biggest worries for the gay male
Just before the AIDS epidemic, Bolan had moved to San Francisco, where
he began a private practice and became active in the Bay Area
Physicians for Human Rights (BAPHR), the first gay and lesbian
physician organization. He remained active in that organization and
also served as the President and Chairman of the Board for San
Francisco AIDS Foundation, which had recently formed. He continued with
the Foundation until January 1986 and in 1992 received the Foundation’s
annual Leadership Award in recognition of his work during the early
years of the epidemic in San Francisco. Through 1988, he continued to
serve in an advisory capacity to the San Francisco Health Department
and the mayor's office on HIV/AIDS issues.
After his “retirement” as a community activist in 1988, Bolan devoted
all of his professional energies to care for his HIV-positive patients
in San Francisco. In early 1995, he was recruited to join the
Department of Family Medicine at University of Southern California as
their Director of HIV Services, and in 1996 he became Medical Director
of the Jeffrey Goodman Clinic at the Center. He left the USC position
in 2004 to devote all of his efforts to the Center and gradually
assumed oversight for all medical services and biomedical research.
Bolan is an avid bicyclist and is usually logging miles when not
Roger Coggan has been director of legal
services for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center since 1990. Since
then, the numbers of staff, volunteers and projects have grown
substantially and have been targeted toward communities previously
underserved, including people of color and women.
Coggan manages volunteer
attorneys and support staff and is responsible for fundraising for the
Legal Services Department, as well. Before joining the Center, he was
an attorney specializing in business and civil litigation for the law
firms of Iwasaki, Thomas & Sheffield; Staitman &
Snyder; and Brill & Hunt. Coggan has also served as an
arbitrator for the Uniform Arbitration Program of the Los Angeles
Superior Court since 1981.
Coggan's community activities
have included: LIFE Lobby, (co-chair, board of directors and executive
committee); LIFE Institute, (board of directors); City of Los Angeles
Police Commission (Hearing Examiner, Board of Rights and member of
Disciplinary Systems Task Force); The Los Angeles Volunteerism Project
(member of advisory committee); and the American Jewish Committee
(member of advisory board). Coggan holds a JD from USC and a
BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Diane Kubrin joined the L. A. Gay & Lesbian Center in 2009 as
the Director of Mental Health Services. In this capacity, Kubrin
manages the outpatient mental health programs, which includes
counseling, psychiatry, intern training program, addiction recovery
services and domestic violence services.
Most of Kubrin’s career has been
focused on working within the non-profit sector. Prior to joining the
Center, Diane worked at Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center as
the Division Director for Adult and Older Adult Services. As Division
Director, she oversaw over 19 mental health and substance abuse
programs within a non-profit setting.
Kubrin holds a bachelor's degree
in psychology from California State University, Northridge and a
master’s degree in psychology from Pepperdine University. As a licensed
Marriage and Family Therapist, she also maintains a small private
practice, in which she sees individuals, couples and families from the
A native of Los Angeles, Kubrin
lives in the San Fernando Valley with her partner, her son and two
Dr. Kathleen M. Sullivan is the
Director of Seniors Services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian
Center. Sullivan has a doctorate in urban studies and
planning with gerontology as her primary field and research methodology
as her secondary field. Sullivan has experience as an
Executive Director of several organizations as well as a
researcher. Her most recent research publication focused on
housing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors; previous
studies included transportation planning for older adults and access
and use of services by people with HIV/AIDs. Additionally,
Sullivan is a sought-after speaker on housing for sexual minority
seniors and was recently featured at the first HUD conference on
housing for LGBT seniors in Washington, D.C. In addition, she
has been asked to speak on long-term care and housing for LGBT seniors
at the Gerontological Society of America and provides cultural
competency lectures and trainings to organizations and Departments of
Aging throughout Southern California.
As the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's
director of facilities, Hilary Hanft is responsible for security,
maintenance, safety and construction of all five sites—all 100,000
square feet—of the Center's buildings and properties. Hanft brings to
her position years of experience in the skilled-trades world, a
detailed knowledge of physical plant management, and "the know-how to
fix just about anything."
Prior to joining the Center,
Hanft worked for Alcoa Aluminum, where she was the first female
electrician on staff. During her 12-year tenure there, she wore a real
tool belt, went to work at 4:30 a.m., and attended school at night for
three years to earn her Journeyman status. She served as a union member
on the joint UAW/Management Committee for Quality Improvement,
developed and ran the QIP training program, and taught math skills to
union employees who wanted to advance their careers.
Hanft gained her solid management
and sharp budgeting skills during her eight-year career in retail
management at Robinson's department store. She began her
involvement in the nonprofit sector as a Girl Scout, where she
participated as a troop member, a camp counselor, and as an adult, on a
camp-development committee. She has been involved in the National
Organization of Women (NOW), and for four years she served on the board
of directors of the Women's Building, a feminist arts organization in
Los Angeles. Her years of nonprofit experience have given Hanft a
belief that, "if we try, we can change the world." Hanft
graduated from the University of California at Davis.
Imparato made his professional acting debut at age eight in
his hometown, New York City. As an actor, he worked for 25 years on
stage and in film and television. He made the switch to producer in New
York, where he shepherded theater productions for 10 years.
After moving to
L.A., Imparato was asked by the Center to help develop
programming. When the Center created its Cultural Arts Department in
December 1999, he was tapped to become director.
The Center's theater program, which Imparato created,
has garnered numerous awards, nominations and critic’s picks and
presented such highlights as the West Coast premiere of Eve Ensler’s The
Vagina Monologues, Quentin Crisp’s last L.A. appearances and
the 25th anniversary staged reading of Jack Heifner’s Vanities,
starring Kathy Bates.
addition, Imparato has produced the debuts of new shows by
Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Jenifer Lewis, Miss Coco Peru, Alec Mapa,
Joely Fisher and Varla Jean Merman, as well as Emmy-winner Megan
Mullally’s L.A. concert debut. He also produced the world premieres of Secret
Agents and Victory Dance, by Jessica
Litwak (the latter a 2001 Ovation Award nominee for World Premiere
Play), and The Break Up Notebook, by Patricia
Cotter; the most recent L.A. revival of Stephen Dietz’s Lonely
Planet and the GLAAD Award-winning (and Ovation-nominated)
Miss Coco Peru Is Undaunted. Imparato produced the
world premiere of Jenifer Lewis’s first new solo show in six years, Bipolar,
Bath & Beyond, and coproduced the 2006
Ovation Award-winning musical, The Break Up Notebook: The
Lesbian Musical. Most recently, he produced the
critically acclaimed The Lost Plays of Tennessee Williams.
As director of information
technology services, Kevin Powers is responsible for all of the L.A.
Gay & Lesbian Center's computer information, telecommunication
and technology systems. He joined the Center in 1998 and led the
extremely successful effort to upgrade its information systems with the
design and implementation of a state-of-the-art wide-area network.
Prior to joining the
Center, Powers spent 10 years as a systems programmer
and analyst for the
Mobil Oil Corporation and the San Francisco
Chronicle/Examiner. He is a Microsoft certified
systems engineer and earned his BS in computer systems management from
Although immediately prior to
joining the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center staff in May 2004, Curt
Shepard worked as a freelance screen and television writer, he was no
stranger to LGBT movement work, having previously served as director of
the Campus Organizing Project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task
During his tenure at NGLTF,
Shepard was instrumental in launching the National Consortium of
Directors of GLBT Resources in Higher Education and co-authored, edited
and produced the NGLTF Policy Institute's first official publication, Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizing: A Comprehensive Manual.
Shepard's involvement with NGLTF also included two terms as a member of
the organization's board of directors, on which he served as co-chair
for two years.
A native of Bend, Oregon, Shepard
graduated from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon in 1978 with a
joint BA in political science and psychology. He earned his MA in
higher education administration from Ball State University in Muncie,
Indiana in 1981, and his Ph.D. in education from UCLA in 1989, where he
later served in several administrative capacities, including opening
the office that later became UCLA's GLBT Campus Resource Center.
As Director of Human
Resources, Sharon Franklin Brown is responsible for managing all
operations of the Human Resources Department including benefits
administration, recruitment/hiring, staff development and training,
personnel policies and labor relations.
Prior to joining the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center in 2007, her
career included restaurant management, legal services and
academia. Brown is a national speaker on transgender rights
and continues to speak to colleges and universities concerning issues
around the inclusion of gender identity in their anti-discrimination
policies. She began her political career by becoming the first
transgender candidate to seek a seat on the Myrtle Beach City Council
The Louisiana native is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana
University. She holds a bachelor's in Business
Administration Pre-Law and a Paralegal