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Management Biographies

  Lorri L. Jean

Chief Executive Officer
ljean@lagaycenter.org

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.


  Darrel Cummings

Chief of Staff
dcummings@lagaycenter.org

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 community.

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.


  Kathy Ketchum

Chief Administrative Officer
kketchum@lagaycenter.org

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.


  Jim Key

Chief Public Affairs Officer
jkey@lagaycenter.org

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. 



 Alan Acosta mug Alan Acosta

Director of Strategic Initiatives
aacosta@lagaycenter.org

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 & Education.
 
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 Courant.
 
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.

 


 
 ChrisBrownBioPic.jpg Chris Brown

Director, Health & Mental Health Services
cbrown@lagaycenter.org

Personally and 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.  


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Michael Ferrera

Director of LifeWorks
mferrera@lagaycenter.org

 

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 Project SPIN.

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, Northridge.

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.

 Bill 7.jpg
Bill McDermott

Chief Development Officer
bmcdermott@lagaycenter.org

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.

Not-for-Profit development 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 14 years. 

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 priest.  

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.   


  Robert Bolan, M.D.

Medical Director
bbolan@lagaycenter.org

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 community.

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 working.


  Roger Coggan

Director of Legal Services
rcoggan@lagaycenter.org

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.


 

Greg Sroda

Director of AIDS/LifeCycle
gsroda@lagaycenter.org

 Diane Kubrin

Diane Kubrin

Director of Mental Health Services
dkubrin@lagaycenter.org


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 LGBT community.  

A native of Los Angeles, Kubrin lives in the San Fernando Valley with her partner, her son and two dogs. 


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Dr. Kathleen Sullivan

Director of Seniors Services
ksullivan@lagaycenter.org

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.


  Hilary Hanft

Director of Facilities
hhanft@lagaycenter.org 

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.


  Jon Imparato

Director of Cultural Arts
jimparato@lagaycenter.org

Jon 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.

In 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.

 


  Byron Patel, R.N.

Director of Nursing
bpatel@lagaycenter.org 

  Kevin Powers

Director of Information Technology Services
kpowers@lagaycenter.org

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 Drexel University.


  Curt Shepard

Director of Children, Youth & Family Services
cshepard@lagaycenter.org

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 Force.

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.


Sharon Franklin Brown

Director of Human Resources
                                sbrown@lagaycenter.org


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 in 1997.

The Louisiana native is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University. She holds a bachelor's in Business Administration Pre-Law and a Paralegal Certificate.  




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The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is a 501 c3 registered non-profit.