MEMBERS

Joanna Keller, Chair

Joanna Keller

Joanna Keller is very active in her local LGBTQ+ community. She is on the Program Committee and in charge of the Community Clothes Closet at the Shenandoah LGBTQ Center in Staunton, she is a volunteer for Staunton Pride and a member of Shenandoah Valley Equality. Joanna is also a Moderator of Transgender Heaven.com, a safe web site to discuss, help and share resources with transgender identifying individuals.

She has served on the Red Cross Board of Directors, chairperson of the disaster committee, Big Brothers Big Sisters Board, chairperson of activities committee, and board member of the Anchorage Youth Hostel in Anchorage Alaska.

Joanna was a former Air Traffic Controller and a Maintenance Director until her retirement in 2020. 

Stephanie Merlo, Vice Chair

Stephanie Merlo

Stephanie Merlo is an inaugural member of Virginia’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. Prior to this appointment, she served on the Board of Directors for Virginia Pride, ending her five-year tenure as the organization’s Executive Chair. Stephanie has a storied history of service and leadership positions, supporting her communities at the cross-sections of underserved, marginalized, and veteran populations.

Presently, Stephanie works with the organization Reclaiming The Monument as their Community Outreach and Organization Director. Reclaiming the Monument works to address social justice and inequality issues but using light projection based art.

An Army veteran, Stephanie served as a logistics specialist at Dexheim in Germany. In this role, she oversaw a multi-million-dollar portfolio of equipment operations, maintenance, and requisitions for ten Divisions.

In her free time, Stephanie serves as the regional chapter leader for the Minority Veterans of America, the nation’s largest veteran-serving organization that focuses efforts on building community and advocating on behalf of our most marginalized and underserved veteran communities. Stephanie and her wife love to spend time with friends, do wine tastings, and are constantly entertained by their three pets. Additional experience includes management, operations, and training and consulting roles in several private organizations.

Bryan Price

Bryan Price

Bryan Price is the Owner and Founder of GTP Wellness Consulting, L.L.C. GTP Wellness Consulting takes a holistic approach to physical, mental and societal wellness through trainings, mentorships, and coaching. Bryan also works with the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement with the University of Virginia Cancer Center and the Cancer Center without Walls.  Bryan is responsible for the development, delivery, administration and evaluation of cancer and obesity-related initiatives across Southside Virginia.  A native of Danville, Virginia and currently residing in South Boston, Virginia, with his husband, Craig. Bryan studied Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Science at Virginia Tech. His passion is fitness and advocating healthy living in his community. He is a board member of The Health Collaborative, Regional Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth Southwest Advisory Board, Virginia Rural Health Association, Community Improvement Council, Inc.-Danville Head Start, Equality Virginia and the Virginia Department of Health’s Community HIV Planning Group. He is a graduate of the 2018 Class of LEAD Virginia. Bryan has been recently selected by the National Rural Health Association as a member of the 2021 Rural Health Fellows program and as a member of their Health Equity Council.

Dr. Jes Simmons

Jes Simmons

Dr. Jes Simmons is recently retired from Longwood University where she served as the first openly transsexual professor and then as the first openly transsexual administrator.

In 1997, Jes navigated the strict Harry Benjamin Standards of Care for tanssexuals and underwent gender-confirmation surgery in Montreal. Transphobia soon turned her life and career into a game of Chutes-and-Ladders--from grading essays and getting chalk dust on a tweed jacket as a tenured male associate professor in a college classroom in northwest Ohio to taking movie tickets and getting butter on her blouse as a woman working at a single-screen movie theater. In 2013, fortuitous circumstances fell into place and Jes regained her career in academe as a lecturer in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Longwood University.

Jes became a mentor and ally for LGBTQ+ students and faculty, served as advisor to Longwood Pride, and gave presentations to classes on her One Life in Two Genders. Student acceptance of Dr. Jes brought her such awards as Outstanding First-Year Advocate, Student Advocate of the Year, and Student-Athlete Advocate of the Year, as well as awards from Longwood’s time-honored student secret societies: Cahoots, Princeps, and CHI.

Dr. Jes has spoken at academic conferences and seminars throughout the Commonwealth on her transgender journey. In 2016, she advised and worked closely with Logo-TV during its LGBTQ-focused coverage of the Vice-Presidential Debate held at Longwood University.

Jes serves as a board member for Farmville Pride and for the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. Jes has been featured in LGBTQ films and documentaries: Virginia: October 6, 2014 and The Dr. Jes Story. Currently, a Los Angeles screenwriter and filmmaker is creating a mini-series based on her life.

Dr. Jes Simmons is recently retired from Longwood University where she served as the first openly transsexual professor and then as the first openly transsexual administrator.

In 1997, Jes navigated the strict Harry Benjamin Standards of Care for tanssexuals and underwent gender-confirmation surgery in Montreal. Transphobia soon turned her life and career into a game of Chutes-and-Ladders--from grading essays and getting chalk dust on a tweed jacket as a tenured male associate professor in a college classroom in northwest Ohio to taking movie tickets and getting butter on her blouse as a woman working at a single-screen movie theater. In 2013, fortuitous circumstances fell into place and Jes regained her career in academe as a lecturer in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Longwood University.

Jes became a mentor and ally for LGBTQ+ students and faculty, served as advisor to Longwood Pride, and gave presentations to classes on her One Life in Two Genders. Student acceptance of Dr. Jes brought her such awards as Outstanding First-Year Advocate, Student Advocate of the Year, and Student-Athlete Advocate of the Year, as well as awards from Longwood’s time-honored student secret societies: Cahoots, Princeps, and CHI.

Dr. Jes has spoken at academic conferences and seminars throughout the Commonwealth on her transgender journey. In 2016, she advised and worked closely with Logo-TV during its LGBTQ-focused coverage of the Vice-Presidential Debate held at Longwood University.

Jes serves as a board member for Farmville Pride and for the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. Jes has been featured in LGBTQ films and documentaries: Virginia: October 6, 2014 and The Dr. Jes Story. Currently, a Los Angeles screenwriter and filmmaker is creating a mini-series based on her life.

Dr. Monica Motley

Monica Motley

Dr. Monica Motley launched “The Motley Consulting Group” in 2016 to help activists, universities, and organizations address community disparities, complex social issues (e.g. racism, homophobia, etc.) and health inequities in rural communities. As a result, Dr. Motley and TMCG were selected for Business Equality Magazine’s 2019 “LGBTQ Leaders 40 under 40” list. She has also presented their research at the 2016, 2017, and 2018 American Public Health Association National Conference. As a Research Faculty Member at Virginia Tech, she works alongside the Center Director, Dr. Kathy Hosig, to manage a five-year United States Department of Agriculture Grant entitled “Empowering Healthy Families” that will partner with more than 20 congregations across Virginia to assess the effectiveness of a family nutrition and physical activity program to reduce childhood obesity in African American families via faith-based partnerships. She received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in addition to two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech. Monica is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Charley Burton

Charley Burton

Charley Burton is a native of Charlottesville VA.

Charley is the owner of Charley Speaks. Charley conducts speaking engagements and training where through his story telling and inspirational chat involves his audience on what it is like to be a Black Transman living in the south.

He is employed as a Site Manager for WorkSource a non profit company in Charlottesville. WorkSource trains and employs adults with disabilities for employment in the work sector.

Charley is a board member of Equality VA, Board Chair for PFLAG of the Blue Ridge. Board member and Trans liaison for Cville Pride. Founder of Diversity in Recovery. A organization that was founded to provide safe spaces for the LGBTQ/BIPOC community find recovery spaces. Founder of Black Transmen Can Cook. An organization that teaches Black Transmen cooking skills by way of supporting each other through food and fellowship.

 Charley was the former National Program Director of Black Transmen Inc.

Charley is currently enrolled at Morehouse College where in March 2022, he was voted by his peers as Morehouse Man of the Month.

Charley has his life story The Boy Beneath My Skin published.  It’s story about a survivor of abuse, addiction,  mental illness, gender dysphoria.

Demas Boudreaux

Boudreaux Headshot

Demas Boudreaux serves as government relations manager for Virginia Housing, where he liaises and coordinates government relations activities among Virginia Housing, the Virginia General Assembly, executive branch, and congressional delegation. Prior to his work at Virginia Housing, Demas was the government relations director for the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and legislative liaison for the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations. He holds degrees from Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia Tech, and the University of Lynchburg, and is an alumnus of the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program.

Beyond his work in affordable housing, Demas is active in historic preservation, and also serves as the music director for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Richmond. Demas is on the boards of the GERMAN Club Alumni Foundation of Virginia Tech, and Virginia21, which he chairs, an organization that empowers college students and young Virginians to be engaged citizens and advocates for issues important to them and Virginia’s future. In 2019, he was named one of Richmond’s “Top 40 under 40” by Style Weekly.

Evelyn BruMar

Evelyn Brumar

Since moving to Virginia in 2013, I realized that the human rights of many marginalized community members have been lacking, especially the LGBTQ+ community.

Since 2015 I have been volunteering with food pantries and homeless shelters, talking face to face with individuals in Prince William County about the discrimination they face and the lack of resources available which led me to be more direct with my advocacy.

In 2016 and 2017 I helped to organize Northern Virginia Pride volunteers to run festivals. In 2017 I helped organize a movement to support protections for LGBTQ+ staff and students in Prince William County’s public schools and advocated for LGBTQ+ Pride Month in Manassas and Manassas Park.
In 2018 I organized and ran the first public “Pride Bingo'' to help raise money to support the LGBTQ+ community in greater Prince William. I organized and advocated for LGBTQ+ Pride Month proclamation for the first time in Prince William County and the LGBTQ+ community added to the county’s “Hate and Bigotry Free Zone.” I was able to repeat the passing of both proclamations in 2019 through the Prince William County Human Rights Commission and Board of County Supervisors.

In 2018 when the county was being leafletted with Ku Klux Klan literature, I organized a “Community United Against Hate” rally at Conway Robinson State Forest for the public to gather with elected officials, non-profit service organizations, and the Prince William County Human Rights Commission. From this event, I helped the Human Rights Commission organize with other community leaders a “Celebrating Our Diversity in a Time of Adversity” town hall.
In 2018 and 2019, I was invited to speak at the Drug Enforcement Agency and Department of Justice Pride program, educating law enforcement agents and government directors on the need to protect the LGBTQ+ community.

In 2019 I helped organize the Network NOVA ``Women's Summit” and assisted in leading a breakout session advocating for LGBTQ+ issues. I founded Casa BruMar Foundation in October 2019, with the mission to give acceptance and assistance to, and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, helping Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth in getting resources and shelter.

In January 2020, I received the Human Rights Award from Prince William County Human Rights Commission. In February 2020 I was officially seated as one of Prince William County’s Human Rights Commissioners making me the first Latinx Lesbian to hold that position. In June of 2020, I organized and advocated in getting LGBTQ+ Pride Month recognized and proclaimed in Prince William County Public Schools. In January 2021, I was elected Parliamentarian of the Prince William Human Rights Commission. I received Equality Virginia OUTstanding Virginian in 2021.

Currently, I am working on getting the first LGBTQ+ community center opened in greater Prince William County to serve NoVa’s LGBTQ+ community. I also do inclusive LGBTQ+ lectures and training for PWC/Manassas First Responders (911), Law Enforcement agencies and Jails/Court officers.

Jonathan Dromgoole

Jonathan Dromgoole

Mexican made, Texas-raised, & DC educated, Jonathan Dromgoole is a community leader focused on increasing representation for the Latinx & LGBTQ+ community in policy & public service. Jonathan is a double first-generation graduate of Georgetown University (SFS ’16 & MPP ’19) and alumni of the Sorensen Institute's Emerging Leaders Program at UVA(’20) where he was one of three Latinx and the only out queer individual. 

Jonathan’s professional & personal achievements have focused on social good & people-centered policies that enhance diverse representation from international development practices to local activism. In his professional capacity he has worked with and advised ambassadors, executives, policymakers, elected officials, and community leaders. Jonathan also serves on the boards of several local and national partisan and non-partisan boards such as the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia and the League of United Latin American Citizens.

An advocate for inclusive leadership, Jonathan authored “Out to Lead: Shaping Queer Leadership” focused on unique leadership abilities and advantages of the LGBTQ+ community and how, through resilience, they are the leaders we need today.

He lives with his husband, Juan, and their two dogs in Northern Virginia.

Kevin Han

Kevin Han

Kevin Han (he/him) is a second-generation Korean American born and raised in Virginia.  Kevin has gained experience with community engagement in a wide range of fields, including youth development, teaching English, and public service in the federal government. As a community health worker, he is focused on educating and connecting diverse communities with health coverage. He believes everyone deserves access to affordable healthcare, and is fully committed to helping anyone, including immigrants, LGBTQ+, women, and those with disabilities, acquire that basic human right. With an educational background in politics and foreign affairs, he is passionate about civic engagement and voting rights. Kevin is committed to representing the communities that he is a part of. In his free time, Kevin enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, and watching sunsets at the beach.

Michael Berlucci

Michael Berlucci

Michael Berlucchi serves on the Virginia Beach City Council as the Rose Hall District representative and is the Community and Government Relations Manager for the Chrysler Museum of Art, where he creates and implements educational and community partnerships designed to expand and diversify museum audiences, particularly among under-served constituencies. He is a former president of Hampton Roads Pride and founding co-chair of the Hampton Roads LGBTQ Public Safety Consortium and Virginia Beach for Fairness. Prior to serving on City Council, he was a member of the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission and served on the board of directors for the Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation. Berlucchi is an active supporter of many non-profit and community organizations, including Green Run Collegiate, Hope House Foundation, CIVIC Leadership Institute, Old Beach Farmer’s Market, United Negro College Fund, Virginia MOCA, the African American Cultural Center of Virginia, and others.

Berlucchi has authored a number of articles and given presentations on a range of topics related to his work and community/civic engagement and was named as one of Inside Business’ Top Forty under 40 and as an OUTstanding Virginian by Equality Virginia. He studied Government and International Politics at George Mason University and is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia and the CIVIC Leadership Institute at Old Dominion University.

Patty Smith

Patty Smith

Patricia (Patty) Smith has been an educator for over 35 years, the last 15 at The Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology in Petersburg, VA. A longtime advocate for LGBTQ youth, she was one of the original Board members of GLSEN, back when it was still a regional organization in Massachusetts, and she coordinated the national conference for three years. Now, at ARGS, she serves as the faculty sponsor for their GSA, Spectrum. In addition to being an educator, she is also a writer, and her debut novel The Year of Needy Girls, was a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist. Other work includes essays that appear in the following anthologies: Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing, (Gillian Kendall, ed.) One Teacher in Ten: LGBTQ Educators Share Their Stories; One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium: LGBTQ Educators Speak Out About What’s Gotten Better…and What Hasn’t (Kevin Jennings, ed), and Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival (Sarah Einstein & Sandra Lambert, eds) among others.  A native New Englander, she lives with her wife in Chester, VA.

​Phil Kazmierczak

​Phil Kazmierczak of Virginia Beach, President of Log Cabin Republicans of Hampton Roads

Phil Kazmierczak is a Real Estate Associate Broker and President of Property Management with Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty. Phil recently won the coveted 2021 Hampton Roads REALTORS Association Distinguished Property Manager of the Year award. Currently, Phil serves on the Hampton Roads REALTORS Association Board of Directors and also serves as the Moderator of the Property Management & Leasing Council. He is the Government Affairs Director for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) and was appointed by Virginia Beach City Council to the Housing Advisory Board. Phil also sits on the board of directors of the Hampton Roads Republican Professionals Network and is the President of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans. In 2021, Phil ran for the House of Delegates. Phil resides in Virginia Beach with his husband, Navy LT. Aaron Abreu and their two dogs Cooper and Chonk.

Preston Main

Preston Main of Hanover County

Thomas N. Turner

Thomas N. Turner of Suffolk City

Tracey Monegain

Bio coming soon

Ex-Officio Members