GLSEN has a large and ever-growing presence in California. Recently, San Francisco served as the backdrop for our winter Board meeting, so in typical GLSEN fashion we wanted to make the most of this West Coast swing.
Kicking off the first of three successful events, Rick Moran, GLSEN Board member and Cisco's Vice President of SMB Solutions Marketing, and his partner Iain Campbell, hosted GLSEN Honor Society members, supporters and new friends at their home in Palm Springs for our second annual "Desert" event. This year we were honored to have the Mayor of Palm Springs, Steve Pougnet, deliver the remarks. Mayor Pougnet is an openly gay father of two, and he and his partner were among the 18,000 same-sex couples legally married in California before the repeal of Proposition 8. At the event, Mayor Pougnet spoke eloquently about the work GLSEN is doing locally and across the country.
GLSEN in the Desert event in Palm Springs
As we made our way up the coast, GLSEN was warmly welcomed on to the Google campus by the Gaygler's (Google's employee resource group) in Mountain View, CA. Joining us were employee resource groups from all over Silicon Valley including eBay, Intuit and Facebook. GLSEN orchestrated a hearty panel discussion on leveraging technology to help make schools safer, featuring GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard; Michelle Scales, a Wells Fargo executive and GLSEN Board Member; Megan Hundley, a Cisco employee and champion of GLSEN's No Name Calling Week; and Jane Harper, a former IBM executive and GLSEN Emeritus Board member. Megan Smith, the Vice President of New Business Development and General Manager at Google, rounded out the panel as we discussed GLSEN's mission and how corporate involvement and funding is essential in the promulgation of GLSEN's materials and resources.
GLSEN panel in Mountain View
The next evening, National Leadership Council member David Dancer hosted more than 100 people at the Infinity Club Lounge in San Francisco. Catering was provided by Laurine Wickett, a contestant on Top Chef
, and amongst the attendees were loyal GLSEN donors; representatives from key corporate partners such as Cisco, IBM, KPMG, Wells Fargo and DLA Piper; and San Francisco residents who are deeply interested in GLSEN's work. Eliza Byard and GLSEN's 2009 Educator of the Year
Mary Jane Karger introduced attendees to the important work that GLSEN does both nationwide and in their own backyard. Additionally, we were warmly welcomed to the Bay Area by staff and volunteer representatives from GLSEN's partner organizations including COLAGE, Equality California, GLAAD, GSA Network, the Gay Men's Chorus and the Human Rights Campaign.
If you are interested in learning more about our presence in California, or are interested in joining our well-established volunteer leadership network in either Southern or Northern California, please contact Lauren Blitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org