NEW YORK - Sirdeaner Walker, the mother of an 11-year-old son who took his life last year after enduring anti-gay bullying at school, and five other safe schools advocates have joined GLSEN's National Board of Directors.
The diverse group of new board members comes from the education, social service and corporate communities.
The new members are Madelaine Adelman, Associate Professor at Arizona State University; Cindy Armine, Chief Compliance Officer at Citi; Michael Manthei, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP; Keith Powell, COO & CFO of Kodak Gallery in San Francisco; Talia Stein, former GLSEN National Student Leader; and Walker, Interim Director of Homeless Programs at the Massachusetts Career Development Institute.
"We are honored to welcome these six esteemed GLSEN supporters to our National Board of Directors," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "They bring a range of experience and perspective that will enhance our Board's ability to provide stewardship for GLSEN's continued growth. I look forward to working with them as we strive toward a day when every child learns to respect and accept all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression."
To view a complete list of GLSEN's 26 Board members from the entertainment, media, finance, education, technology and philanthropic communities, click here .
Bios of GLSEN's new National Board of Directors members:
Madelaine Adelman is an Associate Professor, Arizona State University, School of Justice and Social Inquiry and she is Co-Chair of the GLSEN Phoenix Chapter. She has been elected by GLSEN's National Advisory Council (NAC) to be one of its two Adult Co-Chairs for next year and will be the NAC representative on the Board.
Cindy Armine is the Chief Compliance Officer at Citi. With more than 30 years at Citi and its predecessor firms, she has been a leader in its compliance organization for more than 20 years. She is a mother of two and lives with her partner, Geri, in Brooklyn Heights.
Michael Manthei is a Partner at Holland & Knight LLP specializing in the Healthcare & Life Sciences industries. He was one of the founding members of GLSEN's National Leadership Council (currently one of its Co-Chairs) and is Co-Chair of Holland & Knight's GLBT Initiative. He is also a member of the firm's Diversity Committee.
Keith Powell is the COO & CFO of Kodak Gallery in San Francisco and one of the founding members of the NAC. Powell is a former Co-Chair of the GLSEN Rochester Chapter, where he worked to introduce No Name-Calling Week to the city school district.
Talia Stein is currently the Finance Assistant at Lentz for Congress, after having recently graduated from Brown University. She is a member of the NAC and was just elected the Student Co-Chair for the NAC. Talia has worked for years with GLSEN, fighting to start a GSA at her school (with Lambda Legal), serving on the board of the former GLSEN Chicago Chapter, working to form GSAs throughout Illinois and as a GLSEN Jump Start National Team member.
Sirdeaner Walker is the Interim Director of Homeless Programs at the Massachusetts Career Development Institute, having worked in housing and human services for 17 years. She is also currently a spokesperson for GLSEN, taking media interviews, speaking at conferences, and appearing before schools, state legislatures, Congress, and various organizations. Walker has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, World News with Charles Gibson and others to tell the story of her son Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.
The Board also voted to re-elect three current members - Deb Dagit, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Merck & Co, Inc.; Gail Lopes, retired attorney; and Ryan Pedlow, Managing Director of Ziff Brothers Investments.
GLSEN is also excited to announce the hiring of two staff directors, Laura Gottfried, LCSW, as Senior Director of Programs and Aimee Gelnaw as Director of Education.
Gottfried brings more than 20 years of experience in social work, program development, LGBT issue advocacy and senior nonprofit leadership to her role with GLSEN. She previously worked as Vice President for Program Services at the Community Counseling Center in Portland, Maine.
Gelnaw is the former Executive Director of Family Equality Council and Professional Impact NJ at Kean University.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.