Michael Lewis, Chair
Michael Lewis is a Director at PepsiCo, Inc. and works across their three U.S. divisions. He started his career in the consumer packaged goods industry in marketing over a decade ago at Procter & Gamble and has also worked in marketing for Teach For America. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University where he served on the Board of Trustees. He also obtained a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. Michael is currently on the Board of Trustees of Excellence Community Schools in New York and the Haverford School in Pennsylvania. Michael resides in New York, NY.
Amber Royster, Co-Chair
Amber Royster is the Executive Director of Equality New Mexico (EQNM), the state’s LGBTQ advocacy organization. Amber grew up in Albuquerque and has family roots throughout New Mexico spanning six generations. Following six years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Master of Public Administration/Public Policy degrees at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. While completing these degrees, Amber worked for CHOICE Regional Health Network and Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Since joining EQNM in February 2013, Amber has worked to reorient and grow the organization to be a trusted partner, advocate, and ally for broad-based social justice issues facing the LGBTQ community.
Sam Nitz, Secretary
Sam Nitz currently serves as the Data & Targeting Manager for EMILY’s List, using data and targeting to help elect more Democratic, pro-choice women to office across the country. Previously, he served as the Deputy Targeting Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2010 and worked at political direct mail and polling firms. In addition, he has served as a trainer for the New Organizing Institute, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, and America Votes. A native of Janesville, WI, he studied Forest Ecology and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and political management at George Washington University.
Aaron Welo, Treasurer
Aaron Welo is an at-large director and the Treasurer for the Equality Federation. He is an Associate at Burns & Levinson LLP in Boston, MA where he represents primarily plaintiffs in employment disputes as well as various business litigation matters. Aaron previously worked at White & Case LLP in Washington, D.C., Thompson Coburn LLP in St. Louis, Missouri, and in the legal department at the Human Rights Campaign. Prior to law school, Aaron was on staff for Fair Wisconsin doing fundraising during its campaign against the Wisconsin marriage amendment in 2006. He successfully represented an LGBT asylum seeker in gaining permanent status in the U.S. and has represented LGBT and various other clients in employment discrimination matters. Aaron attended law school at the University of Minnesota and undergrad at Wesleyan University. He lives in Somerville, MA with his partner, Jon, and their cat, Kathmandu.
Kellan Baker is a Senior Fellow with the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where he works on a range of LGBT health and data collection issues with the federal government and other national and state stakeholders. At CAP, Kellan directs the LGBT State Exchanges Project, which partners with LGBT and consumer health advocates in numerous states to ensure that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act reach LGBT communities, and he is a founding Steering Committee member of Out2Enroll, a nationwide initiative that works to connect LGBT people and their families with their new coverage options under the health reform law. Kellan is also currently pursuing a doctorate in health services research and policy as the Centennial Scholar in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins University. He holds a BA with high honors from Swarthmore College and an MPH and MA from George Washington University. He is a member of the Advisory Panel on Outreach and Enrollment at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is a frequent presenter on LGBT health issues at venues that include the White House, Harvard University, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office, among others. He holds a BA with high honors from Swarthmore College and an MPH and MA from George Washington University.
Jeff Graham is the executive director of Georgia Equality, an organization that works to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities throughout Georgia. Jeff began advocating on LGBT and AIDS related issues as a college student in the mid-1980s and has continued his advocacy on these issues since that time.
He has been involved in a wide variety of grassroots and legislative advocacy campaigns and has served as either an executive director or board member to a number of local and national organizations working on issues related to gay and transgender rights, access to healthcare, community empowerment and HIV/AIDS.
Jeff has received numerous awards and recognition for both his advocacy and nonprofit work from organizations such as the National Center for Human Rights Education, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Atlanta City Council, The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, ACLU of Georgia and several publications and organizations within the local LGBT and HIV communities. He served as a Grand Marshal of the Atlanta Pride Parade in 1999, 2010 and 2012. He is a current board member of Georgia’s progressive round-table, ProGeorgia, and served two terms as the Co-Chair for the Equality Federation board.
Chris Hartman is the first director of Kentucky’s two-decades-old Fairness Campaign and a steering committee member of the Fairness Coalition. In the past two years, he has helped nearly triple the number of Kentucky cities with anti-discrimination LGBT Fairness ordinances from three to eight, including the state capital Frankfort and Appalachian coal town of Vicco, formerly the smallest city in America with LGBT protections. Chris served as Congressman John Yarmuth’s 2008 campaign press secretary, an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) in St. Louis, and Philadelphia director of the Democratic National Committee’s open-air grassroots fundraising arm for the 2004 presidential election. He founded and produced long-form improv troupes in Louisville and St. Louis, and holds an M.A. in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis.
Tony Hoang is the Deputy Director at Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBT organization. In that role, he oversees EQCA’s political, legislative, programmatic and communications activities. Prior to joining the Equality California staff, Tony worked at the Pacific Council of International Policy and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Tony graduated from the University of Southern California with a Major in International Relations and Minors in Political Science and Biology.
Ashland Johnson is Athlete Ally’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, working to activate athletic communities to protect and promote LGBT equality across the country. Before Athlete Ally, Ashland served as Policy Counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, working with NCLR’s Sports Project to eliminate discrimination in sport. She has written and presented extensively on sports inclusion, and on the intersection of sports, race, and gender. Ashland has also advanced progressive LGBT laws and policies for Lambda Legal, the LGBTQ Task Force, and the National Women’s Law Center. Ashland is a former Division I basketball player and Point Scholar. She is a graduate of Furman University and the University of Georgia School of Law. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Point Foundation and the Equality Federation. And in 2016, the National LGBT Bar Association named Ashland as one of the top 40 lawyers under 40.
Monica Meyer became the Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota in 2010, after serving as Public Policy Director since 2001. Under Monica’s leadership, OutFront Minnesota and Project 515 co-founded Minnesotans United for All Families, the campaign which defeated the proposed constitutional amendment to limit the freedom to marry in 2012 and won marriage equality just seven months later. The Minnesota Safe Schools for All Coalition was also founded under Monica’s leadership and successfully advocated for the passage of a comprehensive bullying prevention bill which was signed into law on April 9, 2014. Monica received her master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota, and her undergraduate degree from Hamline University. She lives in South Minneapolis with her wife Michele Steinwald and their dogs Miette and Roux.
Ronald Moore retired February 1, 2016 as the Vice President of Human Resources for Safe Horizon. After seven years. He relocated to his hometown of Detroit on June 1, 2016. At Safe Horizon he was responsible for Staffing, Compensation and Benefits, Training and Development as well as Employee Relations. Safe Horizon is the nation’s largest provider of services to victims of Domestic Violence. SH has approximately 600 employees based in 50 sites within the five boroughs of New York City. The largest client populations are those who live in one of eight Domestic Violence shelters. Other programs include Child Advocacy Centers in each borough servicing children who are victims of physical and/or sexual abuse. Mr. Moore joined Safe Horizon after 26 years of employment in Human Resources at Hewlett Packard. He lived in 5 cities during the 26 years in predominately the Human Resources function. After a transfer to Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Moore became the Site General Manager for the Atlanta Business Center with a population of 2, 500 employees. He was also the face of Hewlett Packard to the Atlanta business and government community. Mr. Moore accepted an early retirement offer from Hewlett Packard in 2005. In 2006 Ronald became the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Kimberly-Clark Company based in Atlanta. He was responsible for the global K-C Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and 15 employee network groups, in addition to managing relations with several national diversity organizations. He decided to return to New York City in 2008. Mr. Moore has been involved in many nonprofit organizations over the years, serving as a member of the board of directors for over 10 nonprofit organizations. He served as President of the Atlanta Executive Network, Co-Chair of Georgia Equality and a board member of Out and Equal. Most recently has volunteered at NY Empire Pride Agenda. He served on the Church Council and was the Chair of the Personnel and Salary committee of the Riverside Church of New York City. Mr. Moore received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, a Master of Arts in Counseling, and a Master’s in Labor and Industrial Relations all from Michigan State University. A native of Detroit, he returned to live there on June 1, 2016.
Julia Rosen is the Digital Director at ActBlue, where she brought a decade of online organizing experience on both electoral and issue campaigns. She comes from MoveOn.org, where she served as a Campaign Director, helping lead their electoral efforts, multi-issue advocacy and fundraising. Prior, she worked as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s Senior Campaigns Director and the Courage Campaign’s Online Political Director. She got her start working for Common Cause, bringing her efforts to democratize campaign fundraising full-circle at ActBlue. Julia graduated from Vassar College with a degree in American Culture, focusing on History and Political Science. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Troy Stevenson is the Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma, the statewide organization focused on public education and advocacy on behalf of Oklahoma’s LGBT Community. Troy is a nationally recognized civil rights advocate and the former executive director of Garden State Equality, in New Jersey, and a veteran of 2 presidential campaigns. Troy earned a degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma, and a degree in international law from the University of Westminster in London.