David Heitstuman, Executive Director of the Sacramento Region’s oldest and largest LGBTQ organization, is recognized as an imperturbable and results-driven political and communications team leader. He received the Stonewall Freedom from Fear Award in 2016 for his transformative work in the Sacramento LGBTQ community. Before coming to the Center he was chief consultant to California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and had served four prior speakers over 12 years in the Assembly including Toni Atkins, John A. Pérez, Karen Bass, and Fabian Nuñez. He also served as trip director for Assembly Democratic Campaigns, operations director for Steve Westly’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign, advance team lead for Hillary Clinton 2008, Kerry-Edwards 2004, Howard Dean for America, and the Democratic National Committee. He started his career as a communications aide to Governor Gray Davis.
In addition to his statewide and national professional career, he is active in the local community serving as Chair of the Sacramento Parks & Recreation Commission and has served as President of the Sacramento LGBT Center Board of Directors, Member–at-Large on the Sacramento Valley Gay & Lesbian Softball League Board, and as Chair of the Sacramento City Special Events Ordinance Review Committee.
David holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy & Administration from CSU Sacramento and a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and business from Gonzaga University. He is well known for his event production prowess including bringing the Sacramento Red Dress Party to life in 2012. He enjoys volunteering for LGBTQ activist causes, weightlifting, softball, international travel, and dinner parties at home. He grew up in the Yakima Valley of Washington State and moved to Sacramento in 2001. He and his partner Spencer reside at the intersection of Midtown/Oak Park/Curtis Park.
E-mail David | ☏ (916) 442-0185 x102
As an openly out lesbian, she began volunteering at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center in 2002, when it was known as the Lambda Center. Her role as an adult advisor for the Friday Night Youth Group filled her devotion to create safe spaces for queer and trans* youth. In 2006, she was one of the founders of the 20 Somethings Group; a peer group that focuses on supporting young adults. Since moving to Sacramento in 1999, Emily has been involved with multiple nonprofit agencies and groups. Some of the organizations include the Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (SIGLFF) the American Cancer Society, Capital City AIDS Fund, Mutual Housing California, and NorCal Mental Health America. Emily dedicates her volunteer time as President of the PFLAG Sacramento chapter, a support group for parents and caretakers of LGBTQ youth.
Emily has a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and a Master’s in Public & Nonprofit Organizations from Chapman University. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Rhetoric & Communications from UC Davis. She was born in Nicaragua. As a native Spanish speaker, she has firsthand knowledge of cultural differences. With education and professional experience, she makes it a priority to acknowledge and incorporate those cultural differences to create inclusive, diverse coalitions.
Emily loves to travel internationally, dance, and spend time with her partner, and their dog.
E-mail Emily | ☏ (916) 442-0185
Moving out of Silicon Valley for the first time in 2003, she found the freedom to follow her desires and passions for civil rights and social justice; volunteering for local causes, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and campaigning for equality. She joined the board of the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet, and her local PFLAG chapter and volunteered her time as a grant writer for Seniors First, developing revenue streams and business plans to bring much needed services to the growing senior population.
Becoming Development Director at Seniors First, she worked with the board of directors, volunteers and staff to engage with the community, build relationships and raise millions of dollars for much-needed services.
Most recently, Claire was Director of Development and Communication at Stand Up Placer, where she managed development programs, fundraising events, grant management, marketing and communication activities to support programs and services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. By fostering an attitude of philanthropy, collaboration and donor relationship building she helped to double the agency budget and client services in 15 months.
Born in Manchester, U.K. Claire received degrees in Electrical Engineering, Electronics, and Computer Science in the U.K. She attended UCSC’s MBA program, but chose entrepreneurism over academics.
Her community involvement includes graduation from Placer County Sheriff’s Volunteer program, Auburn Police Department’s Volunteer program, Leadership Auburn and Leadership Rocklin civic leadership programs and local economic development commissions, committees and advisory groups.
She has lived through some personally tumultuous times, has two grown children and lives with her college sweetheart, BFF and wife of 30+ years, her Pitbull Bella and two cats and is grateful for all that she has.
Kent is 6 foot 8” and does not play basketball. He does however love to do all things both nature and art. Find him outside by the river or inside next to a canvas!
E-mail Kent | ☏ (916) 442-0185 x101
Lanz Nalagan is honored to serve the LGBTQ community in his capacity as Development Coordinator for the Center. He also serves as Political Director for West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Finance Director for Sacramento City Unified School Boardmember Mai Vang.
Over the years, he grew passionate about campaign finance and philanthropy in the political and non-profit sectors, and he is grateful that his current work reflects that. After immigrating from the Philippines, Lanz grew up in the East Bay area and attended school in the beautiful Central Coast- earning a B.A in Political Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He also lived in Washington, D.C before settling in Sacramento, CA, where he’s lived for 5 years.
He’s a long-time board member of Sacramento Stonewall and more recently with the Asian Pacific Islanders of Sacramento equivalent. Lanz is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and hopes to earn his CFRE- Certified Fundraising Executive- in the near future, to continue funding causes he’s passionate about. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, playing tennis, skiing, square dancing, and spending time with his partner, two adorable schnauzers, family, and friends over good eats and drinks.
After graduating from Sierra College Jesse attended California State University Sacramento where he majored in Sociology. Jesse is very excited to work in the Q-Spot and continue his passion for working with the LGBT community. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys playing video games and exercising.
E-mail Jesse | ☏ (916) 442-0185 x110
Coming soon! We are currently in the hiring process.
Miller is in school and really enjoys learning about American Sign Language (ASL). He is undecided in major but knows he likes making a difference in the lives of marginalized populations and graphic design/art.
E-mail Miller | ☏ (916) 442-0185 x110
Kelsie attended Sierra College where she received three associate of art degrees in Psychology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and LGBT studies. While at Sierra she was an active member of the Rainbow Alliance and helped to organize many events including pride days. She was also a member of the Sierra College LGBTQ Peer Advocates where she focused on LGBT suicide prevention as well as playing a critical role in revamping and specifying safe space trainings to work within the very conservative, Placer County. She is currently an active student at California State University, Sacramento where she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology before continuing to graduate school to pursue Social Work.
Kelsie started out as a youth programs and front desk volunteer for the
Sacramento LGBT Community Center in October of 2015. In February of 2016 she accepted a position as an AmeriCorps member serving at the Center in youth programs working with youth on skill development. After she finished her term with AmeriCorps she stayed on as a staff member working with the youth programs. She could not be happier.
In her spare time, Kelsie enjoys spending time with friends, family, and sorority sisters. She also enjoys cuddling with her three cats.
E-mail Kelsie | ☏ (916) 442-0185 x110
Maihnia Lee, a not-so-recent transplant to Sacramento, hails from her hometown of Fresno, CA. But more recently, she lived in Los Angeles where she graduated with a B.A in Anthropology with an emphasis on Biological Anthropology from UCLA. Shortly thereafter, Maihnia moved to Sacramento where she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) for two years at United Way California Capital Region. Her passion lies in serving and empowering marginalized communities with community building and in healthcare, in particular women and people of color.
Outside of the Center, you can find Maihnia biking along the American River Trail, caught up in a good book or two, practicing her Bird of Paradise yoga pose, and snuggling with her Siamese cat named Monday.
Chris is elated to be joining the Center health team as the new Health Peer Advocate. He is excited to empower community members by providing positive sexual health information and to assist in bridging the link to culturally responsive resources. Chris has always been a champion for sexual health; even carrying condoms in his backpack to pass out to others in high school (which is unheard of in Gilbert, Arizona)! With years of serving populations infected, affected, and at-risk for HIV/AIDS, he feels confident that he can create linkages to support with his approachable manner.
After being certified by the State Office of AIDS in 2011 to provide HIV education and prevention, Chris really started to get involved in the fight to prevent HIV and the associated stigma. He has served the community in various rolls with local organizations including: Breaking Barriers, Equality Action NOW!, UC Davis LGBT Cancer Health Task Force, CGNIE, Community Leadership Council, and NorCal AIDS Cycle. He is also currently working part time as a Ryan White Case manager at Strategies for Change providing Substance Abuse Counseling. Chris welcomes all ideas about how we can work together in making Sacramento a healthier city to live and love in.
With his spare time he enjoys coffee, board games, Netflix, and spending time with friends and family.
E-mail Chris | ☏ (916) 442-0185 x109
Ryan was born and raised in Roseville, California but has spent the past couple years exploring and serving across the country. After graduating from Sacramento State with a degree in Psychology, Ryan served in AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) across the Midwest, travelling to and living in 4 different states in 1 year to partner with various non-profits to support their efforts which ranged from wildland fire fighting, to hosting summer camps for youth with disabilities, and preservation of endangered prairie land.
More recently, Ryan worked at Truman Health Services, a clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico that provides primary care to people living with HIV. At Truman, he worked in the outreach department doing rapid HIV, Hep C and syphilis testing as well as providing comprehensive and affirming sex education to middle and high school youth. Ryan also volunteered with the New Mexico Department of Health in their Syringe Exchange Program where he enrolled people into the program and assisted the effort to provide non-judgmental access to new syringes and works.
Ryan is excited to be a part of the team at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center and to work with community partners to end stigma around HIV, to reach the most marginalized and affected communities, and to provide diverse, affirming and sex-positive education.
In his free time, he likes to play video games, go hiking, play sports and watch documentaries.
Email Ryan at Ryan.Parino@saccenter.org
Freya Media | Social Media Management & Digital Marketing
Elen has been in working in the field of communications all around the world her entire career, starting with a terrific four-year stint as an Air Force technical controller at the NATO Europe data gateway. After completing service, she entered corporate America and worked her way up through the marketing divisions to Director of Product Management at a tier-one global telecom, reaching millions of businesses and individuals around the world with her products and services.
Becoming disillusioned with the impersonal nature of corporate work, she took her skill sets and applied them to building a robust stable of commerce web properties with thousands of happy customers. Elen currently heads Freya Media, an online team of professionals that help small to medium business clients grow quickly by effectively leveraging the heavy power of social media and digital marketing.
According to the Williams Institute study of youth shelters, the ratio of LGBT-identified homeless youth is more than 40 percent, with family rejection the main cause. Working with the Sacramento LGBT Center strikes a personal chord for Elen; as a youth she found herself homeless on the very mean streets of Los Angeles, so she understands first hand the tremendous stress and dangers of being in such a vulnerable and helpless situation. Whether we want to believe it or not, homeless youth are still children, and they are forced to exist alone and defenseless among ruthless predators. And these kids, our kids, are right here, right under our noses. Don’t look away. #ourkids
On a lighter personal note, Elen enjoys hiking, theater, great food, video games with absorbing plots and is a Jeopardy smackdown queen. She has been in love with Sacramento for seven years now and plans to roam no more, other than lots and lots of local adventures and the occasional Trip to Somewhere Awesome with her amazing partner. The cats are on their own.
In past positions, Molly managed the daily operations and staff along with the very successful Spray Valve Project, a program that offered replacement of rinse heads to restaurants and food industries throughout California in association with Honeywell, PG&E and the PUC.
She also worked as an Office Manager/Accountant in a Law Firm based out of Napa, California. Molly has an Associates, in Accounting from the University of Michigan, Flint.
With more than 25 years of experience in event and conference planning, Details2 represents an impressive array of experience, talent, and skill to assist in planning successful events.
The Details2 team has been planning and managing Sacramento Pride since 2012 and is proud to be a part of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center and Sacramento Pride with Kelli Hannaford serving as Pride’s director.
Fred is the founder and publisher of Outword Media Marketing and events, which is now in its 20th year. Outword is an award-winning LGBT publication that publishes on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. It provides news, politics and entertainment for the LGBT community. Outword also offers business consulting, graphic design, fund raising and marketing programs to help a wide range of clients.
Outword is proud to, once again, feature it’s “Wedding Services” section, and co-produce Sacramento’s LGBT Wedding Expo, now going into its fourth year along with Kelli Hannaford. Fred and Kelli also lead a large team to produce Sacramento Pride each year.
Fred also is the promoter for Drag Queen Bingo, which to date, has raised more than $105,000 for local charities. He currently works with many community organizations, doing special events and fundraisers including Sacramento Pride, PFLAG, SIGLFF (Sacramento International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival), Davis Pride, NorCal AIDS Cycle, as well as the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, helping to raise awareness for LGBT issues and to bring in necessary funding.
Fred was awarded in the 2007 Sacramento News & Review Best Local Political Activist and Best Local Print Journalist.
Fred’s corporate experience includes several years at ICG Communications as Vice President of Marketing and several years in regional marketing for MCI Communications. He currently works with many community organizations and committees, and has serves on many boards of directors including Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board
Fred has a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications, with an emphasis in Marketing and Business Management from San Francisco State University.
Volunteer Coordinators & Leads
Nearly 800 people volunteer with the Center annually as board members, council members, program coordinators, event organizers, facilitators, writers, designers, receptionists, resource specialists, youth mentors, advocates, artists, HIV testers and so many more roles we couldn’t possibly list them all here. A very special group of volunteers provide leadership of key areas, giving time and talent year-round.
🔎 Learn about the Center’s history.
🔎 See the Center’s mission, vision and values.
🔎 Meet the Center’s Board of Directors.
🔎 View the Center’s financial information.
🔎 Check out the Center’s accomplishments.