David Heitstuman, MPPA, Chief Executive Officer
David Heitstuman, Chief Executive Officer 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 also a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business LGBT Executive Leadership Program and the Equality California Institute Leadership Academy. 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
Koby Rodriguez, Chief Program Officer
Koby Rodriguez (he/him/his) serves as the Chief Program Officer at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. Within this capacity, Koby leads a department of 20 staff providing client-facing services to the LGBTQIA community in Sacramento, California. These client-facing services include Health Programs, Latinx Outreach, Community Resources, Youth Programs, Housing, and the Outreach & Training Institute. Prior to his appointment, he spent the previous fourteen years in higher education, most recently serving as the Associate Director of the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center, working with scholars and student staff to advance social justice and intersectionality programming in one of California’s largest university cultural centers. Before arriving to UC Davis, he led campus diversity, inclusion, residence life, and housing programs at the University of Redlands.
Koby’s radical social justice philosophies are informed by his Mixed-Latinx Queer identities. He also has experience as an instructor, conference presenter, and trainer, and currently serves as Past-President of the California Council Cultural Centers in Higher Education (CaCCCHE), a network of social justice educators and practitioners in California. He also previously served as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community Region VI Representative.
Both his undergraduate (Race and Ethnic Studies) and graduate (Higher Education) work took place at the University of Redlands. Koby resides in Natomas with his partner (Mikey), corgi (Konah), and shiba inu (Bao).
E-mail Koby | ☏ (916) 442-0185 ext. 106
Tim Johns, Chief Development Officer
Tim Johns is originally from Lima Ohio and has an MA in non-profit administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He has worked for two Planned Parenthood Affiliates for the last 15 years, most recently with the Utah Affiliate headquartered in Salt Lake City. While with Utah’s Planned Parenthood, Tim oversaw a dramatic diversification and expansion of private fundraising dollars to underwrite comprehensive reproductive health care services and education for Utah’s fast-growing populations. Tim also oversaw the affiliate’s political fundraising to help encourage candidates that support reproductive choice and other progressive policies at Utah’s Capitol. In 2015, Utah’s affiliate received the affiliate award for excellence from Planned Parenthood Federation of America due to the rapid expansion of the fundraising program in Utah. Under Tim’s leadership, the number of donors has quintupled, and fundraising dollars increased by 361%. Planned Parenthood’s emergency reserves increased by $10 million dollars. Lastly, over $2 million dollars in legacy giving commitments were received from the newly created Planned Giving program.
Tim has also served on the Utah Pride Center’s Board of Directors for the past six years. During this time, he was Secretary of the Board, and he also chaired the mental health committee and volunteered each year at the Utah Pride Festival and Parade which attracts over 60,000 individuals from Utah and neighboring states. While serving on the Board of the Utah Pride Center, Tim realized that his heart lies in helping LGBTQ+ individuals to succeed and stay healthy and quickly applied for the open External Affairs Officer position at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. Tim is eager to work with the diverse populations of the Sacramento region and diversify and grow the fundraising revenue streams as he has done for several organizations throughout his 25-year career in fundraising and marketing.
E-mail Tim | ☏ (916) 442-0185
Simone Thomas, Deputy Chief Program Officer
Simone Thomas stands rooted in honesty, transparency, hard work and empowerment. Her passion for serving Sacramento’s youth emanates contagiously. As a strategic planner and executor, she is able to see the bigger picture and zoom into each programs’ framework to ensure quality, effectiveness and advancement. Simone’s accredited leadership development makes her decision making reputable and respected by the organization and community. As a futuristic leader, Simone has the vast ability to energize others to fortuitously tackle feats with an unequivocal mindset.
As the current Director of Housing Services, Simone develops collaborative relationships with community leaders, businesses and advocates to meet the needs of the region’s transitional-aged youth. Simone strives to supply young adults with fundamental life skills, employment readiness, medical/ mental health resources and education opportunities. Simone’s love for learning and development began during her undergraduate studies where she learned various facilitation styles to promote cohesive group dynamics. Simone believes in the idea that ‘teamwork makes the dream work’. Therefore, capacity building is at the forefront of her training goals while empowering all staff to use their distinctive talents and to appreciate the talents of others.
Born in Jamaica, Simone grew up in New York and Pennsylvania and is the youngest of eight children. Simone and four of her siblings are first generation college graduates. She and three of her siblings earned their BS from The Pennsylvania State University. Simone went on to be the first in her family to receive a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management specializing in Organizational Leadership and is currently pursue her PhD in Organizational Management. Her primary focus of research is to assist small and large organizations in fostering positive, structural change while redeveloping its core mission and values. Simone currently lives in Midtown Sacramento and enjoys experiencing the diverse community promotions Sacramento offers through art, music and food.
E-mail Simone | ☏ (916) 442-0185 ext. 107
Sarah Lehua Sanarez, Director of Housing Services
Sarah Lehua Sanarez, joins the Center as the Director of Housing Services with years of experience managing housing programs and rehousing services in the Sacramento area. She specializes in working with the TAY population but is dedicated to finding and creating safe housing solutions that have an impact on the housing crisis experienced by all. Sarah has worked on all aspects of housing programs, from direct service to program development and implementation, and is always seeking to build on her network of partnerships to best support anyone that crosses her path. Sarah has been a warrior in advocating and being a mentor in the community for underserved populations and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and skills with others so they may serve in a comparable capacity.
Sarah is the middle child of three daughters and was born on Guam and raised in California. She has her Master’s Degree in Administration of Justice and Security and an Associate’s Degree in Social and Behavioral Science. She enjoys spending time with loved ones and being a dog mama to Stormi Blue. Whenever possible, Sarah likes to explore the outdoors by way of “glamping” or travel out of the country to learn and experience other beautiful cultures
Alexis Sanchez, Director of Advocacy and Training
Alexis Sanchez, A Los Angeles native, got her start in activism in 2016 after the Pulse Nightclub Shooting. She participated in a project that went across the country to the site of different gun related hate crimes and culminated in a rally for common sense gun reform and increase hate crime protections for the LGBTQIA+ community. After visiting the spot where a transgender woman of color was murdered, she decided to dedicate her life to bettering the lives of the transgender community and pursing policy changes that will help to bring more opportunities to trans individuals – especially trans women of color.
Alexis’ background is in public health policy with a specialization in substance use disorders in the LGBTQIA+ community. She was a thought leader in her field and worked to raise awareness of how systems of oppression (such as housing discrimination or over-policing) lead to shorter lifespans and poorer health for marginalized peoples and how the only way to improve the health of marginalized communities is the dismantling of these systems. She also served on the City of West Hollywood’s Transgender Advisory Board for 4 years and in this role worked to create numerous policy changes and campaigns to create a safer city for transgender people.
Alexis is an alumni of the Equality California Institute Leadership Academy, and has participated in many initiatives that train underrepresented minorities to run for office. She serves on the Board of Directors for Still Bisexual, a national bi+ advocacy organization. Alexis was named Woman of the Year 2020 for CA-28 by Representative Adam Schiff. She spends the bulk of her free time trying to improve her community through volunteering, community organizing, and media advocacy to help normalize trans identities.
E-mail Alexis | ☏ (916) 442-0185 ext. 115
Christi Gray, Director of Health Services
Christi Gray, joined us as an executive level healthcare consultant with over 35 years’ experience in healthcare administration and operations. Her career includes leadership roles in many facets of healthcare, from clinic operations to managed care delivery systems. As a consultant she developed tools to assist healthcare providers, leading them to better patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes, financial stability, and overall practice viability.
She leads with honesty, integrity and grace, empowering staff to provide excellent patient care. In addition to her professional career, she served on the local and state Medical Group Management Association boards.
She is a California native, currently living in Antelope and her passions are family, community outreach, boxer dog rescue and horses. She wants to own and operate an animal rescue organization when she retires.
Email Christi at email@example.com
Asia Reza, Director of Human Resources
Asia Reza (She/ Her/ Hers) – Director of Human Resources
Asia Reza joins the center as the Director of Human Resources with 10 years of HR administration and management experience. Her career has included administrative and talent acquisition management on both the level-line and senior levels for several reputable corporations. She is excited to join the center as the new DHR and hopes to elevate the current HR practices with her skill-set and collaborative efforts with the entire team. She is extremely grateful for this opportunity and hopes to be an integral part of the growth of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.
Asia is an LA girl born and raised. She grew up in the east and southeast neighborhoods of Los Angeles and its suburbs. She followed a job and her impulsive tendencies to Sacramento in 2016 and has planted her roots here ever since. Her LA upbringing and Latina roots immersed her in a culture of telenovelas, flea markets, a deep love for street foods, 90s rap, and R&B, always starting a Saturday morning with pan dulce, regular house energy cleansings, and an ever-growing, no-stop-in-sight plant collection. Asia is an avid reader, collector of used books, and a le cordon-hood trained chef with a knack for only knowing how to prepare meals for 10+ people.
Lastly, she is a mom to two massive teenagers and a loving yet impossibly annoying partner to her incredibly patient love, Raul. They live in the super quiet, not-at-all-like-LA town of Lincoln. She is always ready for a Saturday morning Midtown Farmers’ Market, horror movie marathons (give her anything from A24 or give her nothing at all), or hosting a dinner party on any night of the week.
Email Asia at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 916.442.0185 ex. 129
Valerie T. Mayweather, Grant Finance Manager
Collin Lourenco, Pride & Events Director
Collin is pleased to be joining the Center as a the Pride & Events Director. Collin comes to the center with a unique background of mixed experience in organizing, planning and promoting events; including HIV/Aids relief fundraising events and LGBTQ+ centered community events in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. An artist by nature, Collin plans to bring a creative eye to the roster of events produced by the center annually in hopes to create magical and memorable experiences for all those we serve. As a Northern California and Central Valley native, Collin hopes to develop new traditions and activations that enrich the lives of his community. When not working Collin enjoys spending time with friends and loved ones, attending Drag shows, sewing and crafting and watching scary movies. Collin looks forward to being a resource and sharing a connection to the Sacramento LGBTQ+ community with the priority of creating events that are inclusive, affirming and representative to all – and of course, a blast to attend!
Hollis Sweet, Community Engagement & Volunteer Services Manager
Hollis Sweet (he/him) joins the Center as the new Community Engagement and Volunteer Services Manager. A local, Hollis graduated from a Sacramento Region high school and then attended UC Davis where he studied Interpersonal & Organizational Communication and explored Performance Theory dabbling in all aspects of the performative and experimenting with digital cinema. When he found himself working with volunteers over 20 years ago, he quickly realized that the most rewarding professional relationships he had developed were the relationships he built with the volunteers he engaged. This inspired him and lead to the decision to focus his career on engaging volunteers to support the work of non-profit organizations.
Hollis’ experience engaging volunteers and creating/implementing sustainable infrastructure includes serving in AmeriCorps with the Volunteer Infrastructure Project and active memberships with local and national Volunteer Engagement professional organizations, which he uses to access resources and stay informed of best practices in the Volunteer Engagement profession. He is looking forward to using his experience and connections to expand the current volunteer program so that all volunteer and intern opportunities engage volunteers, learners, and community stakeholders through meaningful experiences that support achieving the Center’s mission and establishing a reputation for the Center to be a great place to volunteer or complete an internship.
Please contact Hollis if you would like to
- Explore how a partnership with your organization can be mutually beneficial,
- If you are looking for opportunities for your corporate volunteer program,
- If you are interested in discussing the possibility of completing an internship or practicum,
- If you want more information about volunteering at Sacramento Pride Festival, or
- If you are interested in opportunities to volunteer in an ongoing, one-time, event-based, or skills-based capacity.
Karen Kurasaki, PhD
Karen Kurasaki (She/Her/Hers), PhD, Grants & Program Sustainability Manager
Karen Kurasaki joins the Sacramento LGBT Community Center as the Grants & Program Sustainability Manager bringing with her years of combined experience in community engagement, program development, grant writing, research, strategic planning, and statewide policy implementation. Over her career, Karen has focused on a variety of issues related to health equity and brings her passion in this area to her new role at the Center. She also currently teaches family studies courses at Sacramento State University. Karen earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical-community psychology from DePaul University. In her spare time, she enjoys taking her kids to the snow and to the coast. Email Karen at email@example.com
Priya Kumar, Communications & Marketing Manager
Priya Kumar (she/her) joins the Center as the Communications & Marketing Manager. With a background in Communications from Sacramento State and experience in the nonprofit and media production industries, Priya brings a wealth of expertise to the team. She has a proven track record of working on high-profile projects for clients in diverse industries, including professional sports, healthcare, and tourism.
Priya is driven by her passion for communication, creativity, and relationship building. Born in Napa, and raised in Fairfield, CA, Priya is a proud second-generation child of immigrants from the Fiji Islands and the Indian diaspora.
In her free time, Priya loves to stay active and explore new experiences, which could include dropping in an improv class, watching her latest binge-worthy show with her partner, or planning her next Instagram-worthy travel adventure.
Reach out to Priya if you have questions about media, communications, marketing, or development.
Aaron Armer, Lead Sexual Health Testing Counselor and Case Manager
Aaron Armer (they/them) is a 23 year old whose advocacy is focused on decolonizing internalized messages of white supremacy and they believe we have to be just as committed in dispelling stigmas surrounding Black, Brown, and queer communities as society is at perpetuating narratives that cause harm to our strong already very vulnerable communities. They want to re envision a world where those who are most marginalized have sufficient resources, legislation and love allocated to protecting their livelihood.
E-mail Aaron | ☏ (916) 442-1120 ext. 201
Andy Cha, Youth Outreach Coordinator
Andy Cha (He/Him/They/Them) is more than excited to serve as the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. Growing up gay, Andy always wanted to be part of a community that loved and supported him. Now, Andy is committed to using this opportunity to strengthen the voices of our LGBTQ+ youth, to provide the necessary resources for the community, and to inspire everyone to spread love throughout the world.
Additionally, Andy graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a minor in Labor Studies. During his time at UCLA, he learned how social structure affects us all disproportionately, so he became involved in various organizations that promote social justice and equity.
One of his favorite memories was serving with the Youth Empowerment Program, where he mentored and tutored students from underserved communities in Los Angeles. Another favorite memory includes being part of the Association of Hmong Students at UCLA and promoting higher education to Hmong youth from all over California. Andy says, “It is rewarding to see the students I mentored get accepted into their dream colleges, especially when they think they couldn’t, but they did. Many students would reach out to thank me, but the truth is that they were already intelligent and capable. They just needed someone to believe in them.”
Along with Andy’s identities, life-stories, experiences, and education, he grew a passion for advocating for diversity, inclusivity, accessibility, and equity for all. He strives to create a brave space to inspire hope for others and to empower the community. Andy hopes to continue giving back to the community overall.
Lastly, Andy wants you to know:
You are strong.
You are capable.
And most of all,
We all belong here.
Breana Herndon, Transitional Living Program Housing Advocate
Breana is excited to start her journey serving the LGBTQ+ community. She is very passionate about being of service to others. She began to help out locally by doing volunteer work of all kinds. Breana enjoys assisting/guiding others to become their best and reach goals all while sustaining great mental health. She has earned degrees in Behavioral Science, Mass Communication, Allied Health, and Administration of Justice. Although she has a wide range of passions the core of all of them remain overall human wellness. She is optimistic that her long-term career will be in behavioral health.
Bren Torres, STEP Coordinator
Bren Torres (They/Them) is ecstatic to serve their community working with the Host Homes program. Having had years of lived experience with homelessness, they are very passionate about stopping queer youth homelessness. They have been apart of the LGBTQ+ community since 2005, from assisting starting their hometowns first GSA club to making motivating videos for the It Gets Better Project all throughout high school.
Bren is a proud latinx pansexual transmasculine Nonbinary person, and is a member of the leather community. They co-founded ART of Leather, an intensive educational program for alternative lifestyles. They are on the board and is the current Educational Director of the program. When Bren isn’t trying to change the world, you can usually find them hanging out with their chosen family and friends, snuggling with their 4 dogs and 2 cats and their life partner, Sam.
E-mail Bren | ☏ (916) 514-7157
Geoffrey Fralick STEP Case Manager
Geoffrey Fralick is the most recent case manager hired to serve our youth at STEP. He is excited to grow both professionally and as a member of the team here at the Center. Geoff is currently enrolled at a local community college where he studies Sociology. He plans to transfer to Sacramento State University next year where he will work towards his BA is Social Work. For the past year, Geoff has worked as a shelter attendant at The Gathering Inn, a nonprofit emergency shelter located in Placer County. He hopes to use the skills and knowledge he has gathered to further serve our youth. In his spare time, Geoff enjoys painting, watching Disney Pixar movies, cooking and planning dinner parties with friends. He can’t wait to experience this community and meet everyone on the team.
Haley Betschart, STEP Housing Navigator & Case Manager
Jelan Gentry, Youth Advocate
Jelan Gentry is extremely excited to work in an environment that is LGBTQ+ as he has lived life experience with homelessness and mental health. It is his passion to empower youth and to keep them motivated for success. He is able to understand and relate to people of the LGBTQ+ community because he has gone through the struggles of not being accepted himself. When he’s not empowering youth to achieve success, he frequently writes music in his journal which helps him cope with his day-to-day life. Jelan has worked with youth throughout his life and loves to give back to his community by sharing his story with others. He resonates with the word perseverance because that is what he used to keep pushing when times were tough.
Keelin Cunningham, STEP Housing Advocate
“I’m excited to be a member of the team and to be able to serve the LGBTQ+ community in Sacramento. I’ve worked as a Youth Counselor and volunteered with many LGBTQ+ organizations and am very passionate about this work. As a Housing Advocate I’m eager to be of service and to grow in this position by gaining knowledge and experience to better serve our community. When I’m not working I enjoy adventuring and camping with my dog, spending time with my family, and meeting new people.”
Leslie Parada, Sexual Health Testing Counselor and Case Manager
Leslie Parada, (She/Her/Hers) is honored to be serving as the Sexual Health Testing Counselor and Case Manager at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. She graduated from Sacramento State University in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Leslie has volunteered and worked on congressional campaigns, food banks, after school programs, and the LGBT Center! Doing so has given her a greater grasp of the community she serves and the knowledge and skills to be able to help the undeserved and underrepresented groups in Sacramento.
In her spare time, Leslie loves to take her rescue Pit Bull Terrier, Brent, out for hikes on mountainous trails and scenic walkways. She loves to read up on history, sociology, and culture. Leslie also has an affinity for learning languages.
Leslie’s goal is to eradicate the stigma surrounding sexual health issues in the Black and Brown local queer communities and to promote health education and wellness.
Lizethe Rodriguez, Bilingual Community Resource and Outreach Coordinator
Lizethe is excited to join the Sacramento LGBT Community Center team to as the Bilingual Community Resource and Outreach Coordinator. Although they are a recent Sonoma State graduate, Lizethe was born and raised in South Sacramento as a Latinx Nonbinary person. They graduated with a degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Studies with a Development Concentration. Lizethe hopes to work to eliminate many stigmas in their cultural communities, especially the views regarding gender and sexuality in their Latinx heritage. They want to create more inclusion and belonging in this community that has taken care of them since even before they came out in 2018.
Lizethe has volunteered at the Center in the Adult Respite program and was a co-director in Sonoma State’s Vagina Monologues whose goal is to end gendered violence. Their time at the club was what really ignited their passion for social justice issues and with intersectionality as they noticed that many spaces seemed to only acknowledge how systems oppress marginalized identities as a single rather than many identities are tied together and therefore affected together.
During their spare time, you can find Lizethe hanging out with their friends and partner whether in person or Discord voice chats. They also love listening to Bad Bunny and dancing.
Marcy Basila, Community Resource & Groups Coordinator
Marcy Basila is a recent Sacramento State University graduate. She was an intern at the center before she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. In the Fall 2018, she will be pursuing her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration on LGBTQ issues, Seniors, and Veterans.
Marcy is a mother of four children and has a grand-pup named Sunny. She is an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and is a parent to an LGBTQ+ youth. Her hobbies include cooking, shopping, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. Self-care is an important part of being a Social Worker and Marcy enjoys movies and popcorn.
Marcy’s experience from interning with the Sacramento LGBT Community Center has brought meaning and compassion with her work. Her passion to help the most marginalized has taken her advocacy work to the California State Capitol lobbying for LGBTQ+ rights.
She would like to thank the Sacramento LGBT Community Center in giving her the opportunity to be a part of their team, helping the LGBTQ+ community thrive.
Merlin Foxx, STEP Housing Advocate
Merlin Jude Storm Foxx is passionate about serving, and being a part of, their LGBTQ+ community. Having many years of service work doing cancer research fundraising and blood drives in their youth, Merlin has a foundation of giving back and supporting those that might need an extra helping hand. Being a homeless LGBT+ youth themselves at the age of 18, and again at 22, Merlin brings knowledge of a lived experience to the table, and works hard to make sure others experiencing homelessness know that there is hope for a future.
Merlin is proud of all of their Queer identities; Nonbinary Trans, Neptunic, and Polyamorous. Merlin is also honored to be a member of the Leather community and Board Member of A.R.T. of Leather. They are Secretary and Educator in the program, their focus on consent education.
When Merlin isn’t working hard to help others, you can find them enjoy a session of Dungeons and Dragons with close friends. Making candles for their Etsy shop, Foxwick Candles. Or taking care of their 4-year-old puppy Arya, and spending time with their chosen family.
Monaliza Ibanez, Receptionist/Community Resource Aide
I am highly organized, detail oriented, and consistently meet deadlines. I like a clean workspace and a logical filing method. I find this increases my efficiency and helps the rest of the team stay on track. I thrive on setting goals for myself that are essential to my personal growth and professional success. I always challenge myself to learn new skills that will help me to improve myself, do better work and ensure quality and positive outcomes. I am dedicated, loyal, and above all passionate about my work. Because I love what I do, I am naturally motivated, committed, and driven to do my best.
Neil Jahn Capulong, Gender and Sexual Health Coordinator
Neil Jahn Capulong is thrilled to join the Center as the Gender and Sexual Health Coordinator! They obtained a B.S. in Microbiology at UC Davis and has been working in the clinical lab during the pandemic before realizing their desire to give back to the people that provided him the queer healing that he needed. By using their skills, knowledge, and life experiences in infectious disease and diagnostic testing, Neil hopes to alleviate the health disparities that the LGBTQ+ community experience in Sacramento, particularly in gender and sexual health. He envisions a future where queer people, especially trans and nonbinary BIPOC, feel comfortable seeking medical care without fear of being turned away, being misgendered, being mistreated, and/or having to educate their providers about their identity.
Neil hails from the culinary capital of the Philippines: Pampanga, and immigrated to Stockton, CA with his family. In their spare time, they enjoy reading, playing volleyball at Land Park, singing at karaoke nights, cooking and baking, going to concerts, volunteering, and playing video games.
Tia Martinez, STEP Housing Advocate
Tia Martinez is most at home among books, dogs, and all things spooky. She’s a storyteller at heart with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Library and Information Science with an emphasis in youth services through San José State University. She’s passionate about young adult book diversity and inclusivity, and fights her ironic reluctant reader nature every day to continue doing what she loves.
Tlaltzin Adriana Muro, Housing Navigator Coordinator
Tlaltzin Adriana Muro is very excited to join the team as the Housing Navigator Coordinator! Tlaltzin is very passionate about mental health awareness and helping the community. Tlaltzin earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sacramento State and prides herself on her experience as a Behavior Technician, providing outpatient mental health services, and assisting adults end homelessness and finding permanent housing solutions. Tlaltzin is very excited to assist and educate youth and adults on gaining and sustaining permanent housing solutions. On her time off, she likes to spend time with friends and family, meet new people, explore new places, eating, nature, house plants, and loves animals. Her two babies are Tokio the Shiba Inu and Nutella the tortoise.
Giselle Escalante, Housing Advocate
Giselle Escalante (they/them) feels immense pride to be a Housing Advocate for the Sacramento LGBT Center. They are originally from a small town in Central California born to second generation immigrants on both sides. Adversity stemming from their queer and nonbinary Latinx identity led to housing conflicts as a teenager and they were subsequently pushed into the system in a town without resources for at-risk queer youth. This ultimately led to them aging out of the system in San Francisco, unhoused and struggling to find adequate mental health services.
The culmination of these experiences have since motivated them to better themselves and support their community in the way they once needed. They devoted themselves to educating themself on mental health and emotional wellbeing despite the barriers to higher education they faced. From Cognitive or Dialectical behavioral therapy, to Accept & Commitment therapy, and other trauma informed practices, they have a deep vested desire for knowledge that can ease the weight of others’ journeys.
Giselle has lived in Oak Park for several years with their two cats Fuzz & Ham, and their boyfriend Randy. They love to attend local drag shows in their free time. They are passionate about cooking, book collecting, and many forms of caffeinated beverages.
Emai Giselle: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Ferndandez, Executive Assistant
Elizabeth Fernandez (she/her) is very excited to join the Center as the new Executive Assistant. Coming from a nonprofit organization that assisted Native Americans in obtaining and maintaining employment, as well as providing other supportive services, Elizabeth is excited to bring the knowledge and experience she gained and apply it in her new position. She is eager to learn more about the history of the LGBTQIA community, as well as provide her assistance so that the Center staff can continue to provide important services and awareness.
Elizabeth is of Maidu and Pomo descent here in California; Maidu from Lassen County and Pomo from Lake County. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Italian with a Minor in Native American Studies from UC Davis, where she met her current partners. She enjoys spending time with her partners and little one in their new home, visiting her mom in the mountains, reading, watching movies and shows, and walking her dog. Right now her current obsession is BTS so you may see her humming or singing at her desk or in her car, and she enjoys having various art prints on display.
Email Elizabeth: email@example.com
Kevin Arciga Gonzalez (He/Him) joins the center as the Monkey Pox (MPX) Vaccination Manager. Growing up in Sacramento, Kevin’s passion for Public Health started in Highschool in learning about the HIV epidemic. He then decided to pursue an education in Public Health focusing on HIV, Disease Control, Sexual Health, and Occupational Health and safety. He has experience working with different groups of people in different work settings and is very excited to be joining the center.
Kevin got his Bachelor’s degree in Public Health at California State University, Los Angeles. In his time in Los Angeles, he worked on improving access to healthcare and services to the communities of East LA. Kevin hopes to be able to positively influence the health of the communities of the greater Sacramento region.
Kevin strives to be a fun and positive person to work with and tries to support his teammates to the best of his ability. Outside of work, he enjoys exercising, catching some movies, or trying out one of the many different food spots Sacramento has to offer.
Email Kevin: Kevin.Arciga-Gonzalez@saccenter.org
Robert Trotti (He/Him) loves the opportunity to serve the Sacramento LGBTQ population as a Housing Advocate. He grew up in the nearby city of Galt, CA and moved to Sacramento to pursue an education in Social Work from Sacramento State University as a first-generation college student. Robert has hopes to become a therapist specializing in helping queer populations. His involvement with the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus has allowed him to get involved in his community and he hopes to work more closely with LGBTQ organizations throughout Sacramento. In his free time, he loves to sing, play guitar, read, and box. His passion for psychology has allowed him to specialize in mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and he hopes to use these skills in assisting the youth. Email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org.