Staff Team

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Staff Team2024-04-08T17:00:05-07:00

Leadership Team

David Heitstuman, MPPA, Chief Executive Officer
He/Him/His

David Heitstuman, CEO of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, is recognized as an imperturbable and results-driven nonprofit, political, and communications team leader. He received the Stonewall Freedom from Fear Award in 2016 for his transformative work in the Sacramento LGBTQ community. David was also recognized by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the region’s “40 Under 40” in 2017 for his outstanding professional accomplishments and community involvement and named to Sacramento Magazine’s most powerful 300 list in 2019. In 2020, the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce selected David as its Community Leader of the Year. The Sacramento Business Journal also awarded David with its inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award in 2022. 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 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, Special Advisor to the CEO
He/Him/His

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 

Jaime Gerigk
Chief Program Officer, She/Her/Hers

Jaime Gerigk, CPO of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, has over three decades of experience working in nonprofits supporting clients and communities, both in direct services and in program management and development. Jaime holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and has worked with diverse communities in the fields of intimate partner violence and sexual assault for twenty four years, and in hospice and medical social work for ten years. She has presented at state and national conferences on trauma-informed advocacy, prevention education and counseling as well as vicarious trauma for service providers. Jaime has co-authored inclusive curriculum on healthy relationships for community-based non-profits and the CA Department of Education and has provided expert testimony on behalf of survivors. Jaime received the Woman of the Year award from Cal Poly Humboldt.

Jaime’s passion is supporting people, helping to create a trauma-informed, inclusive, accessible and affirming community in Sacramento and beyond. She is an advocate working toward positive micro and macro change and believes in the transformative power of connection and relationships.

In her time off, you’ll find Jaime traveling far and wide, but she especially loves weekend trips exploring all of California. She’s always looking for live music, beautiful hikes, sunshine and a good cup of coffee.

E-mail Jaime | ☏ (916) 442-0185 ext. 106

Luis Cortes
Chief Development & External Affairs Officer, He/Him/His

Luis Cortes currently serves as the CDEAO at The Sacramento LGBT Community Center, with a proven track record of advancing resources and enhancing community engagement within the nonprofit sector. Before his current role, Luis held key leadership positions in several well-known museums and nonprofit organizations in Sacramento, L.A., and Texas. His contributions include work at the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC), the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (FWMSH), among others. He focuses on broadening the reach of nonprofit institutions and securing their financial stability for long-term sustainability.

Throughout his career, Luis has spearheaded diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) initiatives, significantly impacting institutional cultures and their community reach. His leadership in securing significant funding, including leading capital campaigns, and securing state and federal funding, has enabled program expansion and increased accessibility to cultural and educational experiences for diverse communities.

As a human rights advocate, Luis combined his passion for social justice with his role as a curator, focusing on history, heritage, and culture. He played a pivotal role in founding the FWMSH Heritage Gallery and curated exhibits such as “The Living Legacy of Dia de Los Muertos,” “Hispanic Heritage: Mesoamerica to Today,” “Changemakers: Local Women, Global Impact,” and “Opal Lee: The Force Behind Juneteenth.” These initiatives were pioneering in fostering diverse representation and marked the first such exhibitions in North Texas. He has been recognized for advocating for cultural heritage, human rights, and diversity & equity in his work.

Outside of work, Luis enjoys traveling, hiking, and exploring the country with his dog, aiming to visit every national park in the US. He is also an avid painter, rock climber, and writer.

E-mail Luis | ☏ (916) 442-0185 ext. 128

Alexis Sanchez,

Deputy Chief Program Officer & Director of Advocacy and Training
She/Hers/Ella

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,

Deputy Chief Program Officer & Director of Health Services
She/Her/Hers

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 christi.gray@saccenter.org

Asia Reza, Director of Human Resources
She/Her/Hers

Asia Reza– Director of Human Resources

Asia Reza is 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 level 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.

Last but not least, 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 asia.reza@saccenter.org

Phone: 916.442.0185 ex. 129

Valerie T. Mayweather, Grants & Finance Director
She/Her/Hers

Valerie T. Mayweather

 E-mail Valerie 

Collin Lourenco, Pride & Events Director
He/Him

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!

Email Collin

Hollis Sweet, Community Engagement & Volunteer Services Manager
He/Him

Hollis Sweet 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.

Email Hollis

Bren Torres, Director of Housing Services
They/Them/Theirs

Bren Torres (They/Them) is the Housing Manager at the Center, dedicated to ending queer youth homelessness. With personal experience in homelessness and a passion for the LGBTQ+ community, Bren founded their hometown’s first GSA club and contributed inspiring videos to the It Gets Better Project in 2010. Also over the past 4 years, they have organized inclusive community events monthly.

Bren is a proud Latinx pansexual transmasculine nonbinary individual and a member of the leather community. They are also the Educational Director of ART of Leather, an alternative lifestyles educational program they co-established. In their free time, Bren enjoys spending quality time with their chosen family, friends, and their partners, as well as spending time with their four dogs and cat.

E-mail Bren

Ari Punter, Housing Manager, (She/Her/Hers)

Ari Punter (She/Her) is the Housing Manager for the center. She is dedicated to ending LGBTQ+ youth homelessness while striving to provide financial, academic, health, and mental health resources. Ari graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Multicultural and Gender Studies from California State University, Chico. She values implementing an equitable environment for impoverished and marginalized communities so that those who are less fortunate are able to be set up for success. She created Chico State’s first Black Mentorship Program, was the President of the only historically Black Sorority on campus – Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and worked one on one with the LGBTQ+ community in affordable housing and re-entry program resources in her final years of college.

Ari finds motivation in serving her higher self so that she can serve unto others around her. She enjoys going to the gym, practicing nutritional literacy, and meditation. She likes spending her free time taking her dog out on hikes and experiencing nature. If she isn’t outside, you will find her inside watching her favorite TV shows with a cup of hot cocoa.

Ari’s favorite quote is “The best things in life are placed on the other side of fear.” To email Ari about housing related needs, please contact ari.punter@saccenter.org

Karen Kurasaki, PhD

Grants & Program Sustainability Manager
She/Her/Hers

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 karen.kurasaki@saccenter.org

Priya Kumar, Communications & Marketing Manager
She/Her

Priya Kumar (she/her) joins the Center as the Communications & Marketing Manager. With a background in Communications & Public Relations 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 looks for new experiences, which could include dropping in an improv class, watching her latest binge-worthy show with her partner, or trying a new dance or yoga class. 

Reach out to Priya if you have questions about media, communications, marketing, or development.

Email Priya

Aaron Armer, Health Services Outreach Manager,
She/Her/They/Them

Aaron Armer is a proud Black Trans woman and the Health Services Outreach Manager, working at the intersection of sexual health, harm reduction and mental health. She is known for collaborating with shelters and other non-profits in the Sacramento region to bring the LGBT center’s health services to our most vulnerable populations. Aaron also serves on the HIV Services Planning Council to be a voice for the trans community and always looking to expand her work in HIV services. On top of working full time for the center, she’s also a full-time student at Sac State and will graduate this spring with her B.A. in Sociology. On the weekends she’s catching up on the latest Drag-race content and enjoys going to Tahoe to ski. Aaron is passionate about sharing the warmth of her heart in everything she does, in an effort to humanize and normalize the trans experience to the learning world.

Email her if you’re interested in
⁃ scheduling an HIV/STI test
⁃ Off-site sexual health testing for your organization or event
⁃ PrEP/PEP navigation
⁃ Case Management
⁃ Inclusive Sexual Health Education
⁃ Requesting an At-Home HIV tests
⁃ Barriers (Condoms, Lube, Dental Dams)
⁃ Fentanyl Strips and Narcan Nasal Spray
⁃ Tabling services

E-mail Aaron  | ☏ (916) 442-1120 ext. 201

Andy Cha, Mental Health Program Manager
He/His, They/Them

Andy Cha is more than excited to serve as the Mental Health Program Manager 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.

E-mail Andy Cha

Staff Members

Breana Herndon, TLP Housing Advocate

She/Her/Hers

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.

E-mail Breana 

Geoffrey Fralick, Youth Advocate
He/Him/His

Geoffrey Fralick is one of the Youth Advocates in the Youth, Family and Adult Services Department. Previously, he worked as a case manager for the youth served in the Center’s Housing Department at both STEP and TLP. Geoff brings his compassion and knowledge of the services available to youth in Sacramento to his current role operating the Center’s Youth Drop-In Center. He is excited to continue growing professionally in the field of direct service and as a member of the team here at the Center. Previously, Geoff has worked with the unsheltered population located in Placer County, within the foster care system in Stockton, and with children, as an art educator and elementary tutor. In his current role, Geoff incorporates his love of art into the workshops and activities planned for the youth he serves and hopes to continue his education while employed at the Center.

E-mail Geoffrey

Haley Betschart, STEP Housing Navigator & Case Manager
She/Her They/Them

Kai Myers, STEP Housing Advocate
He/Him/His

Kai joins the Center as a STEP Housing Advocate, with a strong spirit loyal to fostering inclusivity and creating brighter futures for marginalized communities. Kai feels a deep connection to the Sacramento community and is proud to serve as an advocate for the Sacramento LGBT Center. Driven by personal experience, his journey as a housing advocate stems from his own encounters with adversity. Having previously navigated the challenges of homelessness and experienced family trauma firsthand, Kai possesses a unique empathy and understanding of the struggles faced by vulnerable individuals seeking shelter and support. With a genuine love for helping others, Kai’s agenda is to connect honestly and deeply with as much understanding as possible. You could say it’s his mission to make a positive impact on the lives of those around him. From working with children on the spectrum to working with homeless youth, one of his goals is to create safe spaces where everyone can thrive. He is dedicated to empowering the LGBTQ+ community. Kai understands the importance of secure and affordable housing, he believes that everyone deserves a safe and supportive environment, regardless of their sexual orientation or background. Challenging societal norms is reflected not only in his professional life but also in his personal life. He openly identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, going by the pronouns he/him. He hopes he’s able to create lasting change in the lives of those who need it most as well as furthering his comprehension on resources for support while working with The Center. Kai intends to take over the Gardening workshop at STEP, hoping to help residents in survival mode slow down and recollect that everything in life takes time to grow, but nothing will last forever. The journey is the destination.

Monaliza Ibanez, Receptionist/Community Resource Aide
She/Her/Hers

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.

 E-mail Mona

Neil Jahn Capulong, Gender and Sexual Health Coordinator
He/Him They/Them

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.

E-mail Neil

Giselle Escalante, TLP Housing Advocate, (CTTS)
They/Them/Theirs

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. They love to attend local drag shows in their free time. They are passionate about cooking, book collecting, and many forms of caffeinated beverages. Giselle is also a Certified Trauma Support Specialist (CTTS).

Email Giselle: giselle.escalante@saccenter.org

Elizabeth Ferndandez, Executive Assistant
She/Her/Hers

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: elizabeth.fernandez@saccenter.org 

Jaime Estrada-Zambrano, Economic Justice Program Coordinator
He/Him/El

Jaime accepted the Economic Justice Program Coordinator position the same week iconic actor, musician and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte Jr. passed away. He took this as a sign that popular culture, activism, and the arts are a key part of economic justice and community advocacy. In his position, he manages our LGBTQIA+ Career Fairs that are fun and lively, yet full of resources and opportunities for community members to network with potential employers, attend informative in-person workshops, and receive educational resources. Jaime will also offer drop-in career counseling and job-hunting services throughout the year, at both the Midtown and South Sacramento center locations. To date, he has established a partnership with the Sac State Pride Center to stage a Black, Indigenous, Queer, Transgender, People of Color (BIQTPOC) Film Festival during Pride Week in October (LGBT History Month) and cultivating a collaboration with the Latino Community Foundation to provide economic empowerment and immigration legal resources to migrants and refugees.

Jaime’s education includes vast nonprofit and cultural arts work experience, a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Cultures and Religious Studies from Whittier College, a study abroad adventure in Bogota, Colombia, and industry trainings at the San Sebastian Film Festival and Guadalajara International Film Festival.

Please contact Jaime if you would like to explore how the Sac LGBT Community Center’s Economic Justice Program can partner with your organization/company in developing community events, arts festivals, employment opportunities, conferences, and/or internships/apprenticeships that ensure we all walk the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” talk! You can contact Jaime at jaime.estrada-zambrano@saccenter.org

Robert Trotti, Housing Advocate,
He/Him/His

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 robert.trotti@saccenter.org.

Alexsander Willis, Data Manager,
He/Him/His

Alexsander (he/him), Alex for short, joins the Sacramento LGBT Community Center as the Data Manager. He has spent the last few years pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics with a focus on applied statistics at California State University Sacramento, CSUS, and graduated in May 2023. In doing so he has worked with an abundance of varying data types ranging from heavily quantitative data like laboratory experiment data to qualitative clientele data for the American Bar Association. He is extremely grateful for this opportunity to utilize the knowledge he has gathered over the years regarding data and aims to support the community in any of its data needs.

Alex moved to the Sacramento region when he was just two years old from Maple Falls in rural Washington. Spending most of his life here he has come to love the community and especially the food the area has to offer. Growing up Alex’s parents always owned some form of a dining/food establishment which has taught him to love and embrace the varying food types that exist and all the connections that food can make for some people. He fondly remembers his family hosting neighborhood parties where everyone would bring a family dish and tell stories about how the dish originated. Now in his adult life, you can regularly find Alex and his partner eating their way through Sacramento’s diverse food establishments. Also, note that one of his favorites is Kin Thai Street Eatery, which is conveniently located across the street from the Center.

Email Alex: alexsander.willis@saccenter.org

Eve Banas, Advocacy & Training Lead,
She/They

Eve Banas (she/they), Eve Banas is excited to join the Center as the Advocacy and Training Lead. While attending UC Davis, they studied evolution, ecology, and biodiversity with a focus on public health and policy. In addition to her coursework, they served as the president of Students for Reproductive Freedom, a student organization dedicated to encouraging reproductive justice advocacy on campus and increasing access to safer sex products, menstrual products, and educational resources. They also participated in undergraduate research projects with topics ranging from plant pathology to the history of eugenics. Their ongoing research analyzes the relationships between state-level sex education policies and adolescent STI rates.

Eve is very excited to support LGBTQIA+ youth as they build knowledge about the legislative process and community resources. She is grateful for the opportunity to increase the accessibility of information and serve as a resource to the community.

In their spare time, you can find Eve exploring nature, cooking, reading, and hanging out with her 10-year-old rabbit and 19-year-old cat.

Email Eve: eve.banas@saccenter.org

Amari Owens, Harm Reduction Community Organizer,
He/Him/His

Amari Owens, (he/him) Hello, my name is Amari Owens I am a trans man of color who recently moved to Sacramento! I am proud to say that I am the new harm reduction community organizer at the center! I feel this is a crucial time to reach out to my QTBIPOC siblings more than ever. I know from experience how it must feel to be homeless or suffering from drug or substance abuse and to top it off also being a QTBIPOC in the area. My goal is to show the community that they’re not alone and they are worthy of success and empowerment! Our voices will be heard! A little about me, I enjoy doing spoken word in midtown Sacramento and I also love attending live rock shows and just indulging in the sac music and queer scene in general. 

Email Amari: amari.owens@saccenter.org

Dennis Alvarez, Community Health Coordinator,
He/Him/His

Dennis Alvarez (he/him), Dennis is a recent graduate from Sacramento State and received his Bachelor’s in Ethnic Studies making him a first-generation graduate in a family made of Central American immigrants. His experience working as a bilingual COVID-19 Contact Tracer during the pandemic has ignited his passion to provide public health services to marginalized communities, including non-English speaking populations, and is excited to continue his work in the public health field. Dennis has goals to continue his education and obtain a master’s degree in public health one day. 

Dennis is originally from the Bay Area and enjoys going back to his hometown in San Rafael to spend time with old friends and family. However, Dennis now calls Sacramento his home and enjoys going out to local drag shows and finding new places to eat in his free time.   

Email Dennis: dennis.alvarez@saccenter.org

Sierra Kennedy, STEP Case Manager, She/Her

Sierra Kennedy (she/her)

Sierra was born in raised in the greater Sacramento area. She is originally from Placerville, but moved to Chico in 2017 to pursue an education in Social Work. She began her education at Butte College where she got an Associate’s in Social and Behavioral Science in 2019. She then transferred to Chico State to get her Bachelor’s in Social Work.

It was during her Bachelor’s internship program that she returned to Butte College as a staff member to work at the Queer Resource Center (QRC). After graduating with her Bachelor’s in Social Work in 2021, she took over as the leader of the QRC. After that she went back and got her Master’s in Social Work while still continuing to lead the QRC at Butte College, yet still graduating with distinction, a 4.0 GPA, and an Outstanding Graduate Student award at her Lavender Graduation for her community education and advocacy work while leading the QRC.  During both her Bachelor’s and Master’s program Sierra focused her research towards LGBTQIA2S+ Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) Homelessness, Trauma Informed Care, Harm Reduction, and Intersectionality.

After finishing her Master’s in Social Work in Spring 2023, Sierra made the move from Chico back to the Sacramento area to begin her new position as the Sacramento LGBT Center’s Housing Navigation Coordinator. Sierra is incredibly excited to bring all of her experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm for the work and the community to her new position at the LGBT center and is looking forward to all the great work ahead of her and all the wonderful people she can help!

Email Sierra: sierra.kennedy@saccenter.org

Myles Jackson, Youth Advocate, He/Him; They/Them

Myles Jackson (He/Him; They/Them) is the newest and youngest member to join the Sacramento LGBT Center Team, as a Youth Advocate they hope to use their voice to amplify the voices of the next queer generation and empower them to step into their own journey of self-actualization. Myles has a long history of activism and advocacy in the greater Sacramento area and served as the Co-Director of Youth Events and Outreach at The Landing Spot, A placer county non-profit that provides care and enrichment experiences to LGBT youth and their families. Myles is currently studying for their AA in Sociology with a focus in LGBTQ+ Studies and hopes to obtain a JD in Civil Rights Law in order to further the plight of the most marginalized among us. Their drive comes from and unending thirst for equity and justice and a hope to leave a world behind that has less boundaries for their successors as their predecessors did for them. In their free time, Myles enjoys singing, poetry, socializing with friends, and performing as a drag artist at local Sacramento venues.

Email Myles: myles.jackson@saccenter.org

Brian Robinson, Community Resource & Respite Coordinator, He/Him/His

Brian Robinson II (he/him/his), after spending his childhood and teenage years in Oakland and Fresno, respectively, moved to Sacramento in 2013; a move he credits to helping him find his true self. He has worked in all types of fields since his moving however, after a few rounds with recruiting, decided to translate those skills to the benefit of the LGBT Center. When not in the office, Brian can be found either dancing at a nightclub to keep himself active, competing at a local fighting game tournament, or enjoying a good movie at a local theater. Brian is currently headed back in college to study Communications, as well as to dabble in voiceover work. Brian has long had an interest in the mechanics of television production and hopes to learn a set of skills that will allow them to enter that world in some form; professionally, as a hobby, or otherwise. He joins the Center as the Community Resource & Respite Coordinator, and hopes to be able to assist people with their needs and issues to the best of his ability, as people have done for him all his life.

For information about groups, respite, and community resources, email Brian: brian.robinsonii@saccenter.org

Marlena Sanchez, Development Assistant, She/They

Marlena (she/they) joins the Center as the Development Assistant. After graduating from high school, she decided to pursue her love for animals by enrolling in the prestigious UC Davis to study animal science. During her time at UC Davis, they fully immersed themselves in their studies, grasping every opportunity to expand her knowledge and skills. They actively sought out hands-on experiences and internships. Upon completing their studies, they moved to Sacramento, where she currently resides. Their decision to relocate was motivated by their desire to find new opportunities and embrace a fresh chapter in their life. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, they remained determined to pursue a sense of community. In their free time, they actively give back to their community as a volunteer docent at the local zoo. This role allows her to share her knowledge and passion for animals with visitors, educating them about conservation efforts and promoting animal welfare.  Aside from her animal-related interests, they attempt painting.  Additionally, she loves visiting the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, where she finds inspiration in the various exhibits and artist performances.

For information on donations email Marlena: marlena.sanchez@saccenter.org

Anita Campo, Bilingual Community Resource & Outreach Coordinator, She/They/Ella/Elle

Anita, (she/they o ella/elle) is excited to join the Center as the Bilingual Community Resource & Outreach Coordinator! Born in Bogotá, Colombia, and raised in Georgia and Wisconsin, Anita understands the bicultural/1.5 generation experience firsthand. She obtained her B.A. in Psychology and Gender and Women’s Studies and a Chicanx/Latinx Studies minor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Anita moved to Sacramento in 2021 with her partner, Sophie, and pit bull mix, Ariel, realizing a dream to find a sense of belonging in California.

Anita’s first professional bilingual position was as an immigration paralegal, working with Spanish-speaking LGBTQ+ immigrants seeking asylum. They experienced the ups and downs of serving marginalized folks within a limiting institution and wishes to eventually pursue a Master’s in Social Welfare to address and ensure the holistic and institutional well-being of Q.B.I.P.O.C. (Queer, Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

Anita recognizes the historical erasure and disenfranchisement of Afro-Latine folks. She believes it is essential to challenge and call out anti-Blackness, discrimination, bias, and hate within Latin American culture and ourselves. They hope to use the entirety of their privilege to center and serve the most marginalized.

Anita está emocionado de unirse al Centro como Coordinador de Extensión y Recursos Comunitarios Bilingües! Nacida en Bogotá, Colombia, y criada en Georgia y Wisconsin, Anita comprende la experiencia bicultural/ser generación 1,5. Obtuvo su B.A. en Psicología y Estudios de Género y Mujeres y especialización en Estudios Chicanx/Latinx de la Universidad de Wisconsin-Madison. Anita se mudó a Sacramento en 2021 con su pareja, Sophie, y su mezcla de pitbull, Ariel, y hizo realidad el sueño de encontrar un sentido de pertenencia en California.

El primer puesto profesional bilingüe de Anita fue como paralegal de inmigración, trabajando con inmigrantes LGBTQ+ hispanoablante que buscaban asilo. Elle experimento los altibajos de servir a personas marginadas dentro de una institución limitante y desea eventualmente obtener una Maestría en Bienestar Social para abordar y garantizar el bienestar holístico e institucional de Q.B.I.P.O.C. (Queer, Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

Anita reconoce el borrado histórico y la privación de derechos de los Afro-latines. Ella cree que es esencial desafiar y denunciar el racism anti-negro, la discriminación, los prejuicios y el odio dentro de la cultura latinoamericana y de nosotros mismos. Espere utilizar la totalidad de su privilegio para centrar y servir a los más marginados.

Email Anita: anita.campoperalta@saccenter.org

Addison, On-Call Housing Advocate, He/Him/His

Addison (he/him/his) was raised in Sacramento and attended college at the University of California at Santa Cruz where he studied the History of Art and Visual Studies. He moved back to Sacramento in 2022 to be reunited with the beautiful River and trees. Since then has adopted two kittens named Magic and Village.

Addison recently joined the center as an On-Call Housing Advocate. He is drawn to radical approaches to mental health and has been volunteering with Trans Lifeline for the past year and a half. He is passionate about supporting queer and trans youth and feels lucky to be working with the center to support the needs of youth in the Sacramento area.

When he isn’t spending time at the river or with his cats, Addison loves taking classes at Los Rios and writing songs with his band. He is currently taking the ASL language series and Conversational Spanish.