Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein, Chair
Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota. She received a B.G.S. from the University of Michigan, an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University and an MSW from Catholic University. She received her rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Prior to attending rabbinical school, she was a clinical social worker for 23 years. Rabbi Bernstein was a lay leader and past president of Temple Sinai in Washington, DC. She works for the Union for Reform Judaism as the teacher and coordinator for Introduction to Judaism classes in the greater Washington, DC area, and is a chaplain with Jewish Social Services. She is the Study Guide writer for The Torah: A Women’s Commentary. Rabbi Bernstein was Yom HaShoah guest scholar at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City and delivered the Celia and Audrey Resnik Memorial Lecture at Congregation Beth El in Bethesda, Maryland: “By the Merit of Righteous Women: Women of the Wall and the Redemptive Power of Female Audacity in Jewish Tradition.” Rabbi Bernstein serves on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and Jews United for Justice. She lives in Bethesda with her husband, Henry Winokur, and is the mother of Sara and Joseph Bernstein.
Katheryn King, Vice Chair
Katheryn King is the Vice-Chair of U.S. Bank's Diversity and Inclusion Council, an organization charged with transforming the bank's culture to be as diverse and inclusive as possible. The Council works through a business case approach to optimize U.S. Bank's workforce, workplace, customer products and services, and shareholders alike. Katheryn has worked the past 14 years in the financial services industry payments sector, and since 2004 is the Regional Vice-President who manages the Department of Defense Purchase Card Program Relationship Management Team. Katheryn's professional work history is extremely diverse and includes being a Russian and French linguist in the U.S. Army for 10 years. Having lived in and visited many foreign countries, Katheryn continually strives to experience the world and gain cross-cultural experiences and competencies. A 1984 graduate of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, Katheryn now lives in Baltimore with her life partner of 16 years, Renee. They have a 9-year old god-child Simone and a 2-year old grandson, Marcus. Her memberships and community involvement includes the Human Rights Campaign, the National Black Justice Coalition, The Den - Baltimore, an organization for LGBTQ youth, as well as Autism Awareness and Fundraising.
Karen Blood, Treasurer
Karen Blood has been an entrepreneur almost since birth, counting herself lucky to have been born in time for the digital age. She founded her first IT company in 1979, grew it, sold it and is now on her fourth, GraceBlood LLC, delivering business integration services and consulting to supply-chain companies nationwide since 2003. Active in national, state & local politics including election as a delegate for Western Maryland to the Democratic National Convention, Karen has served in leadership positions with the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, Way Station Inc (a Sheppard Pratt subsidiary), and Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore. Karen and her longtime partner, Amy Grace, live in Baltimore and enjoy spending time with their four grandchildren and eleven nieces & nephews.
Pegeen Townsend, Secretary
Pegeen Townsend is corporate vice president of Government Affairs for MedStar Health. In her role, Townsend oversees all government relations activities in Maryland, the District of Columbia and at the federal level for MedStar Health. She is charged with building MedStar’s relationship with local, state and federal officials to elevate the system as a key provider in the region, pivotal to the healthcare industry. Prior to joining MedStar Health, Townsend was the senior vice president for Legislative Policy with the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) where she led the association’s legislative team in its advocacy efforts in Annapolis and Washington. She assisted with several MHA priorities and initiatives, including the creation of the state’s Medicaid managed care program, establishment of the state’s children’s health insurance program and the Maryland Health Care Foundation to enhance access to care for Maryland’s uninsured population, and streamlining Maryland’s healthcare regulatory system. Townsend also served nine years as counsel to the House Environmental Matters Committee in Annapolis. Townsend earned her undergraduate degree in political science from James Madison University and a law degree from George Mason University School of Law. In addition to her professional and academic accomplishments, Townsend serves as a member of the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board and the CASA Maryland Board. She is also a member of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Committee.
Joseph Davy, At Large
Joseph Davy, MT, CPA, is the Director of Finance and Administration for Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington DC. He is a 1982 graduate of Miami University, Oxford, OH, with a BS in Accounting and a 1991 graduate of Capital University, Columbus, OH, with a Masters of Taxation. After spending 12 years in public accounting, in 1996, Joe became the Finance Director and the Public Policy Director for Columbus AIDS Task Force where he testified before Congress on the Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization. He joined Planned Parenthood in 2001, where he has worked in both the public policy and finance areas for the organization. Additionally, Joe has served on several boards of directors, including National Kidney Foundation, Columbus AIDS Task Force, AIDS Action Public Policy Committee, and Stonewall Columbus. He currently lives in Silver Spring, MD, with his fiance, Ed Buns.
Evan Glass, At Large
Evan Glass is a civic activist in Silver Spring where he is president of the South Silver Spring Neighborhood Association and vice chair of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board. As a former journalist for CNN, Evan is delighted by his new ability to help fight for equal rights in Maryland rather than simply cover the story from the sidelines. A graduate of American University, where he double majored in political science and broadcast journalism, Evan is now a communications consultant with Reingold Inc, a boutique firm that works with the public sector in supporting issues related to veterans, health care, and education. Evan and his husband Jason live in Silver Spring.
Susan Silber, At Large
Susan Silber founded the law firm of Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, P.A., a general practice law firm in Takoma Park, Maryland, over 30 years ago and has worked to develop the firm, adding attorneys and a large client base. She is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and New York. Susan provides representation in all areas of family law, adoptions, estate planning, employment, civil rights, and as a mediator and collaborative attorney. She also is the City Attorney for Takoma Park and Mount Rainier, and a past-president of the Maryland Municipal Attorneys Association. Susan has dedicated a major portion of her career to advancing the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and families. She is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council and is the former president of the LGBT Bar Association of Maryland. In 2010, Susan received GAYLAW’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was honored nationally by COLAGE, the organization of children with LGBT parents. Susan has two grown children, Danielle (28) and Avi (23) and a life partner, June Peters.
Tim Williams, At Large
Tim Williams has over 25 years of experience in public policy and management of non-profit organizations. He serves as Managing Director for a large environmental association based in Alexandria, VA. In this role he represents the association before legislative and regulatory bodies and works to involve the association's members in the policy process. Tim has managed large coalitions and has been responsible for the successful completion of grant-funded programs in excess of $10 million. A lifelong Marylander, Tim grew up in Prince George's County and received a BS degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland College Park. He worked in state and local political campaigns and as a legislative staffer for the Maryland General Assembly and the United States Senate. He has served on the Boards of a cooperative preschool and a neighborhood association, a County Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and as a member of the Equality Maryland Legislative Committee. He is also a member of Foundry United Methodist Church. Tims is most proud of his two daughters, one a public special education teacher and one a college senior and teacher-to-be. Tim and his partner of 10 years, Jessie Scribner, live in Anne Arundel County.
Mark Yost, Jr., At Large
Mark is the Director of Government Relations for the National Aquarium. Prior to working at the National Aquarium, Yost was the Senior Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs for the Erickson Retirement Communities and the legislative director for State Senator Kathy Klausmeier.
Yost has a Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, in Political Science from Towson University. He attended Theological Studies at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. He received a Master of Public Policy from American University in Washington, DC and is currently studying for his Juris Doctor at University of Maryland School of Law.
Active in the Baltimore community, Yost currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Maryland Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. He is also the co-founder of Guerrilla Gay Bar Baltimore (GGBB). Mark resides in Baltimore.
Isabella Firth, Chair
Since 1994 Isabella (Izzy) Firth has been president of Mid-Atlantic LifeSpan, an association comprised of 300 senior care organizations that deliver housing, healthcare, and related services to over 45,000 seniors in Maryland & D.C. Member organizations include continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes, assisted living, senior housing and community-based programs. LifeSpan is the largest and most diverse senior care association in the mid-Atlantic region and is affiliated with several national senior care associations including LeadingAge and ALFA (Assisted Living Federation of America). LifeSpan is the parent of several subsidiary organizations including The Beacon Institute which provides education and training to senior care professionals and seniors in the community, and LifeSpan Products and Services, which saves senior care organization’s money through group purchasing programs. Izzy received her Bachelor’s degree in American Government from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Prior to coming to LifeSpan, Izzy staffed the Maryland Senate Finance Committee in Annapolis, Maryland.
Marilee Lindemann, Secretary
Marilee Lindemann is an associate professor of English and director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (http://www.lgbts.umd.edu/) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Maryland's program in LGBT Studies is nationally distinctive in that it stands on its own rather than being housed within a larger department. Lindemann has served as director since the program was founded in 2002. She earned her Ph.D. from Rutgers University and has taught at Maryland since 1992. She has published extensively on novelist Willa Cather and other queer American writers. Her more recent scholarly work is focused on how blogs and other social media tools are transforming the ways we read, write, think, and create change in the 21st century. Her blog, Roxie's World (http://roxies-world.blogspot.com/), is an experiment in comic punditry that often takes up LGBT issues and concerns. She has served on the editorial boards of American Literature and American Quarterly and held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Association of University Women, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. In 2007, she was awarded the Michael Lynch Service Award from the Gay/Lesbian/Queer Caucus of the Modern Language Association in recognition of her contributions to building LGBT/Queer Studies. Since 1986, Lindemann has lived in Takoma Park with her partner, Martha Nell Smith.
Richard Fredricks, Vice Chair
Dick has more than 45 years of experience in marine salvage, transportation and environmental protection. He serves as President of Maritime Solutions, Inc., whose mission is the introduction of more effective solutions to marine environmental problems including ballast water treatment and is headquartered in New York, NY. He also serves as a consultant to SMIT Salvage with which he has a four decades long relationship from offices in Linthicum Heights, MD. He also serves as Vice President–Marketing and Sales for Donjon-SMIT, LLC, an OPA-90 marine salvage alliance headquartered in Alexandria, VA. And he serves as Executive Director of the American Salvage Association, a trade association headquartered in Alexandria, VA. While Dick has a number of other interests, he considers the work of Equality Maryland to be the most important of all. Dick received a BS degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1967, graduated from the U.S. Navy Diving and Salvage School in 1968, and received an MBA from New York University Graduate School of Business Administration in 1976. Dick lives in Severna Park, MD with his wife of 42 years, Sharon. Together they have two grown children; a son and a daughter.
Karen Holmes, At Large
Karen Holmes works for the Federal Government since 2001 and since 2010 as a Safety Officer and a Cadre Member with the Disaster Team, where back in 2003 received the Willis Greene Community Service Award. Because of her deep commitment to ensure safety and healthy environments for all people, she has decided to share her training in Life Support, so she started her own business called SafetyFirst DMV as CEO/Owner teaching First Aid, CPR and AED. On December 8, 2012 she was selected “Solider of The Year” by the Maryland State Guard Association and The Maryland Defense Force. On August 24, 2012 she was selected by The International Women’s Leadership Association for “A Woman of Outstanding Leadership in the Business Owner Division”. She does volunteer work as a Sergeant with the Maryland Defense Force under the Maryland National Guards with the units Moral Welfare and Recreation and the Honor Guards. She is with the American Red Cross for the National Capital Region with the Disaster Action Team (DAT) and over sees the MASS Care for the county chapter. She also does volunteer work with Community Emergency Response Team (CERTs) and the Medical Reserve Corps in Prince George’s County, MD. She previously volunteered with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Park Police Prince George’s County Division for 7 years, 5 of them as their President, and has received several awards two Commander Awards, and two Volunteer of the Year, not to mention The Governor Crime Prevention. She has been serving for the last 3 years on the advisory board for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Prince George’s County, MD.
Reverend Donna Martin, At Large
Donna Martin earned her BA from West Virginia Wesleyan College, her Masters of Divinity at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and her Doctor of Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. She was a local church pastor for many years and finished her working career as a hospice chaplain. She is the founder of North Hills Community Outreach, an inter-agency non-profit near Pittsburgh, PA, and was its first executive director. In addition, she has served on the boards of directors of the North Hills Youth Ministry and president as well as the Board of the YMCA. Active in peace and justice issues throughout her life, Donna has most recently focused on equal rights in Maryland. She has been a part of early clergy declarations favoring equal marriage and has participated with Equality Maryland's clergy groups lobbying and networking. Currently she is working with the newly formed group Maryland Faith for Equality and is working with a group in her district to develop an online list of supporters. Donna has testified several times in Annapolis for Equality Maryland. Donna lives in Baltimore with her partner Mary. They were married in California on August 8, 2008. She has performed civil unions for lesbians and gays in Maryland and wedding services in the District of Columbia and looks forward to the day when her gay children can be married in Maryland.
Rosemary Nicolosi, At Large
Rosemary earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from New York University. In 2002, Rosemary retired from her first career after spending over 20 years working in the credit card industry. A significant portion of her time was spent working as the Executive Vice President of Partnership Marketing for the Bank One Corporation in Wilmington, DE. In 2006, Rosemary earned an M.S. in Psychology from Loyola College, Baltimore, MD. She worked serving an underserved population as a therapist counseling foster children. Currently, Rosemary is back in school pursuing her doctorate at The American School of Professional Psychology in Arlington, VA. Her dissertation topic is Would the Right of Marriage in the United States Contribute Positively to the Psychological Health of Lesbians and Gay Men? Rosemary has worked with Equality MD for the last few years and has served as a member of the Jazz Brunch Committee. Rosemary was previously a Board member of Advocacy for Children and Youth. She lives in Baltimore with her son, Gabriel.
David Vignolo, At Large
David A. Vignolo has been a Maryland resident since January, 1994. He grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned his undergraduate degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in Political Science in 1981. Prior to joining the United States Senate, Office of the Sergeant at Arms in September, 1990, he was employed by NASDAQ as a quality assurance specialist. He currently serves as a Senior Program Manager in the Senate’s State Office Readiness Program, ensuring Senate state office staff members are prepared for emergency situations through the implementation of physical security enhancements, life safety measures, emergency preparedness and continuity of operations planning for more than 450 Senate state offices. He is politically active in Maryland, especially in District 14, and has been an active member of Equality Maryland and its predecessor organization, Free State Justice Campaign, since 1994. He is also a sustaining member of the Human Rights Campaign, and has membership in the ACLU and the Gay, Lesbian, and Allies Senate Staff (GLASS) Caucus, a non-profit, non-partisan organization open to all, whose purpose is to raise awareness of issues affecting the LGBT community, increase visibility and promote the welfare and dignity of LGBT employees of the United States Senate by providing a safe environment for social interaction and professional development. He shares homes in Olney, Maryland and in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with his husband, Bill, and their two cats, Domino and Elmo.
Join us for a special event!
Alliance for Justice is co-sponsoring an event with Human Rights Campaign to explore what activists, nonprofits, and funders can learn from last year's successful state campaigns in support of marriage equality. Panelists will discuss how they built coalitions, brought in new allies, and developed successful communication techniques and messages.
Panelists will also highlight key decisions that propelled their campaigns to victory and plans to leverage the relationships they’ve built with supporters and legislators moving forward.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
A networking cocktail reception will follow
Human Rights Campaign
1640 Rhode Island Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
RSVP at bit.ly/makingchangehappen
Marissa Brown, Alliance for Justice
Richard Carlbom, Minnesotans United for Marriage
Carrie Evans, Marylanders for Marriage Equality
Marty Rouse, Human Rights Campaign
Betsy Smith, Mainers United for Marriage
Tony Wagner, Human Rights Campaign & Washington United for Marriage
First Unitarian Church of Baltimore and Free State Legal Project present:
From Stonewall toSecuring Marriage Rights:
What Does It Mean for Us?
Exploring the Legal Implications of Marriage for Gay Couples
A comprehensive overview of legal marriage in the State of Maryland for gay couples. Whether you are already married or just considering, esteemed attorneys Susan Francis and Susan Silber will walk you through everything you need to know before and after you walk down that aisle. Beyond romance, learn what those 1000+ contracts and responsibilities actually mean!
Topics to be discussed include:
DOMA– What is DOMA & Challenges to DOMA; Federal protections outside of DOMA; Considerations when not to marry – (Medicaid, other public benefits, immigration, continuation of prior spousal benefits).
MD Law Overview – 1000+ laws. How protected under MD law? What are protections, benefits, obligations? What is the effect of the federal government not recognizing your marriage? What are the consequences of other states not recognizing your marriage? Strategies to protect your family.
Marriage – Family Law Issues. License – how to marry, what if married elsewhere, what if have a civil union; Pre-nuptial agreements = clarify marital v. nonmarital property, simplify divorce process, collaborative or mediation dispute resolution; Domestic Partnership affidavit– specific benefits.
Protecting our Families. Wills, trusts, health care directive, POA, DP Affidavits, DP or PreNup Agreements
Protecting our Children. Second parent adoption, birth certificate with marriage (full faith & credit issues), problems with de facto/third party parent, donors, surrogacy.
Divorce Issues. Length of marriage, maintaining ties & friendships, DOMA (pension, tax, alimony); dissolution of civil unions/domestic partnerships.
OtherMD Marital Issues. Insurance; Employment – public & private; FMLA; Real Property – Tenants by entirety; Public benefits – Medicaid; Name changes; Taxes – joint – imputed state income; estate; inheritance; alimony & QDROs; transfers between spouses; mortgage interest; tax credit programs; Military & veteran benefits.
Saturday, June 8, 2013, 9am - noon
Enoch Pratt Parish Hall, 514 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
The seminar is free and open to the public. However, space is limited, so please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 410-685-2330 to reserve your seat. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance via email.
About the presenters:
Susan Francis is the Foreclosure Prevention Project Manager at the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). She formerly was an Associate at Silber, Perlman, Sigman and Tilev; and theFamily Law Research Specialist at the Administrative Office of the Courts, Department of Family Administration. She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2011. She was a member of Law Review and the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society for Leadership. She has interned at the Public Justice Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Susan has a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism from Ohio University. She served as Development and Communications Director for the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing for twelve years and was most recently the Development Director forEquality Maryland. She serves on the Board of Directors of Free State LegalProject and the Public Justice Center. She has co-written with Ms. Silber several articles on gay marriage for the Washington Blade, the Maryland Domestic Law Reporter, and the Equality Maryland marriage FAQs on their webpage, and has conducted various workshops on the intersection of family law and LGBT families. Susan and her wife, Sandy, were married in Ontario, Canada in 2004. email@example.com
Susan Silber has dedicated her legal career of over 30 years to advancing the rights of all families, including a focus on same-sex families. Susan founded the law firm of Silber, Perlman, Sigman & Tilev, PA, which is a full service, community-based law firm located in Takoma Park, Maryland. She is an experienced attorney in family, employment, civil rights, and municipal law, and has served as the City Attorney for Takoma Park for 30 years.
In addition to drafting, counseling, negotiation, and litigation, Susan is an experienced mediator and collaborative attorney. She has assisted hundreds of people incooperatively forming their families (e.g., second parent adoptions, livingtogether contracts, powers of attorney, medical directives, and parenting agreements). Sue has been featured on national television and is a frequent guest speaker. She has spoken extensively on Lesbian and Gay parenting issues, including custody, adoption, alternative fertilization, surrogacy, and documents helpful in protecting unmarried and same-sex families. Susan was named a Super Lawyer by her peers in Super Lawyers Magazine for both Maryland and Washington, DC.
Susan is a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, currently serves on the board of Equality Maryland and the Divorce Roundtable, and is a past president of the LGBT Bar Association of Maryland. She was recently honored for her distinguished service by COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), GAYLAW (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,Transgender Attorneys of Washington, DC), and her synagogue Bet Mishpachah.Susan’s children have two moms. Her family has been featured in three books and was interviewed by Barbara Walters for ABC’s “20/20”. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please join us the second sunday of every month for our Board Meeting.
Contact Vanessa, email@example.com, for more information.