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Our Staff and Board of Directors


GARDEN STATE EQUALITY STAFF

Andrea Bowen, Executive Director
Andrea “Andy” Bowen is a transgender activist and social worker. After nearly four years as a researcher with the Ironworkers Union’s Organizing Department, Andrea led successful transgender policy advocacy efforts in Washington, DC, including passage of birth certificate and name change reform legislation, and Mayoral policy solidifying transgender peoples’ right to insurance coverage of transition-related care. She also helped engineer a legal victory against a women’s homeless shelter in DC that was denying access to transgender women. Andrea received her BA in History and Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2008, and a Master of Social Work degree from Catholic University of America in 2014. She has won awards from the Pride Network, New Jersey Citizen Action, the Washington Peace Center and Gertrude Stein Democratic Club of Washington, DC, and was recognized as an Emerging Young Leader of the LGBT Community in an event organized by the White House Office of Public Engagement. 


Patrick Lenahan, Director of Operations
Patrick is responsible for managing the administration, finances, and human resources of Garden State Equality. In short, Patrick makes sure the doors stay open.

Additionally, Patrick fields the calls that come in through the Discrimination Hotline, ensuring that GSE is connecting people who need assistance with resources, and he serves as the intake coordinator and supervisor for GSE’s cadre of volunteers and interns. Earlier in his career, Patrick worked in sales and customer service for large New Jersey-based companies in the private sector. Patrick came to Garden State Equality as a volunteer in 2008, when he decided to assist in the campaign to win marriage equality. In 2010, he was elected to the Board of Directors in recognition of his commitment to GSE.

A graduate of William Paterson University, Patrick also studied at Montclair State University and Institut Savoisien d’Études Françaises at l’Université de Savoie in Annecy-le-Vieux, France, where he was first in his class. 


Celeste Fiore, Development Manager
Celeste is thrilled to be part of the collaborative team that is Garden State Equality. She loves talking to people and hearing what makes them passionate.  Celeste has worked for LGBT dignity and equality for the past 15 years. Celeste led LGBT student organizations at both American University and Rutgers School of Law-Camden. She believes in the importance of visibility and affirmation in educational and professional settings.  Celeste is an unabashed sports fan who also enjoys podcasts and supporting her local library.

Aaron Potenza, Bullying Resource Center Organizer
Aaron Potenza is an activist, educator, and historian. While attending graduate school he taught courses on the history of race and ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and gender identity at Yale University and Trinity College Hartford. Prior to attending graduate school he worked in the non-profit world, as a teacher with Talent Development, and then as assistant director for the YWCA of Greater Rhode Island. At the “YW” he pioneered programming for middle school girls facing social and economic barriers, and expanded access to health programming to lesbian and transgender identified women. Aaron received his B.A. in History and Women’s Studies from the University of Rhode Island in 2004, his M.A. in American Studies from Yale University in 2010, and his M.Phil in American Studies from Yale University in 2010. When not working on LGBT youth issues, he runs a mid-century furniture business, Postwar Restore.  He also enjoys spending time with his husband James and their delightful German Shepherd Hound Jack. 

GARDEN STATE EQUALITY BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Garden State Equality Education Fund
Executive Committee

Chair: John Keating
Vice Chair: Vicki Wu
Treasurer: John Otto
Add’l Members: Luanne Peterpaul, Toni Bonjavanni, Steve McIntyre, Lynn Centonze, Lori Marino, Robyn Gigl

Garden State Equality Action Fund Executive Committee

Chair: Luanne Peterpaul
Treasurer: Kim Otto
Secretary: Steve McIntyre
Add’l Members: John Otto, Robyn Gigl, Toni Bonjavanni, Lynn Centonze, Lori Marino, Vicki Wu

Garden State Equality Advisory Board

Trevor Powell
Becky Redington
Rey Redington
Jim Ringwood
Charles Rosen
Steve Rother
Jennifer Sciortino
David Sgro
Marsha Shapiro
Elder Rev. Kevin E. Taylor
Mary Theroux
Amanda Tolomeo
Louise Walpin
Vicki Wu
Betty Wyka
Paul Zilber
Rev. Jeff Ziegler
Matthew Zimmer
Sherry Zimmer
Bob Zuckerman
 
Patricia Bell
Corey Bernstein
Ronnie Billini
Lashambi Britton-Moore
Dr. Stacy Brodsky
Denise Brunner
Rev. Gil Caldwell
Richard Cardillo
Salena Carroll
Rev. Matt Cimorelli
Emilia Colon
Kevin Costello
DeAnn Cox
Pam Daniels
Rev Bruce Davidson
Rev. L.L. DuBreuil
Rosi Efthim
Jennifer Ehrentraut
Leslie Farber
 
Marty Finkle
Christopher Gagliardi
Madison Galluccio
Rev. Rose Hardy
Veronica Hoff Kairos
John Keating
Suzanne Kinzler
Shannon Kirk
Tom Laurita
Patrick Lenahan
Isabella Levy
Felice Londa
Jimmy Madden
Elizabeth McCarthy
Juan Melli
Mill Montejo
Shanna Moore
Joey Novick
John Otto III
Robert S. Powell
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40 S Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07042
Garden State Equality is a member of the Equality Federation