February 26, 2024
Annapolis, US 37 F

Annapolis Pride Names Four New Board Members & Launches Advisory Group

The county’s powerhouse LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization welcomed four new members to its board of directors today and announced the formation of the first-ever advisory committee.

New members include Valerie Anias of Arnold, Jayne Walters of Annapolis, David Jones of Glen Burnie, and Jessica Parsell of Annapolis. Each will serve a three-year term on the board.

Annapolis Pride Advisory Committee members include Delegate Dana Jones; Dr. Tonii Gedin, health officer for Anne Arundel County; Leo Restaurant owner Hilarey Leonard; Head of School at Indian Creek Booth Kyle; USAF veteran and IT security specialist Brie Krutzfeldt; business owner Lawrie Hollingsworth; environmental educator and consultant Josh Falk; past board member Jenny Llamas; Senior Advisor to the City of Annapolis Mayor Will Rowel; PFLAG volunteer and past Annapolis Pride Parade Grand Marshal Molly Estabrook; First Presbyterian Church Rector Mihee Kim-Kort; Annapolis Police Department Sgt, Amy Miguez; Anne Arundel County Police Department Cpl. Katelynn Stanley; mental health provider Smith Broadwell; and former board members Leslie Anderson and Eric Lund. The Annapolis Pride Advisory Committee is designed to ensure topical input from a diverse group of stakeholders who will provide advice and recommendations to the board. To learn more about the advisory committee, visit https://annapolispride.org/about-us/advisory-committee/.

“Annapolis Pride is thrilled to welcome four talented, driven, and passionate new members to its board who bring experience in education, law, finance, and the arts,” said Annapolis Pride Board Chair Joe Toolan. “We are also grateful to the professionals on our newly formed advisory board who will provide expertise on a variety of issues, expanding the reach of Annapolis Pride in the broader community.“

New members include:

Valerie Anias (she/her)

Val joins Annapolis Pride as a board member and member of the Governance Committee and Advocacy & Communications Committee. She is the founder and owner of A Team Family Law, LLC, a local family-focused law firm in Annapolis, Maryland. In her practice, Val is passionate about assisting underrepresented individuals and advocates for her clients irrespective of their gender, race, sexual orientation, and family status. Val is a resident of Anne Arundel County and lives with her wife, kids, and dogs!

Jessica Parsell (she/her)

Jessica graduated from Towson University with her bachelor’s in theater arts and obtained her master’s degree in special education in 2021. She is in her eighth year of teaching performing arts at The Harbour School in Annapolis. She revels in helping her students gain confidence and empowerment through theater. Jessica is very passionate about utilizing the arts as a way to uplift, educate, and empower communities. She was a founding member of The Oven Theater Company in Baltimore, MD, a theater company for social change. Jessica lives in Annapolis with her wife, Megan, and their three dogs. When she isn’t busy working on a show, she enjoys nature and spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to working with Annapolis Pride to help advance its mission and find ways to merge her love of community, the arts, and outreach.

Jayne Walters (she/her)

Jayne Walters is a former board member and the director of education for Indy Pride and was the first openly transgender manager in the history of Indianapolis Public Library. Having worked in libraries for over 14 years, she now works for the Anne Arundel County Public Library, and her writing has been featured in Library Journal and Children & Libraries. She has spoken on LGBTQ+ issues for libraries, companies, and on the news, and is a contributing author in the book Trans and Gender Diverse Voices in Libraries (2023). Her passions include LGBTQIA+ representation in juvenile literature, making sure libraries are accessible and equitable for the community, and making them a safe and welcoming environment for all.

David E. Jones (he/him)

David is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 25 years of professional experience. However, what defines him most is his enthusiasm for life, finding fun in every situation, and making those around him laugh. He joins the board with a passion for continuing the momentum and growth of the Annapolis Pride Parade and creating more visibility throughout all areas of Anne Arundel County for the LGBTQ+ community, especially youth. David grew up in a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has lived in northern Anne Arundel County since 1999. He graduated from the University of Delaware and has served as the chief financial officer of the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission in Baltimore since 2008. In addition, David serves as transportation manager for The Hollywood Christmas Parade in Los Angeles, overseeing all celebrity transportation for the annual parade.

Four individuals are also leaving the board as their terms end or to pursue other interests, including Anne Gotimer and Chris Broadwell and founding members Eric Lund and Leslie Anderson. Last year’s student member, Jaden Farris, is now a full-term member. This year’s board executive committee includes chair Joe Toolan, vice chair Katie Connolly, secretary Jaden Farris, and treasurer Dennis McGowan. Other executive committee members include Sarah Sample, events committee chair; Christine Feldmann, communications and advocacy committee chair; and Mastin Fowler, governance committee chair.

To get to know the full board, visit https://annapolispride.org/board-of-directors-bios/. Annapolis Pride’s VISION is A safe, equitable, and anti-racist community where people of all identities thrive, and will achieve that through its MISSION to advocate for, empower, and celebrate our LGBTQ+ community in Anne Arundel County to live fully and authentically.

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