Meet the Staff

 

Executive Office

Selisse Berry - Founder & Chief Executive Officer
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John Henderson - Chief Programs OfficerRead Bio
Thom Lynch - Chief Development Officer
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Tony Talbot - Chief Financial OfficerRead Bio

Communications

Joel Engardio - Associate Director of Communications
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Community Relations

Andrea D. Shorter - Associate Director of Community Relations
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Development

Teddy Basham-Witherington - Director of Institutional Partnerships
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Dave Bueché - Senior Manager, Development & Communications
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Daniel Lawrence Smith - Senior Development ManagerRead Bio
Stephen Huey - Associate Director, Corporate Accounts
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Bianca Beyrouti - Senior Accounting AssociateRead Bio

Events

David Fiss - Associate Director of Events
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Emily Odenburg - Events Associate
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Alessa Bell - Events Associate
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Finance & Operations

Pamela Berkowitz - Senior Manager, Operations & Finance
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Danny Katende - Receptionist
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Training & Professional Development

Pat Baillie - Director of Training & Professional Development
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Q Wilson - Senior Training AssociateRead Bio


Selisse Berry Selisse Berry
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Selisse Berry is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, the world’s largest nonprofit organization specifically dedicated to creating safe and equitable workplaces for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.  Under her leadership, the organization has grown significantly with dramatic increases in attendance for the annual Workplace Summit since 1999, the expansion of volunteer regional affiliates across the United States, and many global initiatives.  With her guidance, Out & Equal has also created numerous programs to advance its mission, including the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit, the LGBT Executive Forum and Leadership Celebration, bimonthly Town Call seminars, the world’s largest registry of LGBT Employee Resource Groups, LGBT CareerLink online jobs board and substantial programming in the growing network of regional affiliates and global partnerships.

Her clear and unwavering vision has been instrumental in creating an internationally recognized organization whose philosophies reflect the importance of treating all colleagues in the workplace with respect and dignity. Since her first job as a guidance counselor, Selisse has continued her commitment to justice as a teacher and as executive director for several social service organizations prior to founding Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. She has master's degrees in education and theology from the University of Texas and San Francisco Theological Seminary respectively. Selisse and her wife, Cynthia Martin, were married in July 2007, and legally married in 2008.

Learn more about requesting Selisse Berry for a speaking appearance.


Pat Baillie Pat Baillie
Director of Training & Professional Development 

Pat Baillie joined Out & Equal in January 2008 after retiring the second time in her career from Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prior to that, she served in the US Air Force retiring in 1993 as a Major. Her entire career has been involved with training, adult education, and activism and she is ready to pull all those parts of her history together at Out & Equal to make a difference for those in the workplace.

Pat graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Master’s Degree in Physical Education, Biology and Psychology. After college, she joined the Air Force and worked as a Weapons Controller and Space Operations officer. She was also active in LGBT causes her entire career and decided to retire on the day that President Clinton announced "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." She was then able to publicly come out and was the featured speaker at the Veteran’s Day memorial in Sacramento, California in 1993. She has also worked extensively with sexual freedom issue as a spokesperson and educator and has work on national grass roots organizing. In Albuquerque, Pat worked within Honeywell on their Diversity Council and was asked to present on LGBT issues at the statewide EEOC conferences as well as being the only "out" employee that could be a resource. She also helped to grow the local and statewide LGBT community as the Co-President of Albuquerque Pride for over 10 years. She continued to be involved in community events from political to social until she realized she was ready to return to California. Her goal was to work in a non-profit on LGBT issues. Out & Equal added to that the ability to use her years of training experience so in December 2007, Pat moved back to California.

She lives in Oakland with her partner and travels extensively teaching, presenting and discussing the issues impacting LGBT equality in and out of the workplace.  The opportunity to influence the workplace is truly a dream job bringing together her political/activist passion with her love of teaching.


Teddy WitheringtonTeddy Basham-Witherington 
Director of Institutional Partnerships

Teddy joined the team at Out and Equal at the end of June, 2012 as Director of Events and served as Chief Marketing Officer from September 2012 - March 2014.

Teddy was born in London, England on April 13, 1962 and following graduation from college spent 10 years working as a lawyer in the City of London specializing in private client and non-profit law.

In 1991, Teddy joined the London LGBT March and Festival, and was its executive Director until July 1997. During that period, the London event grew from a local one attracting 40,000 people to become Europe’s largest annual free music festival, attracting 280,000 to London’s Clapham Common in June 1997. Under his leadership, London became the venue of the first-ever EuroPride Festival in 1992.

Following an extensive worldwide search, the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade and Celebration hired Teddy in August1997 as its first-ever Executive Director. In his nine years as Executive Director of San Francisco Pride approximately $900,000 was granted back to over 100 community groups and charities and the event transformed into a multi-cultural festival. Teddy then served as Executive Director of San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus from 2006 – 2012. During his tenure the capacity of the organization more than doubled and the Chorus embarked upon the ground-breaking California Freedom Tour in the wake of Prop 8. He also currently serves on the board of the Gay & Lesbian Association of Choruses.

Teddy‘s other accomplishments include being the co-founder of the European Pride Organizers Association in 1993 (which he led as President for its first four years), being one of the founding directors of the London Pride Arts Festival and serving on the Finance Committee of the International Lesbian & Gay Association. In 1997, Teddy was an honorary Marshal in the Santa Fe Gay Pride Parade and in 1999, he was awarded the honor of being the Grand Marshal of the very first Reno Gay Pride Parade. In 2000, he received the “Man of the Year” award from CAPI (Consolidated Association of Pride). In June 2000 Teddy was elected to the Board of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, which he served on for three years.

From 1997 – 2000 Teddy was Co-President of InterPride, the international association of gay pride coordinators. He stepped down as President in October 2000, was re-elected in 2002 and served for a further year. San Francisco Mayor, Willie Brown acknowledged Teddy’s accomplishments by proclaiming March 6, 2002 as Teddy Witherington Day in San Francisco. In June 2008, Teddy became the very first recipient of The Teddy Witherington Award presented to him at San Francisco City Hall by Mayor Gavin Newsom for his outstanding service to the Pride movement.

Teddy’s culinary skills are renowned and he is a contributor to San Francisco Bay Times. He is also an avid tennis player. Teddy and his husband Rob live at home in San Francisco together with their kitties Gilgamesh and Iliad. Teddy and Rob were married on August 15, 2013, following a 6-year engagement.


Alessa Bell
Events Associate

Alessa joined Out & Equal in July 2013 and is excited to perform work that benefits the LGBT community. As the Summit & Events Intern, she provides support to the Events Department in the planning and execution of the 2013 Workplace Summit. 

Prior to joining the Out & Equal team, Alessa worked as a production assistant for the San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration. In 2011, she graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications. 

Alessa is off to a great start in emerging a career in event planning, specifically in the non-profit sector, because she wants to foster and create an environment for like-minded people who support social causes.


Pamela Berkowitz Pamela Berkowitz
Senior Manager, Finance & Operations

Pamela joined the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates staff in June 2006, as the new office manager.

Pamela earned her bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies with a minor in Judaic Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She also spent two semesters as part of a teaching collective within the Women’s Studies Department at SUNY Albany, where she co-taught the course “Introduction to Feminisms.”

Pamela has a long history working with nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change. She was on the coordinating committee for the Social Justice Center in Albany, NY an umbrella group of nonprofit organizations. She was also was part of the collective at Peace Offerings (a nonprofit fair trade craft store) and worked for five years on the committee for the Women’s Networking Fair in Albany, NY. She is currently active in the Network of Spiritual Progressives, eQuality Scholarship Collaborative, and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Pamela enjoys biking, animals, reading, foreign films, science fiction, and vegetarian cooking. She lives with her three cats in Berkeley, CA.


Pamela BerkowitzBianca Beyrouti
Senior Accounting Associate

Bianca is excited to be a member of the Out & Equal staff, after having joined the organization as a Development Intern in the summer of 2012. As the Accounting Associate, she provides crucial administrative, financial, and project management support to the various departments and programs at Out & Equal.

Bianca is a proud native of the San Francisco Bay Area and LGBT ally with a long history of commitment to advocacy, the arts, and the intersection of the two. During her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, Bianca was an active member of the university’s chapter of VDAY, where see helped produce three consecutive benefit productions of Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues” for the campus community. After obtaining her B.A. in Film Studies in 2009, Bianca pursued a career in independent media production through numerous local short-form and feature-length film projects. One of her proudest credits is her role as Assistant Director on the 2011 queer horror film The Craving, which screened in several regional and international film festivals. Bianca’s passion for nonprofit organizations began with her internship at the San Francisco Film Society in 2011. She continued to develop her skills and interests through various positions in the nonprofit sector before landing her internship and eventual staff position at Out & Equal.

Outside of work, Bianca enjoys indulging in local food, art, music, and cultural events and adventures with friends and family throughout the East Bay and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to the causes of women’s rights and LGBT equality, she is an active supporter of animal welfare, the disabled/differently-abled community, and justice in all forms. Through her work at Out & Equal, she is thrilled to help make the world and all workplaces safer and more equitable for all.


Dave BuecheDave Bueché
Senior Manager, Development & Communications

Dave has been on the staff of Out & Equal since 2004, during which time he has managed both the departments of development and communications. As senior manager, development & communications he plays a key role in supporting the development team’s ongoing efforts to increase revenue through corporate partnerships, fundraising, and strategic communications within the development department.

Prior to joining Out & Equal, Dave was Communications Manager in the Alumni Relations Department at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, and 10 years as VP of development and marketing for United Way of the Bay Area. He earned BA degrees in Journalism and Communications from Central Michigan University. Before moving to California he worked six years as a promotional writer for Oldsmobile Division of General Motors Corporation in East Lansing, MI. Dave lives in San Francisco. 


David Fiss
Associate Director of Events

Photo & Bio to come


Joel Engardio
Associate Director of Communications

Joel Engardio has won numerous journalism and documentary film awards, for work that appeared on PBS and in USA Today, Washington Post.com and San Francisco Weekly. His essays have been broadcast on NPR and KQED. Engardio directed “Knocking,” a documentary on Constitutional freedoms that was nationally broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens. It was named Best Documentary at the USA Film Festival.

Engardio received a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2011 on scholarship from the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. After graduating, he was asked to help teach negotiation at Harvard Law School.

At the American Civil Liberties Union, Engardio developed a process that applied journalism methods to plaintiff finding. Engardio found plaintiffs who had narratives that played well in both the court of law and public opinion. Then he started an online video department to produce short films featuring the most compelling stories.

Engardio was a senior media strategist for the public relations firm MS&L, focusing on education and health industries. He also consulted for Stanford University’s Jade Ribbon Campaign, a public health effort to address the Hepatitis B epidemic in the Asian American population.

Engardio serves on the board of directors for the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democractic Club in San Francisco.

Engardio received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, majoring in journalism and history. He was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. He lives in San Francisco with his partner Lionel Hsu. They have run three marathons together.


Stephen Huey

Associate Director of Development, Corporate Accounts

After a 30 year career with Bank of America, Stephen Huey brings his corporate and nonprofit relationship management expertise to Out & Equal.  As Senior Vice President for Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Stephen led Bank of America’s mission to advance the economic and social well-being of underserved communities in Northern and Central California. Prior to this role, Stephen served as Senior Vice President / Community Impact Manager for Bank of America’s Community Development Bank, where he focused on community development lending, investments, and services.  Stephen also held multiple leadership positions for Bank of America’s Consumer Bank including Vice President/Consumer Market Manager for 27 Bay Area Asian-designated Bank of America branches with over 300 employees and $4 billion in assets.

Stephen co-founded the Bank of America LGBT Pride Employee Network, and continued to serve as enterprise Co-Chair, Advisor and San Francisco chapter Chair. He was instrumental in expanding LGBT employee visibility, influence and LGBT employee resource group leadership opportunities, championed workplace equality issues including healthcare benefits for transgender employees, and spearheaded a number of long term community partnerships with national, California statewide and local San Francisco Bay Area  LGBT nonprofit organizations. Stephen has been very active in the LGBT community. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National AIDS Memorial Grove and previously served on the Board of Directors for both the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center and LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center). He was the Employer Leadership Council Chair for the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, and served as a member of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Community Investment.


Danny KatendeDanny Katende
Receptionist

Danny Katende joined the Out & Equal staff as an intern in June 2011 and was hired full-time as a Receptionist on January 1, 2012.  He was born and raised in Uganda, East Africa. In March 2011 he relocated and settled in California from Nairobi, Kenya.

Danny began singing at a young age.  In 2001 he began his career in music as a full time Performing and Recording Gospel Singer/Musician.  He obtained a Diploma/Certificate in Music, Dance and Drama at Kampala College of Music in Uganda in 2006.  He also worked as a back-up vocalist for Fr. Anthony Musaala, a Pam Award winner in Uganda for ten years.   Together, they were awarded the Pearl of Africa Music Awards for gospel music in 2006 and 2007.  Danny recorded eight albums with Fr. Anthony and also released his first solo album in 2008.

Danny co-founded the Spectrum Uganda Initiatives, a gay organization advocating for gay rights, HIV prevention and providing counseling for the LGBTI community In Uganda in 2005.  He served as treasurer for the organization and was a gay rights activist, advocating for sexual minorities.

Danny’s passion is to spread love to the world through his soulful music. His hobbies include going to the movies, traveling, hiking, performing, recording and composing songs that achieve his dream and vision.


Thom Lynch
Chief Development Officer

Thom Lynch was most recently the Vice President of Development for the United Way of the Bay Area. He is the former CEO & President of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center and Chief Operating Officer of Project Open Hand. He has worked in the non-profit community for more than 20 years.  The majority of  his work has been in the LGBT community, where he also worked on the No on 8 campaign, and is a member of the Human Rights Watch advisory board. He also served on and helped found the divirsity board of the San Francisco Forty-niners football team.  

Mr. Lynch is an accomplished fundraiser and leader of growing organizations.  While in San Francisco, he helped found the first economic development program for the LGBT community in the world, the first job training and placement program for transgender workers, and became a well-known voice for the San Francisco LGBT community through news media and advocacy. Thom Lynch grew up in New England.  Struggling himself with his own sexuality, he became a Pentecostal Christian, went to minister school and began a career as a gospel singer for 2 years.  While in graduate school in Ohio, he realized he needed to come out.  He left the church, moved back to New England and became a bartender, performer and later in San Francisco, a television actor.

Mr. Lynch lived in Madrid, Spain for 2 years and returns frequently where he volunteers for groups such as Fundacion Triangulo and Orgullo Madrid.  He returns as often as possible.


Emily Odenberg
Events Associate

Emily Odenberg is a former event production specialist and hospitality coordinator contracted by Red Bull North America.  Prior to this she served as a marketing research specialist in both quantitate and qualitative data analysis.

She joined “the world of Red Bull” in 2012 acting as event producer for big wave surfing events on the island of Maui.  Following this, she was hired by the head of Red Bull hospitality to serve as acting coordinator on a variety of events, such as Formula One World Championship 2013 and National Red Bull Flugtag 2013, which activated in five cities over one day.

Emily prides herself in her attention to detail and continually seeks to raise the bar of excellence for her work at every turn. Utilizing her background in analytics and experience in event planning she is very excited to be able to contribute her service, passion, and dedication to Out & Equal Event Associates.

A 2011 graduate of the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management, Emily holds a B.S. in Marketing.  She originally hails from Southern California, but was born with a Northern California state of mind.


Andrea D. Shorter
Senior Manager of Community Relations

Photo to come.

A newcomer to the Out and Equal team starting in August 2013, Andrea brings 30 plus years of experience as an accomplished advocate, non-profit manager, public official, political strategist, and most recently as a consultant with Atlas Leadership Strategies.

Prior to coming on board at Out and Equal, Andrea was the Director of Marriage Equality and Coalition Strategies at Equality California, where she built an unprecedented statewide coalition of over 100 diverse organizations, community, political, and business leaders to advance and restore same sex marriage equality after the passage of Proposition 8. At EQCA she was able to bring her experiences as a long time LGBT advocate, including having previously worked as the Deputy Executive Director of the NAMES Project Foundation/AIDS Memorial Quilt where she managed and developed its vast domestic and international chapters network, and developed initiatives to expand the historic Quilt’s reach as an HIV/AIDS education tool  into middle schools, universities, state and local governments, and globally into South Africa.

Hailing from Indiana, she is a proud Hoosier who, after moving to California, became a distinguished graduate of Whittier College. Her first full-time job was as a volunteer coordinator for the 1988 re-election campaign of a California State Assembly Legislator representing Riverside County, then the fastest growing county in the nation.  After a resounding victory, she was hired as Assembly District Field Representative attending to a diversity of constituent needs and issues to help formulate needed legislative response.

In November 1991, Andrea relocated from Riverside to San Francisco, to join her younger brother following his graduation from Stanford University, and to immerse herself in the vibrant LGBT community and civil and human rights movements. As a public education campaign organizer for low-income families, she made her mark by leading a campaign to protect the state constitutionally provided voter rights of disenfranchised ex-offenders, including jailed inmates. Her advocacy for voting rights eventually led to a complaint against the California Governor over his refusal to  implement the Voter Registration Act of 1993. The case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the lower courts’ rulings in her favor was upheld.

Following this definitive milestone, she was recruited by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, where she co-developed and directed what would become a nationally replicated program to provide alternatives to detention to non-violent youth offenders. The program remains a national model, cited by the Department of Justice, and awarded by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Excellence in Governance program. Before retiring from CJCJ as Deputy Executive Director in 2004, she led other successful landmark initiatives, including co-authoring several publications that remain key references for state and local legislative and programmatic advances before retiring from CJCJ in 2004 as its Deputy Executive Director.

Andrea is a former member of the elected Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Community College District, and the former Co-Chair of the San Francisco Counts Census Committee. Appointed by former Mayors Willie L. Brown, Jr., and Gavin Newsom (CA Lt. Governor) and Mayor Edwin Lee, she currently serves as ranking member and Vice-President of the Commission on the Status of Women for the City and County of San Francisco. Having served an unprecedented five terms as President over the past 13 years, she continues to lead nationally renowned initiatives regarding anti-domestic violence policies and programs, and gender equity in the workplace.

Andrea is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, where she remains involved as a 2009 David Bohnett Fellow for LGBT Leaders. She lives happily near the heavenly AT&T SF Giants Baseball Park, and frequently enjoys cooking or dining out at  Castro neighborhood joints in the company of her family, friends, girlfriend, and their newly adopted senior rescue Yorkshire Terrier, Posey -- as in World Series Champion San Francisco Giants’ catcher, Buster Posey.


Daniel Lawrence Smith
Senior Development Manager, Individual Giving & Grants

Photo to Come.

Daniel joined the Out & Equal staff in April 2013. He takes pride in building relationships with the many individuals that support our mission. Daniel is responsible for the Advocates Club, which recognizes Out & Equal’s lead individual supporters as well as the Out & Equal Champions Circle, our monthly giving program. Daniel also maintains our foundation relationships to fund our programs and year-round efforts aimed at creating a world free of discrimination for everyone.

A native New Yorker, Daniel loves living in his adopted hometown of San Francisco. While in New York, Daniel worked as Director of Individual Giving at the Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s foremost LGBT civil rights and advocacy group. Daniel also spent several years as a yoga instructor. It was this experience, after leaving his early career in finance operations which lead him to his passion for non-profit work.

Daniel volunteers his time on Greater San Francisco’s Habitat for Humanity Young Leaders Board and on the Horizon’s Young Professionals for Equality (HYPE) Community EnGAYgement and Grants Committee. Daniel and his husband Alex Goro live in San Francisco’s Castro district with their playful and lovable kitten Neena. Daniel enjoys gardening, taking long walks through the city and going to the beach whenever the weather is warm enough.


Tony Talbot
Chief Financial Officer

Tony joined Out & Equal as its CFO effective January 7, 2013.  Previously, he was on the Out & Equal Board of Directors as its Treasurer from 2004 to 2007 and continued to be engaged with its Finance Committee since 2007.  

Tony spent 24+ years with NCR; the first ten years in a variety of Finance and Accounting positions and the past 14+ years in Deployment Services, his last position as the Managing Partner for the United States Telecommunications and Technology Industry.  

Tony is originally from Saginaw, MI.  He holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago and a BS degree in Accounting from the University of Dayton. Tony was a CPA for 20+ years and is currently PMP certified.


Q WilsonQ Wilson
Senior Program Associate

Q joined the Out & Equal Workplace Advocates staff in September 2010 as Senior Program Associate.

Born and raised in Columbia, SC, Q attended the University of South Carolina. While there he earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration.

While attending USC, Q served two terms as President of the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian Alliance and as Student Liaison for the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement. Later moving on to serve as a board member and earning SCGLPM's Volunteer of the Year Award as well as the University’s Changing the Face of Diversity Award.

Q spent the previous five years, based out of Charlotte, NC, working in content management for a streaming media company and developing a passion for public speaking. Always ready to embark on a new adventure, he relocated to San Francisco to join Out & Equal's team.