PRESIDENT – Mel
Mel has been the president of the Pride board since 2014. However, she has been an active participant and promoter of Pride since its origination in 2010. She believes passionately in providing a safe and fun environment for all LGBTQA to come together and celebrate their individuality as a community. As a result she has worked determinedly and ceaselessly with the Pride board to promote events, fundraisers, community activities, and outreach events. She is currently working on joining forces with other Florida Prides and promoting the start of the Partners with Pride program, all aimed at bringing the community closer together. Mel is a Florida native and was born right here in Fort Myers. She is an active member of the entertainment industry working daily on B103.9, DJing local events, and hosting multiple trivia nights at area establishments.
VICE PRESIDENT – Charlie
Charlie joined the Pride-SWFL board in 2015 and is the Treasurer of the organization. Charlie was born and raised in New York City. He worked in engineering for several years, but moved to Southwest Florida in 2012 to pursue an education in Interior Design and now works for a high-end residential design firm in downtown Naples. Charlie is enamored by anything involving nature and sews threads of natural elements into his designs. He lives in Bonita Springs with his dog, Toby. He enjoys hiking, tending to his garden, fostering dogs, and spending time with his family. Charlie is a firm believer in “you get what you give” and is very fulfilled in giving back to the community.
SECRETARY – Jenn
Jenn is the secretary for the Board of Directors for Pride SWFL. She has been on the board since 2015 and believes in the positive outreach provided by Pride SWFL. During her year on the board, she has worked to keep accurate documentation of all activities associated with the board as well as joining forces with the remaining board to promote equality in the LGBTQA community. As a resident of South Florida since ’97, she strives to be an active member in the community. Growing up in the military, she moved around to many places and has seen firsthand the importance of community. Her aim in working with the board is to continue the tradition of a Pride event, while working to be an active public servant.
DIRECTOR – Galen
Galen began his reign as the ferocious queen he is in Fredericksburg Virginia. His parents owned a local restaurant in town and were frequently active in their community. As Galen grew, he learned about the true importance of community and what it really meant to have one. His family later decided to pack up the car and the kids and headed straight down to Southwest Florida to be closer to the rest of the family. When Galen wasn’t lounging beachside he was traveling the world with father and his brothers during the summertime, experiencing cultures from around the globe. Fourteen years ago Galen met his husband Josh, and they have been happily married for the last two years. They enjoy spending time with their friends, family and the PRIDE community.
Jason lives in Fort Myers and is an activist for LGBTQ equality in Southwest Florida. He is also a board member of the Gay Social Network of Southwest Florida. Jason writes regularly for local publications on the topics of LGBTQ rights and equality.