MEET OUR BOARD

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MEET OUR BOARD
Alphabetical order by first name 
(click on letter)

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Em Baraan
She/They

Board Member

Em (she/they) is a genderqueer Filipinx-American, who was born and raised in Vallejo, CA. She moved to the Los Angeles area in 2003, returned to the Bay Area in 2015, and has been a proud Oakland resident since then. She holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from San Jose State University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She is honored to be part of the Oakland LGBTQ Center’s work to ensure her communities feel seen, supported and safe. In her professional life, Em has spent over thirteen years in Digital Product Management, where she has led cross-functional teams in creating and bringing digital products to market for various websites and apps across different industries. Through the years, she has also volunteered for several non-profit organizations, including the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Code Nation and Hack the Hood, all of where she served as a youth mentor. In her personal life, Em is a devoted dog parent, an eager traveler, and indulges in all things related to food and music.

 
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David Hansen
He/Him

Board Member

David (he/him) moved to the Bay Area from Denver in 1986, and fell in love with its diversity and progressive values. In 2005 he and his husband moved to Oakland to settle down, and the city has been home ever since. David has been a highly respected home improvement professional for twenty years, starting his namesake interior design firm in 2014. He has worked on hundreds of projects throughout the Bay Area, and collaborated with many homeowners, contractors and architects to create several award-winning projects. He has also been a part of, and served on several trade organizations including ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) and NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry). David is passionate about community service and social justice. Throughout the years he has helped support several local non-profit programs, including several committed to funding AIDS. He most recently spent the last six years on the Board of Directors of a local arts program that helps underserved artists with developmental disabilities. David is delighted to be working with The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center.

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Dawn Edwards
She/Her

Vice President

Dawn (she/her) was born and raised in Los Angeles, but currently resides in Oakland, where she’s lived off and on for the past 30 years. She earned a BA in Political Science, a Master of Public Administration, completed three years of law school, and has earned a Master of Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Mills College. Her professional focus has been centered on non-profit management, policy advocacy, early childhood education, restorative justice practices, legal research, project/program management, curriculum development, direct services and facilitation of a variety of workshops to the community. Currently Dawn has been working as the Director of Programs at Lotus Bloom Family Resource Center, in addition to supporting the Oakland Family Resource Center Network. Dawn’s Community Leadership recently has been serving the LGBTQ community as the VP of the Board of Directors for the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center where she assists with a variety of administrative and outreach tasks, helps support Youth and Family services, and coordinates/facilitates several support groups. She is also a graduate of the Rockwood Leadership Fellowship, and a current 2022 LeadStrong Women of Color Fellow. In her spare time, Dawn is a published author with two current book projects in the works, a blogger, and a trained dancer and gymnast who has performed with several companies throughout the Bay Area. She’s also blessed to be the mother of 3 beautiful young black men.

 
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Derreck Johnson
He/Him

Board Member

Derreck Johnson (he/him) is a proud, third generation, Oakland native and resident. Derreck was raised by a single mom in West Oakland’s Acorn housing projects, one of our most underserved neighborhoods. His mom worked up to three jobs so he could have a better life. She taught him to work hard and selflessly for others, take pride in his community, and keep his word. Thanks to support from his strong extended family and community, Derreck would go on to Fisk University, a historic black college in the south, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, which promoted brotherhood, service, and community advocacy. After earning his degree in Business Administration, he returned to Oakland determined to serve his community. Derreck co-founded Home of Chicken and Waffles located in Oakland's Jack London Square 17 years ago and is very involved in the community. Derreck is honored to serve on the board of directors of the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center.

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Jeff Myers
He/Him

Board President/Co-founder

Jeff (he/him) is co-founder of the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center. Born and raised in Charleston, SC, Jeff has been a resident of Oakland for 16 years and is deeply dedicated to Oakland's LGBTQ community. He has worked as a neurologic surgery scrub nurse at the University of California, San Francisco for 16 years and holds the title of Principal Surgical Technologist. In this position, he serves as a patient care advocate in the operating room. He is also a preceptor for new employees in a variety of surgical specialties and is one of the original scrub nurses on the UCSF surgical stereotactic movement disorder team that performs craniotomies for deep brain stimulation (DBS) and the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. His formal training also encompassed working in general surgical, OB/GYN surgery, general vascular, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, and urologic surgery. He also has worked to ensure the highest quality OR staffing infrastructure and environment by serving as the Co-Chair of the Workplace Safety Council, the Co-Chair/Chair of the Team Work Enhancement Committee and the Co-Chair of the Staff Mentorship Program to enhance the recognition of ethnic minorities and issues related to staff diversity in the workplace. Jeff served 11 years in the Navy as a Certified Religious Program Specialist in the Chaplain’s Office assigned to the Marine Corps. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Carl Vincent, stationed in Japan, and was privileged to interact with diverse populations during his assignments. He holds certifications as both a Surgical Technologist and a Nursing Assistant. Jeff has been active in labor relations. He attended California Union Leadership School, and served as a member of the San Francisco Labor Council and Vice President of Patient Care Technical (AFSCME 3299) for 8 years. He is currently a member of Labor Notes, an international labor activist organization. Jeff has been active as a community volunteer. He served as a member of the Bay Area Big Brother/Big Sister Association and volunteered for the LGBTQ community in multiple capacities. He was the volunteer coordinator for Oakland Pride, served as a co-chair of community outreach, Pride Event Volunteer Coordinator, and he also helped to organize the Oakland Pride contingent for the SF Pride Parade working with the Office of the Oakland Mayor. He served as a co-chair of table captains for the San Francisco HRC 2006 Annual Fundraising Dinner and served on the San Francisco HRC Steering Committee when he helped to organize the HRC contingent for the SF Pride Parade. He is a member of the Bayard Rustin LGBTQ Coalition supporting People of Color in the San Francisco Bay Area and was a member of Lambda Legal.

 
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Kayla Brown
She/Her

Board Secretary

Kayla (she/her) earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. Since earning this degree, her work has focused on supporting a variety of communities. She has worked in a group home with foster youth in San Leandro, a deafblind preschool in Boston and a mixed special education classroom in Alameda. Her path turned for 4 years where she was able to support residents with Dementia and Alzheimer’s as a Director in an Assisted Living and Memory Care community. After 4 years, she returned to the opposite end of the lifespan, supporting children 0-5 years and their caregivers through a grant based program in West Oakland. Kayla has landed her dream job working as a Senior Center Director in North Oakland serving Oakland's aging population. In her personal life, Kayla enjoys cooking (and baking) for family and friends, going for walks, scenic drives and hiking. She and her wife live in the East Bay with their son. They enjoy traveling, dining out and spending time with friends. Kayla is passionate about supporting those in the LGBTQ+ community and finding ways to build a stronger, safer community. Kayla started her journey serving the LGBTQ+ community as a volunteer for 6+ years at Pacific Center as a co-facilitator of a peer support group. She is excited to be of service to Oakland’s LGBTQ+ Community Center and has been on the Board since 2018.

 
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Manifair Hwang
She/Her

Treasurer

Manifair (she/her) is an Oakland native and resident who is passionate for community and culture. Growing up, Manifair was always interested in everyone and everything to where she found it difficult to find a specific group to pin herself to or how to categorize herself. She quickly realized, because of how diverse Oakland is, there was no need to categorize herself and that she was a little bit of everything that her environment had to offer her. In her professional life, she has 10 years of Account Management experience with financial, renewable energy and tech companies. Here, she learned corporate policies, professional business practices, and building relationships with clients to improve their own businesses. She has recently taken a step away from her desk job and you can find her serving up your favorite cocktails at Somar Bar in Oakland. In her personal life, Manifair can be found everywhere. She's supporting local businesses, promoting for music/art/cultural events, watching her favorite sports teams, hiking, running the lake, partaking in fundraisers, pulling shrubs for wildlife, and basically anything else that brings people together to enjoy life. Manifair has also lived in other major cities and travels quite a bit but she believes that no city comes close to the diversity and sense of community than in Oakland.

 
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Sage Williams 
He/Him
Board Member

Sage is a trans male (he/him), all human embracing licensed marriage and family therapist, and professor. He is a Bay Area native and Oakland resident “back home” after living in various states from Washington to Georgia. Previously a Chef, Sage went back to school receiving his bachelor’s from Georgia State University in 2014 and Masters in Holistic Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in San Jose, CA in 2017. Sage’s passions are rooted in healing the traumas in Black bodies, working to stop anti Black racism and the overall healing, growth and acceptance of BIPOC LGBTQ,with special interest in BIPOC transgender men and women. . Sage has developed and participated in committees designed towards BIPOC excellence, healing and safety of Black bodies and currently leads organizational talks on anti-Black racism. Sage is taking steps towards developing therapies, studies and written works dedicated to the Black Trans men. Sage works in his day job as an intensive case manager at University of California, San Francisco with clients at the crossroads of severe mental health, substance use, homelessness and on probation, he teaches various classes at John F. Kennedy University’s graduate psychology program and has a private practice. On his down time, he does a variety of outdoor activities, including weightlifting and kayaking, and spends time with his partner.

 
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Shauna Madison
She/Her
Board Member

Shauna (she/her) is an Oakland resident and has lived in the Northern CA / Bay Area for nearly 15 years. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA but immediately fell in love with Northern California during a college tour. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from UC Davis, double majoring in Sociology and African & African American Studies with a minor in Sexuality Studies. After graduating, Shauna earned her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Presently, Shauna works as a Managing Partner at Medina Orthwein LLP - a queer owned, civil rights firm specializing in police brutality cases, prisoner rights litigation, employment discrimination and LGBTQ discrimination matters. Shauna will also continue her criminal defense practice at Medina Orthwein. Prior to working at Medina Orthwein LLP, Shauna worked tirelessly as a criminal defense attorney, advocating on behalf of indigent clients throughout Alameda County. She provided expert representation in both misdemeanors and felony cases, preliminary hearings, extradition cases and more. Shauna has also volunteered for various LGBTQ organizations, co-organized countless events including the 4th Annual Queer People of Color Conference, and has even served as a delegate at the Black LGBT Emerging Leader’s Conference hosted by the White House (2011). After law school, Shauna became a Board Member of BALIF, the Bay Area’s oldest and largest LGBT bar association, as well as a Board Member for USF Law’s Public Interest Law Foundation Advisory Board. Shauna is also a mentor through the Point Foundation – The National LGBT Scholarship Fund. She is honored to continue serving her community by joining the Board of Directors for the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center. In her personal life, Shauna practices self care by hiking with her wife and rescue pup Maya, running 5Ks, and completing DIY projects.

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Tim Nugent
He/Him
Board Member

Tim Nugent’s culinary career began with flipping burgers and cooking eggs at a truck stop in Alburgh, Vt. He graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in 1988 and took a job at Fresh Cream in Monterey, Calif., as a sous chef, quickly working his way up to executive chef while simultaneously learning the ropes of old school French cooking. He relocated to San Francisco in 1993, eager to work in a city where there is a great appreciation for the culinary arts and people care about where their food comes from. He immediately began work as sous chef at Michelin-starred Acquerello under Suzette Gresham, beginning an education in fine dining and learning about the complex dishes that this genre of dining tends to entail. In 1994, he transitioned to the pastry world at Zuni Café, starting as a pastry assistant and soon turning into a pastry chef under Chef/Owner Judy Rodgers, who would become the biggest mentor of Nugent’s career. Nugent left Zuni in 1997 and became the pastry chef of Campton Place, where he honed his presentation skills while incorporating savory techniques into the creation of his sweets and pastries. Following Campton Place, Nugent joined Café Rouge in 1998 where he spent eight years utilizing his shining personality to take great care of his guests and efficiently manage the front-of-house staff as general manager. He then experienced what goes into launching a restaurant as Perbacco’s opening pastry chef in 2006, before beginning his seven-year career at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel as executive pastry chef in 2007. In 2010, Nugent took a hiatus from the Sir Francis Drake Hotel to compete in the first season of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Nugent is excited to return to the front-of-house as General Manager/Owner at Shakewell. Tim’s beliefs in consistency, efficiency and knowledge translate to a high level of service for anyone who walks through the doors at Shakewell.