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MEET OUR BOARD

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Andrea Sosa
they/them
Board Member 

Andrea Sosa is a proud Queer Mexican-American, self-identified Chicanx. Growing up in Stockton, California in an immigrant family led her to grow interested in the relationship between design, the built environment and our quality of life as a society. In 2002 Andrea moved down south to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she was able to immerse herself in the campus LGBT Center and served as the student co-chair for the state-wide UCLGBTQIA Conference. While attending the New School of Architecture and Design for graduate school Andrea became involved in LGBT political causes. Being a queer activist in a military border city plagued with homelessness, segregation and a vast wealth gap led her to understand that the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians was limited to upper class white America and largely excluded queer people of color and the trans community. Today as a longtime resident of Oakland, Andrea works as an architect working on low-income and homeless housing. She brings to the Oakland LGBTQ Center Board a desire to create fundamental and systemic change through representation, design, art, advocacy, and community. She understands that our community needs and deserves stewards that are; compassionate, determined, resourceful and diplomatic.

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

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Em Baraan
they/them

Board Secretary

Em (they/them) is a genderqueer Filipinx-American, who was born and raised in Vallejo, CA. They moved to the Los Angeles area in 2003, returned to the Bay Area in 2015,and has been a proud Oakland resident since then. They hold a B.S. in Management Information Systems from San Jose State University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. They are honored to be part of the Oakland LGBTQ Center’s work to ensure their communities feel seen, supported and safe. In their professional life, Em specializes in Digital Product Management, where they have led cross-functional teams in creating and bringing digital products to market for various websites and apps across different industries. Through the years, they have also volunteered for several non-profit organizations, including the Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Center, Code Nation and Hack the Hood, all of where they served as a youth mentor. In their 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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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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Kunal Basu-Dutta
he/him
Board Member

Kunal (he/him) moved to West Oakland in 2018 after having returned from living abroad in order to work in politics. Before landing in the Bay, Kunal was raised mostly in Georgia, completed his BA at the University of Chicago, and worked in various digital roles for years. In the Bay Area, he's worked on flipping the House with Rep. Eric Swalwell, two presidential campaigns, and an environmental-focused PAC. His focus has always been in messaging stories to organize community action and bring folks together. In 2020, Kunal co-founded Modern Bay Strategies — a Black, Brown, and Queer-led marketing agency specializing in digital for political issues, non-profits, and do-good businesses. This came from realizing that our voices need to drive marketing, not be an afterthought. Modern Bay has helped elect BIPOC and LGBTQ representatives in Oakland and across the country in historic wins while also championing state initiatives addressing health, equity, and accountability. In his spare time, Kunal tries to visit all of the restaurants, bars, food trucks, and pop-ups that Oakland and the Bay have to offer. Those trips may be shared soon...stay tuned!

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Manifair Hwang
she/her

Board Member

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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Romario Conrado
he/him
Board Member

Romario Conrado (he/him) grew up in the Bay Area and is the Center’s first Gen Z Board Member. He studied both Political Science and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. As a student senator, he fought for gender inclusive restrooms and helped plan the first College Pride Football game in the country. He has previously worked as a bilingual HIV prevention navigator and coordinated the North Bay’s mpox vaccine clinics. Romario currently serves as a District Representative for East Bay’s State Senator, Nancy Skinner. In his free time, Romario can be found biking or swimming. His pool of choice is Oakland’s YMCA. He is also an avid reader whose genres of choice are either fantasy or first-person, political narratives. Romario lives in Adam’s Point, a 10-minute walk to the Center, with his two cats, Bob and Carl.

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Sage Williams 
he/him
Board Treasurer

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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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.

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