About Us About Us Our Work Our Board of Advisors Our Staff Our Founding Members Contact Us Our Work As Nevada’s statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, Silver State Equality brings the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in Nevada and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. Silver State Equality is a Nevada-based program affiliated with and supported by Equality California and Equality California Institute, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. Together, we’re fighting for full LGBTQ+ equality on multiple fronts: Electing pro-equality champions, up and down the ballot; Passing pro-equality legislation in Carson City, Sacramento and Washington DC; Advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights and social justice in the courtroom; and Reducing disparities in LGBTQ+ health and well-being through education and advocacy. Silver State Equality is a member of Equality Federation. Click HERE to view our 2019 Annual Report. Our Board of Advisors Hon. Dallas Harris, Co-chair Rachel Anderson, Co-chair Hon. David Parks Hon. Devon Reese Hon. Melanie Scheible Ed Chansky Dawn Christensen Kimi Cole Amy Hill Erik Jimenez Jonathan Lee Ann McGinley Gwen Migita Jared Rapier Our Staff RICK ZBUR (he/him/his) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Rick Zbur is the Executive Director for Silver State Equality and Equality California. He is a distinguished lawyer with a long history of advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and environmental causes. Zbur retired from Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s largest and most respected law firms, where he was a senior partner and practiced law for 29 years. A lifelong LGBT trailblazer, Zbur was Latham & Watkins’ first openly gay attorney and first openly gay partner. He worked in all aspects of the firm’s environmental, land and resource practice, including leading the firm’s extensive work before the California Coastal Commission. A proud co-parent to three children with their lesbian co-parents, Zbur grew up in a farming community in the Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where his mother, Erlinda Chavez Zbur and her family have lived for generations. Zbur is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. TONY HOANG (he/him/his) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR-DESIGNATE Tony Hoang is the Executive Director-designate of Silver State Equality and Equality California and a veteran of the LGBTQ+ equality movement. He will succeed Rick Chavez Zbur as Executive Director at the end of 2021. The son of Vietnam War refugees and the first person in his family to attend college, Tony is a proud first-generation immigrant who grew up understanding the marginalized intersections of sexuality, gender, race and immigration status. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Tony moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. During college, he interned with the Pacific Council on International Policy and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor before joining Equality California as a field intern in 2009, beginning his long career with the organization. Tony went on to serve as Equality California’s Database and Volunteer Manager, Director of Operations, Chief of Staff and Managing Director prior to his selection as Executive Director-designate in 2021. During that time, Tony played a pivotal role in the passage of groundbreaking civil rights legislation in California, Nevada and Washington, DC, implementation of statewide public education campaigns and the election of hundreds of openly LGBTQ+ and pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot. Tony helped usher in a dramatic expansion of Equality California’s budget, staff, programming — especially the organization’s political work and efforts to advance racial justice — and growth to over 900,000 pro-equality members across the country. Tony serves the City of Los Angeles as a Commissioner on the Innovation and Performance Commission. He also sits on the boards of Equality Federation, the national movement builder and strategic partner to state-based organizations advocating for LGBTQ people, and DTLA Proud. He is a member of the Center for Asian Americans United For Self Empowerment (CAUSE) Leadership Network and the Pacific Council on International Policy and serves as a mentor for the USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Mentoring Program. Tony received a BA in International Relations at the University of Southern California with minors in Political Science and Natural Sciences. An avid concert-goer, cook, cyclist and traveler, Tony lives in Downtown Los Angeles with his fiancé Ian, an attorney. ANDRÉ C. WADE (he/him/his) STATE DIRECTOR André C. Wade is the state director for Silver State Equality. In this role he leads legislative, fundraising and political efforts in the state of Nevada. Previously he was the executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. With a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Public Administration, André has worked in human services for more than 20 years in a variety of public and nonprofit contexts including at the National Alliance to End Homelessness as a program and policy analyst. André has served on several boards and committees focused on LGBTQ equality and inclusion such as the Human Rights Campaigns (HRC) steering committee in Las Vegas, HRC’s All Children’s All Families program and the Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund. Currently, André is the chair of the advisory committee for the Nevada Office of Minority Health and Equity. A native of Las Vegas, André is a certified SMART Flow Yoga instructor who enjoys traveling and reading. Email Andre SAMUEL GARRETT-PATE (he/him/his) COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Samuel Garrett-Pate is the communications director for Silver State Equality and Equality California, where he oversees the organization’s strategic communications, brand management and media relations. Prior to joining Silver State Equality and Equality California, Sam was a Senior Account Executive at RALLY, where he led public affairs, political strategy and litigation communications campaigns on behalf of the firm’s clients. He previously served as an aide to New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and received his BA in political science from the George Washington University. Outside of EQCA, Sam serves as Western Caucus Chair of the Victory Fund’s Campaign Board, supporting the organization’s work to elect LGBTQ leaders in states including California and Nevada. Email Samuel SARAH T. MORROW AN (she/her/hers) DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Sarah Morrow An serves as Development Director at Silver State Equality and Equality California, overseeing all fundraising strategies and initiatives for the organizations and their subsidiaries. A recent transplant from the New York City area, Sarah has over 10 years of professional development experience including serving as Director of Development at Housing Works Inc., as well as Vice President of the Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe. Prior to Housing Works, Sarah worked at the Metropolitan Opera during their record-breaking 2011-2012 season. Sarah graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Communications, Sociology, and with a concentration in Marketing from the Wharton School. Sarah has served proudly on the boards of Housing Works and the West Village Chorale, and was an avid volunteer at the Museum of Modern Art. Sarah now lives in Miracle Mile with her opera-singer husband and two lovable (but exhausting) toddlers. (Photo: Joshua Kristal) Email Sarah VALECIA PHILLIPS (she/her/hers) DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION Valecia Phillips is the chief financial officer for Silver State Equality and Equality California and has broad experience in the arts, public media and government. She previously served for a decade as director of business and finance for UCLA Live, an internationally renowned performing arts program at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her hometown of New York, she held a variety of leadership and analytical positions at Sony Music Entertainment, Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem and the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget. She holds a BA in economics from State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MBA in finance from New York University Stern School of Business. In her spare time, she is a public radio producer and vocalist. VALERIE PLOUMPIS (she/her/hers) NATIONAL POLICY DIRECTOR Valerie Ploumpis is national policy director for Silver State Equality and Equality California, based in Washington, D.C. She is a political expert with more than two decades of experience in issue-advocacy campaigns, grassroots education and mobilization, coalition building, lobbying and media outreach. She serves on the board of directors of OutRight International Action, a global LGBT civil rights organization, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s Campaign Board, a national PAC which endorses and supports LGBT political candidates and elected officials. Prior to joining Silver State Equality and Equality California, she was a principal at Burnside & Associates, where she managed political and mobilization campaigns. Prior to that, Ploumpis served as a legislative and policy advocate for several international trade organizations in Washington, D.C. She holds a BA in international relations from Mills College and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University. MICHAEL CHAVEZ (he/him/his) ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & SPONSORSHIPS Michael is the associate director of events and sponsorships for Silver State Equality and Equality California. Prior to joining Silver State Equality, he worked in development for arts organizations around Los Angeles, most recently serving as a member of the special events team at LA Opera. His history also includes teaching for various public school music programs around Southern California. Michael holds a BA in music from California State University, Fullerton. LEXI HAWLEY (she/her/hers) ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DONOR RELATIONS Lexi Hawley is the associate director of donor relations for Silver State Equality and Equality California, focusing on strengthening and growing the organization’s individual giving programs. She has a wealth of LGBTQ+ nonprofit experience, having worked in front-line fundraising, development operations and programmatic roles at Point Foundation, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and the SF AIDS Foundation. Prior to that, Lexi spent five years at Google as a legal analyst and began her career in Genentech’s patient assistance department, Access Solutions. She is a 4th generation San Franciscan and earned a B.A. with honors in Philosophy from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Lexi is a 4-time AIDS/LifeCycle participant, having cycled the past 2 years. JOSH STICKNEY (he/him/his) DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Josh Stickney is the deputy communications director for Silver State Equality and Equality California, where he leads the organization’s digital initiatives and manages communications for Equality California’s legislative and political programs, as well as local press for Northern California. Prior to joining Equality California, Josh worked in communications and development with Equality Federation, the national movement builder and strategic partner to state-based LGBTQ advocacy organizations. Originally from Oklahoma, Josh has worked with progressive political campaigns and nonprofits across the country since 2014. He was previously a Junior Partner at Skyfire Media, LLC as well as the finance director for a statewide campaign. Josh attended the University of Oklahoma and lives with his partner Tanner and their Goldendoodle Rey. Email Josh Tymothie-James Bergendahl (they/them/theirs) DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE Tymothie-James Bergendahl is a development associate for Silver State Equality and Equality California. Prior to working for Equality California, they served on the board of JTIMA, an LGBT civil rights organization based in and around Boston, as well as co-managed the Massachusetts chapter of GetEqual, a national LGBT focused civil rights organization. Their work in Boston was primarily focused on LGBT youth homelessness and the rights and protections of transgender individuals within the state. Alyssa Cortes (she/her/hers) PROGRAM ASSOCIATE Alyssa Cortes is the Program Associate for Silver State Equality where she builds relationships with LGBTQ+ focused and diverse organizations across the Battle Born state. Her mission is to cultivate robust and impactful programming that benefits the most vulnerable in our community. As a former, experienced community organizer her strengths include public education, voter contact, and strategic mobilization. Born and raised in Nevada, Alyssa is proud to serve her community in this leadership role. On her free time she enjoys painting, baking, and hiking in the Southwestern United States. MARISA DE LOS SANTOS (she/her/hers) EVENTS ASSOCIATE Marisa De Los Santos is an events associate for Silver State Equality and Equality California, where she supports the planning and production of all fundraising and donor engagement events. Prior to joining Silver State Equality, Marisa worked for the nonprofit fundraising software company OneCause, and previously worked with the Youth Services Program at the LGBTQ Center Long Beach and for GLAAD helping to coordinate the organization’s annual Media Awards. Marisa holds a BA in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from California State University, Long Beach. She is a volunteer with Pride Inc., AIDS Walk and the AIDS Foodstore. Marisa lives with her wife Jaymee and dog Ebby, and she enjoys going to concerts and ballets. Our Founding Members Commissioner Tick Segerbloom Dawn Christensen & Lori Dunn Julian Concepcion Frank Cooper & Dr. Daniella Courban Gavin & Jason Goorjian Ryan Harlow-Nakano & Jeff Nakano Human Rights Campaign Erik Jimenez Jonathan Lee Ann McGinley Ruben Murillo, Jr. & Larry Van Sickle John Musella & Ivan Volschenk National Education Assn. LGBTQ+ Caucus David Orentlicher Hon. David Parks Mike PeQueen Lavert & Vince Pompei-Benefield Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Red Rock Fertility Michael & Ivana Walborn Email State Director André Wade to become a Founding Member today! Contact Us 4780 West Ann Road #5357 North Las Vegas, NV 89031 (702) 755-6288 For more information or questions about Silver State Equality, please email State Director André Wade at email@example.com. For press inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.