About Us About Us Our Work Our Board of Advisors Our Staff Our Founding Members Contact Us Employment Opportunities 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. David Parks, Co-chair Rachel Anderson, Co-chair Dr. Lauren Chapple-Love Ed Chansky, Esq. Hon. Dallas Harris Jonathan Lee Mishon Montgomery Alisa Nave Gordon Prouty Jared Rapier Hon. Devon Reese Hon. Melanie Scheible Hon. Tick Segerblom Mihanee Williams Our Staff TONY HOANG (he/him/his) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Tony Hoang is the Executive Director of Silver State Equality and Equality California and a veteran of the LGBTQ+ equality movement. 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, political and advocacy activities. He has worked in human services and advocacy for more than 25 years in a variety of public and non-profit contexts. Mr. Wade has worked on issues such as developmental disabilities, child welfare, national policy focused on youth experiencing homelessness, diversity, equity and inclusion, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. André is a two-time appointee to Governor Sisolak’s Advisory Task Force on HIV Exposure Modernization for the State of Nevada and a former appointee to the advisory committee of the Nevada Office of Minority Health and Equity. Currently, Mr. Wade sits on the board for Raise the Future and the Equality Federation. Mr. Wade has appeared on Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual reality show advocating on behalf of LGBTQ youth homelessness and on NBC’s TODAY Show discussing gun violence and laws. The Advocate, a national LGBTQ-interest magazine, named Mr. Wade one of its “Champions of Pride.” Modern Luxury Las Vegas named him 25 Most Influential People. He was named Activist of the Year by Battle Born Progress and the National Action Network’s Unsung Hero. Mr. Wade has written articles and Op-Ed’s for the Las Vegas Sun, the Las Vegas Review Journal, The Nevada Independent and the Nevada Law Journal amongst others. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Mr. Wade earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in English; and a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management, both from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. André is a certified SMART-Flow yoga instructor and self-published author. He has studied French and is currently studying Spanish. Mr. Wade enjoys traveling, going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and having new experiences with his partner, family, and friends. Email Andre Theresa Carlisle (she/her/hers) Director of Human Resources and Administration Theresa Carlisle (she/her/hers) is the Director of Human Resources Director and Administration for Equality California responsible for all human resource functional areas, including benefits administration, talent acquisition, and retention, compensation and performance appraisal, leadership development, and workforce culture. Prior to joining Equality California, she was the US People and Culture Manager for Denmark-based Linkfire, Inc., a music industry technology company. Theresa has over twenty years of people and culture experience in the healthcare, behavioral health, and imaging industries. She graduated from Antioch University with a BA in Business Management. Theresa loves Major League Baseball and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named McKenzie. Email Theresa Sunitha Menon(she/her/hers) Managing Director of Operations Sunitha Menon (she/her/hers) is the Managing Director of Operations of Equality California and Silver State Equality. She is responsible for setting a vision for and leading the organization’s human resources, talent management, development, and programmatic functions. As a first-generation queer person of color, Sunitha has seen how inequalities and discrimination have affected the health, safety, and well-being of marginalized communities. She has spent her career working to support these communities and address inequalities through direct action, support services, and education. Sunitha has worked in the non-profit space for over 20 years, and has focused the past ten years on organizational strategy and growth, staff development and culture building, and sustainability. Prior to joining Equality California, Sunitha founded and managed the consulting services department at RAINN, which provided tailored solutions to the ways in which sexual violence impacted organizations of all kinds. Sunitha received her Bachelors in Sociology from UMASS Amherst, and her Masters in the Science of Social Work, from Columbia University. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family (especially her nieces and nephews), international travel, hiking, and doing anything by the ocean. Sunitha lives in Long Beach with her wife, a Los Angeles County Fire Department Captain, and their beagle-mix. Email Sunitha Jorge Reyes Salinas(he/him/his) Communications Director Jorge Reyes Salinas (he/him/his) is the Communications Director for Equality California and Silver State Equality, based in Sacramento. He was born in Lima, Peru, and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He is a graduate of Cal State Northridge, where he received a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies and Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. As a student at Cal State Northridge, he was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the CSU Board of Trustees. Jorge recently served as Senator Monique Limón’s Communications Director. Before that, he served as an Assembly Fellow in the office of Assemblymember Kevin Mullin and as a District Representative for Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg. Jorge lives in Sacramento with his Chihuahua Terrier named Chanel and, in his free time, enjoys dancing, eating Hot Cheetos, and ordering Starbucks holiday drinks. Email Jorge 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 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. Jessica Munger (she/her/hers) Program manager Jessica Munger is the Program Manager at Silver State Equality where she implements programs to empower and advance the wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community in Nevada. Jessica hails from rural northern California (the ancestral lands of the Maidu people) and studied Political Science at Humboldt State University. Jessica’s roots are in community organizing: prior to coming to Silver State Equality she spent nearly a decade working on the campaign to pass the 28th amendment to the US Constitution to resist corporate power and big money in politics. Jessica has also worked on state and local campaigns regarding local democracy and sex worker rights. She proudly serves on the boards of Move to Amend and Democracy Unlimited. Jessica has a background in ballroom dance and creative movement, she’s a home bread-baker, live music enthusiast, and soon to be parent! Mario woolfolK (HE/HIM/HIS) Program Associate Mario Woolfolk is a Community Health Worker Program Associate for Silver State Equality working on public education and advocacy programs. Mario has spent his career in public service and education working in youth programs, school administration, and public health. He joins us from the Southern Nevada Health District, where he worked in HIV services with the Ryan White Program and provided support on the First Response Team for COVID-19. Mario is excited to have a personal connection to the work he is doing and help bring equality to individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. He also enjoys playing softball and has been studying the Japanese language (はじめまして / Nice to meet you!). Bri SchmidT (THEY/THEM/THEIRS) Program Associate Bri Schmidt is a Program Associate for Silver State Equality working on bringing SSEQ’S programming to the Northern Nevada region. A born and raised Reno native, Bri comes from a background of education and crisis services, giving a unique connection to the community around them. As a part of the LGBTQ+ community, they are excited to help the Northern Nevada community get engaged and make a difference in their future. In their free time, Bri enjoys a variety of nerdy activities like video games and comic books. They also know way too much about aquariums and will talk about their fish for hours. Li Arnee (He/Him/Handsome) Li Arnee is a dedicated Community Health Worker in Las Vegas, Nevada, working on a per diem basis with Silver State Equality. Li is a multifaceted individual with a successful entrepreneurial background, a commitment to social justice, and a significant presence in the LGBTQ+ community. His journey began at the Los Angeles Job Corps, where he earned a license as a vocational nurse. Li’s thirst for knowledge led him to complete seminary classes at the Pacific School of Religion and graduate from Antioch University’s Bridge Program. Li has been a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and social justice for many years. He currently serves as the Pastor and founder of U.R.G.E (Urban Rainbow Gender Emergence Ministries). Additionally, Li is an active member of various advocacy networks, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Black Trans Advocacy Coalitions (Btac), and Trans People of Color (TPOC). His impact extends to founding Alpha Omega Nu, Inc. fraternity, and co-founding Divine Transitions and Divine Warriors, two ministries dedicated to the well-being of individuals with Trans experience. Li’s aspirations are rooted in creating a more accepting world. He envisions his ministry, advocacy work, fraternity, and support groups as vehicles for individuals of Trans experience to lead authentic lives without the fear of rejection from their families, society, or even God. Li resides in Las Vegas, is happily married, and takes pride in being the father of two twin boys. Yoshi Castro (SHE/HER/HERS) Yoshi Castro (she/her/hers) serves as a community health worker at Silver State Equality, where her responsibilities include disseminating information about Mpox, COVID, and health inequalities pertinent to the LGBTQ+ community. Residing in Las Vegas, Nevada, Yoshi is not only a community activist but also a prominent leader within the trans community, particularly for individuals of color. As an Afro-Latino trans woman, she has successfully established various groups supporting trans people of color and has been a vocal advocate for those incarcerated, leading her to join the fight at Silver State Equality in 2012. Throughout her career, Yoshi has held roles as a trans program manager, worked in HIV services, and specialized in transgender healthcare as a nurse. In addition to her advocacy work, Yoshi is a member of the ballroom community, spreading a positive message about the black and brown queer community. As the reigning Miss Trans Pride Las Vegas, she wears many hats and, quite literally, many shoes as a legendary fashionista. Yoshi’s multifaceted contributions extend to the entertainment realm within the drag community, reflecting her commitment to the diverse aspects of her identity and work. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For press inquiries, please email email@example.com.