News Article about the Feb 2011 Honoree Gala
in Chicago, Doug grew up in Atlanta, moved to California when he was 20
and has lived in San Diego since 1977. While completing his
post-graduate work in Business Administration at San Diego State
University, he began working in the Division of Student Affairs at SDSU
advising the Interfraternity Council. He currently serves as the
Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life in the office of Student
Life & Leadership. He has been actively involved in the Association of
Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA), holding numerous positions there
including national president in 1991. In 1993, he received the AFA
Distinguished Service Award.
Doug has also been involved
with the College Area Community Council (CACC) since 1980 and has served
as president since 2007. He also serves on the SDSU Presidentís advisory
committee on LGBT issues, faculty/staff advisor to the SDSU Pride Action
Committee, served as a consultant to the Lambda 10 Project, and for
nearly twenty years has served as the faculty/staff advisor for the San Diego chapter
of Delta Lambda Phi National Social Fraternity for gay and progressive
Doug is a past president of the San Diego
Democratic Club, and has served on the SDDC board since 1988. He also
has been involved with the San Diego chapter of the GLAAD, the San Diego
Human Dignity Ordinance (HDO) Task Force, the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU) of San Diego and Imperial Counties, the California
Democratic Party LGBT Caucus, and the Lobby for Individual Freedom and
Equality (LIFE). Other awards include the national fraternityís
Outstanding Service Award in 2007, the Nicky Presidential Award for
Outstanding Achievement in Political Activism in 1994, and the 1998 "Man
of the Year" award from San Diego Lesbian and Gay Pride.
and raised in Indiana, George Murphy moved to San Diego in 1971. A
retired professor, George has spent the last forty years dedicated to
San Diego and the LGBT Community. He is a member of the LGBT Senior
Housing Steering Committee, a founding board member of the LAMBDA
Archives, and a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego
since 1972. He is also a founding member of and continues to volunteer
for the LGBT Center.
In 1983, George helped found
the San Diego AIDS project. Through his ministry at MCC, he continues
his work for people with AIDS, cancer and other illnesses. He also
served on San Diego's first telephone Gay Crisis
Hotline and is a charter member on several committees for the San Diego
Democratic Club. Honors and awards include the Jess Jessop Founder's
Award in 1993 and a Wall of Honor recipient for the Center in 2008.
Amazingly, George still finds
time to be active in his community, Ocean Beach. He has been involved
with numerous projects and organizations, including Friends of the Ocean
Beach Library, the Ocean Beach Planning Board, and the San Diego River
Coalition. He loves to travel, read, watch old movies, practice yoga and
view the sun setting on the ocean.
Stewart Bornhoft, US Army Retired, is a decorated combat commander who
served two tours in Vietnam during his 26 years on active duty. A 1969
graduate of West Point, where he later taught, he commanded at every
level from Captain to Colonel and directed operations of units as large
as 4,500 soldiers. He has two master degrees and is an accomplished
public speaker. After joining the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network,
he was elected Chair of its Military Advisory Council, and became active
in the movement to repeal DADT. He's spoken at rallies in front of the
US Capitol and as a Keynoter at the Harvey Milk breakfast. Colonel
Bornhoft serves as the Consigliere to the Board of Knights Out, a
gay/straight alliance of West Pointers, and appeared (in uniform) in The
Advocate responding to an adverse comment by General Peter Pace. He has
actively engaged in the repeal effort, lobbying congress repeatedly,
participating in televised debates, giving interviews on TV and radio,
appearing in videos and on numerous panels, writing op-eds and letters
to the editor, and continually educating and persuading the public about
the freedom to serve openly and honestly. His presentations to the Human
Relations Commission and the San Diego City Council helped secure their
unanimous endorsement of a resolution calling for repeal of DADT. Along
with many other activists, he was invited by the White House to witness
the enrollment of the bill to repeal DADT and attend the ceremony where
the President signed it into law.
Baza is a native San Diegan of Mexican and Chamorro (Guamanian)
heritage. Baza became involved beginning in high school with the civil
rights, Chicano and anti Vietnam War movements. Those experiences would
influence him greatly when he came out of the closet. His experience in
the fledgling "Gay Liberation Movement," began with the fight over the
Briggs Initiative. He went on to produce Artists for Aids Assistance,
the first major AIDS fundraiser in the arts community, involving 20 arts
A board member of San Diego Pride for seven years,
Baza served as a co-chair of Pride with Vertez Burkes as the first
people of color to hold those positions. He has been honored by the San
Diego Democratic Club, Gay/Lesbian Latinos con Orgullo, and by Mayor
Dick Murphyís LGBT Advisory Board.
An arts administrator for 31 years, Baza has served
as executive director or administrator of the County of San Diegoís
Public Arts Advisory Council, Community Arts of San Diego, California
Pacific Theater, Sushi Performance & Visual Art, and the Centro Cultural
de La Raza. He has also served on grant panels for the National
Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the San Diego
Commission for Arts & Culture, the San Diego Community Foundation and
the San Diego Foundation for Change.
Baza has served on the boards of The National
Performance Network, San Diego Performing Arts League, San Diego
Coalition for Arts & Culture, San Diego Youth and Community Services,
and San Diego LGBT Pride. He was appointed to the City of San Diegoís
Civic Events & Promotional Programs Allocation Board by then City
Council Member Christine Kehoe and was the first openly gay man to serve
on the Chicano Federationís board of directors.
Currently, Baza serves as executive vice president of
the San Diego Democratic Club, a board member of Honor Pac (a Statewide
Latino LGBT Political Action Committee), an Advisory Committee member of
the Womenís History Museum, a member of The Centerís Latino Services
Advisory Council, and as a member of the grant making committee of the
San Diego Foundation for Change.
Baza and his life partner of 24 years, Tom Noel, own
Noel-Baza Fine Art in Little Italy and live in North Park.
Having served as finance chair/fundraiser and
community activist for almost 30 years, Bill Beck has raised over
$10,000,000 and contributed thousands of hours for causes ranging from
AIDS, the business association and philanthropic foundations to
political causes and candidates. His tireless efforts helped
significantly in the election of Christine Kehoe to the San Diego City
Council in 1993, to the California State Assembly in 2000 and the State
Senate in 2004. He has served as former Councilmember Toni Atkinsí
Finance Chair and held the same position for Judge Bonnie Dumanisí race
for San Diego District Attorney.
Bill served on the national Gay & Lesbian Victory
Fund Board, as well as the USDEC board in addition to the Gay Families
of America Project sponsored by GLAAD in 1996. He was a member of the
California Legislature Senate Select Committee on Small Business
Enterprises as well as a member of the Mayorís Advisory Board. In June
2010, the California Legislature recognized him as one of a select group
of LGBT "Super Heroes" during LGBT month.
Bill received the San Diego Democratic Clubís
Presidentís Award and the LGBT Centerís Jess Jessop "Founderís Award".
Nicky Awards include the Governorís Award in 1998 and "Outstanding Male
Citizen of the Year" in 1999. In 2005, he was "Champion of Pride" in the
LGBT Pride Parade.
During the last 29 years Bill has served on the board
of the AIDS Assistance Fund and served as co-chair of DIFFA. He was a
founder and twice chair of the famed AIDS fundraiser Alley Cat Ball as
well as founder of the Alley Cat "Fantasy" awards which provided wishes
for people with AIDS. He remains a board member of the AIDS Foundation.
He has served on the Greater San Diego Business
Associationís (GSDBA) Board and received the "20th Year Salute" award
from GSDBA in 1999. Bill is a founder and former board president of the
San Diego Human Dignity Foundation. Bill owns a Union printing business,
Will Copy & Print, with his life partner of 35 years, David Huskey.
Before moving to San Diego in 1981, Bill was an assistant professor at
the University of Arizona and previously at SMU in Dallas. He received
his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1975.
JUDITH MARIE SCHAIM, MFT
Schaim has been providing individual and couples psychotherapy in San
Diego since 1987. After receiving her MA in Counseling Psychology from
the Professional School of Psychological Studies in San Diego, she
immediately became involved in seminars and workshops within her field.
Her experience includes workshops for Women's
Opportunity Week in 1985 and 1986, Family Reconstruction Group, Making
Contact Workshop, Parenting Workshop, and, most recently, Couples
Therapy with Gays and Lesbians at National University in San Diego. In
addition, she was involved with the Gestalt Training Program, the
Leadership Apprentice Trainers Program, and the "Say
It Straight" Drug Prevention Program.
Judi・fs commitment to the LGBT
community reaches back to 1992 when she served as co-chair for LGBT
Pride until 2000 and again in 2010. She has also served as co-chair on
the National Board of the Family Pride Coalition and has been on the
advisory board of the Gay and Lesbian Times, the Amazon Breast Project,
and the San Diego Police Department for the LGBT Community.
Her dedication and hard work
has garnered her the "Champion of Pride"
in 2001 and the "Eleanor Roosevelt Award"
from the San Diego Democratic Club in 2002. Her private practice is
based in the heart of Hillcrest on Fifth Avenue.
Al Best is a longtime leader and pioneer in politics, LGBT issues,
HIV/AIDS and community service. In 1979 Al became the first openly gay
candidate to run for city council in San Diego Ė just months after the
assassination of Harvey Milk. He came in fifth in a field of eleven,
despite losing his job, facing death threats and competing against
candidates who spent five times as much.
Al was born in Pueblo, Colorado and earned a Bachelor
of Science degree from the University of Colorado. His career in the
airline industry started early and later took him to New Mexico where he
was named to the New Mexico State Aviation Board. He received a Masters
Degree from the University of New Mexico and a PhD from New Mexico State
University. Al moved to San Diego in 1975.
He went on to become Executive Vice President of
Protocol Development for Community Research Group, one of 46
community-based HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks established by the
federal government to get HIV protocols online more quickly. These
efforts resulted in what is now the AIDS cocktail. Al also worked to
transport HIV/AIDS drugs to people in need in Tijuana.
Al holds many other civic distinctions, as the first
openly gay person appointed to the San Diego Equal Opportunity
Commission, sworn to the Civil Service Commission and elected president
of that body. He has also served on the cityís Medical Marijuana Task
Force, the Congressional Crime Task Force, the Sage Neighborhood Program
and the Chief of Policeís GLBT advisory board.
Over 66 different organizations have benefited from
Alís board involvement. He was a board member of The Center in the
1970ís, and is a co-founder of Stepping Stone (Al created the first
public listings of gay AA meetings). Al was an officer of the Harvey
Milk Democratic Club in the 1980s. Al was also honored at the Sixth
Annual Community Tribute Banquet in 2003, and he and Eduardo jointly
received Prideís Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 (after marching in
29 consecutive parades).
was born and raised in Rome (Italy) in 1968. He has worked as an
activist and contributed at the beginning of the LGBT Rome movement and
he was one of the initiators of the Rome Gay Pride. After graduating
from College he traveled around Europe to pursue his volunteer
aspirations by working with different non-profit organizations on Civil
and Human Rights.
Upon arriving in the US in 1998 he has continued his
work with Social Justice and Human Rights Committees in different
California cities. An immigrant and American citizen by choice he has
always pursued and fought for social justice.
In January 2008 he founded the North County LGBT
Coalition, a North San Diego County non-profit organization that caters
towards Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender individuals. In just a few
years this organization has become the biggest organized and recognized
LGBT group in the North San Diego area by initiating educational
programs through different schools and the City of Oceanside.
The group established the First Gay, Straight
Alliance Award in the State of California, an annual pride Festival
called "Pride@the beach!", and is soon moving in the direction to build
its own North San Diego County LGBT Community Center.
Max is also a very active individual in the community
as a Commissioner for the City of Oceanside and member of the historical
Oceanside Neighborhood Association. At the moment he is pursuing his
second degree in Political Science while working as a real estate broker
in the Riverside area.
Johnson is a nationally-recognized activist on behalf of the LGBT
community, feminist issues and Democratic politics. Gloria first moved
to San Diego in the early 1960s to attend college at then-undergraduate
California Western University. She returned to San Diego after three
years of studying social work and psychology in the Los Angeles area.
Gloria worked for San Diego County for thirty years; during the latter
half of her tenure she served as one of the first social workers in San
Diego to work with people with AIDS in the AIDS Case Management Program.
Gloria is a member of the SEIU labor union and the San Diego Unitarian
Much of her activism has been in Democratic Politics,
starting in 1972 with Congresswoman Shirley Chisholmís groundbreaking
campaign as the first African American to run for President. In 1976,
Gloria became the first openly gay/lesbian person elected to the San
Diego Democratic Central Committee, and was elected to that body again
in the 1990s. She served as a delegate to the 1996 and 2000 Democratic
National Conventions, and has been on the campaign staffs of Christine
Kehoe, Donna Frye and Mike Aguirre, among others.
Gloria has also been active in the LGBT community
since the 1970s and was co-chair of a committee created to defeat the
Briggs Initiative (or Proposition 6): the 1978 state ballot proposition
that would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in public
schools. She joined the newly formed San Diego Democratic Club in 1977
and became President of the club in 1980. Gloria served on the SDDC
board once more in the 1990s and is still a very active member of the
organization. Most recently she was Co-Chair of the California
Democratic Party LGBT Caucus.
Gloria is a longtime leader on feminist issues as
well: she has been a member of the National Organization for Women (NOW)
for over thirty years. Gloria campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment
(ERA) with NOW and she and other activists spent 2 days in a Washington,
DC jail after protesting the ERAís defeat. Listed among The Advocateís
top 400 US gay leaders in 1984, Gloria has worked tirelessly for social
justice over the past four decades in feminist, LGBT and political
LeSar is President and Chief Executive Officer of LeSar Development
Consultants, which provides a full range of consulting services
primarily to local government agencies involved in redevelopment,
community development, affordable housing and homelessness. She has more
than 25 years of experience in the real estate and banking industries,
and has developed and /or financed approximately $3 billion in
residential, mixed-use and urban-infill commercial properties.
Ms. LeSar brings a diverse background to affordable
housing, community development and urban revitalization. Prior to
founding LDC in 2005, she was a Senior Vice President at Bank of America
where she managed a variety of equity investment products, a Tax Credit
Investment Acquisition Director at Edison Capital and a Project Manager
at the Los Angeles Community Design Center (now Abode Communities). She
also served as the Executive Director for Community Housing of North
County (now Community HousingWorks), where, among other projects, she
developed a 22-unit housing complex for low-income people living with
In a volunteer capacity, Ms. LeSar chaired and served
on the San Diego LGBT Centerís board of directors for five years, from
2000 to 2004. During this time she helped the organization strengthen
its finances and complete a large-scale renovation of its facility, as
well as procure the 24-unit Youth Housing Project (Sunburst Apartments)
complex in downtown San Diego to assist homeless LGBT youth.
In July 2002, Ms. LeSar was appointed to the board of
the Center City Development Corporation, part of the City of San Diegoís
Redevelopment Agency, where she served until November 2009, including
one term as chair and two terms as treasurer.
Her educational achievements include two advanced
degrees from UCLA Ė an MBA in real estate, finance and nonprofit
management and an MA in Urban Planning.
Carol Pierce launching Front Runners and Walkers San Diego (FRWSD) in
1981 with Jeffrey Wynne was much more than an athletic administrative
event. Carol's goal was to create a safe space for LGBT athletes:
especially those that were newly "coming out" and wanted LGBT friends
and LGBT families. Carol has been continuously involved in Front Runners
and Walkers volunteering in their many community oriented events and as
a board member. She takes great pleasure in knowing that the club, in
its inaugural year, was recognized by San Diego Pride as "The Club Best
Representing Ideals of the Lesbian and Gay Community".
She participated in "Blood Sisters": lesbians
establishing an LGBT blood bank account when the HIV epidemic dis-allowed
blood donations by gay men. She volunteered with the Gay Academic Union,
was a Board member of San Diego's AIDS Project and United San Diego
Election Committee (LGBT PAC), in addition to other LGBT and non-LGBT
organizations. In 2004 she organized fundraising for Granada generating
$200,000 in medical supplies after the island was devastated by
hurricane Ivan. Currently she is developing a residential activities
program for a neighborhood nursing home.
Carol has done architectural drafting, been a
probation officer, handywoman, and real estate agent: the former two
while working in the profession she profoundly enjoys, marriage and
family therapy. "I am so really really lucky: for 30+ years I've worked
full time in a career I love! I get to guide (LGBT) individuals and
families to feelings of self-confidence, pride, and to a real sense of
belonging wherever they may be."
(Picture removed at the request of Jeff)
Wynne retired from his career in public health when he was 53. The first
day of his retirement was spent by the swimming pool. The second day he
began volunteer work for LGBT nonprofits. Quietly working behind the
scenes, Jeff began ghost-writing grant applications that have generated
over $100,000 in small grants from local foundations and local
The grant funds he has raised have been used to
underwrite the start-up expenses for a new LGBT organization, to augment
the budgets of nonprofits that improve the quality of life in the LGBT
community, and to pay for equipment that could not funded from any other
source, such as the purchase of 50 specially-cushioned chairs for the
Live and Let Live Alano Club. The chairs are needed for people with
advanced wasting syndrome. He was particularly successful in raising
funds for Diversionary Theatre during a time of fiscal austerity.
Born and raised in San Diego, Jeff served as a Navy
Lieutenant, with three tours of duty in Vietnam. After his return to
civilian life, he came to terms with being gay, then leaped jubilantly
out of the closet at age 35. He went on to meet Carol Pierce, leading to
the establishment of Front Runners.
In his spare time Jeff enjoys time with family and
friends, hiking, traveling and cooking for a crowd in his home in
University Heights; he is also an accomplished artist. He and Carol
Pierce are a loving family for each other, as well as being a joyous
part of the larger LGBT family in San Diego.
Sara Beth Brooks
Beth Brooks got her start in community organizing as an intern for the
California Democratic Party and then for Howard Dean for America. After
Proposition 8 passed she answered a call made by viral internet
JointheImpact.com for a national day of protest on November 15,
2008. In under a week, efforts organized by Sara Beth brought 25,000
people together in downtown San Diego to march and rally. More than 100
cities worldwide held simultaneous protests, and San Diego had the
The organizing team formed the ad-hoc group San Diego
Equality Campaign (SDEC) where Sara Beth served as Executive Chair. She
took leadership roles in the Manchester Grand Hyatt boycott campaign and
Camp Courage trainings across the state in addition to volunteer
commitments outside of the LGBT community. Though no longer in
existence, SDEC played an important role in post-proposition 8 activism
in San Diego, helping organize marches, candlelight vigils, a blood
drive, trainings, and town halls.
In 2009, Sara Beth was awarded the Harvey Milk
Leadership Award and was entered into the prestigious line of saints of
the San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. SDEC was honored in 2009
by being named one of the Community Grand Marshals of San Diego Pride.
Sara Beth currently lives in Sacramento, California
where she advocates for childhood literacy by connecting low-income
children with free tutoring services. She holds an Associates Degree in
in Business Administration and is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Peace
and Conflict Studies.