NEW YORK - GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is proud to announce the election of five new members to its National Board of Directors - award-winning filmmaker Kimberly Reed; Steven Salee, Founder of WildFire Strategies; Chip Sullivan, Head of Publicity for DreamWorks Studios; John Wilson, Executive Director of the National Education Association; and country music artist Chely Wright.
The diverse group of new board members comes from education, entertainment, filmmaking and organizational development backgrounds. They will help oversee the organization's growth and strategy as part of GLSEN's effort to ensure safe and affirming schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
"We are honored to welcome these five esteemed GLSEN supporters to our National Board of Directors," GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard said. "They bring a range of experience and perspective that will enhance our Board's ability to provide stewardship for GLSEN's continued growth. I look forward to working with them as we strive toward a day when every child learns to respect and accept all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression."
GLSEN's National Board of Directors also elected new leadership: Board Chair - Ryan Pedlow, Managing Director, Ziff Brothers Investments; Board Chair - Gail Lopes, retired attorney; Treasurer - Keith Powell, COO, Kodak Gallery; Secretary - Michael Manthei, Partner, Holland and Knight LLP.
The new Board Members are:
Kimberly Reed, filmmaker. Kimberly's work has landed her on many annual "best of" lists, such as Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film," The Advocate's "Five to Watch," and OUT Magazine's "Out 100." She was named Towleroad's "#1 Best LGBT Character of the Film Year" for 2010. She directed and produced PRODIGAL SONS, an award-winning co-production with BBC Storyville and Sundance Channel.
Steven Salee, founder of WildFire Strategies, an organizational development consulting firm. Steve oversees the firm's consulting practice areas and business development, and has 15 years experience as a strategist, organizational consultant, and team and individual coach. Steve is passionate about helping people across organizations to work together effectively and profitably. He is also Co-Chair of GLSEN's National Leadership Council.
Chip Sullivan, head of publicity for DreamWorks Studios. Chip joined DreamWorks in 1995 as Head of Special Projects and worked on such films as "Saving Private Ryan," "American Beauty," "Gladiator" and "Shrek." He is currently working on projects that include "The Help," "Real Steel," "Puss in Boots" and "War Horse."
John Wilson, Executive Director of the National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest teachers union. Since coming to NEA, Wilson has championed a minimum salary of $40,000 for every teacher and a living wage for Education Support Professionals. Wilson has chaired the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a coalition of 33 businesses and education groups that advocates for every child in America to graduate from high school with 21st century skills. The 3E Institute presented him with the Educator 500 President's Award in 2006 for being "a true entrepreneurial educator."
Chely Wright, award-winning country music singer/songwriter. In May 2010, Wright became the first major country music performer to publicly come out as gay. Chely has been the spokesperson for GLSEN's Safe Space Campaign. She also served for nearly eight years on the board of The TJ Martell Foundation, chaired the Country Music Association's nominating committee for the Country Music Hall Of Fame, founded Reading, Writing and Rhythm in 1999 to put musical instruments into schools across the nation, currently serves on the Faith In America board and in 2010, founded the LikeMe Organization.
To view a complete list of GLSEN's National Board Members from the entertainment, media, finance, education, technology and philanthropic communities, visit www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2480.html.
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.