Board of Directors

Gender Rights Maryland, Inc - 501(c)4

Sharon Brackett - Board Chair - Media/PR, Technology Committee Chair

Sharon Brackett is a serial entrepreneur who has been the President/CEO of The PTR Group, an engineering technology services firm, for the past decade. She is presently President/CEO of Tiresias Technologies, a new startup company.  In 2010 she was selected by Washington SmartCEO Magazine as one of Washington's Smart100 CEOs for 2010 and then again, after transition, in 2011.  She is a volunteer co-moderator of the Gender Identity support group of the GLCCB in Baltimore.  She is one of the two co-founders of TransParent Day, and is a board member of MoringaCommunity.org, a charity that is building a trade school and food preservation education program in Ghana, West Africa. In her spare time she works with youth groups with technical interests such as rocketry and robotics. She resides in Howard County with her two sons.

Dana Beyer, M.D. - Executive Director

Dana Beyer, M.D., a retired eye surgeon, is a well-known advocate for public health, good government, women’s rights, and LGBT civil rights. She was a candidate for Maryland State Delegate in District 18 in 2006 and 2010. She is former VP of Equality Maryland, former EVP of Maryland NOW, founding member of Maryland’s Progressive Working Group, and a former HRC Governor. She co-authored The Dallas Principles in 2009. She serves on the board of Keshet, the national Jewish LGBT advocacy and education organization, and MobileMed, Montgomery County’s premier provider of health care to the uninsured. She served a term as Senior Adviser to Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg of the Montgomery County Council.

J. Darrell Carrington

J. Darrell Carrington is a Lobbyist and Managing Director of Carrington and Associates. Carrington and Associates specializes in civil rights, organized labor, financial services, health care, education, entertainment and energy policy. Mr. Carrington has over 25 years of experience working with every level of government, non-profits and the private sector.

 

Hilary Howes - Development Committee Chair, Treasurer
 
Hilary Howes, author of To Be or Not to Be: A Catholic Transexual Speaks for Conscience Magazine, served on the Catholic thought leaders strategy group that resulted in the formation of Equally Blessed. She has been a public information officer for Transgender San Francisco and a member/lobbyist for Gender PAC, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Equality Maryland. Currently working as brand strategist for Encore Decor she best known as an author, speaker, and creative in the event, exhibit, and color industries. She is a Californian by birth, a Greenbelter by choice, 33 years married and proud parent of an NYU grad. 

Mark McLaurin

Mark is the Political Director of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500. Mark is the former Director of Public Policy for the Public Justice Center. Mark has been working in the field of public policy and legislative advocacy for over ten years and serves on the Board of Directors of CHAMP (Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project), is a board officer of the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition and serves as Chairman of the Board of the House of Manolo Blahnik (an entity which seeks to target the ballroom community with effective HIV prevention messaging).  Previous stints include service as Senior Policy Advisor to United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD).

Jonathan Shurberg - Legislative Committee Chair

Jonathan Shurberg is a Silver Spring attorney with over 20 years of experience in criminal and civil trial and appellate litigation.  For the past 15 years, he has been a sole practitioner, increasingly focused in recent years on election law, equality issues and related advocacy and lobbying.  In 2008, he served as lead trial and appellate counsel in support of Montgomery County's gender identity legislation, ultimately prevailing before the Court of Appeals in an effort to keep the civil rights of transgender residents of the County from being put up for a vote.   In 2010 and 2011, he devoted several hundred volunteer hours providing legal assistance and lobbying to the efforts to pass both the same sex marriage and gender identity bills. He resides in Montgomery County with his wife and two sons.

Matthew Thorn - Secretary

Matthew is a leading fundraising and nonprofit management professional. He has worked with the homeless, arts, education, developmentally disabled and LGBT communities. He has worked with numerous local, state and federal candidates raising funds for their election campaigns. Matt has lectured and provided advisement for companies, candidates and nonprofits on business practices, management, board development and sponsorships. Matt is a graduate of the The Catholic University of American in Washington, DC with his Bachelor’s in International Relations. Matt sits on a variety of Boards of state and national organizations and volunteers his time to a variety of progressive and social change nonprofits and advocacy groups.

 

 

 


Gender Rights Maryland Foundation, Inc - 501(c)3

Jay Lee, RN - Board Chair

Jay Lee is an accomplished Nurse Leader in Maryland. Having been ANCC certified as a psychiatric and mental health specialist and certified in chronic disease management, he has a rich 25 year history as a clinician, trainer, mentor, liaison and lecturer in Holistic Healing and Nursing. He has been the clinical manager for hospice and disease management companies. He has advocated and educated within the structure of insurance companies for patients to receive benefits. GLBTQ community supporter and volunteer co-moderator of the Gender Identity and BTMA groups of the GLCCB in Baltimore. Panelist for Stop the Violence in Rosedale and Capitol Pride. He has been a Volunteer Youth Director for over 10 years creating leadership camp-outs and events in the Mid-Atlantic Region for his Church.

Sharon Brackett

Sharon Brackett is a serial entrepreneur who has been the President/CEO of The PTR Group, an engineering technology services firm, for the past decade. She is presently President/CEO of Tiresias Technologies, a new startup company.  In 2010 she was selected by Washington SmartCEO Magazine as one of Washington's Smart100 CEOs for 2010 and then again, after transition, in 2011.  She is a volunteer co-moderator of the Gender Identity support group of the GLCCB in Baltimore.  She is one of the two co-founders of TransParent Day, and is a board member of MoringaCommunity.org, a charity that is building a trade school and food preservation education program in Ghana, West Africa. In her spare time she works with youth groups with technical interests such as rocketry and robotics. She resides in Howard County with her two sons.

Stephen Colgan

Stephen Colgan is a long time advocate for LGBT Equality. He serves as the co-chair of the LGBT Task force at his Church, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist in Bethesda, MD, where he is also a member of the Social Justice Council. He has taught the affirming and comprehensiveOur Whole Lives sexuality education curriculum both in his church and to at-risk youth in the metropolitan DC area. Stephen lives in Bethesda with his daughter.

Christine Grewell - Treasurer

Christine Grewell is a founder and President of Teachthefacts.org, Inc., an advocacy group for LGBT issues in our public schools.  She and her husband run a small business doing real estate inspections and are long time Maryland residents.

 

Bonnita Spikes

A native of Chicago, IL, she lives in Maryland and has a long history working for social justice.  Her activism includes work for the NAACP, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Coaltion of Black Trade Unionists, the Teamsters Black Caucus Women Committee, and the Washington, DC and Baltimore Metro Labor.  She is presently on the Governor's Board of Victim Services and is the the Criminal Justice chair for the State of MD NAACP.

Deborah Strauss - Secretary

Deborah Strauss practices international trade law with the firm of Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg in Washington, DC. She facilitates PFLAG’s T-Families Group that meets monthly in Bethesda, MD. Ms. Strauss has lived in Montgomery County for nearly fifty years. She has a transgender daughter.