Wow. Yesterday was the first convening of our new Steering Committee, and well, wow. Despite mother nature’s best efforts to derail the convening (oddly Nicole from Hawai’i got there fine, but almost every other person had their original flights rerouted or canceled), we got 7 of our 13 new Steering Committee members into Boston and had more join by phone. We’d been looking forward to formalizing our community-based guidance through this group, but that almost sounds stuffy. What really happened was we got an amazing group of superskilled people teaming up to work, brainstorm, plan, and generally just wow me. I’d known them all before but I was just even more awed as I looked around the room and thought of the mad commitment and skills each of these folks brought to the table. We’ll keep you all apprised of the work of the group later (I for one am still digesting all the great ideas they tossed at us). But for now, I just want to say thank you to our new Steering Committee, I am very excited about our future because of you and I am deeply honored to be working with each of you.
Without further ado, let me introduce our stalwart volunteers, with my own terribly unofficial bio line on each.
- Francisco Buchting, ETR Associates – Researcher and advocate for LGBT of color extraordinaire, longtime tobacco shaker, and the man who got the Steering Committee to happen!
- Joseph Lee, UNC – Newcomer policy & evaluation wonk, probably best remembered for winning the “Stump The Scientist” tobacco lit review challenge a few years ago.
- Tara Moore, DC – Hotshot youth advocate and performance artist, watch out, she’s already winning awards, and you might remember her as volunteering to chair the next Summit.
- Tom Rachal , AK – Quiet and yet opinionated, he’s modeling how retirees should get into tobacco control after that other annoying career finally ends.
- Ernesto Dominguez, OR – He’s been coordinating youth for several Summits now and when he’s not with tobacco, watch out other youth groups are snapping him up to advocate nationally.
- Blue, MO – A chair of what, two of our recent Tobacco Summits, and a proud bi advocate, she’s also part of a tiny volunteer team creating a new LGBT community center in St. Louis.
- Jennifer Woodard, CO – Also a former Summit chair and a freelancer now, but you might know her from her amazing work building a state tobacco network from scratch in Colorado.
- Kitty Jerome, MA – A longtime Robert Wood Johnson project officer, Kitty is now freestyling, but she’s been bringing the LGBT voice to mainstream tobacco groups for E V E R.
- Bill Furmanski, DC – You know him, you love him, the sporty V.P. of American Legacy Foundation and veteran of several Summit organizing committees.
- Jaime Grant, DC – Maybe a bit less known to many of you, she’s head of NGLTF’s Policy Institute and in my mind, one of the best LGBT community visionaries I know.
- Alicia Matthews, IL – A tenured professor at UIC, head of lesbian research at Howard Brown, one of the preeminent LGBT of color scientists, and also the Network rep to the recent Menthol conference.
- Nicole Sutton, HI – The Director of the Hawai’i youth REAL tobacco group, folks around the country are trying to copy some of her amazing youth events.
- Robert Yoon, OR – Man of many hats and even more outfits. He’s a cessation leader, runs the WA state LGBT network, and dresses like a supermodel in his spare time.
Can you please join me in welcoming each and every one!!
Best,Scout Director Network for LGBT Tobacco Control A proud project of The Fenway Institute Boston, MA