Click on staff members name or photo to contact by email
Susan Hartman, Executive Director
Bio to come.
Josie Leavitt, Development Director
Josie Leavitt is thrilled to be Development Director of the Pride Center and to give back to the LGBTQ community. Josie owned the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne for twenty years before working at the Pride Center. Performing and teaching and stand up have long been passions for her. She has been named Best Comic in Vermont by Seven Days four times and has won a Moth Storytelling Slam. She has taught humor writing and comedy at Champlain College and CCV. When she's not working, performing or writing she can be found at the dog park with her spirited dog, Allie, who often comes to the Center for meetings.
CATARINA CAMPBELL, SafeSpace Program Director and Direct Services Advocate
My name is Catarina Campbell and I am very joyful and grateful to be working alongside Julia to curate the Safe Space Program with the Pride Center of Vermont. Throughout my professional career I have engaged mostly in identity-based liberation work, predominantly on college campuses. This position offers me the opportunity to connect with the whole person while also cultivating environments of safety and healing. What a gift! I look forward to serving the Burlington community with my dynamic Pride Center colleagues and also look very much forward to getting to know all of the fabulous people we get to connect with and serve through this work!
MIKE BENSEL, Health and Wellness Director
Mike Bensel is Health and Wellness Program Director at Pride Center of Vermont. He has been an HIV/AIDS educator, tester, advocate, and has a strong queer programming background working with Outright Vermont, SafeSpace and serving on the founding board of Pride Center of Vermont. Having a rich history with the center allows Mike to have a strong connection to the mission and values of the organization. As a queer man committed to social change, he is closely connected to the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention and education within our LGBTQ communities. Because of the Pride Center’s collaborative culture and commitment to social justice, it has been a longtime personal objective to work toward shared success with such a dedicated team. Mike is a Tobacco Cessation Counselor
Jess Novak, SafeSpace Coordinator of Education
Jess is a queer, non-binary activist rooted in simplicity and abundance whose passion lies in carving out space for folks to realize the revolutionary power of their own stories. In and out of years and through a variety of venues, Jess has had the privilege of doing this work in the LGBTQ+ community and is incredibly grateful to make a home at the Pride Center of Vermont. Jess is eager to collaborate to build a more radical understanding of the intersections of identity, healing and hope. As a fierce lover of all things communal, Jess is humbled by the opportunity to meet, listen to and learn from folks across the state of Vermont in hopes of fostering conversation and creating space for connection.
Carlos Gonzalez, Health and Wellness Coordinator
Carlos M. González arrived in Burlington VT, in July of 2014. With 24 years of age he was first runner up for "Mister Puerto Rico Cub 2013" and also competed in Mr. New Englad Leather 2016. He studied Opera Performance at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. While living in Puerto Rico he worked as a volunteer for such programs as CABE, NOSOTR@S and Comunidad de Osos de Puerto Rico organizing fun events for isolated gay and lesbian individuals who had trouble connecting with other members of the LGBTQ community; representing the Bear Community in manifestations and marches against homophobia; and helping to spread the word about safer sex. Carlos got certified as an HIV tester in July of 2015.
"I’ve never imagined I could actually work doing what I love. I am very excited to work with the LGBTQ community as I have always desired. I’ve always wanted to help the community and am so excited to actually make an impact on LGBTQ Vermonters. I have new and exciting ideas for the GLAM program and I can’t wait to see them become a reality and help spread the word of safer sex in a fun and friendly way."
"Remember, safe does not equal boring. One of the most exciting things on my agenda is to combine the Caribbean heat and the New England coolness and create a nice and comfortable environment, specifically for people within the male spectrum. I am looking forward to meeting a lot of people and make new friends, not only in Burlington, but anywhere this project takes me."
JULIA BERBERAN, SafeSpace Program Coordinator
Julia is a queer activist who is dedicated to raising awareness about social justice issues and fostering safer, more supportive communities. She is honored to have this opportunity to work with and for the LGBTQH community, at an organization that embodies many of her personal goals and ideals.
Julia is excited to engage the broader community in conversations about LGBTQH identities and the various challenges faced by LGBTQH individuals in Vermont. She is interested in continually learning and expanding her understanding of identities, issues and the intersectionality of oppression. She is committed to serving survivors of violence in a compassionate, survivor-centered manner. In her position with SafeSpace she hopes to support survivors along their paths of healing and increase the visibility of the SafeSpace Program..
She looks forward to connecting with people throughout the state to expand the Pride Center’s network, build community and work for social change in Vermont.