Meet Our TEAM

Anne Moyerbrailean

Coordinator of Direct Services and Community Support 
she/her 

Anne is an advocate with the SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program. Originally from the Midwest, she first moved to Vermont to attend UVM, where she received undergraduate degrees in German and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Anne comes to the Pride Center and returns to Vermont after two years in Sweden, where she received a masters of social science in Gender Studies: Intersectionality and Change. While abroad, Anne worked with LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees, an experience which sparked her passion for advocacy within the LGBTQ+ community. Anne is excited to be furthering her advocacy work at the Pride Center – and to be back in Vermont!

In addition to working with the SafeSpace program, Anne is a coordinator for Glow, a program for LGBTQ+ women and people who are women-aligned. Email her with questions about the program or about Glow’s mission to create inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ women and people who are women-aligned in Vermont. 

Eeka Thaxton

Momentum Coordinator 
she/her

Eeka is a multiracial queer transplant originally from Southern California. She moved to the Green Mountain state in the summer of 2008 to escape city life and raise her children (now adults!) in a more undogmatic environment. They fell in love with everything about Vermont and haven’t looked back.

In 2016, Eeka received her A.A. in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Multimedia Communications and English, which was her segue into the social media world. She is an established blogger and self-published poet. She is also a volunteer cosplayer for the 501st and Rebel Legions which are global costuming groups representing Star Wars characters. For the last 6 years, Eeka has been involved with coordinating many events including Make-A-Wish Foundation send-offs, appearances for Star Wars Night at Lake Monsters games, and local library events for Star Wars Reads month, to name a few. They organized their Vermont Squad’s first-ever appearance in the Vermont Pride Parade in 2019, which was also the first year that the Legions were given permission by Disney and Lucas Films to be publicly involved with LGBTQ+ pride events. She hopes to bring the enthusiasm and love that she puts into
everything for the LGBTQ+ community in her role as Momentum Coordinator.

Emily RUSSO

Trans Program Coordinator & SafeSpace Advocate 
they/them

Emily moved from upstate New York to Vermont in 2012 to attend the University of Vermont. They graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies with a minor in Sociology. During their time at the University of Vermont, they worked with Outright Vermont, helping coordinate education opportunities to create safer school environments for LGBTQ+ youth.

For the past five years, they have lived in Denver, Colorado and worked with the Girl Scouts of Colorado to make the Girl Scout experience more inclusive for youth with marginalized gender identities. They were a founding member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at Girl Scouts of Colorado, where they led the organization toward positive change for staff and members alike. Aside from missing all the additional red blood cells that their body produced while in Denver, they are excited to be back in Vermont with the community they’ve missed so dearly.

In their free time Emily likes to drink coffee, consume queer literature and media, and let their dog on the couch for some cuddles when their wife is busy in medical school. They also enjoy woodworking, gardening, and backyard beekeeping. Emily couldn’t be more excited to jump back into Vermont’s queer community and support trans and nonbinary folks throughout the state!

Jacob Cribbs

Health & Wellness Coordinator
he/him

Jacob Cribbs grew up on the central coast of California but arrived in Cuttingsville, Vermont to work at Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community as a resident advisor and peer support advocate in 2015. He hasn’t left the beautiful Green Mountain State since.

Having earned a degree in English Lit with an emphasis in Cultural Anthropology and Creative Writing from UCSC, Jacob then spent six years living in Brooklyn, NY attending The Barrow Group Acting School, working in sales and marketing in the business travel industry, and leading creative writing workshops for low-income youth and LGBTQ elders through NYC Writers Coalition. Once transplanted in Vermont, Jacob embarked on a social service career path which included bringing art, writing, mindfulness practices, employment skills and retention, wellness support, and social service advocacy to a number of underserved populations including dual-diagnosis clients, previously incarcerated male-identifying Vermonters, and neurodivergent neighbors. He has been an avid meditator for nearly ten years with his first instruction in zazen from Fire Lotus Temple in Brooklyn, NY. He is a current MFAW candidate at Goddard College and in his spare time he enjoys gardening with and for the local community to help curb food insecurity, training for long distance running events, and traveling whenever possible to understand and pay homage to world cultures. He enjoys hiking, running, reading good books and the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. He is excited and grateful to learn from and be of service to Vermont’s wider LGBTQ community.

Kell Arbor

Director of Health & Wellness Program
they/warrior

Kell has been sex edu-taining in New England for over 25 years. Born in the mountains of Maine, they root their female-to-X queer journey in their UVM (2001) days. This Montpelier-based rascal is involved in event organizing that ranges from cabaret, critical mass bike rides, zine making, dance parties, and sex toy workshops.  

Warrior has an MA in Whole Systems Design and creates spaces that encourage change artistry, participatory dialogue, and pleasure. They bring a harm reduction lens and prior to joining the Pride Center, was the HIV Testing and Education manager at VT CARES. As an HIV positive Vermonter, Kell is a vocal, visible presence working to uplift marginalized voices and challenge health disparities so that we may all get the people-centered care we need. 

Kim Jordan

Director of SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program
she/her

Kim moved to Burlington, Vermont in 1998 and has lived many lives since then. Prior to working at Pride Center, Kim was a Victim Services Coordinator and Victim Liaison for restorative justice processes at the Burlington Community Justice Center. Kim has also worked as a domestic and sexual violence advocate with the DIVAS Program at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility and Legal Advocate and Volunteer and Training Coordinator at Steps to End Domestic Violence.

Kim works to bolster human rights for all through innovation, accountability, transformative justice, antiracist practices, and systems advocacy. She holds an M.A. in Theatre for Social Change from Skidmore College and focused her graduate work on participatory theatre for bullying prevention. An advocate for civic engagement and being the change she wants to see in the world, she volunteers with Winooski Mutual Aid, serves on the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Vermont as Affiliate Equity Officer, and serves on the National ACLU Board of Directors as Vermont’s affiliate representative. She is also a fun, silly queer and performed with the high-femme drag group The Goodwives at many a Drag Ball. When feeling disciplined, she likes writing 10-minute plays for playwriting competitions, going on walks in the woods, and attempting 30-day yoga challenges.

Kim lives in Winooski where she owns a home with her brilliant wife, Sarah. Together they dance in the kitchen whenever possible, read their Chani Nicholas horoscopes to each other, enjoy backyard campfires, camp in Vermont State Parks, discover new summer canoe adventures, and love on their two rascally cats, Gypsy Bean and Tortuga Noodle. 

Mike Bensel

Executive Director
they/them

 

 While a student at UVM, Mike participated in a project that ultimately led to the creation of Pride Center of Vermont (previously known as RU12? Community Center). After several years living outside Vermont, in 2011 Mike returned to accept a role on the Center’s Health and Wellness team. After 7 years working to expand the programs and services to better meeting the health and wellness needs of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ communities, Mike was appointed to the role of executive director in 2018. 

They have been an HIV/AIDS educator, tester, advocate, tobacco cessation counselor, 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 person committed to social change, they are closely connected to the importance of supporting organizational initiatives that support and uplift LGBTQ communities in Vermont.  Because of the Pride Center’s values, collaborative culture,  commitment to social justice, and dismantling white supremacy within the org and beyond, it has been their longtime personal objective to work toward shared success with such a talented and dedicated team. 

 

 

 

Phoebe Zorn

Operations Manager she/her/hers

Phoebe was born and raised in the unceded Abenaki Land known as Vermont, spending time in Montpelier and the Northeast Kingdom before relocating to Burlington as a young adult. She has held a variety of jobs and pursued many paths before landing at Pride Center, including managing a zipline tour, teaching skiing, coordinating an event venue, volunteering at a rock music camp for girls and girl-aligned kiddos, and serving on the working board of VT’s only grassroots abortion fund, Vermont Access to Reproductive Freedom.

When she’s not at her laptop or running around herding unicorns at an event, Phoebe can be found enjoying the outdoors on a bike, skis, or horseback, camping with her spouse Jess and their dog Brisket, or curled up with a thick fantasy novel and a craft project.

Phoebe is passionate about intersectionality, community care, and baking! She is grateful to be part of Pride Center, where she enjoys putting her years of organizational and coordination experience to help serve and connect the LGBTQ+ communities of Vermont.

Raheemah Madany

Health & Wellness Coordinator
they/them

Raheemah is a Black, Afro-Indigenous, queer, and non-binary person. They live on unceded Abenaki Land, colonially referred to as Burlington, VT, with their partner, Zymora, and their wonderful cat companion, Onyx.

Raheemah moved to Bennington, VT from Oakland, CA when they were just ten years old with their single mama bear and four other siblings. Moving away from the city and into a rural part of the country, scared them as a child. However, when coming here, Raheemah felt embraced and welcomed by nature. Prior to moving to California and Vermont, for part of their childhood, they were raised Muslim, and lived internationally in the Middle East and
West Africa. After graduating high school, Raheemah left Vermont to attend college in upstate New York at SUNY Cortland to pursue Athletics (Track & Field) and a degree in Exercise Science, with a minor in Anthropology. They were in dire need of diversity and community. During Raheemah’s undergraduate experience, they had the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Cologne, Germany for a semester. Traveling in Europe and Northern Africa, as a young adult gave them a more holistic, well-rounded perspective of the world. They were an active member of the Black Student Union (BSU) and Spectrum, an LGBTQ+ club. In 2019, they returned back to the Green Mountains to finish their BS degree at the University of Vermont.

Their life experiences influenced their passion to aid marginalized communities, and pursue a career in the medical field, more specifically in global and public health. They want to work with organizations and people that are truly dedicated to radically changing the inequitable, racist, and discriminatory practices present within the medical field, and strive to support and uplift more vulnerable communities.

During their chill time, they participate in some of their favorite hobbies such as longboarding, roller skating, biking, exercising, reading, gardening, traveling, cooking/baking, and multi-media arts.

Richard elliott

Health & Wellness Coordinator
he/him 

Richard comes to Pride Center of Vermont by way of Asbury Park, New Jersey! Starting out in the public health field as a client and volunteer of Project Real (Visiting Nurse’s Association), The Shore’s LGBTQ Social Center, he fell in love with educating his peers, getting in touch with his community and helping to make much needed improvements to LGBTQ healthcare system within New Jersey. Becoming staff as a Community Health Outreach Educator within a year of volunteering at the center, he took up his new position and ran with it. Having built his knowledge and skills set from working with multiple programs and organizations from around the country such as The MPowerment Project, NMAC/ViiV’s Youth Initiative Program and various college LGBTQ/Ally groups, he always comes with fresh ideas and questions that can help bring a new perspective to whatever work he’s involved with. Outside of his profession, he has a wonderful artistic streak. From cooking, to theater to drag entertainment, he lets his creative side speaks volumes for what’s going on within his own world and on the outside. Richard has a big smile and an even bigger heart, he is so excited to be apart of the family here at The Pride Center of Vermont!

Shea Witzberger

Rural Advocacy Coordinator 
they/them 

Shea holds experience as a born and chosen rural queer; as an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence; as a youth worker; as an educator about consent, gender and sexuality, and violence prevention and response; and as an organizer for abolitionist responses to violence and harm. Shea has facilitated everything from town committees to community processes to workshops and popular education to funerals to performance spaces and beyond. Shea brings years of practice, study, knowledge, and lots of energy to the role of Safe Space Rural Access Coordinator.

Shea is queer and gender expansive, chronically ill, fat, rural, white, college and community educated, middle class, and a survivor. Growing up mostly in the Midwest, Shea has lived in so-called Southern Vermont for over a decade, and now resides in the woods with an awesome partner, some sweet animals, the beautiful land, an amazing community of friends and family, a pretty great costume closet, and lots of plants.

Taylor Small

Education Program Manager
she/her 

Taylor graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development & Family Studies, and a minor in Gender Identity and Sexuality Studies. Taylor is committed to community building and youth empowerment, as seen through her previous work at the Howard Center, Spectrum Youth & Family Services, Northwestern Counseling and Support Services, and a previous Board Member at Outright Vermont. She has a clear passion and drive to support the larger LGBTQ+ community of Vermont and frequently puts on programming across the state to increase queer and trans visibility.

Taylor is a fierce activist by day, and at night she becomes the wildly entertaining Nikki Champagne. Nikki can be found all around town supporting LGBTQ+ events including First Friday, Queen City Drag Cabaret, New Queers Eve, Comedy Queens, and more! Nikki previously co-hosted The T, alongside Emoji Nightmare, a local TV production that focuses on arts and activism across the state of Vermont, and can now be seen at your local libraries doing Drag Queen Story Hour.

In 2020, Taylor was elected as State Representative in the Vermont House, representing Winooski and Burlington. She is the first elected trans state representative in Vermont and the fifth in the entire nation. 

Willow Stein

SafeSpace Clinical Advocate
she/her or they/them

Bio Coming Soon

CENTER FACILITATORS & Rockstars

Rae Beecher

Trans Masc Support Group Facilitator
he/him/his

marcus marena

Trans Program Facilitator 

he/him/his

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

lechelle gray

co-Chair 

she/her/hers

Lechelle is a northern born, southern bred, Jamaican-American girl from Atlanta. She has lived in Vermont for the last four years working in sales. In her free time she enjoys being outdoors, seeing live shows, & traveling. With a passion for community building, they look forward to working towards a more inclusive environment for the Pride Center

max titus

co-Chair

they/them/theirs

Max spent their formative years in the deep south before moving to the east coast of Florida where they lived for 15 years. After marrying their wife in 2009, they moved to Vermont in 2012 where they finally felt at home (except for proximity to the ocean). Max is the proud parent of two children and three cat-babies.

Max’s experience supporting non-profit organizations began in 2007. Their professional background includes oversight and leadership of non-profit and state funded healthcare, where they work to amplify diverse voices and advocate for underserved people and communities.

They regenerate their mind and body through reading, drawing, writing, and martial arts training.

REX BUTT

Treasurer 

he/him/his

The proud father of an trans daughter, Rex is an avid activist and ally. In addition to being the author of Now What? A Guidebook for Families with Transgender Children, Rex has been a long-time, passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community. Prior to moving to Vermont in 2016, Rex served on the Board of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center and co-founded the Kingston, NY, PFLAG Chapter. He has presented workshops and trainings at conferences and organizations across the nation and has mentored hundreds of families with LGBTQ loved ones. At the Pride Center, Rex has been an integral volunteer, and, through his work as facilitator for Transgender Extended Family Support, he has assisted many individuals in learning to better support their transgender loved ones.  

Mary-Katherine Abdel-Ghany Stone

Secretary

she/her/hers

Mary-Katherine Abdel-Ghany Stone is an Alabama native and proud Egyptian-American who graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Depth Study in Human Services and Special Populations. She then went on to pursue a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and post professional specialization through George Washington University’s Center of Integrative Medicine. She currently works as an occupational therapist at the University of Vermont Medical Center but spends a large majority of her time serving our community through volunteer work including serving as: a Justice of the Peace for the City of Burlington, President of the Junior League of Champlain Valley, Vice President of the Inclusive Arts Vermont Board of Directors, a committee member for the Burlington Advisory Committee on Accessibility, a committee member of Burlington City Art’s Education and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committees, Junior Membership committee chair for the Green Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and as a Deacon of College Street Congregational Church. When she’s not volunteering and serving in the community, she spends her time dancing with Green Mountain Cabaret and Ballet Vermont, creating stained glass art at Shelburne Craft School and enjoying the great outdoors.

She is honored to serve on the board and looks forward to investing her passion and experience of serving this community into the work being done at the Pride Center of Vermont.

Mary-Katherine resides in Burlington.

Caryn Olivetti

at-large

she/her/hers

Caryn grew up in the heart of NYC. At 22, she moved to Vermont alone, and it felt like home immediately. Caryn has an alternative education and art background and enjoys being creative in many ways. In her free time she likes to play, bike, ski, hike and walk. Caryn values slowing down through her mindfulness practice.

Most of Caryn’s recent life’s work has been as a Middle School Counselor. In South Burlington where she worked for 23 years, she also served as the Peer Leadership Advisor and QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) Advisor. Caryn has also worked with much passion in many different VT schools, with many different ages and populations of kids/teens. She feels it has been a very gratifying career as she has learned from so many of her students and families.

Caryn now lives in Burlington, though most of her years in Vermont have been spent living rurally. She raised her 2 children in a very unique home in Monkton. They are both now thriving young adults that she is forever grateful for and very proud.

As a member of the Queer community, Caryn is so excited to be working with so many interesting, inspiring people on this Board to support our great LGBTQ+ community. Caryn loves to think outside the box to understand and encourage people to be who they truly are. She is also very committed to understanding and supporting marginal communities. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with Caryn, as she welcomes all communication.

ARThur hull

he/him/his

Art has a life long love of Vermont having annually visited family as a kid and having gone to college in VT. He and his partner, Wayne (a native Vermonter), met 25 years ago in Boston, first bought a home in Vermont’s Upper Valley about 20 years ago, and have been married for 10 years. Art works in banking with a focus on risk management within commercial lending.

“We moved to Burlington in 2013 and since then helped with the formation of the LGBTQIA Alliance of VT, volunteered at the Pride Center with Momentum, and volunteer/are on the steering committee for Out in the 802 often with a focus on getting various groups and organizations to come together given the belief that the combined forces of the community offer the ability to make new connections and ties, and ultimately helps make the community stronger.”

Art is honored to have joined the board of an organization that serves such a strong LGBTQI+ community. He recognizes our community is our strength, is built on the sacrifices and courage of many people over the years, and hopes to further build on that strength with the Pride Center for all the members of the LGBTQI+ community.

SkYLAR maguire

they/them/theirs

Skylar Maguire is a multimedia artist and photographer, born in Burlington, and currently living in Barre. Skylar brings an activist background and commitment to grassroots organizing, plus work experience in the nonprofit industrial complex. They held various social work positions in New York City. Skylar supervised Transgender Housing at the Ali Forney Center, a transitional homeless shelter in Brooklyn for transgender youth aged 16 to 21. Skylar went on to become a Certified Peer Specialist in a Manhattan-based hospital-alternative program for adults experiencing a mental health crisis. To cope with such high-intensity jobs and trauma, Skylar began learning stand-up comedy and continues to perform whenever they can. Skylar is now attending CCV for a certificate in graphic design. On the board, Skylar aims to amplify the voices of LGBTQIA+ people most impacted by intersecting identities and relationships to oppression.

vie mazur

co-Chair 

they/them/theirs

Vie grew up on San Juan Island, in the Pacific Northwest. In 2007 they received their Bachelor of Music Degree from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. In 2011 Vie moved to Burlington. To plant their roots
in Vermont a little deeper, they recently bought a house with their wife in Winooski, with their frisky cat, and tender-hearted dog.

Since 2011 Vie has been involved in the theatre scene in Burlington. They performed with Spielpalast Cabaret for 8 years, assisting on the production team, and playing the role of Emcee for 3 years.

Vie loves teaching, being an advocate for diverse communities, and uplifting others. In 2009, they became certified in Vinyasa Yoga, and have taught Yoga and Bootcamp style fitness classes in Seattle and Vermont for over 5 yrs. Vie instructed Yoga classes for LGBTQIA+ youth at Outright Vermont, and LGBTQIA+ adults at All Wellness VT. In the Spring of 2020 Vie instructed a series called “Intro To Burlesque” at Spotlight VT, where dancers of all levels, abilities, body types, gender orientations and expressions are welcome and celebrated. Vie currently works at Retina Center of Vermont as an Ophthalmic Assistant/Surgical Coordinator. Vie has worked in healthcare for 8 years, and views this career choice as an opportunity to help others.

When Vie is not exploring the outdoors of Vermont, they are exploring their passion for culinary arts, comedy, and writing. This fusion unfolded for them about 3 years ago when they created their blog and social media presence: sprinkleofsage.com

Vie is thrilled to be a Board Member at Pride Center of Vermont with such an incredible group of folx advocating for LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, POC, and QTPOC communities.

IRIS moreno garcia

she/her/hers

Iris is a recent graduate of Northern Vermont University- Johnson, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, along with a certification in Reiki level II. She also did an
internship in 2019 with the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Iris has lived in Vermont her whole life and enjoys the Burlington area. She comes from a big family and has 5 siblings! She is Latina and speaks Spanish, and enjoys providing translation services.
She is currently learning French in her spare time and learning how to play the acoustic guitar. Iris is also an animal lover, and owns two cats. Iris is honored to be part of the Board helping the LGBTQI+ community.

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