CHICAGO—Equality Illinois and Equality Illinois Institute announce their 2017-2018 boards of directors, which include six new board members, who, together with the board veterans, represent the diverse LGBTQ community in Illinois as well as allies.
Equality Illinois is the lobbying arm of the state's oldest and largest civil rights organization representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Illinoisans, and Equality Illinois Institute is the civic engagement arm, which does education and outreach on LGBTQ issues.
One of the news faces on the Equality Illinois boards is former Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila SimonThe new members of the two boards include Sheila Simon, the former Illinois lieutenant governor, who is now Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale; Justin DeJong, Vice President, Internal and External Communications at the American Medical Association; Cynthia Galvan, an attending physician in emergency medicine; Kevin Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer at Porter Airlines; Reyna Ortiz, TransSafe Coordinator at Chicago House and Social Service Agency; and Butch Trusty, Managing Partner at Education Cities.
"We thank the new and veteran board members for volunteering significant time and sharing expertise and experiences from their personal and professional lives to benefit our civil rights mission," said Grant Gochnauer, Chairman of the Board of Equality Illinois and Chief Operating Officer of Vodori Inc.
Anthony D'Amato, Chairman of the Board of Equality Illinois Institute and Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said, "Together, these two boards will ensure that Equality Illinois and the Equality Illinois Institute are operating responsibly and efficiently and meeting our strategic plan."
Gochnauer, D'Amato, and all six of the new members serve on both boards, as do veteran board members Patrick DePoy, an attorney at Franczek Radelet; Sava Ristanovic, Finance Business Partner Manager, Kemper Insurance; and Editha Paras, Chief Financial Officer of The Vagabond Group;
Serving only on the Equality Illinois Institute Board are Kevin Hauswirth, founder, Hauswirth & Co.; Matt Pruyn, Financial Advisor, Robert W. Baird & Co.; and Jason Santos, an attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson.
Brian C. Johnson, chief executive officer of Equality Illinois and the Equality Illinois Institute, is an ex officio, non-voting member of both boards of directors.
Serving on one or both Equality Illinois boards are ( l-r bottom row ) Anthony D'Amato, Board Chair of Equality Illinois Institute, Jason Santos, Sava Ristanovic, Cynthia Galvan, and Reyna Ortiz. In the top row, they are ( l-r ) Grant Gochnauer, Chair of the Equality Illinois board, Kevin Hauswirth, Matt Pruyn, Justin DeJong, Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson, and Butch Trusty.
Board members not in the picture are former Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, Patrick DePoy, Kevin Jackson, and Editha Paras.