We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves as the Co-Chairs of the 34th Annual Human Rights Campaign Columbus Gala. As America’s largest civil rights organization fighting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) provides a national voice for LGBT issues. This work includes lobbying Congress, mobilizing grassroots action in diverse communities, and increasing public understanding through innovative education and communication strategies. For over three decades, the HRC Columbus Gala has raised the funds needed to support this organization’s important mission.
2015 marked historic results for LGBT equality in our country. HRC worked closely with groups across the country as all bans on same-sex marriage were declared unconstitutional in the historic Supreme Court ruling last May. Despite these gains, there is still so much work left to do. Here in Ohio, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens can still be fired from their job or denied housing simply because of who they are. HRC is focused on righting this wrong by working to pass important legislation through Congress that will provide employment and housing protections to all LGBT Americans. This is just one of many critical LGBT rights issues that HRC is addressing here at home and throughout the nation.
Jen Bowden and Brooke Bishop
2017 HRC Columbus Gala Co-Chairs
Brooke Bishop is also a member of the National HRC Board of Governors.
“I volunteer for the HRC Columbus Gala because I believe in the critically important work with which the HRC engages. I volunteer with the Gala because the funding that supports the event allows HRC an opportunity to bring together folks who believe in equality in a moment to thank them for their support and highlight the important work left to accomplish.
In Columbus, Densil is a capacity builder. an infrequent blogger. a tech advisor. a social change advocate. a fighter for equality. a believer in diversity & inclusion. 2% of the population: entj. a wanna be political pundit. a social media enthusiast. an educator. a friend.
Densil enjoys: Singing. Dancing. Cooking. Sitting. Friending. Connecting.
Densil Porteous is also a member of the National HRC Board of Governors.
“I volunteer for the HRC Columbus Gala because advocacy doesn’t happen on its own—it takes a team of motivated, like minded individuals to influence the world, and without supportive volunteers, change cannot happen.”
In Columbus Brendan works for a law firm, representing health care providers. He studied criminal justice and psychology at the University of Dayton before obtaining a law degree from the University of Cincinnati and moving to Columbus.
Brendan enjoys: carpentry, home improvement, my dog: Griffin
“I volunteer for the HRC Columbus Gala because we still have a lot of work to do before LGBT rights are fully realized. This is a way for me to give back to an organization that has supported many of the values I hold near and dear to my heart. I believe deeply in equality for all and work daily to bring us closer to a more perfect union. LGBT rights are no exception. Our liberty is bound together. I am not free until you are free.”
In Columbus, Brooke is CEO of Verve Creative, a purpose driven agency focused on supporting ambitious companies and organizations share their stories to help change the world. She is active in Democratic politics and arts organizations and programs.
Brooke enjoys: international travel, home improvement, musical theater and dancing.
Ed Chin has been volunteering with HRC since 2003. He is passionate about the mission and vision of the organization and is truly grateful how aggressively HRC has been advocating for LGBT rights and full equality. Because of this, no longer do we have to look for the Safe Zone decals or hangout at a club, because we feel safer in more locations and neighborhoods. This Gala is an annual celebration of all the milestones and accomplishments of where we have been and where we will be going.
Ed is a native Ohioan and grew up helping grow and working in his family’s restaurant. This unique opportunity furnished him with a tough work ethic and invaluable insight to his parents achieving the American dream- starting a new life in the states, running a successful business and owning a home. Ed is a Nuclear Pharmacist with Cardinal Health and is fluent in English and Cantonese.
Ed frequently combines his love for travel with a lifelong commitment to education by attending real estate, technology, and healthcare conferences. Ed also enjoys volunteering in the local community, searching for hidden gems in every neighborhood when traveling, and seeking out any opportunity to talk nerdy with other folks.
I volunteer for the HRC Columbus Gala because the gala is a unique event which allows Columbus to both show its support and fellowship with the LGBT community while honoring those who have been outstanding champions of the community. I volunteer for the Gala because I want to be a part of those experiences and help be a voice for further advocacy.
In Columbus, Bridgette is co-owner of a locally-based fundraising and general consulting firm, RT Advisors. She has experience in fundraising, political outreach, relationship management, field, and campaign management including work with successful candidates up and down the ballot.
Bridgette enjoys: Karaoke, traveling, baking, and bad movie watching.
I volunteer for the HRC Columbus Gala because our community has secured rights and recognition I thought an impossible dream when I was in college. Its been the result of thousands of moments of bravery as we spoke up and spoke out with dignity. HRC has been a powerful voice in Washington and in Statehouses around the country in the march for civil rights. That’s why I give of my time, talent and treasure to HRC as a member of the Columbus Steering Committee.
In Columbus, Mark is VP of Organization Development for a local engineering firm. He has a passion for work at the intersection of religion, politics and civil rights, with a Masters in Theology. He served as national President of DignityUSA, which as been the voice of LGBTQ people in the Roman Catholic Church for over 45 years.
Mark enjoys: ridining his Harley, travelling anywhere, entertaining and improving his home and community
“I volunteer for the HRC Columbus Gala because the work the Human Rights Campaign does inspires me. HRC is more than just an advocacy organization – it brings passionate individuals together and gives them a platform to have their voices heard as we continue working towards achieving full equality for the LGBT community. Our group in Columbus is vibrant and energetic. Working with them to create the Columbus Gala is a great opportunity to bring people together who are focused on a common goal.”
In Columbus, Cody is the development manager of corporate and foundation relations at OhioHealth Foundation. A 2015 graduate of The Ohio State University, Cody is active with his college’s Young Alumni Committee, COSI Young Professionals Board, and Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as local democratic politics. He and his boyfriend are the proud parents of a three year old Australian Sheppard named Foster.
Cody enjoys, trying every new Columbus restaurant, travelling (stateside and abroad), making new friends, and sailing
“I volunteer with HRC because despite how far we have come, when laws that build systematic bigotry into our communities are deemed acceptable, there is still so much to do!”
In Columbus, Kevin is a communications, digital strategy and marketing professional working for Leadership Columbus, a graduate of Capital University, and a lover of inspiring quotes on Pinterest, creative people and long brunches.
I volunteer for the HRC Gala because I support their mission statement: To end discrimination against LGBT people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. I am amazed at the amount of work the organization gets done through volunteers. Volunteering for HRC is truly a partnership for me. It’s a “win-win” and we all need more of those in our lives.
In Columbus David proudlyworks for Cardinal Health, a company that has achieved a 100% score on the HRC equality index for 8 years. David moved to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University when he was 18 and never left. He lives downtown with his dog Odie.
David enjoys Drum Corps. He is a Drum Corps. nut. For those not familiar, Drum Corps is best described as professional, competitive marching bands. It’s an activity for youth aged 15-22. Along with music and performance skills, Drum Corps teaches leadership, teamwork, and the payoff of hard work.