LLF Board of Trustees
Dr. Judith A. Markowitz, President
Dr. Judith A. Markowitz has published articles, taught university-level courses, and presented papers on dictionaries, semantics, gender and language, and culture and language. Her abiding interest in gender and language was the impetus for The Gay Detective Novel. She has reviewed lesbian and gay mysteries (LGM) for The Lambda Book Report, presented a series of LGM seminars for Chicago’s Gerber-Hart Library, and chaired a panel on LGM at Bouchercon. Judith is recognized internationally as a leader in the computer-speech and biometric industries where she has served as an analyst and consultant for more than twenty years. In 2003, she was named one of the top ten leaders in speech technology. She’s frequently invited to speak and write on speech technologies and recently delivered the keynote speech at the National Centre for Biometric Studies Conference on Voice Authentication in Canberra, Australia.
Ellery Washington, Vice-President
Ellery Washington teaches fiction and creative nonfiction at Pratt University, in Brooklyn, NY, where he also teaches a narrative structures course in the MFA Digital Arts Program. He works as a freelance editor for various literary publications and a script consultant for film and television production companies. His fiction and essays have appeared in wide range of publications, both stateside and abroad, most notably in The New York Times, Ploughshares, OUT Magazine, The International Review, The BerkeleyFiction Review, The Frankfurter Allgemeine, Nouvelles Frontières, and the National Bestseller State by State–a Panoramic Portrait of America. His film credits include feature rewrites for independent producers and consulting work for major film companies, such as Paramount Pictures, Tristar, and Fox Searchlight. His primary focus, however, remains narrative prose, be it fiction or creative nonfiction. He is the recipient of a PEN Center West Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellowship and an IBWA Prize for short fiction. He has taught classes and lead workshops with broad range of writers, from beginners to graduate students and previously published authors, in a list of cities that includes Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Berlin. He currently divides his time between Oakland and New York.
J. Michael Samuel, Treasurer
J. Michael Samuel is Manager and VP of Professional Practices in Audit at Union Bank. He has held a simular position in Wells Fargo Audit after he retired from the Federal Reserve 12th District as a Audit Director. He is a frequent guest speaker on audit practice and has appeared throughout Silicon Valley and San Francisco at numerous audit and control conferences for the International Institute of Auditors, Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Reserve Bank System. For more than 15+ years he has served as a facilitator and group leader for the University of California AIDS Health Project, a Shanti volunteer for more than four years, and served on the founding board of Directors of Golden Gate Performing Arts. He also has served on the Food For Thought AIDS Food Bank Sonoma County Auction committee.
Sue A. Greer, Secretary
A former market research consultant, Sue A. Greer received her PhD in journalism & mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With a focus on political & issues polling and strategic audience analysis, she built an international clientele that included newspapers, magazines, government institutions and non-profits. From 1999-2004, she was director of research of TRAC Media Services, which provided programming and fundraising support for public television. Under the pseudonym KG MacGregor, she published Golden Crown Award finalist Just This Once with Bella Books in 2005. Her sixth Bella novel, Out of Love, won the 2007 Lambda Literary Award for Women’s Romance. She collected Golden Crown Awards for Out of Love, Without Warning, Worth Every Step, Photographs of Claudia (romance), and Secrets So Deep (romantic suspense).
Jacob Anderson-Minshall is the author of the Blind Eye Detective mystery series and is currently penning Queerly Beloved about his 22-year-relationship with his writing partner and wife Diane Anderson-Minshall (the executive editor at Advocate magazine). In 1993, the transgender journalist co-founded the national lesbian magazine, Girlfriends and he has since written for a numerous publications (including Bitch, The Advocate, Curve, Windy City Times, Just Out and Women’s Review of Books) and online news sites. From 2005-2009, Jacob wrote the syndicated column, TransNation, which ran in a dozen LGBT newspapers from San Francisco to New York. While living in Portland, Oregon, he hosted his own radio talk show, Gender Blender (on KBOO FM) and launched the monthly LGBT literary salon, QLiterati!. His mystery Blind Faith was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and his first short story, “Chinook,” was included in the Lambda award-winning anthology, Portland Queer: Tales From the Rose City. Jacob has also served as a Lambda Awards judge, reviewed numerous books and written extensively about queer and trans literature. In addition to his publishing experience, Jacob brings to the board a background in fundraising (for such nonprofit organizations as the Sierra Club), marketing (for Girlfriends magazine and the trans book publisher, Homofactus Press) and publicity (for numerous authors including the participants in a book tour Jacob organized). Photo by Ezgi Yurdakul.
Susan Atkins currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a political action committee dedicated to training and electing openly LGBT people to all levels of government. She has over 20 years of communications management experience in life sciences and technology. Susan founded one of the most successful agencies in the United States providing investor and public relations exclusively to life science companies and organizations. She founded the agency in 1999, and sold the firm to Porter Novelli in 2005. Susan currently serves as Library Commissioner for the City of San Diego. Previously, she served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of BIOCOM, the largest regional trade association for the Life Sciences, and on several for profit and non-profit boards associated with health care. Susan’s additional experience includes five years as President and Board Chair of Diversionary Theatre, one of the longest running LGBT Theatres in the country. She has twice been honored by the LGBT Center of San Diego: Renee E. Richards Lesbian Health Award (2003) and the Extraordinary Achievement in Philanthropy (2009). Susan’s educational background includes an MBA from Pepperdine University and MA and BA degrees in Mass Communications and Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.
She resides in La Jolla, California and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, with her wife, Crystal Weathers.
Edward Feighan is currently Chairman and CEO of Continental Heritage Insurance Company, a specialty business underwriter based in Cleveland, Ohio. He has formerly served as the Chairman and CEO of two publicly traded companies, as well as the managing partner of a private merchant banking firm.
Beginning in 1972, he held elective office for twenty consecutive years. He served as a U. S. Congressman (1983-1993) representing the suburbs of Greater Cleveland; a Cuyahoga County Commissioner (1979-1983); and as a Representative in the Ohio General Assembly (1973-1979). Congressman Feighan was been recognized as a leading authority on foreign policy and international trade and finance. In 1979, Congreesman Feighan received a Presidential Appointment from President Jimmy Carter to serve on the National Council on Economic Opportunity.
Since his departure from Congress, he has served as a member of the Commission on Privatization in Russia; the U.S. Commission for Improving the United Nations; and Boards of Trustees of the National Institute for International Affairs, the National Council of International Programs, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and The Gay And Lesbian Victory Fund.
He holds a law degree and resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Denise Penn is Vice President of the American Institute of Bisexuality, an organization focused on research and education that has supported over 30 scientific studies in more than five countries. As an advocacy journalist, reporter and editor based in Orange County, California, she has covered issues for the LGBT and HIV affected community for nearly two decades. As a clinical social worker, she has worked with hospice patients and families and designed educational materials. She also produced and hosted an award-winning LGBT community television program for twelve years, interviewing community activists, political figures, and ordinary people with stories to tell. She received BA degrees in English and Social Science Research and earned a Masters in Social Work from San Diego State University.
S. Chris Shirley
Chris Shirley is an award-winning writer/director and a Global Communications Manager for Citigroup, where he directs live corporate events and writes articles, speeches and web content.
Chris also creates family-oriented entertainment including ”What’s Your Name,” a music video that aired nationally and made the annual MTV-Logo Top 10. He wrote/directed the award-winning short film, “Plus,” which played at film festivals internationally. His young adult novel, Playing By The Book, will be published by Magnus Books in winter 2013. He is represented by Sterling Lord Literistic.
Chris received his Bachelors in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University and later completed his MBA at Columbia University, where he served as class president. He studied filmmaking at New York University.
Carla Trujillo was born in New Mexico and grew up in Northern California. She received her B.S. degree in Human Development from UC Davis, and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the editor of Living Chicana Theory (Third Woman Press 2003), an anthology about Chicana feminist theory. Trujillo is also the editor of Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About, winner of a Lambda Literary Award and the Out/Write Vanguard Award. Her novel, What Night Brings (Curbstone Press 2003), won the Miguel Marmol prize focusing on human rights. What Night Brings also won the Paterson Fiction Prize, the Latino Literary Foundation Latino Book Award, the Bronze Medal from Foreword Magazine, Honorable Mention for the Gustavus Meyers Books Award, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Carla works as the Director of the Graduate Diversity Program at U.C. Berkeley, and has focused some of her recent activities on improving the work and classroom climate using Interactive Theater.
Jan Zivic, a Lambda Literary Fellow, will be graduated in 2012 in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at the University of San Francisco, where she is working on her status as an “emerging” writer. In 2011 she published a memoir piece in the Porter Gulch Review, and more recently, a short story in Temporary Shelter, Eleven Stories, edited by Karl Soehnlein, an award-winning Lambda Literary author.
In 2007, Jan co-founded vibrantBrains, a cognitive gym and start-up listed on Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Brilliant Companies” with her wife, Lisa Schoonerman. In previous careers Jan taught English and Film and sponsored the literary magazine at high schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio. After moving to California, she spent more than twenty years in Executive Search with several international consulting firms, as well as founding and managing her own firm with offices in SF and LA, The Zivic Group.
She has received the Cable Car Woman of the Year Award, the Maya Angelou Award for Community Leadership from the Center for Excellence at the University of California Medical School, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of California, PA, all for her community philanthropic and volunteer leadership. Jan, her wife Lisa, and her daughter, Jessica, all live in the Bay Area.