Dr. Judith Markowitz and David McConnell Assume LLF Leadership as Co-Chairs.

Joël Tan and Michael Samuel Join Board of Trustees

Los Angeles, CA—Lambda Literary Foundation is pleased to announce new Board members and a shift in Board leadership for 2011. Current members Dr. Judith Markowitz and David McConnell have assumed the role of Co-Chairs, the first time in LLF’s history that the organization’s Board will be run jointly by a man and a woman.

As a new year begins, this new phase in the Board leadership at Lambda Literary augurs well for the growth of the Foundation.  Dr. Judith Markowitz combines a wealth of Board experience at LLF with a remarkable background in the business world and is an author in her own right. Author David McConnell has brought to LLF fresh energy and a valuable and welcome infusion of ideas and commitment.

“I see my role as advertising the wonder and urgency of LGBT literature,” said Mr. McConnell who lives in New York City. “I also hope to advance the amazing work Katherine Forrest has done getting this plucky little organization on a secure footing, readying it to reach much higher.”

“I’m honored to share the LLF leadership with my Co-Chair, David,” said Dr. Markowitz, who lives in Chicago. “I look forward to the evolution of our partnership. We both appreciate the visionary leadership of Katherine Forrest. She’s a hard act to follow.”

After eight years of service, Katherine V. Forrest has stepped down as President but will remain on the Board of Trustees. “I am proud of this strong and very complementary new leadership team,” said Ms. Forrest. “I am proud of the caliber of the entire Board membership we have built over the years and continue to build. I am proud of the outstanding executive director all of us work hard to support. It has been, and continues to be, my privilege to serve my community of writers and the Foundation that I love.”

Augmenting the representation of California members, San Francisco residents Joel Tan and Michael Samuel have joined the Board of Trustees at a time of strategic growth for LLF. “I am excited to serve on behalf of Queer literature because we are living in such interesting times,” remarked Mr. Tan who is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. “While we no longer have to ask or tell, our art is being pulled off the walls of our Nation’s galleries. Who better than the storytellers and poets to bear witness?”

Joining Mr. Tan on the Board is J. Michael Samuel, Director and VP of Professional Practice in Audit and Security at Wells Fargo Bank. “I am thrilled to be joining this wonderful group and sharing in the significance of its past and future,” said Mr. Samuel. “I look forward to adding my own contributions to those made by the talented and committed people on this Board. It’s exciting to be able to work in support of the literary culture of the LGBT community.”

Joël Barraquiel Tan

Joël Tan
Joël Barraquiel Tan was born in Manila in 1968. He is the award-winning author of Type O Negative (Red Hen) along with two previous books of poetry in addition to editing three erotica anthologies. His various award-winning critical essays, fiction, verse, and other writings on identity, AIDS, and queer politics appear in various academic and commercial venues. Tan has served as the Director of Community Engagement at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco’s premier contemporary arts venue since 2004.

J. Michael Samuel

J. Michael Samuel

Michael Samuel
J. Michael Samuel is a Director and VP of Professional Practice in Audit and Security at Wells Fargo Bank. He retired from the Federal Reserve 12th District as a Coordinating 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, was 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. He and his husband live in San Francisco and Western Sonoma County.



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  • Ron Fritsch

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