Leadership

Charlotte Pride Board of Directors

dvaldez

Daniel Valdez

President
daniel@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Daniel is the Director of North Carolina and Mid-South Operations at the Hispanic Federation. He has more than 10 years in nonprofit management working with organizations like Welcoming America, Crisis Assistance Ministry, the Latin American Coalition and Carolinas CARE Partnership. He is passionate about using his talents and experience to advance the mission of organizations working on systemic changes in an effort to make the world a better place for all. Daniel was born in Acapulco, Mexico and grew up in North Carolina. He holds a B.A. in History and Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Daniel has served on the boards of The Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, The Bruce Iron Camp Fund, and Reel Out Charlotte.

 

Clark Simon

Vice President
clark@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Clark Simon is a co-founder of Impact Philanthropy Group, a nonprofit fiscal-sponsor specialized in helping individuals fulfill their charitable visions. Clark is experienced in nonprofit development and management, public relations, CRM systems, event planning, social media, and strategic planning. He has worked in and with nonprofits since 2010 in various capacities as well as serving on various boards such as the Development Board for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Get Lit Words Ignite in Los Angeles, California.

 

Lee Robertson

Treasurer
lee@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Lee joined Charlotte Pride in 2017 after serving on its Board of Advisors. Lee is an attorney at Robertson & Associates, where he practices construction and commercial litigation, representing business and contractor clients in all types of disputes. Lee is a lifelong Charlottean who has extensive experience advising nonprofit LGBTQ organizations on matters of policy and governance. Lee is also heavily engaged with the Mecklenburg County Bar, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, and the Charlotte School of Law Alumni Association. Lee earned his B.A. in History from NC State and his JD from the Charlotte School of Law.

 

Megan Jones

Secretary
megan@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Megan is the Community Engagement & Program Coordinator at Community Building Initiative, where she is excited to work every day with people interested in contributing to a more equitable and just community. She joined the Charlotte Pride Board of Directors in 2020, having previously served as Interfaith Co-Chair. She grew up in Rochester, NY and holds BAs in Theatre and Government & International Politics from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. In her spare time she loves to sing, and to go hiking with her dog, Shadow.

 

Ilora Bhattacharya

Director
ilora@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Ilora is a Northern transplant making her way through the Southeast! Raised in Canada, India, and Pennsylvania throughout her childhood, Ilora moved to the Carolinas after graduating from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Ilora works in Software Development as a Technology Delivery Manager. Her background includes process engineering and refinement, operations, data analysis, the list goes on. Ilora has been a member of and has founded a handful of Diversity & Inclusion and LGBTQIA-centric educational forums and groups. As an immigrant with majority of her family still residing in a third world country, Ilora has experienced firsthand depravities that different generations and minorities face to this day and has made it her life mission to leave the world a little bit brighter than it was. During her down time, Ilora enjoys hanging out with her rescue pit bull and cat, as well as hiking, mechanical keyboards, and being artistic.

 

Heather Brodbeck

Director
heather@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Heather is an SVP at TD Bank where she leads the delivery of data management and analytics initiatives. She has held various leadership positions within the banking industry ranging from risk management, regulatory compliance, data governance, and advanced analytics enablement. She holds an undergrad and masters degrees in Finance. Heather is passionate about dedicating her time and energy to supporting underserved communities so that individuals and families can grow and thrive. She grew up in Colorado and currently resides in Waxhaw North Carolina with her two children.

 

Will Martin

Director
willm@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Will Martin is a freelance audio visual technician based in the Charlotte, N.C. region. He has been in the corporate A/V field for the past 25 years and during that time has also worked as a Grip on countless commercials, in-house video productions, short and feature films. Before that he worked nine years on the exhibition side at a local movie theatre chain. Working his way from an usher into the projection booth and then into management. He is an Eagle Scout and a Board Member of the Charlotte Film Society. Will joined the Charlotte Pride Board of Directors in September 2020, after serving several years as a volunteer for Reel Out Charlotte and as Co-Director of the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade operations team.

 

Riley Murray

Director
riley@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers / They/Them/Theirs

Riley Murray has been with Charlotte Pride in many incarnations for 14 years. She has been married to her wife, Dee, for 11 years. Together, they have four grown children and 11 grandchildren. Riley grew up in Santa Barbara, Calif., as the youngest of 11. She moved to Charlotte in 2005 where she quickly got involved with Charlotte Pride. Her day job is a supply chain manager, and she is passionate about traveling, her dog, and spending time with her family. Riley is one of the most enthusiastic advocates for Charlotte Pride you will ever meet and welcomes the whole community to the table because Pride could not be successful without everyone.

 

Brisa Ramirez

Director
brisa@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Brisa is an Analyst at 25 Capital Partners. Her responsibilities include portfolio analytics, investment research, and supporting the firm’s capital raising activities. Prior to joining 25 Capital, she worked as an Analyst in the Model Validation group at U.S. Bank. Brisa Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Through the duration of her undergraduate studies, she held various leadership roles within student body organizations.

 


 

Programs Team

Charlotte Pride is a community-driven, volunteer-led team. Volunteer members of our programs team lead throughout the year, including on each year’s festival, parade, and other annual events.

Adam Bowling (he/him/his; they/them/theirs)
Kyle Critcher (he/him/his)
Dustin Crites (he/him/his)
Tiffany Crooks (she/her/hers)
Glory Elizabeth (she/her/hers)
Raquandra Davis (she/her/hers)
Mary Beth DiPaola (she/her/hers)
Marina Emetc (she/her/hers)
Ryan Farrior (he/him/his; they/them/theirs)
Dan Foreman (he/him/his)
Jenny Gunn (she/her/hers; they/them/theirs)
Michelle Hartz (she/her/hers)
Troy McElrath (he/him/his)
Wes McNeely (he/him/his)
Sarah Moore (she/her/hers)
Shadana Moses (she/her/hers)

Juliet Peters (she/her/hers)
Melissa Renaud (all pronouns applicable)
Calli Robles (she/her/hers)
John Schubert (he/him/his; they/them/theirs)
Kayla Schultz (she/her/hers)
Esha Shah (she/her/hers)
Ebony Shuford (they/them/theirs)
Lupe Silva (he/him/his)
Alissa Smith (she/her/hers)
Holly Sullivan (she/her/hers)
Delilah Turner-Nix (she/her/hers)
Victor Valdez (he/him/his)
John Walton (he/him/his)
Stephen Wheeler (he/him/his)
Patrice Wilson (she/her/hers; they/them/theirs; he/him/his)
David Zealy-Wright (he/him/his)

 


 

Staff

Jerry Yelton

Programs & Development Director
jerry@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Jerry Yelton joined Charlotte Pride in November 2017. Originally from Forest City, N.C., Jerry graduated in 2016 from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Communication Studies. Jerry is a passionate advocate for intentional, intersectional community organizing and development. Throughout their time in undergraduate studies and in community roles, they have worked with a variety of LGBTQ organizations and programs to develop inclusive, thoughtful community actions. Jerry works actively with the Charlotte community at large to create unique, inventive programs to incorporate all LGBTQ voices, stories, and faces.

 

Matt Comer

Communications Director
matt@charlottepride.org
Pronouns: He/Him/His

Matt Comer joined Charlotte Pride in 2008 and has served in several volunteer and board roles, primarily overseeing the organization’s media and marketing efforts. In November 2017, Matt transitioned from his role as a board member to become the organization’s Communications Director. Originally from Winston-Salem, N.C., Matt has nearly two decades of experience in local LGBTQ community advocacy, community organizing, journalism and media/marketing work. Matt attended the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. He has worked or volunteered with several LGBTQ organizations regionally and nationally. From 2007 to 2015, Matt worked as editor of QNotes, the Charlotte-based LGBTQ community newspaper of North Carolina. His writing has appeared in a variety of local and national news outlets. Matt’s advocacy work and reporting has been widely cited by community and mainstream news-media, as well as several academic writers.