Center Board of Directors

Board of Directors

John D. Allen, Ed.D., Co-President & Founder
Joshua O’Connell, Co-President
Maureen Thomas, Ph.D., Treasurer
Lindsey Pembrooke, Secretary
Johanna Capozzoli
Jonathan Joseph Ganjian
Richard Luedeman
Ebony McCleese
Patrick J Dunn, Executive Director, ex-officio

Are you interested in joining the Board of Directors? Contact the Center’s Executive Director Patrick J Dunn at to inquire.

Meet Our Board of Directors

John D. Allen, Ed.D., Board Co-PresidentFounding Director, (he/his) has been with the Center since its inception in 1996 and has continually served in a variety of roles. The Center grew out of his master’s thesis, which quantified the cultural needs of the Southern Connecticut LGBT community. John currently works for the State of Connecticut and has devoted his career to supporting people with intellectual and other disabilities. Since 1998, he co-facilitates the Center’s Rainbow Support Group, which is believed to be the first of its kind to support LGBT people with intellectual disabilities. He also serves as the Chair of the Center’s Scholarship funds. John is married to Keith Hyatte, who retired after 40 seasons as the Charge Scenic Artist at Long Wharf Theatre.

Johanna Capozzoli, MS, MBA (‘18) (she/her) joined the Center’s Board in 2017.  She works as a Finance Analyst for a New Haven-based Non-Profit organization. Johanna grew up in Houston, Texas and Fairfield County Connecticut and currently resides on the Connecticut shoreline.

Jonathan Joseph Ganjian (he/his), is a Connecticut based fine artist and consultant. Through his firm Jonathan Joseph Consulting, Jonathan pursues a diverse array of projects ranging from luxury womenswear, strategic planning, to advising international portfolios of client companies across half a dozen sectors. Recently he became CEO of newly formed Creekmouth Commodities, a specialty joint venture focused on global import/export sales and procurement.

Richard Luedeman (he/his) joined the Board in 2018.  He works as an associate at the law firm Wiggin and Dana LLP.  Raised in Florida, he has lived in New Haven since 2011 when he moved here for law school.  He first got involved in LGBTQ issues interning at advocacy nonprofits in Boston while in college.

Ebony McCleese (she/her) is a lifelong resident of New Haven. She leads mainly by example, always doing her best and encouraging others to do the same. While easygoing by nature, no one doubts her authority – she is direct and decisive when he needs to be. Currently Ebony’s passion is inspiring youth and creating healthy communities. She focuses on the youth development and group maintenance piece of the center. She is a member of the New Haven Board of Education and serves as a teacher at Wilbur Cross High School.

Ebony is a graduate of Canisius College with triple major Political Science, Criminal Justice and Psychology. She holds a MA in Women Studies, a MS in Political Science and a Sixth Year Degree in Education. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated and Amnesty International USA where she serves as the Legislative Coordinator for CT.

Joshua O’Connell (he/his), Board Co-President, started volunteering with the Center in 2006, and joined the board in 2007. For many years he served as lead facilitator for GLANCE, a group focused on 18-28 year olds at the Center. During his time on the board he served as co-president for nearly six years, and has been a Dorothy Awards co-chair for 10 years. Today he runs the Center’s board/card games group. Outside of the Center, he serves as board president for the Imperial Sovereign Court of All Connecticut. By day, he works at an ecommerce technology start-up.

Lindsey Pembrooke (they/them), joined the Board in 2018.  In addition to co-coordinating the Transgender Adult Support Group at the Pride Center, they are a facilitator for the Non-Binary group at Hartford PFLAG and active in support groups around the State.  Lindsey is a key administrator of the 9,500+ person Non-Binary Gender Pride support group on Facebook.  They are a regular panelist for the Yale residency program on the topic of transgender identities.  Lindsey was the featured interviewee for a four-part series called “Coming Out”, aimed at parents of LGBTQ+ youth, published in the Aug-Nov 2018 issues of “Raise Vegan” magazine. They presented a workshop “We Are All Genderfluid: These and Other Myths About Non-Binary People” at the 2018 Transgender Lives Conference. Lindsey took part in Facebook@Stonewall at the Stonewall Inn as a panelist as part of the 50th Anniversary, to speak about about building meaningful communities on Facebook and reflect on its impact on LGBTQIA+ activism.  They have a BS in Marketing and an MBA in Finance, and currently work as a consultant in the Insurance Software Industry.

Maureen Thomas, Ph.D., Board Treasurer

Bio coming soon.

Photo credit: Am Norgren.