Center Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Dolores Dégagé Hopkins, Chair
CJ, Treasurer
Lindsey Pasquale, Secretary
Nicholas Bussett
Hope Chávez
Kishorn Henry-Walker
Jonathan Joseph
Richard Luedeman
Luciana Q. McClure
Marcie Monaco
Bilal Tajildeen
Tia Lynn Waters
Julie West
Joshua O’Connell, Immediate Past Chair
Maureen Thomas, Ph.D., Immediate Past Treasurer

Patrick J Dunn, Executive Director, ex-officio
John D. Allen, Ed.D., Founding Director, ex-officio

Meet Our Board of Directors

Listed in alphabetical order. To read our Executive Director Patrick Dunn’s bio click here

CJ (she/they) is an experienced finance and accounting professional with a degree in Accounting and over 25 years of experience in diverse global business environments.  She currently uses her skills to drive process and financial improvement projects for a contract manufacturing company.  CJ is one of the coordinators for the Transgender Adult Support Group at the Pride Center which she has personally found incredibly helpful.  She lives in the Greater New Haven area and enjoys being outdoors.

John D. Allen, Ed.D. (he/him), Founding Director, 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.

Nicholas Bussett (he/him) is an experienced fundraiser and LGBTQ+ advocate. Primarily working in Regional Theatre, Nick recently served as the Corporate Giving Manager for the award winning Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT. A proud resident of New Haven for seven years, Nick serves on two Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce councils and maintains the role of ambassador to the Chamber. In addition to his work in fundraising, Nick is Associate Producer for GayTalk2.0, a local LGBTQ+ podcast, currently in its 4th year on air. Nick received his BA in Theatre Management from Western Connecticut State University.

Hope Chávez (she/her/ella) is a creative producer, facilitator, and non-profit arts consultant. Hope is the Director of Artistic Planning at Long Wharf Theatre serving as the lead producer and chief deputy to Artistic Director Jacob Padrón. Prior to her appointment at Long Wharf, Hope spent almost a decade in New York City working as a creative producer for organizations like The 24 Hour Plays, The Public Theatre, and La Mama and as an arts service worker at A.R.T./New York managing grant programs and piloting programs centering disability accessibility, sexual harassment prevention, and EDI training. In addition to her service at Long Wharf, Hope maintains a practice as a facilitator and consultant for arts organizations specializing in artistic and educational programs, anti-oppression work, budgeting for small to mid-sized organizations, and organizational change management. She has been a guest lecturer at Juilliard Drama and The King’s College. Hope is a proud alum of the 2019 artEquity Facilitator Training Cohort and the 2018 Leadership Through Mentorship Program administered by Women of Color in the Arts (WOCA). Hope also engages in public service as an appointee to both the New Haven Cultural Committee and the New Haven Cultural Equity Plan Co-Creation Team.

Dolores Dégagé Hopkins (she/her), Chair, currently resides and works in Hamden, Connecticut as Director of Ballet for the Joan Lynn Dance Company.  She first served on the NHPC Board for 2013-14 resigning to care for her partner Sassie Saltimboca / Drew Mancuso who was lost to cancer August of 2015.  Dolores and Sassie were the recipients of Dorothy Award’s from the New Haven Pride Center in 2016.  “I was honored to accept for both of us in her memory.  It is something I will always treasure in its recognition of the positivity we as a couple brought to Connecticut’s LGBTQ community & beyond.  I am excited to return to the board to serve and support the vision and mission of the NHPC at this time.”  As a Photographer  Dolores Dégagé has been published in numerous publications including The Advocate, New Your Times and in the Connecticut Metroline monthly for two years running in the 1990’s.  Her child portraits of Natalie Portman were seen in her film Black Swan. Photography has been a passion of hers since High School.  A native of Texas, Dolores has been an LGBTQ activist for 45 years and speaks openly about her recent decision to transition and continues to raise awareness.  She has also served on the Board of Directors for APNH (A Place to Nurture your Health) previously known as AIDS Project New Haven.  Dolores is a strong advocate for U=U, HIV awareness, prevention and continued research to find the cure.  She recently participated in a study at YALE for 60-70 year olds for the effects of long term use of HIV medications. Dolores also volunteered with the non-profit City Lights Art Gallery assisting with Greater Bridgeport PRIDE for the past five years. She is a former member of The Imperial Sovereign Court of all Connecticut.  January of 2020 Dolores was excited to return to the Imperial Court System and joined and has become an active member of The Imperial Court of New York helping raise funds for worthy non-profit organizations that benefit the LGBTQ community.

Kishorn Henry-Walker (he/him/they/them) is a resident of Bridgeport, CT where he resides with his husband Aharon. He has been working in the human resources management field for the past 13 years. His experience has involved many industries such as retail, higher education and most recently tech! In addition to his professional career, Kishorn is a drag performer and has been on stage as Sparkle A. Diamond for the past 15yrs.

A native of St. Thomas Virgin Islands, Kishorn has been involved in the arts from a very young age! Kishorn holds a BS in Communications from Morgan State University and an MBA from Strayer University. He leads his life with the motto, “seek to understand” which is indicative of his never-ending learning journey and true zest for life and the people he encounters.

Jonathan Joseph (he/him), 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/him) is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at University of Connecticut School of Law and formerly an associate at the New Haven office of Wiggin and Dana LLP. Raised in Florida, he has lived in the New Haven area since he moved here for law school in 2011. He joined the NHPC Board in 2018.

Luciana Quagliato McClure (she/her) is an independent contemporary art curator, activist , educator and practicing artist. She is the founding organizer of the Nasty Women Movement in Connecticut and leads Nasty Women Connecticut.

Luciana is an immigrant of Brazil and she currently resides in Connecticut where she currently is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Women and Gender Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, where she also works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Luciana is a board member of Artspace New Haven, a member of College Art Association and the Connecticut Regional Coordinator of The Feminist Art Project.

Marcie Monaco (she/her) is currently serving as the Director of Finance and Accounting at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.  She has 20 years of experience in the accounting field, and holds a degree in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Sports Management.  Marcie served on the vestry board of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and engaged in volunteering with nonprofit organizations including Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic and knitting for hospitals and nursing homes in Greater New Haven. She is a member of an elementary Parent-Teacher Association and chaired the 5th grade committee in 2018 and 2021.

Marcie was a collegiate women’s volleyball athlete, coached for 25 years, and officiated high school girls’ volleyball in Connecticut for 10 years.  Currently she is active in the arts as a dancer at Joni’s Dance Center, and a martial artist at Forge Martial Arts Academy.  She resides in the Greater New Haven Area with her wife and children.

Joshua O’Connell (he/him), Immediate Past Chair, 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 Pasquale (she/her/they/them), Board Secretary, joined the Board in 2018. In addition to co-coordinating the Transgender Adult Support Group at the Pride Center, they are a facilitator at Hartford PFLAG and active in support groups around the State. Lindsey has curated many large non-binary spaces on Facebook and is the creator of the new space “Older and Non-Binary”. They are a regular panelist for the Yale residency program on the topic of transgender identities. She has worked on magazine articles including “Coming Out”, aimed at parents of LGBTQ+ youth, and presented workshops including “We Are All Genderfluid: These and Other Myths About Non-Binary People”. 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. Lindsey has moderated/participated in numerous panels for the Center such as “Right to Play : Standing Up for Trans Athletes”, “Beyond the Binary”, and “Community Conversation : Trans Visibility”. They have a BS in Marketing and an MBA in Finance, and currently work as a consultant in the Insurance Software Industry.

A lifelong Waterbury, CT resident, Bilal Tajildeen (he/him) joined the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy team in 2020 as the manager of membership and culture. His primary responsibilities include building community and connections with members from across the state, creating opportunities for education and exploration, supporting the Council’s affinity spaces, and continuously working toward more equitable and inclusive practices across Connecticut’s philanthropic sector.

Prior to joining the Council, Bilal worked as a program officer at Connecticut Community Foundation where his major grantmaking portfolios included community organizing, eldercare, and youth development. He also assisted In the Foundation’s community leadership efforts including staffing the Pride Fund (grantmaking by and for the LGBTQ community), serving on both the Waterbury Bridge to Success community council and the equity think tank, and as a member of the Supporting Organizing Work CT (SOW CT) steering committee.

Bilal earned a master’s degree in English from Central Connecticut State University, primarily focusing on queer theory and political theory as well as LGBTQ literature. He serves as the vice president of the board of the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, a director on the boards of the Leever Foundation, the New Haven Pride Center, the Waterbury Bridge to Success Community Partnership, and Equality CT, as well as a national PLACES fellow alum through the Funder’s Network.

In his spare time, Bilal continues to do community and political organizing in Waterbury, is an adjunct professor of English at the University of Connecticut’s Hartford campus, and occasionally practices real estate, particularly when he can support people of color and working-class people in finding affordable, appropriate, and dignified housing.

Maureen Thomas, Ph.D. (she/her), Immediate Past Treasurer, is a psychologist with a main focus on helping adults and children with Developmental Disabilities. She has assisted John Allen in the support group for people with developmental disabilities who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community for over 20 years. She have been a Board member since 2007. She also currently serves as treasurer. She is very proud of the growth in staff and services in the past 3 years in the Pride Center with Patrick Dunn as executive leader.

Tia Lynn “Bubblicious” Waters (she/her) has been performing for over 30 years – taking on stages in Connecticut, New York, and Europe. Bubblicious, or Bubbles as her friends call her, was one of the founding queens of the New Haven drag scene and has performed in every LGBTQ+ venue throughout New Haven. As an visual artist Tia’s art tells stories.

As an out and proud black transgender woman, Bubbles dedicates time and energy to bring awareness, support, and visibility to black and brown trans folk through performance and activism.

Julie West (she/her) is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Services. Previously she served as a pediatric home health nurse providing care for infants who require ventilator support for families who live in underserved areas. In 2016 Dr. West collaborated with a team of physicians and administrators to implement behavioral health services in all of New York Presbyterian Hospital’s primary care clinics in Washington Heights, New York through Medicaid’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program. Dr. West also oversaw the High Value Care Quality Improvement research initiative run by resident physicians at New York Methodist Hospital with the goal of improving care quality, specifically for the underserved in the community in multiple hospitals throughout the region. Additionally, Dr. West worked with Mailman’s School of Public Health at Columbia University’s consulting group to successfully lead the initiative to enroll the Town of Greenwich as Connecticut’s first AARP accredited aging friendly community in partnership with the town’s Commission on Ageing and the town’s Board of Selectmen.

She received her associate degree in Nursing from St. Philip’s college in San Antonio, Texas, followed by her Baccalaureate degree in Social Sciences from the University of Connecticut. She attended Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she earned her Master’s in Health Care Administration with an award as a Mailman Public Health. She continued her education at Columbia’s School of Nursing to receive her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Dr. West has profound experiential and professional experience acquired over the past 15 years in the healthcare industry in clinical, administrative, and legislative roles. She is dedicated to comprehensively improving focused health care access and quality to patients and their families, particularly for underserved populations within the community.