Speakers Bureau

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Wesley Combs is a senior manager and Global Co-Lead for the Inclusion & Diversity Competency offering within the Accenture Talent & Organization management consulting practice. Wes has more than twenty-four years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies to understand how diverse segments of the population impact their organizations, helping them to holistically integrate cultural competency into their DNA. The results have helped differentiate his clients from their competitive set.

Prior to joining Accenture, for the past 18 years Wes had been the President and Co-Founder of Witeck-Combs Communications, the nation’s premier public relations and marketing communications consulting firm specializing in how inclusion and diversity is an accelerator when integrated into business strategies.

Wes is one of the nation?s leading subject matter experts on LGBT issues facing corporations, non-profits and government agencies. He pioneered development of market research tools with the global firm Harris Interactive that have become the leading source of LGBT segment data. Together with his business partner Bob Witeck, Combs wrote the first business book on marketing to the LGBT market entitled

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Antonio Pineda is a case manager at Andromeda Health Clinic in northwestern Washington, D.C., where he specializes in helping clients who are living with HIV/AIDS. He is originally from El Salvador and has lived in Washington since 2001. In 2007, he was named the LGBT activist of the year by the Embassy of El Salvador.

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Dr. Chloe Schwenke is a Quaker human rights activist, development practitioner and academic with over three decades of international experience, nearly half of it while living in developing countries. She has worked in a senior capacity with some of the leading American development organizations, and as an independent consultant, on projects of USAID, the US State Department, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank. Her scholarly interests include human rights and human dignity, LGBTI issues, gender equality & female empowerment, and leadership ethics.

Chloe is also openly transsexual, and works closely with transgender activists around the world. She currently is a member of the adjunct faculty at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University, and also undertakes a variety of consulting assignments in international development and human rights. In prior employment, she served as vice president for global programs at Freedom House in Washington, D.C. and earlier still as a political appointee for the Obama Administration at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Chloe received her Ph.D. in public policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she was chosen as Alumnus of the Year for 2013. She was also a recipient of theNational Center for Transgender Equality?s National Public Service Award in 2013. She is the parent of two children.

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Brian Watson resides and works in Washington, D.C.’s Deanwood section of Ward 7. Since relocating to D.C. Brian has been a vocal and visible activist in the areas of social justice, youth, LGBT issues, and HIV/AIDS for nearly a decade. Brian is former Secretary and President of the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Men and Women, the oldest Black GLBT group in the United States. Brian presently serves as Director of Programs at Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc in Washington, D.C. where has been employed for the last 6 years. In September 2008 he started the Wanda Alston House the 1st and only GLBTQ youth homeless transitional program in the DC, MD, VA area. He has worked with various target populations on various topics such including religion, sexual minority youth, HIV positive individuals, foster children, recently incarcerated, substance abuse users, transgenders and transgender youth. Brian has been a trainer educating homeless programs, police officers, foster care agencies, and department of corrections on working with GLBT individuals and cultural competency. He has experience working in health education, HIV and HEP C counseling, testing and referral, case management, cancer in African Americans, housing coordination, and conducting formative research. Brian was appointed by Mayor Anthony Williams and Mayor Adrian Fenty to sit on boards such as the Regional Health Services HIV/AIDS Planning Council, LGBT Executive Advisory Board, and by Mayor Vincent Gray to sit on the Interagency Council on Homelessness. He is also a member of the DC HIV Planning Group and Metropolitan DC Police Critical Incidents Team. Brian is frequently called on to travel across the United States to speak on HIV/AIDS in youth, the African American GLBT community, and the black church. Brian was named a Capital Pride Hero in 2007, and received a Distinguished Service Award from GLAA in 2008 as well as American Red Cross volunteer of the year award. Has been featured in such publications as the Metro Weekly, Washington Blade, Black Pride Guide, Washington Post, and GayAgenda.com. He has appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, WPFW?s ?Inside Out? radio show, Fox 5 Morning News and In the Life. He is also a contributing writer for SWERV Magazine.

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Sean Bugg is co-publisher and editorial director of Metro Weekly, Washington, D.C.’s gay and lesbian news magazine. A founding writer for the 14-year-old publication, Bugg took the editorial helm in 2000. During his tenure, Metro Weekly has grown into a major voice for the LGBT community, winning numerous awards for writing, design and community service. In addition to his journalism career, Bugg has worked in social marketing and HIV prevention programs for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors. A member of the D.C. chapter of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, Bugg received his journalism degree in 1989 from Washington & Lee University in Virginia.

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I have been a fierce advocate for social justice and civil liberties issues for 5 very creative years. A sample of issues I have organized around include the reproductive health needs of queer women, sexuality within disabled communities and queer people of color politics. I am a co-founder of American University’s Students for Choice and have served as Treasurer for our queer group Queers & Allies.

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Jackie DeCarlo has lived in the DC area for almost 20 years. Her volunteer activities have revolved around her faith community at the Friends Meeting (Quaker) of Washington and professionally she has been a leader and manager of nonprofit programs focused on economic justice. A frequent public speaker and published author, Jackie is interested in helping build awareness and understanding between faith-based and other groups committed to pursuing American values of freedom, respect for difference, and equality.

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David is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Kalorama Wealth Strategies, LLC, a fee-only investment advisory and financial planning firm focused on the needs of members and allies of the DC Metro area gay and lesbian community.

With more than 15 years experience in the financial services industry, David is uniquely qualified to advise individuals regarding their investments and financial planning matters. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP)TM professional and a member of the Financial Planning Association and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder, with membership in the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Washington, D.C.

Since 1999, David has been an adjunct professor in the Department of Finance and Real Estate in the Kogod School of Business Administration at the American University. Teaching assignments have included an under-graduate personal finance course, as well as graduate and under-graduate courses in real estate principles and investments.

David frequently volunteers for Metro DC GLBT non-profit organizations through Burgundy Crescent Volunteers, including One In Ten, Gay Men?s Chorus, Food and Friends, Mautner Project, Equality Maryland, and HRC. He also helps The DC Center?s Elder Think Tank with its GLBT Financial Education Series including retirement planning, insurance, real estate, and estate planning.

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Hello, my name is Sara Cahanin. I am a licensed therapist in Maryland and currently, I work at Cheltenham Youth Facility in the school as a therapist. I also have a private practice. In addition to my work as a therapist, I have been a high school English teacher and also, have taught writing at a community college and private college in New York State. In 2006, I started a non-profit organization called, Martin Lyon Lesbian Support Services in Ithaca, New York. It was very successful and met the unmet needs of the lesbian community. We had planned to open it up to all GLBT people, but due to the economy the organization ceased operations. I feel that I have a lot to offer the GLBT community as a speaker and look forward to speaking soon to our community. Thanks for reading!
For more information, please visit my website at http://www.saracahanin.com.

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Patrick Wojahn is a lawyer and advocate for civil rights. Patrick has years of experience in management and leadership and has served since December 2007 on the City Council of College Park, MD. Patrick has served on the Boards of Directors and as staff of various organizations advocating for people with disabilities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and for protection of the environment. From 2005-2010, Patrick worked in Washington, DC, with University Legal Services, a disability rights organization, investigating complaints of abuse and neglect against people with mental illness and ensuring District officials provide appropriate services for some of the District?s most disadvantaged residents. Since 2010, Patrick works as a Public Policy Analyst with the National Disability Rights Network, a national advocacy organization for people with disabilities.

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