Maria, a school social worker and social justice activist in North County, serves as the Board Chair for the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. As the parent of a trans child, she is aware of queer youths’crucial need for resources and the education of their piers. She is passionate about standing up for queer youth and working for them to feel safe, welcomed, affirmed, and loved.
While serving as Director of Project Youth, Maria organized social events and support groups for youth, supported and empowered area GSA Advisors, and facilitated LGBTQ competency trainings. At the Human Rights Campaign in DC, she became a Welcoming Schools™ Trainer and is excited to provide this professional development to area elementary schools. Maria has served on the Board of Directors for the NC LGBTQ Resource Center since 2015, and was the Gala Chair for two years.
Maria's previous board experience includes six years with the North Coast Singers, a youth choir, and two years as PTA president. Maria lives in Encinitas with her husband, dogs, and various kids. She works with middle and high school students as a school social worker in Vista Unified. Over the past few years, she has helped start and/or lead several Gender Sexuality Alliances in North County.
Maria is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant father and Chicana mother who grew up in Huntington Beach, California. As a racial minority, cis-gender lesbian, she experienced a great deal of explicit and implicit racism, sexism, and homophobia in the conservative, majority white beach town. These experiences paved a foundation allowing Maria to develop an intersectional approach to her advocacy and activism. She is passionate about amplifying the voices of the socially marginalized and fighting for civil rights and social justice.
Currently, Maria is a small business salon owner/hairstylist in Encinitas. Maria has also worked in management at a press and celebrity agency in Los Angeles, which included photo editing/photographing celebrities at red carpet events like the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Previous to this, Maria traveled the world as a flight attendant for MGM Grand Air, a first class airline. Her unique work history, which includes extensive interaction with global communities and perspectives, illustrates Maria’s adaptability, resilience, and adventurous spirit.
Maria loves to surf, which is how she met her wife, Cori Schumacher, a Carlsbad City Councilwoman. The two were some of the first 18,000 Califonrians able to legally marry in 2008. Maria credits her family with providing the love, strength, respect, and courage she needed to be herself. She is committed to being an ally, to listening, advocating, and celebrating difference, while helping to create the space necessary for others to find and develop their own unique voice in the world.
Ken is honored to hold a position at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. As a long time promoter of human rights, parent of a trans individual, and member of the LGBTQIA community, he hopes to offer his unique experiences, and perspectives to an already diverse and talented board.
Ken’s passion is the impact he can make -whether to one person or to hundreds- with the hope that the impact might inspire others to take action or cause positive change. Whether as an individual or as part of a larger group, he finds purpose in helping others when and where he can. Ken has a strong, progressive philosophy constantly pushing him to seek out social injustice and make a stand in whatever way seems both helpful locally and globally.
Professionally, Ken is an award winning producer/director with over 28 years in the
communications/marketing/advertising industry, including radio, broadcast and cable television, theater, print, online and social media. As a creative consultant, Ken writes and produces marketing content, including TV commercials, for his clients. Ken also sits as a regular judge for the international Telly Awards program and the regional Emmy awards. He is a member of his employer’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, as well as an ambassador (organizer/facilitator) for their local PRIDE employee resource group.
Away from the office, Ken divides his time between coaching Special Olympics softball and basketball, golf and pickleball with friends and family, hiking, traveling, good food, wine and companionship, and singing loudly when driving. Since 2008, Ken has officiated weddings for same sex and opposite sex couples throughout San Diego County.
Joe is an engineer at a local startup in Carlsbad. He manages multiple foundries and contract manufacturers, both domestic and international. Additionally, he has ten plus years of experience in personal finance and was an independent contractor with various insurance and securities licenses. He has been a resident of Oceanside for ten years and has facilitated the Men’s Coming Out Group since the Resource Center opened in 2011.
Joe oversees the Center’s financial activities and works closely with the Executive Director and Board Chair to provide guidance and support as the Center continues to grow in strength and size. Joe and the Center will focus on transparency in reporting balance statements while managing growth and looking at new sources of income, including grants, broader and untapped sources of donations, and new fundraising options to begin funding a trust for the benefit of future generations. Joe is looking forward to the many challenging tasks ahead and is excited to be on the Board of Directors.
Aaron is a local immigration attorney who has lived and worked in San Diego County for most of his life. Aaron is a proud graduate of UC Santa Cruz and California Western School of Law. As a student of the world, Aaron has had a wide range of experiences that have helped him develop a keen understanding of the interactions between race, gender, class, and sexual orientation, and how these multi-faceted identities inform views of society and the world at large.
As the son of Filipino immigrants and a gay man, Aaron believes he is uniquely situated to serve as a bridge between the Center and the Asian-American community. Aaron hopes to use his education and experience by helping the Board move forward with its mission statement and ensure that the Center continues its role as a safe space for LGBTQ+ people throughout North County.
In his spare time, Aaron enjoys: making new friends, stand up paddle boarding, riding his bike up and down the 101, traveling, eSports, and playing video games.
Carlos is an office manager for an Endocrine Medical Practice. As the son of immigrant parents, Carlos holds a strong passion for those struggling not only with their immigration status but also feeling comfortable in their sexual orientation and identity.
Having grown up there, Carlos considers North County San Diego his home. His goals include making sure that immigrant youth are included in the LGBTQ Community while ensuring they are aware of the support and resources available to them. Carlos strives to empower Latinos with experiences similar to his own while broadening access to services that could help guide those feeling lost.
Gregory was born and raised in North San Diego County, and serves as youth advisor to the Board of Directors for the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. He has been volunteering at the center for over three years, and has been an active member in many LGBTQ groups, including the Gender Sexuality Alliances at his high school and college. While pursuing higher education with double-major arts degrees, he is also engaging in many artistic ventures focused on LGBTQ social issues.
Greg strives to empower others through art about his personal experiences as queer person of color. Many events that he volunteers for, such as Pride at the Beach, North County Prom, Transgender Day of Empowerment/Remembrance, and multiple Project Youth events, serve as stepping stones to his increasing activism. He plans to work with the Resource Center for many years, and hopes to inspire future youth leaders.