Max was born in Rome, Italy in 1968 and lived there for thirty years. After college he pursued his volunteer aspirations and worked with different human rights non-profit organizations. Upon arriving in the United States in 1998, and after moving to Southern California in 2001, he began volunteering with local agencies and noticed the need for a stronger North County San Diego LGBT community. In January 2008, he founded the North County LGBT Coalition, a non-profit organization that almost immediately increased LGBT visibility in the North San Diego community.
After four years of hard work, an outpouring of community support, and the help of a dedicated Board of Directors, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center opened in 2011, where Max now operates as Executive Director.
In addition to his work at the Resource Center, Max is active in the San Diego community at large. His current work involves the following: San Diego Leadership Council, Mainstreet Oceanside Board Secretary, Advancing Compassion Board Member, SD County Sheriff LGBT Advisory Council, Oceanside Library Board, and the Oceanside Martin Luther King Advisory Committee. From 2008 to 2011 he worked as the Oceanside community relations commissioner.
His awards and recognition include the following: the 2010 Harvey Milk award, the 2011 Lambda Archives Heroes, Pioneers & Trailblazers recognition, a 2012 nominee for the Rotary Club Oceanside Citizen of the Year award, the 2013 Martin Luther King Community Award by the City of Oceanside, 2013 KPBS local Heroes award with Carolyn Bolton, and the 2013 Stonewall award of San Diego LGBT Pride.
Linda is a native Californian who has lived in San Diego nearly all of her life and in North County since 1989. She has worked with non-profit organizations involved in disaster services, water safety, the developmentally disabled, and suicide prevention. Since the early 1990s she has been a member of LINC, Lesbians in North County.
In the private sector Linda has experience as a receptionist, office assistant, and an administrative assistant. She has also worked as an ambulance dispatcher.
Linda believes, "There is a reason LGBTQ people often refer to one another as family. We are good at creating kinships and we need each other." She is very grateful for the LGBTQ community and its straight allies, and wept when she saw the first uniformed military personnel march in the San Diego Pride Parade.
Linda welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the efforts of the North County LGBTQ Resource Center.
Lisa was raised in Michigan by working class parents, moved to California in 1983, and finally planting her roots in Encinitas where she married and raised a family of four children. Lisa came to Pride by the Beach with prior experience on the Encinitas Educational Foundation Board as a community partner director, a history of grassroots organizing specializing in fundraising events, and mobilizing people around important local issues of social justice.
Lisa serves on the Encinitas Parks and Recreation Commission, helped coordinate the AIDS quilt display for PRIDE, served on the 2018 North County Women's March Committee, and has worked as the NC LGBTQ Resource Center Gala chairperson.
Relle is a native Southern Californian, has lived in North County for their entire life, and has recently graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School. Relle interned with an event coordinating company as an assistant, and gained experience in event planning. In 2015, they became an active member of their high school Gender Sexuality Alliance soon became their president. Through their GSA, they became active in the LGBTQ+ Community by planning events and collaborating with GSAs from other schools. They began speaking in classrooms on their campus which sparked their activism.
In 2015, Relle began volunteering with Project Youth at the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, from which they gained experience helping at LGBTQ Youth events. Relle planned events such as games and movie nights, gathered youth involvement in other Center events, and ran social media accounts for Project Youth. In the fall of 2016, they began planning the high school events for Project Youth such as LGBTQ+ Youth Ice Skating, LGBTQ+ Leadership Summit, Trans Youth Salon, etc. In their downtime, Relle enjoys dying their hair variations of rainbow and being active in the community.
Born and raised in Brawley, CA to a religious family, Sam had to leave home at the age of sixteen after coming out to his parents. He ended up on the streets of Hollywood where, thanks to the help of GLASS (Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services), Sam graduated High School and was emancipated from group home living.
Shortly after, Sam took off hitch hiking throughout the Republic of Mexico for five years,. He finally decided to return to the good ol’ US of A where he settled down in Oceanside, CA to receive his AA at MiraCosta College & his BS in Biology at Cal State San Marcos. With a friend, Sam helped start an Aztec dance group (Calpulli Omeyocan) in Oceanside 2007, where he remains an active member in the Latino community.
Leea was born and raised in Springfield Massachusett. Early in her career, she was a quality engineer in the Aero Space Industry. She left mechanical engineering to become a telecommunications engineer which she did for 37 years, in one form of high tech or another.
In her teens, she became very interested in religion and spirituality. While being raised a very strict Roman Catholic she struggled with who she really was, as she was identified male at birth and this was completely against her religion.
After a near death experience in 2006, she wondered what life was truly about, and came to the conclusion she could not live her life for others. She came out and told everyone that she could not live the lie anymore and had to be true to herself. At that point she started living her life. After truly making the decision she became an activist and advocate for the trans community. She volunteers for the detention project at the Transgender Law Center, is a team leader for operators at the Trans Lifeline. Now works as a Case Manager for Unicorn Homes.
Shawn was born and raised in the Metro-Detroit area of Michigan. He moved to San Diego, CA in 2015. He earned an undergrad degree in sociology and cultural anthropology. Shawn attended National University for a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. He did his internship in Hillcrest working with people who identify LGBTQI+. Shawn specializes in gender and sexuality and has training in working with offenders and survivors of domestic violence.
Shawn has been involved in presenting training on gender identity including obstacles people may face in regard to gender identity, social and medical transition, pronoun usage, as well as defining masculine and feminine for college students, youth, and families. For a year during his practicum, Shawn facilitated a transgender and non-binary coming-out group for people of all ages.
Conducting his work with an eclectic approach, Shawn believes that clients are the masters of their own life and by exploring a person, a couple, or a family’s core belief(s), changing their narrative scripts, and practicing new behaviors, change is possible.
As a native Hawaiian, Jeri was born in Honolulu and raised in Oceanside as a "marine brat". For over 20 years, Jeri has done film, tv and theatre working behind the scenes. She has travelled all of North America touring as a hair supervisor for multiple Broadway tours. During that time, she has been a part of many fundraising campaigns; Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA), Easter Bonnet Broadway Cares, It Gets Better campaign in Vancouver BC as well as the committees of She Fest San Diego and Pride by the Beach, Oceanside as Entertainment Chair. In addition, Jeri has added a new hat to her resume’ as an executive producer and documentary filmmaker.
A very out and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community for many years, Jeri continues to educate Lgbtq Pacific Islanders and other POC cultures. She is honored to continue her advocacy work for North County LGBTQ Center.