Carlos is a licensed insurance agent. 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.
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.
Maria is a School Social Worker and social justice activist in North County. As the parent of a trans child, she is passionate about standing up for queer youth so they are safe, welcomed, affirmed, celebrated and loved.
During her time volunteering with the NC Center Maria has served as Board Chair, Director of Project Youth and Gala Chair. She provides LGBTQI Competency Trainings in the community and helped start the Unicorn Homes Program. She started and leads Vista Unified School District’s LGBTQ Equity Team which works across the district to ensure equity for all LGBTQ students and staff. Maria is a Welcoming Schools Certified Trainer and is excited to provide this professional development to elementary school educators at schools and conferences.
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.
Corinna Contreras is a life-long resident of Vista and a current City Councilmember representing District 1. In 2018, she became the first queer Latina elected to City Council and serves a four-year term ending November 2022.
Her passions include regenerative design, civic engagement, policy, singing and playing guitar. Corinna holds a B.A. in Sociology/Film & Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Permaculture Design Certification from the San Diego Sustainable Living Institute.
Kai (they/ them/ theirs) is a local trans non-binary community member. They joined the Board with the hopes of giving back to the LGBT2Q community of North County, knowing that there are many battles we currently face— but even more opportunities for our community to help heal our movements, the stolen land we are on, our families, and our bodies.
In their development, Kai had the blessing of learning and pursuing organizing roles with organizations like the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, the California Faculty Association, United We Dream, and Project YANO. They hope more visibility, protection and resources for transgender, non-binary and/or two-spirit communities will flourish in our region.
Nikki is a Carlsbad mom and activist. She has volunteered in the gun violence prevention movement for several years, and in fact came to learn about the North County LGBTQ Resource Center in this capacity. She now works as a community organizer helping to advance volunteers’ efforts to build safer communities free from gun violence--and this effort focuses on communities that are disproportionately affected by gun violence, including the LGBTQ community. She has also advocated for affordable healthcare and insulin, for civil liberties in our region, and for police accountability. Nikki hopes to help the North County LGBTQ Resource Center continue to grow and thrive in its next 10 years of serving our LGBTQ friends, family, neighbors, students, and colleagues.
Yu-Wen is a Taiwanese-American working as an engineer in the aerospace industry. As a first generation immigrant and queer woman, she saw the importance of community and its impact on providing a safe space for marginalized people. She proudly grew up witnessing her parents being vocal participants of Taiwanese independence movements and learned the importance of speaking up for injustices at an early age.
She has had the opportunity to volunteer with her university’s queer student assembly in various events and groups, and more recently has had the chance to get involved with her local ACLU chapter. She looks forward to serving her community in a new capacity as a member of the board.
In her spare time, you’ll find her traveling with her fiancée, chasing around their dogs, buried under a pile of books, playing piano to an imaginary audience or surfing somewhere along San Diego’s beautiful coast.