Metro Weekly

Capital Pride Alliance names new board of directors and program chairs

Newly elected Board President Ashley Smith vows to "meet changing needs of the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community"

Capital Pride Frestival — Photo: Randy Shulman

On Wednesday, the Capital Pride Alliance announced a raft of changes to the Capital Pride Production Team and the Executive Officers of the Board of Directors.

The most prominent face on the newly reconstituted board will be its new president, Ashley Smith. He replaces outgoing board president Bernie Delia, who has served for the past six years.

Smith is a member of the board of directors for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a former board member for The DC Center, and a past president of the DC Coalition of Black LGBT. He was also named one of the national co-chairs of last year’s Equality March.

“As the incoming board president, I have a great deal of optimism that we’ll continue expanding the mission of the Capital Pride Alliance to meet the changing needs of the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community,” Smith said in a statement. “We’re always looking for opportunities to make the annual Pride Celebration and Pride 365 events even more exceptional, compelling, and inclusive. I look forward to hearing from and meeting the members of our diverse community, and I invite everyone from the national capital region to participate as volunteers with Capital Pride.”

Delia said in a statement that it has been “an honor and pleasure” to serve as part of the Capital Pride Alliance’s leadership team and thanked his fellow board members, Pride sponsors, volunteers, and staff for their support throughout his term.

“I now look forward to continuing my contributions as a board member, and working with Ashley and the Executive Officers on the many upcoming Pride efforts,” Delia said in a statement.

In other changes, Rachel Gleischman will become Vice President of Records Management on the board of directors, Vince Micone will step into the role of Vice President of Internal Operations and Treasure, and Robert York, a former executive director of Capital Pride, will assume the role of Vice President of External Relations on the board.

Other new faces on the board include Jose Gutierrez, Holly Goldmann, Michele Irimia-Bernabe, Ryan Velandria McCarthy, Casey Oakes, Ross Perkins, Natalie Thompson, Cedric Wilson, and Taylor Wallace.

Each year, the Capital Pride Alliance relies on a Production Team of over 25 executive producers, who plan and carry out its major programs, including Capital Trans Pride, the Capital Pride Parade, the Capital Pride Festival, the Capital Pride Concert, the Capital Pride Heroes Gala, and several other events throughout the course of the year.

Joining that Production Team as Chair of its Volunteer Program is Chelsea Bland, a union member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 2 and a five-year volunteer with Capital Pride.

Bianca Humady Rey, a former volunteer and an Executive Producer for Capital Trans Pride during the past three years, will serve as Chair of Capital Trans Pride. Rey, a project coordinator at Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States Region, has also served as a speaker and facilitator for Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speaker Bureau Program.

Tiffany Lyn Royster, a Capital Pride volunteer for the past three years, will assume the role of Chair of the Capital Pride Parade. Royster, a professional actress and singer with the Outstanding Voices of D.C. Cabaret Series and Showcase and SoulFly Theatre Society, is a Maryland native with ties to Prince George’s Community College, where she holds a position in the college’s Enrollment Services Information Center.

Jami Vallesteros, a volunteer with Capital Pride since 2015, will serve as Chair of the Capital Pride Festival. Vallesteros, who has held roles in float production, parade logistics, festival management, and social media management, currently works as a management consultant specializing in training, communication, and strategy for IT services and Microsoft technologies.

For more information on the Capital Pride Alliance, its board of directors, or volunteer opportunities, visit capitalpride.org.

(This article was updated to correct the name of the DC Coalition of Black LGBT.)

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com