Employees Board of Directors
Ashley L. Coleman | Executive Director (she/her) was appointed by the Center's Board of Directors in January 2023. She has been a fixture in the LGBTQ+ community in Philadelphia for over ten years having previously served as Executive Director at galaei and Senior Events Manager at Mazzoni Center. She holds two degrees from Temple University (B.S., Education), and (B.A., History). Her activism and advocacy began as a youth in the Lehigh Valley, leading Queer youth initiatives while producing large scale events for nonprofits in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She went on to serve as the general conference coordinator of the world’s largest Transgender specific conference from 2016-2019, and she led galaei through the production of Philadelphia’s 50th Pride parade and festival in 2022. Ashley can be contacted at [email protected].
Krista V. Brown-Ly | Deputy Director (she/her) has a bachelor's degree in business administration with a specialization in human resources and brings over 20 years of experience to the center. She is a nonprofit leader with experience helping agencies gain efficiencies, improve outcomes, and operationalize their mission, vision and values. Krista has enjoyed serving youth and families experiencing homelessness, but bringing her authentic self to the center is a dream come true and serves her passion for equity and liberation inside and outside of the workplace. She lives in the Lehigh Valley with her wife and their GSD Greta. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking and celebrating the seasons after 20 years in southern California. Krista can be contacted at [email protected].
Robin Gow, MFA | Director of the Education Institute (fae/it/he & él y elle) earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Adelphi University where they also taught for two years as a professor of English and Creative Writing. At their undergrad, Ursinus College, Robin served as the president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the Coordinator of the Rainbow Resource Center, developing events and support services for LGBTQIA+ students and advocating for more inclusive policies. Robin has given trainings on creating more inclusive spaces for trans people to colleges, healthcare networks, and schools across the country. They are the author of poetry and essay collections as well as YA and Middle-grade novels in verse. As an autistic person, Robin feels passionate about celebrating neurodiversity in the queer community. They live in Allentown with their two spunky pugs, Gertrude and Eddie, and are always excited about a new poetry book they're reading. Robin can be contacted at [email protected].
Kayla Simon, M.P.H. | Director of Programs (she/her) has a master of public health from the University of Tennessee with a graduate certification in healthcare policy and management from the Graduate School of Nursing. During her masters program she was a dual graduate teaching assistant and research assistant focusing on pregnant patients with gestational diabetes. She is an experienced public health professional and certified sexual health educator. In 2020 she received the Educator of the Year award from Planned Parenthood of Tennessee & Northern Mississippi. Most recently she was the executive director of ASAP of Anderson, a non-profit focused on youth substance use prevention and harm reduction for folks who use drugs. In her spare time Kayla enjoys whiskey, fantasy & sci-fi books, and spending time with her spouse and five cats. Kayla can be contacted at [email protected].
Rain Black, M.P.H., CPH | Senior Development Manager (fae/he) earned their bachelor's degrees in Biology, Public Health and Art from Cedar Crest College. They hold a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from the University of South Florida. They have worked previously as a public health professional and statistician working in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and other communicable diseases for the City of Allentown. In their spare time, they teach about native plants, forest conservation, and foraging on social media and at native plant nurseries. Rain can be contacted at [email protected].
Christian Orr | Senior Events Manager (he/they) attended West Chester University to pursue a degree in communications. There, they discovered and cultivated their love for events! As a member of the colorguard in the Incomparable Golden Rams Marching Band, they were afforded opportunities to perform in large nationally televised parades such as the National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C.. It did not take long for them to make the switch from performing in to assisting on the production and coordination of these massive events. The highlight of their career, thus far, has been their role as Logistics Coordinator for the 50th anniversary of Philadelphia Pride in 2022. It was, by far, the largest and most inclusive Pride festival Philly has ever seen! In their free time, they enjoy cooking, taking care of their plant babies, doing jigsaw puzzles, and watching reruns of Schitt's Creek. Christian can be contacted at [email protected].
Chrystina Obleschuk, MPH | Senior Health Equity Programs Manager (she/her) earned her Bachelor’s at Muhlenberg College with a dual major in Biology and Public Health and her Master’s at Boston University with a focus on Epidemiology and Biostatistics & Maternal and Child Health. Her passion in the world of public health lies in the field of Reproductive Justice which ensures everyone has the resources necessary to make decisions about if, when, and how they wish to be a parent. At the center, Chrystina manages health programs that promote equity for the LGBTQ+ community throughout Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Chrystina enjoys reading books, baking and cooking, going for hikes, playing games with family and friends, and engaging in her newest Netflix binge on the couch with her dog Lance and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. She also loves travelling as much as her schedule and wallet will allow. Chrystina can be contacted at [email protected].
Elizabeth Keiser, MFA | Senior Communications & Marketing Manager (she/her) is both a digital and traditional artist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts, with a minor in art history, from Kutztown University and a master’s degree in digital media from Goucher College, MD. She was the former Creative Specialist at Lehigh Valley Zoo, developing their marketing department over the course of 7 years, and more recently a crafter and digital content creator for ArtSkills. In her free time, Elizabeth (a.k.a. Liz) enjoys spending time with her French bulldog, creating prop replicas from favorite films, and getting outdoors. Elizabeth can be contacted at [email protected].
Anastasia Shakhurina, B.A. | Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator (she/her) received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art and International Affairs from Lafayette College. Previously, she has worked in a refugee resettlement agency as a Case Manager, helping Ukrainian refugees in New Jersey. Anastasia’s passion is working with the community, and growing stronger together through mutual aid and community care. In her free time Anastasia loves making a cup of tea and watching a good show with her wife. Other than that, Anastasia is passionate about digital art, painting, photography and spending time outdoors. Anastasia can be contacted at [email protected].
Braden Hudak, M.A. | Public Relations Manager (he/him) received a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies from Kutztown University. During his time at Kutztown, he engaged with the surrounding community through his volunteer efforts with Kutztown Community Partnership and his elections as Student Body President. Braden’s dream is to use his passion for advocacy, and policy knowledge to better his community by assisting in making it a more inclusive and equitable place for all people. In his free time, Braden enjoys spending time outdoors with his two Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Benson and Harper. Braden can be contacted at [email protected].
Christina Graham, M.P.H. | Data & Evaluation Manager (she/her) is a public health researcher who is passionate about using data to inform evidence-based programming. Christina previously worked as a Research Technologist for Penn State University’s Administrative Data Accelerator. She holds a masters in public health from George Washington University and a bachelors of arts in Epidemiology from the University of Rochester. Christina is a member of the project team for the Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment. Her interests include spoiling her cat Fennel and drinking an unreasonable amount of coffee. Christina can be contacted at [email protected].
David Celli | Healthcare Enrollment Coordinator (he/him) received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Rowan University. Previously, he has served as a community outreach intern at the center, where he found his passion in advocacy and being able to serve his community. Outside of work, David explores his passions in visual art, creative writing, cooking, and exploring nature. David can be contacted at [email protected].
Deirdre Van Walters | Community Programs Manager (she/they) brings over 15 years experience in health insurance to include effective communication with the public concerning medical plan options and benefits. An alum of Rutgers University (Sociology), certified Grant Proposal Writing (University of Notre Dame), and a standing Resident Teaching Artist with Touchstone Theatre's Young Playwrights Program based in Bethlehem, PA where she/they work with elementary, middle and high school students. Deirdre is an animal whisperer, poet, playwright, loves kareoke, nature walks and spending time with any large body of water. She/they thrive on helping others. Deirdre can be contacted at [email protected].
Emily Ortiz | Health Education Coordinator (they/she) graduated from Lafayette College with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology & Sociology, and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Their interests include Caribbean/Caribbean American queer communities, intersectionality, transnational feminism, and advocating for queer youth populations. Emily enjoys reading, traveling, dancing, and most importantly creating community. Emily can be contacted at [email protected].
Jean C. Maldonado Rodriguez | Front Desk (he/him) is an aspiring spiritual teacher with over four years of experience in the hospitality industry. In his free time, Jean enjoys spending time with his two cats, Lucas and Camilla, praying, reading scripture, playing video games, and watching funny videos on social media. Jean can be contacted at [email protected].
Kailyn Jones | Healthcare Enrollment and Public Policy Coordinator (she/her) is a graduate from Cedar Crest College with a bachelor's degree in Public Health. She has had many jobs from paintball referee to manager. Her main interest is in LGBTQ+ media and healthcare. In her spare time, Kailyn likes to watching Penn State football games, hang out with her two dogs Finn and Odie, and watching LGBTQ+ movies and shows. Kailyn can be contacted at [email protected].
Kiirstin (Kiir) Prokopowitz | Facilities Technician (they/them) is a visual artist, graphic designer, and musician in addition to their work as the center's facilities technician. They previously worked in building maintenance at Hunterdon Art Museum, Second Base Vintage, and the Five and Dime Skate Shop. They earned a B.A. from Ramapo College in New Jersey with a focus on drawing and painting. In their free time, they enjoy skateboarding and being online.
Mary Frasier | Executive Assistant (she/her) graduated from Gettysburg College with bachelor's degrees in Political Science and in History, with minors in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Peace & Justice Studies. Mary discovered her passion for nonprofit work in college when she worked for El Centro, an afterschool tutoring program for children K-5 in the local migrant community. Previously, she was a family worker for Lehigh Valley Families Together and worked closely with Northampton and Lehigh Counties' Children and Youth Services. Outside of work, Mary enjoys gardening, reading, drinking tons of coffee, and watching Mom. Mary can be contacted at [email protected].
Meaghan Lawlor | Community Health Educator (they/them) is a graduate from Cedar Crest College with bachelor's degrees in English Literature and Theatre with a minor in psychology. They are an actor and writer who is passionate about LGBTQ+ plays, literature, and history. Previously, they have interned and served as a Box Office Agent at Shawnee Playhouse, acting in a variety of shows there and at Northampton Community College Theatre. They have had a range of jobs, including as a lifeguard, warehouse member, and call center representative. They enjoy spending time with their sisters, their cats Isabelle and Jasmine. They love acting, writing and reading, baking and discussing LGBTQ+ shows and characters with their friends. Meaghan can be contacted at [email protected].
Meredith McGee, B.S., B.A. | Grants Writer (she/her) holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lafayette College. Currently pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at Yale University with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Meredith is dedicated to addressing health disparities and enhancing positive health outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals. As a Grants Writer at Bradbury-Sullivan, Meredith leverages her academic background and passion for LGBTQ+ advocacy to secure funding for the programs at the center and hopes to use this as a way to give back to the community that she loves. In her free time, Meredith enjoys embarking on adventures with her dog, honing her baking skills, and indulging in a good book. Meredith can be contacted at [email protected].
Owen Pudliner | Communications & Events Coordinator (he/him) attended Lehigh Carbon Community College, transferring to Kutztown University pursuing a Computer Science degree. He has held a variety of jobs, from bartender to farmhand and always takes any opportunity to learn from others and their experiences. He is an avid runner, passionate musician, and lover of fermented foods and beverages. He is also a proud dog dad to two mixed breed dogs. Owen can be contacted at [email protected].
Peter Flood | Community Programs Coordinator (he/him) is a Gettysburg College graduate with a major in anthropology and minors in history and religious studies. He worked at the Da Vinci Science Center for five years, serving as a member of the STEAM Team and Outreach Education for three years. His interests include reading and writing fiction with a focus on including LGBTQ+ people in genres like fantasy and science fiction. He thinks there are few things more enjoyable than curling up in front of the fire with a good book. Peter can be contacted at [email protected].
Sharon Brotzman | Administrative Manager (she/her) is a dynamic administrative professional with more than 20 years of administrative experience at Lehigh Valley organizations including Ingersoll Rand, Synergetics, and Wolper Information Services. She is the parent of a teenager, two kittens, and a dog. A passionate supporter of animals, Sharon has taken in many litters of stray animals and helped them to find forever homes. When not at work, Sharon can be found taking care of animals, swimming, visiting family, and traveling to New York. Sharon can be contacted at [email protected].
Tara Laudenslager | Graphic Designer (they/them) has a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design & Digital Media from Johnson & Wales University. From drawing comic strips at 10 years old, to creating engaging digital and print materials as a professional designer, Tara has always had a creative eye. In 2020, they moved to the Lehigh Valley from the Philadelphia area. Since then, they have been a part of local vintage/flea market events where they sell vintage clothing. In their free time, Tara likes to watch cartoons, look for amazing vintage items, listen to hyperpop, and most recently practice illustration in Procreate. Tara can be contacted at [email protected].
Tiersa Curry | Digital Archives Assistant (she/they) graduated from Kutztown University with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in Spanish and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The Temple, Pennsylvania native also has an associate’s degree in Social Sciences from Reading Area Community College. Her interest is in queer people of color (POC) communities, womanism, queer linguistics, and archives. Tiersa aspires to pursue a career in applied anthropology and hopes to travel for her work. She currently works as an assistant high school field hockey coach and, when she is not busy, Tiersa enjoys spending time with her family and friends, skateboarding, knitting, and listening to music. Tiersa can be contacted at [email protected].