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As a co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, Joseph Clementi has worked tirelessly to share the story of his personal loss with public audiences at a variety of organizations. Joseph, a New Jersey-based civil engineer, is the proud father of Tyler Clementi, and the loss of his son has put Joseph’s life on a course of activism for LGBT and vulnerable youth across the United States. Having come of age in an era where the capabilities of modern technology (social networking websites, webcams, cell phones, camera phones, etc.) didn’t exist, Joseph had his entire world changed when he learned of the ways in which technology intensifies and exacerbates the issues around youth bullying. Additionally, Joseph has been affected in a very personal manner by the ways in which targeting someone because of their sexual orientation can be especially harmful to the victim. Joseph is speaking out because he wants to use his experience as an educational tool and a way to help reach other people who struggle with feeling isolated, uncared for or misunderstood in schools and homes, the areas where they should feel most valued. The primary message that he wants to spread is his goal of turning “Bystanders into Upstanders.” His view is that there are three people involved in any type of bullying situation: the bully, the victim, and the bystander who sees it but does nothing to help. Joseph wants to share his message that bystanders to hostile behavior have an obligation to get involved and defend those who are targeted. Joseph has spoken out at a number of institutions, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Long Island Child Abuse Protection Services, Rutgers University 2011 Symposium and CONTACT We Care Suicide Hotline’s 2012 Annual Gala.
Jane Clementi co-founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation alongside husband Joe because she wants to make sure that our society learns the consequences of discrimination and bullying, as she learned all too personally through the loss of her son. A native of New Jersey and devoted mother of three sons, Jane speaks passionately to parents and community leaders about the need to not merely “accept” or “tolerate” children who come out as LGBT, but to embrace them as wondrous creations of God. Jane, a registered nurse, speaks on the need for parents of LGBT children to come out and speak openly of the love they have for their children, and in doing so each one of us can impact the world around us and create accepting environments. Since losing Tyler, Jane’s spiritual journey has continued to carry and transform her in ways she never would have imagined. She left her church home of many years because she felt that while sitting in the pews of a church that condemned LGBT people she was herself a bystander to bullying. Jane leads an inspirational life through her unique experience which she shares with other parents, and speaks passionately about the need to divorce the concept of “sin” from homosexuality. She has made difficult choices in an impossible situation, and leads by example. She has spoken out in support of LGBT rights and the need for families and communities to embrace their LGBT populations. Jane has spoken at BNP Paribas Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a variety of universities including The College of New Jersey, high schools and churches.
Laura Birk is the Vice President of Human Resources for Barilla America where she has been for over 9 years. Laura is responsible for all the talent management and people processes supporting the Americas business which includes the Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Brazil. She is a Board Member for the company, and has the pleasure to serve over 500 employees in the Americas. Laura’s leads a great team who has won several industry awards for wellness, employee benefits, and talent management and development activities. She received her degree from Drury University and prior to her current role, Laura spent 9 years at Morgan Stanley.
Peter Drake graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Business School, and owned a consulting firm to the non-profit industry. He also worked in Banking, Marketing, and Real Estate. Peter has served on many non-profit boards, and now volunteers through his COIL Foundation (www.coilfoundation.org). He came out in 2009 as a gay man after a long straight marriage, and has two adult children, both of whom are gay. With a strong personal faith, Peter dedicates his time and experience to helping organizations which support Coming Out Into Light: celebrating LGTBQ social justice and faith in an authentic way. Peter has appeared on the Dr. Oz show, testified in the California State Senate, and serves on the board of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, the Grace Cathedral, and the Tyler Clementi Foundation. His passion for music led him to envision “Tyler’s Suite,” and he was central to commissioning this powerful song cycle. Peter makes his home in San Francisco, and travels extensively.
Alan S. Buie-King
Alan is the president and chief operating officer of Workplace Options, a global employee well-being company providing emotional, physical, and practical support to more than 46 million people worldwide. He is highly regarded as an innovator and visionary by the international business community for his professional accomplishments, and known as a champion of social and political progress by the LGBT community for his efforts to advance an equal rights agenda. Living in North Carolina, Alan is a founding member of both the LGBT Center of Raleigh, the largest community organization of its kind in the state, and Out! Raleigh, one of the Southeast’s largest celebrations of LGBT life. He is also currently on the board of Equality NC, a statewide organization dedicated to securing equality and justice for LGBT people.
Trisha Prabhu is a 16-year-old high school student, innovator, social-entrepreneur and inventor of ReThink – an effective way to stop cyberbullying. ReThink is a non-intrusive, innovative, patented software product that stops cyberbullying before the bullying occurs. Inspired by the news story of the death of an 11-year old girl that committed suicide because she was repeatedly cyberbullied, Trisha took on the cause to find a solution to stop cyberbullying.Trisha has travelled the world spreading the ReThink message at global platforms such as TEDxTeen(London), TEDxGateway(Mumbai), The White house Science fair (Washington D.C.), Aspen Ideas festival (Aspen, CO), La Ciudad De Las Ideas (Mexico) and various national and international forums, schools and universities. Trisha was selected as a Global Teen Leader by We Are Family Foundation. She has won several awards for her effort – including the “Global Anti-bullying Hero award” (student) and Anti-bullying Champion award from Princess Diana Awards, UK. She was also awarded Daily Points of Light award for extraordinary volunteering from President George H W Bush’s foundation and Upstander Legacy Award from Tyler Clementi foundation. Trisha was selected as Global Finalist at world-wide Google Science Fair competition 2014 and winner of the MIT Inspire 2016 Award for her ReThink product. Trisha was recently invited by the White House and the US State Department as an honored guest and delegate to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016 in Silicon Valley.Trisha has successfully rolled out ReThink on Android and iOS devices as a free app. She is currently working tirelessly to roll-out the ReThink app to every mobile device and desktop computer in schools and communities at no cost to them. In order to engage her fellow adolescents in the ReThink movement, Trisha has created a ReThink Ambassador Program where students can become ambassadors and spread the ReThink movement at their schools to conquer cyberbullying.
Neil Giacobbi is associate vice president for public affairs at AT&T. Based in New York City, Neil develops campaigns that position AT&T in the New York market as thought leader applying mobile technologies for human, social and community purpose. His first collaboration between app developers and the New York transit authority, the MTA, pioneered transit apps for riders and system operators. Another initiative with the NYC Department of Transportation sourced smartphone technologies helping pedestrians, cyclists and drivers stay alert on crowded urban streets. And in 2015, in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Neil created AT&T’s Connect Ability global innovation contest to source mobile technologies serving people with disabilities. This year Neil is building a collaboration with AT&T and the Tyler Clementi Foundation to produce valuable research surveying teens and parents on Internet safety that includes teen-made films about risky online behavior. The New York City campaigns help AT&T build coalitions, attract talent, articulate through earned media AT&T’s corporate citizenship and build goodwill with policy makers, higher education and the tech community.
Robin Dillard, a business equality advocate and supplier diversity expert, is CEO and Managing Principal of The Business Equality Network (BEQ) and Publisher of Business Equality Pride (BEQ Pride) magazine.
The Business Equality Network (BEQ) is a group of strategic media, consulting, research and business accelerators committed to reaching and empowering LGBTQ, women, minority and other underrepresented, underserved and underutilized business communities. BEQ leverages its dedicated communication platforms to facilitate an increase in cross-sector (public, private, civil society) engagement of diverse professionals, business-owners and entrepreneurs.
Prior to BEQ, Robin co-founded Affinity Inc Magazine. Affinity Inc Magazine was the first national publication solely dedicated to LGBT equality in business. During her tenure at Affinity Inc Magazine, Dillard championed the national LGBT business voice with the support of brands like American Airlines, Apple, Chevron, EY, IBM and United Airlines. Dillard also created the Top Corporations for LGBT Economic Empowerment list, recognizing 100 large employers for their contribution to the well-being of LGBT businesses and employees.
Robin is a former IBM management consultant, federal civil servant with the Internal Revenue Service and inventor of System and Method for Outcomes-based Delivery of Services, US 20070143159 A1- USPTO, 2007 (patent pending).
She is also a six-time marathoner, an HRC Athlete for Equality, member of the Board Trustees of the Elisabeth Morrow School, Board Member of TurnOut and a portraitist. Robin is a graduate of Chatham College with a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. She lives in Englewood, NJ, with her husband and daughter.
Kevin Carroll, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management, and his team work with a small and select number of ultra high net worth families and individuals, delivering and customizing highly sophisticated wealth management solutions. Prior to MS, Kevin was at Goldman Sachs PWM for almost 13 years, where he was a member of the prestigious Advisory Council, awarded only to the top 20 percent of advisors.
Kevin hails originally from the Midwest, where he grew up in Chicago. He obtained his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Notre Dame and upon graduation immediately went to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers where he covered a variety of Fortune 500 accounts as a CPA. He eventually became a manager at PwC. Kevin then opted to pursue business school and obtained his MBA from Wharton where he was immediately named to the Dean’s list, the top 10% of students.
Kevin joined the board of TCF in November 2016. Kevin also serves as a board member of NOVA Hope for Haiti as well as The Chris Lary Memorial Fund of the Alliance for Catholic Education at Notre Dame. He is also actively involved with Facing History & Ourselves, most recently serving as a board member in Chicago for over ten years. Kevin is a resident of Manhattan and makes his home in the West Village.
Sean M. Kosofsky, Executive Director
Most recently Sean M. Kosofsky was the Executive Director for Amplify US. Amplify US was created to drive a research and data-driven agenda for charitable organizations working on social change. From 2009-2013 he was the Executive Director for Blueprint North Carolina, a statewide collaboration that brings together over 50 public interest advocacy organizations to shape policy and increase voter turnout. Blueprint provides staff support to partner organizations and delivers hundreds of thousands of dollars in training, technology and funding to them each year.
Kosofsky is the former Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice NC, where he helped direct their work on the successful passage of comprehensive sex-education through the NC General Assembly in the spring of 2009.
Prior to NARAL, Kosofsky was the Director of Policy for Michigan’s leading LGBT advocacy organization, the Triangle Foundation (now Equality Michigan). Among other accomplishments, Kosofsky helped introduce and build support for the eventual passage of Michigan’s anti-bullying statute (Matt’s Safe Schools Law).
Kosofsky is a former board member and co-chair of the Equality Federation, the largest LGBT lobbying and activist network in the nation. In that role, he worked to grow state and local LGBT activism aggressively in every U.S. state and territory. Kosofsky is a former columnist for Between the Lines (Michigan) and an Op-ed writer for the Progressive Media Project, which has helped place his opinion pieces in newspapers across the country.
Kosofsky has broad political, campaign and fundraising experience. He was the Co-Chair for the statewide campaign to defeat the North Carolina anti-marriage equality ballot measure in 2012. He is the former Treasurer of Equality North Carolina’s Political Action Committee and the former director of Michigan Pride PAC. He is also former board member of State Voices and former board member of Planned Parenthood Health Systems Action Fund.
James Clementi, Outreach Coordinator
James Clementi is the oldest brother of Tyler Clementi. The loss of his brother was a life-altering event for James, and sent him on a path of activism for bullying prevention, suicide prevention, and LGBT rights. Like his brother Tyler, James is gay. The core part of his message is the equality of LGBT people in our society and the devastating consequences of bullying on our young people. Bullying that happens face-to-face and online through social media has become an epidemic among our youth. James is focused on reaching out to LGBT and vulnerable youth, using Tyler’s story as a tool to reinforce the inherent value of each life. Respect, love and equality are the key components of his message. James envisions a youth culture where kindness is cool, and respect is the norm. James has written about his experience for Out Magazine, spoken at events such as the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’ First Annual Voice Awards as well as television programs Anderson Cooper 360 and Rock Center with Brian Williams, and has blogged about bullying in The Huffington Post.
Jonill Mayer, Development Director
A fundraising professional with a focus on social justice, Jonill received a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a master’s degree from Sotheby’s Institute and the University of Manchester, from which she graduated with Merit.
Before pursuing a career as a writer and strategic communications expert in PR, art, and fashion, Jonill served as the Corporate Beverage Manager for B.R. Guest, Inc., where she improved the profitability of its wine program while managing 17 Beverage Directors.
Looking for a way to meld her background with an interest in philanthropy, Jonill joined a fundraising and design studio called Wingo, Inc. in 2010. There she spearheaded intimate fundraisers and successfully reinvigorated existing galas for clients such as the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and the New York City AIDS Memorial.
Before proudly joining the Tyler Clementi Foundation full-time as its Development Director, Jonill acted as the foundation’s fundraising counsel for two and a half years, during which time she dramatically grew the size and impact of its annual gala and oversaw the national tour of Tyler’s Suite – the perfect combination of arts and advocacy.
Jonill is delighted to continue her work with the Foundation in-house, and looks forward to helping the foundation continue to grow and expand its leadership role in the anti-bullying sector.
Akilah Elfe Wooten, Administrative Assistant
Akilah Wooten is a graduate of the University of Hartford. There she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism. She had the opportunity to utilize her creative skills as a Marketing and Development Associate in Development and Special Projects while working for The Brownsville Multiservice Family Health Center. There she organized the coordination and management of the different contractors in the expansion of the facility. She created company literature, campaign marketing and promotional materials, both print and electronic.
As part of her entrepreneurial ventures, she is the Social Media Developer and Events Manager for two not-for-profits; Good Morning Parents (GMP) & Parent Action Community (PAC) with the goal of Making A Difference for the Business. She has also worked as a Political Associate and Assistant Campaign Manager where she created and organized marketing campaigns and fundraisers as well as trained volunteers.
An avid sports enthusiast and consummate athlete, Akilah has traveled abroad for both soccer and basketball through high school and college. As a Girls’ High School Varsity Basketball Coach and Girls’ Assistant Soccer Coach, Akilah has a passion to be an active part of assisting young women to be the leaders of their lives and the world around them. She is proud to be able to do her part in promoting fair treatment and respect for all at the Tyler Clementi Foundation.
Katey Aquilina, #Day1 Program Coordinator
Katey Aquilina is a communications and public relations expert with a background in community organizing and strategic planning. Prior to working with the Tyler Clementi Foundation, Katey managed projects with organizations including Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan, Music 4 More, and United Food and Commercial Workers. She played a key role in development of advances in youth voter mobilization and has lead state and national voter outreach projects. In 2004, Katey received the Reproductive Rights Award from the Michigan Chapter of NOW. She graduated Eastern Michigan University with degrees in Political Science and Communications and holds certifications from the University of Delaware and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Katey also has a background in early childhood development and has worked in various educational environments with youth. Currently, she serves as the external communications advisor for Alpha Gamma Delta Women’s Fraternity’s chapter at Villanova University.
Katey has a passion for ensuring that individuals thrive within a culture of respect. She is proud to be a part of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and the #Day1 Campaign to ensure that all people are able to proudly be their most authentic selves
Shane Luitjens, Digital Strategist
Shane Luitjens is an award-winning experienced interactive strategist, art director and creative technician with skills that span media as well as scale (billboard to handheld device). His work for companies as Monster.com, Verizon Wireless, Priority Healthcare (ExpressScripts), AirTran Airways, and drugstore.com has been recognized by Communication Arts, HOW Magazine, and the Pearl Awards, to name a few.