Dr. Stephanie Andrea Allen is a native southerner and out Black lesbian writer, scholar, and educator. Stephanie’s community outreach and advocacy experience includes serving as a board member of Pride Lafayette, a non-profit LGBT community center in Indiana; serving on the LGBT Studies advisory committee at Purdue University; service as a founding board member for the Bay Area Lesbian Archives Project, starting a small press dedicated to amplifying LBT, queer, and non-gender conforming women, and co-founding the Black Lesbian Literary Collective, a non-profit organization tasked with creating a nurturing and sustainable environment for Black lesbian and queer women of color writers. Stephanie earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University, and a masters degree in English from Auburn University. Prior to relocating to North Carolina, Stephanie worked in university administration as Associate Director of Social Equity and Inclusion at Mansfield University, and has been teaching at the college level for over 12 years. She relocated to North Carolina in 2015 to devote more time to her independent press. Stephanie is excited to join the Board of Trustees to represent the voices of Black lesbians and queer women of color in this area. She lives in Clayton, N.C. with her cat, Mango.
Jaci Field is in her first year serving on the Board. She comes to us a veteran activist, planner, and organizer. She was honored with the first Board Emeritus appointment for the Crape Myrtle Festival. She received this recognition after serving CMF for over 15 years in various capacities, including being the first women to serve as solo Chair/Queen and President of the Board of Directors. Jaci also volunteers with Alliance of AIDS Services of NC and Love Wins Community Engagement Center among other organizations and events.
Jaci served on the Board of Team Atlanta, and she was the Venue Chairperson for the Atlanta Games when Atlanta presented a bid for the Gay Games in South Africa. Professionally, she has worked for world events and organizing committees like the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee, and the 1999 Special Olympic World Games. She currently works for the Athletic Department at the University of North Carolina.
Jaci loves to play kickball with Stonewall Raleigh’s Shady Pitches. She can be found most of the time with her son, Declan.
Willis Ward, while Californian by birth, grew up primarily in the South due to being an Air Force Brat. After graduating from Texas A&M with a B.B.A. in Business Analysis & Research, he moved to Dallas and started working for IBM. He has called Raleigh home for over 20 years now and just recently celebrated his 25th anniversary with IBM. Between 2007 and 2015, Willis was a member of the Human Rights Campaign North Carolina – Triangle Steering Committee. He served a 4-year term on the National HRC Board of Governors. Additionally he was the Triangle Steering Committee Chair and the Membership Outreach Chair, growing the Pride program membership continuously for 4 years. Willis is looking forward to continuing his LGBT advocacy at a local level with the LGBT Center of Raleigh.
A true Southern-belle, Lauren was born and raised in Burlington, NC. She attended West Carolina University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. The big city called her name and she moved to Atlanta, GA with her college sweetheart whom she married in 2008 but she couldn’t resist the siren call of home and they moved back to NC in 2010 to start their family. Her career in the Events industry started locally at Solas Entertainment in the Glenwood South district and eventually led her to the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel as Director of Catering. With her passion for planning and styling events Lauren strives to create unique and memorable experiences for her clients. Her true passion for this work is the close relationships she builds with her clients and community members.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, John first moved to the Triangle in 1992 to attend college. When his UNC Tar Heels won the NCAA National Championship that year, he knew he had found his new home. After graduating from UNC, John moved to Charlotte to work for management consultancy Accenture. He returned to Chapel Hill in 2000 to pursue his MBA and launch his career in marketing, and has since worked in the field of brand strategy and management for companies including Kraft Foods, Hanesbrands, and Lowe’s Home Improvement. John is currently directing all brand strategy efforts for open source software leader Red Hat in Raleigh, where is also founded the company’s first LGBT employee resource group and has led its volunteer efforts for Out! Raleigh for several years running. He is excited to join the board and represent the voices of gay parents and children in our area, as well as build bridges with local corporate leaders. John lives in Holly Springs, NC, with his husband, three children, and crazy German shorthair pointer.
Andrea Fowler is a New Jersey native turned full blooded North Carolina Tarheel since 2002. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006 with a B.A. in Political Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009 and has worked as an attorney for Hyland & Padilla, PLLC in their Raleigh office practicing civil litigation. She lived in Chapel Hill for over 10 years and moved to Durham in 2013. She recently married her partner of three years in May of 2018. Andrea looks forward to supporting the queer community through devoting her time and energy at the center. In her free time, you can find her working in the garden or the yard, hiking with her wife and dogs, or playing softball on Sundays.
Randy Lewis is a proud, passionate, liberal thinker, social-justice advocate, entrepreneur, and songwriter whose mission is to be the change that he wants to see in the world. Randy is also a community minister, a father, and the husband to his spouse D’mitri. He holds an undergraduate degree in Organizational Leadership, a Master of Business Administration degree, and a Master of Divinity degree. He serves as the Managing Director of Clergy 211, an organization of inclusive and progressive clergy that provides non-judgmental rite-of-passage ceremonies for people of all walks of life. “I am working hard to make the LGBT Center of Raleigh better because I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all individuals. The Center, through its services, activities, and educational opportunities, supports these values while also providing safe and rewarding spaces and a measure of wholeness, assurance, and hope to those in our community.”
Anna claims both Tennessee and both Carolinas as home states. She enjoys her work with students with special needs. She previously served on the Human Rights Campaign Board of Governors and is excited to focus energy more locally on the Center's growth. When not working or volunteering, Anna enjoys hiking and kayaking, or (on rainy days) reading and doing crossword puzzles. Pronouns: She/her or they/them
Powell is a native North Carolinian who grew up in Winston Salem, studied in Greensboro, and currently lives Raleigh with his sweet precious four-legged spoiled rotten sweetheart, Maybelle. As an Interior Planner and Designer for The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he takes pride in improving working, educational, and healing environments of faculty, staff, and students. Given the core design values to engage the mind, body, and soul, he hopes to build upon the same nurturing relationship in the Center. Growing up in a conservative Southern Baptist community in the South, he understood what it felt like to be on the outside. We’ve come a long way since then, but we can still face the same struggle of acceptance. The need to belong, to feel safe and welcomed is still part of what makes us human. Understanding we all come out in different ways and at different points in our life, he whole-heartedly appreciates the implicit need for the Center and wants to build the bridges to a supportive and engaging group who’s here to help, listen, and build up. Powell has been a volunteer with the center for three years and is currently the Co-Chair of the Center’s Development Committee.
Gavin Vincent has a Master of Arts in Sociology and originally hails from northeast Pennsylvania. He’s called the Triangle home for the past several years and currently resides in Durham. When not working in academics, he enjoys video games and the occasional book (time permitting).
Committees of the Board
In conjunction with the overall mission of the LGBT Center of Raleigh, the collaboration committee’s mission is to connect with other organizations in the LGBT community to foster growth as well as build lasting relationships with community partners and allies. We seek to work toward a more inclusive community, paying particular attention to organizations led by people of color, disabled persons, and other marginalized communities.
Development and Marketing Committee
- To raise overall awareness of the Center and its many programs.
- To identify audience and individual profiles of those likely to invest in the Center’s success.
- To connect these audiences at the right place, at the right time, and with the right message to match them with a giving opportunity.
- To establish continuous streams of donation cash flow to grow and advance Center programming.
- To develop and execute marketing and communication plans to more deeply engage with our various audiences and stakeholder groups.
- To vigorously support and ensure the success of major Center events (e.g. OUT! Raleigh and the Awards Gala) while also developing and testing new and innovative ideas to engage new audiences.
- To identify opportunities for the Executive Director, staff, Board members, and volunteers to engage with the local community to raise the Center’s profile.
- To ultimately enable the Center to meet its goals by driving increased engagement and participation in our fundraising efforts.