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SpeakOUT’s Board of Directors for 2017-2018

SpeakOUT welcomed three new board members in the last six months who will be helping to guide our work in the coming years. We have a very talented group of eight now working together on organizational growth and sustainability. If you are interested in learning more about SpeakOUT and how you can become involved with the organization, please email Executive Director Ellyn Ruthstrom at ellyn@speakoutboston.org.

Michael Bookman headshotMichael Bookman’s attendance at SpeakOUT’s Speaker Training in 2012 inspired him to learn more about the organization and he has been volunteering and speaking for SpeakOUT ever since, joining the Board of Directors in 2014. Michael has served on the Volunteer Recognition Committee and as a disaster services instructor for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, and as the co-chair of Boston Pride’s Human Rights and Education Committee. Currently in graduate school at Emmanuel College, Michael holds a bachelor’s degree of science in psychology, and a master’s degree of science in management. He is a human resources professional and belongs to the Society of Human Resources Management. For over nine years, Michael has been a proud member and executive club committee member of Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organization that helps its members develop their public speaking and leadership skills.

Meg Duberek joined the board of SpeakOUT in March 2017. Meg previously volunteered with Horizons for Homeless Children and REACH Beyond Domestic Violence. After the November 2016 election, she was reinvigorated to spend her free time focusing on social change. Meg values the focus of SpeakOUT on breaking down interpersonal barriers and changing hearts and minds, and knows that this vital work must go hand in hand with policy change within our political climate. During the work day, Meg is a member of the Communications team at an education consulting nonprofit. She analyzes reporting, tracks data, and assists with website development. In her spare time, she is usually found outside hiking, kayaking, or in a hammock with her kindle. 

Jess FickJessica Fick joined the SpeakOUT board in September 2015. Jess has served in a variety of talent/organizational development focused roles throughout her career in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about helping organizations run well and become better places to work/volunteer, so that they can make even more of an impact. Her day job involves leading the talent function at an education consulting firm, for which she has recently taken on the role of integrating diversity and inclusion efforts into the overall recruitment and employee engagement efforts. She joined SpeakOUT to learn and extend her impact beyond work. As an LGBTQ ally, Jess is a true believer in building stronger and more inclusive communities and cultures through listening and understanding the unique perspectives and experiences of others. In her spare time, Jess enjoys walking, hiking, and biking with her husband and dog.

George Grattan headshotGeorge Grattan’s career track and volunteer history has wound through the woods of academia, non-profits, marketing, writing, acting, public speaking, board service, environmental activism, and general “doing of stuff.” George joined the board of SpeakOUT in the fall of 2014, and prior to that was a board member of Living Routes, an environmental study-abroad program. His day gig focuses on marketing academic and social media content for Bentley University in Waltham, where he resides with his wife Mary. He has worked in the past for Earthwatch, the Urban Ecology Institute, Boston College, and the College of the Holy Cross. He has co-authored and co-edited both editions of Writing Places, a place-based composition reader for first-year college courses, and can be found every third Tuesday of the month at a “Bi Guys Bowling Night.” George is now serving as SpeakOUT’s Board Chair and is also one of our active speakers.

Jenn Guneratne joined SpeakOUT’s board in July 2014, having initially signed on as a volunteer in late 2013 to assist with the organization’s social media presence. Since then, she has watched the board grow with a number of highly talented and enthusiastic members. Jenn is excited to be involved with the Board during this time of growth and she is serving in the role of Board Clerk. Professionally, Jenn has worked in both arts organizations and educational institutions, and is currently working for the Undergraduate Affairs department at Boston University College of Communication. Jenn’s background and interests span the gamut of drama, music and musicology, photography, deaf studies, involvement with the LGBTQ community and commuting around the city on her trusty bike.

 

Jackie Pomposelli joined SpeakOUT Boston’s board in April 2017. Jackie has been involved with several non-profit organizations over the years advocating for human and environmental rights. Jackie’s involvement with SpeakOUT ties directly to her belief that providing people with a platform to share personal experiences helps to break down stereotypes and provide a sense of understanding that would not exist if people remain silent. In her day job, Jackie works in project management for Reebok’s US Retail team. In her spare time, Jackie loves spending time with her loved ones, cooking, and enjoying the outdoors, specifically her favorite beach in Marshfield.

alley photo

Alley Stoughton became an LGBTQ activist in Kansas during the fight against a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution restricting marriage to one man and one woman. The amendment passed, but the process of fighting it had beneficial effects for many participants, both personal and professional. In Alley’s case, it gave her the courage to transition genders, restarting a process that had been stalled for decades; it also led to her becoming a social and political activist, taking on leadership roles in a new LGBTQ rights organization as well as in an established peace and justice organization. Alley and her wife moved to Boston in 2010. In her professional life, she’s a research computer scientist, and currently works mostly remotely for a research institute located in Madrid. She trained as a SpeakOUT speaker in the fall of 2014, and joined the SpeakOUT board in the summer of 2015. She’s also a member of WMBR, MIT’s community radio station, where she hosts a modern classical music program.

Rob Symanski joined SpeakOUT’s Board of Directors in April 2017. Currently a Finance Director and MBA candidate at Boston College, Rob has worked in the nonprofit sector for the majority of his career. He is passionate about public service and hopes to make a social impact with the work he does as a volunteer. In his free time he enjoys travel, art, music and architecture. He currently serves as the Treasurer for SpeakOUT and believes that his work as a Board member will help to create a more inclusive and safe community for LGBTQ individuals in the Boston area.

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