June is recognized as Pride Month celebrating the strides made by the LGBTQ communities towards equality and inclusiveness. To commemorate Pride Month, Controller Galperin is hosting a discussion in his “Conversations with the Controller” series featuring civic, business, and nonprofit leaders in the LGBTQ+ community. Scheduled for 5 p.m. June 24, the event will highlight how the different sectors have worked to uplift LGBTQ+ employees and eliminate barriers to advancement, while also recognizing the important and practical work that remains to be done.
Marquita Thomas (she/her/hers), who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, where she works to grow LGBT businesses through business development, networking, and legislative strategies. She is also a planning commissioner for the City of West Hollywood and has been on the City’s Lesbian Visibility Board. In 2015, she was appointed as co-chair to the Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, followed by an appointment to the West Hollywood Human Services Commission in 2019.
Michaela Mendelsohn (she/her/hers), a transgender activist, public speaker, and businesswoman with over 40 years of entrepreneurial leadership experience. She is the founder of TransCanWork and currently serves as the CEO of Pollo West Corp, a franchise group for El Pollo Loco restaurants. In 2018, she was selected as the “Face of Diversity” for the restaurant industry and led the L.A. Pride Parade as the Grand Marshall that year.
Eden Anaï Luna (they/them/theirs), a transfeminine nonbinary individual, is the Program Manager for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP), which offers holistic support for transgender people in need of legal and economic assistance. They also serve as a council member for the Trans Advisory Council (TAC) for the City of Los Angeles, as well as a board member for the Trans Advisory Board (TAB) for the City of West Hollywood.
Lisa Middleton (she/her/hers), the Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Palm Springs, where she also serves on the Palm Springs City Council. She was the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in the state of California. In addition to her elected duties, she is an active member of the Riverside County Transportation Commission, Sunline Board of Directors and Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy.