Stonewall Visionary Leaders

Stonewall Visionary Leaders

Our community is made of many remarkable individuals who have provided leadership to help move us all forward in the LGBT right movement. This leadership can take many forms – community organizing and mobilizing, raising awareness of LGBT issues and stories, providing scholarships to deserving students, and more.

For over 20 years, the Foundation has been recognizing strong leadership via our grants process by identifying organizations poised to make a big impact in our community. In 2008, we began awarding the annual Stonewall VISION Award at our Stonewall VISION Dinner . Learn more about some of the leaders we’ve recognized by reading the bios they provided when they received their Stonewall VISION Award.


CYNTHIA WADE is a NYC-based documentary filmmaker. Her short documentary Freeheld won an Academy Award®, a Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and 13 other film festival awards. Wade directed and shot the five-time award-winning HBO documentary Shelter Dogs, which was broadcast in seven countries, as well as the 1999 Cinemax Reel Life documentary Grist For The Mill, which The Hollywood Reporter called “a delight…full of quirky moments and clever humor” and Variety called “a jewel…extremely comical.”Wade was co-producer and the principal verite cinematographer for the 1998 PBS documentary Taken In: The Lives of America’s Foster Children, which was awarded a Columbia-DuPont Award for Excellence in Journalism. She has been cameraperson for PBS, HBO/Cinemax, Bravo, AMC, MTV, A&E, Discovery, TNT, Oxygen, LOGO and The History Channel.Wade’s corporate clients have included Intel, the Gap, Met Life and Goldman Sachs. She has directed commissioned documentaries for the National Guard Youth Foundation, Job Corps, Yale University and Phoenix Children’s Hospital, among other non-profit clients.Wade teaches digital cinematography at The New School in New York. She received a BA cum laude from Smith College and an MA in Documentary Film Production from Stanford University.Wade runs the documentary production companies Cynthia Wade Productions, Inc. and Lieutenant Films, Inc., and lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

SCOTT SANDERS is one of the entertainment industry’s most creative and prolific entrepreneurs, with a proven track record of producing quality entertainment properties for a variety of media. In addition to his credit as lead producer of the 11 Tony Award-nominated hit Broadway musical The Color Purple, he is widely credited with the historic turnaround of Radio City Music Hall.

Additional credits include Elaine Stritch: At Liberty, which won the 2002 Tony Award, and the HBO special of “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty,” which won two Emmy Awards, including one for Sanders for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.

Sanders partnered with Queen Latifah in a groundbreaking music partnership to record and produce her first vocal album, The Dana Owens Album, which is approaching platinum sales status and received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

He also produced the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance and pop star Josh Groban’s Broadway debut in a concert version of Chess at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Sanders also launched film and television powerhouse Mandalay Entertainment with partner and chairman Peter Guber and served as president of Mandalay Television, executive producing six network series – in association with Columbia TriStar – including ABC’s “Cupid” with Jeremy Piven and the WB’s “Young Americans” with Kate Bosworth.

He is the CEO of Scott Sanders Productions, a New York-based feature film and live-theatre production company, which has a first look motion picture deal with Walt Disney Studios.



Dustin Lance Black is a multi-talented writer, producer and director, having won the 2008 Academy Award ® and Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay for MILK, the Gus Van Sant-directed biopic of the late gay rights activist Harvey Milk. Recently, Black began pre-production on his feature directorial debut WHAT’S WRONG WITH VIRGINIA, a drama with stars Liam Neeson and Jennifer Connelly currently attached. In addition, Black and Van Sant will re-team for ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST, an adaptation of the celebrated Tom Wolfe novel set up at Fox Searchlight.

An honors graduate of UCLA’s School of Film and Television, Black began his professional career as an art director on commercials, and quickly transitioned to directing documentaries, television series, commercials and music videos. Black’s first two documentaries ON THE BUS (2001) and MY LIFE WITH COUNT DRACULA (2003) both debuted to acclaim and subsequent festival success. ON THE BUS, originally commissioned as a half-hour internet program about a group of young men traveling to the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, was re-edited into an independent feature by Black, and later developed a cult following amongst the festival’s diverse fan base. MY LIFE WITH COUNT DRACULA, an in-depth look at the final days of Dr. Donald A. Reed, creator of the Count Dracula Society-turned-Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2003. The success of these two projects, coupled with Black’s narrative short film SOMETHING CLOSE TO HEAVEN (which was named one of the ten best shorts of 2001 and earned Black a spot on AMC’s “Five Filmmakers to Watch” special), lead to a successful stint producing, directing and writing TLC’s hit program FAKING IT, based upon the famous BBC series about ordinary citizens spending time in a field far removed from their normal lives. The program received notices for its unflinching sociological commentaries.

In 2004, Black signed on to draw on his devout Mormon childhood experiences in San Antonio, Texas as a writer on HBO’s Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated polygamist drama BIG LOVE. Black recently wrapped the third season of the series, in which he also served as co-producer. During his work on the series, Black often traveled to San Francisco, where he spent many years as a teenager, to research the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to a major public office. Milk’s message of hope lead Black to pen his screenplay for MILK, which stars Academy Award® winner Sean Penn, Academy Award® Nominee Josh Brolin, James Franco, and Emile Hirsch. The film was released by Focus Features in November 2008 to unanimous praise, later receiving 8 Oscar® Nominations including Best Picture of the Year.

Prior to MILK, Black penned the story and screenplay for PEDRO, the first scripted project from Bunim-Murray Productions about the life and legacy of famed REAL WORLD cast member Pedro Zamora. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and debuts on MTV this spring.


In 1989, Mitchell Gold and his business partner, Bob Williams, created a furniture company in Taylorsville, North Carolina ( Today, Gold and Williams head a nationally recognized company which boasts a 600,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art factory with a family friendly-work environment that includes an on-site not-for-profit daycare center (the first of its kind in the residential furniture industry). There is also a growing chain of freestanding Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signature stores across the country and internationally in cities including New York; Washington, DC; Greenwich, CT; Boston; Atlanta; Miami; Houston; Nashville; Ann Arbor; Portland, OR; Los Angeles; San Juan; and Mexico City.
Mitchell started the company while living openly with Bob Williams in their rural North Carolina community. (They were originally life partners and now live separately as best friends and business partners.) So, like the other contributors to this book, Mitchell has lived its subject matter. Mitchell’s management style represents the power of entrepreneurial skills working in the service of social change. His dedication to maintaining fair practices in the workplace extends to a commitment to making the world a more comfortable place. In addition to running a $100M company, he has provided comfort to people in need and serves as an example of an individual firmly committed to his ideals. He plays a major role in the national dialogue on gay rights. In December 2005, he established Faith in America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people about how religion-based bigotry is used to justify discrimination against gay people. (See has been recognized as a major force for good in the fight for gay rights by numerous organizations, including: The Human Rights Campaign: Board of Directors for seven years and Nov. 2007 Equality Honoree, Palm Springs. National Black Justice Coalition: April 2008 Leadership Award. Out magazine: April 2007, “Top 50 Most Powerful Gay People in America” list.Gay Men’s Health Crisis: March 2007 25th Anniversary Dinner Honoree.The Advocate magazine: 2006 “People of the Year Award” for Faith in America. Vox Vodka + Out: 2004 Vox/Out Voices of Style + Design Award.Mitchell’s work for gay rights has forged friendships with prominent members of the gay community–and led to a number of them wanting to join him in creating his recently released book entitled “Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain & Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America.” Funny and smacking of “smart,” he has always been passionate about comfort, and his definition of “comfort” goes far beyond the “sit” of a sofa. It is his passionate belief that true comfort cannot be achieved without true equality for all—something he is committed to making happen.
Mitchell has had extensive media experience, including two appearances on The Today Show and a satellite media tour for his first book, Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home (Meredith Books, 2007).
Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Mitchell lived in New York City for many years and now resides in North Carolina with his partner, Tim Scofield.



Ken Green was elected President of the Board of Directors in January of 2006. Prior, he served as Vice-President of the Foundation and Co-chair of Generation Next, a Stonewall-advised fund to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth.In his professional life, Ken is a leading authority in online luxury travel marketing and advertising. As Senior Vice President of Luxury Link, the largest luxury travel web site in the world, Ken oversees multiple marketing, sales and account management teams across three brands and was the senior executive recruited to develop and launch Luxury Link’s multi-million dollar display advertising platform.Before joining Luxury Link, Ken held several managerial and sales positions with The New York Times Company, developing a number of key products for ‘New York Times on the Web’ while maintaining revenue responsibility for national advertising sales and all online classified categories. Before working at The New York Times, he was a Senior Financial Analyst at Thomson McKinnon and a Senior Internal Auditor at Merrill Lynch & Company.Ken has a Masters of Business Administration from Hofstra University.

Jerry Mitchell is currently making his West End debut as director with the new hit musical, Legally Blonde, for which he also served as Choreographer there and on Broadway and was nominated for both the Tony and Drama Desks Awards for his choreography and the Drama Desk Award for his Broadway direction. He also choreographed the current West End production of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to his Phantom of the Opera, titled Love Never Dies, heading for Broadway later this year.Jerry received Broadway’s Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for his dazzling choreography created for the 2005 Tony Award winning Best Revival of La Cage Aux Folles, having also been nominated for the Tony Award in the same category for the smash hit musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.Previously, Jerry had received Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Award nominations for choreographing Hairspray and Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations for choreographing The Full Monty, both shows having been directed by his cherished collaborator, Jack O’Brien. Jerry began his choreographic career as associate choreographer to Michael Bennett on Scandal and Jerome Robbins on Jerome Robbins Broadway. Emmy-nominated for choreographing The Drew Carey Show, his memorable film work includes In and Out; Camp; Drop Dead Gorgeous and Scent of a Woman.For Broadway, Jerry also choreographed the hit revival of Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters, which combined his own work with his recreation of Jerome Robbins’ original, as well as Never Gonna Dance, the first and only Broadway musical based on an Astaire/Rogers film, making him one of the only choreographers to ever have three Broadway musicals running simultaneously (a distinction which occurred yet again in 2005 with the simultaneous runs of Hairspray; La Cage Aux Folles and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). Prior to those productions, Jerry choreographed the Broadway revivals of The Rocky Horror Show (Drama Desk nomination) You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Hedwig and the Angry Inch (on stage and film); the national tour of Jekyll & Hyde and Paper Mill Playhouse’s critically acclaimed Follies, featuring Ann Miller.Jerry proudly conceives, directs and choreographs Broadway Bares, a comedy burlesque performed annually for the charity Broadway Cares. Most recently, he choreographed a new Broadway-bound musical based on the film, Catch Me If You Can (again with Jack O’Brien as director) and directed and choreographed Peepshow, a Las Vegas extravaganza production show. Currently, he is supervising the writing of Broadway musicals based on the films, Mad Hot Ballroom, Kinky Boots and Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, all of which he will direct and choreograph for Broadway.



Phyllis Dicker has always been active in women’s issues the struggle for individual rights. In her 20s, she became very active in the National Organization for Women (NOW)and served as the president of the Brooklyn chapter for many years. In addition, she held the position of Chair of the Rape Committee and the Battered Women’s Committee. At the same time, she changed careers and went back to NYU School of Social Work to pursue a Social Work Degree (MSW). In 1981, Dicker became a social worker and began working at the South Beach Psychiatric Center in both the in-patient and out-patient units. Following this position, she became the Supervisor of the Neuromuscular Disease Center at the RUSK Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, where she led the center for a decade.In the late nineties, she began a full-time private psychotherapy practice. Dicker is an active volunteer having sat on the advisory board for Spotlight Magazine, which was produced by Con Edison, and serving on the Board for The Center for Independent Living of New York. In 2010, she joined the Board of Directors of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in NYC.She is dedicated to the concept of giving back to our community, as well as to the community at large and actively seeks out ways in which she can have an impact in the lives around me.

Traub, Harvard College Class of 1980, began her career spending 11 years at Bloomingdale’s, first in the training program, and subsequently becoming a buyer, and later a divisional merchandise manager in the home furnishings area. In 1992, Traub left Bloomingdale’s to become Group Merchandise Manager over lighting and soft home at Conran’s Habitat.In 1994 she co-founded Adesso, a now industry-leading company that designs, manufacturers and distributes contemporary, innovative, and affordable home decor. Adesso’s customers include a wide range of the country’s best retailers, from Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond to Macy’s and Bloomingdales, as well as many in between.In addition to being a recognized industry leader, Traub has always been a big believer in the power and importance of philanthropy and networking. Along with Phyllis Dicker, her spouse of 28 years, they created and sponsor the Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship (TDRS). Established in 2004 under the management of the Stonewall Community Foundation, TDRS annually awards scholarship funds to 3 or 4 worthy, Lesbian-identified College and graduate students, chosen by their academic prowess, community leadership, and commitment to making a difference for the LGBT community after graduation. They also created and sponsor the Traub-Dicker Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS) Summer Fellowship, which annually awards fellowships to two worthy HKS students to do independent research on a chosen topic involving LGBT issues and public policy.Traub’s commitment to helping women professionally led her to co-found WithIt, Women in the Home Industries Today, a national trade organization that promotes the needs of professional women in the home furnishings industry, in 1997. She is an active member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, the Executive Committee of The Women’s Leadership Board at HKS, the Committee of 200, as well as the Advisory Board of the Home Products Department at F.I.T

Jeffrey Kalinsky was born in 1962 in Charleston, South Carolina into a retail family. He started working at the family shoe store, Bob Ellis, after school and in the summer. After graduating from George Washington University, Jeffrey started his retail career as shoe manager of a Bonwit Teller outside of Philadelphia. After moving to New York City he worked as the assistant shoe buyer at Bergdorf Goodman, and then on to Donna Karan and then Barney’s New York as a shoe buyer.In 1990 he moved to Atlanta to partner with his father and open a Bob Ellis shoe store. In 1994 Jeffrey expanded, opening Jeffrey, his multi designer boutique, followed by a Jil Sander store. He trains his employees in the art of personal service and requires them to attend Saturday-morning style clinics at the store. After establishing Jeffrey Atlanta he moved to New York and opened Jeffrey New York in the Meatpacking District in August 1999. Jeffrey New York was one of the first specialty stores to open in the rather isolated neighborhood on the lower west side of Manhattan.In August 2005 Kalinsky announced that Nordstrom had purchased a majority share of his 2 door retail operation. Kalinsky was then appointed Executive Vice President of Designer at Nordstrom. Both retailers are committed to making customer service a key selling point.

Bradley R. Carlson grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic. After receiving his BS in journalism and psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he moved to Washington, DC, where he spent two years working in architecture and public interest law. He then moved to Boston, where he studied architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and earned his Masters Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.Brad moved to New York City in 1992, and joined the program staff at The New York Community Trust, the community foundation of New York City. There, he worked on a variety of projects, including funding initiatives for LGBT issues and race relations.Brad served on the board of Stonewall Community Foundation for eight years, three as the organization’s Board President. He is a founding board member of Development in Gardening (“DIG”), an international nonprofit that improves the health and nutrition of HIV-affected and other at-risk individuals through sustainable gardening.Brad now splits his time between Miami Beach and New York City, and consults on issues of private wealth management and philanthropy. He also supports and helps raise funds for a number of organizations working to combat discrimination and defend human dignity, particularly in the area of LGBT rights.



Over the last twenty years, Jennifer L. Costley has served in leadership roles on the
Board of Directors and as Treasurer of community institutions such as the Anti-Violence Project, the Hetrick-Martin Institute and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission during critical periods in their growth.  As the most senior out lesbian at Credit Suisse, she has also served as co-chair of their employee resource group, the Open Network, and is currently the sponsor of their Information Technology Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Frank Selvaggi & Bill Shea were honored for the many contributions the couple has made to advancing LGBTQ equality. Frank and Bill were married in Northampton, MA in 2004. Frank is a CPA and Founding Partner at Altman, Greenfield & Selvaggi, LLP. Frank served on the Board of Directors of the Empire State Pride Agenda for 6 years, serving as Chair of the Agenda, Inc. board for two years and as Co-Chair of ESPA’s Foundation Board for three years. Frank currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and on the Board of Directors of Freedom to Marry. Bill is the National Creative Director of Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism. Like Frank, Bill is a staunch LGBTQ advocate and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ali Forney Center.

The Fire Island Pines Property Owners Association (FIPPOA) was honored for their continued support of Stonewall and New York City’s LGBTQ community. Since 1999 FIPPOA has awarded approximately $900,000 in grants to LGBTQ organizations in New York City via the Stonewall Community Foundation. With their major fundraiser, the Pines Party, they’ve reminded all of us that we can have fun and give back at the same time.