Alana Jochum is an attorney and Executive Director of Equality Ohio. She received her B.A. in English and B.S. in Psychology from Baldwin Wallace University in 2005. She has been passionately engaged in the fight for LGBTQ equality at the local, state, national, and international level for more than a decade.
After college, Alana traveled to Mumbai, India to volunteer with the Humsafar Trust, a nongovernmental organization working to advance LGBTQ equality in India. After returning home, she worked at United Way of Greater Cleveland and continued her LGBTQ volunteer work through the Human Rights Campaign.
In 2007, Alana attended Cleveland Marshall College of Law where she served as Editor in Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review. She became an Associate at Squire Patton Boggs, LLP in 2010 where she focused her legal practice on complex civil litigation, international law, product liability disputes and other commercial litigation. She also represented clients in habeas proceedings before the Sixth Circuit and at the District court level.
Alana left Squire in 2014 to work with Equality Ohio full time where she has the privilege of advocating for LGBTQ equality statewide full time.
Project and Field Director
Rachel’s husband. Ella Marie’s papa. Thinker. Woodworker. Story teller. Servant leader. Spiritual seeker. Transman. Alex joined Equality Ohio in August of 2015. Prior to joining our team, he held positions with Reconciling Ministries Network as an Ohio Field Organizer, and as a Faith Consultant for Why Marriage Matters Ohio. He is passionate about equipping leaders to engage in competent and compassionate advocacy, especially for the transgender community. Alex accomplishes this primarily through offering training opportunities for and promoting the voices of affirming faith communities, small business owners, educators, and corporate employee resource groups.
Southwest Ohio Coordinator
Grant Stancliff joined Equality Ohio in December of 2012 and serves as Communications Director. He has a background in messaging the ideas of social justice movements, including violence prevention, the impacts of institutional racism, and the intersection of LGBTQ issues in these realms. He has designed and implemented social marketing campaigns aimed at the public good within public health frameworks. Formally, he was the managing editor of Partners in Social Change and the online editor of The Easterner.
Northeast Ohio Coordinator
Director of Finance and Policy - Consultant
Kim Welter, CEO of KLW Consulting, LLC serves a the Director of Finance and Policy after previously serving as Deputy Director and Director of Programs and Outreach at Equality Ohio. She also briefly served as interim Executive Director; with over ten years of experience with the organization, she is Equality Ohio’s most seasoned staff member. She joined the organization in 2008 after serving as the Executive Director of Equality Toledo for over 2 years.
A graduate of University of Michigan, she got her secondary teaching certificate through the University of Findlay and her Master of Arts and Education from the University of Toledo where she taught composition for 3 years. Kim is a 2009/2010 graduate of the Center for Progressive Leadership and serves on the board of Lesbians Benefiting the Arts.
In 2010, Kim took a leave of absence from Equality Ohio to serve as Campaign Manager for the ONE Bowling Green Campaign in Bowling Green, Ohio which successfully defended two local non-discrimination ordinances from a ballot initiative to repeal.
Field and Policy Organizer
Marshall is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University, where he received his B.S. in Neuroscience with a Minor in Global Public Health. Marshall joined Equality Ohio first as a volunteer, and then as a fellow, in 2017. During this time, he’s worked to further Equality Ohio’s efforts to pass statewide non-discrimination protections and to educate community members about the importance of such protections.
Previously, Marshall served as President of Primary Care Progress at OSU, a student organization committed to promoting primary care as a means of addressing health disparities, improving health outcomes, and reducing healthcare spending. Marshall has also served in various volunteer capacities at Riverside Methodist Hospital and Equitas Health.
In his role as Field and Policy Organizer, Marshall hopes to advance Equality Ohio’s mission by building coalitions in support of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices across the state.
Mary Zaller joined Equality Ohio in November of 2014. For the previous 3 years she was the Director of Development for the ninth quadrennial international Gay Games, which were held in Cleveland and Akron in August, 2014. She oversaw all fundraising for Gay Games 9, which were the first Gay Games in history to finish in the black and with a surplus.
Mary has worked in the LGBTQ Community in Cleveland since 2003, and is a strong advocate for social justice and systemic change. Previously she worked in the broadcast special effects industry in Europe and Los Angeles. Mary is a Cleveland native and resides in Ohio City.
Managing Legal Director
Maya Simek is the Managing Legal Director at Equality Ohio, and is currently in the process of developing a state-wide legal clinic for the lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer (LGBTQ+) community. Ms. Simek further serves as a Clinical Law Professor for Case Western Reserve’s Health & Human Trafficking Clinic.
Ms. Simek focuses her practice on legal issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community and human trafficking prevention and victim redress. Other areas of interest for Ms. Simek include community lawyering and the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly with social services, on the efficacy of legal practice. The focus on these areas of interest inspired Ms. Simek’s spearheading of a law clinic for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS engaging in case management services at the Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center in 2012.
Ms. Simek earned her J.D. in 2010 from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, her M.S.S.A in 2007 from Case Western Reserve’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and her B.S. in 2000 from John Carroll University. Ms. Simek is admitted to the bar in Ohio and California. In addition, she is an Ohio Licensed Independent Social Worker with Supervision designation(LISW-S).
Executive Team Assistant and Grant Associate
Raisa joined Equality Ohio in September 2013 and is a recent grad of Bowling Green state university with a degree in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She got her start in the movement as a student organizer on the One Bowling Green Campaign in 2010. Her experience with One BG ignited a fire and love for social justice work which led her to work as a volunteer on a few campaigns and issues until she earned a spot on the Equality Express Tour, a project of Equality Ohio in 2012. She more recently worked as a fellow with the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce on a campaign to pass ENDA.
Raisa, in this position, is ready to devote her skills and talent to making Ohio a welcoming place for everyone. She is very excited to be a part of the Equality Ohio team and the amazing work that is being done.
Siobhan Boyd-Nelson joined Equality Ohio as the Development Director in 2018. She received her B.A. in Legal Communication from Howard University in 2002. She returned home to Columbus and earned her J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2005. Her involvement in Columbus’ LGBTQ community began shortly thereafter and has included leadership positions on the boards of LinkOUT, Scarlet & Gay (the OSU GLBT Alumni Society), and the Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation.
Siobhan practiced law in the domestic, probate, and appellate fields before entering the nonprofit sector in 2012. At Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Siobhan served as the development and marketing manager before moving to Stonewall Columbus where she led the community center’s capital campaign.
At Equality Ohio, Siobhan looks forward to strengthening LGBTQ philanthropy across the state and deepening our civic commitment to lived and legal equality.
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