Our Board

Ken Shelin (Chair) - Sarasota

Ken Shelin has been a Florida homeowner for 24 years and has lived in Sarasota with his partner of 38 years, full-time since 1996. For 34 years he worked in the enforcement arm of the United States Food and Drug Administration in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore. For much of that time, he managed a number of offices in several states as well as helped to write Federal regulations and policy documents in the drug regulatory area. He received numerous awards during his Federal service including two Reinventing Government Awards and FDA's highest individual achievement award, the Award of Merit. Subsequent to his Federal career, he consulted with pharmaceutical manufacturers throughout the world on drug regulatory compliance issues. He also planned, executed and spoke at numerous pharmaceutical manufacturer conferences sponsored by the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy in the US and Europe for a period of ten years.

Later, Ken became involved in civic affairs in the City of Sarasota and has served on the Boards of and as an officer of a number of resident, civic and government boards including the Sarasota Planning Board for 5 years and was elected to and served on the Sarasota City Commission. While on the Commission, Ken was able to convince the Commission to provide domestic partner healthcare benefits to city employees. Ken also became involved with Equality Florida as a donor and organizer of the annual Suncoast Equality Florida Gala for several years. These Galas have grown significantly in numbers of attendees and funds raised and now rival Galas in larger cities.

For the last couple of years Ken has been working in many of southwest Florida's cities and counties to create domestic partnership registry and human rights ordinances. He has been successful in the City of Sarasota, Sarasota County, Venice, North Port, Punta Gorda, and Cape Coral. He continues his work in Lee County, Fort Myers, Naples and Collier County.

Ken is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and has two daughters, a son, six grandchildren and a great granddaughter.


Mark Anderson - Tampa

Mark is a retired Information Technology manager residing in Tampa.  He spent his career in Telecommunications and Financial Services firms, and retired as Chief Technology Officer for Credit Suisse First Boston, overseeing the global technology organization of the New York based investment bank.  Since retiring, Mark has served on several non profit groups.  He is a past chairman and current member of the Tampa City Council Citizens Advisory Committee, which interacts with the City of Tampa to advise the Tampa City Council on Financial matters.  He is also currently Secretary/Treasurer and a Board member of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa.

Mark and his partner have been donors and sponsors for many arts and social reform organizations in the Tampa Bay area.  He holds a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati.

Meryl C. Friedman - Broward

Awakened by the Women's Movement in 1971, Meryl C. Friedman took her first steps as a lesbian feminist in what was to become a very rewarding yet challenging journey. She was a founding board member of the National Gay Task Force and the co-founder of the Gay Teachers' Association. She has spent her life fighting the negative stereotypes of gays and lesbians that so often lead bigotry and discrimination. She believes that, whatever the question, education is always the answer.

David Bloom - Miami

David Bloom is a Miami native who, as the son of former State Representative Elaine Bloom and Circuit Court Judge Philip Bloom, was born into a life of public service. David was the recipient of the 2013 Miami Gala Voice for Equality Community Service Award and currently serves on the Equality Florida Miami Steering and Host Committees. David served on the National Board of Directors of Family Equality Council (formerly the Family Pride Coalition), the national organization for LGBT parents. He single-handedly organized the first ever LGBT parenting event in South Florida in February 2002. He served on the Steering Committee for the Valuing Our Families LGBT Parenting Conference from 2004-2009. He was recognized in 1990 by the Fenway Community Health Center in Boston for his outstanding fundraising efforts.

David is the owner of PhysicalAdvertisingWorks.com, a marketing firm that supplies printing, wearables and promotional Items to businesses and non-profits. He received the Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) designation, which has been awarded by his industry's association to only a few select professionals who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to their profession. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and Harvard University.

David lives in Miami with his partner Damian McNamara and their sons Dawson and Donovan. He enjoys travelling and considers SCUBA diving the Great Barrier Reef one of his most thrilling trips followed by riding rollercoasters with his family.

Chris Rudisill - St. Petersburg

Chris Rudisill is the Executive Director of Stonewall National Museum & Archives, based in Ft. Lauderdale. As a community leader and visionary, Chris works to preserve and share the proud culture of the LGBTQ community. Prior to joining, SNMA Chris served as Director of LGBTQ Community Center Services at METRO in Tampa Bay from 2012-2015. METRO operates 3 LGBTQ Community Centers and an LGBT Welcome Center in the Tampa Bay region, and is home to the SAGE Tampa Bay affiliate along with many other community programs and services. From 2009-2012, Chris served as Executive Director of St. Pete Pride, Florida’s largest LGBTQ pride celebration. He has been working with non-profit organizations the majority of his professional career, has participated in the American Express National Leadership Program, and is a member of Leadership Florida, Class XXXIV. Chris has extensive experience in writing, research and speaking on LGBTQ issues on a statewide and national platform, including appearances at National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference, Florida Conference on Aging, Florida Collegiate Pride Conference, and the Lambda Legal Society of Stetson University. In addition, Chris founded and wrote “A Gay in the Life” for The Sun News, part of the McClatchy Newspaper Company from 2005-2012. Chris is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and lives with his husband in Wilton Manors, Florida.

Tricia Russell - Saint Augustine

Tricia Russell is currently VP, Business Control Manager, with Bank of America and has more than 30 years of broad banking experience. She is also a former successful small business owner.  Her educational background includes a BA in Economics and math from Kalamazoo College and an MBA in finance from the University of Michigan. 

Tricia is also broadly engaged in LGBT advocacy work.  In addition to her active involvement as a board member of Equality Florida and a member of the TransAction Florida advisory board of Equality Florida, Tricia is actively involved in various LGBT advocacy efforts in NE Florida, where she resides in Saint Augustine.  These include serving as a member of the steering team of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality (JCE) and chair of the gender identity and expression (GIE) sub-committee of the JCE.  The focus of the JCE is on securing equal rights for LGBT people that live, work and visit in NE Florida, primarily through passage of LBGT-inclusive non-discrimination policies across NE Florida communities that provide protections in the areas of employment, housing and access to public accommodations. 

In her work with the JCE, Tricia serves as an educator and spokesperson for transgender rights and equality.  As a regular speaker at city council and commissioner meetings and with other key constituent groups within the community she shares the transgender experience on a personal level with the belief that fear of the transgender community stems from lack of understanding, and that sharing human stories builds understanding that ultimately leads to acceptance.

Tricia is also a member of the global Leadership Council of the LGBT Pride employee resource group of Bank of America.  In this capacity she is involved in charting the course of one of the largest LGBT focused employee resource groups in the country, with more than 13,000 active members.   

On a more personal note, Tricia grew up in the Midwest as Patrick Russell, has been married for 33 years, is a parent of four adult children and is an avid runner and sports enthusiast. She began her transition from Patrick to Tricia on the job in 2012 at the age of 54 with the full and continuing support of her employer, Bank of America. 

Jon Harris Maurer - Tallahassee

Jon Harris Maurer lives in Tallahassee with his spouse Nate and their dog Pascal. A Fort Lauderdale native, Jon Harris moved to Houston, Texas, to attend Rice University. After graduating, he served as a legislative aide in the Texas House of Representatives and then on the Annise Parker for Mayor campaign, which successfully elected the first openly LGBT mayor of a major American city. While in law school at Florida State University, he also worked as a policy intern for the Florida House of Representatives State Affairs Committee. Jon Harris now practices environmental and administrative law with Hopping Green & Sams, P.A.

He has been actively involved in all facets of Equality Florida’s work in Tallahassee, participating in Lobby Days, organizing Equality Connection events and co-chairing the Tallahassee Gala. In addition, he devotes time to various professional organizations, volunteers with Children’s Home Society and mentors Florida State University law students.

Donn Smith - Gainesville

Donn Smith is a Gainesville-area native who returned to Florida after living for many years in San Francisco. He serves on the United Church of Gainesville’s Open and Affirming committee which promotes an inclusive spiritual sanctuary for LGBTQ+ individuals by advocating for civil rights equality and the full inclusion of all people in society. UCG was recognized with the 2015 Voice for Equality Award for its continuing work on social justice and diversity issues. In addition to his continuing involvement on the Greater Gainesville Gala Steering and Host Committees, Donn serves on the City of Gainesville Human Rights Board and is actively involved in Equality Florida’s Lobby Days.

Professionally, Donn has many years of experience in healthcare administration including private medical practices, Stanford University Medical Center and, more recently, at UF Health-Shands Hospital. He also enjoys his part-time work as an adjunct medical billing and coding instructor for adult learners. Donn has a Bachelor of Health Services Administration from Florida International University in Miami.

Donn and his husband, Dr. Melvin Lopez, are actively involved with their church, family and friends and they enjoy travel and SCUBA diving adventures, particularly within Florida.

Victor Diaz-Hermann

Victor Diaz-Herman is a proud Floridian, born and raised in Miami, he studied at Florida State University and the University of South Florida.

Victor is the Executive Director at Pridelines, South Florida’s oldest LGBTQ service agency and Miami’s LGBTQ Community Center. He is also an Operations Consultant, providing services to companies such as Worth International Media, a Florida based marketing solutions company established in 1967. He is one of fifteen members of the National LGBTQ Task Force’s National Action Council.

The son of lesbian mothers, Victor has been a member of and an activist for the LGBTQ community since he marched in Washington as a toddler on his mom’s back.  His first job after college was as the Festival Coordinator and then Operations Manager at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (now MiFo Film Festival). He served on the board of Pridelines Youth Services for three years prior to joining the organization as Executive Director in 2010. He also served as a Chairperson for the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Winter Party Festival for 5 years.

Victor is the recipient of the Miami Foundation’s Miami Leaders fellowship, the Victory Fund’s LGBTQ Movement Leaders Fellowship, and the SAVE Dade (now SAVE) Young Luminaries award.

Jeff Delmay

Jeff Delmay lives in Hollywood, Florida with his husband Todd Delmay and their son Blake. Jeff and his husband were one of the six plaintiff couples that along with Equality Florida sued for the right to marry in Florida and won! They and another couple became the first couples to marry in Florida when the judge lifted her stay a day ahead of the rest of the state. Jeff has also been involved in the community at large, working extensively with National LGBTQ Task Force and The SMART Ride for many years. Jeff is committed to a vision of equality that allows everyone to be who they truly are, and to a world made better for his son and for all children.

Professionally, Jeff and his husband own and operate Delmay Corporation, which works with event organizers to provide hotel rooms for exhibitors, vendors and attendees. Jeff is a graduate of Johnson & Wales, where he studied hospitality management. After graduating, he enjoyed a 12-year career working for a few of the finest hotels in Miami.