Meet Our Staff
André C. Wade
André, a native Las Vegan, has worked in human services for nearly 20 years in a variety of public and non-profit contexts. Additionally, he spent several years working in D.C. as a policy analyst for a national think-tank on the issue of homelessness. His policy portfolio included runaway and homeless youth, youth aging out of foster care, LGBTQ youth and young survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. André spent several years in Child Welfare, in Las Vegas, developing the child-specific adoptions program and recruiting foster and adoptive parents, which included within the LGBTQ community. He was instrumental in implementing a mandatory all-staff training on LGBTQ competencies for the agency. André earned a master’s in Public Administration from UNLV and has volunteered his time on several local and national boards including Cyndi Lauper’s True Color Fund’s Advisory Board, the Human Rights Campaign’s All-Children-All-Family Advisory Council, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance in Southern Nevada and the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. In 2017, in collaboration with a workgroup, he played a role in the development, advocacy and lobbying efforts for the passage of AB99 that mandates LGBTQ training for staff and caregivers of LGBTQ youth in out of home placements. André enjoys traveling and is a certified yoga instructor.
HIV Outreach Coordinator
Channing, a native of Oakland, California, moved to Las Vegas in August 2017. Channing graduated from Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia with a B.A. in International Studies/Development and a minor in Public Health. During her undergraduate experience, she spent a Summer in South Africa conducting research on HIV/AIDS, and was able to travel to Turkey, Ghana, Thailand and India throughout her matriculation. She studied abroad in Pune, India and secured a position in the HIV/AIDS Department as a Community Relations Intern for an organization called Deep Griha Society. There, she organized HIV awareness campaigns, led HIV 101 boot camps, coordinated rallies, community workshops and events for World Aids Day India, as well as hosting free HIV testing at partner clinics in local villages and slums.
Channings’ senior thesis was titled: Stigma and Silence – A Global Perspective on HIV/AIDS in India. Upon Graduation, she headed straight to The University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies and obtained her M.A. in International Human Rights and Global Health Affairs. Concurrently working at The Center, Channing is also a PhD Student at Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology, studying Global Leadership and Change.
Arlene, a native of Tennessee, moved to Las Vegas in 1992 with her son, Ryan. She first became involved in the LGBTQ community in 1984 in Los Angeles. After spending 21 years in hotel management, Arlene became involved in the HIV/AIDS community with ReachOut, a daycare center for children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, Golden Rainbow, and Saint Therese Center. Arlene joined the Board of Directors at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada in 2005, and the staff in 2008. Arlene became a licensed foster parent to a 10 year old HIV-positive boy in Las Vegas. She volunteers for many organizations including Special Olympics, Democratic Headquarters, Imperial Royal Sovereign Court of the Desert Empire, Inc., National Gay Rodeo Association, Sin Sity Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, PRIDE, and others.
HIV Peer Advocate
Todd has been a resident of Las Vegas since 1976 and has witnessed the many exciting changes our city has experienced over the last several decades, including the evolution of our LGBTQ community. With more than a decade of experience in Retail, Customer Service and in the Casino industry, working with the public and providing people with assistance and resolutions to sometimes complex issues is one of his specialties. Todd enjoys being able to help others and has found a perfect outlet for this passion through Rainbow Praise Church, where he volunteers his time and talent, is a service volunteer and participates in various ministry outreaches, including serving as Team Leader for their Intercessory Prayer Mission. As a 20 year survivor of HIV, he has experienced first hand the challenges and struggles people face living with HIV. The numerous advances in medicine and research has transformed the lives of people living with HIV today. Yet so many people still remain disconnected from the care they truly need and deserve. The challenge to reach those in need of help is still a priority today. This has inspired him reach out to our community in order to provide a path to assistance for those struggling with the many challenges they face living with HIV.
HIV Outreach Specialist
For more than 27 years, James has lived and worked in Nevada, serving the community as a Health Educator working at community-based organizations, overseeing medical case management for the nonprofit organizations, dedicated to improving the lives of disenfranchised individuals living with HIV/AIDS; and serving as an Education Coordinator at Nevada’s largest and oldest HIV/AIDS service organization. He is passionate about increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS, teaching safer sex practices and encouraging healthy relationships. James’ work and activism are rooted in the promotion of compassion, open communication, and dignity & respect for all individuals.
Health Education Risk Reduction Coordinator
Gabriela, Gabby to her friends and co-workers, relocated to Las Vegas via San Diego with her wife and best friend, their sixteen-month-old son, and 16-year old cat, Miles. She comes to us from 2-1-1 San Diego where she worked information and referral services and was involved in community outreach promoting those services. Prior to working there, she was part of The LGBT Community Center in San Diego as the Bilingual Information and Referral Specialist. Gabby’s passion in life is helping others, which may stem from a diving accident in 1995 where she sustained life threatening injuries and a broken neck at her C6 vertebrae. She rose to the challenges life sent her way by going on to graduate High School from Thomas Jefferson High School and then moving to Las Cruces, New Mexico for undergraduate studies at New Mexico State University. She graduated in 2004 with a B.A. in Fine Arts, graphic design and a minor in creative writing. Once in San Diego she continued her studies and graduated with a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University.
Gabby is speaks both English and Spanish fluently and is known to use humor to deescalate intense situations. Her ability to analyze a situation and provide individualized services quickly makes her addition to The Center an invaluable asset. Gabby has spent countless hours performing outreach work in a variety of areas including HIV prevention, domestic violence, youth, and Latino communities. She and her wife were the first same sex marriage at SD Pride in 2013. When she isn’t working you can find her spending time with her small circle of close family and friends, watching movies, singing karaoke, and/or playing with her son, Jax. Her positive attitude is delightful and refreshing.
Dr. TaMara Griffin
HIV Services Manager
At the age of 13, Dr. TaMara told her mother she wanted to become a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a certified clinical sexologist, sex therapist, author and speaker with more than 25 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality and HIV across the country. She also has extensive experience working within the faith-based communities providing human sexuality education and HIV education, leadership training, reducing stigma and shame and “normalizing” conversations about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara has also served as a sexuality consultant for various organizations across the country including: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Psychological Association and The United States Department of Health and Human Services.
A published author, Dr. TaMara has developed several evidenced based curricula designed to empower individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to reduce their risk for HIV and other STIs by learning how to make safer and healthier decisions. Dr. TaMara was also the lead author on the country’s first faith based training manual for HIV/AIDS entitled: HIV/AIDS: A Manual for Faith Communities; which was endorsed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Coalition of Pastor’s Spouses. You may also find her published case study on the YOUR Blessed Health Project, An HIV Model for Faith Based Communities in the textbook Social Work in Health Settings. Her research includes: sexuality and HIV/AIDS among faith communities, HIV risk among adolescents, HIV transmission and social networks, sexuality and risk among the LGBTQIA communities, sexuality and Black women. Dr. TaMara holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Sexuality, Doctorate of Human Sexuality (DHS), Master of Social Work degree, Master of Science degree in Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Family Life Education.
AJ Holly Huth
Youth Resource Specialist and PREP Coordinator
AJ Holly Huth is originally from Tampa, Florida. She graduated August 2000 from The University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts. AJ has lived in Las Vegas for several years with her wife, daughter, and their two dogs. During her time in Las Vegas, she has immersed herself in activism and advocacy for the LGBTQIA2 communities. In 2009, she began working as an in-home mental health provider. AJ decided to go back to school and in August 2014 received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from The University of Phoenix. During her time in school, AJ worked for Elements of Motivation, Gender Justice Nevada, while completing internships at Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada’s satellite location at Southern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services and Mobile Mental Health.
AJ is currently the Youth Services Manager and PREP Coordinator at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada. She facilitates QVolution and special projects like Youth Thanksgiving and Youth Prom as well as co-facilitating Pivot. In addition to those duties, she also teaches Comprehensive Sex Education at The Center and at other partnering facilities.
Denise is a Clinical Mental Health Counseling student and received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Nevada State College. As a native of New York, Denise has been a Las Vegas local since her youth and has dedicated her professional endeavors to giving back to the Las Vegas community. Her experience working in the mental health field in Nevada along with her commitment to improving mental health services on a local and legislative level enable her to develop the foundation of her knowledge and skills in therapeutic practice. As a leader and advocate within the Nevada community, she continues to be involved in an advisory role with the Black Student Organization at Nevada State. Her mission is to lead and empower black youth within the educational setting by working closely with the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force to ensure that every student of color has a voice on campus.
Denise is also the owner of a consulting business, Elevate Consulting. Her role partners with her husband, Mark in developing the psychological foundation for Elevates’ sales training programs. With her expertise, Denise is fundamental to the creation of more nuanced content, training, and selling approaches to the consultative sales process that specifically emphasize the importance of authentic connection. Along with being CEO of her consulting business, Denise is actively involved in the community through the non-profit organization, Rights Society. The organizations goal is to find community ways to solve community issues focused on education reform, criminal justice restructuring, and reconstructing mental health services. Rights Society’s does this by empowering and providing platforms for community leaders to expand on their solutions with support. As a mental health and criminal justice reform lead, Denise’s passion is to help make community change on a local level.
Nicol has just recently returned to Las Vegas from Australia where she studied at the University of Sydney for a Masters in Occupational Therapy. While in Australia, she participated in a wide range of social and occupational justice programs including work with Aboriginal populations in rural remote Australia, and ACON, the largest LGBTI organization in New South Wales, Australia. Prior to living in Australia, she was a high school English teacher. She is serving The Center as Volunteer Coordinator in the Americorps VISTA program. It is Nicol’s desire to strengthen and expand the volunteer program here at The Center.
Transgender Program Manager
Blue was born and raised in the amazing but cold city of Chicago. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 1993 at the age of 17, and served honorably until his discharge in 2005. After his discharge, he started his transition and jumped right into advocating for and educating about the Transgender community. In 2009, he moved to San Diego to go to school and got his bachelors in lgbt studies, and later his masters in non profit leadership. He and his husband live with their 2 dogs, and enjoy spending time together hiking, sightseeing, and traveling. Blue was on the Trans 100 list in 2014 as one of the top trans activists in the nation, and has helped change laws directly impacting the Transgender community.
Manager of Senior Programs and Community Engagement
With a long history of community involvement, Holly has volunteered for countless fundraising events. In the past, she’s lead volunteer teams for Habitat For Humanity, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Special Olympics. In 2007, Holly moved to Las Vegas from Florida and quickly became involved with Betty’s Outrageous Adventures, a lesbian social group with more than 3,000 members. After serving on their board for three years, Holly joined Gender Justice Nevada in 2012 as a Queer Anti-Violence Advocacy Services Coordinator where she recruited, trained and managed Victim Advocate Volunteers. She became an advocate for transgender rights after attending both UNLV’s Take Back the Night and Transgender Day of Remembrance and continues to fight for equal rights for all. Holly is of Choctaw descent and has taught workshops on Native American art and culture for more than 20 years. In her spare time, she enjoys creating Native American art, camping, Medicine Card readings and storytelling. Holly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida.
Toni is a native of San Diego, California. She has been living in Las Vegas since 2010. Toni has a background mainly in security and law enforcement. She was a Traffic Officer with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority for just shy of ten years, and lived in Tijuana, Mexico for six years. Previous to that she worked in private security and was a combat engineer in the 578th Engineer Batallion of the California Army National Guard for a brief time. Before coming to work with The Center, she was a clerk, and later a store manager, for Adult Superstore in Las Vegas.
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