Board of Directors

View the SNMA By-Laws.
View the SNMA Code of Ethics.
View 2019-2021 Strategic Plan.

The Board of Directors are the ultimate organizational and fiduciary body governing the affairs of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives.  Their responsibilities include making all major policy decisions, setting the strategic direction for the organization and approving an annual budget. 

The Directors delegate the day-to-day operations of the organization and execution of its programs to an Executive Director, who serves as the organization’s chief executive officer.

The Board meets every other month and achieves their goals through a number of committees (i.e., finance, executive, audit, collections, governance, development, etc.)

Members of the Board of Directors

Jacki Bennett


Jacquelyn “Jacki” Bennett currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) at the South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA), located in Fort Lauderdale, FL.As CAO, she manages the organization’s operational aspects including finance, human resources, payroll and benefit administration, IT and facility needs. She oversees the annual budget process, financial strategy and analysis, as well as grant compliance, monitoring and evaluation procedures. Bennett serves as a thought partner to the senior team on the organization’s strategy and Board engagement; and works closely with the President and executive team to develop a robust operational and financial plan that drives decision-making around SoFIA’s short- and long-term objectives, fundraising strategies, and cost management protocols.

Before moving to Fort Lauderdale, Bennett served as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Wyss Foundation, located in Washington DC, where she was responsible for providing the vision, strategy and operational direction to the finance, information technology, human resources, grantmaking, facilities, and planning and evaluation activities of the Foundation.

Previously, Bennett served as the Chief Operating Officer for Freedom House, an international NGO, dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. Jacki has served in senior staff positions at the National Council of State Housing Agencies, the Human Rights Campaign, and as Operations Director of the Gore 2000 presidential campaign. Jacki served in the Clinton Administration as the Finance Manager for the White House Office, and on the staff of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA).

A native of Iowa, Jacki is a graduate of Iowa State University. She and her wife, Liz, currently live in Fort Lauderdale, FL, with their vizsla, Bettie.

John Tanzella


John Tanzella is the President/CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, the leading member-based global organization dedicated to expand LGBTQ tourism for the benefit of travelers and members. Prior to joining IGLTA, Tanzella served as the Director of Corporate Relations for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in Washington, D.C. Other experience includes corporate and LGBTQ sales manager at the Washington, D.C. Tourism Bureau, as well as 15 years with Delta Air Lines in various capacities including global business development and marketing.

Under his leadership, IGLTA took a giant stride forward and established the IGLTA Foundation as a means to both give back and raise the profile of the LGBTQ tourism community worldwide. The Foundation specifically focuses on research, education and leadership. In 2012, IGLTA was accepted into the United Nations World Tourism Organization, as its first and only LGBTQ affiliate member.

Alan Beck


Alan H. Beck joined MMP in 2015. He brings 25 years experience as a publisher and marketing professional. He has worked closely with Chambers of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureaus to create products to promote their jurisdictions. With respect to the Internet, Alan has been an early innovator and adapter to social media.

He sits on the Board of Directors of Travel Gay Canada and is a member of IGLTA, NGLCC, NGLCCNY, GSBA, GGBA, MDGLCC, Toronto Tourism, Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, San Francisco Travel, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Provincetown Business Guild.

Gary Carlin


Gary Carlin has over 25 years of marketing experience in the toy and game business. He served as vice president of marketing for Hasbro Toy Company managing brands such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and Clue. Professor Carlin has been teaching for the last seven years in Florida, specializing in marketing, advertising and public relations. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts and a B.A. degree from the University of South Florida. 

Maria Lescano

Executive Committee

Maria has had her own law practice in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for over 20 years where she specializes in family law and immigration law. Maria has served the Broward County community by her past appointments to the Broward County Commission on the status of women, and the Broward County school board diversity committee.

Currently Maria is Mayor Jack Seiler’s appointment as the the co-chair of the City of Fort Lauderdale charter review board. Maria’s past volunteer board experience includes six years that she served on the national board of GLAAD. Maria is a first generation Cuban-American, native Floridian, who lives in Fort Lauderdale with her partner, Jean.

Alan Uphold


Communication consultant and public speaking coach/trainer, serving executives from NBC/Universal, Viacom, Warner Brothers, Frito-Lay, Cunard/Princess Cruise Lines, Deutsche Bank, and many other notable corporations and nonprofit organizations.

Uphold is currently a college professor of public speaking and communication at Los Angeles Community College and was formerly the Development Director-West of the Point Foundation – the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization focused on empowering, underwriting, and mentoring LGBT youth.

Uphold is a former member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Equality California, and former Chair of Directors of Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.

Diana K. Bruce

Board Member

Diana K. Bruce (she/her/hers), Principal at Collaborate with Diana Bruce, provides strategic planning and capacity building to schools and organizations taking steps to be more inclusive of their diverse constituents. Throughout her 25+ year career, Diana has advanced access and equity through child and adolescent health, reproductive health, HIV/STI prevention, sexuality education and LGBTQ advocacy.

Prior to starting her own consulting practice, Diana served as Director of Health and Wellness for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) for a decade, where she expanded supports for expectant and parenting students, launched DCPS’ initiatives to create school climates welcoming of their LGBTQ students and developed DCPS’ nationally recognized Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Policy Guidance. Diana also led AIDS Alliance for Children, Youth & Families’ Policy and Government Affairs department, serving temporarily as Interim Co-Executive Director.

Diana holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Art from the University of Texas at El Paso. When not working, Diana parents her two amazing teens, teaches yoga and mentors young women new in their careers on the Women’s Information Network Advisory Council in Washington, DC.

Julio Capó

Board Member

Professor Capó is a transnational historian whose research and teaching interests include modern U.S. history, especially the United States’s relationship to the Caribbean and Latin America. He addresses how gender and sexuality have historically intersected with constructions of ethnicity, race, class, nation, age, and ability. His first book, Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (UNC Press, 2017), highlights how transnational forces—including (im)migration, trade, and tourism—to and from the Caribbean shaped Miami’s queer past. The book has received six awards and honors, including the Charles S. Sydnor Award from the Southern Historical Association for the best book written on Southern history. His work has appeared in the Journal of American History, Radical History Review, Diplomatic History, Journal of Urban History, Journal of American Ethnic History, Modern American History, GLQ, H-Net, American Studies, and several volumes.

Capó’s research extends to his commitment to public history and civic engagement. He curated “Queer Miami: A History of LGBTQ Communities” for History Miami Museum (open from March-September 2019) and participated in a National Park Service initiative to promote and identify historic LGBTQ sites and contributed a piece on Miami’s queer past for its theme study. Prior to entering graduate school, he worked as a broadcast news writer and producer, and his work has appeared in several outlets such as The Washington Post, Time, The Miami Herald, and El Nuveo Día (Puerto Rico).

Capó is the recipient of several awards including the Audre Lorde Prize from the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History and the Carlton C. Qualey Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society. He currently serves as the co-chair of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of American History.

Damian Pardo

Board Member

Damian Pardo is a Financial Advisor at the Pardo Group at Morgan Stanley in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area.  He attended Georgetown University and the University of Miami from where he obtained a Master’s in Business Administration. He has been in financial services for 25 years, working with individuals and families on a very private and personal level.    A native of Coral Gables and Key Biscayne Florida, he holds the following professional designations: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ CFP® (Florida State University); Certified Investment Management Analyst ™ CIMA® (University of California-Haas School of Business), CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR ™ CRPC® (College of Financial Planning).


Damian’s work in service organizations came as a natural extension of his work in wealth management at a local financial firm (Southeast Bank, N.A.), where there was an implicit commitment to service as a way of reinvesting in community.  He was President of the Board of Directors and served two terms as President for the region’s largest AIDS Service Organization, Health Crisis Network.  He remained on that Board through its merger to become Care Resource and remains a committed volunteer and supporter.  Damian served as the President of NETWORK, which was the first gay business networking organization in 1991 and which eventually became, through several iterations, the Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  In 1993, Damian founded SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone), South Florida’s largest  advocacy and political organization, and served as the organization’s Co-Chair from 1993-1998.  He served on the Board of the Miami Foundation (formerly the Dade Community Foundation) for a full term from 2005-2011, and for 6 years sat on the LGBTQ Community Projects fund, which distributes funds to local LGBTQ organizations.  Damian was appointed to and served on the Miami-Dade County Equal Opportunity Board from 1995-2008. In 2015 he co-founded 4Ward Miami, Inc. which produces the Gay8 Festival and 4Ward Americas (an LGBTQI international human rights and business symposium). He also currently serves on the Board of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Damian has also served on the Board of Hands on Miami (volunteer organization), GENESIS FUND (philanthropic fund), Sister Emmanuel Hospital (non-profit hospital), and the Celia Cruz Foundation (philanthropic fund).


In 1997, Damian received national recognition as the recipient of the National Stonewall Community Foundation Award.


Anthony Varona

Board Member

Tony is the Dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law. Previously, he was a Professor of Law, a Vice Dean, an Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs, and an S.J.D. Program Director at American University in Washington, D.C. Before that, Tony served as the General Counsel and Legal Director for the HRC. Earlier in his career, he was an associate at Skadden Arps and at Mintz Levin, and an honors program enforcement attorney at the Federal Communications Commission. In 2001-2002, Tony was a Harvard Law School Washington Public Interest Fellow. Tony received an LL.M. from Georgetown University in 1996, a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 1992, and an A.B. from Boston College in 1989. He has served on the board of directors for GLAAD, HRC, the Alliance for Justice, the New York Advisory Board for the American Constitution Society, and he was founding chairperson of the AIDS Action Council’s Legal Advisory Board. He has lectured widely and has appeared as a legal commentator on major national media outlets. He was honored with the 2014 Outstanding Teaching in a Full-Time Appointment Award by American University, the 2009 Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award by the Washington Hispanic Bar Association, and the 2007-2008 Teacher of the Year Award by American University. In 2014, he was also named to Lawyers of Color Magazine’s “50 Under 50 List.”

Gary E. Bitner


Gary Bitner heads one of Florida’s leading public relations firms, The Bitner Group, with national and international clients in the gaming, retail, tourism, transportation, education and other sectors.

He is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and a former staff writer at the Fort Lauderdale News (Sun-Sentinel). He also worked in the public relations department at Marriott Corporation in Washington, D.C., and is a founding partner of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s largest network of independent public relations firms.

He lives in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Fred Brugal


Born in Puerto Rico and trained as a nuclear physician at Cornell, Dr. Fred Brugal is a board member at SNMA following a career in medicine and health care management. Moving into leadership positions at Merck & Co., he then became President of Pharmacy Managment at United Health Care Corp. and later moved to Glaxo SmithKline in London, launching a Global Health Care Management Division.

Fred is married to his Cuban partner of twelve years, William Breto and they reside in Palm Springs with their mini dachshunds, Samba & Rumba.

Ronald Herron


After 40+ years of academic and administrative experience in both public and private institutions of higher education. – including Southern Methodist University; Teachers College, Columbia University; Temple University; Keene State College; SUNY-Purchase and Southern Connecticut State University, Herron retired and moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2012. Throughout his career, he was active is state, regional and national professional organizations. He also served on the Boards of Directors of numerous not-for-profit organizations with varying foci ranging from mental health, the arts, childhood creativity, and urban revitalization, to name a few.

Deeply committed to creating supportive learning environments which improve the educational experiences of students,  Herron worked throughout his career to create imaginative programs such as the multi-institutional consortium to end racism on Westchester County College Campuses in New York. He co-authored and served as the Project Director of three major grants funded by Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) of the U.S. Department of Justice and continues, in retirement, to serve as a Peer Reviewer for the competitive grant programs of OVW.

He served on the SNMA Board of Directors (2012-2019), during which time he served on the SNEP Committee, as Board Secretary (2012-2016) and as Board Chair (2017-2019).

Klayton Fennell


Klayton Fennell is the Vice President of Government Affairs for Comcast providing government affairs support and guidance to Comcast’s market-based government affairs teams, and to the Headquarter based business and operations teams.

In his role, Fennell develops, coordinates, and executes Comcast’s local political and regulatory strategy in over 6,400 communities in 40 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to his Government Affairs duties, Fennell serves as Comcast’s key contact with LGBT advocacy organizations, serves on Comcast’s Internal Diversity Council and is an Executive Champion to Comcast’s LGBT employee resource group, OUT.

A Florida native, Fennell earned his B.A. in Political Science from Jacksonville University and a doctor of laws from The Florida State University College of Law. Fennell and his husband, Valentine Vigil-Fennell, split their time between the Philadelphia area and South Florida.

Kenneth Tewel


Former Deputy Executive Director, High School Division, New York City Public Schools; former principal Stuyvesant High School, Franklin K. Lane High School and Westinghouse High School in New York City.

Associate Professor, Programs in Supervision and Administration, City University of New York. National consultant to philanthropic organizations working on school and system level reform. Former Program Professor in Leadership and School Reform, Doctoral Program in Child and Youth Studies, Nova Southeastern University.

Mark Neil Silber


Born in Queens, New York, as a young boy in the early 1960s Mark Silber’s family moved to Hollywood, Florida. Mark was raised in a family that valued education, reading, music, visual arts, travel, and respect for all cultures and peoples.

Influenced by cultural change, protest to the war in Vietnam and burgeoning civil rights, Mark came out to his parents in his teens.  They were “astonishingly accepting and supportive.”  He graduated from Nova High School in 1972 and attended Florida Atlantic University.

He began collecting books on various gay and lesbian topics and subscribed to contemporary gay publications such as The Advocate, and advocated for gay rights in South Florida.  

In 1973, Mark started the Stonewall Library.  The name was to recognize what had happened at the Stonewall Inn in 1969.  He was also one of the original seven founding members of Congregation Etz Chain – the Metropolitan Community Synagogue of Miami. The following year, Mark founded the first LGBT student group at a South Florida university: the Gay Academic Union of Florida Atlantic University. He was involved in the Dade County Coalition for Human Rights during the Anita Bryant campaign, and the Broward County Coalition for Human Rights shortly thereafter.

In 1984, Mark moved to New York City to expand his horizons and to seek better new career opportunities. 

However, before he left, he established a governing board for the Stonewall Library and obtained legal tax-exempt status. Fortunately, the Metropolitan Community Church of Fort Lauderdale (now the Sunshine Cathedral) offered space to the ever-growing collection.

Since then, Mark has watched the organization grow and flourish. Codified within Stonewall’s present day by-laws, Mark remains an emeritus member of the Board of Directors for life.

Mon-Fri 11 am - 5 pm     Sat 11 am - 3 pm    Closed Sun


Stonewall is grateful to the following funders for their support through Cares and community funding to support our operations and programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding for this organization is provided in part by the Board of County Commissioners of Broward County, Florida, As recommended by the Broward Cultural Council.

This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by Stonewall National Museum & Archives, do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities of the National Endowment for the Humanities.