Sims appointed Anna Aagenes as district office manager and Mason Lane as chief of staff, both of whom are LGBT community members and have been active in local LGBT causes.
Aagenes, 24, who identifies as bisexual, is a researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and serves as executive director of GO! Athletes, which connects LGBT and ally college athletes and alumni.
She met Sims through his LGBT Athletes and Allies.
“My organization, GO! Athletes, has a very similar goal of advocating for LGBTQ young athletes as Brian’s work, so we had several opportunities to collaborate. We were also both alumni of the Center for Progressive Leadership, me in 2012, and Brian in 2009,” she said.
Aagenes, who will be stationed at the district office in Philadelphia, will be in charge of managing the office and directing community outreach and engagement. She will also administer constituent services while creating and building relationships with area organizations.
“I hope to create a vibrant Philadelphia office that is responsive to the requests and concerns of our constituents. Through our outreach efforts, we hope to spread awareness about the services our office can provide, as well as serve as a conduit through which constituents and community groups can collaborate and thrive,” she said. “We have an exciting opportunity to be an office that engages and empowers our constituents to become more involved in their local communities.”
Aagenes, who will continue to promote the efforts of GO! Athletes, will have members of the board of directors step in to assist while she transitions into her new position as district office manager.
Lane, 27, is juggling both his coursework at Temple Law School and his new position as chief of staff.
He served as Sims’ transition director after his primary election and said he’s getting used to the fast pace of his many responsibilities.
“There’s only so many hours in the day and finding a balance between work, school and my personal life has been and will be a challenge,” he said. “But whenever someone says I must be pretty busy, I usually reply, ‘the good kind of busy,’ because it really is motivational and not too stressful. Yet.”
Lane previously worked with Sims at Equality Pennsylvania — Lane as the Eastern Pennsylvania Field Organizer and Policy Coordinator and Sims as board president.
“There was a period of time in between executive directors and before Ted Martin came aboard that Brian and I worked very closely,” he said.
Sims nominated Lane for CPL, from which he graduated in 2010.
As chief of staff, Lane will be responsible for developing and applying legislative initiatives, advising Sims on policy matters and managing office operations. He will spend most of his time working in the Harrisburg office.
“Brian, Anna and I have spoken at length about the things we want to accomplish. While pushing a civil-rights bill will be a top priority, we are also focused on issues unique to our district and Philadelphia, like public transportation, tax reform and sustainable development, to name just a few,” he said.
Lane said he expects to work closely and collaboratively with both Sims and Aagenes.
“One of the reasons that Brian, Anna and I work well together is that we are very team-oriented and recognize the strengths each of us brings to the table. Anna and I will be very collaborative in our approach to community engagement as well as policy matters,” he said.