William Way LGBT Community Center welcomes three new members of its board, in addition to retaining three previous board members and electing its Executive Committee.
Sue Gildea returns as board co-chair, and Kira Kinsman joins the board as newly elected co-chair. Eddie Banks-Crosson, David Huting and Clinton Johnson comprise the new board electees, who join returning members Ebony Ali, Kelly Burkhardt and Kendall Stephens.
“Since its founding almost 50 years ago, the Center has been blessed with strong Board leadership,” William Way Executive Director Chris Bartlett said in a press release. “At a time when we are undertaking a rebuilding of the Center’s headquarters, and an expansion of programs, we are inspired by our strong new and returning members to the board. Our Executive Committee brings the wisdom and energy in leadership needed to have us succeed. I’m grateful to both new and returning members, as well as our leadership, for their commitment to our communities.”
William Way’s building is currently undergoing minor renovations, but the team is raising funds for a larger reconstruction project down the line, Bartlett said.
Chartered financial analyst and principal of Webster Street Investment Advisors, LLC, Huting is serves as treasurer of the board and as a member the Finance Committee. He has led successful fundraising efforts for the center as part of his involvement in majors gifts committees and the Your Way Pipeline, an initiative that offers tours of the center in an effort to increase engagement.
“The William Way Center brightens the lives of our community through its life enhancing programs and the diversity of its people,” Huting said in an email.
Banks-Crosson works as director of the Office of Student Life at the Wharton MBA Program at the University of Pennsylvania and serves as a member of William Way’s Marketing and PR Committee. In a story in the Daily Pennsylvanian announcing his new role at the Office of Student Life, Maryellen Reilly, deputy vice dean of Wharton’s MBA program, said that Banks-Crosson stood out because of his “cross-racial engagement of diverse populations.”
“Connection and authenticity are extremely important to me,” Banks-Crosson said in an email. “Those values are actively demonstrated by the people at the center. While I rest in the notion that William Way sits at the intersection of culture, advocacy, and community — it is truly inspiring to see the center (and the folks around it) at the helm.”
Johnson leads the Racial Equity and Social Justice team at Esri, a geographic information system (GIS) company. He founded NorthStar of GIS, a community organization that pushes for equity and acceptance for Black and African American people in the GIS field. As a William Way board member, Johnson would like to help lead a diversity audit for the center.
“I’m excited to invest more time and energy in parts of the Black community and my Philadelphia community that deserve far more love, appreciation, and support than they often receive,” Johnson said in an email.
Gildea, who works as quality assurance lead at Enclara Pharmacia, is serving her fourth annual term as co-chair of William Way’s board. In this role, she has done excellent work in fundraising, organizing and “friendraising” for the community center. Kinsman, her co-chair, is principal at Williams Kinsman Lewis Architecture, PC. She brings her nonprofit board experience to her new role on the board, and her experience as an architect will be an asset when the center later undergoes renovation.
“I’m honored to partner with seasoned co-chair Sue Gildea in leading the Center as we grow our resources at a time when they are needed more than ever,” Kinsman said in a press release.
As for the center’s returning board members, Ebony Ali is an impresario, performer and LGBTQ+ advocate, known in the community as Icon Ebony-Fierce. They coordinate William Way’s Love & Solidarity festival and organize performers for the center’s Indigo Ball. On the board, they serve on the Marketing and PR Committee. They previously booked shows for Tabu as part of Burd Events, and they plan to revive the Phreak N’ Queer festival in Philly this summer.
Burkhardt, LGBTQ+ Liaison and Victim/Witness Coordinator for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) returns for her fourth year as board secretary and chair of the Board Development Committee. Burkhardt is well-connected to local LGBTQ communities through her role at the DAO and her community work.
Stephens, LGBTQ activist and organizer on local and national scales, returns for a second year on William Way’s board. Co-facilitator of the organization’s TransWay support group, Stephens has done substantial work for Philly’s trans communities and supports the center’s trans-centric programs.
Those who are leaving the William Way board include long-time co-chair Chad Bundrock, who will continue on as part of the center’s Finance and Capital Campaign committees, as well as Maryellen Madden, Mike Magro and Moneka Hewlett.