Carol Grimsby (ext 125)
Carol Grimsby is the newly appointed Executive Director of Wingspan, Southern Arizona ’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center.
Grimsby is the former Executive Director of a group that advocates for neglected and abused children, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Kansas City, Mo. She led the agency as it implemented its long term strategic plan.
In Missouri, she was active in community groups such as Women with One Voice, a non-profit dedicated to raising funds for organizations providing services for women, where she chaired the Board; and, the Human Rights Campaign (serving as political Co-chair and Faith and Diversity Chair).
A graduate of the University of Missouri (Kansas City), Grimsby owned and managed a catering company for many years and also served as the Foundation Director of the Neosho Hospital Foundation in Chanute, KS.
Lauren Lamoly (ext 118)
Lauren Lamoly, Wingspan’s new development associate, has lived in Tucson since May of this year. In addition to her work with Wingspan, Lauren currently serves as the director of communications for the American Military Partner Association, a resource and support network for LGBT military families. Lauren has a BA in English from Lynchburg College and an MA in American Literature from San Diego State University where she taught both literature and composition classes. Lauren has over 10 years of experience in business management and education, and she was a full-time communications and development intern for Equality Virginia in 2010.
Originally from the Boston area, Lauren is a dedicated Boston sports fan (especially the Red Sox!). She misses mittens, hot chai lattes on the Charles, fluffernutters, her mom’s Sunday gravy, Fenway Park, and touring the Sam Adams brewery whenever she pleases, but loves the beautiful mountains, the idea of tepid winters, year round golf, the Tucson food, and vibrant culture. Lauren lives with her partner, Christie, an Air Force JAG, and their dog, Varitek.
Tara Ernst (ext 127)
Tara holds her B.S. in Psychology, Sociology, and Religion from Central Michigan University. Tara also holds an M.A. in Political Science from Washington State University, and has completed some doctoral work in cultural studies – with a focus on queer issues. To her new role, Tara brings a wealth of knowledge about queer history, theory, and culture from an academic perspective and is very excited to apply this knowledge to help program coordinators develop innovative and fresh curriculum, further developing Wingspan’s community education efforts. In addition to her extensive academic background, Tara also has served in program coordination roles in both the higher educational and non-profit contexts, she has taught Sociology at Brown-Mackie College here in Tucson, and has worked in the corporate sector as a successful business development manager. Tara also loves working with volunteers, and holds a certificate in volunteer management.
Tara loves learning and expanding her knowledge base. At Wingspan, Tara supervises program staff and coordinators, manages and/or co-coordinates all aspects of the volunteer program, assists the Executive Director and Development Associate with various facets of the grant writing/management process, and serves as a key liaison with the community.
Tara grew up in Ohio, but has lived out west for the last ten years, having moved to Tucson in 2009. Tara enjoys Arizona’s warm weather, most sports, trail running, mountain biking, camping (nearby showers), water sports, cooking Indian food, entertaining friends, mango martinis, reading, writing, and other creative endeavors. She lives in Catalina with her wife, Beth Ernst, and their three dogs: Kaiya, Lily, and Harley.
Youth Programs Specialist
Rev. Heather L. McClaren (ext 129)
As a new addition to the Wingspan team, Heather McClaren, as its Youth Programs Specialist, is especially familiar with the hardships that come from youngsters fraught with social issues both on the home front as well as in school and other outside influences. Having recently moved back to Tucson from Silver City, NM where she spent the last several years as Youth Minister of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd both in developing specialized programs and working directly with both kids from low income Hispanic families as well as the schools to establish a more stabilizing environment for all concerned, Heather feels at home in her new position which will allow her the ability to reach far more individuals in need.
Her dedication toward helping promote the healthy development of our young populations in the LGBT community, along with further developing new programs, doing outreach into the community, and spending a goodly amount of time and energy in building relationships with the Tucson Unified School District in which to foster safer environments for our LGBT youth, has given Heather the greatest opportunity to share in Wingspan’s ever growing reach. Her innate ability to understand and work with people will also make it easier to assist the Program Manager as needed in recruiting and supervising volunteers, and in conducting training seminars within social service agencies and the public school system.
Heather could not be happier with her position, that is, other than a snuggle here and there with her very best friend, a female black lab named Scout . . .
Catherine Memale (ext 121)
Catherine Memale has spent her life split between her home state of Connecticut and her chosen home in Tucson Arizona. Catherine graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Religious studies and a minor in women’s studies before returning to Connecticut where she worked as the Office Operations Supervisor in human resources, administration and office technology for the department of Commerce during the 2010 census. She found her passion for activism and working with youth renewed after spending time as an organizing fellow during the 2012 election. Following the census, Catherine made the decision to return to Tucson and settle into a home where she lives with her partner, 2 pups (Mason and Dixie) and an assortment of backyard poultry.
Anti-Violence Programs Coordinator
Della Renae Hooks (ext 119)
Della Hooks is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has been living in Tucson since 2007. She has attended Pima Community College and obtained a Social Services Certificate. Growing up in Milwaukee and witnessing all the poverty and self-destruction she knew she wanted to help people. Della describes herself as opinionated and vocal about a lot of things and figured working in social services gives her a platform to be her. She has worked for CODAC Behavioral Health Services and HOPE, Inc.-Nueva Luz Recovery Center as a Recovery Support Specialist. She describes her passion for working with the underserved as what gives her the drive to help Tucson’s diverse communities. As the AVP Coordinator, she hopes to continue the work that Wingspan has been doing as well as move the program forward to serve the needs of individuals we support. Della loves to travel and try new things. She loves to cook even more. Della says that she hopes to own a restaurant when she grow up.
Paco Velez (ext 122)
Paco Velez, our Anti-Violence Programs Bilingual Advocate/Educator, was born in Nogales Sonora. As as self described activist, Paco was the founding member of Arizona Between Nosotros. In his free time, Paco creates paints, performs, and generally uses art as an expression of himself, his experiences, and his beliefs. He often hosts art events, where artists showcase their work at the gallery he runs, Studio 1. Paco also teaches art classes to middle school children in local Tucson schools. Paco enjoys spending time with his family including his lovely wife Sarah and their dog Milo.
Homeless Youth Project Coordinator
Kevin Jackson (ext 115)
Kevin Jackson, a native Tucsonan, is Eon Youth Center’s Homeless Youth Project Coordinator and has been a staff member at Wingspan for 2 years. Kevin has been working with homeless, runaway, and street-dependent youth for over 16 years and has developed accredited, best-practice street outreach, shelter, and transitional housing programs for youth and young adults in our community. Kevin serves as one of the co-chairs of the Homeless Youth Committee for Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness and as a co-chair and Southern Arizona Representative of the statewide Arizona Committee on Youth Homelessness. In addition to his passions for the providing support and advocacy to our younger LGBT brothers and sisters he is an avid music fan and collector, enjoys multi-cultural cuisines, bears (the two-legged, queer variety), camping, and spending time with Steven Finch, his husband of 16 years and their two (adorable little) dogs Qytti Chiricahua and Shush Yazzie.
Ian, iTEAM Program Coordinator, has been a member of the Wingspan team since February 2008. Having served the Eon Youth Program in multiple capacities during this time, Ian’s current responsibilities include the coordination of the comprehensive network of care for LGBTQQIA youth provided by the federally funded iTEAM project, a collaboration of six agencies. In Ian’s hometown of Memphis,Tennessee, Ian attended the University of Memphis, graduating in 2005 with English and Sociology majors and Spanish and Biology minors. Ian is currently completing a M.A. degree at the University of Arizona. Ian is a poet, artist, blues devotee, and the Official Favorite Person of his two dogs, Flower and Bean. Wingspan is “home”.
Rae Strozzo (ext 120)
Rae Strozzo is the programs coordinator for Southern Arizona Gender Alliance. Rae has been involved with activism in the LBGTQ community first in his hometown in southern Georgia and then in Tucson starting in 2006. He has volunteered with Eon and AVP. He has been active as a panelist and as a part of educational outreach both through Eon and the U of A. He was also involved in Equiss Social Justice Retreat as a facilitator. Rae received a BA in English and Philosophy in 1997 from Georgia Southern University. He received training in art and graphic design from 2002-2004 at GSU. He received his MFA in photography at the University of Arizona in 2008. Rae is a transgender/gender queer visual artist, writer and educator. He is a painter and photographer whose works center around his queer identity. He is also an adjunct instructor of photography at Pima CC. He also loves reading, swimming, and music.
Don’t see a staff person you met at Eon? Additional Eon and iTEAM Project Staff who are a part of the Wingspan Team, but who are employees of other agencies, are listed in the Eon Program area.
Wingspan staff email addresses are constructed as follows: first letter of first name + last name at wingspan.org. For example, Oscar Wilde(firstname.lastname@example.org).