Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been sharing information about our Board of Directors on social media. If you missed any of those posts, be sure to check out the summary below!
Jonathan Balash is a native Hoosier, but did not move to south central Indiana until his sophomore year of college when he began attending Indiana University in Bloomington. This self-described nerd “beamed” to Spencer when he began dating (now husband) Jacob in 2001. Jonathan is one of Spencer Pride’s founders and currently wears several hats within the organization, including President & Pride Festival Director. He’s recently taken on responsibility for the massive Rainbow Rehab project, which will ultimately see the fruition of Pride’s full vision for its commUnity center in downtown Spencer. If you would like to inquire about upcoming 2020 Pride Week festivities or get more involved in commUnity center improvements, Jonathan is eager to hear from you! It’s best to e-mail him at Jonathan@SpencerPride.org.
Nathaniel Clawson was raised in the mountains of North Carolina, which he says is culturally very similar to southern Indiana: “The people are good-hearted and hard-working, however you do still see the occasional confederate flag.” His job brought him to Spencer & as a member of his employer’s Pride employee resource group Nathaniel attended the Spencer Pride Festival. He thought the event was wonderful & he decided to begin volunteering shortly thereafter. He wholeheartedly believes in Spencer Pride’s mission of making Indiana a more welcoming place for ALL people. Nathaniel’s education & experience make him a natural fit as our Treasurer. People can come to him for all things finance as well as to learn how to make a loving & accepting home for a transgender child. Nathaniel is excited that his family has become a part of the Spencer Pride family this year & he welcomes you to join the Spencer Pride family as well. Nathaniel can be reached via e-mail at Nathaniel@SpencerPride.org.
Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the only influential person who famously spent time in Indiana before settling down in Illinois. Katie Zuber, seven year member of Spencer Pride’s board of directors, also shares that life experience. Katie was born and raised in rural Olney, Illinois and after the birth of her daughter in 2018, she returned back ‘home’ to Olney. In the meantime, job changes brought Katie to Bloomington, Indiana. While an Indiana resident, Katie sought to join a local LGBTQ+ group. Having grown up visiting McCormick’s Creek State Park and seeing movies at the historic Tivoli Theatre (prior to its restoration), Katie decided to attend Spencer Pride’s 2013 LGBTQ+ history month event, “A Night at the Tivoli.” The moment Spencer Pride volunteers stepped on stage, Katie said to herself: “I can see myself with these folx!” The rest, as they say, is history. Since joining the organization, Katie has served as volunteer, Secretary, & now Vice President and Development Director. This makes her responsible for overseeing long-term financial growth, volunteer development, & relationships with other organizations. One of Katie’s best memories as a pride volunteer was during an LGBTQ+ history month event when volunteers staged narratives of famous people in LGBTQ+ history. Katie played the role of Edie Windsor, whose landmark Supreme Court victory in 2013 over the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) set the stage for marriage equality for all. Katie’s favorite part about volunteering with Spencer Pride has been the opportunity to cultivate lifelong friendships. Although Katie’s mailing address is in Olney, Illinois, a huge piece of her heart remains in Spencer, Indiana, with her Spencer Pride family. To contact Katie, please send her an e-mail at Katie@SpencerPride.org.
Judi Epp is a transplant from Indianapolis, but has spent almost 40 years calling Owen County “home.” As one of Spencer Pride’s founders, Judi has been with the organization through its many years of learning & growth. Judi began volunteering after recognizing that there were others who didn’t feel comfortable being “out” in the country. She recalls countless good memories since becoming involved with Spencer Pride, but one of the more personal ones is when she was surprised by fellow friends/volunteers with a surprise 70th birthday party! Serving as Director of Fundraising, Judi is responsible for helping the organization generate income through a multitude of different avenues. Individuals who would like to help the organization raise money (even if it doesn’t involve soliciting others directly) should contact Judi at Judi@SpencerPride.org.
Dana Beth Evans
Dana Beth Evans has been a member of the Spencer Pride Board of Directors for several years and currently serves as Director of Volunteer Development. In that role, she is responsible for coordinating quarterly volunteer educational events. Dana Beth was born in Irvington, Kentucky, a town that makes Spencer, Indiana, look large! She moved to south central Indiana after marrying her husband Raymond, who was from this area.
Dana Beth is an outspoken member on our board of directors, never shying away from giving her opinion or sharing her perspective (always delivered with that thick Kentucky twang). Dana Beth fondly recalls several years ago when she had been coaxed to volunteer in our Pride Festival dunk tank and then was unexpectedly dropped into the freezing water by the same person who had convinced her to sign up (don’t worry, he donated good money to have that opportunity!). If you’d like to learn more about upcoming volunteer development opportunities or if you would like to suggest certain types of training for our volunteers, please reach out to Dana Beth at Dana.Beth@SpencerPride.org.
Cameron Glass was born and raised in Spencer, Indiana, so she knows first-hand why Spencer Pride is essential to our community. Cameron first began volunteering with Spencer Pride due to the recommendation of her friend Lukas Brinson. Cameron started volunteering her junior year in high school, served as the Iris Youth lead (and Director) her senior year, and while she attends Indiana University in Bloomington for her freshman year this fall, Cameron now serves as the newly created Director of Volunteer Communications. Cameron’s best Spencer Pride memory was when she participated in the first-ever Iris Prom in 2019. Her favorite thing about volunteering with us is seeing the wonderful impact that Spencer Pride has had on her hometown and the region.
Folx should come to Cameron to learn about things happening within the organization and so that she can connect them to the right volunteers to get started in whatever area they want to be involved. Cameron can be reached at Cameron@SpencerPride.org.
Pennsylvania brought us Benjamin Franklin, Edie Windsor, Taylor Swift, and Joy Hellman, Spencer Pride’s Youth Empowerment Director. Joy began volunteering with Spencer Pride a few years ago when friend (and fellow Pride volunteer) Jessica Brinson recommended that Joy get involved after she lost her husband. Joy says that her favorite part of volunteering with Spencer Pride is the friends that she has made. One of her favorite memories as a volunteer was when Spencer Pride hosted our first ever Iris Prom. “Seeing the teens so happy being themselves was such a wonderful experience,” Joy recounts. If you would like to discuss your ideas for Spencer Pride’s youth program or would like to better understand how to become involved in supporting local LGBTQA+ youth, Joy would love to hear from you! Joy’s e-mail is Joy@SpencerPride.org.
Rex Hinkle loves antique cars, pipe organs, singing, and spreading good cheer to all he encounters. That makes him a great fit as Spencer Pride’s Director of Outreach. Rex was born and raised in Indianapolis and made the move to south central Indiana 35 years ago due to an employment opportunity within the aviation industry. Rex has been on Spencer Pride’s Board of Directors for the past 4 years, but, as a member of the Quarryland Men’s Chorus, Rex had performed at our annual Pride Festival prior to that. Rex says he has developed very close friendships while volunteering for Spencer Pride and it’s actually people that brought him to volunteer with us to begin with. He had heard about our passionate, hard-working volunteers, the importance of the organization, and our impact on the community. Rex notes that through his experiences with Spencer Pride he’s become a more effective leader and motivator. If you would like to learn more about Spencer Pride’s outreach program, in which we donate hundreds of hours & thousands of dollars to local youth and community organizations each year, reach out to Rex at Rex@SpencerPride.org.
Janet Rummel is a Midwesterner, first spending her formative years in Ohio before moving to Indiana in high school. She moved to Spencer with her wife Thomasina 9 years ago and began volunteering with Spencer Pride in 2018. In that short period of time, Janet has had a big impact on the organization as a dedicated volunteer and leader. She currently serves as Director of Marketing, but her influence extends well beyond her job title. She is a weekly volunteer at the commUnity center, prominent member of the Festival Leadership Council, and passionate member of our Board of Directors.
Some of Janet’s strongest assets are her self-driven nature, creativity, and her solution-oriented way of thinking. She enjoys traveling the state representing Spencer Pride at festivals and other events (especially at Indy Pride in 2019 where she got to enjoy the talents of Lizzo with fellow Spencer Pride volunteers and several thousand other attendees). One of her favorite things about volunteering – besides helping our mission – is the opportunity to work with and meet amazing people. Janet would love to hear from anyone who wants to bounce around ideas about Spencer Pride. She can be reached at Janet@SpencerPride.org.
Nolyn Wyatt is no stranger to Owen County – in fact, he was born and raised here. His passion for community involvement led him to Spencer Pride two years ago. Nolyn’s favorite part about being a Spencer Pride volunteer is helping the community by educating the public on LGBTQ+ issues. Nolyn, who is currently a senior at Owen Valley High School, says his favorite Pride memory was helping to plan and participate in the Iris Prom. “I genuinely feel that Spencer Pride is making a difference and I’m glad to say that I’m a part of that,” Nolyn proudly shares. As Director of our Iris Youth Group, Nolyn was first elected by his peers as Lead, then elected by our broader volunteer group to serve as a Director. His presence ensures that there is (literally) a youth voice at the table during our board discussions. Individuals who have questions about his experience as a local LGBTQ+ youth, or who are LGBTQ+ teens that are experiencing problems, can contact Nolyn via e-mail at Nolyn@SpencerPride.org.