BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Colin is a teacher, entrepreneur, activist, writer and salesman. Actively involved in uniting the St. Louis LGBT Community, he has served on the board of directors for Pride St. Louis and uses his free time trying to make a difference for oppressed members of society. Colin has taught youth with developmental disabilities for Special School District and currently co-owns a school of self defense for adults with developmental disabilities. He was selected by the Regional Arts Council as a 2011 Community Arts Training Fellow, where furthered his training in community empowerment. Addicted to Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and the Romantics, Colin plays double bass with the St. Louis Civic Orchestra, of which he used to serve as the President of the Board. Currently, Colin is a pharmaceutical analyst with Express Scripts, International.
Dara is a partner at Strickland Jansen, PC, a law firm dedicated to offering sterling representation to families in the St. Louis area for their family law and estate planning needs. She graduated from Washington University School of Law in 2007 and opened the firm in 2010 with one idea: family law is for every family. Through her professional work, public speaking, media appearances and now serving proudly on the board of the LGBT Community Center, Dara hopes to make the law a shield for the community, not the barrier it is often perceived to be.
Celebrating over 20-years in LGBT media, Colin Murphy is Executive Editor and Senior Writer at Vital VOICE Omni Media. He has written for numerous community publications since 1991 and his op-ed, “1 Out of 10 Ain’t Bad!” is one of the longest running columns in St. Louis. An avid gay history buff, Colin is a member of the St. Louis LGBT History Project and collaborates with the St. Louis LGBT Archive at UMSL. He is a member of the Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and Vital VOICE Advisory Board. Colin is a former Vice President of The Late Knights of Pythias and a former Vice President and President of Metro East Pride of Southwestern Illinois. He is presently Secretary of The LGBT Center of St. Louis Scholarship Committee and a member of the Miss Gay Midwest America Board. In 2010 he was honored as a St. Louis Pride Parade Grand Marshal and is the recipient of the 2010 Missouri Award and 2011 New Day Award presented by the Miss Gay Missouri America Pageant. In 2012 Colin received the MEPSI Board of Directors Legacy Award for his service as a Founder and Vice President of the organization.
Richard (Rick) Norlin
After receiving a bachelors degree in Zoology, Rick earned his Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine from Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine in 1979 and has been practicing foot and ankle orthopedics ever since. In addition to serving as active podiatric staff at Des Peres and Forest Park Hospitals, Rick practices privately at Crestwood Foot Care Center. Naturally being quick with his feet, Rick is an avid tennis player and distance runner, competing in marathons such as the Chicago Marathon and the world famous Bix 7.
Heidi is the Director of Consulting, a writer, trainer, and editor for LeaderResources, a national Episcopal publishing company. In 1997 she co-founded Oasis Missouri, the LGBT welcoming program in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, and was the Diocesan Staff Officer for LGBT Ministries. Heidi is on the National Task Force in the Episcopal Church seeking to provide resources for "same-gender rites of blessing" for the church. Heidi is married to Mike Clark. They have a son in middle school, and live in Kirkwood with their three cats - Storm, Trooper and Chewbacca.
Jill was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, where she earned a BS degree and did graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh. She continued her graduate work and completed a 32 year long career as a public school teacher in St. Charles, MO after moving here in 1983. Jill and her husband, Bill, have two adult children named Emily and Brady. They founded the St. Charles chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in 2005, and Jill has been its president ever since. The chapter received the St. Charles County Social Justice Award in 2006. Jill is also the chairperson of the LGBT Coalition of St. Louis, a group of community non-profit leaders that meets regularly to collaborate and share ideas. She volunteers for the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and Senior Connections. Jill worked for many years as “Mrs. Sippy” the clown. She is also an active member at the Ethical Society Mid Rivers.
Elected in 2009, Shane Cohn serves the Alderman of the 25th Ward of the City of St. Louis. He is the first openly gay elected official in the city's government and the second youngest member of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. From 2000, Cohn worked as a human resources manager for Citi, supporting the employees in the firm's mortgage servicing operations in the St. Louis area. There, he co-led a program to build a nationwide employee recognition program and organized an LGBT organization for Citi employees, Citi Pride, which grew to 86 members in 2007. Before his election, Cohn worked as a community organizer in the Dutchtown neighborhood. He was on the Executive Committee and chaired the Resource Development Committee of the National Conference for Community and Justice of Metropolitan St. Louis (NCCJSTL). In May 2010, Cohn sponsored and won unanimous approval of a bill to add "gender identity" to the list of characteristics protected by municipal law against discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and employment.