Meet Our team


Our organization is 100% volunteer based!
We appreciate every single individual who dedicates their time and talents to ensure
that we get you the information you need as an LGBTQIA+ individual to thrive in York County!

Below we share pictures, short bios, and ways to contact our Board members, Committee Chairs, and our Advisers. 
Many of them are also Resource Specialist Volunteers.

Executive Committee

Tesla Taliaferro
He/Him/His
President & Resource Specialist Volunteer

Tesla is an active and dedicated LGBTQ+ advocate and an openly transgender and gay man. He is the Secretary of the PFLAG York chapter; the chair of the Social Justice Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York (UUCY); and the co-founder and agent for a local LGBTQ+ young adult support group and social outlet sponsored by the UUCY, Spectrum York. Tesla is also an award-winning contributor for Central PA’s LGBT Paper, The Central Voice. He has worked as a coordinator for an engineering company in the past and is currently a senior technical writer/editor at a technology-focused engineering firm.

Maria Warren Gable
She/Her/Hers
Vice President & Resource Specialist Volunteer

Maria is a native of Baltimore and has been living in York for over a decade.  She has supported Equality Fest from its inception and enjoys volunteering with other organizations and events. She is a spoken word artist that uses her platform to enlighten and uplift. She also loves to crochet and spend time with her wife, children, and grandchildren.

Kevin Forry
He/Him/His
Treasurer

Born and raised in York County, Kevin is a community man at heart. He’s the current President for the York Young Professionals and has supported other non-profit organizations through giving and volunteerism. Since 2007, Kevin’s professional background has been in the banking and finance industry. He currently works as a Business Banking Relationship Officer for a local community bank. This career gives him the opportunity to give back locally and watch business grow and succeed everyday.

Christina (Chris) Stetler
She/Her/Hers
Secretary & Resource Specialist Volunteer

Chris grew up in Southern New Jersey, where she was taught from a very young age that all people are equal. She went to Elizabethtown College for Communications, where she met her husband Brian. Her background is in nonprofit fundraising, having worked with a number of national and local nonprofit organizations. She earned a MA in American Studies and spent several years in the history field, before returning to fundraising. Chris is the President of the York County Federation of Democratic Women (YCFDW), the Director of Finance and Fundraising for the Democratic Party of York County (DPOYC), a board member with The Movement, an active member of the Northern York County Democratic Club (NoYo Dems), and has volunteered with Equality Fest for the last several years. Chris lives in northern York County with her husband and four cats (Domo, Strax, Victoria, and Prudence). She loves reading, photography, running (love might be a bit strong), the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Eagles, traveling, and history.

How to Contact Our Executive Committee
executives@rainbowrosecenter.org

Committee Chairs

Eli Holland-Garcia
He/Him/His/They/Them/Theirs
Academic Support Committee Chair & Resource Specialist Volunteer

Eli attends William Penn High School and participates in the school’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). They are also involved with the Lancaster LGBT Center, and York City’s Planned Parenthood’s The Curve and Martin Library’s GSA program. They love to sing and dance and has a passion for helping other people. They are a very social person who never gives up, especially when they know what they are working on is important in any way to even a single person.

Charles Kress
He/Him/His
Awards Committee Chair & Resource Specialist Volunteer 

Charles’ volunteerism began in the 1980s where he assisted people living and dying from AIDS during the epidemic. He co-ran “Gay York Live” on YCAT. He came out as openly gay in 1994. He worked several positions over a 30 year period at Atland’s Ranch – a gay bar and hangout in York County. He is a board member of PFLAG York, which he has helped run for 22 years. Charles retired in 2015 from Johnson Controls International after 15 years and currently works part time at the Luther Memorial Church on Hollywood Drive. He is involved with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, including as the LGBTQIA+ Equality Team Leader in their Social Justice Committee.

Shae Habersham
She/Her/Hers
Community Outreach Committee Chair & Resource Specialist Volunteer

Originally from the great state of Maryland, Shae moved to York in 2006. With always wanting to help people in her community live and lead better lives, Shae pursued a life of service as a social worker. She attended Millersville University, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Recently, she applied for her Bachelors LSW for Arkansas, where she will be moving to soon. Shae now has a provisional license of Social Work and is legally allowed to work as a social worker in Arkansas. She will hopefully be able, in the next coming months, to find a job in her soon to be new state, working with her preferred community – the LGBTQ+ community. Shae is a lover of music, Bull Terriers, sneakers, Hello Kitty, and all other awesomeness.

Jenny Beth (JB) Kissner
She/Her/Hers
Events Committee Chair

Born and raised in Berks County, PA, JB moved to York in 1995. She attended York College of PA, where she received her BA in English/Theatre. Once her professional career began, she found use for her planning and organization skills in Finance and Accounting. For her current employer, JB oversees global expense reporting and chairs the GBS Community Engagement Committee. Jenny Beth has always been an advocate for the value of all human life, from serving as president of the high school Peer to Peer group to actively volunteering with local non-profits like Women United. She lives in West York with her husband, son, and two cats.  She enjoys knitting, gaming, and art in all forms.

Sarah E. Seymore
She/Her/Hers
Fundraising Committee Chair

Sarah was born and raised in York County, she currently lives with her girlfriend and their 2 children.She is employed by The City of York, where she is on the Wellness Committee. Her vision is to make our community a happy and healthy place to work and live. She was previously employed at the York Spanish American Center and in the Pennsylvania Public School System. She attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she studied International Business. In her spare time, she has volunteered and donated to multiple non-profit organizations throughout the country. She enjoys laughing, reading, attending concerts, and traveling.

Shannon McElroy
She/Her/Hers
Marketing and Communications Committee Chair

A Baltimore native, Shannon transplanted to central Pennsylvania over a decade ago. She graduated from Cedar Crest College in Allentown with a degree in English and Capella University with a M.S. in Human Services and Nonprofit Management. Her background is in social work, marketing and communications, and program management. Her heart lies with HIV services where she has been an advocate and friend to the HIV community for over ten years while serving as a representative on the Pennsylvania HIV Planning Group. Shannon has worked and volunteered for nonprofit organizations for many years and was one of the first LGBT Learning Collaborative Coordinators for the National Association of Community Health Centers. She lives in York City with her wife and two cats. She loves crafting, reading, horror movies, visiting her sisters in Florida, and spoiling her two nieces.

Jamie Sudduth
He/Him/His
Volunteer Committee Chair

Jamie moved into the York community in 2003 when his work managing multiple stores for a large retailer brought him to the area. He began to volunteer in 2012 when he had to retire from work due to ongoing health issues. He became heavily involved with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York (UUCY) where he served as Chair of Building and Grounds and served on the executive board as Treasurer for 2 years. He also became heavily involved in animal rescue, where he worked for a York County non-profit as Community Outreach Coordinator, overseeing over 400 volunteers. Jamie designed training, put in place policies and procedures, and worked with local businesses to raise money. As a member of UUCY, he became involved with the York LGBTQIA+ community, advocating for gay marriage and the right for the gay and bisexual men to donate blood. When not volunteering, he enjoys spending time with his partner, animals, friends, and family. He also enjoys watching documentaries, reading John Grisham books, and learning new things.

Board Members At Large

Anne Gray
She/Her/Hers

Anne is an experienced non-profit administrator and a dedicated sex- and body-positive peer and youth educator. She is involved with the York Census 2020 committee, the York County System of Care Leadership Team, the Goodridge Freedom Center, the YWCA York Synchronized Swim Team, and the York Robothon summer camp. Anne manages all IT and technology aspects on behalf of the Rainbow Rose Center.

Seeking One More Board Member!

 

How to Contact Our Committees

 

 

Academic Support Committee

If you are an LGBTQIA+ youth or a Gay-Straight Alliance facilitator or member and would like information on the Rainbow Rose Center’s resources and events, contact: 
youth@rainbowrosecenter.org

 

 

Awards Committee

To recommend an individual or organization for special recognition of their support for the  LGBTQIA+ community of York County, please contact: 
awards@rainbowrosecenter.org

Community Outreach Committee

If you are a resource provider serving, or friendly business servicing,
the LGBTQIA+ community in and around York County, please contact: 
community@rainbowrosecenter.org

Events Committee

For questions regarding events including performer and vending opportunities, please contact:
events@rainbowrosecenter.org

Fundraising Committee

If you are looking to make a donation or become a sponsor,
please contact:  
fundraising@rainbowrosecenter.org

Media and Marketing Committee 

For media statements and marketing opportunities, please contact: 
marketing@rainbowrosecenter.org

Volunteer Committee

If in interested in getting involved as a volunteer, whether as a Resource
Specialist or for a specific event or program, please contact: 
volunteers@rainbowrosecenter.org

Or fill out a volunteer application here: 
forms.gle/DnJTJzFehVFHmpPbA
Requires background check, and involves an interview and intake process.

Advisory Committee

Reverend Carla Christopher
She/Her/Hers
Past President and Founder

Carla Christopher is a poet-activist, cultural competency trainer, and ordained redevelopment pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Carla was the 4th Poet Laureate of York, PA and has toured the globe as a performer, multiple published and award-winning author, public speaker, and workshop facilitator/trainer in areas of creative writing and storytelling, advocacy and activism, community engagement, survivor empowerment, and diversity or cultural competency. Carla currently serves as Associate Pastor of Outreach and Faith Formation at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster, is co-chair of the 7 county Toward Racial Justice Task Force of Lower Susquehanna, and a congregational coach. She blogs regularly for queer church websites, co-facilitates a peer-support group for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, moonlights with the poetry-funk fusion band, Groove Ink, and shamelessly spoils her Great Pyrenees puppy.

Carla is the co-founder of Equality Fest and the original mind behind the Rainbow Rose Center.

Reverend Eva O’Diam
She/Her/Hers
Adviser & Faith Community Liaison

At Manchester College, where she earned a degree in sociology, Eva was interested in ministry but grew disillusioned with the church during her last year of college and became a probation officer in Wabash, Indiana. About 18 months later, a Church of the Brethren pastor influenced Eva to return to the ministry, and she has since worked at various positions in pastoring, alternative ministry, and HIV/AIDS assistance. She currently lives with her wife and partner of more than 25 years, Mary Kelly, and is the pastor of Dover United Church of Christ and active with the York Association Open and Affirming Coalition.

For questions regarding LGBTQIA+ and faith-based matters, contact: faith@rainbowrosecenter.org
Pictured here with Peg and Delma Welch, Equality Fest 2018 Legacy Award Icons.

Bryan Tate
He/Him/His
Adviser

One of York County’s longtime leaders in the arena of estate planning and civic endowment, Bryan worked for the York County Community Foundation for 14 years, serving as vice president of community investment and then vice president and chief development officer for the overall organization. Currently the newly elected Register of Wills for York County, he’s also worked with the York County Estate Planning Council and Leave a Legacy York. Bryan is a consultant for community foundations across the country through his company, Building Unrestricted LLC, where he focuses on helping foundations establish civic endowments and grow their assets. Bryan is a York County native and graduate of Spring Grove Area High School, is president of the Rotary Club of York. He lives in York City with his husband, Ralph Serpe.

Adrian Shanker
He/Him/His
Adviser

Adrian is editor of the critically acclaimed anthology Bodies and Barriers: Queer Activists on Health and the executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA. A specialist in LGBT health policy, he developed leading-edge health promotion campaigns to advance health equity through behavioral, clinical, and policy changes. Adrian administered data collection for the 2015, 2018, and 2020 Pennsylvania LGBT Health Needs Assessments. He co-authored “Queer and Quitting: Addressing Tobacco Use as an LGBTQ Issue”, in The Routledge Handbook for LGBTQIA Administration and Policy. Adrian serves as Commissioner and health committee co-chair on the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.


If you have some advice or suggestions for the Board, please email it it to rainbowrosecenter@gmail.com