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For Immediate Release: Equality Texas Elects New Board Members
Posted on February 24, 2020 at 2:53 pm

Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512.289.2995 angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

Equality Texas Elects New Board Members

Austin, Texas – February 24, 2020Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ Texans, today announced new members of the Equality Texas Board of Directors.

“Equality Texas selects talented Texas leaders to strengthen our mission to ensure every Texan is treated with dignity and respect in the state of Texas. We are pleased to have experienced leaders from across the state join us on the board of directors to bring their experience and passion to fight for equal treatment under the law for all LGBTQ Texans,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas.

The new Equality Texas Board Members are Lydia Clay of Austin, Jess Herbst of North Texas, John LaRue of Corpus Christi, Jack McBride of Houston, and Eli Olivarez of McAllen.

Lydia Clay is a Project Principal in the Real Estate Development and Construction Business in Austin. 

“I believe in the vision and mission of Equality Texas. Hearts and minds have changed over the years to allow for greater acceptance and protection of the LGBTQ community; however, we have a long way to go for full equality in Texas and beyond. I want to join the fight to ensure all Texans obtain the right of full protection under the law,” said Lydia Clay, Equality Texas Board Member from Austin.

Jess Herbst is a business owner from North Texas.   

“As a transgender woman with 16 years’ experience in local government as city councilman, road and planning commissioner and mayor, I have an understanding of the political process that should serve the board well.  I believe strongly that the most effective way to promote equal rights for everyone, and especially LGBTQIA+ people is to closely monitor and influence the legislative process,” says Equality Texas Board Member Jess Herbst from North Texas.   

John LaRue is a new board member from Corpus Christi who is an administrator at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“I share Equality Texas’s passion for equality and would like to help make sure that Texas improves its record on key issues like housing and employment discrimination and avoids passing harmful legislation,” said John LaRue, Equality Texas Board Member from Corpus Christi.

Jack McBride is a new board member from Houston who is the Associate Director of Writers in the Schools (WITS).

“I have more than 20 years of experience in working with nonprofit organizations and look forward to sharing my experience in governance, operations, benefits management, programming, community collaborations and partnerships, and relationship building to help lead Equality Texas in the Houston area,” said Jack McBride, Equality Texas Board Member from Houston.

Eli Olivarez is a new board member from McAllen who is a business owner and principal designer at Ideo Art + Design. 

“It is important that nonprofit organizations represent all voices. I can bring my experiences and diversity to the table to help lead Equality Texas with a focus on South Texas,” said Eli Olivarez, Equality Texas Board Member from McAllen.

The Equality Texas Board also voted unanimously to appoint the following board members to an additional, two-year term: Holt Lackey, Mark Phariss, and Jennifer Wright.

The Equality Texas Foundation Board also re-elected the following board members to another two-year term.  Chair Steve Atkinson of Dallas, Vice Chair Nicole DeLeon of Austin, Scott Elliff of Corpus Christi, Secretary Jo Ivester of Austin, Mark Sadlek of Dallas, Sam Hildebrand of Austin, Jonas Rios of Amarillo and Treasurer Trey McCampbell of Corpus Christi.

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.