Speakers Bureau

About Our Speakers Bureau

TransNewYork is pleased to announce that we have started a Speakers Bureau, featuring prominent members of the Transgender, Gender Non-conforming and Non-binary Community. Our speakers are available for you to hire for any speaking engagement for your organization. For example, Transgender Awareness Week begins on November 12th through November 19th with The Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th this year. This month – and quite frankly, any month – is an excellent opportunity to bring visibility to the Transgender Non-Conforming community.

We find ourselves – as individuals, organizations and companies – at a unique intersection in the evolution of corporate America and the LGBTQIA+ movement. Our speakers all believe that we have been brought to this point in our history with a clear and specific objective: to educate, inform, and inspire. This produces an energy that creates the power to change minds and, more importantly, to change hearts.

We offer in-person speeches (60-90 minutes) and panels (90-120 minutes). The topic for each speech is specifically tailored to the needs of the client and/or event. We believe that there is strength in numbers; bringing together a consortium of professionals with different skill sets will provide corporations with a variety of options in selecting a speaker that fits their audience.

If you would like to book a speaker or have further questions regarding a speaking engagement you are interested in booking please contact us at speakersbureau@transnewyork.org

Kelvin O. Howell Jr.

Dean of the Speakers Bureau | speakersbureau@transnewyork.org

Kelvin O. Howell Jr is an advocate and ambassador for equality with particularly championing the rights of people of color, homeless youth, gender-non-conforming/non-binary and transgender Individuals, I know first-hand navigating the world as an individual mention here comes with many unique challenges. On top of the organic difficulties that cut across all genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, cultures, family compositions, ages, languages, classes, economic levels, and educational levels. As a former client receiving services from many human and social services, I pride myself on ethics and standards now as a human and social services practitioner and change agent. Rising and overcoming various systematic oppression, prejudices, stereotypes, discrimination, many other isms, Kelvin continuously uses his embodied survival strategies, life experiences, education, and skills to build our human and social justice movement and the many fights within.

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Kelvin O. Howell Jr. was appointed by Founder/Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Gennifer “Genn” Herley PhD. as the Deputy Executive Director & Chief of Staff of TransNewYork making them the first Gender Non-Conforming African American to serve in this newly created role. They are responsible for overseeing TransNewYork strategic planning and implementation process, management and supervision of five c-suite personal, leadership and development of all employees, and is next in the organization’s succession plan to assume full responsibility in the absence of the Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer. They also serve as a confidant and senior advisor to the Founder, serve as a senior ambassador of the organization, serve as the principal staff advisor of the organization, serve as the coach of the board of directors, and moreover, they serve as the consumer experience advocate.

Since Howell Jr.’s appointment, they have developed and implemented The Sisters Helping Sisters Initiative (S.H.S.I.) which is a COVID-19 initiative to support Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Non-binary sisters in the County of Queens, and the surrounding Metropolitan area. S.H.S.I. is being some immediate changes around food inequality for Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Non-binary sisters in the County of Queens, and the surrounding Metropolitan area. This initiative packs boxes of 30 to 40 pounds of fresh produce, other groceries items, hygiene products, and PPE weekly. As of date, we have served 100 Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Non-binary individuals weekly, providing 225 meals weekly and packing 4,000 pounds of food weekly. They are currently in global negotiations with other governments, agencies, and organizations to advance the rights and needs of Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Non-binary individuals.

Formerly, Howell Jr. served as Assist. to the Dean and faculty of the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education, Youth Advocate at Safe Horizon, Senior Case Manager and Case Planning Supervisor at Feel Better Therapy Clinic, Mentor and Sr. Mentor of Administration at Metropolitan College of New York, Operations and HR Manager at DIVA’s Mobile Cooking Services, Volunteer Coordinator and Community Grant Coordinator at NYC Pride, Senior Youth Leader and Outreach Worker/Youth Leader at the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center and Chief of Staff to the Officer of the Senior Pastor at Unity Fellowship Church-NYC.

Their professional career includes extensive experience in the nonprofit sector: leadership, management, supervision, development, outreach, harm reduction, peer to peer services, mentoring, group facilitation, case management and planning, advocacy, community organizing, public speaking, counseling, and life coaching. Howell Jr. continues to be visible and plays a violent role in advancing the social justice movement and the many fights within. Currently, they are the Chairperson and volunteer of Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment (FIERCE!), an organization in the County of the Bronx that is building the leadership and power of LGBTQIA+ youth of color, is a member of the LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, Member and Co-Facilitator of the Gender “X” Marker working group of the NYPD Commissioners’ LGBTQIA+ Advisory Board, a member of the Office of the Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s LGBT Policy Task Force, member of the NYPD’s 75th Precinct Clergy Council, a member, Chaplain and Clergy at the New York State Chaplain Task Force (NYSCTF), member of the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education Alumni Network, a US-NYC-County of Queens Delegate, Member and Volunteer of InterPride and the NERP – POSE Conference, and a member/volunteer of Queens Lesbian and Gay Committee, Inc. (Queens Pride).

Howell Jr. is also the Founder, Executive Partner, and Chief Consulting Officer of Firm 9, LLC, a multi-service professional consulting firm in the Bronx, New York. Their tagline is “The Multi-Service Consulting Firm of the Future, With its Consultants At Hearts. Firm 9, LLC’s vision To be acknowledged as the multi-service consulting firm of choice for newly formed nonprofits, small businesses, and faith-based organizations that provides comprehensive dimensional work plans necessary for long term success and mission provide a unique and embodied consulting experience and services that foster organizational, professional, personal and consumer development that creates sustainability in the workplace and the community at large.

Howell, Jr. has received numerous awards and recognition over their professional career. Some include The Transgender Experience – TTE Visionary Award and Outstanding Volunteer Award from NYC Pride. They were recognized by the former Speaker of the New York City Council from 2014 to 2017 for their leadership and crisis management in the 2014 East Harlem Gas Explosion that leveled two apartment buildings located just north of 116th Street at 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue, killing eight people, injuring at least 70 others, and displacing 100 families.

Most recently, Howell Jr. was recognized by New York City Council Member Daniel “Danny” Dromm of district 25 for their leadership in producing Queens Pride’s groundbreaking virtual pride due to COVID-19. They were also recognized their service and tenacity by the Intrepid Museum and Budweiser in the “Intrepid Among Us” campaign that launched nationally on September 14th, 2020, to honor and celebrate first responders during the global, national and local Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for their work with New York Care as a Project Team Leader overseeing 15 to 30 volunteers three days a week in LIC. As of date, they have led over 200 community projects that pack, load, and deliver over 65,00 pounds of food to over 2,885 families weekly, providing 60,585 meals weekly since March 2020 to families that have experienced significant food inequality due to this to the pandemic.

Howell Jr. has guest lectured at John Jay University, Columbia University, New York Divinity School, and frequently at Metropolitan College of New York. Howell Jr. has served as a keynote speaker at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Metropolitan Community Church, LAISP (Love Alive International Sanctuary of Praise Worship Center of New York City), the LAISP Foundation, Watchful Eye, The Church of the Village, and the National Action Network.

Howell Jr. holds several degrees and certifications including, a Bachelors of Professional Studies and an Associative Arts in Human Services from the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education (Metropolitan College of New York-MCNY), and currently working on their Masters of Social Work and Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. They hold a COVID-19 Contact Tracing Certificate from The Johns Hopkins University and a Chaplaincy Certificate from The New York Divinity School. They hold a host of other certifications from agencies and organizations, like, the New York State Department of Correctional Services, FEMA, Safe Horizon, New York State, New York City, Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center, The Technical Institute of America, and the Harm Reduction Coalition.

They currently reside in East Midtown, Manhattan with their Lilac French Bulldog, Sir Winston, and enjoy visiting family and friends locally, nationally, and globally.

Dr. Gennifer Herley

Associate Dean of the Speakers Bureauspeakersbureau@transnewyork.org

Dr. Gennifer Herley PhD is the founder and executive director of TransNewYork. Gennifer is a proud transgender woman who recently transitioned and earned her doctorate degree in 2014. TransNewYork’s mission is to bring awareness to the issues facing the transgender non-conforming (TGNC) community and give guidance and support to individuals and their loved ones within an open and safe environment. It provides individual and group counseling and monthly meetings that address issues such as gender dysphoria and encourage transgender individuals to share their stories, and wishes to be an informative source for transgender resources, activities, and events. Dr. Herley and TransNewYork work with allies of the transgender community to provide Transgender Non-Conforming educational training seminars, guest speakers, and other resource materials to help maintain and expand diversity and inclusion within organizations, along with helping raise public awareness on transgender issues through hosting and sponsoring speaking engagements, featuring prominent transgender leaders, and organizations.

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Dr. Herley’s career has taken two paths, corporate management roles and business and personal coaching, and both have merged into nonprofit organizational leadership. Her leadership experience includes managing all operational activities, such as finances, business development, sales, marketing, and fundraising. Dr. Herley excels at developing and monitoring budgets and resources, planning and executing short- and long-range goals, and redesigning programs to respond to the changing needs of the LGBTQ Community with a focus on members of our community who are transgender.

In addition Dr. Herley is a Board member of I’m from Driftwood, which aims to help LGBTQ people learn more about their community, straight people learn more about their neighbors, and everyone learn more about themselves through the power of storytelling and story sharing. She is also an adjunct professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. Herley is a tireless advocate of the transgender community and has spoken at many Transgender Conference focusing on group dynamics.

Dr. Herley organized the first transgender Conference in New York City, New York Coming Out in 2019. This 3-day conference had over 350 attendees 100 workshops, a vendor room and hosted keynote speakers such as Sarah McBride from the Human Rights Campaign.

Stephanie Battaglino

Director of the Speakers Bureauspeakersbureau@transnewyork.org

As the founder and owner of Follow Your Heart, LLC, Stephanie is an internationally recognized transgender motivational speaker, workshop presenter, trainer, workplace diversity and inclusion consultant. A major voice in the LGBTQ workplace equality movement focusing specifically on transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, Stephanie casts a bright light on all of the pertinent Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) issues that companies and organizations must face to successfully transform their workplaces into a truly welcoming environment for all of their employees. Stephanie’s warm and personal style has engaged and enlightened her audiences wherever she speaks. She currently sits on the Board of PFLAG National and is the Chair of their Business Advisory Council. She has proudly served on the Boards of the following organizations: the LGBT Community Center of New York and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF). She is also a past member of the Transgender Advisory Committee of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. As a recently retired Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance Company, Stephanie possesses over 40 years of management and leadership experience in marketing, advertising and communications within the Fortune 100 of Corporate America.

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Stephanie holds a BA in Communication from the University of Delaware and an MBA in Marketing from the Samuel L. Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is also a graduate of the prestigious UCLA Anderson School of Management’s LGBT Leadership Institute.

Selected Media Appearances:

Huffington Post Live

  • In-studio guest, “#WMN” show
  • Guest panelist, Transgender Parenting
  • Guest panelist, Coming Out Over the Holidays

Huffington Post Gay Voices – featured blogger

Diversity Best Practices

  • Webinar: Out and Up: The Transformative Power of LGBT-Friendly Workplace in Unleashing Productivity and Creativity
  • Feature Article – “Getting the Language Right: The Transgender Conversation”
  • Contributor, D&I Strategist Playbook

The Advocate.com – guest op-ed contributor

GLAAD.org – contributing blog author

HRC.org – Featured blog author for National Coming Out Day, 2014

New Republic – featured video interview in The Next Republic series, contributor to “Welcome to America’s Next Great Civil Rights Struggle” special edition

IntegrityUSA.org – contributing writer, “Walking With Integrity” blog

TueNight.com – contributor

Associated Press article on transgender health benefits equality (appeared nationally in print and on the Internet)

Featured in an episode of the GLAAD Media Award-nominated documentary series, Sex Change Hospital, which aired in the United States on the Women’s Entertainment (We) cable network, as well as in the United Kingdom, Brazil and Sweden in 2007 and 2008

Dr. Chloe Schwenke

Dr. Chloe Schwenke is an openly transgender international development ethicist and practitioner, human rights activist, researcher and educator, and is now the president and founder of the Center for Values in International Development. Her career covers project experience in over 40 countries. She served as a political appointee at USAID under the Obama Administration, and was later a vice president at Freedom House. Chloe received her Ph.D. in public policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Department of Philosophy at Makerere University in Uganda from 2005-6. In 2013, she was awarded a National Public Service Award by the National Center for Transgender Equality. She has published a memoir (Self-ish: a transgender awakening), and is a frequent speaker including a TED Talk and two talks at the Obama White House.

Rikki Nathanson

Rikki Nathanson is a fierce activist for the rights of trans and gender diverse persons, globally. In September 2015 she formed Trans* Research, Education, Advocacy & Training [TREAT], which seeks to address the civil rights issues of this marginalized population of Zimbabwe in the areas of health, justice and the socio economy. TREAT is based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and is registered as a Trust. In 2016, she was instrumental in the formation of the Southern Africa Trans Forum, initially serving as its Secretary and later becoming its Chairperson. She is a member of the Africa Key Populations Expert Group to the UNDP, and the Every Woman Everywhere Coalition. She serves on many Boards – regionally and internationally. These are, Social Health Empowerment [SHE], African Men for Sexual Health and Rights [AMSHeR] and ENZA Research (South Africa), Trans Bantu Association Zambia, the IRGT – a global network of trans women in the fight against HIV and OutRight Action International & Global Action for Trans Equality [GATE] (United States of America).

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In 2014, Rikki was unlawfully arrested for using a public female restroom at a hotel in her home city of Bulaway. After being acquitted, she took on the State of Zimbabwe with a civil suit. This act of bravery has proven to be risky to her life, and has seen her fleeing her home country of Zimbabwe and resettling in the United States of America. In November 2019, judgement was finally handed down in her civil suit against Zimbabwe, and she made history with the ground breaking judgement that has positively changed the legal landscape for trans and gender diverse persons not only in Zimbabwe, but further afield. She is currently employed in the Executive Management of Casa Ruby. Casa Ruby is an organization run and led by transgender women of color, and is the only LGBTQ bilingual and multicultural organization in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, providing social services and programs catering to the most vulnerable in the city and surrounding areas. Professionally, she holds a qualification with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Zimbabwe.

Toni Newman

Toni Newman is the Interim Executive Director/President for LYRIC, consultant Director for the SF LGBT Center and a faculty member at the Transgender Strategy Center. Toni is a graduate of Wake Forest University and current candidate for her Juris of Doctorate (JD).  Toni was the Executive Director for St. James Infirmary and the Director of Development for Maitri Compassionate Care, and previously served as the Interim Director of Development & Communications at To Help Everyone Health and Wellness Centers and as a Strategic Fundraiser, Volunteer Recruiter, and Legislative Aide for Equality California. 
Additionally, Toni is a best selling author, noted for her memoir I Rise -The Transformation of Toni Newman released in 2011. Her memoir was based off the poem I Rise by Wake Forest University Reynolds Professor, Dr. Maya Angelou, who Toni interviewed with in 2012. The memoir has been featured in Ebony and Advocate magazines, and nominated for the prestigious Lambda Literary award. Most recently the memoir has been produced into a short film titled Heart of a Woman by Alton Demore and Keith Holland being featured at several film festivals in the USA, Thailand and Germany.

Sam Brinton

Sam Brinton is one of the world’s leading advocates for LGBTQ youth. They are the founder of the 50 Bill 50 States campaign at The Trevor Project to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, first in the United States and then around the globe. As a survivor of conversion therapy, Sam has spoken before the United Nations and Congress as well as testified on legislation from coast to coast to protect LGBTQ youth mental health across the country. They have been featured in numerous media including multiple New York Times op-eds as well as The Washington Post, Playboy Magazine, and TIME Magazine. Sam uses they, them, or theirs as their pronouns as a genderfluid person.

Ashley T. Brundage

Ashley T. Brundage is the founder and president of Empowering Differences. While seeking employment at a major financial institution, she self-identified during the interview process as a male to female transgender woman and subsequently was hired. She was offered a position and started as a part time bank teller and worked in various lines of business before moving to Human Resources in 2016. Ashley recently celebrated 18 years of marriage to Whitney and together they have two biological sons; Bryce, 15, and Blake, 13. Since beginning transitioning in 2008, she has worked tirelessly to promote awareness and acceptance of gender identity and expression. She works to accomplish this goal by volunteering in the community, and holding education sessions for corporations. She serves on the Corporate Advisory Council for the NGLCC-National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Also is the co-chair for NGLCC’s new global Trans+ Inclusion Task Force. She chaired the successful bid to host the NGLCC convention in 2019, and Visit Tampa Bay named her their Tourism Champion for 2017. In 2018, she started serving on the board of the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. In 2019, she was voted on the National Board of Directors for GLAAD. GLAAD works to accelerate acceptance for the LGBTQ+ Community through media advocacy.

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Ms. Brundage speaks locally and nationally about her transition, workplace equality, leadership, and diversity & inclusion. She has also been interviewed in several publications and media outlets, including Tampa Bay Times, Watermark Magazine, Creative Loafing, The Tampa Bay Business Journal, The Miami Herald, Fox 13 News Tampa, ABC News 7 Ft Myers, CBS 10 Tampa, Las Vegas Review Journal, Milwaukee Biz Times, the Daily Beast, Fairygodboss, and a feature story with Bloomberg Businessweek in 2019. Ashley has been recognized in many areas and has received numerous awards including: The University of South Florida 2014 Community Pride Award, 2015 St Pete Pride Grand Marshal, 2015 Commendation-City of Tampa, 2016 Tampa Bay Business Journal Business Woman of the Year, 2016 Voice for Equality Award from Equality Florida, and LGBT Leadership Award from the Florida Diversity Council. In 2017, she was awarded a Leadership Award from Metro Inclusive Health. Also in 2017 she was a winner of the Inaugural People First Award by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, and the TBBJ Power 100 list, the most influential and powerful people in business. In 2018, she was given the Champion Award from international non-profit Out & Equal as well as named one of Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Women from the National Diversity Council. In 2019, she was named one of the Top 40 under 40 in the LGBTQ community nationally by Business Equality Magazine, TBBJ Outstanding Voice for the LGBTQ community and the Inaugural Transgender Rising Star by TransNewYork.

Karen DeJarnette

Hired in December, 2013, Karen DeJarnette is an SEO Manager for Expedia Group. In December, 2014, she had a moment of personal crisis, as many others like her face, and she finally accepted her truth that she is transgender. She met with HR in March of 2015 and learned that she was the first person in Expedia history to come out and transition on the job! She came out to her team in July, then went full-time in October, 2015. She joined the company LGBT diversity group that year, then got elected to the group’s Board of Directors, and has been re-elected every year since. She’s driven many EG-wide D&I initiatives in her role as a D&I leader in Expedia, and this year she completed a 3-year project to launch the much anticipated, renewed LGBTQ Hotels campaign for Orbitz in Q3 2020. Karen is a fan of absurd humor, a history buff, a Beatles and Queen fanatic, and is enjoying learning the finer points of peaty, smoky, Islay single malt scotch. Fun fact: In 1992, Karen had a pitch meeting with an executive producer at Paramount Studios for new script ideas for Star Trek: The Next Generation! In case you’re wondering how it worked out, she lives in the Seattle area, not LA!

Sophie Delannoy

Sophie Delannoy is an energizing and cheerful business development professional who has been running investment projects for a leading retail firm all over France. She has also been sitting as a judge for more than fifteen years in the city of Tours under her former male identity, and then as Sophie in the city of Lyon. Nothing has more appeal to her than bringing diverse people together to make things happen. She is a happy father of three, an admiring grandmother of a lovely French/American girl, a rotary club member, a licensed private pilot, and a Padi Divemaster.

Since her transition in 2018, Sophie has devoted a greater part of her time to talk about what it took her to become her true self; trying to stress how life saving this path has been to her. She is a member of “l’autre cercle” the leading NGO on the matter of LGBTI people in the workplace in France. She recently joined the ethics committee of “le refuge”, France’s leading organization sheltering young LGBTI people thrown out of their families as a reward for just being whom they are. Sophie delivers strong speeches, and answers questions either in English or French. German is a “emergency use only” option!