Blake Alford: Co-President

Blake Alford -37_pp

Blake Alford is a nationally known speaker and advocate for transgender people across the nation.  He provides a voice to the most vulnerable and marginalized transgender people in the southern United States.

Blake is the co-founder and the President of the Transgender Health and Education Alliance (THEA). Prior to founding THEA, Blake was integral to the Southern Comfort Conference serving on the Board of Directors for almost a decade. During that time, he developed programs to improve the welfare of transmen. He was the Director of the scholarship program and Director of the Robert Eads Health Partnership Program (REHP), which was vital to ensure sexual health of transmen by providing cost-free pelvic exams and medical advice.

In 2013 Blake was elected to the Board of Directors for Georgia Equality. He served on the Board of Directors for Someone Cares and was chosen for the Trans 100 list in 2013.

Throughout the year, Blake participates in speaking engagements at colleges and universities. Blake has worked with the Department of Justice on hate crimes against transgender people since 2013, and served on a task force to help the Atlanta Police Department revise their Standard Operating Procedures for transgender people.

Blake is dedicated to the greater community. He has been riding with Georgia Patriot Guard since 2010, makes hospital and home visits for people in need, and volunteers for civic service in his local community as Captain of his neighborhood watch. He is also a member of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Contact: blake.alford@thea-plus.com

Lisa Raman: Co-President

Lisa Raman-2_pp

Lisa Raman is the mother of a transgender man, an advanced practice nurse, and co-founder of THEA. She is the organizer of the family program. Prior to THEA, Lisa developed and chaired the first family conference at Southern Comfort Conference. She is co-founder of another non-profit health care organization and works/volunteers at two other non-profit health care organizations. Working with vulnerable people and rare conditions is Lisa’s main interest in her personal and professional life-she lives by her values and sees no separation between the two.

Contact: lisa.raman@thea-plus.com

Dallas Denny: Board Member

Dallas Denny is renowned for her work on advocacy, policy issues, and health practices involving transsexual and transgendered people. She has served as an advisor to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, The University of Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control, the city of Atlanta, journalists, and filmmakers. For more than twenty years she taught a class on transgender issues at Emory University. She has made hundreds of presentations at universities, businesses, professional organizations, and conferences.

Contact: dallas.denney@thea-plus.com

Dr. Keren Landman: Board Member

Dr. Keren Landman is a practicing physician and writer. She is trained in internal medicine and pediatrics with specialties in infectious diseases and public health, and served as a disease detective at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a researcher, she has focused on the prevention and treatment of HIV and malaria in resource-poor countries, and she has worked as a medical epidemiologist at the New York City health department. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gina Silk: Board Member

 

 

Bio coming soon

 

Tammy Lin Spencer: Board Member

Life can change quickly, can it not? Quite often we are all met with challenges that were ill equipped to cope with. Nothing could be truer for the Transgender Community. It is not uncommon for the lives of these individuals as well as their families to unravel after the mystery is unveiled. Although media, literature and spokespersons have worked to desensitize our perception we are still a society riddled with judgement. More than any professional background might attest to my reasons for advocating this issue, I am a mother and grandmother and I feel a personal responsibility to help educate and enlighten this generation.

My education background includes three years health science, one year Psychology, and one year Sociology from IVY Tech State College, Muncie Indiana. Between 2009 – 2012 I, along with a small team, executed, developed and managed a small Non-Profit (NP) company in our home town. The aim of our mission was to aid those most marginalized.  Through our resource center we assisted in the development of social programs that dealt with the epidemic and systemic social ills of our community. Through our efforts we had the great pleasure of witnessing first-hand the efficacy of our labor in the lives we could help change.

Drew Fincher – Board Member

Cindy Bowden: Board Member

Cindy has worked in the non-profit field for over 30 years.  She is the Director of the Clarkston Community Center which welcomes people from around the world.  Cindy provides guidance on governance issues for the Board and participates in outreach and communication efforts.  She also works with the Co-Presidents to establish budget projections.

 

Christopher T. Wszelaki – Board Treasurer and Grant Writer

unnamedChristopher is a Grant Writer for Transgender Health & Education Alliance (THEA) and Worldwide Syringomyelia & Chiari Task Force (WSCTF), nonprofit organizations in the Greater Atlanta area. Previously, Christopher was a Restaurant/Pub owner for 12 years in Michigan, but decided to relocate to the Atlanta area to follow his passion in working with nonprofit organizations to advocate, educate and help find funding for rare diseases and transgender individuals. After being introduced to Blake Alford and Lisa Raman, he decided to join THEA and help them bring awareness to the daily struggles of transgender individuals by educating the community on the pressing need to provide health benefits and funding for the transgender community.  Christopher graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.B.A. in Finance & Business Law in 2004, an A.S. in Computer Information Systems from Monroe County Community College (MCCC) in 2001 and a Grant Writing Certification from Kennesaw State University in 2016.