Board Members

Meet our Board Members 

CHAIR: Peter Soares

Peter Soares (He/Him) is Managing Director of Litigation in the Legal Affairs Department at American Airlines.  Peter oversees high profile and/or high exposure litigation as well as supporting the Latin America and Risk Management organizations at the airline.  Prior to the airline industry, Peter was an attorney at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (now Denton) where he focused on complex commercial and intellectual property litigation.  At Sonnenschein, he furthered the firm’s diversity initiatives through his role with the Diversity and Mentoring Committees, as well as the firm Pro Bono Program.  Peter received a Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Hasting College of the Law, a Master of Arts degree from the New School for Social Research and a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University.  In addition to serving on AFC’s Board, Peter is the management sponsor and one of the founders of the American Pride Employee Business Resource Group’s New York Chapter.

VICE CHAIR: Julie O'Shaughnessy

Julie O’Shaughnessy (She/Her) is a Business Development Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Julie works with enterprise customers globally to quantify the financial impact, both realized and potential of migrating to the cloud. She serves as Chair of Partnerships for Glamazon New York, Amazon’s LGBTQ Employee Resource Group. Prior to joining AWS, Julie was at Barclays Investment Bank with roles in Capital Markets and Chief of Staff to the Global Head of Corporate and Investment Banking.

Julie was born and raised in New Hampshire and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire where she was Captain of the Women’s Soccer Team. In addition to serving on Ali Forney Center’s Board, she is an active volunteer for IMPACT Melanoma, having fundraised and completed four Boston Marathons.

TREASURER: Mariam Adams

Mariam Adams (She/Her) is a financial advisor who leads an LGBTQ+ wealth management practice at Merrill Lynch in New York.

A large part of her business focuses on personal asset management and helping people navigate through some of life’s biggest transitions, be it starting a family, changing careers, or managing the care of an elder parent. With the majority of her clients being women and LGBTQ+ individuals, she strives to better understand the financial challenges that disproportionately impact these groups and help them breakdown barriers (both personal and societal) to achieving financial independence. She regularly speaks about the value of investing in oneself.

Mariam has long been dedicated to serving the LGBTQ community, advocates, and allies, both personally and in her capacity as a financial advisor. Mariam chairs the NYC Chapter of Merrill Lynch’s LGBT National Team and is a member of Bank of America’s NYC Pride Leadership Council. 

Mariam began her career as a lobbyist, with a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania, and an undergraduate degree from Northeastern University. Always working at a strategic level, she specialized in securing financial contracts on the state and federal levels. Eventually, she narrowed her focus to investments and finance both domestically and abroad, which led her to Merrill Lynch.

Mariam lives in Brooklyn with her wife Rena and two daughters.

SECRETARY: Keith Vessell

A native of New Orleans, LA; Keith (He/Him) has been a resident of New York City for over 14 years. He serves as Director of Sales for the newly rebranded Prestige Custom Awards formally The Corporate Presence. His job affords him an opportunity to interface with such companies as; the NFL, ESPN, NBC and a number of investment banks globally. Keith holds a degree in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy from Pace University. A huge sports fan, who loves to travel and read Keith still finds time to be active in the gay sports leagues throughout the metro area. An active member for Marble Collegiate Church he also loves going to movies and the theatre.  This foodie hopes to open his own restaurant one day. Having previously worked with several other LGBT nonprofits he is honored to serve on the AFC board of directors.

Alberto Arelle

Alberto I. Arelle (He/Him) is a Vice President in the Investment Services Technology for Risk Systems at Bank of New York Mellon since 2017. Before joining BNY Mellon, he worked at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. for eighteen years at their Boston, Dublin and NY offices. He focused on Foreign Exchange and Treasury with an emphasis on capital management and regulatory reporting. Alberto co-chaired the LBGTQ ERG at BBH from inception to a firm-wide initiative focusing on volunteering and active engagement with BBH’s partnership.


Alberto was born in Mexico City. He graduated from Boston University with dual degrees in Economics and Philosophy. When he is not working or spending time with his husband Jorge, he can be found at his garage working on one of his various motorcycles, or riding them.

Billy Dume

(He/Him) Bio coming soon.

Marti Gould Cummings

Marti Gould Cummings (They/Them) is a NYC drag artist and political activist. Their work as a performer has taken them around the world entertaining audiences to sold our comedy cabaret concerts. Marti produced and starred in the hit Fusion television show Shade Queens of NYC and was award with the 2019 Glam Award for Entertainer of the Year. In 2018 they were included in OUT Magazine's OUT 100 Honorees list and were named by Newnownext as one of the 11 drag queens making the world a better place.

Their work with AFC began almost a decade ago having worked on The Broadway Beauty Pageant, Oasis, DRAGS, APAT, and multiple other events and effort to bring awareness to AFC. In 2018 Marti was presented with The Luminary Award at APAT for dedication to AFC's causes.

Anthony Hird

Anthony Hird (He/Him) is an attorney and Senior Vice President in Independent Compliance Risk Management at Citigroup. His area of responsibility includes Equity and Fixed Income Research ensuring compliance with various securities laws, as well as, safeguarding material non-public information from misuse and insider trading. Prior to joining Citi, Anthony worked at a fintech startup and earlier started his career at Lehman Brothers.


After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where Anthony was an education major, he moved to New York City and graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law. Outside of work, Anthony is an Ironman triathlete and marathon runner.

Isis King

Isis King (She/Her), an artist hailing from Prince George County, Maryland, is a graduate of the Arts Institute of Philadelphia. Majoring in “Fashion Design” and accepted to the school with a full-tuition scholarship, Isis served as Vice President of the “Fashion Club,” and graduated with the Industry Award for “Best Evening Wear” in 2005. After graduation, Ms. King began the process of preparing a move to New York City. It was during this time that a MSNBC documentary about Transgendered Individuals in 2007, entitled “Born in the Wrong Body: On the Edge” featuring Ms. King, introducing her to the world.

Isis King’s “spotlight,” was now on. The life changing moment came for Isis, when the creator, producer and star of America’s Next Top Model (ANTM), Tyra Banks, observed her, ironically enough, at a “Cycle 10” ANTM photo shoot. Isis was encouraged to audition for “Cycle 11” of ANTM and was selected. For the first time in her life, she boarded an aircraft and traveled to compete amongst other “Supermodel” hopefuls. Leaving behind her fears, the homeless shelter where she was a resident and all apprehensions, she became the first woman of transgender experience to compete on ANTM. As a result, Isis became an ICON, as the most commented upon contestant in ANTM history.

Freelance Fashion Model, Designer and Motivational Speaker, Ms. King currently works in all areas of entertainment. Her belief in following one’s dreams is the driving force for her success. She has expanded her purview to include acting and recently filmed a movie in the Philippines . Ms. King’s mission, is to be the epitome of a well-rounded, world renowned entertainer and artist.

Mark Lane

Mark Lane (He/Him) is a Director in Corporate Communications at Barclays. As Head of Internal Communications, Americas, he is responsible for all colleague communications relating to Barclays’ businesses in the region, including business promotion, management updates, client-facing communications, legal matters and C-suite messaging. He is also responsible for promoting the Americas businesses to colleagues across the globe. Mark is chair of Barclays' LGBT employee resource group.

Mark previously held a variety of roles in media relations and internal communications at Barclays, having joined the firm from Lehman Brothers in 2008. At Lehman Brothers, he was a key member of the public relations team that handled the world's largest ever bankruptcy.

Marie McKenna

Marie McKenna (She/Her) is a Vice President in Rates Sales at Barclays Capital where she has covered a range of institutional clients since joining the Bank in 2009. As a member of the firm’s Human Capital Program (HCP), Marie co-leads the recruiting effort for HCP across the Securities division and is highly involved in attracting & retaining talent across the firm. She is a founding member of the Bank’s Volatility Initiative and also heads the Bank’s Swaps Operating Committee.

Marie was born and raised in Philadelphia, and comes from a big family with 3 siblings and 24 first cousins. She graduated with a B.A. in History from Princeton University where she was a two-time All-American & co-Captain of the Women’s Lacrosse team. Since moving to New York City in 2009, Marie has been actively involved with CityLax, a non-profit organization that uses lacrosse as a teaching mechanism for students in the New York City Public School system.

Louis Miller

Louis Miller (He/Him) was born in Seoul, Korea; many details of his birth are unknown. He was adopted at the age of three-months-old and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia by his parents who were school teachers. He has one younger brother and a dog named Bruce Wayne.

Louis attended the George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he studied journalism, biology, public health, and also completed medical school. During this time, he volunteered for the Whitman-Walker Clinic providing HIV and STI testing for the largely LGBTQ clientele there and focused his studies on how early mass media representations of HIV/AIDS shaped government and public responses to the AIDS epidemic.

During college, Louis held a wide variety of jobs, including working on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as a toll collector, making mouse traps in a plastic injection molding factory and as a writer for Along the way, he also played bass, guitar and “sang” in occasional post-hardcore/post-punk bands around Philadelphia and DC. Later, he worked on Capitol Hill as a Health Policy Fellow for Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).

Louis moved to New York City to complete his residency training in internal medicine at NYU. He stayed at NYU to complete fellowship training in cardiology, interventional cardiology and served as the senior chief resident of medicine. He is currently a faculty cardiologist and the Senior Associate Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program at the NYU School of Medicine. His research interests include innovations in medical education and HIV-related coronary disease. His office is at Bellevue Hospital.

During his cardiology fellowship, one of Louis’ interns introduced him to his future husband, Mark, after what must have been a bad date. The intern’s intuition—that Louis and Mark would be a “better fit”—was spot on, and they were married four years later. At home, Louis and Mark enjoy playing music together, and watching documentary films and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Both can be spotted biking around Brooklyn and were recently seen cycling across the countryside of Burma.

Individually, Louis is intrigued by beauty, originality, and irony. He enjoys wearing well-made suits, colorful socks, and although he is often viewed as quiet or serious, Louis loves to laugh. Fugazi, Fela Kuti and the Velvet Underground are frequently heard on his Spotify playlists. He likes books written by Haruki Murakami, Jack Kerouac, and David Foster Wallace, and movies directed by Wong Kar Wei, Hayao Miyazaki, and Pedro Almodovar.

And for what it’s worth, Louis is an Aquarius; his favorite color is black.

John T. Owen

John Owen (He/Him) is a corporate partner at the global law firm of Jones Day.  He practices in the areas of capital markets and general corporate law and has represented domestic and international clients in a wide range of complex capital markets and corporate finance transactions.  John serves on the diversity committee of the Jones Day New York office and serves on the steering committee of Jones Day’s Legal Recognition of Same Sex Relationships project.  He graduated from the University of Oklahoma and attended law school at The University of Texas.  Before joining Jones Day, he was previously affiliated with Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Weil, Gotshal.  John was recognized by The Legal 500 US in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for capital markets and was named as a Best LGBT  Lawyer Under 40 by the national LGBT bar association in 2014.   

Carlos Ruisanchez

Carlos Ruisanchez (He/Him) is a Senior Vice President within the Commodities and Global Markets division of Macquarie Bank Intl. Born and raised in Spain, he moved to New York after completing his MBA at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid. Carlos has been a Coffee & Cocoa trader for the past 20 years.  He is responsible for the risk management of the Coffee and Cocoa business at Macquarie through the trade of Futures and Options. Carlos also provides clients with the necessary hedging tools to protect them from price fluctuations and market volatility.

Carlos’ involvement in the Coffee industry goes beyond the business aspect as he has been actively involved with the following two non-profit organizations in Central America and Africa: Seeds for Progress which improves access to high-quality education in rural communities in Nicaragua and Guatemala’s coffee-growing regions and Kahawatu (People’s Coffee) Foundation whose mission is to transform rural coffee-growing communities in Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. The three main initiatives for Kahawatu are: building schools, sponsoring agronomists for sustainability practices and supporting a women empowerment program through coffee production.

Additionally, through his engagement in the Pride at Macquarie employee network group steering committee and his support of the Macquarie Foundation, Carlos volunteers at SAGE as well as supporting and hosting Dancers Responding to Aids at the Fire Island Dance Festival.

John Quinn

John Quinn (He/Him) is a Partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink.  John was selected by Super Lawyers as a 2018 New York Rising Star in Business Litigation and was recently named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.  In early 2018, John managed the firm’s representation of Starkville Pride, a student-led LGBT pride organization in Starkville, Mississippi, in a successful constitutional challenge to the city’s denial of a permit for a pride parade.  A month later, John traveled to Starkville to help lead the parade.  John also has been active in the mentoring of LGBT associates and law students, and has traveled to events and panel discussions to talk with law students about navigating the interview process and firm life as an LGBT student and lawyer. He has served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College for a course on constitutional law, and–in addition to securing wins himself as a National Trial Team Competitor–has invested significant time and energy in mentoring and coaching high school mock trial teams. John also has dedicated his efforts to public interest lawyering:  helping to develop public interest cases at Kaplan Hecker & Fink, assisting Iraqi refugees in need of priority resettlement in Egypt, collaborating in the development of violence mitigation programs for Sudanese refugee gang youth, and representing clients in criminal proceedings in Roxbury and Dorchester through the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute.  John clerked for the Honorable John R. Padova in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in his hometown of Philadelphia. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was awarded the Joseph H. Beale Prize for excellence in Conflict of Laws, as well as the Addison Brown Prize, a prize awarded biannually or annually for an outstanding essay relating to private international law or maritime law. He is an Honorary Overseas Member of the Commercial Bar of London.

Ana Beatriz Sani

Ana (She/Her) is a Recruiter at BellCast Partners, a boutique search firm that partners with investment funds throughout the US and abroad.  Ana is responsible for conducting private equity searches across all levels and geographies.  Prior to her career in recruiting, Ana worked at Citigroup in their investment bank.

Ana was born in São Paulo, Brazil and raised in New York.  She holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Williams College where she was Captain of the Women’s Soccer team.  In addition to serving on AFC’s board, Ana is an active volunteer for New York Cares.

Collin Spencer

Born on the island of Jamaica and raised in the state of Connecticut; Collin (He/Him) has been a New Yorker since the year 2000. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Information Systems. As a freelance web and graphic artist, he is also the creator and President of MINORITEES (, a line of socially conscious clothing. He currently serves as General Manager at GYM Sportsbar, where he has happily served since it's doors opened in 2005. With a love for culture, music and food; Collin is an avid traveler, he has thus far visited 70 countries.

Dan Sternberg

Dan Sternberg (He/Him) was a partner of the international law firm, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, for twenty-three years until his retirement from active practice at the end of 2011, including five years (1991-1996) as a resident partner in the firm’s Paris office.  He remains a Senior Counsel of the firm.  Over his 30-year career as a corporate lawyer, Dan counseled a broad range of U.S. and international clients across the spectrum of corporate issues and transactions.  His practice concentrated on public and private merger and acquisition transactions, as well as counseling corporations and their boards on corporate governance matters and institutional shareholders in their relationships with public issuers.  Before joining Cleary Gottlieb in 1980 he served as law clerk to Judge Edward Weinfeld of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Dan received a J.D. degree from Columbia University in 1979 and his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1976. 

In addition to his role as Senior Counsel to Cleary Gottlieb, Mr. Sternberg has been a member of the Board of Managers of Tiedemann Wealth Management, a privately-held wealth and investment management firm, since 2012.  Dan is also a director of The Wassaic Project (a multi-faceted art residency in northeast Dutchess County) and a trustee of The Storefront Academy South Bronx (a NYC charter school sponsored by The Storefront Academy).  He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the North East Community Center, which serves the town of North East, NY and neighboring communities in northern Dutchess County. 

Seth Stuhl

Seth Stuhl (He/Him) is Vice President, Business Affairs and Legal Counsel of Disney Theatrical Productions, the stage play division of The Walt Disney Company and producer of such Broadway and West End shows as The Lion King, Aladdin and Frozen.  In that role Seth is involved in most legal and business aspects of Disney Theatrical’s worldwide operations, which includes Disney’s domestic and international versions of its Broadway shows, development of new stage play properties, stage play licensing to regional theatres, theatre producers and schools around the world, stage play merchandise and Disney on Ice, among other areas of its business.  Seth is also the New York-Bristol leader of Disney Legal’s pro bono program, and is the Vice Chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Broadway League, the trade union representing Broadway and other commercial theatre producers, general managers, theatre owners and presenters.  He is proud to be a full member of the Broadway League and Tony Award voter.  Prior to starting at Disney in 2004 Seth spent 5 years as a litigation and restructuring associate in the New York office of the international law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.  At Cleary Gottlieb he was very active in pro bono activities, including serving on the legal team representing James Dale in his LGBTQ discrimination lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America during the case’s New Jersey and United States Supreme Court proceedings.  A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Seth is a native of Flushing, Queens and proud product of the NYC public school system.

Pete Vujasin

Pete Vujasin (He/Him) is a Director and senior member of the Higher Education and Non-Profit Group within the Global Banking and Markets' Public Finance Group at BofA Securities, Inc., a leading investment banking and financial services company. Working with a team of specialized professionals located throughout the country, Pete provides various investment banking services and financing solutions to universities, colleges, and not-for-profit institutions nationwide. Prior to joining Bank of America in 2015, Pete was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs, where he had worked closely with a wide-range of higher education, non-profit, and public finance clients in a similar role.

Pete earned his Master of Business Administration from the J. L. Kellogg School of Management and a Master of Engineering Management from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science concurrently while at Northwestern University. He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Marquette University.

Pete has served as a board member of the Ali Forney Center since May 2019. He also serves as president and founder of a residential tenant association within the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. Pete enjoys traveling, for both work and pleasure, and he is a big fan of ski trips during the winter months.

Ed Wells

Ed Wells (He/Him) is the Executive Vice President and Head of International at WWE, a publicly traded (NYSE: WWE) global entertainment company.  In this role, Wells is responsible for the strategic development of WWE’s brand and businesses outside of the U.S., including the expansion of its media distribution and growth of WWE Network.  He also oversees WWE’s key regional offices including the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, China, India, and Asia Pacific. Wells is based in WWE’s Stamford, Connecticut headquarters and reports directly to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.

Wells joined the company in January 2008 as Vice President and General Manager, Japan, where he established the Tokyo office.  He went on to become Vice President and General Manager, Asia, in 2009, managing the Asia Pacific business.  In September 2011, Wells was elevated to Senior Vice President and Managing Director, International, repatriating to the U.S.

Prior to joining WWE, Wells held several senior management and business development roles at Viacom and Nickelodeon.

Wells received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and later earned Master of Arts degrees in International Studies from both American University and Ritsumeikan University.  Wells has served as a board member of The Ali Forney Center in New York City since January 2016.

Katie Zunno

Katie (She/Her) is a Partner at Baker Hostetler LLP, where she focuses her legal practice on complex commercial litigation and white collar defense.  She has myriad experience in high-profile matters involving financial fraud, including representation of the SIPA Trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, as well as clients in significant securities-related government investigations and class actions.  Involved in development, diversity, and recruiting initiatives across the firm, Katie is the Co-Chair of the New York Office’s Mentor Committee, and an active member of its Diversity, Women’s Steering, and Recruiting Committees.  She has also devoted many hours to providing pro bono legal services, including representation of low-income clients on housing and family law matters, the Humane Society in its first nationwide class action complaint against a Florida “puppy mill,” and a client on death row in connection with his appeals.  Katie previously worked as an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and as an intern with the E.D.N.Y.’s U.S. Attorney’s Office.  She has been named by New York Metro Super Lawyers as a Rising Star for the past three years, and is a graduate of Columbia University and St. John’s Law School.  In addition to her service on AFC’s Board, Katie devotes her time to the New York City Bar’s Women in the Legal Profession Committee, the Federal Bar Council, and activities within the St. John’s Law School alumni network.