Equality Ohio Education Fund Board

Dabney K. Conwell is the Vice President and Executive Director of Rose Centers for Aging Well
at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. She is responsible for the oversight of all nutrition and
socialization programs within seven senior centers and four home delivered meals programs.
To address food insecurity and social isolation amongst older adults living with chronic diseases
Ms. Conwell designed Cuyahoga County’s first medically tailored meals program.
Dabney received her master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2007. She holds
a professional license from the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family
Therapist Board. Dabney serves on multiple community boards. Most recently served as a
National Board of Governor for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
Dabney and her wife live in Richmond Heights.

Levent Talgar is a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase & Co, where he leads technology and operations initiatives to innovate and transform Chase’s ~5,000 retail branches.  Prior to joining Chase in 2003, he was at McKinsey & Company serving financial services and high-tech clients with growth, service, and technology strategies.

Outside of his day job, Levent serves as Chase’s sponsor in Ohio for both Pelotonia and Next Gen, its internal business resource group focused on leadership development for early career professionals.  He has previously served for multiple years on Chase’s Columbus Management Committee and Diversity/Equity/Inclusion Committee.

Levent holds B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His research at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory focused on natural language processing and knowledge-based systems.

Levent resides in Dublin, OH with his wife and 3 children.  They love to travel, visiting family spread across the globe including Turkey, Ireland, Portugal, UK, UAE, Thailand, Cambodia.

Lynn has had a long and varied career primarily as a litigation attorney in private practice, in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and as Deputy General Counsel at The Ohio State University. She has also served the State of Ohio as Executive Director of the Ohio School Facilities Commission. In 2018, Lynn retired from her full-time career as Associate Vice President, The Ohio State University, Facilities Operations and Development where she oversaw new construction, building renovation and maintenance, environmental health and safety, utilities and groundskeeping for the 1700 acre OSU campus.

In retirement, Lynn works as a part time business development advisor for Engie North America, a global energy company focused on decarbonization. She serves as Chair of the Dublin, Ohio New Community Authority for the Bridge Park Development Project and is Vice Chair of the Westbay Cove HOA on Anna Maria, Island Florida. She has served on the Equality Ohio Legislative Committee since January 2021.

She is an Air Force Veteran with bachelors degrees from Southeast Missouri State University and University of Vermont and a JD from the University of Dayton.

Lynn and her partner of nearly 30 years and now wife, Sandy Anderson, live with their dog Scout in Dublin, Ohio.

Michael Ley is the owner and managing agent of Ley Insurance in Lima operating in fourteen states, including Ohio. He has been working with families and businesses for nearly 20 years helping them protect their finances.  Michael is a graduate of the University of Northwestern Ohio receiving his Bachelor's in Business Administration.

Michael served eight years on the Lima City School's Board of Education.  He has volunteered with PFLAG in his local community and at the state and national levels serving as a regional director for four years.  He has been instrumental in his community working with businesses, school districts and, community officials on establishing policies and procedures for LGBTQIA individuals and families.

Michael and his husband Kyle live in Lima and have two children, Malachi and Hannah.

Joe Matuszewski is a partner with Ernst & Young LLP, a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and consulting services. A Certified Public Accountant in the state of Ohio, Joe has over eighteen years of public accounting experience serving multinational clients, primarily in the technology, advanced manufacturing, and consumer products industries.

In addition to his role as a global client services partner, Joe is the lead Assurance recruiting partner in Cleveland, responsible for developing and implementing EY’s recruiting strategy to build and attract top diverse talent and is active with several initiatives to elevate and advance diversity, equity, and inclusiveness across the organization.

Joe is a 2003 graduate of Baldwin Wallace University where he earned his Master of Business Administration in Accounting. Joe is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. Joe is highly involved in his community and has served on the Boards of Directors of several non-profit organizations dedicated to the LGBT+ and arts communities. Additionally, Joe has been a member of the board of Plexus since 2016 – the Northeast Ohio LGBT+ chamber of commerce. Joe lives in Medina with his husband Nathan and daughters Addyson and Anderson.

Natalie Thomas serves as Director of Community Connections and Advocacy, and Director of the Center for Adolescents and Families, for the National Youth Advocate Program. Natalieholds a Master’s degree in Social Work and is clinically licensed in 4 states including Ohio, and Washington, DC. Natalie has over 10 years’ experience in the behavioral health field serving and advocating for the well-being of youth and families.

Natalie was born in the West Indies and lived in South Florida for 20+ years before moving to Columbus, Ohio in the summer of 2015. She is still adjusting to the winters.

Joseph Wenger is a native of the Central Ohio area. A proud Buckeye, he graduated from The Ohio State University twice, receiving his BA in History in 2007 and JD from the Moritz College of Law in 2012. While at Moritz, he received the Robert M. Duncan Service Award and served as co-chair of OutLaws, a student group dedicated to advancing equal rights for the LGBTQ community through education, advocacy, and outreach.

Joseph previously served on the Equality Ohio Board from 2012-2018, including as Chair from 2016-2018. In addition to his board service, he is a fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation, a member of the American Constitution Society, and a member of Scarlet and Gay, the LGBTQ Alumni Society at OSU.

Joseph currently works as a Staff Attorney at the 10th District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio. He resides in the German Village neighborhood of Columbus. He loves to bake, read, and spend countless hours on conference calls for EOEF.

Chad Williams is the director of Tax Systems and Technology for Eaton Corporation where he manages a global team to ensure efficient management of statutorily required data.  Chad has over 15 years of tax technology experience and prior to Eaton held positions of increasing responsibility in tax consulting and private sectors.   In addition, Chad serves as the global lead for Eaton PRIDE, the Eaton LGBTQ employee resource group where he champions Eaton’s initiative to create a safe and inclusive environment allowing everyone to bring their most authentic self to the workplace.

Originally born in Mississippi and a graduate of Belhaven University, Chad lived in multiple locations across the US before landing in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  When not traveling, Chad and his husband Kerby reside in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with their dog Leaper.

Equality Ohio Board

Sydnee Roberts-Crews is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion professional with years of experience in the utility industry, focusing on employee resource groups, DEI strategy, training, and community engagement. Sydnee is also the founder of Black Ohio Film Group, a non profit organization focused on connecting Black filmmakers to resources and opportunities. She joined the OpenStax community in 2021 as their DEI Manager and has been leading the DEI strategy, the DEI committee, and implementation of leadership alignment. Her background is in social work, which gives her a keen eye for individual needs. Outside of her DEI work, Sydnee is a filmmaker, plant mom, and wife!

Eileen Galvin is Director of Applications and User Services at the Columbus College of Art & Design where she also serves on the Bias Incident Response Team. Born and raised in Columbus, OH, Eileen began organizing around LGBTQ+ rights by co-founding the first GSA at Hilliard Davidson High School in 2006. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics. She is a member of Columbus Trans Pride, a grassroots coalition whose mission is to uplift trans* voices and make trans* lives possible. The group organizes the annual Columbus Trans Pride March and the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Eileen is also a burlesque artist of over 10 years. Her work envisions a world where sexual liberation and empowerment is available to all bodies. She lives in Upper Arlington with her partner, Monte. She is an enthusiast of Tarot, antiques and origami.

Amanda Everitt serves as the Executive Director of Destination Downtown Lancaster and the President of the Downtown Lancaster Special Improvement District.  Passionate about community and a fixture in Lancaster nonprofit work, Amanda was one of the founders of AHA! A Hands on Adventure, A Children's Museum and currently serves on the boards of Lancaster Friends of the Parks, Lancaster Sherman Rotary, Keller Market House, and Equality Ohio. She was active in the development of Lancaster's PRIDE organization, The Fairfield County Rainbow Alliance, and is committed to the revitalization of downtown Lancaster where she lives, plays, and works. Amanda and her husband Bryan have 5 children, 2 rescue pups, and one grumpy cat.

Ben Garcia (he/him) is Executive Director of the American LGBTQ+ Museum, slated to open in New York City in early 2025. Ben has worked in various roles as an educator and administrator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Skirball Cultural Center, Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Museum of Us, and the Ohio History Connection. Ben led initiatives to return Indigenous ancestral human remains and belongings in San Diego and Ohio. He serves as Vice President of the Association of Midwest Museums board.

Ben graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Boston with a B.A. in Art and from Bank Street College of Education with an M.S. Ed. In Museum Leadership. He has shared his life since 1999 with his husband, Scott Fabianek, a UX/UI Designer and comic book artist. Ben is the child of a journalist and a visual artist. He has six siblings, thirteen nieces and nephews, and one great-niece and nephew (as well as many beloved in-laws). He is a proud fantasy and science fiction nerd.

Newark Councilmember Jeremy Blake has spent more than twenty years in service to others as a volunteer in the community, communications consultant, Ohio Senate staff member, Newark City School Board President and community organizer.

After graduating from Newark High School in 1996, Jeremy attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio but his passion for public service took him away from his academic journey. He went on to become a full time staff member with the Ohio Senate serving the Democratic Caucus for ten years. His first attempt at elected office occurred in 1999 for a city council seat in Newark, Ohio. While winning the Democratic primary election, he lost the general election by a slim margin. In 2000, Jeremy was appointed to the Newark City School Board to fill a vacancy and won a four year term the following year in the general election.

Promoting and advocating for public education was an ongoing effort during Jeremy’s tenure on the school board. Many issue advocacy campaigns were organized to support the school system. The Newark community successfully supported a bond issue to build and renovate school buildings; approval was won for an income tax renewal and a permanent improvement renewal received endorsement by the voters.

He returned to Denison University in 2006 to work as a computer technician in the Information Technology Services Department. His existing title is Desktop Support Specialist. As a full time employee of Denison, Jeremy took advantage of the employee tuition benefit program and graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in Economics.

Since 2014, Jeremy Blake has been a member of Newark City Council from the 2nd Ward. He has been an outspoken opponent of poverty and an advocate for early childhood education, jobs, collective bargaining, mental health services, peer support addiction services, LGBTQ civil rights, voting rights and improving neighborhoods. Councilmember Blake has served as chair of the Finance Committee and chair of the Economic Development Committee. His current city council leadership posts are Minority Leader, chair of the Rules Committee and City Council Chaplain.

Councilmember Blake is the founding board president of the South Newark Civic Association, a founding board member of Young Leaders of Licking County and a former board member of Mental Health America of Licking County. Jeremy is a member of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Newark Association, active with the United Way of Licking County and a proud Newark Kiwanian. Additionally, he serves on the boards of the Main Place and Behavioral Healthcare Partners. He owns a home in the South End of Newark.

Bethany E. Sanders is an attorney in Columbus with a career focused primarily on public sector policy.
Currently, Bethany is the Director of Policy & Strategic Initiatives in the Franklin County Auditor’s office. There she pursues goals related to improved government service and equity in property tax policy. She previously served as caucus counsel to the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus with particular focus on election law and redistricting, labor and employment, and health and human services. Prior to joining the public sector, she was in-house counsel with Ohio Council 8, AFSCME, AFL-CIO.
Bethany is the current Co-Chair and long-term member of the Democratic Party’s Ohio Promote the Vote steering committee. During the 2018 campaign she served as the voter protection director. She is particularly proud of how the voter protection hotline empowers individuals to exercise their right to vote.
After growing up in Toledo and Whitehouse, Ohio Bethany came to Columbus to attend the Ohio State University and then the Moritz College of Law. She now lives in the Glen Echo neighborhood with her dog Sly and a garden always in need of tending.