us to expand our efforts to new heights.
Los Angeles, CA
Pete Nowalk is a creator, producer, and television showrunner with a passion for telling unique and interesting stories with complex characters that keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
Nowalk was the showrunner and executive producer of the hit ABC show How to Get Away with Murder, which premiered in 2014 to critical acclaim and record viewers. Starring Academy Award nominee Viola Davis, the breakout series received many accolades, including awards from GLAAD, the NAACP, AFI, and an Emmy win for Davis.
Nowalk previously served as a co-executive producer on ABC’s smash-hit Scandal starring Kerry Washington. He spent six seasons on ABC’s long-running drama Grey’s Anatomy, where he rose to supervising producer. He was also a writer on ABC’s Private Practice.
Prior to his work on television, Nowalk co-wrote and published The Hollywood Assistant’s Handbook with Hilary Stamm. The book, which is a humorous explanation of 86 lessons for those looking to enter the entertainment business, was met with rave reviews upon release.
In 2016, the Point Foundation honored Nowalk at its annual gala, awarding him the prestigious Point Leadership Award for his career achievements and support of the LGBTQ community.
Nowalk graduated from Brown University, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Ann started as a member of Point Foundation’s National Board of Regents in June 2005, joined the Board of Directors as Secretary in April 2007, and served as the Board of Regents Co-President until her final term ended April 2013.
An entrepreneur, nurse, attorney and community activist, Ann Adams has blazed a pioneer’s trail throughout a long and diverse career. Beginning as an Emergency Room nurse in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Ann has held senior medical staff positions at some of the nation’s finest hospitals, including Head Nurse at Denver General Hospital, where she created and developed the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit.
Seeking to explore the nexus between healthcare and the law, Ann earned her J.D. from the University of Denver. In 1987, Ann co-founded Independence Plus, a home health agency that specializes in caring for patients with brain and spinal-cord injuries. After serving as Principal of the business and building it into a preeminent healthcare company in the greater Chicago area, Ann sold her interest in 2004.
NEAL BAER, MD
Toluca Lake, CA
Dr. Neal Baer is an Executive Producer and Showrunner for the CBS hit television series “Under The Dome.” Previously, he served as Executive Producer of the CBS medical drama “A Gifted Man” (2011) and Executive Producer of the hit NBC television series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2000–11).
Prior to his work on “Law & Order,” Dr. Baer was Executive Producer of NBC’s “ER,” where he was a member of the show’s original staff and a writer and producer for seven seasons. There he was nominated for five Emmys Awards as a producer and received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing in A Drama Series and a Writers’ Guild of America nomination.
Dr. Baer’s other work includes an episode of “China Beach.” The ABC Afterschool Special “Private Affairs,” which he directed and wrote, dealt with the topic of sexually transmitted diseases. He also wrote “The Doctor Corps,” a feature film for Twentieth Century Fox; “Outreach,” a pilot for the WB Network, which he also produced; “The Edge,” a pilot for CBS; and “The Beast,” a pilot for NBC. Dr. Baer’s first novel, “Kill Switch,” co-written with Jonathan Greene, was published in January 2012; his second novel, “Kill Again,” will be published in June 2014.
Dr. Baer taught elementary school in Colorado and also worked as a research associate at USC Medical School, where he focused on drug and alcohol abuse prevention. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Baer completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Dr. Baer graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Colorado College. He holds a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a master’s degree in sociology from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Before working in television, he spent a year at the American Film Institute as a directing fellow, and in 2000, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Colorado College.
Dr. Baer joined the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health as a Research Scientist in 2013. He recently established The Center for Storytelling, Activism and Health at USC’s Institute for Global Health, where he is working on projects using new media to promote health initiatives around the world. In addition, he is also a Senior Fellow at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism and a Lecturer in the university’s School of Arts and Sciences.
Los Angeles, CA
Jason Collins is a retired American professional basketball player of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Collins attended Stanford University, where he was an All-American in 2000-01. He was selected in the first round with the 18th overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. After the 2012-13 NBA season concluded, Collins publicly came out as gay — making him the first active male athlete from one of the four major North American professional team sports to publicly do so.
Collins was born December 2, 1978 in Northridge, California, eight minutes ahead of his twin brother Jarron, who also became an NBA player. They graduated from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. Collins played with brother Jarron for the Stanford Cardinal in the Pacific-10 Conference. Jason finished his college career ranked first in Stanford history for field goal percentage and third in blocked shots. After college, Collins played center for six teams including New Jersey, Memphis, Minnesota, Atlanta, Boston, Washington, and Brooklyn.
In the cover story of the May 6, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, written by Collins himself and posted on the magazine’s website on April 29, 2013, he came out as gay. In the article Collins explained that a “notorious antigay hate crime,” the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998, led him to choose “98” for his jersey number in Shepard’s honor. Collins called the number, “a statement to myself, my family and my friends.” On the day the article was released, the Sports Illustrated website, SI.com, had a record 3.713 million visitors.
The New York Times called Collins’ 2014 signing with the Brooklyn Nets, “Perhaps basketball’s most celebrated and scrutinized 10-day contract.” His No. 98 jersey became the top seller on the NBA’s online store. In April 2014, Time Magazine featured Collins photo on the cover of the magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” issue.
He currently serves on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
Point Scholar Erin Armstrong interviews Jason Collins. Watch the video.
PETER EPSTEIN, ESQ.
Peter Epstein was a Point Foundation Board Member from January 2005 to January 2012. He has been an application reader and key member of the Boston Cornerstone Society Fundraising Committee since the event’s inception in 2007 and served as formal mentor to Ben Harvey and Travis Wright. Peter was a member of Point’s first Mentoring Committee (with Joe McCormack and Craig Daniel), and assumed full chairmanship of the Mentoring Subcommittee when a formal board infrastructure was implemented in 2007.
He is also on the Board of Directors of GLAD: Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in Boston. He has been on the GLAD Board since 2004. He previously served on the Development Committee and is currently the Clerk of the Board. He is also spearheading GLAD’s Legacy Society.
He is also on the Board of Visitors of Fenway Community Health Center in Boston. He is the former long-time Chairman of the Brookline Public Library Board Cancelof Trustees. As such, he led the Trustees’ successful effort to renovate the historic main library building in Brookline Village.
Peter is an attorney in private practice in Boston specializing in telecommunications law, primarily representing municipalities. He is a graduate of George Washington University and Suffolk University Law School.
SHELLEY FISCHEL, ESQ.
Shelley Fischel retired as executive vice president, human resources and administration, for Home Box Office. In her role, she was responsible for overseeing the development, management and administration of human resources programs and policies affecting HBO employees. These included such functions as employment, employee relations, affirmative action, compensation and benefits, training, and internal communications. She was also HBO’s labor counsel.
She was also responsible for the management and administration of HBO’s nationwide facilities, which includes overseeing the company’s purchasing, distribution, food services, maintenance, real estate leases, facility design and construction, travel, medical, fitness, office services and security areas.
Fischel joined HBO in December 1979 as labor counsel. She was promoted to chief counsel, labor and special litigation in June 1982 and was named vice president and chief counsel, labor and litigation, in October 1983. She became vice president, human resources in August 1984 and was promoted to senior vice president, human resources in November 1986. She was named senior vice president, human resources and administration in August 1990.
Before joining HBO, Fischel worked for two years as an associate in litigation for the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell.
Fischel is currently an adjunct at New York University College of Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Advisory Council of Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York. She has a B.A. degree from Wellesley College, a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, and an LLM in Taxation from New York University School of Law.
Fischel and her husband Robert live in Westchester, New York. They have two children.
HERB HAMSHER, Ph.D.
West Hollywood, CA
Herb Hamsher has had several careers over the years. After getting his Ph. D. in clinical psychology he became a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Rochester. Three years later he moved to Temple University where he was an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Services until 1980. At the time, professors were becoming unionized and the notion of potentially going on strike for a pay raise convinced him that it was time to leave the ivory tower.
During his tenure as a professor, Herb had an active private psychotherapy practice, conducted personal growth seminars, and consulted with business leaders and multinational corporations. It was also at this time that he worked with John Denver on his philanthropic activities, particularly assisting with John’s service on The President’s Commission on World Hunger as well as building The Windstar Foundation, his vehicle for impacting on national and world issues. It was through this relationship that Herb moved to Aspen, Colorado which became his home base for 33 years. Currently he is based in Los Angeles and Carpinteria, California.
For the last thirty-five years, Herb has also worked with the actress and AIDS/ Human Rights activist, Judith Light. With his partner, Jonathan, he has for a long time managed not only her career but also that of her husband, actor and writer, Robert Desiderio. The four of them have a production company, Tetrahedron Productions, which is the home of Herb’s current activities as a producer. His producing credits include CBS television movies, “Too Close to Home,” “A Husband, A Wife, and A Lover,” and “Murder At My Door.” He also created and was a producer on Judith Light’s short-lived CBS series, “The Simple Life.” He also produced the independent film, “Save Me,” which premiered at Sundance and starred Judith Light, written by her husband, Robert Desiderio.
Since AIDS began to decimate the gay community, Herb has committed more of himself and his passion to fighting the pandemic, to confronting the realities uncovered by our experience with the disease, and with working to add to the strength, unity, and spiritual base of the gay and lesbian community.
Herb was a Point Foundation Board Member from November 2004 through June 2012.
Joanne began as a member of the National Board of Regents in September 2005, then joined the Board of Directors in July 2008 and accepted the position of Board Treasurer. As Treasurer, she helped guide Point through the economic downturn until her final term ended in June 2013. Joanne served on the Finance and Pre-Selections Committees.
Joanne retired in 2010 as Financial Controller for Boston-based grant-maker New England Foundation for the Arts, where she was responsible for NEFA’s accounting, financial reporting, benefits administration, and information technology. She was previously Director of Finance for what is now the French Cultural Center of Boston.
Before to coming to the nonprofit world in 1996, Joanne worked as an information technology project manager and consultant for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Johnson & Johnson.
Before joining the corporate world in 1989, Joanne had been a Certified Public Accountant working with emerging businesses, first as an auditor for what is now PriceWaterhouseCoopers and subsequently as an independent part-time CFO.
Joanne holds a BA in government and economics from Dartmouth College and an MS/MBA from Northeastern University. She is the author of the book “Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not.” She lives in the Boston area with her wife, Theresa (Terry) Fallon, is fluent in French, and is an avid bowler.
Bel Air, CA
Judith Light can currently be seen as Shelly Pfefferman in Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award-winning series, “Transparent.”
For three consecutive years, Judith Light was nominated for Broadway’s Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play and won back-to-back Tonys for “Other Desert Cities” and “The Assembled Parties.” She also won back-to-back Drama Desk Awards for those performances. In 1999, she starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Wit” in New York and also at the Kennedy Center, winning the Helen Hayes Award. Her Broadway debut was in “A Doll’s House” with Liv Ullman, followed by a season at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference.
Judith’s television career began with her two-time Best Actress Emmy award-winning turn as Karen Wolek on “One Life to Live”. She then went on to play Angela Bower on the hit comedy series “Who’s the Boss?.” She starred on the Emmy Award-winning ABC-TV series “Ugly Betty” and co-starred on NBC’s long-running drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Judith has also starred in “Phenom,” “The Simple Life,” “The Stones” and in over 15 television movies, including “The Ryan White Story”. More recently Judith has created recurring characters on TNT’s “Dallas” and TV Land’s comedy series “The Exes”.
Some of Judith’s film work includes, “The Shoemaker” with Danny Aiello, “Ira & Abby” by Jennifer Westfeldt, with Robert Klein, Fred Willard, and Frances Conroy – which was voted Best Comedy at the 2007 HBO comedy festival; and “Save Me” with Chad Allen and Robert Gant, a film which she also produced with her long-time manager/producer, Herb Hamsher through their production company, Tetrahedron Productions, in conjunction with GKE and Mythgarden Productions. “Save Me” had its US premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, followed by screenings at both NYC’s NewFest and LA’s Outfest, as well as a screening and panel discussion aboard RSVP vacations Queen Mary 2 transatlantic crossing. “Save Me” was released theatrically nationwide in the summer of 2008 by First Run Features. She also can be heard as the Narrator in “Scrooge & Marley”, a modern variation on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. In 2012, she co-starred in the independent film “The Last Weekend”. In 2013, Judith appeared in the film “We’ll Never Have Paris” by Simon Hilberg and most recently in the indie picture “Digging for Fire” by Joe Swanberg.
Judith is a Board Member and advocate for many organizations and charities representing AIDS-related and Human Rights issues including: Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS, The Names Project/The AIDS Memorial Quilt, The AIDS Memorial Grove, CDC’s Business Responds to AIDS/Labor Responds to AIDS, Hollywood Health and Society, Project Angel Food, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, The National Aids Memorial Grove, The Point Foundation, The Rome Chamber Music Festival, Faith In America, Drama League National Advisory Council and The Trevor Project.
Judith lives in New York and Los Angeles and is married to writer/actor, Robert Desiderio.
Palm Springs, CA
Joe McCormack was a Point Foundation Board Member from June 2003 to May 2009. He first served as an advisor to the founders as Point Foundation was forming.
His Board experience with other non-profits, his expertise as an LGBTQ-oriented headhunter, and his wide range of national contacts led in part to his bringing many LGBTQ leaders onboard. After resigning from the Board of GLSEN, he joined Point and became an original member of Point’s first Board of Directors. He also served for two years as President of the Board of Trustees.
In the remainder of his extensive commitment to Point, McCormack was active in various positions within the Program Committee, as well as helping the Selections, Mentoring, Leadership Conferences and Internships committees and program areas.
MICHAEL D. POIRIER
Michael served on the board from February 2008 to 2012. His involvement with Point began in 2007, when he served on the Host Committee for Boston’s first Cornerstone Event. He was the significant force behind the event’s corporate sponsorship success, and he continues to secure multiple sponsorships annually.
Michael is partner in the Boston office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) who specializes in providing audit and other services to clients in the software, internet and telecom industries. He has more than 23 years of experience with PwC and was admitted as a partner in 1996. Michael is considered a software revenue recognition specialist in the office and firm, and works with a wide range of public and privately held companies, from start-ups to diversified, multinational businesses. He has led the initial public offerings of several clients, performed financial due diligence reviews related to significant acquisitions, and advised on the treatment of carve-outs and restructurings. He also has significant experience in SEC reporting matters, and serves as a Risk Management Partner for the Boston office.
Michael is also a founding member of PwC’s GLBT Partner Advisory Board, a group of nine openly gay partners from across the U.S. who work with the firm’s Office of Diversity to set the GLBT inclusion strategy for the firm. As a result of the Board’s initiatives, PwC has been ranked in DiversityInc’s list of “Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees” and has scored 100% on the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for each of the past four years. PwC supports active GLBT employee groups in 12 major cities across the country, and for more than 14 years has provided full and equivalent insurance benefits for same-sex domestic partners. PricewaterhouseCoopers is recognized as a long-time diversity leader in Corporate America, and has received Out & Equal’s Significant Achievement Award and Point Foundation’s Inspiration Award.
Michael and his identical twin were born in Stuttgart, Germany and were raised in suburbs of Boston. He later graduated from Providence College (valedictorian in the School of Business) in 1986 with a B.S. in accounting and currently is a member several industry and professional organizations, including the AICPA and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. Michael is a twenty-year resident of the South End in Boston, a restaurateur, and an ardent supporter of other LGBTQ non-profit organizations.
As a career educator, Kelli knows firsthand the importance of education and mentorship. Kelli has served students both in the classroom and as an administrator over her 20 year career both in California and in New York. Kelli was the Director for Admissions for Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York City where she managed a staff that was responsible for the restructuring of the medical admissions process and review of over 6,000 applications annually. Additionally Kelli was responsible for managing over 700 interviews annually with prospective medical students and assuring incoming students were oriented appropriately to the school. She also supported the medical student’s LGBTQ group through her group involvement and “out” status as a senior staff member of the institution.
This expertise allowed her to be instrumental in helping Point during its growth at the beginning 2007. Kelli joined Point as Program Director and helped design Point’s application process and assisted with the start-up of Point’s Alumni Program. Kelli has also served as a Point Mentor and Trustee.
She is currently a full-time mother and resides with her children and partner on the west coast.
DAVID H. STEWARD
New York, NY
David H. Steward is a leader in brand-building and turnaround across multiple platforms, including e-commerce, digital, direct marketing, magazines, television and books. He has built several online companies, led a dramatic turnaround of a $200M direct marketer, and was also instrumental in building/ redeveloping three of America’s top media brands: People Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and TV Guide. His leadership, analytical, financial and creative skills propelled these brands into profitable new directions.
Currently President / COO of 20×200 | Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. which encompasses a variety of interrelated businesses, all of which are organized around the concept of “art for everyone.” including 20×200.com, the innovative and critically acclaimed website, which offers limited edition prints at ridiculously affordable prices. Founding President of InMarkit which powers personalized, authentic word of mouth marketing for retailers and brands. InMarkit technology combines the viral distribution benefits of a share utility with greater consumer influence power than anonymous reviews, and it works online and with any mobile device.
Previously CEO of F+W Media, a $200M private-equity backed niche consumer media company. Partnered with ABRY Partners on the acquisition, grew eMedia revenues, integrated a set of disparate existing businesses and built a platform for future growth.
Steward also served as CEO of International Masters Publishers (IMP) Inc., a large direct marketing and continuity publishing company where he lead a dramatic turnaround in the company’s fortunes. He also served as President of TV Guide, where he led the magazine during its transition from a digest-size magazine to a brand that is the source for television guidance.
Before joining TV Guide, Steward was COO and President of Publishing at Martha Stewart Omnimedia (MSO) where he was responsible for nearly all of the company’s revenues. He co-authored the business plan and during his 8 year tenure MSO grew from $0 to $125M in revenues through launching a new business every year including magazines, television properties, a website, paint, books, catalog, etc. He was also a key player in the February 1997 transition of the company from Time Warner to its current status as an independent corporation.
Steward was also Business Development and Strategic Planning Director for People magazine, where he managed and directed all franchise development for People, including the development of special issues.
He was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement for “Outstanding Career Achievement with Measurable Results”. Selected by Advertising Age as one of their “Marketing 100”, which is their annual list of 100 executive “superstars” behind successful and innovative marketing campaigns. Named one of 30 Distinguished Classmates Cornell University – Class of 1979.
David has long been active in the LGBTQ community including serving as co-chair of the GLAAD Board of Directors for several years and was also active in the New York chapter of PFLAG. His service to the community was acknowledged with the honor of the PFLAG NYC Stay Close Individual Leadership award.
Steward holds an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s from Cornell University. David Steward was a Point Foundation Board Member from 2005 to 2012 serving as the BOD Chair and Co-Chair from 2008 to 2011.
David and his partner Pierre live in East Hampton and New York City with their Doberman – Austin.
Founder – San Francisco, CA
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Educated in the public schools of Fort Wayne and South Bend, Indiana. A. B. in political science and economics from Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana in 1958. Commissioned Naval Officer (Ensign through Lieutenant commander) from 1958 – 1967. Various administrative assignments aboard ships, with Admiral’s staffs, and, from 1965 – 1967, served as a White House Social Aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson, Washington, D.C. Taught at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD and earned a Masters Degree from American University in the field of Government.
From 1967 to 1974 served as an Economist and International Negotiator for Trans World Airlines in New York and the International Air Transport Association in Geneva, Switzerland. Named High commissioner for Commercial Coordination of IATA for an eighteen month stint living in Geneva.
In 1975, founded the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, California. The gallery was one of the nation’s premier galleries for American Realism: past and present. The gallery represented important American realist painters and sculptors from across the country whose works were acquired by a cadre of high-end collectors internationally and from all fifty states. John served frequently on the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Art Dealers Association and from 1997 to 1999 served as its Board President.
John is active in San Francisco’s non-profit community and the John Pence Gallery was host of numerous fundraising events: including Project Open Hand, the AIDS Emergency Fund, Junior League of San Francisco, San Francisco’s New Main Library, Project Read, San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus, GLSEN, and numerous others.
- AB in political science and economics from Wabash College, 1958
- MS government, American University
In his own words . . .
“As a member of the Board for The Point Foundation, I hope to contribute to providing college educations to outstanding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students who are deserving but are unable to attend college due to financial need or having been abandoned by their families. These scholarships will enable potential leaders to join the mainstream and serve as active spokespeople in their collegiate environments — openly out and proud to be gay and/or trans and willing to speak out in an eloquent manner about the contributions gay and trans men and women are making every day in every way.”
Bruce Lindstrom grew up in a strict evangelical household in Orange County California. After coming out at a young age, Bruce’s family excluded him from all family gatherings for 15 years. Despite this lack of familial support, Bruce worked his way through college and eventually through graduate school.
As a young entrepreneur in the 1970s, Bruce realized the importance of mentoring and leadership by working closely with Sol Price who founded The Price Club. This innovative business eventually grew into Costco, the nation’s largest membership-only warehouse club.
After a very successful business career, Bruce and his late partner, Carl Strickland, wanted to give back to the community. The two had an idea for an organization to focus on young leaders in the LGBTQ community who wanted go to college but lacked the means to do so. They turned to their good friend, John Pence, and their close circle of friends for help and in 2001 founded Point Foundation.
Los Angeles, CA
Ligiah Villalobos is a Writer, Producer, Consultant, Educator and Lecturer. She is best known for the independent feature film Under the Same Moon, (La Misma Luna), which she wrote and executive produced. Acquired by Fox Searchlight and TWC at Sundance, the movie was made for under $2M and earned over $23M worldwide.
More recently, Villalobos was a Cultural Consultant on the Academy Award winning Pixar movie, COCO, and she wrote on two Netflix pre-school animated series, Super Monsters’ Monster Pets and the upcoming, StarBeam.
Villalobos co-wrote the Lifetime TV Movie, The Real MVP, produced by Queen Latifah. She was the Head Writer on Nick Jr.’s, Go, Diego! Go! And she is the recipient of the Humanitas Prize, for writing the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Firelight, produced by Alicia Keys.
Villalobos is currently developing an animated series for Sesame Street Workshop and adapting the YA Novel Gabi: A Girl in Pieces as a one-hour drama series for HBO Max.
Before becoming a writer/producer, Villalobos was both a network and studio executive – at the Walt Disney Company she launched eight children shows in seven countries, and then oversaw six prime time shows at the WB.
In addition, Villalobos is committed to bringing more people of color and women into the entertainment industry. To that end, she teaches at Cal State LA and at USC School of Cinematic Arts, and lectures around the world.
Villalobos has been a contributor to The Huffington Post, The Black List Blog and Americana magazine. And she is on the Board of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. She received her MFA from Antioch University in Creative Writing.