STAFF

Led by Executive Director & CEO, Jorge Valencia, Point is staffed by a passionate team of professionals who specialize in raising funds, administering programs, public relations and providing financial oversight. Staff members are based in our headquarter offices in Los Angeles and New York.

Get the know the amazing team that brings Point’s mission to life each and every day.

Scott Arneson

Chief Financial Officer

Scott came to Point Foundation with over 20 years of not-for-profit accounting experience. Beginning his accounting career at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Scott gained…

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Scott Arneson

Chief Financial Officer

Scott came to Point Foundation with over 20 years of not-for-profit accounting experience. Beginning his accounting career at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Scott gained hands-on skills performing and/or supervising every position within the finance department as the Center’s budget grew from $5 million to over $25 million. Besides managing the day-to-day financial activities of the center, the finance department managed the financial reporting and compliance for 50+ government grants, the annual audit and audits by our funding sources. Most recently Scott was the Director of Finance at Liberty Hill Foundation, where as a member of the management team he worked closely with the Executive Team and the Treasurer of the Board developing financial budgets and reports that tied the numbers to the organization’s mission.

Graduating from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration, emphasis on professional accounting, Scott went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.

Scott moved to Los Angeles in 1985 where he resides with his partner, Robert, and their dog.

Adam Crowley

Development Director, Individual Giving

Adam Crowley came to the Point Foundation from Denver, Colorado where he served in nonprofit, political, and higher education development. Most recently, Adam was Director of…

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Adam Crowley

Development Director, Individual Giving

Adam Crowley came to the Point Foundation from Denver, Colorado where he served in nonprofit, political, and higher education development. Most recently, Adam was Director of Development for the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver.

Prior to his stint in higher education, Adam worked in political fundraising, most notably as Deputy Finance Director for John Hickenlooper’s 2010 campaign for Governor of Colorado. He has also worked on campaigns at the federal, state, and municipal level. He was previously the Director of Development for the College of Architecture and Planning, the University of Colorado Cancer Center, and the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology. In these roles he worked with individuals, foundations, and corporations to support ground-breaking research, scholarships, and academic programming.

Adam’s work in the LGBTQ movement included serving in 2006 as Outreach Director for Coloradans for Fairness, the first-of-its-kind statewide ballot initiative that would have created same-sex domestic partnerships.Despite losing that year, the campaign helped develop the infrastructure that allowed for Civil Unions legislation to be passed in 2013. Adam worked as Executive Director for the Denver Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, successfully re-branding and changing the name of the organization to “come out” as a gay and lesbian business association. He has served on the City of Denver GLBT Commission, the Visit Denver LGBT task force, and volunteered with various organizations that work for LGBTQ equality, the homeless population, and adoption/foster care.

Adam earned a Bachelor of Science in religious studies from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver – School of Public Affairs. He’s passionate about fitness, travel, and the Denver Broncos.

Ted Farley

Deputy Executive Director

Ted Farley joined the Point Foundation with over a decade of experience working for the LGBTQ community and struggling youth. He most recently served as…

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Ted Farley

Deputy Executive Director

Ted Farley joined the Point Foundation with over a decade of experience working for the LGBTQ community and struggling youth. He most recently served as the Executive Director of the It Gets Better Project, an international non-profit organization working to provide support and access to resources for LGBTQ young people.

Ted began his career as an attorney with the Urban Justice Center in New York City, where he established free legal clinics for LGBTQ people and survivors of domestic violence. In 2011, he received the Courage Award from the Anti-Violence Project in recognition of his outstanding service to the community; he was selected as a member of the Arcus Foundation’s inaugural class of leadership fellows in 2014.

Ted has a Bachelor’s from George Washington University and received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

Susan Linn Ferris

Human Resources & Finance Director

Susan Linn Ferris joins the Point Foundation after having been an advocate for the arts and cultural economy in Los Angeles for over 20 years….

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Susan Linn Ferris

Human Resources & Finance Director

Susan Linn Ferris joins the Point Foundation after having been an advocate for the arts and cultural economy in Los Angeles for over 20 years. She most recently served as Senior Director of Internal Affairs for Outfest where, for over 17 years, she oversaw the financial, human resource, and internal operations management for this pre-eminent non-profit arts organization. Prior to Outfest Susan came from a career in the literary community, having managed the acclaimed bookstore A Different Light in Los Angeles.

Eager to engage and encourage the next generation, Susan has volunteered her time mentoring young adults and undergraduate students. She has used her myriad knowledge and administrative skills to teach young people the professionalism and know-how they’ll need to succeed in the business world with programs like the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts Internship and LifeWorks Youth Mentoring at the LA Center. Susan currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Chatsworth Hills Academy – an International Baccalaureate World School.

Susan is a graduate of U.C. Davis with a degree in Sociology and minors in English and Minority Studies. In her free time, she enjoys musical theatre, hand-crafted whiskey tastings, and hiking & camping with her family. Susan lives in the San Fernando Valley with her fiancé Lara, their daughter Cydney, four rescue cats, and a precocious Shiba Inu.

David Garza

Development Director, Engagement and Advancement

David Garza brings over a decade in non-profit fundraising and management to the Point Foundation. Most recently, he spent five years working at GMHC, the…

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David Garza

Development Director, Engagement and Advancement

David Garza brings over a decade in non-profit fundraising and management to the Point Foundation. Most recently, he spent five years working at GMHC, the world’s first organized response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. At GMHC, David was the Director, Institutional Giving, where he oversaw the procurement of grants from corporate, foundation and government funders. Among the partnerships he launched while at GMHC was a major five-year agreement with the Keith Haring Foundation, which has stabilized the ongoing success of the agency’s crucial food pantry program (renamed the Keith Haring Food Pantry Program upon partnership launch). Additionally, he managed relationships with funders such as the MAC AIDS Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Arcus Foundation, Wells Fargo, and many others.

Prior to working with GMHC, David worked in various capacities for development departments at leading agencies in Austin, Texas, such as the Austin Children’s Museum and Mexic-Arte Museum, among others. He has also worked as a freelance writer, having been published in the Austin Chronicle, the Texas Observer and other publications.

David currently lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He graduated from Princeton University in 1998, and he is a huge fan of literature, jukebox music and Bikram yoga. He is honored to be a part of the Point Foundation family, and he is deeply committed to its mission, values and long-term success.

Hope Harris

Development and Marketing Coordinator

Hope Harris is a proud AmeriCorps alum who has worked in the LGBTQ communications space at GLSEN and Montefiore Health System. She is excited to…

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Hope Harris

Development and Marketing Coordinator

Hope Harris is a proud AmeriCorps alum who has worked in the LGBTQ communications space at GLSEN and Montefiore Health System. She is excited to join the Point Foundation team and contribute to their vital work. In her spare time, she loves to embroider, read, and write poetry. She and her wife are the proud parents of a 10-year-old chihuahua named Good Girl.

Quindavius Martin

Development Manager, Individual Giving

Quindavius Martin is a Los Angeles native and joins the Point Foundation after serving at California State University, Northridge as their Annual Giving and Call…

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Quindavius Martin

Development Manager, Individual Giving

Quindavius Martin is a Los Angeles native and joins the Point Foundation after serving at California State University, Northridge as their Annual Giving and Call Center Coordinator. In his prior role, he managed a team of student fundraisers, helped steward donors, and assisted with various initiatives for multiple annual giving channels that increased the number of gifts and donors to the program. Quindavius earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from California State University, Northridge. Quindavius is passionate about making an impact in the world by supporting the LGTBQ+ community and other marginalized communities. In his free time, you can find Quindavius going to the theater, enjoying movies, and trying new food places.

Jane Miller Rennert

Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager

Prior to joining the Point Foundation Jane Rennert (she/her) served as the Director of Development for the Gender & Family Project for the Ackerman Institute…

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Jane Miller Rennert

Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager

Prior to joining the Point Foundation Jane Rennert (she/her) served as the Director of Development for the Gender & Family Project for the Ackerman Institute for the Family (GFP). There, Jane oversaw all aspects of fundraising and development while also working closely with the program team to develop initiatives to meet the needs of TGNCNB young people and their families.

Jane came to this work through her experience as a parent to a transgender child and through her connection the GFP, particularly Jean Malpas GFP’s visionary founder. Prior to assuming her role at GFP Jane served on the advisory council and helped launch the successful annual gala A Night of A Thousand Genders. Jane has also launched several small businesses in Brooklyn, worked as a special events planner and consultant, been a full-time parent, and served as an editor at the James Beard Foundation. All of these experiences give Jane a broad worldview and a wide range of skills and insight that inform her work to help empower LGBTQ+ young people to be their best and most authentic selves. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her amazing family.

Jamie Montoya

Database Manager

Jamie joins Point Foundation as the Database Manager with over a decade of donor database management in various non-profit organizations along the west coast. While…

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Jamie Montoya

Database Manager

Jamie joins Point Foundation as the Database Manager with over a decade of donor database management in various non-profit organizations along the west coast. While living in Portland, Oregon she worked for the Oregon Food Bank and Legacy Health Foundation honing her development and donor stewardship skills. In her spare time, she co-founded the Not Enough! Queer Music and Arts Festival, a community-based event showcasing new and collaborative projects annually. After five years of success, the Not Enough! Festival went on to be adopted in other cities, including New Orleans in the US, Winnipeg and Edmonton in Canada.

Jamie is a California native but this will be her first time living in Los Angeles. She looks forward to exploring all the city offers and getting to know L.A.’s rich queer community.

Emma Nuiry

Scholarship Programs Manager

Emma graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a double major in Sociology and Women & Gender studies. Throughout her time at OWU, her dedication to social justice…

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Emma Nuiry

Scholarship Programs Manager

Emma graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a double major in Sociology and Women & Gender studies. Throughout her time at OWU, her dedication to social justice issues flowed inside and outside the classroom. She was a member of the Peace and Justice House, Kappa Alpha Theta, a senator on the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs and the treasurer of the Women & Gender Studies student board. During her senior year she worked as the Women’s Resource Center intern bringing a humorous and informational sexual health program entitled “I Love the Female Orgasm”, organized a book drive for the inmates at Ohio’s Reformatory for Women and participated in an interfaith service team that traveled to San Diego to support Latinx, queer and undocumented communities. Emma’s passion lies in seeking innovative and expansive ways to  empower and support marginalized communities.  Her free time mostly consists of absorbing queer media and hanging out with her puppy, Rooney.

Eddie Pelto

Chief Development Officer

Prior to joining the staff at Point Foundation, Eddie served as Chief Advancement Officer at Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest victim services agency, overseeing all…

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Eddie Pelto

Chief Development Officer

Prior to joining the staff at Point Foundation, Eddie served as Chief Advancement Officer at Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest victim services agency, overseeing all revenue generation as well as specific marketing and advocacy efforts. He previously held the position of Vice President for Development at the Parkinson’s Foundation, and the National Hemophilia Foundation. Eddie has held progressive leadership roles in development at Barnard College, the NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, and Physicians for Reproductive Health. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Treatment Action Group and a member of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Eddie received a BA in Fine Arts from Hofstra University.

Nicole Rizzuto

Development Manager, Engagement and Advancement

Nicole Rizzuto (she/her) comes to the Point Foundation after serving in non-profit and higher education roles throughout New Jersey. Most recently, Nicole served as Program…

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Nicole Rizzuto

Development Manager, Engagement and Advancement

Nicole Rizzuto (she/her) comes to the Point Foundation after serving in non-profit and higher education roles throughout New Jersey. Most recently, Nicole served as Program Manager at the Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education, where she managed annual membership, planned and executed fundraising and educational events, and oversaw the transition to virtual learning and fundraising in 2020. She has also worked as a museum curator, community college professor, and Assistant Director of Residence Life.

Nicole has dedicated her career to meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ students.  She developed Professional Development workshops on LGBTQ+ history for educators and co-organized the first Hudson County Community College LGBTQIA Conference. Nicole also led virtual workshops on gender creative role models for elementary students at the 2020 Gender Conference and advised LGBTQ+ college students on scholarships, transfer applications, and community building.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Nicole currently lives in Mercer County. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Saint Elizabeth University and is now writing her dissertation on Dead Lesbian Syndrome at Drew University. Nicole spends her free time writing about gender and sexuality, playing with her rescue pets, and watching hockey.

Jonathan Rosales

Program Director

Jonathan is a Los Angeles native who graduated from the University of Southern California with a double major in political science and gender studies. In…

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Jonathan Rosales

Program Director

Jonathan is a Los Angeles native who graduated from the University of Southern California with a double major in political science and gender studies. In his final year at USC, Jonathan began an internship at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation that ultimately led to him joining the organization full-time as the Media Awards Communications Associate. Eventually, Jonathan moved into the role of Entertainment Media Manager. In addition to being involved in various aspects of the GLAAD Media Awards, Jonathan oversaw the publication of GLAAD’s nationally recognized Network Responsibility Index and Where We Are on TV reports.

In 2010, Jonathan returned to school and received his single subject teaching credential in social science from California State University, Northridge before joining the Point Family in 2011. In his role as Program Director, Jonathan oversees Point’s scholar selections process, scholar relations, internships, and pilot programs.

Jonathan lives in West Hollywood with his husband, Matthew, and their two adorable rescue cats, Katniss and Effie.

Rachel Smith

Administrative Coordinator

Rachel Smith arrives to Point Foundation by way of Chicago, where she developed a background in comedy, production and LGBTQ+ activism. It was in Chicago…

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Rachel Smith

Administrative Coordinator

Rachel Smith arrives to Point Foundation by way of Chicago, where she developed a background in comedy, production and LGBTQ+ activism. It was in Chicago where she co-founded and co-produced Dreamboat, the first and only LGBTQ+ show at one of Chicago’s most renowned comedy theaters. Through her work with this show, along with performing at all of the Chicago comedic mainstays, she honed her passion in advocating for gay rights and creating safe spaces and communities for impacted individuals. Originally from Houston, Texas she graduated from Baylor University with degrees in Finance and Economics along with a minor in Biology. In her free time, she loves to travel, attend concerts, comedy shows and sporting events as well as spend time in nature with her partner, family and friends.

Jorge Valencia

Executive Director & CEO

Jorge Valencia began his tenure as the Point Foundation’s Executive Director in January 2007. He brings to Point a wealth of experience in managing and…

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Jorge Valencia

Executive Director & CEO

Jorge Valencia began his tenure as the Point Foundation’s Executive Director in January 2007. He brings to Point a wealth of experience in managing and growing nonprofit organizations, a proven ability to design and manage the infrastructure of expanding organizations and extensive experience with, and sensitivity to, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth issues.

Jorge served as President and Executive Director of The Trevor Project from 2001 — 2006. The Trevor Project is a nationwide non-profit organization established to promote acceptance of gay and questioning teenagers and to aid in suicide prevention by operating the nation’s first round-the-clock toll-free suicide prevention helpline aimed at LGBT youth. Under Jorge’s guidance, The Trevor Project increased its operational budget by 800% and its foundation-based grant funds by 900%. He created and managed its major donor program and expanded its volunteer pool to more than 500. Jorge’s leadership contributed to Trevor’s growth as a nationally recognized youth service organization, and he continues to serve on the Trevor Project’s Leadership Council.

Jorge gained his operational, administrative and management experience at a range of non-profit, corporate and governmental enterprises. Before working at The Trevor Project, Jorge directed the Corporate Communications division at Pueblo Corporation, a marketing firm located in Los Angeles. Some of his clients included Ford Motor Company, DirecTV, Food 4 Less and Sprint PCS. From 1996 – 1999, Jorge was Director of Communications at Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), an organization that conducts leadership seminars for promising youth. At HOBY, Jorge directed all public relations activities, as well as the production and implementation of organizational public relations for the non-profit organization comprised of four regions, 5,000 volunteers and over 14,000 annual participants. From 1993–1996, Jorge served as the Director of External Affairs for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a political appointment in the Clinton Administration. While at the SBA, Jorge represented the Administration and SBA interests at numerous speaking engagements, conferences and media interviews conducted in English, Spanish and Portuguese. He also worked in the Office of Public Liaison for the Presidential Inaugural Committee from 1992–1993 for the incoming Clinton Administration. Prior to that Jorge served as Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Power Productions International, where he was responsible for creating and negotiating contracts with LA Gear, Reebok International and City of Hope.

Jorge earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University in 1989. As an openly gay man who grew up in a Mormon Latino family in Texas, Jorge brings with him a keen personal awareness of many of the issues of rejection and marginalization faced by many LGBT youth, including Point Scholars. As a past board member of Affirmation, Jorge has helped other LGBTQ Mormons and their families live productive lives consistent with their faith and heritage. Jorge’s diversity of life experience includes extensive travel abroad and within the United States. Jorge is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese and is a talented and accomplished public speaker. He has served as a member of the Clear Channel Local Advisory Board, as well as The Palette Fund Advisory Board. Jorge has a passion for helping LGBT youth and an ability to communicate that interest and passion effectively to both the LGBT community and the general public.

Andraé Vigil-Romero

Marketing & Communications Manager

Andrae Vigil-Romero joins the Point Foundation after having worked as a social media and digital marketing consultant. Most recently, Andrae served as the Senior Manager…

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Andraé Vigil-Romero

Marketing & Communications Manager

Andrae Vigil-Romero joins the Point Foundation after having worked as a social media and digital marketing consultant. Most recently, Andrae served as the Senior Manager of Digital Engagement at Outfest where he led the digital marketing and communications efforts for the Los Angeles-based digital streaming, film exhibition, and media arts organization. Concurrently to his tenure at Outfest, Andrae worked with a variety of clients with a focus on supporting non-profit organizations and mission-driven businesses, which includes AIDS Walk (New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), the American Film Institute/AFI FEST, Brandman University, CURED Documentary, Estolia’s Food Products, The Glitter Run (in collaboration with the LA LGBT Center), Race For The Rescues, The Rescue Train, and much more.

As a huge advocate for higher education, Andrae has an extensive background in supporting historically underrepresented and marginalized communities. While a student at UCLA, Andrae worked as a mentor for at-risk foster youth as well as a campus guide and facilitator for college-bound high school students. He served as a representative on The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), a student funding panel focused on sustainability initiatives on campus. In addition, Andrae was very active within the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC), UCLA’s student government, spearheading pre-professional alumni networking opportunities and increased access to student resources. Andrae is a proud Bruin and graduate of UCLA with a degree in Chicana/o Studies. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, trying new culinary creations, binge streaming, practicing creative design and content creation, reading endlessly, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Andrae lives in Orange County with his partner Albert.

Qarlos Villagran

Executive Assistant & Board Relations Manager

Qarlos Villagran is a native Los Angeleno, who comes to Point after almost 10 years at SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television…

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Qarlos Villagran

Executive Assistant & Board Relations Manager

Qarlos Villagran is a native Los Angeleno, who comes to Point after almost 10 years at SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) where he was the Executive Assistant to the Los Angeles Executive Director. He has a rich and varied background that includes working at Newsweek Magazine, UCLA Medical Center, Hostelling International’s Santa Monica Hostel, and for the game show Street Smarts.

When not hanging out with his seven nieces and nephews, he likes to go to the theater, see live music, and visit his friends around the world.

He is also a proud graduate of UCLA with a BA in Theater Arts.

Darrin Wilstead

Senior Program Director

Before joining the team at Point Foundation, Darrin Wilstead served as Director of Development at Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), an organization that was established…

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Darrin Wilstead

Senior Program Director

Before joining the team at Point Foundation, Darrin Wilstead served as Director of Development at Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), an organization that was established in 1958 to provide leadership development programs to highly motivated high school sophomores in the United States and around the world. In addition to managing HOBY’s headquarters in Los Angeles, Darrin was responsible for overseeing two annual fundraising dinners; one in New York and one in Los Angeles, managing new donor acquisitions, upgrades and renewals, and writing grant proposals to secure increased funding from foundations, corporations and the private sector.

Prior to leading the development department at HOBY, Darrin served as Director of International Programs. In this capacity, Darrin was responsible for HOBY’s World Leadership Congress (WLC), an eight-day intensive leadership forum in Washington, D.C. that brings together 100 adult volunteers and 400 student leaders from 20 countries to celebrate diversity, debate ideologies and form friendships based on mutual respect and understanding. Additionally, Darrin provided year-round oversight and administrative support to HOBY’s partners in Canada, England, Hong Kong, Israel, Lebanon, The Philippines, Sierra Leone and Mexico; and with the help of his constituents, he established new programs in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Iraq, Korea and Taiwan.

Darrin also worked as an Instructor at America West Airlines at LAX for nine years, where his responsibilities included training an average of 130 employees per month.

Darrin was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles after serving a two year mission for the LDS Church in Seoul, Korea and he currently resides in Hollywood.