MEET OUR TEAM
Michael Ellison, Center Assistant
Michael came out as a gay male in the spring of 2014. At the time he needed community and positivity regarding his sexuality. Starting as a member, he took the initiative to become a youth leader and Peer Counselor to continue to support himself and the community. Soon after becoming an alumnus, he joined the board of Positive Images to represent the voice of the membership. He recently stepped down as a board member, to take on the position of Program Assistant. He believes that Positive Images is a powerful organization and community for LGBTQ+ youth. As Program Assistant, Michael promises to do his best for Positive Images.
Nancy Vogl, Leadership Coach
Nancy joined Positive Images in 2000 as Co-Director with Jim Foster. As a youth development professional experienced in movement organizing, community engagement and the non-profit community, she brings her skills in communication, leadership development, service, grant writing, structure and process to help build the organization to its current success. A leader in second wave 70s feminism, she was one of the first lesbian-pride touring musicians. She currently enjoys her absolute favorite role as “Leadership Coach” for our youth-led team, envisioning and implementing all aspects of the Positive Images mission. Nancy still writes music and lives in Santa Rosa with her partner of 25 years.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Christian Sullberg – President
A long time resident of Sonoma County, born in Healdsburg, California, Christian opened his first pastry cafe Moustache Baked Goods at the age of twenty two. Since then his commitment has been creating pastry and menus that celebrate our region and farmers. Christian has been published in Martha Stewart magazine, Vogue, Bon Appetite and Sunset Magazine along with his feature on the Cooking Channel he embarked on his second project, Noble Folk Ice Cream & Pie. He is the driving force behind the creative team at Moustache & Noble Folk; 2016 has been a major milestone for both of his companies as they were selected as one of the Top 25 LGBTQ Businesses to work for in the Bay Area. Christian is also a member of the Coca-Cola’s Next Generation of LGBTQ leaders fellowship program (San Francisco cohort)
Javier Rivera-Rosales – Advisory Board Member
Javier is a native San Franciscan, born and raised in the Mission. He has over 8 years of experience working within the non-profit sector. Previously the Director of Positive Images. In 2015 he graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in psychology. A few of his skills are program development, community/event organizing, and using love to balance the hate in our communities. Some of his passions are: social justice through dance and spoken word, connecting with and nurturing mother nature, and providing space for others to be who they truly are.
Adam Nicholson – Vice Chair
Adam is the Vice President of Professionals Services for ZeroChaos, a software and service company with $3 billion in annual revenue. In his role he oversees multiple departments; among them are Implementations, Independent Contractor Compliance, and S.O.W management. Adam has over 20 years of progressive management experience with proven expertise in Information Technology, Project Management, Contract Management, HR law, and strategic planning. As a father of three, Adam is deeply interested in Positive Images, because he believes his children should grow up feeling that it is OK to be who you are.
Francina Richardson – Secretary
Francina is a nearly life long resident of Sonoma County. She has been an active business woman having owned and successfully run several restaurants as well as the wholesale foods company known as La Casa Foods. Having sold her restaurants and foods business in the late 1990s she has bought and sold commercial real estate and worked as a consultant in the purchase and sale of small businesses. Francina has been active in the volunteer community in Sonoma Valley. She is the mother of two grown children and the grandmother of four. Spending time in Siskiyou County at her second home is her favorite pass time.
Candice Elliott – Treasurer
Candice brings decades of high tech entrepreneurial experience to Positive Image’s board. Along with 40 years of LGBT activism, including being a founding member of the ACLU Transexual Rights committee in 1980. Candice grew up in Silicon Valley but has been a Sonoma County resident since 1997. She and her husband live in and have been restoring the historic Comstock House near downtown Santa Rosa for the past few years.
Brian Leffew – Board Member-Visuals and Communications
A Positive Images Alum, Bryan Leffew is a stay-at-home parent, father of two, and advocate for the LGBTQI+ community. Along with his husband and children, Bryan has used online platforms such as YouTube as a means to advocate for LGBTQI+ rights, Marriage Equality, Adoption, and Foster Care. Together, their YouTube Channel “Gay Family Values” has reached thousands of viewers with the message that same-sex families are just like any other. Having been helped in his own coming out process by P.I. in his youth, Bryan has a passion to ensure that Positive Images remains a safe and nurturing environment for future generations to find community and grow into an acceptance of themselves.