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 and Trainer
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.After 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.
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.
Wendy Walsh Ph.D – Board Member
Wendy is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who has more than 20 years of counseling and leadership experience in the treatment of mental illness and addictions. Dr. Walsh graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology with a Ph.D. in Community/Clinical Psychology in1995. Her dissertation and other research focused on LGBT issues. Dr. Walsh has worked for Federal and State Corrections and in managed health care, while also maintaining a private practice. She also co-founded a nonprofit chemical dependency outpatient treatment center in Southern California. In more recent years Dr. Walsh has filled the role of Assistant Clinical Director and Clinical Director of a number of addiction treatment centers in the Los Angeles area. She has provided training to interns working with LGBTQ youth both in residential and outpatient treatment. She recently returned to Santa Rosa, where she began her undergraduate education more than thirty years ago.
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.