The LIKEME Board of Directors are responsible for oversight of the organization’s operations and they help guide the Center’s long-term vision and planning. The Board also focuses on the continued financial stability of the organization and, to that end, participates significantly in our fundraising efforts.
President: Chely Blitzer-Wright
Co-Chairman: Chuck Walter
Secretary: Sherrie Harris
Treasurer: Char Daniels
Born and raised in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Lauren Blitzer attended NYU, majoring in Art History. She currently serves as the Development Director for Faith in America, a non-profit aimed to end religious-based bigotry amongst the LGBT community. Prior to her position at FIA she was the Corporate Relations and Special Events Manager for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) and was a copywriter for J.Crew.Lauren Blitzer is also the author of “Same Sex in the City: So Your Prince Charming is Really a Cinderella,” published by Simon & Schuster. She has been featured in the New York Times, appeared twice on the Tyra Banks Show, and co-hosted the talk show “She Said What” on Logo. Additionally, she received the trailblazer award from the Stonewall Foundation in December 2009 for her work in LGBT advocacy and awareness.
Lauren currently resides in Brooklyn with her fiancée and their three dogs.
Howard Bragman is the most recognized public relations person in America. He has taken his 30+ years of agency experience, in virtually every area of PR, and become the “go-to” guy on television to explain celebrity misbehavior, corporate crisis and the role of “spin” in our everyday lives. He is a regular pundit on Larry King Live, The Joy Behar Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show and The CBS Early Show. In addition, he is often quoted in magazines, newspapers and on-line media outlets.Bragman founded Fifteen Minutes in 2005 and it has evolved into one of the most respected boutique entertainment public relations agencies in the US. His personal participation includes high-level strategy, top-tier media contacts, crisis communications, media training and agency vision and values. Prior to Fifteen Minutes, he founded BNC which has become the largest entertainment PR agency in the world. He sold the agency to IPG in 2000. Prior to that he was a Vice President at PR giant Burson-Marsteller.
In addition to his agency work, Bragman was an award-winning adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications and is the author of the bestselling book, “Where’s My Fifteen Minutes? (Penguin/Portfolio, 2008).
He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work as a political activist for those with HIV/AIDS, GLBT Civil Rights and Jewish causes. He resides in Los Angeles with his husband, a nationally-respected horse trainer.
Nicole Carrasco is a producer in television. She has been working in primetime network television for over 17 years on shows such as “NYPD Blue”, “ALIAS” and “brothers & sisters”. She is currently working on “perception” which will air on TNT in 2012.Nicole frequently returns to her alma mater, UC Irvine, to join panels talking and giving advice to college students about careers in television. She also actively guest speaks in production classes at universities breaking down what it takes to get a network television show to the air. She mentors and aids recent graduates, helping them get them their first step into television production.
Along with Sally Field, Matthew Rhys, Luke MacFarlane and her “brothers & sisters” crew, Nicole participated in an “It Gets Better Video” to help prevent teen suicide.
Nicole currently lives in Sherman Oaks, CA with her girlfriend, Erin and their dog Stella.
Kim M. Catullo
Kim M. Catullo is a partner at the law firm of Gibbons P.C. Kim is the chairperson of the Firm’s Products Liability Department, one of the Firm’s largest litigation groups with more than 30 lawyers in four states. She is also only the second woman to serve on the Firm’s Executive Committee, and she is Co-Administrative Director of the Firm’s New York office. In addition, Ms. Catullo serves on the Executive Board of the Gibbons Women’s Initiative. She has received numerous awards for her litigation skills and leadership. Ms. Catullo is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and many federal courts throughout the United States.Ms. Catullo lives in NYC with her partner, Chris and their shelter dog, Sadie.
Charlene Daniels (Char) spent nearly 18 years at Marion Laboratories, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, holding the position of Assistant to the President of Operations when the company was sold. She then chose to start her own business, and now owns CCST Properties, a rental property concern in the Kansas City area.
She serves as Treasurer and Board Member of Reading, Writing & Rhythm, Chely’s music education charity, from 2001 to present. Since Chely’s coming out, Char has grown to see the importance of LIKE ME’s mission. She is now totally committed to bringing inclusion and respect to the gay community through LIKE ME®.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Ottawa University. Her interests include flying, art, small adventures with her family, friends; and her spare time is consumed with creating a LIKE ME® Lighthouse in the Kansas City area.
Anne Marie Davidson
Anne Marie is a Director in Equity Trading at Citi. She graduated DeSales University in 1991 and has been in the securities industry ever since. Anne Marie has served on the Diversity Committee at Citi for 10 years and has been on the Citipride committee since inception. Anne Marie has supported and attended events like Out & Equal, GLSEN, and GLAAD.Anne Marie has also been active in Working Mom Diversity efforts at Citi and is a co-founder of the Michael Allan Davidson (MAD 911) Foundation.This foundation was established after her brother in law perished on 9/11 and was set up to help make a difference on his behalf. The charity addresses the need for social, economic, and religious tolerance through education of our youth. MAD 911 has won both county and state awards for it’s efforts since it began in 2006.
Anne Marie lives in New Jersey with her husband Jeff and their children Bobby and Olivia.
Sherrie is a printer by trade but a volunteer by heart. Owner of APN (printing) since 1997 she also has a background in retail (as a buyer) and outside sales dealing with major accounts and universities prior to APN. Her passion is volunteering and was previously a long-time board member of Reading, Writing & Rhythm. In addition to other small volunteer associations, she works with animal rights and rescue and is part of the Special Events and Fundraising Committees of UPAW (United Partnership for Animal Welfare), a group that serves as a link to bridge other rescue groups, government and citizens.Sherrie lives in Nashville, TN and shares her home with a husband, three large rescued hounds and the occasional foster dog or cat.
Danielle is currently a manager with Untitled Entertainment. Prior to her position at Untitled, she was a manager at Handprint Entertainment. Thomas is a graduate of the University of North Texas where she majored in Journalism and minored in Business and Marketing. While in college, she was an intern at Columbia Pictures in Dallas and developed a love of the film business.After college, Thomas relocated to Los Angeles where she managed the West Coast marketing division of Photon Entertainment, leading the company to domestic and international exposure in all forms of media including a successful run at Universal Studios Theme Park. Thomas then went on to work at the world renowned talent and literary agency, International Creative Management (ICM) as an executive assistant. At ICM, she became the first woman accepted into the agent trainee program. As an agent, Thomas spent six years representing actors, writers, directors, and musicians. Driven by her desire to be more involved in the career paths of her clients, it was then that Thomas decided to pursue the other side of representation in management.
Thomas is active in charity and community outreach. She is a founding board member of Step Up Women’s Network. She was a board member of Women in Film and is an avid supporter of APLA, Los Angeles Mission, Project Angel Food, The Point Foundation, The Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters, Artists Starving to End, ASPCA, Motion Picture Television Fund, Lincoln Center Theatre Organization, Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Roundabout Theatre in New York, Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, Much Love Rescue and 1-800-Adopt a Pet. She is also a recipient of the Power Up Award and 2010 Friendswood High School Distinguished Alumni Award for Fairness.
Charles Walter (Chuck) is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. A twenty-five year veteran of the Securities Industry, Chuck started his Wall Street career in 1985 at Shearson Lehman Brothers. Chuck was the first person to publicly come out as an LGBT employee at Citigroup (Equities Global Markets Division) and that step led to his dedicated service on Citigroup’s Diversity Committee for ten years. Chuck was also responsible for the formation of Citi Pride within their Equity Global Markets Division. He has vigorously supported and represented his firm at events such as: Out & Equal, GLSEN, GLAAD and AIDS Walk NY.In 1999, Chuck co-founded the non-profit organization Reading Writing & Rhythm with country music artist, Chely Wright. Since its inception, the organization has raised over one million dollars and has put musical instruments and funds into 300 schools across the United States. Together, Chuck and Chely produced an annual benefit concert and auction that eventually became the official kick-off of the CMA Fest in Nashville, TN.
Chuck lives in Delaware with his partner of 24 years, Mich and their two cats Garth and J.T. (Jack Twist).
Country Music Recording Artist Chely Wright founded the LIKE ME® Organization in 2010.Wright is a Country Music recording artist and has been recognized throughout her career by the Country Music Association and the Academy Of Country Music with numerous awards and nominations. Wright has released 7 studio albums and charted more than 15 singles on the Billboard country charts. In addition to her awards and chart successes, Wright has dedicated herself to multiple charitable causes, even founding Reading, Writing & Rhythm® in 1999, which donates musical instrument to schools nationwide.
In May of 2010, Random House published Wright’s self-penned coming out memoir Like Me. Wright has become one of the nation’s leading advocates for the LGBT community – telling her story and lending support in the pursuit of equality.
It is Wright’s mission that no one should ever have to search far to find someone LIKE ME.
LIKEME is about inclusion. LIKEME is about meeting and knowing people and choosing to seek out the ways in which we might be similar rather than they ways we might be different.
LIKEME is about support. LIKEME is about respect. LIKEME is about being an individual and celebrating other people’s individuality. LIKEME is about being who you are meant to be.