John joined the National AIDS Memorial as Chief Executive in 2009. John is a fifth generation Californian, having grown up in the East Bay before relocating to New England at the age of seven. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he received a degree in political science and organizational behavior. John presently resides in Oakland with his husband Joel and their two dogs.
John’s professional career has spanned over 25 years working for several Fortune 500 companies holding management positions in human resources, risk management and organizational development. In 1993 he founded and served as president of Golden Gate Granite Group, focusing on human capital management and effectiveness. In 2004 he realigned his career, merging his passion for community activism with his relationship development skills, joining the non-profit Positive Resource Center as Director of Development. John has held numerous non-profit board level positions, serving as President of the CastroCommunity Business Alliance, Board Chair of the New Hampshire AIDS Foundation,Vice President of Folsom Street Events, and Board Member of Positive Resource Center. John’s passion for improving his own quality of life through service to his community has long been his guiding principle.
“I came to the National AIDS Memorial because I feel strongly that theAmerican story of the AIDS epidemic must be told and that this organization should be the ones to tell it.”
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From AIDS to Covid: the role of community in times of crisis
Oscar joined the National AIDS Memorial as Director of Development in 2023. Originally from Southern California, Oscar fell in love with the Bay Area when he first visited San Francisco in his teenage years. A graduate of the University of California, Riverside, he received degrees in Sociology and Theatre. During his free time you can catch Oscar enjoying the latest cultural activities in the City.
With over 24 years of philanthropy experience, Oscar is a seasoned cross-cultural and multilingual professional with experience living, studying, and volunteering in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States, which has provided him with a strong sense of cultural fluency and fluidity. Oscar is also a committed diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice change agent. He brings an unyielding commitment and understanding of philanthropy and major donor development work. While working at UCSF, he had the opportunity to work with the UCSF AIDS Research Institute, UCSF Alliance Health Project, and HIV Women’s Program.
“I’m grateful to be a part of an organization that I highly respect and has a notable legacy of a strong commitment to revealing and sharing the history and lessons of AIDS and the AIDS Movement.”
Matt joined the National AIDS Memorial in 2014. Having spent the previous 8 years as a print broker alongside his partner, he decided to return to the nonprofit world in hopes of reconnecting with the community found through HIV/AIDS service organizations. Matt first became involved with the STOP AIDS Project as part of the Positive Force team and worked with passionate members of both staff and the community to create impactful programming and creative ways to engage those living with HIV/AIDS. Finding employment with the National AIDS Memorial helped to rekindle that drive and Matt remains grateful for the opportunity to participate as part of the administrative team.
“Working at the National AIDS Memorial is so uplifting and inspirational. To be part of something bigger than yourself and helping ensure that the story of AIDS isnever forgotten and that future generations understand the pain, heartbreak and loss, as well as so many heroes who helped with the healing.”
Steve became a member of the National AIDS Memorial staff in 2009 and has served in various integral roles including managing its operations, development, grants and volunteer programs. Today, Steve serves as senior manager for the memorials core programs, which includes its educational programs, storytelling initiatives and volunteer workdays, among other responsibilities. Previously, Steve served as development director and volunteer coordinator at Under One Roof, a twenty-three year San Francisco non-profit gift shop that raises money for AIDS service organizations in the Bay Area. Steve graduated with a degree in legal studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991, and was paralegal to general counsel of a national IT solutions company for several years prior to becoming involved in the non-profit sector. Steve lives in San Francisco with his partner of many years, Marcel Calma.
“I lost my late partner Sergio Anguiano to AIDS in 1993. Sergio was just shy of his twenty-second birthday when he died, and is the most courageous person I’ve ever known. My commitment to the mission of the National AIDS Memorial is inspired largely by my dedication to Sergio, who is memorialized at the Grove, surrounded by life, beauty and the very best inhumanity, and also on the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Through my work, I hope to ensure that the story of AIDS and the lessons learned never be forgotten.”
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Gert McMullin joined the National AIDS Memorial team in 2020 as Quilt Conservitor & Production Manager. Cindy Ann McMullin grew up in a loving raucous Oakland Hills family. In the 1980’s she emigrated to the Castro District of San Francisco. While working as a box office manager and as Macy’s “cosmetic sales gal,” she was well known among the Union Square retail workers. It was common to hear the comment, “Did you see what SHE was wearing today?” She would often change her name tag to reflect her mood. “Gert” was the girl that was sarcastic and a bit caustic.
During this period she could be found sharing those magical days of new found freedom and acceptance in the Castro. It was a magical time when gay men and lesbians came from around the world to experience true acceptance. She was there and indeed part of that experience.
When AIDS began to attack her friends, Gert McMullin was born. She was heartbroken and angry that this would happen to her boys. In April of 1987, Gert went to a meeting about making a memorial quilt. There were only 5 gay men and Gert, plus she realized that these men knew nothing about sewing. She made her first quilt for activist Roger Lyon and she has not stopped sewing in all of these thirty-four years. Gert is the only person that has caressed and/or had a hand in sewing each and every panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
“I loved my friends. Through all of the tragedy and horror of watching all of my friends die one by one, I am truly lucky to have found the Quilt. It and the people who work with it saved my life. I walkthrough those doors every day to thank it. Everyday.”
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Leftover Fabric From The AIDS Memorial Quilt Are Now Being Used To Make Coronavirus Masks
Roddy manages Quilt Operations for the National AIDS Memorial, joining the team in 2020 and moving to the San Francisco Bay Area from Atlanta, GA, where he worked for the NAMES Project Foundation/AIDS Memorial Quilt since 2003.
After working the corporate grind for years at GE Capital in Jacksonville, FL and then in Atlanta, Roddy found himself in search of a way to give back and the AIDS Memorial Quilt was just the opportunity he was looking for.
During Roddy’s 17 years with the Names Project Foundation, he was charged with many responsibilities with the Quilt, including packing in the warehouse for displays happening across the country, managing panel maker and donor databases, coordinated annual fundraising campaigns and assisting individuals with the creation of their loved ones panel.
Roddy continues those responsibilities today.
“I have always felt honored and privileged to do what I do with the Quilt and now with the National AIDS Memorial – to care for and share the stories of AIDS from loved ones who have died and the ones who loved them. This is a passion that drives my purpose EVERYDAY.”
Jada Harris is a proud native of Oakland, CA, an American born multi-media Artist, Visual Archivist, New Thought Minister, Speaker and Creative Artist. She produces multimedia productions focusing on cultural preservation, storytelling, metaphysical interpretation and spiritual expansion. She has held positions at Oakland Ensemble Theatre, Alliance Theatre Company, The Library Channel, Fulton Government Television (FGTV), Robert W. Woodruff Library - Atlanta University Center and the Atlanta History Center.
She is currently a Facilitator for Storycorps, Inc. She joined The NAMES Project Foundation/AIDS Memorial Quilt in 2001 when it moved from its San Francisco location to Atlanta, GA. During her tenure with the Quilt she has held positions as a Display Coordinator, Curator and Director of Programs. She is excited to be a part of the National AIDS Memorial in the role of Program Manager for the Call My Name program to increase the number of quilt panels from the African American community and all marginalized communities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Film/Video from Savannah College of Art and Design.
“On worn kitchen stools and tables, we are piecing our weapons together, scraps of different histories. Do not let us shatter any altar.” - Audre Lorde
Karen joined the National AIDS Memorial in March 2022. She has extensive background and knowledge in accounting and administrative services and a proven ability to develop sound processes and procedures that are helping bring greater efficiency to these critical functions within the memorial.
Previously, Karen was a senior accountant with Wisdom & Money (2019-2021) and White Rain Productions (2014-2019). Karen earned her B.S. in Mathematics at the University of Redlands. Karen cares about the community and is passionate about her volunteer work, which includes the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, Glide Memorial Church, Castro Country Club, and AIDS Emergency Fund, among others.
“It is an honor to be part of this heartfelt organization that is touching lives and helping ensure we never forget, but that we join together as a community to find a cure and help those suffering today.”
Brian is responsible for coordinating displays of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and curating the block selections for each display. Having been part of the Quilt team since 2001, he continues to work remotely from Atlanta. Brian’s Theatre background and passion for Art History lends itself perfectly to his position with National AIDS Memorial.
Having worked with the Quilt for 19 years with the NAMES Project, curating this extensive collection for 16 of those years, he is grateful to continue in his work with National AIDS Memorial. In addition to working with the individual Display Hosts, he also curates Quilt for the nine Chapters across the US. He strives to personalize each display in order to elevate the connection between the Community and the Quilt they receive.
“Working with the Quilt has been the most rewarding work of my life. To hopefully educate and influence life decisions through displays of the Quilt makes what I do so much more meaningful.”
Mike is a strategic partner helping to drive the promotional strategy and creative direction for the National AIDS Memorial since 2020. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the California-based Creative Company, ABOARD. He is a passionate entrepreneur with a background of over 25 years of creative thought leadership and a focus is on delivering brand experiences that inspire and strengthen advocacy to drive consumer engagement. Mike is able to thrive in complex stakeholder environments and harness his energy to crack the nuts that have not yet been solved. Mike is a strategic partner who has deep institutional knowledge working with organizations that have been at the forefront of radical change through digitalization.
A graduate of The University of California at Davis with a degree in Design, Mike has studied art & design at Central Saint Martins in London and served as a mentor and guest lecturer at the Miami Ad School, Academy of Art San Francisco, as well as the design program at the University of Illinois Chicago. Mike served on the board of the Breast Cancer Fund for several years in honor of his mother and lives in Southern California along with his partner and three children whom he finds his greatest inspiration in.
“Working with the team and partners of the National AIDS Memorial fills me with inspiration to be a strong voice in the fight against stigma, denial, and hate, for a just future.”