Board of Directors & Staff
Jonathan was born in Rochester, NY and lived the last eight years in Fort Lauderdale, FL before relocating to Chico, CA to take on the position of, Director of Development and Grant Writing for a local non-profit. He has been deeply involved in the non-profit community in development, grant writing, and also on the board of directors and advisory board for local non-profits. During his tenure in South Florida, Jonathan was an adult facilitator to LGBT*Q+ youth groups, co-founded a local non-profit and implemented a host home program for LGBT*Q+ youth. Additionally, he volunteered as a mentor, actively participated in the local PFLAG chapter, and organized a Gender and Sexual Minority Identified Men of Color support group.
Prior to relocating to Chico, he was an underwriter, small business owner, corporate trainer, and has built international relationships as the director of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships for a major university.
Jonathan has earned a BA in International Relations and Economics from St. John Fisher College, and also completed extensive dissertation research on the Humanitarian Crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Additionally, he has earned an MBA in International Business, from Keller Graduate School of Management, and is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified through Florida Atlantic University. He has volunteered much of his time to Habitat Global Village on assignment in Bangalore, India and Nepal.
Aside from work and volunteering, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his 6 years old miniature pinscher, Pharah Leigh, international travel, dancing, research, social media, and meeting new people. Jonathan is looking forward to his husband, Fabrice joining him in Chico by the end of the year.
Jenita Ridriguez was raised in the Bay Area, and graduated in 1965 from Alameda High School. She immediately became involved in the LGBT*Q+ community after coming out in 1980. She attended Napa Valley Community college and completed certification in 1984 as a psychiatric technician. She then was worked at Napa State Hospital for nine years until being seriously injured on the job by an assaultive patient and left the workforce for a long rehabilitation.
In 1991, she moved to Reno and enrolled in Truckee Community College and then University of Nevada, Reno, continuing activism for the betterment of the LGBT*Q+ community at both schools. She received dual degrees in political science, and women’s and gender studies. Following graduation she went to work for the State of Nevada as a mental health case manager, where she experienced sexual orientation discrimination at the end of her probationary period, which led to job termination.
While in Reno she was in involved with the first two gay parades in that area. She participated in mental health activism, interned for Nevada Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, and then moved to Chico in 2004, after meeting a partner online. Their relationship grew and Jenita married Dr. Judy Johnson July 3, 2008. Jenita is currently a board member on the Butte County Democratic Central Committee.
A light in her life are her two daughters, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She enjoys fishing, backgammon, being a slave to her 15-year-old cat, and taking her dog, Maxie, to the dog park. Jenita is excited to help by bringing her experience to help Stonewall Alliance.
Another Northern California native, Eirin Auld grew up in Marysville before serving primarily overseas in the Marines right after high school. After returning from the service, she began a career in the transportation and construction trades. Eirin began serving her local community as a volunteer firefighter, as well as serving the homeless. This led to an increased awareness of the needs of the veteran’s community, specifically suicide prevention, and the issues surrounding PTSD.
Eirin returned to school last year to pursue a degree in behavioral science at Butte College and is looking forward to continuing her education at Chico State. She first began coming to Stonewall Alliance as a client, and the more she learned about how positive an impact they have on the entire community, the more she wanted to be involved. Eirin says, “I am proud to take this next step of being a part of the board in hopes of both having something positive to share, as well as continuing to learn from this wonderful group of people.”
Randy Yates is proud to be what one colleague once referred to as a “professional queer.” Randy’s first job out of graduate school was designing, conducting, and analyzing a survey of public school teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about HIV/AIDS. The team soon found a strong correlation between homophobia and a lack of knowledge about HIV/AIDS. This same theme emerged with any adult population they surveyed, including medical providers. He spent many years designing and delivering professional development courses not only about HIV/AIDS, but also anti- homophobia workshops.
Randy also helped design some of the first prevention programs targeting young gay men, transwomen sex workers, and men who have sex with men in public sex environments.
To support this important work, Randy began writing grants, and got so good at it (or lucky), that his team increasingly relied on him to spend most of his time writing and managing grants. So in 2000, Randy started his own consulting business specializing in government grant and contract opportunities. After a decade of contract work, Randy joined Planned Parenthood of Northern California as its director of community education and moved to Chico in 2011. Randy is proud to call Chico home and look forward to meeting more of our diverse community in my work on the board.
Llael Valle was born and raised in Butte County. She has traveled throughout Latin America and, after graduating with honors from U.C. Davis in 2008, she served as Project Coordinator for an agency that built houses in impoverished communities in Mexico. In 2011, she received her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and currently serves as a Mental Health Clinician, providing individual, couples and family counseling for diverse populations. She is a Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and whenever she can, volunteers for community agencies like the Butte County Youth Coalition and Butte College Diversity Days to assist in the empowerment of the future generation.
As a bilingual, second generation, Latina member of the LGBT*Q+ community, Llael understands the many implications of intersectionality and what it means to work to overcome many of the struggles minorities continue to face. She is passionate about working with people who strive for equality and the betterment of their own lives and those around them.
Llael loves to spend her free time salsa dancing, playing soccer and living life to the fullest with her wife Heather, whom she married in 2014. She is ecstatic to be a board member of Stonewall and says, "I will bring an optimistic yet realistic attitude to this position with a strong dedication to serving the community."
I moved to Chico about 6 years ago. LGBT*Q+ community building has been a passion of mine for over 20 years. In the Bay Area, I was involved in many LGBT*Q+ community organizations. Having been on the Board and now being the Executive Director has given me a great opportunity to help make great things happen in Chico/Butte County. I think of Chico as the LGBTQ+'est city in the world and everyone I meet is LGBT*Q+ until they prove themselves otherwise. I am a licensed marriage family therapist and also on the Board of Chico Regional CAMFT. I believe in personal growth and aspire to be the best me I can, help others do the same and make Chico the best it can be too!
We do incredible work. There are so many amazing people in our community. Join us!
Outreach and Education Coordinator
ian is a recent CSU, Chico, alumni, having studied Multicultural & Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity. ian has participated in activist work for over a decade and has continued to advocate for diversity issues throughout his college and professional career. He thrives on educating others, making an impact, and fighting for social justice. When he isn't at a rally, planning committee or special event, you may find him at a local coffee shop or skating around town. ian loves stimulating conversations with friends, hugs, and contagious smiles!
Maya has a passion for social justice, especially in the GSM & POC communities and suicide prevention. Before accepting the position with Stonewall they volunteered at Gender Health Center as a Peer Health Advocate, assisting individuals in the GSM community to live their authentic lives. With a heart of service, they are driven toward serving the community through activism, education, support, and dedication. Stop by their desk and say hi!
Alyssa is pleased as punch to be Stonewall Center Coordinator. She's got a degree in Organizational Communications, a background in all shapes and sizes of nonprofit work, and a passion for being the best ally she can be. At the center, she handles volunteer coordination, the front desk and scheduling, as well as sharing in public communication, outreach, event coordination and a plethora of other duties. It wasn't that long ago that she was a volunteer at Stonewall herself, and the opportunity to work with this community, this staff and this cause is a joy for her. When she's not behind her desk, this Chico local is most likely directing or acting in some kind of local theatre, or at a downtown dance party. Alyssa likes her coffee strong and her days sunny- but if you're really looking to get on her good side, bring a kitten.