Stanford Pride Summit Speakers

Speaker Bios

“Everything I Know about Career Growth, I Learned in Queer Leather Relationships” by Billie Mandel ‘94

Billie Mandel ’94 (She/Her)

Billie Mandel is a multidisciplinary social scientist, leadership coach and collaborative creativity expert with 30 years’ international business experience leading software R&D teams to innovate, grow and create more effectively together. In her BA studies in International Relations at Stanford (and subsequent graduate studies at that other institution across the Bay), she focused on political behavior and political sociology, with a specific interest in conflict resolution and how humans interact in systems. 

As a first-wave UX designer and (often token) out lesbian in the tech industry, and now as a leadership and team collaboration coach, she’s spent decades in corporate boardrooms watching leaders make the same mistakes over and over. Now that she’s a self-employed CEO, living her best life by the ocean in her Sea Witch era, she’s fully empowered to tell all the tales and spill all the tea, for our collective amusement, benefit, and growth.Her company, Mandel Creative, is a queer feminist learning and development consultancy and innovation incubator for creative and technical professionals and teams, and has some spicy new programs coming up! Subscribe to her mailing list at www.billiemandel.com and follow her on LinkedIn to hear the news when it’s fresh and hot!

“Unconventional Paths to Home Ownership” by Darcey Pancoast ‘15

Darcey Pancoast ’15 (They/Them)

Darcey Pancoast is a queer non-binary person of color, currently living in Alexandria, VA, the city they were born and raised in. Darcey wears many hats: educator, engineer, and REALTOR®. Their journey as an educator began with tutoring classmates in 7th grade, driven by a desire to help their peers succeed academically. While at Stanford (‘15), they majored in Biomechanical Engineering, played Women’s Rugby, and staffed Terra (Stanford’s LGBT-themed cooperative house), all while helping run a youth-focused LGBT non-profit, Bay Area Youth Summit. After years spent living in Oakland after college, where they tutored professionally and continued to participate in the Bay Area LGBT community, the sudden loss of their mother prompted them to return to their hometown. The drastic change gave them the opportunity to re-evaluate their career path, & their as-of-yet unrealized passion for sustainable urban design and green housing led them to begin a career in real estate, where they prioritize honesty, integrity, and fairness in every transaction. Today, Darcey balances after-school education with a burgeoning real estate career, driven by their mission to create more equity and sustainability in our housing and beyond.

 LGBT Health and Aging Panel

Dr. Mark F. Robb, ‘75 (He/Him)

Dr. Mark F. Robb is honored to be able to present his life-changing story and share his experience in living through the AIDS crisis. He grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School, class valedictorian, and made his first trip to California to enter Leland Stanford Jr. University in 1971. He lived in the Larkin-Lassen dormitory as a freshman and spent the rest of his time at Stanford living in the Kappa Alpha Fraternity next to Lake Lagunitas, studying hard but still chasing women and partying with his fraternity brothers.  He was able to graduate a year early and while applying to medical schools, he worked the night shift at The Stanford Hospital in the blood gas lab. It was there that he discovered his true proclivities when he was propositioned by a male coworker who cleaned the surgery suites at night. He brought my secret with him to The University of California at San Diego, School of Medicine. He finally found some friends in class with the same proclivities who opened his eyes to gay life. He graduated medical school in 1979 and finished his residency in Internal Medicine at Highland General Hospital in 1983.

His career in Emergency Medicine began in the Cuban Refugee Camp at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas in 1980 and continued until he retired from the Emergency Room at Kaiser Hospital, San Francisco, in 2017. When the pandemic started, he went back to work in a field hospital in San Francisco, set up in the street behind the Southeast Health Center in the Bayview District. He found it less stressful than the emergency room and realized he still had something to offer as an emergency physician. Over the next few years, he staffed various clinics delivering COVID care, fire camps in Northern California, and a Transit Hub in San Diego for immigrants from the border. In between he also worked on cruise ships, The Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Reflexions, providing care for the crew and guests during the pandemic. No longer a transient, most recently, he has found a permanent job providing primary care at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland. Speaking Spanish every day and working with a great group of professionals, providing care for an underserved and respectful community, he is challenged in this new specialty and busy at the end of his career. He is most grateful to still be alive.

Bláz Bush, M. Ed, (Bláz or He)

With over a decade of LGBTQ+ affirming healthcare experience from care coordination and program development to education and training, Bláz Bush joined Stanford Medicine as the inaugural Executive Director of the LGBTQ+ Health Program in 2022. Bláz expertly leads strategic growth for the program across the Stanford Medicine Enterprise, represents the program and initiatives to internal and external stakeholders, unifies the multidisciplinary efforts for LGBTQ+ health, develops equitable best practice curriculum and trainings, and facilitates restorative circles for students, faculty, and staff.

Moderated by Danny Pintauro ’98 (He/Him)

Danny Pintauro is best known for his impressive eight-year run as the precocious Jonathan Bower on the popular ABC sitcom, “Who’s The Boss?” starring Judith Light, Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano.

Pintauro began his professional career at the age of 2 as a model and commercial actor, by the time he was 3 he had a five-year contract role on CBS’s daytime drama, “As the World Turns.”

This was followed by his acclaimed film debut playing Tad in Stephen King’s legendary Cujo.

Other film and television credits include “The Benniker Gang” with Andrew McCarthy, CBS’s “Timestalkers,” with William Devane and a two-part season opener on “Highway To Heaven” with Michael Landon.

A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Drama, Pintauro’s theatrical credits include Paula Vogel’s “Hot n’ Throbbing,” Lord Alfred Douglas in “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde,” Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Tim in “A Queer Carol,” Allen Ginsberg in the acclaimed “beat” in the New York International Fringe Festival and the lead role of Tony Whitcomb in the longest running play in U.S. history, “Shear Madness.” Pintauro made his professional New York debut at The Duplex in the one man show” The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name).”

In 1997, Pintauro became one of the first celebrities to publicly identify as gay and in 2015 he spoke openly with Oprah Winfrey about being HIV positive. Since then, he has endeavored to become an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+ and HIV issues facing our country, most recently working with Family Equality as a Co-Chair of their LA Impact Awards.

Pintauro is making a return to the entertainment business and most recently played Eugene in the Lifetime Christmas movie ‘A Country Christmas Harmony’ starring opposite Brooke Elliott.

In conversation with Justice Kelli M. Evans ’91 of the California Supreme Court

Justice Kelli M. Evans ’91 (She/Her)

Justice Kelli M. Evans serves as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Before joining the Supreme Court, Justice Evans served as a Judge in the Alameda County Superior Court, presiding over both criminal and civil matters.

Prior to her appointment to the Alameda County bench, Justice Evans served as Chief Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary in the Office of Governor Newsom, where she advised the Governor and executive agencies on a variety of legal, policy, and legislative issues.

Justice Evans previously served as Special Assistant to the Attorney General at the California Department of Justice with a focus in criminal justice, public safety, and civil rights law and policy.

Justice Evans has had a career of public service. Before joining the California Department of Justice, she served as Senior Director for the Administration of Justice at the California State Bar. Prior to joining the State Bar, she was Associate Director of the ACLU of Northern California and served as a Senior Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and as an Assistant Public Defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office. Justice Evans also has served as a member of federal court-appointed monitoring teams for the Oakland and Cleveland Police Departments.

Justice Evans has sat on the governing boards of a number of non-profit organizations and currently serves on the California Commission on Access to Justice. She has received numerous awards and recognition including the King Hall Distinguished Alumna Award, the Stanford Trailblazer Award, Judge of the Year Award, Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, State Bar President’s Award, and a Medal of Achievement from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.    

Justice Evans received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from the University of California at Davis, where she was the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Public Service.

Moderated by Chris Middleton ’16, JD ’21 (He/Him)

Chris Middleton is an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Baker McKenzie & Salesforce, Inc., based in Oakland, CA. Chris’s fellowship project focuses on reducing homelessness among child welfare and juvenile justice-involved youth in California, New Mexico, and Washington through coalition building, community education, representation in administrative hearings, systemic advocacy, and litigation. Previously at the Youth Law Center, Chris completed a Stanford Law School Deane F. Johnson Public Interest Fellowship. His prior work focused on addressing the challenges of the school-to-prison pipeline in California; ensuring access to quality education for child welfare and juvenile justice-involved youth; limiting the use of congregate care settings in child welfare and juvenile justice, especially the disproportionate impact of institutional settings on LGBTQ+ youth; and addressing conditions issues in the juvenile justice system. Prior to joining YLC, Chris served as a law clerk to Judge Myron H. Thompson and Judge W. Keith Watkins in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Chris is a proud first-gen/low-income (FLI) alumnus of Stanford University (2016) and Stanford Law School (2021). He co-founded the Stanford First-Generation and/or Low-Income Alumni Network (FLAN) in 2019 and served as one of its inaugural Co-Presidents.

Ethical Non-Monogamy and Relationship Styles Panel

Roselyn Thomas ‘08 (They/She)

Roz Thomas is a community builder who is passionate about social justice. They are not only the current Treasurer of Stanford Pride, but also have a history of alumni volunteerism ranging from coordinating Beyond the Farm projects to volunteering on the planning committee for Stanford National Black Alumni Associations summits. They have been practicing ethical non-monogamy and identifying as Solo Polyamorous for a little over a decade. During that they became a moderator for one of the largest online communities created by and for Solo Polyamorous folks, launched an online platform, Loving Solo devoted to telling the story of marginalized folks within SoPo communities, and has facilitated panels and workshops at ENM conferences around the nation. Ultimately Roz’s passion is to create spaces where folks can bring their whole queer, outside-the-norm selves into supportive communities that prioritize justice and inclusion. Roz will be sharing about their non-monogamy journey as well as hosting a community-building space for other BIPoc alumni

Angela M. Smith, M.A. ’18 (They/Them)

Angela “Ananda” Smith is a dynamic leader and advocate for inclusivity and acceptance. As Academic Accommodations and Support Coordinator at Stanford University, Angela spearheads initiatives to enhance accessibility and promote diversity, positively impacting countless members of the campus community.

Beyond academia, Angela is a respected figure in the LGBTQ+ community, having been actively involved in ethical non-monogamy and kink for over a decade. They bring a unique perspective on privacy, relationships, and interpersonal dynamics.

With a keen understanding of LGBTQ+ challenges, Angela continues to lead the charge in creating spaces where all individuals feel valued and supported. Their journey is not just about making a difference; it’s about shaping a future where inclusivity is the norm and acceptance knows no bounds.

Moderated by Brianne Huntsman ’16 (She/Her)

Brianne Huntsman is an experiential designer and artist based in Salt Lake City, Utah, who professionally works at the intersections of design and marketing. Recently, Brianne left her career as a fashion influencer and content creator to “explore what’s next” after being featured in numerous LGBTQ+ fashion campaigns and walking the runway at NYFW. When not working in front of or behind the camera, Brianne can be found creating go-to-market strategies for B2C brands, as well as moonlighting as a strategic coach or “scheming schemer” for life planning and career development.

Breakout Workshops

Kasiemobi Udo-okoye ‘15 (She/They)
“Career Planning for Multi-Skill Professionals”

Kasiemobi Udo-okoye is a Nigerian-American who studied human biology and theater at Stanford and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is a project manager and creative content planner both for tech companies like Skillshare and Buzzfeed and for independent professionals from comedians to marketers.

Brianne Huntsman ‘16 (She/Her)
“PIVOT! Actionable Steps to Make a Major Career Change”

Brianne Huntsman is an experiential designer and artist based in Salt Lake City, Utah, who professionally works at the intersections of design and marketing. Recently, Brianne left her career as a fashion influencer and content creator to “explore what’s next” after being featured in numerous LGBTQ+ fashion campaigns and walking the runway at NYFW. When not working in front of or behind the camera, Brianne can be found creating go-to-market strategies for B2C brands, as well as moonlighting as a strategic coach or “scheming schemer” for life planning and career development.

Gus Hernandez ‘99 (He/Him)
“Rethinking Masculinity in the Workplace “

Gus Hernandez is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience and currently serves as President of Stanford Pride. As an activist in San Francisco, he created positive change in his community, leveraging his relationship-building skills to bring people together. During his tenure on the Board of Directors for Stanford Pride, Gus has focused on inclusion and belonging to ensure that programming reflects the full diversity of our LGBTQ+ community. Gus has navigated being an out gay Latino professional in both nonprofit and corporate work environments and will be sharing his unique perspective at the Stanford Pride Summit.

Merrianne E. Dean, Esq. (She/Her)
“Estate Planning for LGBTQ+ Individuals”

Merrianne E. Dean has more than 25 years of courtroom experience litigating probate and trust disputes, financial elder abuse matters, and conservatorships. She has also served as a court-appointed attorney representing developmentally disabled and elderly individuals who are the subject of conservatorships before the probate court.  Ms. Dean is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law and has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbel.  Ms. Dean is also a mediator with West Coast Resolution Group focusing on disputes in Trusts & Estates.

Ms. Dean works with people who find themselves in a difficult situation and need help understanding and navigating their legal options.  She recognizes that no one comes to a lawyer’s office voluntarily.  Her focus is to help her clients understand the legal process, discover their options, gain control, and reach a resolution as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

Ms. Dean has been active in the San Diego legal community for her entire career.  She has served as a Co-Chair for the Probate Section of the San Diego County Bar Association,  is a co-founder and Director for Probate Attorneys of San Diego Bar Association, a member of Lawyers Club and a member of the Tom Homann Law Association.

Family Planning Panel

Ben Fong ’08 (He/Him)

Ben Fong is a father and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and President of the Stanford Club of the East Bay, which he founded in 2016 and has grown the club to almost 1000 members today. He has also served as the President of the Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Club. Professionally, he has worked at several climate tech startups, Ford Motor Company, Deloitte Consulting, and as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with tours including Mexico, India, and Washington DC. In his spare time, he has served as Planning Commissioner in Berkeley as an elected delegate of the Democratic Party of California Central Committee, and as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

Ben graduated from Stanford in Political Science (’08), a Master in Public Affairs (MPA) from Princeton University, and a MBA from UC Berkeley. While at Stanford, he studied abroad at Oxford, served as an admissions associate, and as a R.A. in Toyon Hall. He resides in Alameda, California, with his husband and 1 year old son where he enjoys restoring his 125 year old Victorian home and gardening.

Lou Hexter ’82 (He/Him)

Lou Hexter lives in Mill Valley, California, and is semi-retired from a career as an urban planning consultant in Berkeley. He and his husband Mike are the parents of two boys, now in college, whom they raised through the foster-adoption process. In the late 1980s and early 90s Lou spent time at the AIDS Project of the East Bay in Oakland, serving as a volunteer, then a staff member and finally as Vice President of the Board of Directors. He later had a tenure on the Board of the Tom Steel Clinic, an HIV-centered practice in southern Marin County. Lou is an avid hiker and fan of Bay Area sports teams. He recently reconnected with Stanford as outreach coordinator for the 40th reunion of the Class of ‘82.

José G. Arzate (He/Him), CPHM, CPLC, PMP

José G. Arzate is a native of the SF Bay Area and has lived in La Jolla since December 2016 when he and his co parent decided to seek a more balanced life for their family. José values & prioritizes individual & family wellbeing, compassion & doing good for others. Professionally, José is part of Stanford Health Care Technology & Digital Solutions (TDS) and is a Senior Manager, IT Inpatient Clinical Applications. José’s team manages the non-Epic clinical systems used in the delivery of acute care & also supports Nursing and SoM Clinical Research. José has two sons, William (15) & Isaac (13). He and his co parent became a family through egg donor surrogacy and worked with Growing Generations to start their family. When José is not leading a dynamic team of clinical technology professionals, he volunteers with his family. José is active with the Muirlands Middle School Foundation, La Jolla High School Foundation & La Jolla Friendly Visitors where he provides seniors companionship during the week. José’s community priorities also include Queer Youth Health & Housing Security, and most recently joined the San Diego LGBT Center’s Stonewall Society to provide long term financial support for core Queer Youth Services. He is also an active member of the San Diego LGBT Center’s donor Leadership Circle. José loves being #1 fan for his sons at their sporting events & spending time at the ocean creating space for inner peace & stillness.

Billie Mandel ‘94 (She/Her)

Billie Mandel is a multidisciplinary social scientist, leadership coach and collaborative creativity expert with 30 years’ international business experience leading software R&D teams to innovate, grow and create more effectively together. In her BA studies in International Relations at Stanford (and subsequent graduate studies at that other institution across the Bay), she focused on political behavior and political sociology, with a specific interest in conflict resolution and how humans interact in systems. 

As a first-wave UX designer and (often token) out lesbian in the tech industry, and now as a leadership and team collaboration coach, she’s spent decades in corporate boardrooms watching leaders make the same mistakes over and over. Now that she’s a self-employed CEO, living her best life by the ocean in her Sea Witch era, she’s fully empowered to tell all the tales and spill all the tea, for our collective amusement, benefit, and growth.Her company, Mandel Creative, is a queer feminist learning and development consultancy and innovation incubator for creative and technical professionals and teams, and has some spicy new programs coming up! Subscribe to her mailing list at www.billiemandel.com and follow her on LinkedIn to hear the news when it’s fresh and hot!

Moderated by Danny Pintauro ’98 (He/Him)

Danny Pintauro is best known for his impressive eight-year run as the precocious Jonathan Bower on the popular ABC sitcom, “Who’s The Boss?” starring Judith Light, Tony Danza and Alyssa Milano.

Pintauro began his professional career at the age of 2 as a model and commercial actor, by the time he was 3 he had a five-year contract role on CBS’s daytime drama, “As the World Turns.”

This was followed by his acclaimed film debut playing Tad in Stephen King’s legendary Cujo.

Other film and television credits include “The Benniker Gang” with Andrew McCarthy, CBS’s “Timestalkers,” with William Devane and a two-part season opener on “Highway To Heaven” with Michael Landon.

A graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Drama, Pintauro’s theatrical credits include Paula Vogel’s “Hot n’ Throbbing,” Lord Alfred Douglas in “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde,” Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Tim in “A Queer Carol,” Allen Ginsberg in the acclaimed “beat” in the New York International Fringe Festival and the lead role of Tony Whitcomb in the longest running play in U.S. history, “Shear Madness.” Pintauro made his professional New York debut at The Duplex in the one man show” The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name).”

In 1997, Pintauro became one of the first celebrities to publicly identify as gay and in 2015 he spoke openly with Oprah Winfrey about being HIV positive. Since then, he has endeavored to become an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+ and HIV issues facing our country, most recently working with Family Equality as a Co-Chair of their LA Impact Awards.

Pintauro is making a return to the entertainment business and most recently played Eugene in the Lifetime Christmas movie ‘A Country Christmas Harmony’ starring opposite Brooke Elliott.

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