Michael D Daniels-James

President
Member since 2016

He/Him/His

Michael D Daniels-James is a Vice President, Business Banking Relationship Manager for Chase Bank, Georgia. In this role, he is responsible for boosting financial productivity for businesses, their owners, and employees through lending (conventional lines/loans, SBA, equipment, commercial purchases and refinance options), cash management, deposits, and payment services solutions. Michael serves businesses with annual revenues between $1MM- $20MM. Prior to joining Chase Bank, Michael has spent over 15 years in the banking industry, working in a variety of roles with SunTrust Bank and Fifth Third Bank.

During Michael’s time at both SunTrust and Fifth Third, he was very active in the BRG groups earning a leadership position sharing the importance of diversity and inclusion. This year Michael accepted the role as Networking/ Events Coordinator Lead for Chase Pride Southeast BRG, covering Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia.

Michael earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from Jackson State University, Jackson, MS in 2005. He earned a Master’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix specializing in Finance and Marketing Research. He also earned his certification in 2016 for successfully completing Omega and Risk Management (commercial lending) training. Michael has put his degree to good use helping small to mid-size business owners with understanding the importance of financial literacy, networking, and providing financial resources available. He has also been a panelist for Supplier Diversity, Financial Summit, and Inter-Faith organization. Sharing his knowledge and experience with resource groups such as; Small Business Development Center, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Invest Atlanta and SCORE.  

He is the proud husband of Anthony James, married in 2016. They are both proud parents of their fur baby son Saint M. James. The family currently resides in Stone Mountain, GA.


David J. Gacsko

Vice President, Communications Chair
Member since 2016

He/Him/His

David is the co-owner and president of Hierarchy, Inc., a full-service marketing consultancy that’s focused on the customer experience between brands and consumers.

The team at Hierarchy are results-oriented, analytic problem solvers and thought leaders in creative shopper marketing who helps brands discover “the moment their customers have been waiting for.” Hierarchy merges vision, best practices, and a natural sixth-sense to deliver 360º brand expressions that create buzz-worthy results.

David is an enthusiastic student of human behavior, dedicated to helping clients uncover authentic insights that can be translated into relevant action. His experiences helping fortune 100 brands: AT&T, The Home Depot, Newell Rubbermaid, Georgia Pacific and more with strategy, campaign design, multi-channel content development, retail store design, and merchandising make him an invaluable partner and skilled team leader.

As a 15+ year transplant from Chicago, David has genuinely embraced living in the south and resides in Midtown Atlanta with his impressive feline, Griffin. He is an avid traveler checking off one country at a time and lover of all things ATL.


Dr. Yolanda R. Brownlee

Treasurer
Member since 2019

She/Her/Hers

Dr. Yolanda R. Brownlee, a native of Batesville, MS, is a veteran educator with over 20 years of experience in the area of Special Education and Educational Leadership. She has served communities around her as an educator in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Dr. Brownlee has a unique combination of experiences serving as a teacher, teacher leader, and district-level support for special educators in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Dr. Brownlee earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Tuskegee University in 1997. She earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Auburn University specializing in the areas of Behavior Disorders & Autism. In 1999, she began working as a special education teacher in the Cobb County School District (GA) where she served grades 7th and 8th. In 2002, Dr. Brownlee began working as a teacher in Fulton County Schools (FCS) as a special education math teacher in the district’s alternative school program. Since being employed with Fulton County Schools, she as also served as a high school math teacher, an Instructional Support Teacher, and a Program Specialist for Special Education. During her tenure with FCS, she earned her Educational Specialist in Leadership & Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University (2004) and her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University (2013). Dr. Brownlee’s current role with FCS is a Compliance Coordinator in the Services for Exceptional Children (Special Education) Department.


Gabrielle Claiborne

Secretary, Inclusion Chair
Member since 2016

She/Her/Hers

Gabrielle Claiborne is Co-founder and CEO of Transformation Journeys Worldwide, an inclusion training and consulting firm with a transgender focus. She travels extensively, helping cutting-edge organizations position themselves to attract and retain the best talent, foster collaborative working environments, thus maximizing innovation and directly impacting the bottom line by creating fully trans-inclusive cultures. Some of her clients include Home Depot, Sun Life Financial, Royal Bank of Canada, Comcast, Mercedes Benz, UPS, Kaiser Permanente, Cox Media, WarnerMedia, New York City Pride, the Atlanta Hawks, Georgia Tech and the Centers for Disease Control, among others.

Gabrielle has been an out and active transwoman since 2010. She served on the Executive Board of Atlanta Pride for the past 5 years, and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Mentorship Committee on the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s TGNC Task Force, as Co-Chair of the Trans Affairs Committee on the City of Atlanta’s LGBTQ Mayoral Advisory Council, as Inclusion Chair and Secretary on the Board of the Out Georgia Business Alliance and as Advisory Board Member of Out Front Theater Group. In 2020, she published her memoir meets self-help book Embrace Your Truth: A Journey of Authenticity. In 2019, the Atlanta business Chronicle acknowledged her as their Diversity & Inclusion “Outstanding Voice” Award recipient and she delivered a TEDx talk for Centennial Park Women TEDx, Building Your Courage Muscles. In 2018, Gabrielle received the Georgia Small Business Administration’s LGBT Small Business Champion Award in recognition of her efforts in advancing LGBT business ownership. In 2015, Gabrielle was chosen as Atlanta’s Best Trans Activist, and her work was featured in Forbes in 2018 and the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2017.

Recently, Transformation Journeys Worldwide was honored to be chosen as the Out Georgia Business Alliance 2018 Small Business of the Year, and received the Atlanta Hawk’s prestigious 2019 True Comes in All Colors award for their cutting-edge inclusion work. The firm is also proud to be an NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprise.

Gabrielle holds a BS in Mathematics from Emory University and pursued a degree in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech. She is the proud parent of three adult children and lives in Atlanta.


Petrina Bloodworth

Immediate Past President 
Member since 2015

She/Her/Hers

Petrina Bloodworth is an Internal Audit Leader with over 15 years of combined experience in Big 4 public accounting, radio broadcast media, manufacturing, and financial services industries, and government and educational institutions executing Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance, Green Book compliance, financial, information systems, operational and regulatory compliance auditing, business process evaluation and design, risk management and fraud investigation in consulting private and publicly traded companies.

Petrina graduated from Florida A&M University with a BS degree in Business Economics and Georgia State University with a Master’s of Accounting.  She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), has a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA), and is currently studying for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.  Professional memberships include The Institute of Internal Auditors, The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

She resides in the Emory/CDC area with her wife, Emma Foulkes. Petrina and Emma were the first same-sex couple in the United States to wed on June 26, 2015 when the Supreme Court lifted the ban on gay marriage.


Malik Brown

Special Events Chair
Member since 2019

He/Him/His

Malik Brown is an LGBTQ advocate, a first-generation American, a lifelong Atlantan and a familiar face in Democratic politics. Appointed as the City of Atlanta’s Director of LGBTQ Affairs by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Brown is the first full-time official in the City of Atlanta to focus on better connecting the LGBTQ community with Atlanta City Hall. A member of the Human Rights Campaign’s National Board of Governors, and the Democratic National Committee’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, Brown brings a unique culmination of political experience, LGBTQ advocacy and HIV/AIDS education and prevention to his work.

Additionally, Brown is a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2022, an Atlanta alumni of the New Leader’s Council, a member of the Board of Directors for the Out Georgia Business Alliance, and a member of Out Front Theatre Company’s Advisory Board of Directors. Brown was the recipient of OUT Georgia’s 2019 Rising Star award.


Glen Paul Freedman

Government Affairs Chair
Member since 2006

He/Him/His

Glen Paul Freedman serves as the CFO & COO for Fair Fight Action, Inc. and Fair Fight, Inc., which promotes fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, educates voters about elections and their voting rights, and advocates for progressive issues. Fair Fight advocates for fair elections around the country and engages in voter protection programs.

Formerly, Glen Paul Freedman served as the COO for the Stacey Abrams for Georgia Governor Campaign. Freedman also worked with Georgia House Democratic Caucus-Democratic Party of Georgia, House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, GeorgiaNext LLC, Grady Health System, The LMB Group LLC, and Chief of Staff to the Honorable Lisa M. Borders, President of the Atlanta City Council/Vice Mayor. Earlier in his career worked for Delta Air Lines & Worldspan, LP.

Freedman continues to work within the LGBT community primarily focusing on achieving Full Equality for all LGBTQ persons and continued political advancement in the State of Georgia for LGBTQ persons.

Freedman currently serves on the non-profit boards of OUT Georgia Business Alliance, Atlanta Pride Committee, & Victory Fund which all work to advance LGBTQ equality.

Freedman was honored to have served on these boards and held a leadership role with Georgia Equality, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Atlanta Steering Committee, HRC National Board of Governors, InterPride, and several other non-profits and political organizations.

Freedman lives in the Old 4th Ward, Atlanta, Georgia.


Matthew J. Lee

Legal Affairs Chair
Member since 2015

He/Him/His

Matthew J. Lee is an attorney at the Wright Law Group, PLLC, where he represents businesses in matters related to Creditor’s Rights, Bankruptcy, Civil and Commercial Litigation, Dispute Resolution, Landlord-Tenant, Real and Personal Property Foreclosure and General Corporate law.

Matt is admitted to the State Bar of Georgia, and is a member of the State Bar’s Creditor’s Rights and Bankruptcy sections. He is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia. He is a graduate of Georgia State University College of Law and has a B.A. in Economics from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

In addition to OGBA, Matt has also been an active member of the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia, the statewide organization for LGBT and allied lawyers, judges, and legal professionals. During his involvement with Stonewall, he has served as a Student Member of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Perimeter-area networking group, member of the Outreach Committee and as a mentor for LGBT law students.

Matt is a native Kentuckian and lifelong Kentucky Wildcats fan. He moved to Georgia in 1999 and he and his husband Tim live in Downtown Atlanta.


Luis Ruiz

Membership Chair

He/Him/His

Bio coming soon.


Hillary W. Thomas

Community Relations Chair 
Member since 2015, Partner since 2017

She/Her/Hers

While a student at Spelman College, Hillary began her 21 year non-profit career working with the Atlanta Bar Association. After graduation, she became a teacher with Atlanta Public Schools.

Hillary worked on her Master of Public Administration/Non-Profit Management degree at the University of Baltimore while working for DC Public Schools and recently completed her Certificate of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of South Florida.

Hillary began with AARP Experience Corps as a Field Manager and later became Program Director. She transitioned to the AARP Georgia State Office as their Program Specialist and was then promoted to Sr. Program Specialist. Hillary is now the Associate State Director of Advocacy and Outreach with a focus on LGBT outreach, fraud prevention, and federal lobbying.

Hillary serves on the OUT Georgia Business Alliance Board of Directors, Emory’s Equality in Caregiving Board and was recently appointed to the City of Atlanta Mayors LGBTQ Advisory Board.


Mike Vescio

Michael Vescio

Tourism Chair
Member since 2017

He/Him/His

Michael Vescio is currently a Sales Manager for the Discover DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau, located in Tucker, Georgia. In his role he is tasked with bringing inbound business to DeKalb county.

At the Discover DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau his focus is to bring motor coach and LGBTQ groups to the county. He also focuses on the Association, Corporate, and Government markets. Mr. Vescio has been in the hospitality industry for the past 39 years, and he was most recently was the Tourism Sales Manager for the new City of Brookhaven.

Mr. Vescio is one of the Top Reviewers in Georgia for Trip Advisor and is a sought after speaker and trainer in the hospitality industry. He currently is a Board Member for the Georgia Motor Coach Operators Association, Art Station Theatre, and is the Vice Chair of the Discover Chamblee Advisory Committee.

Mr. Vescio grew up in Florida and is a proud graduate of Florida State University.
His interests include watching sports, enjoying live theatre, good food and traveling, and he currently resides in Marietta (near the square) and enjoys all area has to offer.