DVLF Graduates Mint Voyagers
Last night at the William Way, the inaugural class of Mint Voyagers graduated before a crowd of LGBT community leaders. The program, which recruited and trained 20 emerging leaders within the community, is the first distinctive officers program created by the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF) as a way to identify and foster the next generation of gay and lesbian advocates.
“This program is very important because we are helping to foster leadership development in the community as it relates directly to DVLF’s mission of creating a legacy for future generations,” says John Moeller, executive director of DVLF. Moeller, along with Mark Dann, Harvey Hurdle and Perry Monestero, led the first class.
The group participated in four different sessions dedicated to a variety of topics that address leadership skills, fundraising and advocacy at no cost. Several members of the community participated, by offering their own experiences, including Dan Miller, an openly gay city controller from Harrisburg, Alyssa Mutryn, the development director at The Attic Youth Center, and Evan Urbania, the president of the Independent Business Alliance.
“The most important facet of the program was that it included people from so many varied backgrounds,” says Liam Dacey, one of the the Mint Voyagers. “This gave a fresh perspective on issues impacting our community and also provided an opportunity for emerging leaders to increase their involvement with organizations in the area.”
Dacey helped proposed a business plan for the William Way as part of the session. “I look forward to seeing new classes of Mint Voyagers develop over the next few months and years,” he says. “While we have so many great leaders in Philadelphia, we need to continue to increase ways to bring everybody together.”
While Dacey represents the group’s younger membership, Moeller says the program is not age-specific. The participants can range in age from 20 to 40 or older.
“The program covered a lot of ground,” says Paul Blore, who also graduated last night. “I went into the program not knowing that its case study would be the William Way, how the center can expand and improve its outreach to the community.”
He says that he learned a lot in the process. “Each partipants’ take on that study gave me invaluable information going forward as part of the center staff,” he says. “I think we’re going to see a lot of graduates making an impact at the center and out in the community.”
The next session gets started in time for fall, says Mark Mitchell, president of the DVLF’s board. “I cannot wait until September for more great things to come,” he says.
Congratulations to these graduates: Justin Nordell, Laris Kreslins, Kennedy Godette, Jeremy Fixler, Paul Blore, Michael Kennedy, Helen Richardson, Bob Buchhofer, Liam Dacy, R.J. Bernocco, Kyle Flood, Nisha Nayak, Michael Beachem, Charles Ameno, Jason Lewis, DeAnn Cox, Tawana Grayson, Joan Manuel Rivera, Brian Arcedera and Candice Thompson.