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Young Professionals Council


What is the YPC?

The mission of The Center’s Young Professionals Council (YPC) is to develop and empower young LGBT professionals and their allies to preserve and grow The San Diego LGBT Community Center for future generations. The YPC endeavors to advance The Center’s twin goals of promoting LGBT health and human rights. The YPC fosters a culture of diversity, service, leadership, advocacy and camaraderie among LGBT and allied San Diegans. YPC collaborates with local business, organizations and community leaders to produce fun and dynamic events in support of The Center’s programs and services.

The YPC is led by a 7-member volunteer executive committee, elected each July by the YPC membership. Support to the program is provided by two Center staff members.

YPC 1st Tuesday Series

YPC's signature program is the 1st Tuesday Series, held on the first Tuesday of each month from 6:30pm - 8pm. The YPC 1st Tuesday Series is a networking opportunity for young LGBTQ professionals ages 21-40 to gather, connect, and learn. Everyone is welcome (although some venues are 21+) each month for a brief program and plenty of time to mix, mingle and learn more about YPC! Check out the Young Professionals Council Facebook page for updates on upcoming mixers, workshops, and events. Everyone is welcome to attend, participate, and learn more.

Other YPC Activities

Besides the regular 1st Tuesday Series, the YPC Executive Committee organizes social events, service projects, fundraising activities and more. Everyone is welcome to participate in these activities. Two of the YPC's largest endeavors each year include organizing a team for the annual AIDS Walk & Run San Diego, as well as serving as Ambassadors for The Center's Dining Out For Life fundraiser.

For more information about the group, please download the YPC Basics here.

For more information on upcoming events and activities, visit the Facebook page HERE.

Interested in joining YPC or learning more? Click here.

The Young Professionals Council Academy

As part of its efforts to develop and empower young LGBT professionals and their allies, the YPC Academy was created in 2012. The YPC Academy helps to expand the ranks of young LGBT leaders that are ready to further equality for our community through board service for a variety of agencies, not-for-profit organizations and government commissions. Approximately 20 participants are selected each year to participate in the program.

Learn more about the YPC Academy HERE. Applications for the 2019 class will be open Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2018. 

Meet the 2017-18 Young Professionals Council Executive Committee  

Check out the YPC Executive Committee position descriptions here.

YPC 2018- 19 Election Calendar



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Nominations open at First Tuesday Event (6:30 pm)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Nominations via email ( close at 11:59 pm

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Candidate nomination statements due by 12 noon

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Liaisons certify candidates at 12 noon and notify any who are disqualified

Friday, July 6, 2018

Candidate statements posted online

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

YPC Annual Meeting & Voting (6:30 pm). Members must be present to vote.

Jen LaBarbera, Co-chair [pronouns: she/her/hers]

Jen LaBarbera is the Head Archivist at Lambda Archives of San Diego, the LGBTQ community archive for San Diego and Northern Baja California. Prior to entering the library/archives field, she spent 6 years working as a political organizer for reproductive justice, and brings that intersectional lens to the work of collecting, preserving, and teaching the LGBTQ history of our region. She grew up in rural western New York state, has lived and worked as an organizer in the midwestern/mountain-west states of South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado, and moved to San Diego in the spring of 2015. Jen received her BA in the Study of Women and Gender and Government from Smith College in 2007 and her MA in Library and Information Science from the University of Denver in 2014. When she's not working, Jen can usually be found writing, doing yoga, reading, or hiking - ideally, doing any of those aforementioned activities next to the ocean.

David Vance, Co-chair [pronouns: they/them/theirs]
David Vance is the PrEP Coordinator at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. They also serve on the Board of Directors for the Hillcrest Town Council and facilitate The Center's non-binary gender identity discussion group. David is a graduate of the 2016 YPC Academy and previously served as Secretary/Treasurer on the Executive Committee before serving as co-chair. Originally from rural Wisconsin, they came to San Diego in 2014 after completing their B.A. in English Literature at Kenyon College. They are passionate about sexual health, queer and feminist theory, makeup, and intersectional social justice.
Jessica Cole, Secretary/Treasurer [pronouns: she/her/hers]

Born and raised in Chula Vista, with ties to extended family in the midwest, Jessica went to the east coast to get her degree in creative writing from Emerson College.  Upon returning to the San Diego area, she spent three years teaching elementary school before she decided to study sign language poetry at UCSD, where she completed her MA.  She is now a nationally certified sign language interpreter and uses her free time to run the San Diego Feminist Book Group and to serve as vice president for the San Diego chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).  Jessica is a recent grad of the 2017 YPC Academy and is especially interested in community-building, creative collaboration between disparate groups, mediation, and the positive effects chocolate chip cookies seem to have on all of those endeavors.

David Decker, Membership [pronouns: he/him/his]

David is a recent graduate of the 2017 class of The YPC Academy. During the day, David works as a Personal Banker for Wells Fargo Bank. In his spare time David sings with the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, volunteers with the Youth Programs at San Diego Pride, and is getting back into hiking. David is an avid animal lover with an special affinity towards dogs. David moved to San Diego in July 2015 and quickly became involved with the organization Varsity Gay League,  helping establish the local branch of the organization in October 2015 with a kickball league of 133 members. He soon grew the league to four sports, including dodgeball, kickball, bowling, and volleyball, with 283 members over the course of the next 9 months. Back home in Phoenix David was a member of the Phoenix Sunfish Swim Club, the local International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics affiliated swim team, where he served as a team captain and President of Board of Directors. Under his leadership he was able to help the team have a bigger presence in the Phoenix community by getting them featured on the covers of both major LGBTQ+ magazines in Phoenix. He also got the team involved with being a community partner with Phoenix Pride and opened the door to their biggest fundraiser of the year, staffing beverage booths during the festival. David’s experiences with Starbucks, The Sunfish, and Varsity Gay League helped fuel his passion and skills for recruiting. He is very excited to apply his experience to YPC to help the organization grow and thrive. David has a Bachelor Of Music Education from Northern Arizona University and spent ten years after graduation working for the Starbucks Corporation, with eight of those being in a store manager role. David is looking at going back to school in the fall at UCSD-Extension to work on his Human Resources Management Certificate with hopes of going into Learning and Development and Talent Acquisition.  He also hopes to use his experience to help companies develop LGBT Sensitivity Training courses with a particular focus on Transgender experiences in the workplace.

William Pontius, Community Engagement [pronouns: he/him/his]

William Pontius is a community activist and fundraiser who has been actively involved in the LGBTQ community for over 10 years. Before moving to San Diego, he spent all of his life Seattle, where he worked as a field organizer for Washington United for Marriage. He was also elected "Mr. Gay Seattle" by his community. Because of his work with marriage equality in Washington state, he had the opportunity to have an on camera role in the groundbreaking "Same Love" music video by Macklemore + Ryan Lewis. In San Diego, William has been actively involved as a volunteer for The Center, San Diego Pride, Hillcrest Town Council, and the Hillcrest Business Association. He graduated from The Center's YPC Academy in 2015, and serves as the facilitator of the GGG: Game & Trivia Night at The Center. His goal for YPC is to set fundraising efforts in motion for the group's AIDS Walk San Diego team to raise over $10,000 in a 2-year span.

Abrahán Monzón, Member-at-Large [pronouns: they/them/theirs]

Bio coming soon!

Lucia Napolez, Member-at-Large [pronouns: she/her/hers]

Lucia Napolez is a former 2014 YPC alumni and a 2016 SDLA graduate. She has earned two undergraduate degrees with a minor in LGBT Studies from San Diego State University. Lucia has held various volunteer positions within the LGBTQ community from organizations such as: San Diego Pride, Lambda Archives, the San Diego LGBT Center, and the Pride Center. Since graduating SDSU, Lucia has changed careers from creating and executing marketing campaigns for government and private clients to now being one of the co-founders for Direct Cannabis Network. Lucia’s current mission in life is to educate individuals and communities on the facts of cannabis, and to bring to light the close connection cannabis shares with the LGBTQ movement.

The Center's Staff Liaisons to the YPC are:

Ben Cartwright, Director of Community Outreach [pronouns: he/him/his]: 619-692-2077 ext. 106, 

Rick Cervantes, Director of Communications & Marketing [pronouns: he/him/his]: 619-692-2077 ext. 220,

Rebekah Hook-Held, Chief Public Affairs & Civic Engagement Officer [pronouns: she/her/hers]: 619-692-2077, ext. 103,

Interested in learning more about joining The Center's Young Professionals Council?

Click here and we'll be in touch shortly!