The Nashville Pride Board is currently made up of 11 members but can be expanded to as large as 20 members. Decisions concerning the festival, finances, friends, fundraising, and all other Nashville Pride functions and events are made at board meetings. Board members vote on all major decisions.

Please, ATTEND a BOARD MEETING! They are OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, and actively posted on our website calendar. The Board loves hearing input from the community. These meetings are the best place to get involved in Nashville Pride. A list of those meetings can be found here.


PHIL Cobucci | PresidenT

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Passionate about marketing, branding and technology from a young age, Phil Cobucci knew that he was destined for a career in marketing and communications.  After growing up just minutes from New York City, Phil attended Liberty University in Virginia and received a B.S. in Communications. 

During his college years, Phil held various marketing positions including roles with the university radio station and Warner Music Group, which parlayed into a career in the music business upon graduation. In 2009, Phil moved from New York City to Nashville, in what he refers to as his 'reinvention tour' to start a new life in a new city.  In the same year, Phil launched BAM! Social Business, a boutique social media and digital marketing agency.  His agency has grown over the past five years and has thrived thanks to the creative culture and entrepreneur drive seen throughout Nashville. BAM! Social Business is actively involved with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and a proud partner of the Academies of Nashville and The Pencil Foundation. 

 

Email Phil


joey lesley | past President

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Joey is a part of the marketing team at Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas. He has worked in the media and marketing industry for seven years including prior roles of Managing Editor & Creative Director of Tennessee's largest LGBT publication Out & About Newspaper, and as Brand Manager at the Nashville Scene. He was elected to the Pride board in 2010 and has contributed to the growth of the organization in various capacities including Secretary, PR & Marketing Director and President-Elect.

Email Joey

Entertainment inquires should fill out the form under Entertainment 

 

 

 


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Matthew Gann | marketing

Matthew S. Gann, a resident of Nashville, Tennessee, serves as the Associate Director of Web Services and Digital Strategy at the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). There, he oversees strategy and development of all online properties and web policies for the Board and its administrative offices, programs and initiatives. He also serves as a consultant for all 46 of the Board’s constituent institutions. 

Before joining the TBR, Gann spent three years as the web and digital media director at Tennessee Tech University, three years as the Vice President of Marketing and Promotions at Wellness Healthcare Products and three years as director of design and development for N2 The Net. Gann has also serves as a consultant for development and planning services for real estate firms, marketing agencies, non-profit organizations and healthcare providers. 

He also serves as Vice President of the Tennessee College Public Relations Association (TCPRA) and financial officer on the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Gann holds of Bachelor of Science in management information systems from Tennessee Tech University. 


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Matia Powell

Active in the local political arena and passionate about civic engagement, Matia serves as president for Tennessee Young Democrats (TNYD) and Vice-President of Political Planning for the Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee (WPCTN). Prior to her roles with TNYD and WPCTN, Matia served as Treasurer for Tennessee Equality Project.

Matia Powell has dedicated herself to the development and empowerment of other young professionals. A graduate of the 2010 Nashville Emerging Leaders class, Matia now serves as a board member. Matia is one of the founding core board members for New Leaders Council Nashville (NLC). Matia currently works as the Community Engagement Coordinator for Alignment Nashville.


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RYAN ELLIS | SECRETARY

Ryan lives in Nashville with Chris his partner of 10 years and their 5 rescue dogs. Ryan is the Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs at the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. Ryan has worked as an advocate for older Tennesseans and those with disabilities for the past 12 years. 

Ryan also enjoys spending time with his friends exploring Nashville’s many dive bars and looking for the best happy hour deals in town.

Ryan lives in Nashville with Chris his partner of 10 years and their 5 rescue dogs. Ryan is the Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs at the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability. Ryan has worked as an advocate for older Tennesseans and those with disabilities for the past 12 years. 

Ryan also enjoys spending time with his friends exploring Nashville’s many dive bars and looking for the best happy hour deals in town.


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Jack Davis | Festival Director (ex officio)

Jack Davis manages JD Events and Festivals who annually produces several large festivals in the Nashville area.  Jack has been managing and executing large events for over 15 years.  Prior to starting the event company Jack managed large events at the University of Michigan, Southeast Missouri State, and Vanderbilt University.  Jack graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in Public Relations.  

Email Jack

 


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KERRIE TURNEY

Kerrie Turney is a higher education professional that has lived and worked in the Nashville community since 2007.  This is her first year on the Pride Board after being a volunteer for many years. As a proud Ally, Kerrie enjoys meeting new people, baking tasty 


Jeff Yarbro

Jeff Yarbro grew up in Dyersburg – a small town in northwest Tennessee. His dad was a farmer and his mom was a sexual abuse investigator for the state. He attended Dyersburg public schools, graduating in 1995. Along with federal student loans and grants, help from his parents, Jeff worked as many as three jobs at a time to pay for college at Harvard University. He graduated with honors in 1999 with a degree in Government. After college, he worked for Al Gore’s presidential campaign from the announcement in June of 1999 through the end of the Florida recount. He attended law school at the University of Virginia, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Review.

After law school, Yarbro and his wife Tyler settled in Nashville. Tyler, who grew up in Birmingham and also went to UVA law, worked as a Metro Assistant Public Defender for seven years before entering private practice. After a clerkship with a federal judge, Yarbro has worked as a lawyer at Bass, Berry & Sims, where his practice focuses on civil and appellate litigation, consumer financial services, constitutional law, and public contracts.  He has represented Tennessee businesses, non-profits, and individuals in state and federal courts.

Yarbro has consistently devoted over 20% of his time as a lawyer to working on behalf of clients that cannot afford legal representation. Shortly after joining the firm, Yarbro was assigned to represent an inmate on Tennessee’s death row, work that contributed to recognition by the bar for the firm’s outstanding service to the indigent. He has represented a number of tenants in eviction disputes with landlords, as well as individuals who have had property seized without proper notice. He helped organize the firm’s formal pro bono program, which has successfully implemented a number of policy changes to foster greater firm-wide participation in this service.

Over the last decade, Yarbro has spent over 1000 hours volunteering in Nashville public schools, where he has shown a commitment to expanding student opportunities and an ability to work constructively with public school educators, non-profits, businesses, philanthropies, parents, volunteers, and students. He began his volunteer work through the Pencil Partner program in Antioch Middle School, tutoring students struggling with math. Since 2006, he has worked with principals, teachers, and administrators to expand the involvement of businesses and community organizations in our high schools, primarily through the Academies of Nashville.  In 2010, he was recognized by the Pencil Foundation as an MNPS Volunteer of the Year. He has served for the last two years as the co-chair of Superintendent Register’s Transformational Leadership Group for high schools. In addition, he served as an education advisor to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean from 2007 to 2009 and is one of the founding board members for East End Prep, a charter elementary school in East Nashville.

For the last five years, Yarbro has served on the board of Nashville’s Metro Transit Authority, where he has chaired both the Finance committee and the East-West Connector committee. He was recently selected as the Chair of the MTA board. He’s also been a disaster response volunteer for the Nashville Red Cross, a Stewardship Chair and Sunday School teacher at Christ Church Cathedral, and a volunteer for St. Luke’s Community House. He is the co-founder of Nashville’s Kitchen Cabinet and serves as co-chair for the Conexion Americas capital campaign for the Casa Azafran community center.

Jeff and Tyler live in Sylvan Park with Jack, their four-year-old son. Jack is lots of fun, doesn’t sleep enough, and is Pekka Rinne’s biggest fan.


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ERIC BROWN

As one of the last natives still in Nashville, Eric is a mix of community connector and executor. With a passion for children’s rights advocacy with the Children’s Defense Fund, restorative justice when volunteering at Riverbend Prisons, to socially conscious ministries at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, he believes service is the rent we pay in being grateful for the life we live. Eric loves Nashville so much he intentionally partners with all groups of people to bridge the gaps of love, diversity, human equity, and dignity in the city. Even with a few degrees from American Baptist College and Vanderbilt University, Eric says his greatest education comes from the stories of those who persevered to make Nashville the great city it is. He believes one thing, “Life is a journey. Though one might be scared, allow the fear to push you forward instead of holding you back.”


SHAUN ARROYO

Shaun Arroyo, is Puerto Rican originally from New York City. He has been living in Nashville for about 15 years. Shaun, as an active member of the trans community, has participated on panels of several universities to help educate others about transgender issues. Shaun hopes to build lasting bridges between the transgender community and the LGB community. He is the current chair of the Middle Tennessee Transgender Support group T-Vals /T-Men and a board member of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. 


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CHRIS PURCELL 

Chris has worked for LGBTQI equity and inclusion in a variety of professional and personal pursuits. He currently serves as the Director of LGBTQI Life at Vanderbilt University pursuing his Ed.D. in higher education policy and leadership at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College. Chris has presented locally and nationally on LGBTQI issues including intersectionality, transgender inclusion, and multicultural competence in organizations. He is a native of Massachusetts, but has also lived in Vermont and North Carolina. No matter where he has lived, he has always found his way to volunteering and fundraising for numerous organizations to uplift and support marginalized communities.  


PAULA FOSTER

A social worker with many years of experience, Paula has worked in a variety of culturally diverse settings both here in Nashville as well as in her 13 years in New York City.   

As a volunteer, Paula was actively involved in fundraising efforts for the NYC Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center as chair of multiple event planning committees receiving the Heart of The Center award in 1997. After receiving her Master’s degree in social work, Paula began working in the field of HIV/AIDS, continuing this work after moving to Nashville in 2001 as the Director of Emotional & Practical Support for Nashville CARES, Tennessee’s leading provider of community based social services for people living with HIV/AIDS.  She has also served as a Co-chair of the Ryan White Part A Planning Council for the Metro-Nashville Transitional Grant Area, providing input regarding the funding of services to the HIV/AIDS service community.  

 

Paula has been an adjunct instructor in the Social Work department at Tennessee State  

University and the University of Tennessee’s School of Social Work, Nashville campus.  Most recently, Paula was a practicing faculty member at Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing, for the Vanderbilt Program in Inter-professional Learning. She is a past President of the Board of Directors for NASW-TN and recently finished her term as the Region VII Representative to the national board of directors of the National Association of Social Workers in Washington, DC.   

Paula is a trainer with the HIV/AIDS Spectrum Project of NASW and has developed extensive educational workshops for social workers throughout the state of Tennessee.  In 2011, she was honored as Tennessee’s Social Worker of the Year. 


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HAL CATO 

 


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PAM KELNER

Pam graduated from Boston University with a BA in Marketing and Finance.  Upon graduation, she began a 14 year career at Bloomberg Financial Markets in New York.  At Bloomberg she held many different positions in the Sales and Marketing division ranging from management to conference planning, electronic trading and training for all new sales recruits.    After moving to Nashville in 2005, she became certified to teach Pilates and owned her own business, @ Home Pilates, which offered private and small group Pilates lessons to clients either in their homes or in her home studio.  Pam joined Jewish Family Service in 2010 as Executive Director.  The fit has been perfect for the agency, where she has combined her business background with a “social worker heart” to grow the agency in many ways including new programming, grant writing, fundraising, marketing and board development.  Pam currently serves on the board of Congregation Sherith Israel, The Council on Aging’s Leadership Council, and the local board of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.