“I’m a complex person. I don’t live any stereotypes. I’m just me.”
Daniel, who lives in Annapolis, is originally from Michigan and has over 20 years of experience in the financial field. He was recruited to the GLCCB board in a joint effort by former Board President Mike McCarthy and former Executive Director Kelly Neel. He is working towards his CPA and is very passionate about ensuring that the GLCCB’s financials are being properly monitored so that the Center is in the best position to help and build the community.
What got you interested in volunteering?
I had relocated for work four times during a 20 year career with my previous employer. It was when I moved to Atlanta that I really got inspired. I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and trying to help people. I had friends that were homeless because of their sexual orientation or identity and it really hit home. I volunteered with Youth Pride. There were a lot of financial woes. Kids came from all walks of life, and as a kid from mid-Michigan who had no one to talk to about these things and having felt really isolated myself, it really made me want to do something. I believe everyone can make a difference. I so looked forward to spending time with the youth. I expanded my role to help out and look over financials with the organization until I left in 2006 to move to Maryland.
Have you always sought out LGBT causes to volunteer with?
I haven’t done a whole lot with the LGBT community, but throughout my career I focused on diversity leadership and participated with diversity organizations. I tried to bring sensitivity and awareness to others by example. Like locally one organization I worked for used to get catering from Chik-Fil-A. I had to explain that they tried to do damaging things to the LGBT community. I’ve been in places where they always did something for Black History Month and Women’s History Month, so I brought up LGBT History and Pride months.
I’m really passionate about awareness. I wanted to be a mentor for LGBT people so they know that they can have an opportunity to make it in life. People think that if your company has a good HRC score that everything is perfect. It means that the company has policies. It doesn’t mean that employees understand and follow them. It’s a start, but it doesn’t mean that it’s being followed. We still need more awareness.
So when you’re not being a financial superhero, what do you do for fun?
I have two Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd rescues, Jack and Teddy. We take them everywhere. They have probably been to more states than most people. From Maine to Illinois and as far west as Texas and everything in between.
We travel everywhere as a family. My husband and I have been together for 22 years. Steve is the love of my life. He puts up with me. We did a civil union in 2003 and then got married in Vermont in 2008. We fell in love with Maryland when we moved here and consider this our home now. We love the area. We’re water people and were both brought up on the Great Lakes in Michigan.
What’s something about you that not many people know?
I really have a love of different cultures. When I was in school I joined the Latin American Studies Association and have a big love for Hispanic cultures. I actually volunteered in Mexico and Haiti.
Gay Life April 2015