with PRIDE, announces
To examine the LGBTQ experience in professional life and beyond, this half-day conference will feature workshops, panels and conversations with thought leaders and allies from diverse backgrounds in consulting, retail, entertainment, law and professional sports.
Brendon Ayanbadejo (B.A. '99)
LGBTQ Ally and Former NFL Athlete
Brendon Ayanbadejo, former Baltimore Raven and member of the Super Bowl XLVII Champion team, is a man who understands both the pain of discrimination and the gain of personal joy that comes from embracing an unwavering belief in equal rights for all. The 3-time NFL Pro-Bowler is known as much for his prowess on the gridiron as he is for his resolute devotion to champion the right for gay couples to legally wed. After playing 13 seasons of professional football, Ayanbadejo is ready to explore new options by using his momentum as a Super Bowl champion to spread the word of equality throughout the county.
Brendon's passion for LGBT rights stems from the monumental 1967 ban on miscegenation laws. Born 9 years after the ban, in Chicago on September 6, 1976 to an Irish-American mother and a Nigerian father, Brendon was taunted over his parents' right to be married, and this harsh bias left its mark. After living in Nigeria during his early years, Brendon returned with his family to Chicago, and grew up in the Lathrop Holmes housing project. He spent his adolescence in Santa Cruz, California, having the unique experience of living in an "LGBT friendly" college apartment building where his step-father was employed as a building director. These experiences greatly contributed to Brendon's accepting view of diverse lifestyles. Today he sees the fight to legalize same-sex marriage as the 21st century version of the fight for racial equality, and he has thrown himself into the battle for equal rights with a relentless determination towards victory.
Brendon played football and graduated from UCLA with a BA in history and MBA through the STAR Executive MBA program at George Washington University. He received College All American honors, was named All-PAC 10 linebacker, and won two PAC 10 Championship while at UCLA.
The 1999 NFL draft gave Brendon the biggest challenge of his football career, and fueled the fighting spirit that defines him. Expected to be chosen on the 2nd day of the draft, Brendon's name was never called. As an undrafted free agent, Brendon joined several NFL teams and was cut from all of them. But his work ethic and determination eventually won him a long and successful career with the Miami Dolphins, the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens.
As an NFL player, Brendon wasted no time in establishing himself as a leader both in the locker room, through his role as captain and NFL Players Union representative, and in the community through his extensive service work, notably as an NFL Play 60 ambassador for 10 years. He also enrolled in the STAR Executive MBA program at George Washington University, from which he will graduate in July 2013.
In 2009 Brendon wrote a Huffington Post blog on the legalization of same-sex marriage that sent him on a new leadership journey. Setting a precedent as the first professional athlete to publicly support marriage equality, Brendon has a pulpit and an audience that traditional gay rights' activists do not. Since 2009 he has turned the tide of support by bringing the issue of equality for gay Americans to the forefront of conversations everywhere from locker rooms to Capitol Hill. He teamed up with Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley to rally support for legalizing gay marriage. In November 2012, Marylanders voted to approve civil marriage rights for same-sex couples, becoming the first state to do so. Brendon is proud to have been a force that helped tipped the scales.
He has since been honored, along with fellow NFL player and UCLA alumn Chris Kluwe, as an ambassador by Athlete Ally, and as one of 10 "Athletes who Care" in the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year issue. He and Kluwe were recently awarded the Straights for Equality Award by PFLAGG, and Brendon was named an "honorary gay" by GQ magazine for his exemplary support of LGBT issues. He recently began work with President Obama's advisor on LGBT issues, and along with Kluwe, authored the AMICUS brief, written in support of the repeal of Proposition 8 in California. Brendon presented the brief and spoke in support of the legalization of same sex marriage on the steps of the Supreme Court as the court was involved in hearing the case.
Now writing for Foxsports.com as well as launching a non-profit media platform dedicated to inspiring conversation around DOMA, marriage equality, discrimination, civil rights and inclusivity in sports, Ayanbadejo has simply transferred his champion game plan to a new playing field. Battle tested, and spurred on by the taste of victory, Brendon is proud to continue the fight for equal rights for LGBTQ Americans.
Senior Vice President of Ratings, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Lead, Out@SPE
Beginning her career in theatre concessions at the age of 16, Wendy Armitage has devoted the last 27 years to the film industry. She is the Senior Vice President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution specializing in the MPAA ratings for Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), responsible for evaluating all SPE films for submission to the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA) to obtain the target MPAA ratings, as well as conceptualizing and setting release plans for the domestic release of international local-language productions.
Wendy is an alumnus and current graduate student at Arizona State University, examining gender representation and how women’s work is portrayed in mainstream American films. As member and partner to several organizations and initiatives promoting equality in media, she tirelessly works to ensure silenced voices are heard in the entertainment industry. Wendy is the Executive Advisor for the OUT@SPE Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG), the SPE affiliate organization, which strives to create an inclusive workplace environment for LGBTQ employees. Under Wendy’s oversight, SPE has maintained a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index, a rating that the company would not have received without the vigorous commitment of OUT@SPE.
Jaimie Conley ('14)
Enterprise SaaS Strategy and Business Value Executive, Okta
Jaimie Conley graduated from UCLA Anderson in May 2014. Since graduation, she's focused her career on enterprise security software and hardware sales in the Americas and EMEA for Microsoft and now Okta. Jaimie was Microsoft's first Enterprise Mobility Suite southwest hire, leading their enterprise sales efforts on the West Coast. For the last two years, she's been working at Okta in NYC on competitive and business-value sales. Jaimie recently relocated back to Los Angeles, where she spends her weekends in the marina with her wife and Labrador.
Executive Director, David Bohnett Foundation, and Lecturer, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Michael Fleming is Executive Director of the David Bohnett Foundation – a grant making foundation charged with “improving society through social activism”. He serves on numerous boards and commissions, including that of GunsDown and public radio powerhouse KCRW and is an adjunct professor of organization development and public policy at UCLA.
Don Haisch ('04)
Chief Account Officer, Real Estate Debt Group, Ares Management
Don Haisch is the Chief Accounting Officer for the Real Estate Debt Group at Ares Management. Prior to Ares, Don has over 20 years of experience in the finance and accounting area at various companies including CBRE, GE, E*TRADE and Deutsche Bank. During his time at CBRE, Don founded and served as Executive Sponsor for the company’s LGBT Affinity Group. Under his leadership, this group grew to over 300 members (LGBT individuals and allies) and assisted the company in attaining a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Don was the President of the UCLA Anderson GLBA Alumni Board from 2004 through 2009. He currently serves as a Board member of the Bob Hope USO.
Christy Mallory (J.D. '08)
State and Local Policy Director and Anna M. Curren Scholar of Law, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law
Christy Mallory oversees state law and policy work at the Williams Institute. In that capacity, she focuses on a variety of topics, including sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections, state-level recognition for same-sex couples, and other state and local level laws and policies impacting LGBT people. Christy received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Arizona.
Michael Suphanbat ('10)
Senior Director, Diversity and Inclusion Marketing, Oath Inc.
Since graduating from UCLA Anderson in 2010, Michael has worked in product marketing and marketing at a few technology companies. In his current role at Oath (the combination of AOL and Yahoo), Michael leads marketing for Diversity and Inclusion. In that role, he helps articulate and elevate the story for how Oath is making its workplace more diverse and inclusive to existing employees and new talent.
Prior to that role, he led the team of product marketers responsible for AOL and Microsoft's owned and operated properties. He got his start in product marketing on both buy- and sell-side programmatic advertising products across mobile, video and display formats.
CFO and Chair of Litigation, Parker Milliken
William Weinberger joined Parker Milliken as a shareholder in 2004, became their Chief Financial Officer in 2018, and is chair of the firm's litigation practice. William has represented businesses and entrepreneurs in a variety of industries, and has served on the Board of Directors of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), GLAAD, the LA LGBT Center, the LA LGBT Bar Association, and the National LGBT Bar Association, which he helped found. He has also been a cooperating attorney on cases for the ACLU and Lambda Legal.
Executive Director, Equality California
Rick Zbur is a distinguished lawyer with a long history of advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and environmental causes. Zbur retired from Latham & Watkins, one of the world’s largest and most respected law firms, where he was a senior partner and practiced law for 29 years. A lifelong LGBT trailblazer, Zbur was Latham & Watkins’ first openly gay attorney and first openly gay partner. He worked in all aspects of the firm’s environmental, land and resource practice, including leading the firm’s extensive work before the California Coastal Commission. He formerly served on the board of Lambda Legal and was a founding director and vice president at the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation. Zbur is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.
Kelsey Gorman ('16)
Kelsey Gorman upped her game as an active ally when she came to UCLA Anderson
Ben Fichera ('17)
Reaching Out LGBT MBA fellow Ben Fichera moved from Boston and "can't wait to take advantage of L.A.'s vibrant music scene"
Ned Mitchell ('17)
Reaching Out LGBT MBA fellow Ned Mitchell vows to stop saying, "I wish I could"
Ana Sheila Victorino ('16)
Anderson Student Association VP of diversity and inclusion added "glocal" color to her causes and career
Jess Kimball ('15)
Jess, an active Out@Anderson member, entered UCLA Anderson to take her college consulting business to a new level — and grew in other ways, too
Devon Dickau (B.A. '07, '15)
In his 2015 talk during TED Week at Anderson, Devon Dickau encouraged the Anderson community to "lead OUT" with personal authenticity
Lindsay Shaffer ('15)
Lindsay Shaffer set a goal to see UCLA Anderson become the leading MBA program for the LGBT population
Chris Weber ('09)
UCLA Anderson's director of career advising and outreach was an Out@Anderson member and Anderson Gay and Lesbian Business Alumni Association
Derek Bailey ('16)
Derek Bailey shared his personal challenge coming out and now encourages others
Paul Colichman ('85)
One of Anderson’s Inspirational 100, Paul Colichman is CEO of Here Media, the world’s leading media company targeting the LGBTQ community
Professor Chris Tang’s latest research addresses social and corporate responsibility; he believes they are as important as profits to any company leader
Professor Brett Trueman always had a penchant for Wall Street; it’s no surprise that he pursued an academic career involving finance and accounting
World Prospect Feature
Educating companies across the globe about LGBT workplace rights, Out & Equal turned to a UCLA Anderson field study team to take their services worldwide
Anderson's Gay and Lesbian Business Alumni (GLBA) and Out@Anderson brunch is an annual tradition