Connecting, Supporting, & Empowering LGBTQ Families in the DMV
Laura Bennett joined the Rainbow Families board in 2015 and serves as President for the 2016-2017 year. Laura lives in Ellicott City, Maryland with her wife Kim and their children, Natalie (born in 2011), Alexandria (born in 2014), and Lachlan (born in 2016).
Laura is counsel in the Washington DC office of King & Spalding, LLP, where her practice focuses on government and internal investigations. At King & Spalding, Laura serves as the leader of the firm's LGBT Affinity Group.
Laura earned her BA from Indiana University and her JD from the George Washington University Law School.
Marlise joined the board in 2015. She and her wife have been together for over 20 years and are the parents of three wonderful children. She has been involved in LGBT activism for a number of years and has participated in a variety of volunteer roles with organizations such as Rainbow Families NJ, Mautner Project and community-based LGBT groups. Marlise is passionate about the rights and dignity of LGBT families and is very excited to be a part of the RFDC family.
Marlise and her family have recently relocated to the Potomac, Maryland area from New Jersey. She received her Bachelors from George Mason University and a graduate degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She has many years of experience in the educational field and has worked in educational programming for both children and adults.
Steve Geishecker enthusiastically joined the Board of Rainbow Families DC in 2015. Steve holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in clinical social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. With 25 years of experience in the field, Steve worked at Whitman-Walker Health for 17 years. Whitman-Walker specializes in providing health and supportive services to the GLBT community. He served as the Director of Behavioral Health for the last 8 years. He managed a multimillion dollar division of services which included mental health, addiction treatment, day treatment and volunteer-based peer counseling services. He left that position in February 2015 to expand his psychotherapy and consulting practice. Steve also serves as an adjunct clinical instructor with the University of Maryland, School of Social Work as a field liaison for students and their internship sites.
Steve and his spouse have been partnered for 22 years, married for four years and are the proud parents of their 3 year old daughter.
"I have always had a strong commitment to the LGBT community and feel privileged to be part of RFDC. I hope that my personal and professional experiences will strengthen the organization. Our daughter came into our lives through open adoption and being a father has been the most rewarding experience of my life."
Tony Hynes joined the Board of Rainbow Families in April 2016. Tony is the author of "The Son With Two Moms" a memoir about his experiences growing up with his two white, lesbian moms during the early 90s. Tony received his Masters in the Field of Applied Sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2013. Hynes wrote his thesis on "The Psychological Well Being of the Child Within the Same Sex Household." He currently teaches children with autism at James E. Duckworth, a school for children with special needs in Prince Georges County.
David joined the board in 2009. He and his husband are the proud parents of two wonderful daughters. David and his family live in Bethesda, Maryland. RFDC has touched the lives of David's family right from the start through its Maybe Baby class and continues to do so with its educational programming, social gatherings and bi-annual conference. David serves as the Board President of Rainbow Families DC, where his focus is on ensuring the long term vitality of RFDC.
David is a lawyer with a practice focusing on the drafting and negotiation of technology-related agreements and intellectual property. He began his legal career as an attorney with Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC and now works part time for a small number of individual clients. For several years, David taught as a guest lecturer at Georgetown University Law Center. His teaching focused on legal matters relating to adoption, surrogacy, civil unions, marriage, and domestic partnership benefits.
Sara joined the board in the spring of 2016. She lives in DC with her amazing 7 year old son and fabulous pup. She is a single mom who is a Washington native and has been active in the LGBT community for over 15 years. Professionally she is a Clinical Social Worker in private practice but has held positions at The lambda Center, Whitman Walker Health and SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League). She has also held previous board positions in the community on boards and working groups such as DC Concerned Providers, Show Me Love Working Group, an initiative geared at addressing LGBTQ intimate partner violence, the Mountain Meadows Summer Camp, a camp for children of LGBT adults, and Youth Pride Day.
Sara looks forward to being part of the Rainbow Families community and is passionately committed to seeing all families and children celebrated and supported.
Renee Perrier-Combs comes to Rainbow Families DC Board of Directors with 19 years of experience in child welfare. Renee has worked extensively with various populations, which include homeless adults, teen mothers, children with special needs, and persons with mental illness.
Renee is an independent consultant, whose previous projects include therapist in the DC Public School System for children with emotional disabilities and Title IV-E Instructor for MSW students of Howard and Catholic Universities. Renee has also instructed a course at the University of the District of Columbia in the School of Social Work. Currently, Renee is a supervisor with Arlington County’s Department of Human Services in Child Protective Services. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Howard University’s School of Social Work in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing also from Howard University.
Renee is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana; she resides, however, in Washington, DC with her partner Karen and their daughter Amaris.
Debbi joined the board in June 2012 and serves as Treasurer. She has over twenty years of experience assisting small non-profits and for-profits businesses with their accounting and management needs.
She moved to the DC from New York in 1987. Her love of activism and volunteerism began with involvement with the Second National March on Washington. Debbi has been active in many organizations and has served on the Board of Directors and Treasurer for the Mautner Project.
Debbi and her partner live in Washington, DC and are the proud parents of twins.
Kelly Vielmo lives with his husband, Jack, and their three adopted children on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The children (Cardel, Raine and Ravyn) all attend their local DC public elementary school. Kelly is finishing his third year on the elementary school's PTA Board. Kelly and Jack adopted the sibling group from DC Foster Care in July 2012.
Kelly currently works at PwC, the global consulting and auditing firm. He's currently serving as the project manager for a global effort to roll out Google tools among the global PwC network of firms. Previously he's worked at the World Bank helping countries implement Corporate Social Responsibility training; Booz Allen Hamilton providing support to the U.S. Federal Government; as well as PRTM Management Consultants where he helped optimize Dept. of Defense supply chains.
Kelly graduated with dual BS degrees in International Business Management and German from Central College (Pella, Iowa) in 1999. He attained an MBA in Supply Chain Management and an MS in Information Systems from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, in 2006.
Kelly's excited to join the RFDC Board and give back to the community!