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Gael Isaiah LALA-CHÁVEZ

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/PRESIDENT

Photo of Laura Lala-ChávezGael Isaiah Lala-Chávez (they/them) brings over 25 years of experience in youth development, counseling, and nonprofit management to LYRIC. Previously, Gael served as Executive Director of a national organization focused on building empathy, compassion, and equity in school communities nationwide. They also served as Associate Executive Director for the Mission YMCA in San Francisco, supervising 90 staff across 7 school sites and working with primarily Spanish-speaking community members. Gael is a bilingual, Trans, Non-Binary immigrant, and First Generation American.

“When I think of LYRIC, I think of youth moving to San Francisco in search of support. I think of youth in the Bay Area who struggle to come out to their families or are navigating family rejection and the lack of stability losing your support system provides. I think of youth trying to survive in an unjust, oppressive world daily. I think of the collective power we have to create change as a place of healing, acceptance, love, and nurturance. I see this opportunity as a way to reimagine work in service to youth. I have seen the effects of trauma on youth in my time as a counselor, and as a result, I have become deeply ingrained in the city of San Francisco as a resident, advocate, director, and change-maker. I don’t think I could have dreamed of a better opportunity than this one to create a lasting impact for LGBTQQIA+ youth in San Francisco.”

Gael holds a Bachelor’s in Recreation-Nonprofit Management and a Master’s in School and MFT Counseling from San Francisco State University. They live with their wife Cheryl, two children, and dogs in San Francisco.

Gael (they/he/elle) can be contacted at [email protected].

ana rubio

SENIOR DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

Ana Rubio brings over 15 years of experience in nonprofit management, strategic operational management, customer relations, servant leadership and collaborative leadership, to LYRIC.  Previously, Ana served as Executive Director of Challenge Day, a national organization focused on building empathy, compassion, and equity in school communities nationwide.  During her tenure at Challenge Day, she held various key senior leader positions and was responsible for improving the efficiency and performance of the company’s employees and its financial stability.

Ana is the daughter of two hard working Mexican immigrants, who instilled the importance of family and getting an education.   She is bilingual and a first-generation college graduate.  She attended Saint Mary’s College, receiving her bachelor’s in business administration.  In keeping with the Saint Mary’s College motto “Enter to learn, leave to serve.” Ana felt a calling to work in organizations that serve the community.  She is excited to be joining Lyric and supporting LGBTQQIA+ youth.  

Ana is married and has two children, Mia and Luis.  She loves spending time with her family and their dog, Cooper.  She enjoys traveling, listening to music, singing and dancing.  

Ana (she/her) can be contacted at [email protected].

FREDDIE LAMBRIGHT, III

DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE AND OPERATIONS

Photo of Freddie LambrightFreddie Lambright, III is a Black, gay, interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Oakland, CA. He is an audio-visual artist trained in illustration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Graphic design, murals, and DJing are also part of his artistic practice. After receiving his BFA in 2018, Freddie moved back to California in the summer of 2019 before joining LYRIC that October. Starting out as a Program Coordinator in the Sequoia Leadership Institute program, Freddie co-facilitated the paid social justice youth internship for almost two years before transitioning to becoming LYRIC’S Human Resources Manager.

Currently, Freddie is overseeing both the HR Department as well as the Operations Department as Director of People + Operations. Freddie’s mother, grandmother, and aunts have all worked in HR, so he’s excited to continue the family tradition. While he’s now working more closely with staff, working with youth will always be close to his heart.

Freddie (he/him) can be contacted at [email protected].

JUANITA USQUIANO

CONTRACTS MANAGER

Photo of Juanita UsquianoJuanita is a queer, first-generation Chicanx from Southern California. She has called the Bay Area home for the past 10 years and has worked for various local community-based organizations in San Francisco. Juanita has experience in non-profit accounting and operations and enjoys supporting the “behind the scenes” work that assists organizations in serving communities. At LYRIC, Juanita manages our portfolio of government-funded grants and is happy to be part of a team dedicated to empowering and uplifting queer and trans young people.

When away from work, she enjoys being in nature and cycling. Juanita previously worked at Pedal Revolution and is a proud member of the Bicis del Pueblo community in SF.

Juanita (she/her/her) can be contacted at 415-703-6150 x141 or [email protected].

KAI WEST

DIRECTOR OF YOUTH LEADERSHIP

Photo of Kai WestKai West is an anti-racist white Queer, Trans, and Non-Binary, Human. They have worked in education and youth development for over fifteen years in a wide variety of roles at several bay area nonprofits in various roles such as public school teacher, Montessori guide, Environmental Educator, Program Leadership and Management. They have a BA in Queer and Activist Performance Art and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. He is a former LYRIC youth participant excited to return as part of LYRIC’s staff. Kai recalls former LYRIC staff being critical to their development as a young person and helping Kai discover what Queerness means for them personally.

Kai is drawn to LYRIC’s work of cultivating supportive communities that affirm identities, connect youth to programs and services, and build knowledge and skills for youth to do more than survive; Kai wants LYRIC youth to thrive and create positive social change. They commit fiercely to the vision of all youth being embraced for who they are and encouraged to be who they want to be.

Kai shops at thrift stores, reads queer literature and theory, loves avocados, and has many other tell-tale signs that he grew up in California and throughout the Bay. When not working, they love being outdoors. He enjoys board games, cooking, and traveling.

Kai (they/them; he/him) can be contacted at [email protected].

kaylÉ barnes

senior director of development & communications

Kaylé (she/her) is LYRIC’s part-time Senior Director of Development & Communication. She brings a wealth of experience from working at several Bay Area and National nonprofits across sectors, at various stages of growth and expansion. Having worked in small, scrappy nonprofits, larger…more complicated ones, and everything in between, she’s skilled at identifying challenges and solutions to ensure fundraising and cross-departmental teams can work with more ease. Most recently, Kaylé served as Youth Speaks Advancement Director.

She’s honored to support LYRIC’s work to create a society where LGBTQQ youth are embraced for who they are and encouraged to be who they want to be.

When not working, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and supporting Arsenal FC.

Kaylé can be contacted at [email protected].

LANE CASEY

HOUSING NAVIGATION PROGRAM MANAGER

Photo of Lane CaseyLane is a queer, trans-masculine, pansexual icon. They have worked with, and for, the LGBTQIA+ community for over 7 years– both in research and in practice. He has received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University, graduating with summa cum laude honors for both degrees. Despite being born and raised in San Diego, Lane found his home in the Bay Area. Escaping the bigotry of small-town life and moving to a big city allowed him to express and explore his identity– ultimately shaping them into the proud, vibrant, fully-realized human they are today.

Being surrounded by an overwhelming amount of queer joy and a sense of belonging changed the trajectory of his life forever. The queer and trans community in San Francisco gave Lane a second chance at life, so he feels compelled to give back to the community in a meaningful way and is frequently finding new ways to do so. Lane believes that housing is both a basic need and a human right, leading him to be a relentless advocate for housing justice for queer and trans youth as the Housing Program Manager at LYRIC.

In their free time, you can find Lane at a movie theater (c’mon, film bros!), on a hike with his dog, Lolita, attending any and all concerts, thrifting, having a main character moment in the park, dancing at the club, or catching a local drag show. He is looking forward to continuing to spread queer and trans joy and instilling a sense of belonging into younger generations of LGBTQ+ folks.

Lane (he/they) can be contacted at [email protected].

MADISEN ELLIS

CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROJECT MANAGER

Madisen EllisMadisen is SoCal-born and a recent Bay Area resident. Madisen graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a B.A. in Philosophy with an emphasis in Law and Society. While Madisen doesn’t consider herself a philosopher, her philosophical background has trained her to approach everyday life with curiosity and consideration. Madisen brings this training to LYRIC, where she will use her youth career development experience to support young people in their employment journeys. As an ally to the LGBTQ+ plus community, Madisen believes that her most important role is to listen to and uplift LGBTQ+ voices. Madisen aims to help LGBTQ+ young people have transformative and empowering employment experiences.

In her free time, Madisen enjoys relaxing with her pup, Colby Jack, and finding new shows to binge on Netflix. She is an avid fan of anime, kdramas, and murder mysteries.

Madisen (she/her/hers ) can be contacted at (415) 236-0580‬ or [email protected] .

MAR BALCITA

VICE PRESIDENT OF PEOPLE & PROGRAMS

Photo o Mar BalcitaMar is a Mexipino Non-binary Queer who was born and raised in San Francisco. Mar has 20+ years of experience in organizational development, program implementation, staff coaching, grants management, fundraising, policy advocacy, and building partnerships with people representing school districts, government agencies, foundations, nonprofits, youth, and adult communities. Mar has direct experience supporting youth in the areas of LGBTQ+ issues, adolescent sexual health, relationship and hate violence, food justice, adolescent sexual health, out-of-school programming, and youth organizing.

Mar is happy to return to LYRIC as a former participant and staff member to support current staff experiences that are rooted in justice so we can all serve young people to the best of our abilities.

Mar (they/them/their) can be contacted at 415-323-0612‬ or [email protected].

RACHEL SHIPPEe

CONTRACTS MANAGER

Rachel ShippeeRachel Shippee comes to Lyric with over ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector, working in programming, development, and operations. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health and is finishing her MBA at CSUEB. She currently serves as Lyrics Contracts Manager.

Originally from the Midwest, Rachel moved to the Bay Area for a job opportunity, the weather, and the queer community in 2018.

Outside of work, she is an avid outdoors person, enjoying cycling (training for her second Aids/Lifecycle event), playing tennis (working toward a 4.0 rating), and spending time anywhere there are dogs. Rachel currently fosters dogs through Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco.

Rachel (she/her/hers ) can be contacted at [email protected] .

SPARKLE WILSON

DIRECTOR OF YOUTH WELLNESS

Photo of Sparkle WilsonSparkle was born and raised in San Francisco and was an active LYRIC youth in high school. After graduating from the Youth Leadership Internship Summer in the City, she returned as a youth facilitator for LYRIC’s community group HONEY.

Sparkle obtained her associate’s in Psychology and transferred to San Francisco State University to finish her Bachelors in Child Development. Prior to joining LYRIC as a staff member, she worked for Child Protective Services of San Francisco City and County, where she cared for and monitored the physical and physiological care of foster children in between home placements.

Working as a coordinator and manager for the Youth Leadership Program she participated in as a youth has been rewarding and fulfilling. She wanted to give her youth the same community and empowerment she experienced in the Purple House, and she knows she has accomplished that.

Sparkle loves cooking meals for her huge family with her mom, planning vacations with her friends, and going on long walks with her dog Mojito. She is excited for her new role as Director of Youth Wellness and cannot wait to get LYRIC back in the community!

Sparkle (she/her) can be contacted at [email protected].