Announcing New Board Members and Leadership!

May 2015


Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund is excited to announce the addition of Kevin Philip, Executive Vice President at Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC, and Tony Award winning actress and star of Grey’s Anatomy Sara Ramirez to the True Colors Fund Board of Directors. In addition, Cathy Nelson, Vice President of Development & Membership at the Human Rights Campaign, has been elected Board President, while Joseph Avallone, President of Reveal 42, Inc., will be taking on the roles of Vice President and Treasurer.

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“When we launched the True Colors Fund in 2008, we never imagined we would be able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time.”


The True Colors Fund is the leading national organization working to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth in America are LGBT, yet only seven percent of the general youth population identifies as LGBT. This stark disparity led to the creation of the True Colors Fund in 2008 and its mission to build a national movement to end youth homelessness and ensure that no young person is homeless again because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“When we launched the True Colors Fund in 2008, we never imagined we would be able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time,” said Cyndi Lauper, Co-Founder and Board member of the True Colors Fund. “I’m so excited that Cathy and Joe have taken on these new leadership roles and that Kevin and Sara have joined with us so that we can have an even deeper and more meaningful impact on the lives of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness.”

Cathy Nelson takes over as President of the Board of Directors from Co-Founder Lisa Barbaris, who had served in the position since the True Colors Fund’s beginnings.

“I cannot think of anyone more qualified to turn the role of President of the Board over to than Cathy Nelson,” said Lisa Barbaris. “The past seven years have been an incredible experience helping to establish the organization. I have learned a lot from Cathy during that time and now that the True Colors Fund is poised for continued and significant growth, we could not be in better hands.”

“The True Colors Fund continues to grow in leaps and bounds each year as we work to complete our first five-year strategic plan,” said Gregory Lewis, Executive Director of the True Colors Fund. “As we set our course for the next five years, it is crucial that we have strong leaders like Cathy, Joe, Kevin, and Sara working with us as we continue our movement to end LGBT youth homelessness.”

Biographical information about the new officers and Board members is below.

Joseph Avallone: Joseph is President and CEO of Reveal 42, Inc., an integrated creative services business specializing in brand development and marketing. Prior to that, Joseph was CEO of Creative Group Acquisition Co., a leading provider of production and post-production services to the broadcast and theatrical marketplace. Joseph produced the animated film Henry & Me, whose profits support many charities, including the True Colors Fund.

Cathy Nelson: Cathy serves at the Vice President of Development and Membership for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. For over 20 years, Cathy has led the organization’s fundraising and membership efforts. With a strategic focus on diversified revenue streams and a strong, committed volunteer network, she has led HRC’s growth from a $2 million organization with a small donor base to an organization with a budget exceeding $50 million and over 1.5 million members.

Kevin Philip: Kevin is a Senior Vice President at Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC, where for over 11 years he has been a trusted advisor to individuals, families and foundations on their investment needs. In addition to working with clients, Kevin has assisted with a number of firm-wide efforts related to Bel Air’s growth from a company with $3 billion in assets under supervision in 2002 to over $8 billion today. Kevin joined Bel Air in 2002 as a financial analyst and, in 2004, he became the firm’s youngest investment advisor by more than ten years.

Sara Ramirez: Tony Award© winner Sara Ramirez is known to viewers as orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres on ABC’s top-rated television drama Grey’s Anatomy. Prior to Grey’s Anatomy, Ramirez was seen in the Broadway smash-hit Monty Python’s Spamalot as Lady of the Lake, for which she earned both a Tony Award© for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, and an Outer Critics Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. In 2015, Sara was awarded the Ally For Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Full bios for all board members are available here. And check out the official press release here!