Gwen Pearson has worked as a Human Resources Executive for over 17 years, and has extensive experience in conflict management, team relations, and succession planning. Currently she is the Office Manager for Time Out Youth. A native of Virginia Beach, VA, she has received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from VCU in Richmond, VA and a second Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Resources Counseling from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Gwen has served as Secretary for the Fundraising Committee through the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte and also Charlotte Black Gay Pride Board of Directors. She is currently on the Executive Board for Charlotte Pride and is a volunteer for the Membership Committee for the LGBT Chamber of Commerce. In her private time, Gwen greatly enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and raising her only “child”, a 4 year old Lhasa Apso named Gizmo. Some of her favorite things are: watching football, fishing, shoe shopping, picnics, dancing and journaling.
For questions concerning Sponsorship for Visit Gay Charlotte, please contact: [email protected]
Charmagne Flagg: Operations Manager
Charmagne Flagg is from Silver Spring, Maryland and attended the University of Tampa where she studied Exercise Science and Sports Studies with a Concentration in Physical Education. A long-time volunteer within the the LGBTQ community here in Charlotte, Charmagne currently works for CMS. She has hobbies and interests in the following: cooking, swimming, and couponing. Volunteering for Charlotte Black Gay Pride, Charlotte Pride, Time Out Youth and Visit Gay Charlotte fills up her weekly schedule. As a team member for VGC, Charmagne oversees all community inquiries concerning the organization and partners with other team members to manage event logistics.
For questions about VGC or to schedule meetings with the Publisher and the operations team, please contact: [email protected]
Jonathan Hill: Advisor
Candy : Senior Administrative Specialist
A native Michigander, Candy migrated to the Charlotte area with her children about 13 years ago. Candy has a BSBA in Project Management and works in finance as a redemption program analyst. She is a member of several service based committees and organizations created to empower women and/or better the community through program & volunteer initiatives. On any given weekend you might find her exploring one of the Charlotte Food Truck lots, enjoying local restaurants or bars with her girlfriend or strolling the aisles of the Farmer’s Market looking for anything from fresh spinach to the next addition to her vinyl record collection. Candy is a new team member and keeps the team highly organized and she has assumed all administrative duties for VGC.
Would you like to have your business or community group included in our directory? Please contact: [email protected]
Kimberly Brent: Strategic Marketing Director
Kimberly Brent has worked as a Marketing manager for over 15 years and has extensive experience in marketing strategy development, advertising, promotions and end-to-end program delivery. Currently, she is the Marketing Manager at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. A native of Columbia, Maryland she has received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Hampton University in Hampton, VA and an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Kimberly has served as Board member and Chair of Media and Marketing committee for Charlotte Pride Inc., Student Recruitment Chair for National Hampton University Alumni Association Charlotte Chapter and Board member and Chair of Marketing Committee for YMCA Stratford Richardson. She volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Crisis Assistance Ministries, Mobile Pantry, Salvation Army, Friendship Trays and several other non-profit organizations. She is currently on the board of The Affordable Housing Group, an ambassador for the Wells Fargo Volunteer Ambassador program and actively involved in the Alzheimer’s Association. In her private time, Kimberly greatly enjoys visiting art galleries, interior decorating, entertaining, watching TV, cooking, reading, walking, journaling, yoga, traveling and spending time with friends.
For all marketing questions and inquiries about advertising on this site, please contact: @visitgaycharlotte.org
Erin Dunn: Documentary Photographer
Erin Dunn was born and bred in the Queen City, and is among the first to join the VGC Team. She is the staff photographer and the Editor for the Love Is Love “CLT Couples” page and Love Is Love “Say, I Do” page. She has had a love affair with photography since her early teens and has been blessed to be able to turn it into her career. She left Charlotte for almost 10 years, but decided to move back to the city with her family in tow. She has two babies, a boy and a girl, who are handfuls. Erin has been married to her college sweetheart, Dwight, for 7 years. Her hobbies include: cooking, crafting, photography with older cameras, shopping, and enjoying her life to the fullest. Erin’s company is called, Photography by Dunn.
For suggestions of beautiful places in the community to be photographed, or for inquiries concerning our Love Is Love Campaign, please contact: [email protected]
Bertshalyn Bailey: Social Media Analyst
Bertshalyn (B), was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. B has lived here in Charlotte for eight years. Earning a B.A. Degree at Pfeiffer University in 2005, B majored in Business Administration and Sports Management. A musician, B created a band, MojoMuzik Experience (which plays both cover songs and original music). Additionally, B has launched a second business, Essential Chord Progression, which provides downloadable piano lessons. A social media guru, B handles social media posts on five of our seven social media pages.
A native of Mooresville, Bekkah is a recent graduate of UNC Charlotte, earning her Masters Degree in Social Work. She is certified in Ashtanga Yoga and is studying energy healing. Bekkah hopes to integrate many therapy modalities to improve clients’ mind, body, and spirit. As a contributor to Visit Gay Charlotte, Bekkah previously worked with digital imaging for the Where’s Wilbur series. She has since transitioned into a senior position, overseeing web content. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, painting and traveling. Bekkah believes life is a beautiful but challenging journey, and her purpose is to help others, animals and humans alike. “Good people bring out the good in people.”
For questions about Where’s Wilbur or to inquire about freelance writing opportunities, please contact: [email protected]
Leslie Bond: Fork & Cork Editor
Native of Plainfield, NJ by way of Deltona, Fl; she has lived in Charlotte for 6 years. Leslie is affectionately known as “Mouse” a nickname derived from her high school career weightlifting championship days. (It’s short for “Mighty Mouse” in high school.) Her hobbies include writing poetry, singing, dancing, football, basketball, and weightlifting. Chef Bond has recently graduated culinary school at the top of her class. She has been cooking since the age of eight and is happy to finally be a professional chef. Leslie is also a professional musician, playing an African drum known as the djembe (pronounced gym-bay) and set drums. Any given Sunday, you can find Chef Bond at church where she volunteers with the youth. Chef Bond has several things she loves but God and family are at the top of the list. We are happy to work with Chef Bond as the Fork & Cork Editor, where she will offer recipes, cooking tips, and highlight local restaurants and caterers.
Do you have a recipe that you would like to submit, or would you like to try your hand at writing a Food Blog? Please contact: [email protected]
Jessy Milicevic: Friend of the Family Editor
Jessy Milicevic is a former reporter for the Charlotte Observer where she wrote community news, feature stories and monthly columns on fashion and family life. She also wrote for SouthPark Magazine as the Nonprofit Reporter where she made it her personal goal to cover lesser known nonprofits in Charlotte. Jessy then went on to work as a Digital Journalist for the local Fox Station, WJZY. She is now a stay at home mom to three gorgeous, lively boys and a full time activist for the local LGBTQ Community.
For more information about Friend of the Family, and/or if you would like to suggest a topic or family to be featured, please contact: [email protected]
Jay Cohen: Entertainment Editor
From childhood to becoming a young adult, Jay Cohen has always enjoyed modeling. Jay was born in Annapolis, Maryland on November 21. Though she arrived past her due date, her journey to success started early. At the age of 3, Jay was featured in a Blockbuster in-store commercial, from there she modeled in fashion shows for different organizations within Annapolis, Maryland. Jay is known for being a community leader for volunteering her time interacting with the residents at Genesis Rehabilitation Center and with the children in different urban neighborhoods. Because of her attributes in the community, Jay’s picture was taken and painted in a black history mural on a historical building in Annapolis, Maryland which is the Stanton Community Center. Here in the Queen City, she hosts LGBTQ events, promotes events, and collaborates with different community organizations. We are excited to add her as the Entertainment Editor for the website and look forward to watching her personal company grow. As CEO of Creativity Forms, LLC Jay Cohen plans to be a resourceful promotional company that will lead to more entertainment opportunities for the LGBTQ community.
For more information on submitting your original work for the Artist’s Spotlight, please contact [email protected]
Roberto Olmo: Treading Waters Columnist
Roberto is a recent addition to the Visit Gay Charlotte family and brings a unique cultural perspective to Charlotte’s LGBTQ community. He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and moved to Texas when his father decided to go active duty in the Army, also living in Maryland and Germany. Roberto graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. While in college, he interned in marine biology research and after graduation became a full-time bartender in Washington DC’s gay clubs. After moving to Charlotte, he continued bartending and began working for Allstate Insurance Company. In 2013, Roberto was hired as an Outreach and Prevention Specialist for RAIN, an agency that provides compassionate care for individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Roberto loves his job and has the opportunity to help underserved communities. In his spare time, he loves to: cook, eat, drink, binge-watch Netflix/HULU, draw, tattoo, and travel.
For blog suggestions or questions about this column, please contact: [email protected]
Trey Greene: Transcend Columnist
Trey Greene is our newest addition to the Visit Gay Charlotte family. Trey identifies as a two-spirit, transgender man and is currently in his final year of UNC Charlotte’s MSW program. He co-founded Transcend Charlotte, an organization serving transgender and other adults struggling with issues related to their identity, oppression, and/or trauma. He has spent most of his career working in mental health settings and plans to attain licensure next year as an LCSW to practice therapy from a trauma informed, person-centered framework. A native of Roaring River, NC, Trey is a super introverted hardcore gamer. He loves his cat and camping. His column will focus on perspectives from the transgender community.
For questions about Transcend or to share your story, please contact: [email protected]
Konecka Drakeford: Sports and Wellness Columnist
For questions on advertising with Visit Gay Charlotte Entertainment on IG or the website, please contact: [email protected]
Isaac Simpson: “Ask Ze” Columnist
A native Charlottean, he enjoys sports, eating, discovering new locations, visiting familiar areas, and loves new adventures. Isaac attended Elizabeth City State University and currently volunteers for multiple community organizations, including Time Out Youth and Charlotte Pride. Isaac has become more involved in the LGBTQ community in the past two years due to meeting amazing advocates. This has inspired Isaac to begin his own company which will assist LGBT youth and newly diagnosed HIV patients. For VGC, Isaac will serve the community through writing monthly blogs for our new advice column.
Do you have an etiquette question or are seeking an unbiased relationship opinion, please contact: [email protected] (Upon request, your name will not be included in the blog.)
Bennett Simonsen: Pet Connect Columnist
Bennett was born and grew up in a small town in the mountains of Virginia until he moved here 5 years ago to take advantage of the professional opportunities that come with living in a big city. He studied to be a teacher, but has begun a great career working with animals; recently winning an award at a national conference for his work. Free time for him is spent playing with his pets and eating pizza. Bennett is very excited about working with VGC; as someone who came from a place that isn’t queer friendly, he feels that it’s important for him to help people navigate new situations in the least stressful way possible.
For healthy pet suggestions, directory submissions, and/or questions about Pet Connect, please contact: [email protected]
VGC - Entertainment Team
Shann Fulton: Volunteer Coordinator
Shann Fulton is a Country Boi from the small town of Ridgeland, SC. Shann is a graduate of SC State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science. A super volunteer in the community, Shann has assisted the following organizations: Crisis Assistance Ministry, Salvation Army women’s shelter, and Connect a Million Minds. Community leadership positions include being the former President of Alpha Psi Kappa Fraternity Inc. and currently serving as Volunteer Coordinator for Charlotte Black Gay Pride. Professionally, Shann is a Fiber Coordinator at Time Warner Cable, and has been there for the last decade.
For questions about volunteering for Visit Gay Charlotte or if you would like us to help and volunteer at an event, please contact: [email protected]
Craymon Garner: Digital Imaging Specialist
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