PFLAG Cleveland Advisory Board
The Advisory Board is the driving force behind PFLAG Cleveland's efforts at not only support, but also education and advocacy in the Greater Cleveland community. The board consists of both elected (executive board) and non-elected board members. Please learn more about our board members below. PFLAG Cleveland members who wish to learn more about becoming a board member, can read an overview about the board structure and commitments here.
PFLAG Cleveland Executive Board Members
Tom Falcone (he/him), President
I am a gay man. I was married for 26 years to the mother of my three sons. I came out in October of 1996. I started attending PFLAG with my ex-wife the following spring. I eventually met my now husband, Mike. We were married in November 2015. Now we are all one big happy family.
Sharon Groh-Wargo (she/hers), Vice President & President Emeritus
Sharon Groh-Wargo, Ph.D., has been an active member of PFLAG Cleveland for many years. Previously, she served as the board president. Sharon sought out PFLAG to meet other parents of gay children when her daughter came out at the end of her freshman year in college. What she found was a warm and welcoming group of dedicated volunteers living the PFLAG mission of support, education and advocacy. Sharon's energy is sustained by witnessing the remarkable personal growth of the many individuals and families she is privileged to meet through PFLAG.
Sharon is a full Professor of Nutrition and Pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and the neonatal nutritionist for MetroHealth Medical Center. She is a founding member of MetroHealth’s Gay Straight Alliance. Sharon is a member of Equality Ohio and participates in their state leadership meetings and annual lobby days in Columbus. Sharon and her husband, Frank, have been married for 39 years and have two adult children. Lauren and her wife, Mae, reside in Atlanta. Danny resides in New York City. Sharon and Frank are Federal Club members of the Human Rights Campaign.
Art Thomson (he/him), Treasurer
Art retired from Cleveland Clinic in 2017. He now volunteers his time for several non-profit organizations. Art received his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MA from Ohio State University. Art originally turned to PFLAG Cleveland for assistance and support in 1995 at a time when he was coming out.
Art's husband is Jes Sellers and together they have three wonderful adult children and three granddaughters. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Thompson (he/him), Secretary
In March 2022, Steve stepped forward to fill an open executive board position as secretary. Steve's involvement with PFLAG Cleveland revolves around his job as the volunteer coordinator at a free health care clinic in Central Ohio. There, Steve interacts with not only volunteers, but also patients who come to the clinic. One of Steve's responsibilities is to act as the liaison for the LGTBQ+ community at the clinic.
Steve is also a grandparent to two young men that are confused about their sexuality. He says he wants to help them find their way in these troubled times.
PFLAG Cleveland Board Members At-Large
Jes Sellers (he/him), Co-Founder PFLAG Cleveland
Jes Sellers, Ph.D., is the co-facilitator of the PFLAG-Cleveland Monthly support group. He is currently a licensed psychologist in private practice. Jes retired from a long career as director of the Case Western Reserve University Counseling Services. He remains an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences and a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry. He has degrees from Penn State, the University of Florida. He completed his APA training through the University of Iowa. He is married to Art Thomson. They have three adult children and three granddaughters. Email: email@example.com
Jane Daroff (she/hers), Co-Founder PFLAG Cleveland
Co-founded PFLAG Cleveland with Jes in July 1985. Continued to co-facilitate to the present. Work with Jes in Univ. Counseling Service as Clinical Social Worker. On National Board of Directors of Human Rights Campaign (HRC). On Alumni Board of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU); Alumni Board of Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS); co- chair Deans Advisory Comm MSASS; co-chair of Univ. Provost's LGBT Faculty and Staff Committee; ex-officio member of board of CWRU LGBT Center. Married to Bob. 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Lehman (he/him), Group Facilitator
Mark Lehman, LISW is a clinical social worker. Mark worked at St. Vincent Charity Hospital for 17 years and MetroHealth Medical Center for 26 years, where he was the manager of social work for the last 18 years prior to retiring in 2018. After retiring, Mark joined the PFLAG Cleveland advisory board in 2019 and provides back-up to the support group facilitators.
Mark was one of the original board members of the Health Issues Taskforce, formed in 1985 to provide services to those with HIV/AIDS, also heading up support services for 4 years. The taskforce was renamed AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland in 1994. Additionally, Mark volunteered at the Gay Community Center from 1990-2000, leading the support group PRYSM (for LGBTQ youth). The center later became the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland.
Mark is a gay man, who is married to Craig Fink. They have been together since 1989, and were legally married in 2004.
Ashley Fahey (she/hers), Membership
Ashley Fahey is a Sustainability Principal for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. She grew up in Western Michigan and relocated to Northeast Ohio for her position at Goodyear, having spent the last ten years in Grand Rapids primarily working on sustainability at Steelcase, the global leader in office furniture manufacturing. In 2019, Ashley was named to the GreenBiz 30 Under 30 list of sustainability professionals making an impact in their industries. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sustainable Business from Aquinas College and an Executive MBA degree from Michigan State University.
Ashley is a transgender woman. She came out to her family in fall of 2017 and came out publicly in summer of 2018, just prior to her move to Ohio. Ashley first came to PFLAG in August of 2018 and has hardly missed a meeting since. She joined the Advisory Board in March of 2019 as Social Media Manager, prior to becoming Membership Chair in 2020. Advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, and particularly the transgender community, is one of Ashley's passions. She often leverages her experience to support other transgender individuals through their transitions.
In her free time, Ashley enjoys hiking, travelling the world, trying new foods, meeting new people, and driving her electric car. Ashley also serves on the Community Advisory Council for WKSU and is currently President of the Goodyear Pride Network.
Kavita Sherman (she/hers), Communications
Kavita Sherman began attending PFLAG Cleveland support group meetings in 2012 after her oldest child, a high school student, came out as gay and began taking on activist roles to support the LGBTQ community. PFLAG Cleveland provided a safe place for Kavita and her husband to express their concerns and views and get valuable feedback. That turned out to be very fortunate because a year later when Kavita’s child left for college, Kavita learned her oldest child had found new words that better described who they are: a nonbinary transgender person who uses they/them pronouns.
As Kavita and her family wrapped their heads around what their oldest was going through, they worked hard to stay supportive of them. It took a lot of education, love and letting go of expectations and naysayers, but the end result is that Kavita feels fortunate to have her family intact and know that her trans young adult is thriving and happy.
As Kavita became involved with the LGBTQ community, she took her ally role more seriously. She had held various committee roles within PFLAG Cleveland, but in 2019 agreed to join the executive board as secretary. She also provides communications and social media support for PFLAG Cleveland. If you want to reach Kavita, the best way to contact her at: email@example.com.
Marianne Buccini (she/hers), At-Large, Assistant to the webmaster & Secretary Emeritus
Marianne M. Buccini, MSW, LISW-S, is a counselor/associate professor at Cuyahoga Community College. She has been involved in Safe Zone Ally Training at Tri C, a program that educates students, faculty, staff and administrators about LGBTQ people and prepares them to provide a safe haven for LGBTQ students and employees.
As an advisory board member for PFLAG Cleveland, she has worked on updating the PFLAG Cleveland brochure and website. She represented PFLAG at the AIDS Walk, Cleveland Pride Parade and Festival and several panels at local churches and educational institutions. Marianne served on the subcommittee for the Great Lakes PFLAG Regional Conference, held in Cleveland, September, 2013. She currently assists with PFLAG Cleveland website updates.
Marianne also served as a Board Associate for Fortunate Families, a Catholic organization of parents seeking justice for our LGBTQ children within the Catholic Church.
"Through my volunteer service for PFLAG Cleveland, I have met wonderful people all working for equality for LGBTQ people. I look forward to continued service." Marianne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Craig Hoffman (he/him), At-Large
Craig grew up in a blue collar family in rural Pennsylvania, the 4th of 5 children. He received a Bachelors of Science degree in biology from Juniata College and a Masters of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School. After his home congregation in Pennsylvania withdrew their support of his ordination process when he came out as a gay man while in seminary, Craig joined an Open and Affirming congregation in Boston, Church of the Covenant, which eagerly sponsored him for ordination. In 1993 he was ordained to a ministry of pastoral care with persons living with HIV/AIDS at a drug rehab facility in the South Bronx, HELP Project Samaritan, and subsequently a similar ministry continued at the Bailey-Holt House in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. After several years providing pastoral care, he moved into administrative ministry, serving as a church business administrator at a church on the upper west side of Manhattan. While working at the church, he entered into a Non-profit Management degree program at New York University.
Shortly after receiving this master’s degree in 2000, he and his then partner - now husband, Rev. Allen Harris, moved to Cleveland. Craig worked for the National offices of the United Church of Christ and later the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. He currently works at Old Stone Church on Public Square, where he serves as the Executive Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor.
He and Allen reside in an 1890’s home they rehabbed on the Near West side of Cleveland using green materials and building techniques and concepts. They celebrated their relationship in a Holy Union ceremony at Church of the Covenant in Boston, MA in June 1990 and have registered as Domestic Partners in three cities; New York City in 1990, Cleveland Heights in 2003 and Cleveland in 2009. They were legally married in Maryland in 2013. Craig is an avid environmentalist and social justice advocate. In addition, he serves on the advisory board of the Cleveland chapter of PFLAG (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). His interests include architecture and historic preservation, genealogy, the study of systems and politics – both church and secular.
Quentin Jamieson (he/him), Webmaster & Secretary Emeritus
Quentin joined PFLAG Cleveland in October 2008, recruited by founding member Jane Daroff. Quentin has served on the Advisory Board ever since serving as the chapter's primary technical contact, including managing its digital assets like the logo and website. Quentin's primary goal as a board member was to increase PFLAG Cleveland's membership through the impact of its digital, web, and print media. Since 2009, PFLAG Cleveland has seen an 80% increase in membership. In March 2015, Quentin was elected Secretary of PFLAG Cleveland and supports the chapter through maintenance of its meeting records, minutes, and correspondence with the chapter's membership. He was re-elected in 2017. In 2019, he passed the Secretary torch to Kavita Sherman, and took up residence as the Chapter Membership Chairman.
Quentin grew up in Amherst, OH. He earned his B.S. Astrophysics at New Mexico Tech (2005) & Ph.D. in Cellular & Molecular Biophysics at Case Western Reserve University (2014). While at CWRU, Quentin served 7 years in the CWRU Graduate Student Senate including 2 terms as President, the first openly-gay President. His re-election to a 2nd term as President was fueled following successful leadership of several important graduate student initiatives, including a phased-in subsidy of doctoral student health care premiums. Following the successful defense of his PhD, Quentin joined the ranks of Cleveland Clinic working in healthcare administration. Quentin's chief interests include hiking, Jeeps, photography, cooking, and soap-making. Reach Quentin at email@example.com.
Former PFLAG Cleveland Advisory Board Members
PFLAG Cleveland has been fortunate to have an engaged, dedicated advisory board over the years. Below are some of the individuals who have helped PFLAG Cleveland grow and thrive.