President, MSF Governing Board
In October 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard lost their 21 year-old son, Matthew, to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate. Matthew’s death moved many thousands of people around the world to attend vigils and rallies in his memory. Determined to prevent others from suffering their son’s fate, Judy and Dennis decided to turn their grief into action and established the Matthew Shepard Foundation to carry on Matthew’s legacy. The Foundation is dedicated to working toward the causes championed by Matthew during his life: social justice, diversity awareness & education, and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
Judy Shepard is the founding president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board of Directors, and served as its first executive director as well, from 1999 to 2009. In her continuing role as board president, she travels across the nation speaking to audiences about what they can do as individuals and communities to make this world a more accepting place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Speaking from a mother’s perspective, Judy also authored a 2009 memoir, “The Meaning of Matthew,” exploring the family’s journey through the prosecution of Matthew’s assailants, the ensuing media coverage, and their continuing work to advance civil rights. Originally trained as a teacher, Mrs. Shepard holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wyoming where she later pursued some post-graduate studies. She and Dennis continue to make their home in Casper, Wyoming.
John Sullivan was a founding member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Business Council in 1997 and served as its co-chair from 2001 to 2003. HRC is the nation’s leading civil rights organization working on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. The Business Council is a national executive group that advises HRC and corporations on creating a safe environment, and equality-based benefits programs, for all employees. John previously served on the HRC Board of Governors from 1999 to 2003 and served on the HRC national Board of Directors from 2003 until 2007. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of OutFront Minnesota from 2008 to 2009. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
John is also active in local community organizations. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Jungle Theater. He previously served on the Board of Governors of The Children’s Theatre Company from 1985 to 1996; on the Board of Directors of James Sewell Ballet from 1993 to 1995; and on the Board of Directors for Grace House, an adult foster care facility for people living with HIV/AIDS, from 1996 to 1997. He continues to volunteer at Grace House.
John speaks nationally on issues of GLBT equality in the workplace and has been recognized for his work by receiving the 2006 Lavender PRIDE award; the 2007 Quorum Lifetime Achievement Award; in 2007, the HRC National Equality Award; and in 2008, the Because We Care “Tony” Award for service to the HIV/AIDS community.
John holds a doctorate of jurisprudence degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School and a bachelor of arts degree in quantitative methods from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He formerly served at Imation Corp., providing legal guidance as a member of Imation’s executive operations team, directing its worldwide legal staff and supporting the Imation Board of Directors. He was also responsible for the Company’s Government Affairs and Community Relations programs. Before joining Imation, John had served as Vice President and General Counsel at Silicon Graphics Inc. He also held numerous legal positions, including that of General Counsel, at Cray Research, Inc., prior to joining Silicon Graphics.
Greg Miraglia is the Dean of Career and Technical Education at Napa Valley College. He served as the director of the Napa Valley Criminal Justice Training Center Police Academy for ten years. Mr. Miraglia has 27 years of law enforcement experience including 7 years as deputy chief of the Napa Valley Railroad Police Department. Mr. Miraglia has a Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Empire State College.
Mr. Miraglia is the author of “Coming Out From Behind The Badge” and National Program Coordinator for the Stop the Hate Program. He speaks across the country about hate crimes and bias incident prevention. He also designed and now instructs the only state certified online Hate Crimes Investigations course in California. He has been active with the Matthew Shepard Foundation since 2001.
Ron Werner received his BA in Economics, with a minor in Jewish Studies, from Indiana University. Currently Ron serves as the President of HW Home, Inc., a Colorado-based home furnishings and interior design retail chain. Ron co-founded HW Home in 1999. Today the company serves the Colorado market and beyond through a network of four retail locations throughout the Denver region, as well as distribution and internet operations. The company has nearly 50 employees. Previous to founding HW Home, Ron worked at Drexel Burnham Lambert and later Smith Barney as a Senior Vice President. Ron is the vice-chairman of the Alexander Muss High School in Israel, and has served on the board of directors of the Matthew Shepard Foundation since 2008. He was previously the Finance Director for Share our Strength, based in Chicago. Ron lives in Denver, Colorado.
Dennis is the father of Matthew Shepard and has been an advocate for parents’ unconditional love for their LGBT children both during Matt’s life and, very publicly, since the hate-motivated murder in Laramie, Wyoming, which took Matt’s life at age 21. Born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Dennis earned a degree in education from the University of Wyoming before marrying Judy in 1973 and settling in Casper, Wyoming, to raise their family. An oil industry safety specialist, Dennis worked for more than 16 years in safety operations for Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, before retiring from that position in 2009. He has served on the Matthew Shepard Foundation board of directors since the organization’s inception, and currently speaks to audiences around the country, particularly to victims’ advocacy organizations and law enforcement audiences about his experiences and the importance of equal treatment of LGBT crime victims and their loved ones. He and Judy continue to live and work in Casper.
Randy Zila is the retired superintendent of the St. Vrain Valley (Colorado) School District, where he was honored in 2007 as the ARAMARK/AASA 2007 Colorado Superintendent of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Executives. He was particularly noted for his success in restoring fiscal solvency to the district during a severe budget shortfall beginning in 2002, as well as his efforts in school reform, core academic content, and technology implementation. He had previously served as a district administrator and principal in the Thompson School District in Loveland, Colorado. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wyoming and an M.A. and Ed.D. from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Zila has served on the Matthew Shepard Foundation Board of Directors since the organization’s inception. He and his wife currently reside in Loveland.
Shirley is an advocate, wife, mother, “army-brat”, student, dreamer and optimist. As the founding member of Potenza-CPA, LLC, she brings excellence to her work and clients in her forensic litigation support practice. She received her BS in accounting and is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and holds the CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics) and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) credentials. She is the epitome of advocate. Working tirelessly for causes she believes in, she somehow finds time for all she cares about and does her best to support the extensive list of causes she contributes to. As the daughter of an army drill sergeant, she grew up moving between the United States, Japan, and Germany. She moved to Colorado in 1984, and has lived in the metro Denver area since 1988. She loves music so she and her husband Joe enjoy living in close proximity to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. She is also the proud mother of two sons, David and Daniel. Shirley has been active with the Matthew Shepard Foundation since 2009, and brings her extensive skills and infectious personality and smile to this cause. We were pleased to have her join our Board of Directors in 2011.
As the Brand Manager for Multicultural Marketing, LGBT, for MillerCoors, a U.S. joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors, Doug Sanborn is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s marketing and corporate relations programs as well as coordinating all aspects of leveraging MillerCoors brands in the LGBT market.
With more than 20 years of marketing, sales and management experience, Sanborn has helped develop a committed partnership between MillerCoors and the LGBT community.
During his ten year tenure with the company, he has held field sales, management and corporate relations positions. He has successfully implemented national market development programs and partnerships with major LGBT organizations and community groups. His work has resulted in numerous awards and recognitions for MillerCoors, including receiving a perfect score for seven years in a row on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. Sanborn’s leadership has resulted in sponsorships/ partnerships including the Imperial Courts, Gay Rodeos, National Gay Softball men and women’s tournaments, Gay Flag Football tournament, Gay Community Centers, Pride celebrations, support for EDNA, GLAAD, HRC and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
He was selected as one of Instinct magazine’s 2011 leading men for his work in the community.
Prior to joining the company, Sanborn held sales and management positions for Fortune 500 companies including Campbell Soup Co, and Dr Pepper / Seven Up.
A native of Alpena, Michigan, Sanborn graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Education.
Doug lives in the Chicago area.