Chris Jones has been a resident of St. Petersburg for 18 years. He has been active in many events over the years as a market vendor, as well as fundraising event coordinator with King of Peace MCC while serving on their board of directors from 2005-2008. He attended Sunstate Academy in Clearwater for massage therapy and became a licensed massage therapist in 2011. He has owned his own private massage practice now for 3 years and currently has a studio on Central Avenue. In September 2017 he founded the monthly Second Saturdays on Central vendor market, which has just celebrated its first year at Old Key West bar & grill on Central Avenue.
He became involved in Come Out St. Pete in 2017, participating as a vendor with his wood carvings and was elected onto the board of directors in 2018, in which he was the coordinator for the vendor market. He was recently re-elected and currently serves as co-chair for 2019's Come Out St. Pete event and is looking forward to the opportunity to attempt make a difference and become more involved within our LGBTQ community! He draws inspiration by his late husband, Fred Burns in that we may never know what a difference we may have made in someone's life, but we should at least do our best to help them in any way we can!
Bill was born and raised in West Michigan. He has one daughter that lives in Ohio. From a very early age, Bill knew he had a love for music. In 1986 he decided that he wanted to play music for other people. In 2013 he decided to move to Saint Petersburg to DJ year round. He loves the Grand Central District and decided to join the Come Out St Pete board in 2018.
Jessie is a Florida native, born in West Palm Beach and living in Pinellas County for over 20 years. Driven to learn about and influence business strategy, she studied at USF - St. Pete, attaining her Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
As a Certified Diversity Professional, Jessie is laser-focused on creating and sustaining diverse, inclusive, and equitable conditions at work and within our communities. It is her calling to find meaningful and innovative ways to foster an environment where all people can feel a sense of belonging, comfort, and safety being their authentic self.
Jessie was attracted to Come OUT St. Pete in July 2020 because of its advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and its mission promoting equality for all. She is excited for the future of Come OUT St. Pete and looks forward to building bridges and forming intersectional solidarity between all social groups and identities.
Bio coming soon!
David Smith is a Texas native, “Army Kid”, and college grad who has been living in the St. Pete area since August, 2015. He graduated with his BA in Music in May 2014, and has gone on to regularly share his vocal talents throughout the area with St. Pete Opera, Opera Tampa, and the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter... as well as local LGBT bars on karaoke nights!
David spent a short time working with Metro Inclusive Wellness, which helped him to become more aware of the needs facing the LGBT+ community. He has also begun to become involved in politics as it pertains specifically to Black American Descendants of Chattel Slavery via #ADOS, and hopes to take his passions for these groups and help foster a new, honest, and deeper allyship, one which will create new inclusive spaces for Black people within the LGBT+ community.
Jaeda moved to Saint Petersburg in 2010 and quickly made a name for herself.
Within the following years she won multiple coveted local pageants such as Miss Saint Pete Pride (2011), Miss Tampa Bay Gay America (2011), and Miss Mardi Gras (2012) to name a few. In the years to follow she branched out into community and political activism; organizing multiple rallies, protests, benefits, and was sought out for endorsement by multiple Saint Petersburg City Council Members and local legislators.
Her love for all things makeup and glam had led her in a leadership path with MAC Cosmetics and makeup artistry resulting in her work being published internationally in multiple major publications.
Her duty to public service has lead her to the Board of Come OUT St. Pete where she is excited to put her ideas forward to not only benefit the Come OUT St. Pete organization but the Tampa Bay LGBTQIA community as a whole.
Jayson was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL. He graduated from Palm Beach Lakes High School and went on to study computer and basic electronics at New England Institute of Technology. Jayson has been a resident of St. Petersburg for a total of 12 years. He has been an executive in the retail industry and has been active in creating focus groups, corporate training programs, employee retention strategies as well as many other initiatives.
In September 2018, he decided to leave the retail industry after 27 years and transitioned into the entertainment industry as a local DJ (He goes by the name DJ Jayson). This has allowed him to become more involved in the community and local events. By having the experience he does in retail and other industries, he brings a lot of creative and innovative ideas to Come Out St. Pete and its focus.
Matthieu was born and raised in Kingston Jamaica WI. Growing up in the Caribbean he learned from an early age that family is important but equally important is chosen family. Surrounding one’s self with genuine friends who can share and care for each other deeply.
Matthieu has lived in a few major cities but he and his rescue pets moved to St Petersburg in 2019. He is passionate about actively uplifting the undeserved populous. Being raised in one of the most homophobic places imaginable, Matthieu has made it of upmost importance to be a fierce advocated for human rights, equality, and racial justice.
As a minority business owner, Matthieu’s practice is dedicated to educating and assisting individuals and fellow business owners to achieving financial security/stability. In his free time he enjoys traveling, cuisine, cooking, spending time outdoors, cars, gardening, entertaining.
Sharon Zimmerman, MSW and Executive Director of a youth serving organization, is an expert in the field of nonprofit leadership and organizational development;
Sharon has 24 years of experience implementing programs and services, managing operations, delivering innovative solutions, fundraising, supporting staff and volunteers, and leading organizations through growth and change. Sharon is also an instructor, field education supervisor, and academic and field advisor for graduate students at the School of Social Work at Boston University.
The common thread in Sharon’s work has been helping individuals to improve the quality of their lives, helping organizations to build capacity, and helping communities to prosper. She has a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, and to finding economic, social, and political solutions to a just world.
Bio coming soon!