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!
Lisa Waters McInnis was born and raised in St. Pete. After a couple of years in NYC and several more in DC, she moved back to her hometown in 2008 and moved to Historic Kenwood in 2009. She is currently self-employed in financial services, working closely with Joel Schmitz, CPA, since 2015.
Lisa served on the Come Out St. Pete organizing committee during their first year and is thrilled to be newly-appoint to the Board of Directors. She believes Come Out St. Pete has an important role in furthering visibility, acceptance, and inclusivity of and within the LGBTQA+ community. Lisa also volunteers for events sponsored by Grand Central District Association and Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association. She lives in Kenwood with her two cats (one of whom is a very good kitty).
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, 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.
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.
A native Floridian, Brian has lived in St Petersburg since 1984. A Realtor since 1992, Brian has been involved in many neighborhood associations including Central Oak Park, Historic Kenwood, and the Grand Central District. In addition, Brian owns GayStPete House, and GayStPete.com.
Brian was a co-chair of the inaugural St Pete Pride in 2003 and served on the board for several years. Brian has supported many LGBT organizations throughout the years including quality Florida, St Pete Pride, Metro Inclusive Health, TIGLFF, and most recently participated in the Smart Ride 2018, the bike ride fundraiser from Miami to Key West. Brian served on the board of Come OUT St Pete in 2018 and is excited to see how the organization and events can grow in the future.
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.
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, his husband Phillip and their rescue pets moved to St Petersburg in 2019. Both are passionate about actively uplifting the undeserved populous. They are fierce advocated for human rights, equality, and supporting fellow locally owned businesses.
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 their free time they enjoy 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.