Former State Senator Buzz Thomas Joins EQMI Board

Three Politically Powerful People Added to the Statewide Organization

BY BTL STAFF

DETROIT - As the LGBT and allied communities of Michigan continue to build the path towards expanding statewide nondiscrimination laws, Equality Michigan and Equality Michigan Action Network announced yesterday the addition of three new members to the board of directors who will strengthen that work.

EQMI added former State Senator Buzz Thomas, a public affairs professional with more than 20 years of experience. He is known for his vast network of government relationships, according to the press release.

Thomas spent 14 years in the Michigan legislature, including serving as Democratic Floor Leader in the Senate and as Democratic Leader in the House. He was Co-Chairman of the 2008 Michigan Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. In 2013 he founded and Co-Chaired Turnaround Detroit, the Super PAC credited with electing Mike Duggan Detroit's Mayor.

"The political fight for LGBT rights is more important than ever and I'm honored to join an organization that is leading that work in Michigan," said Thomas. "I look forward to using my experience at navigating the rough and tumble world of policy and politics to help make equality under the law a reality."

EQMI also added David Worthams, Policy Director for the Michigan Bankers Association and Kalamazoo County Road Commissioner, and Ronald Moore, retired corporate and nonprofit executive.

Worthams is a legislative and public policy specialist with more than 15 years' experience in the legislative arena. He has served as a Constituent Relations Director for former Congressman Nick Smith, as a policy advisor to former Michigan Speaker's Rick Johnson and Craig DeRoche, as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Michigan State Senator Jud Gilbert, and as a Legislative Associate for the Michigan Municipal League. Since 2013 he has served on the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in the same year to the Michigan Board of Real Estate Appraisers.

Moore joins the board of the Equality Michigan Action Network with over 30 years of experience as an executive at Hewlett Packard and Safe House. His wealth of expertise in nonprofit management comes from both his executive experience and his board leadership for 10 organizations including Georgia Equality, Out and Equal, and the Equality Federation. He is a founding member of Faith Leaders of African Descent, which is dedicated to fighting homophobia among places of worship for LGBTQ African-Americans.

"I know from my decades of leading this work with various groups all across the country that it takes a strong organization to accomplish something as significant as updating nondiscrimination laws," said Moore, who now lives in Detroit. "Thankfully, Equality Michigan is serious about building the strength to get this work done and I'm flattered that they asked for my help. I am so happy to be back home to help make this a reality."

Currently serving on the Equality Michigan board is: Dave Wait, chair; Michael Rowady, vice chair; Sean Rhaesa, secretary; Mira Krishnan, treasurer; Jim Murray, member-at-large; Joy Geng, member; Seth Davis, member; and Kerene Moore, member.

Currently serving on the Equality Michigan Action Network Board is: Senator Rebekah Warren, chair; Gary Reed, vice chair; Sean Rhaesa, secretary; Mira Krishnan, treasurer; Tim Atkinson, member-at-large; Clif Levin, member; and Chuck Otis, member.


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