Marriage Equality USA National Staff
The Marriage Equality USA National Staff is a team appointed by the Executive Director. Our National Staff consists of MEUSA members who function as staff members working at the national level to get the day-to-day work of the organization done. Please note that in our case, the word "staff" does not imply that these people receive any wages for their work. Other than our Field Director, whose position is supported by small grants, these team members are all serving in a volunteer capacity. Below are informal biographies for our current National Staff.
Tracy Hollister, Program Manager
Tracy Hollister has had a fire in her belly for marriage equality since 2004, when she witnessed hostile Bible-waving at a North Carolina panel on same-gender marriage. In 2005, with the support of her Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, Tracy started EqualHearts -- an interfaith marriage equality project. Following the project Tracy blogged and spoke about marriage equality.
Tracy received her master’s in public policy from Duke, in part to make good on her Dad’s charge that she would “make a significant difference to society.” While advocating for the full dignity and respect of LGBT people, Tracy quit her job to run NC’s biggest phone bank against NC’s marriage discrimination amendment, spoke around the state, and contributed to the film One: A Story of Love and Equality. Tracy led a Raleigh, NC “Light the Way to Justice” rally in March 2013, then moved up to NYC in May to serve as Field Director of Marriage Equality USA. The dual focus of Tracy's work involves coalition-building with other organizations and managing large groups of volunteers. In September 2013 Tracy stepped up to her current Program Manager position. Tracy heads up the MEUSA National EqualityAction Team (NEAT).
Tracy’s silly side delighted volunteers at our Times Square phone banks, where Tracy performed random dances – while balancing glasses of water on her head! Tracy enjoys modern dance, doing the Rubix cube, biking, hiking, and spending time with her cat and girlfriend.
John Mattras News Manager, Communications Team
John manages the MEUSA News Blog. He is from Washington DC and was born and raised "inside the beltway" by a conservative political family in need of enlightenment. Avoiding both intimacy and dealing with his orientation, he was able to finish law school at the age of 22 before escaping the inauthentic life of "the beltway" and moving to America's heartland -- lower Manhattan.
After several years on Wall Street and picking up a master's degree in journalism at night, he finally decided to "get a life." Now in a bi-national relationship with Mexican designer Juan Sierra, he runs his own company developing product placement strategies and raising capital for micro-credit enterprises around the world. Although he converted his now for-profit company from a not-for-profit out of necessity, he does not believe in applying conversion therapy techniques to other realms.
In his free time, John avoids traveling, spends as much time as possible with his boyfriend (including seeing the kinds of movies he'd avoid if it weren't for his boyfriend), rides his bike through Manhattan and takes every advantage of free tickets from friends to see as many Broadway and off-Broadway plays as he can. Oh, and he still likes politics, but just the kind that helps people.
Paul Carey, Multimedia Lead
Paul is creating a multimedia archive of Marriage Equality USA work. He is a professional project/program manager, and has been working in the IT industry for over 25 years. During that time, Paul has been instrumental in corporate changes for the LGBT community, including establishing Employee Resource Groups, Domestic Partner Benefits, developing Leadership Seminars for LGBT employees, developing Recruiting/Mentoring programs, and assisting with Corporate Policy development around LGBT issues.
Externally, Paul has been involved in a number of LGBT and AIDS services organizations, including serving as a board member of a locally based pediatric AIDS foundation, developing IT programs for LGBT youth, and other volunteer engagements.
Paul currently lives in Manhattan with his partner, Juan Carlos Fernández. When in town, they are avid theatre goers, and support non-profit theatre organizations in New York. They enjoy traveling the world (34 countries and counting), enjoying the food and arts of many cultures and documenting their experiences through photography at cooldogphotos.com.
Jenn Chan Software Development Coordinator
Jenn Chan came to us from the frozen tundras of Colorado and now resides in San Diego, CA with her lovely wife. She is a longtime supporter of equal rights for all people, and an advocate for basic civil rights as a basic and proper courtesy. Starting as a canvasser for California's No on Prop 8 campaign, she quickly realized that any contribution no matter seemingly how large or small could really make a difference in so many people's lives.
Her technical expertise (through decades of tinkering) has driven her to follow the motto of "Always try to make things easier and simpler for people so we can all live better lives." She oversees our internal Google Apps account, serves as a tech consultant, and plans to continue to fight for marriage equality until true equality is finally realized for all of us.
Jenn's favorite game is EverQuest, and she loves the book Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. Her favorite flick is Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and this multi-talented woman can use her feet to pick things up.