Pride Center wouldn’t be on the map today, (literally) without our incredible team. We’re grateful for every one of them.
Working both nationally in the US and provincially in Ontario, Canada, Frankie has been entrenched in social justice advocacy and programing for 20 years. He started out his career working with youth and creating workshops around leadership, advocacy, and anti-oppression. Quickly moving into the field of HIV, he ran a peer education program around HIV prevention, substance use, and harm reduction. He has experience as a Capacity Building Specialist partnering with Indigenous communities to help them run their own HIV prevention campaigns and educational events. Frankie’s portfolio also includes experience speaking about sexuality, gender identity, active listening, sex education, and equity. He is well-versed in volunteer management, event planning and coordination, public speaking, and community networking. He supervised and operated a peer-run Ontario-wide LGBT phone/chat support line. Most recently, Frankie co-directed a province-wide harm reduction capacity building program to support networks of frontline workers, their managers, and public health units around overdose prevention, best practices, and supporting extremely marginalized and silenced communities. Frankie views his work through a lens of intersectionality and implements his vision utilizing strategic thinking. He is deeply connected to his Filipino roots and has a complicated history with the messiness between gender and sexuality. He has worked as a consultant to nonprofits, has been featured as a plenary speaker at conferences across Ontario and the US, is an excellent baker, and brings his humor and life experiences with him everywhere he goes. Oh! And he may also bring his adorable dog!
Cat Haueter, M.A., MFTI
Clinical Program Coordinator
650-591-0133 ext. 147
Catherine “Cat” Haueter, a native of San Mateo County, has known she wanted go into counseling ever since she learned what a therapist was at 10 years old. She comes to us from Pyramid Alternatives where, since 2014, she has served the community’s mental health needs by providing therapy to individuals, couples and families, in addition to leading groups for domestic violence offenders, teaching classes on Nurturing Parenting, and working with transitional age youth around trauma and substance use. Other relevant experience includes facilitating therapy groups for teens in the Inpatient Adolescent Behavior Health unit at Mills Hospital in San Mateo, providing telephone counseling for StarVista’s San Mateo Crisis Line, and assisting with research on complex trauma in children and adolescents through UCSF Child and Adolescent Services at San Francisco General Hospital. Cat is a proud alumna of the Wright Institute in Berkeley, a program she selected for its strong social justice approach to mental health. Her clinical specialities include couples and intimate partner work, family therapy, nonmonogamy and polyamory, sex therapy, and BDSM/kink. In her down-time, Cat enjoys cooking, making art, playing her ukulele, petting friendly dogs, laughing with friends and family until her ribs hurt, and taking time to leave technology behind and venture into nature, especially redwood forests. Cat is thrilled to be working at the new Pride Center and serving her LGBTQ+ community.
Ellyn Bloomfield, RCFE
Older Adult Program Coordinator
650-403-4300 ext. 4383
Advocate and educator, Ellyn brings over twenty years of experience working in community based, non-profit organizations serving the needs of disabled and aging adults. Ellyn has assisted older adult community members in finding affordable housing by locating available resources to support services for eviction defense, healthcare, employment, and mental health counseling. Ellyn also coordinated Friendly Visiting and Senior Peer Counseling Programs where LGBT community members were matched with volunteers to help overcome isolation and create community connections and additional support. She has been a certified long-term care administrator (RCFE) at the Home for Jewish Parents and a guest lecturer in the gerontology department at San Francisco State University. The former Social Services Manager at Openhouse, Ellyn has assisted hundreds of LGBT older adults with accessing aging and community resources and services. A resident of Foster City, Ellyn considers herself a lifelong learner, curious, and growing day by day.
they/them/theirs or she/her/hers
Training and Peer Group Coordinator
650-591-0133 ext. 151 or 650-800-3131
Andres Loyola is a proud Bay Area Native from the city of Oakland, CA. Andres is the Peer Support Worker here with the San Mateo County Pride Center. In this role, Andres provides knowledge and experience, and emotional, social and practical support to clients and program participants. A big believer in Social Justice, Andres supports intersectional social movements across the globe and uses their Spanish to provide services to a larger community. Andres is a qualified Cultural Worker and holds a B.A. Degree in Sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara. On their time off, Andres likes to read novels and go for hikes around the SF Bay Area.
Lead Case Manager & Clinical Data Coordinator
Born and raised in Fremont, Alex has lived in the Bay Area his entire life. Driven by his passion and dedication to help improve the lives and well-being of fellow LGBTQIA+ individuals, Alex earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University in 2016. Since then, he has gained valuable experience serving local community-based nonprofits and has specialized in work with homeless and at-risk youth. As the Pride Center’s Case Manager, and a member of the queer community himself, Alex brings his knowledge, enthusiasm, and creativity to the forefront of his work. By cultivating the unique strengths and abilities of the those under his care, and by connecting them to any resources and services they may need, he aims to help individuals achieve wellness and autonomy while meeting their goals. Outside of work, Alex enjoys unwinding by spending time with his loving partner and family; staying fit through yoga, dance, and kickboxing; rocking out on the drums; and binge watching his favorite shows with his cat.
she/her/hers or they/them/theirs
650-591-0133 ext. 145 or 650-695-0006
Lowellyn Sunga resides in San Bruno, CA with her partner. She has various years in customer service as well as administrative skills in her professional background. Her experience with a life-changing event a few years ago allowed her to look at the world through a different lens. She realized that she wanted to give back to her community and help people in any way possible. She works at the San Mateo Country Pride Center as an Administrative Specialist where she can interact with visitors and guests with her easy-going personality. As part of the LGBTQ+ community, she is extremely excited to get to know folks of all ages that walk into the Pride Center. During her free time, she enjoys listening to all types of music and spending time with her family and friends.
Development Associate & Grant Writer
650-591-0133 ext. 252
They see this role as an opportunity to be at the forefront of community organizing to assure a safer space for the LGBTQ+ community in the county. They see this role as an opportunity to assure funding for the Center as a contribution to a movement of more visibility and care for the LGBTQ+ community and an opportunity to create spaces for peoples’ intersectional identities.
Ivón is elated to be working with the Pride Center staff and being surrounded by wonderful members of the community. They hold a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. On their time off, Ivón enjoys cycling all over the Bay Trail, outdoor runs with their Brother, swimming, being Tía Bón to their niblings and finding tasty new vegan snacks.
Men Chun Wong
he/him/his or they/them/theirs
Marriage and Family Therapist
Supervised by Ralph Notor, #35208
Men Chun is a Hong Kong Chinese, born in The Netherlands, who is determined to make a difference in the communities, and extended communities he identifies with. He has lived in and around the Bay Area for over 15 years. His passion for the creative process, and curiosity for human psychology steered him towards obtaining a BA in Psychology and Art from UC Davis. He is currently working on his Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Expressive Arts at JFK University in Pleasant Hill. He started training with Star-Vista’s Crisis Center last year, while working with children and youth struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. At the Pride Center, Men Chun hopes to gain experience with a wider variety of the population in categories such as age, LGBTQ+, and any intersectional identities that come with them. While also trained in traditional psychological approaches as a foundation, he believes Expressive Arts Therapy can be a perfect holistic modality for working with the LGBTQ+ community, known for their expression of colors, resilience, diversity, and strengths. Furthermore, when working with individuals, groups, couples, and families, Men Chun follows the Pride Center’s lead by using a strengths-based, and client-centered application of therapeutic interventions. He is extremely thrilled to be a part of a community center that embodies the resilience, strengths, and beauties of the communities they serve.
Youth Program Coordinator
650-591-0133 ext. 148
Junpei Yamaguchi (they/them/theirs) was born and raised in San Mateo County and has a genuine love for their home-region. They come to us from Adolescent Counseling Services, Outlet Program where they function as the Youth Program Coordinator. They facilitate peer support groups for youth ages 10-25, and the leadership development group: the Youth Action Board. They also support local high school and middle school clubs, students, faculty, and staff. They do not have a college degree, but have a life-long love of learning and believe firmly in taking the opportunities presented to them. Through such opportunities, they have worked in academic research in botany and ecology, taught lower division laboratories, and participated competitively in intercollegiate speech and debate. They have also worked in the local educational systems working primarily with youth from Transitional Kindergarten through 8th grade, and at a college-aged LGBTQ+ resource center. To relax, America loves to nerd out with their partner playing table top board games (but NOT Monopoly!), roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons, and card games like Magic the Gathering. That, and hang out with other peoples’ pets at parties.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Marilyn is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the San Mateo County Pride Center. She is a First-Generation Filipina-American who graduated with BA in Women and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University in 2017. She has been an organizer with the San Francisco Dyke March for the past 5 years and have served as the co-chair for the past 2 years. Her experience as an organizer with the Dyke March and my identity as a QWOC have emphasized my devotion to creating safe, accessible and inclusive spaces for Queer folks to gather and build community. She is originally from Salinas and moved to San Francisco almost 10 years ago. If the Golden Girls were zodiac placements, she describe herself as a Rose Sun, Blanche Moon & Rose/Dorothy cusp rising. Outside of work, you can find her karaoking to George Michael, watching cooking shows, and thrifting or re-watching episodes of Bob’s Burgers on her spare time.
Verna Barrientos, ASW
Mental Health Clinician
Verna is a Bay Area native. She is a lover of both formal and informal education, and received her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from San Jose State University in 2018. Currently, she is obtaining hours toward becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). By Verna obtaining her MSW degree, and working toward becoming an LCSW, she is living proof that it is important for people with mental health challenges to dream big because they can accomplish amazing things in their lives.
Verna has lived with depression and anxiety since she was a teenage, and several of her family members also live with mental health challenges. Verna strongly believes that some of the ways to end stigma around mental illness are by creating a space for open and honest conversations about mental health and wellness, having unconditional love and support from peers, friends, and family members, and for service providers to be knowledgeable and empathetic about mental health and wellness. Some of the ways Verna utilizes self-care are by reading books with strong female characters, playing card games, practicing mindfulness, having deep and meaningful conversations, and going for walks on the beach with her pound puppy Zero.
The San Mateo County Pride Center is an innovative and ongoing collaboration between four local nonprofit organizations and San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), each with strong community roots and a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community. Together, these four organizations created the Pride Center as a means to provide a safer space in which the LGBTQ+ community can truly thrive with faster, easier access to direct services. Along with providing guidance and support, each of the collaborators meet together as one staff for case consultation, cross training, and the sharing of resources.
Learn more about our partner organizations
Outlet of Adolescent Counseling Services empowers Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQQ+) youth and builds safe and accepting communities through support, education, and advocacy. Outlet envisions a world that embraces, empowers, and celebrates LGBTQQ+ youth.
Peninsula Family Service strengthens the community by providing children, families, and older adults the support and tools to realize their full potential and lead healthy, stable lives. They envision a community where opportunity, financial stability, and wellness are secured for all.
StarVista delivers high impact services through counseling, skill development, and crisis prevention to children, youth, adults, and families. Their vision is for all children, youth, and adults to receive quality services to support them in reaching their potential.
Additionally, we are proud to work with other local LGBTQ+ organizations such as the PRIDE Initiative and the LGBTQ Commission of San Mateo County, PFLAG, Queers Have a Higher Power Alcoholics Anonymous, Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network, and the UCSF Child and Adolescent Gender Center Clinic.
COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD
The Community Advisory Board is a diverse and representative group of volunteer members who have a passion for serving the LGBTQ+ community. Members of the Community Advisory Board meet monthly and work together to oversee Pride Center programming, decisions, and design. Board Members also analyze and provide feedback on data gathered from Pride Center events, discuss areas of shortfall, make plans to address these areas, and assign specific tasks with a timeline to complete improvements. If you are interested in serving on the Community Advisory Board please email the members at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-591-0133 ext. 150.