Our Board of Directors: Dedication and Personality Plus!
To end the year for Letters we thought it would be great to highlight a group of giving and gracious people who do a HUGE amount of work for us.
In a totally volunteer capacity, and seldom acknowledged, these 12 unsung stewards work to make Rehoboth and Sussex County a welcoming and safe place for all. They give an incredible number of hours, and bring amazing passion and a wide array of both personal and professional experiences to the Board of Directors for CAMP Rehoboth. Some of them have been serving for literally dozens of years.
They are leaders in the truest form of the phrase, and generous with time and monetary contributions. In my very short time with CAMP Rehoboth, I have been privy to watch them quietly work and make things happen behind the scenes, and I can say without hesitation that they are some of the most interesting, fun, sometimes quirky, accomplished, and hard-working Board members I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside.
If you meet them on the street, I encourage you, during this season of giving and graciousness, to thank them for all they do in continuing to make Rehoboth and the surrounding areas a safe, equitable, and welcoming space for all.
Please join us as we take a moment to peek into the WHAT and/or WHY these dozen people have been so steadfast in their support and service to the broader community through CAMP Rehoboth; their responses will also give a peek into who they are personally and professionally.
We asked the Board Members:
1. What is or was your profession or line of work?
2. When and/or why did you first get involved with CAMP?
3. Do you have a message to share?
Then we added a varying just-for-fun question.
Chris Beagle, Board President
I am a full-time realtor, with Berkshire Hathaway Gallo Realty, 10+ years.
In 2006, five days after we purchased our full-time home in Rehoboth, I first got involved with CAMP Rehoboth by volunteering for Sundance. I was elected to the Board in November of 2009.
On the advocacy front, along with our co-founder and former Executive Director, Steve Elkins, I am most proud of being selected to testify for Delaware’s civil union (2011) and same-sex marriage bills (2013). Steve was a mentor in so many ways and it was an honor to represent CAMP Rehoboth with him, and so many of our LGBTQ Delawareans. It continues to be an honor. On the fundraising front, I am most proud of establishing CAMP Rehoboth’s Block Party, as part of our 2015 25th anniversary celebration. It was a goal of mine, for several years, to gain city approval for an outdoor festival on Baltimore Avenue. After four years, it has grown into a major outreach and community event for all. Unfortunately, bad weather and then COVID forced us to cancel the last two years, but we are determined to bring it back with a bang and another sell-out in 2021!
You are suddenly a Superhero -- What Superpower do you have?
Captain Love! My mission would be to spread unconditional love, fairness, and equality to ALL!
Leslie Sinclair, Board Vice President/Executive Committee
I retired in 2008 after a rewarding career with Visa USA, both in San Francisco, California and McLean, Virginia. Innovation and initiative were key at Visa, where I initiated a startup group, led a customer service department as vice president, and made individual contributions.
I first got involved with CAMP Rehoboth in 2010 when I answered a Letters ad for Volunteer on Vacation (VOV), a group using their time at the beach to enhance the community. VOV lives on today as CAMP Rehoboth Outreach Program (CROP). Organizing CROP service projects, such as trips to the Food Bank, is rewarding. CROP is one way for interested volunteers to get involved!
Besides CROP, I head the Grants Committee. Our efforts have grown and contribute a significant amount to support vital programs at CAMP Rehoboth. I also enjoy helping to organize art shows in the gallery, along with a team. The arts team is arranging meaningful art shows that provide artists with an opportunity to display and sell their work. Similar to CROP, committee and teamwork are other ways to get involved.
If you joined the circus, what would your circus act be? I would be that person spinning the plates on long sticks. The spinning plates all stay up, but it is a balancing act!
Glen Pruitt, Board Secretary/Executive Committee
Over the past 25 years, I served in several positions in the HIV/AIDS field in Delaware. Currently I work as a quality management consultant to the Delaware Division of Public Health for its statewide Ryan White Part B Program.
My first-time volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth was in 1995 as a ticket-taker at the door for Sundance.
While Sundance garners lots of attention, I think CAMP Rehoboth’s most important work takes place when it helps community members one-on-one: providing information, offering counseling or testing, acting as an advocate, connecting people with others This quiet work is where CAMP Rehoboth really makes a difference in people’s lives.
If you could do ANYTHING for a living, what would it be?
I would be the manager or publicist for singer/actress Debby Boone.
Natalie Moss, Board Treasurer/Executive Committee
I am a CPA and trying very hard to retire.
In 1991, in one of the first issues of Letters, there was a "wish list" for volunteers. They needed a bookkeeper. I still lived in DC but came to Rehoboth almost every weekend, so I decided to help. I wanted to get involved and help to build the organization.
As it turns out, 30 years later, I have been involved in all the major changes and growth in the organization. Along with the founders, Steve and Murray, we raised money, purchased buildings, renovated buildings, obtained mortgages, raised more money, and worked non-stop to build a highly respected organization providing necessary programs and guidance to the community we love.
If you could trade places with one famous person for a day, who would it be?
Oprah! I would direct her charitable giving to LGBTQ organizations with CAMP Rehoboth at the top of the list and then I’d buy an ocean view house with a heated year-round pool.
Jane Blue, Director-at-Large
I was Operations Manager at Bristol Myers Squibb’s Clinical Testing Facility. It included the business and operational aspects of organizing clinical trials and a topical skin testing program for their cosmetic company, Charles of the Ritz.
In 2003 I organized a cabaret-style evening at the Sea Witch Inn which sold out and was well received. When I wanted to sell beverages, they told me to contact Steve Elkins for what was called a gathering permit and thus my love affair with CAMP Rehoboth began!
This segued me to chair the 2005 and 2006 Splash! Women’s Dance. CAMP Rehoboth helped us put this summer event together and this soiree was my entry into volunteering, meeting other like-minded people, and learning about the activities CAMP Rehoboth offered. Go to email@example.com and volunteer and join the fun. You will not be disappointed!
If you were given a one-minute ad slot during the Super Bowl, what would you do with it?
My ad would celebrate CAMP Rehoboth and the amazing activities it brings to our community. Please check out our new brochure (which is coming to you via snail mail) describing our many services. I worked with Debbie Woods and Kathy Davison to put the very first brochure together and we all kept saying “Oh, I never knew we did this!” It will make you proud to be part of this amazing organization! So my Super Bowl ad would show the faces of those we serve and the incredible work we do.
Wes Combs, Director-at-Large
Wesley Combs is a diversity and inclusion expert consultant, executive coach, passionate social justice advocate and nationally-recognized entrepreneur. Wes is the Founding Principal of Combs Advisory Services where he works with clients who share his values of enabling equity, equality and opportunity in the workplace and the community.
I became involved with CAMP Rehoboth right from the start as a financial supporter. CAMP Rehoboth was founded to Create a More Positive Rehoboth which was essential at that time due to the anti-LGBTQ sentiment among some local residents and the police. Here we are, 30 years later, and CAMP Rehoboth is still needed to address recent anti-LGBTQ harassment and bullying in the area through LGBTQ-awareness and sensitivity training, providing counseling and support to those who are impacted and feel isolated.
You are suddenly a Superhero—what Superpower do you have?
Flying like Superman. I have always dreamed about flying through the sky and seeing the world from up high. The freedom to explore without limits must be exhilarating.
Mike DeFlavia, Director-at-Large
I am the Vice President at a Nonprofit Fundraising Consultancy.
I first got involved with CAMP Rehoboth in 2001 as a volunteer for LOVE (the big dance we would hold at the convention center over the July 4th weekend). Fittingly, years later when the LOVE Dance was retired, we turned our 6 Futcher Pool Party into a fundraiser for CAMP and, along with our hundreds - up to 700 one year - of attendees, raised close to $100k.
You are suddenly a Superhero—what would you do?
If I were invisible for a day I would ... well, I'd probably do a lot of things not fit for print. All legal though.
Max Dick, Director-at-Large
I retired and moved to Rehoboth Beach 10 years ago after teaching 7th grade science for 12 years, then owning/operating a cemetery monument business.
I got involved in CAMP Rehoboth as soon as I moved here by volunteering for events like mailing parties, condom distributions, the Sundance auction, and becoming an office CAMPcierge. I immediately began singing with the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus.
Volunteering and supporting CAMP Rehoboth is a great way to meet new friends and have a sense of purpose—i.e., to advance CAMP Rehoboth's mission of acceptance and equality to create a more positive Rehoboth.
If you could trade places with one famous person for a day, who would it be?
For one day (and one day only) I would like to trade places with Donald Trump. I could then give a gracious concession speech, tell the nation to wear masks, and send out coronavirus relief checks to those in need.
Linda Gregory, Director-at-Large
I am a retired educator. I taught in grades K-12 and freshman/sophomore college students. I also worked as a guidance counselor for adult education and was the first LGBTQ case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware in Sussex County.
I first met Steve Elkins and Murray Archibald at Epworth United Methodist Church about 20 years ago. It wasn't until several years later that I sought their help with starting a PFLAG Chapter here in Rehoboth Beach. I will never forget their response: "whatever you need, we will help!" It was then that I really got to know what CAMP is all about.
In my opinion, CAMP Rehoboth does many wonderful things, and most people might not be aware of the breadth of their reach. To name a few: ongoing educational programs, supporting the arts, healthy living outreach, and a myriad of initiatives for the LGBTQ community and their families.
If you could do ANYTHING for a living, what would it be?
Since I am retired, if I could do ANYTHING for a living, I would like to be a secret shopper for a very high-end hotel system. I would travel the world, staying in the best hotels and checking out all of their services!
Jack Morrison, Director-at-Large
I am now retired but was with Wells Fargo through five mergers over 32 years and was an Senior Vice President and team leader in the general banking division.
I began volunteering at CAMP after retiring seven years ago.
The contribution I am most proud of is being part of the team that supported CAMP Rehoboth through the transition following Steve’s illness and passing.
If you joined the circus, what would your circus act be?
If I joined the circus, I think it would be fun to be an acrobat.
Tara Sheldon, Director-at-Large
I am a social worker by training and birthright. My father's legacy with the YMCA was making meaningful connections within his community and creating new opportunities for youth. I have strived to follow his example in both my work and volunteer experiences. Since moving to Rehoboth, I have worked in hospice; I organize our local VegFest, and recently returned to helping people who find challenges with both organization and clutter.
I discovered CAMP Families shortly after moving to Rehoboth 10 years ago. Much to my delight, all of the families had two-year-olds within months of each other! The parents got to socialize (or commiserate on lack of sleep) while our toddlers played.
CAMP's mission to "Create a More Positive” Rehoboth is central to the new THRIVE program. Many young people have the misconception that the liberties and acceptance experienced by our older LGBTQ community members extends to the youth, and sadly, it does not. Staff members Barbara Antlitz and Sal Seeley have done a phenomenal job moving the needle in the right direction by creating safe spaces and advocating for LGBTQ youth.
If you were reincarnated as a famous person, who would it be?
Hellen Keller. Of all characteristics that determine one's privileges or burdens, including race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and class, I cannot imagine ones more challenging than being deaf and blind. To experience how she moved through her world driven by her sheer intellect, combined with fierce determination and passion for the less fortunate, would be awe-inspiring, to say the least.
Kathy Wiz, Director-at-Large
In my life before Rehoboth I was a credentialled alcoholism/substance abuse counselor (CASAC). I worked on two inpatient detox units and also in an outpatient clinic, counseling children of alcoholics. I enjoyed being a detox counselor but working with the children was my heart’s work.
My wife, Muriel, and I stumbled upon CAMP Rehoboth during a 1997 visit. Kathy Weir, who worked in the office, took the time to talk to us about CAMP Rehoboth and we immediately fell in love with the organization’s mission. We never looked back.
February 2018 was an especially exciting time for me when CAMP Rehoboth had its 1st Annual Black History Month Celebration. I invited the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice to cohost with us and it was a phenomenal evening of diversity, conviviality, and the beginning of CAMP Rehoboth’s ongoing partnership with SDARJ.
If you were reincarnated as a famous person who would it be?
Reincarnation has always fascinated me, but honestly, given my druthers, I’d come back as myself, no changes, exactly as I am. But then, I’ve always wanted to sing like Whitney, cook like Ina, write like Ernest, have courage like Rosa, dance like Ginger, love like Mother Teresa, act like Meryl, and think like Albert…. I could go on!
Interested in serving on a volunteer committee, in the office, or maybe evolving into a Board position? Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a year-end donation in support of all the work CAMP Rehoboth does, you may call us at 302-227-5620, or visit camprehoboth.com and click the donate button.