Atlanta Pride Welcomes New Board Members

The Atlanta Pride Committee’s board members are an integral part of the organization, and ensure that the annual festival is infused with fresh energy and new ideas. The primary functions of APC’s board fall into four primary categories: Strategic Direction, Finance, Organizational Oversight, and Visibility. The Board also ensures organizational legal compliance, ethical integrity, and maintains accountability; ultimately responsible for ensuring adherence to legal standards and organizational values.

Atlanta Pride has just added four new board members, and we are pleased to give you a introduction of each of them. Please give a warm Atlanta Pride welcome to: Quita Tinsley Peterson, Chris Ruiz, Toby Vargas-Jaume, and Justin Averette.

Quita Tinsley Peterson

How do you identify? 
I’m a Black non-binary femme and I use they/them pronouns.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 
I was born and raised in Middle Georgia. I’ve called Atlanta my home for many moons because it’s the place where I grew into myself. My background is in reproductive justice and queer liberation organizing.

What are your goals with APC? 
I’m so excited to serve on the Board of APC to support the growth and sustainability of the organization to continue to serve the Atlanta community and beyond for many more years to come.

Chris Ruiz

How do you identify? 
As a gay cis-male, I go by the pronouns he/him/his.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 
I am a native Puerto Rican of Spanish descent and a graduate of Florida State University with a Masters in International Business from Bond University in Australia. I am a local small (award-winning) business owner who has been photographing and producing events nationally for the LGBTQIA+ Community for over 6 years as well as managing director of a family healthcare business.   

Why did you want to join APC’s board? 
The Atlanta LGBTQ+ community is very important to me and has been a big part of my life and my life’s work since moving to Georgia. I am very passionate about devoting my time, energy, and creativity to this important organization in our community. The Atlanta Pride Committee hosts functions throughout the year and I believe that I have the skillset and experience to help them continue to produce the types of premier events our city is renowned for.

Toby Vargas-Jaume

How do you identify? 
I am a Queer, Chicanx person and identify as he/him.

Tell us a bit about yourself: 
I grew up in Northwest, Texas, but moved to Atlanta to pursue my career working in Higher Education. Like most out-of-towners, I had to find out who I was in a new city, but I have been able to make a wonderful chosen family here. Atlanta Pride Committee has provided me an opportunity to connect to so many talented and amazing people. I enjoy television series, sci-fi, sports, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and breweries.

How long have you been a part of APC and how did you get involved with the organization? 
I have been involved with Atlanta Pride for 7 years. I got involved through a friend of my supervisor at the time. I served in the Entertainment Committee as a general volunteer for 1 year, a lead volunteer for 2 years, and the Co-chair for 4 years. During that time, I was able to meet a lot of talented performers and work with some amazing Atlanta drag entertainers.

Justin Averette

How do you identify? 
Gay and cis-male.

Tell us a bit about yourself? 
I’m from a small town called Greensboro, Alabama (remember Forrest Gump?). I work in corporate communications for Southern Company and live in Midtown. My background is in journalism, which I did for about a decade. I once interviewed Oprah! I enjoy playing in the Hotlanta Softball League, traveling, hiking, and photography.

What are you looking forward to the most as it relates to the organization this year? 
Every day, I’m learning more about the Atlanta Pride Committee and how I can help the organization, particularly in this difficult time of COVID. I’m not sure when it will be, but I look forward to the day when we can all gather in person again.

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