The NHC Team

Executive Board Members
Melissa Patterson, She/Her – President
Ryan C. Segura, He/Him – V.P. of Events
Eva Guasconi, She/Her -V.P. of Communications/Secretary
Rich Lucarini, He/Him – V.P. of Finance
Sharon Fronabarger, She/Her – V.P. of Governance & Special Advisor

Board Members
Roger Green, He/Him
Eric Stephenson, He/Him
John Bell, He/Him
Fred White, He/Him
Shelby Bacorn, She/They
John McNeill, They/Them
Paul Kokesh, He/Him
Kelly Beck-Kay, She/Her

 

Special Contributions
Daniel Brooks – Committee Chairperson for NHCH
Cora Burke – Writer NHCH Social Media
Eric Rounds – Webmaster
Emily Harris – Social Media Director
Robert Szwajkos – NHC Attorney at large

Photographers at Large
Sandy Santello, Photographer
Dan Gramkee, Photographer
Steven Harris Photography
Scott Drake Photography
Christine Wohl Ramirez, Photographer
Gordon Nieburg – Bucks County Herald

NHC History Committee
Daniel Brooks, NHC Founder
Cora Burke
Dennis Bertland
Sandy Santello
Sharyn Keiser
Gary Rothman
John Dwyer
Adrian Clarke

Executive Board Members

Melissa Patterson –
President

Melissa Patterson is an Associate Director in Clinical Finance for Gilead Biosciences. At Gilead, and at prior organizations, she has been an active member of the LGBTQ+ business resource group which is committed to enhancing the company’s reputation as an employer of choice for LGBTQ+ employees and allies by promoting equality in the workplace and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Through that experience she was able to volunteer for the GLAAD Media Awards, support fundraising for the Trevor Project and attended the 2018 Out & Equal conference in Seattle, WA.

Melissa has a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in both Accounting & Finance from Millersville University and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Melissa met her wife, Karen at a LGBTQ+ event at the former Cartwheel in New Hope. They were married at Lambertville Station in 2008 and ultimately moved to Lambertville in 2017. She has a deep love for this area as she has never felt so safe and comfortable being her authentic self as she does here. She is committed to this organization and helping it to grow and continue its success.

Ryan Segura –
V.P. of Events

Ryan Segura currently works for Weichert Realtors and prior to that worked as an editor at the Wall Street Journal in addition to over ten years as an English educator both on the high school and college level.

He was born and raised in Utah and then moved to New Jersey in 1993. After living between Virginia for college, Connecticut for graduate school, and various places in New Jersey, he and his husband Scott finally settled in Lambertville in 2016 with their Animal Alliance rescue pups, Duke and Princess.

In addition to working with New Hope Celebrates, Ryan also co-founded and organizes the New Hope/Lambertville LGBTQ Book Club and hosts a bi-weekly tabletop game night.

If he’s not showing a house, grading papers, or rolling dice, he’s often found with his face buried in a book or planning his next vacation while enjoying a beer at one of the many amazing bars in our awesome towns.

Eva Guasconi –
V.P. of Communications/Secretary

Eva Guasconi is very proud to be the first transgendered woman on the board of directors. Having undergone M to F gender reassignment surgery at Lower Bucks Hospital under Dr. Christine McGinn in 2010 when she was 22 years old. Her family was by her side throughout the transition. It is this love and support from her family that drives her passion to give back to the LGBTQ+ community.

Born in Bogota, Colombia, and adopted into this loving family, Eva has always loved and been heavily involved in musical theater. She spent summers learning all she could about theater and dance at programs such as the Papermill Playhouse summer Conservatory, The Theater Dance Workshop, French Woods Festival of the Arts, and 4 years with the American Academy of Ballet. She has been seen on stage at Papermill Playhouse, NJPAC, CDC, The Eugene Wilkins Theater, and even Carnegie Hall. Today Eva is still a theater lover and focuses on continuing to grow as a singer and performer.

With 13 years of hospitality experience, Eva is currently part of the concierge team and a bartender at ROOF, located at the beautiful Riverhouse at Odette’s. She has been a New Hope visitor most of her life as a loyal patron, frequent shopper, and river admirer. She feels blessed to have made connections in the New Hope area that have led to this wonderful opportunity with the NHC!

Rich Lucarini –
V.P. of Finance

A graduate of The Pen Ryn School and Holy Ghost Prep, as well as spending summers as a camper and later counselor at Breezy Point Day Camp, Rich Lucarini has always had a love for Bucks County. As a member of the LGBTQ community, Rich developed a special appreciation for the town of New Hope. Rich and his partner, Bruce, reside in Buckingham where they enjoy gardening, bike rides on the Towpath Trail, gearing up for the next New Hope High Heel Drag Race, and participating in the New Hope/Lambertville LGBTQ Book Club.

Rich earned a B.S. with majors in Accounting and Business Management Information Systems at Muhlenberg College. He began his career at Deloitte and has held various leadership positions in the financial services industry since. Mr. Lucarini is the Director of Finance Operations for Ascensus in addition to his role at NHC.

Sharon Fronabarger –
V.P. of Governance

After serving as a volunteer, Board Secretary, Vice President, and President of New Hope Celebrates, Inc, she is now a Strategic Advisor to the Executive Board and continues to drive change for the organization.  Since moving to New Hope, PA over 25 years ago, she has made it a point to be involved throughout the local community and can often be found around town supporting local businesses and events. Sharon is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and believes in the power of people to effect change and create inclusive environments. 

 Currently she is the Head of the DEI Global Center of Excellence (COE) at Johnson & Johnson and is responsible for providing strategic enablement and evidence-based resources and insights to leaders to drive meaningful DEI outcomes. Sharon and her team continue to galvanize our enterprise DEI strategy and reputation through data, accountability, compliance, communications, employer of choice surveys, ERG engagement and strategic partnerships.  She is experienced in Regulatory Compliance, Workforce Analytics, Affirmative Action,

 Diversity & Inclusion strategy development, HR Operations, Shared Services, Immigration, and Project management. In addition to her 25+ years of progressive experience in the Human Resources field at Bloomberg LP, and then Johnson & Johnson, Sharon has her GPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications. Sharon holds a BS in Finance and Psychology from the College of New Jersey. Sharon is also a dog-lover, certified scuba diver, and makes it a point to enjoy life with her wife Tara and creates an awesome Christmas display each year on Stoney Hill Rd.

Board Members

Roger Green

Roger founded Roger Green & Associates, Inc. in 1991 and serves as their President and CEO. For over 25 years, they have designed and championed marketing research and tools to promote greater understanding of what drives value in the healthcare markets. Roger was the primary developer of Dynamic Practice Simulation, the first system for simulating patient treatment in future markets.

He also founded the Health Payor Council which is the first online marketing research community for US health insurers. Roger is also the past President of the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group. He was the 2008 recipient of the R.R. Fordyce Award for leaders in the marketing research industry. Roger has sat on numerous editorial boards, written industry publications and lectured at universities.

A past President of the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce, Roger has lived and worked in the community for 12 years. He lives with his wife Enid.

Eric Stephenson

Eric is a Senior Network Architect at Commscope in Horsham, PA. He has been working in the IT field since 1999.

Born and raised in South Jersey, he relocated to Doylestown in 2007. In 2016 he made the move to New Hope to start a new chapter with his wife, 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat.

Eric has been volunteering since childhood for many different organizations including the National Park Service, community events in Doylestown, and even manning the table at his wife’s art events.

Eric’s current favorite things to do are researching and making all the tiki drinks, perfecting pizza dough and bread recipes, cooking with the kids, and reading to stay on top of current events.

John Bell

John Bell is a managing director in Wells Fargo’s global institutional client group. Based in New York, he is responsible for overall senior relationship connectivity and development across the corporate and investment bank. Prior to his current role, John spent nearly 15 years at Bank of America, holding leadership positions in prime brokerage and venture services.

Long dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, John was a founding member of BofA’s LGBT+ Executive Leadership Council and enterprise co-chair of BofA’s Inter-Generational Employee Network. He is director emeritus of the Edgewood Center for Children & Families in San Francisco where he was chairman of the board. He is also a founding sponsor of the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco, the first of its kind in the U.S.

John earned a B.A. in public policy from St. Mary’s College of Maryland where he has been a trustee since 2017. 

John lives in Stockton, NJ and loves the beauty, diversity and openness of our Delaware River towns. He is especially committed to supporting the local LGBTQ+ community and all those who come to experience this exciting and welcoming place to be.

Fred White

Fred White was an elementary school educator for thirty-five years. In his retirement, he still does some substitute teaching and tutoring. Teaching was his second career, after being in the restaurant business for ten years. Fred has enjoyed singing in cabaret shows for the past seventeen years. Most of his shows have been fundraisers for causes important to him. He has lived in Bucks County, with his partner Greg Kammerer, for twenty years and in New Hope for ten years.

Shelby Bacorn –
Volunteer Coordinator

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Shelby is a dedicated individual with homegrown roots in Lambertville. From filling salt shakers at the former Lambertville/ New Hope Rescue squad banquet hall to sweeping the mud off flooded streets, Shelby is always doing something to serve and better the community.

She has been working with the Lambertville Free Public Library for over ten years, gaining the ability to wear many hats. This includes but is not limited to organizing craft nights, assisting in the children’s summer reading program, and creating social media campaigns.

When not working, Shelby indulges in her nerdy side, playing video games, reading, or writing if she is not too preoccupied with watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with her dog.

John McNeill

John grew up just outside of New Hope, and after going to college in Rochester, New York and spending 10 years living in Northern Virginia, returned home to Bucks County in the summer of 2018. Following a career video editing with Apple, The Great Courses, and Volkswagen Of America, the move home was both a geographic and career shift, to one of John’s lifelong passions – woodworking. After spending 3 years working in a cabinet shop, John recently joined a local high-end furniture studio.

As an ardent volunteer, John has been working with New Hope Celebrates for some time, helping out with Pride, High Heel Drag Race, and other NHC events throughout the year. In 2023, John helped organize the Pride Fair alongside NHC Board Member Eric Stephenson.

John is also an avid board gamer, moviegoer, and skier.

Paul Kokesh

PKokesh

Paul Kokesh is an entrepreneur with a passion for business, the arts and community. As a Rutgers University alum in Business Economics, Paul has owned and operated successful companies, including retail stores, vacation rentals, and B.A.M. – a boutique agency he runs alongside his husband, Chris. Together, they implement customized marketing and operational strategies for consumer brands.

Beyond business, Paul enjoys music as a creative outlet and holds a degree in Music Industry Recording Arts from St. Petersburg College where he studied songwriting, music production and performance and volunteered with the music festival Clearwater Jazz Holiday. After a stay in one of New Hope’s historic homes while commuting to Manhattan for a project, Paul and Chris fell in love with the town’s inclusive nature and now call it home. It’s with great enthusiasm that Paul joins the NHC team to serve and celebrate this diverse and vibrant community.

Kelly Beck-Kay

KBeck b&w

Kelly graduated from Gwynedd Mercy University in 1999 with a B.S.in Health Sciences, Radiation Therapy. She is a Senior Radiation Therapist at RWJU Barnabas Health and has been with this organization for 20 years. RWJU is recognized as a national best in class hospital for diversity and inclusion and was recognized as “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and has taken on the challenge to further expand Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies that ensure equitable patient centered care and outcomes to our consumers. As a Radiation Therapist, she enjoys the challenges that come with cancer care. Providing compassionate care and getting to know the patients and their families is very important to her.

Kelly has spent many years volunteering and fundraising throughout Bucks County. She has held previous leadership roles at Bucks Mont Mothers of Multiples and the Home & School Board. Kelly is a volunteer blood drive coordinator for the American Red Cross. Through the years she has also been involved in Relay for Life, We vs C and Cancer Survivor’s Day.

Originally from Philadelphia, she moved to Bucks County in 2003. She discovered New Hope in her early teenage years and has been an active member in the community ever since. Currently, she lives in Doylestown with her wife Angela, her twin daughters- Madison and Hailey and her son Billy. She began volunteering with New Hope Celebrates in 2020. She has a passion to give back to the LGBTQ+ community. She has a commitment to teaching diversity, inclusion and equal rights and setting an example for her children is very important. In her spare time, you can find her in Key West, or planning the next vacation, watching football and spending time with her family.

NHC Founder

Daniel Brooks

New Hope Celebrates Founder Committee Chairperson for NHC History

Dan Brooks

Dan is a licensed psychoanalyst with a private practice in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York. He is also on the staff of the National Institute for Psychotherapies in New York, the Metropolitan Center for Mental Health and Identity House. He is also a part-time staffer for the New York Post’s News Corps and is working on professional publications. Dan is also the owner of the Wishing Well Bed & Breakfast in New Hope, PA.

Dan holds a master’s degree from Fordham University and is a two-time graduate of the National Institute for the Psychotherapies, both in New York.

He founded New Hope Celebrates in 2003, based on the need for a volunteer LGBT organization that would serve the community and promote tourism. New Hope Celebrates has since won the 2012 Bucks County Landmark Towns “Best Multi-Event Award” for its parade.

He is currently the director of New Hope Celebrates’ LGBT History Archive, co-founded in 2010 with Sara Scully. Dan attributes the success of the organization to the dedication and diverse talents of its members.

Mail in donations to: New Hope Celebrates, PO Box 266, New Hope Pa 18938
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