Meet the Board & Leadership

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Buck Smith, President

Buck is an original Charlottesville townie and is lovingly known as our resident “Gay About Town”. When he and the other Pride founders wanted to throw a festival in 2011, he thought to himself, “Well, how hard can it be?” After 9 years, he’s a little wiser but still as hopeful and enthusiastic to see the Charlottesville LGBTQ+ community grow and thrive. He currently works for Albemarle County Services after 30+ years in retail. Buck helped to start the LGBTQ+ rights group within the Episcopal church, formally facilitated the Interfaith Gay Straight Alliance at St. Paul’s Memorial Church in town, and was a volunteer with THRIVE, Charlottesville’s AIDS service group.

Buck lives in Keswick with his husband of 4 years, Wayne (+16 years), with his two dogs. In his free time, he loves to read, dance, and enjoy a good cocktail.

Email Buck.

Elena Michaels, Vice President,
Communications & Event Coordinator

Elena has lived in Charlottesville for 18 years and works for a private school in town. In her teen years, she was a principal member of ROSMY Blue Ride, now named Side by Side, and became a vocal advocate for LGBTQIA+ students in public schools. Elena served as Cville Pride’s first summer intern in 2016, helping to run social media, promote events, and keep the board members sane.

Elena now lives near Downtown Charlottesville with her little black cat. She spends her weekends pouring at a local winery and re-watching the Great British Bake Off.

Want to publicize an event on social media? Want to help plan an event? Email Elena.

Jenny Mead, Interim Treasurer & Sponsorship Chair

Jenny returned to her native Charlottesville several years ago after living in Los Angeles where she worked in the film industry. Her involvement with Pride started as a festival volunteer then board member.

In addition to Cville Pride, Jenny has volunteered locally for the SPCA, Women Build of Habitat for Humanity, the Building Goodness Foundation, and Live Arts. She writes about business ethics at the University of Virginia, and is a produced short story writer and playwright in her “spare” time. Jenny lives with her partner Chris and their rescue mutt, Charlie.

Sponsorship or fundraising questions? Email Jenny.

Charley Burton, Secretary & Trans Community Outreach

Charley Burton is a native of Charlottesville. He serves on the board of PFLAG of the Blue Ridge and he’s a founding board member and the National Program Director of Black Transmen, Inc. Charley works for WorkSource, a non-profit that works with people with disabilities, and he facilitates the local PFLAG Trans support group. Charley‘s hope is that he can help with getting more trans people of color involved in the Charlottesville community. In 2021, Charley was appointed by Governor Northam to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee and was a recipient of the Outstanding Virginian Award by Equality VA and the Community Root Award by Black Pride RVA. He spends most of his free time being of service to people in the community and is a great support to a 12 step program that enhances his recovery.

Charley’s signature dish is his killer southern-style sweet potato pie.

Questions about resources and events for trans people of color? Email Charley.

Stephanie Kim

Stephanie Kim, Newsletter Editor & Volunteer Coordinator

Stephanie has volunteered for a number of nonprofits over the years, including the Virginia Film Festival and Cville Pride. She is excited to work on a range of programs this year to help with youth and diversity. A graduate of PVCC , Stephanie has lived in Cville for 6 years and enjoys ballroom dancing, fencing, LARP, and playing the ukulele.
Have a volunteer question or an event for our email newsletter? Email Stephanie.