As the Jim Collins Foundation enters its twelfth year of providing financial assistance to transgender individuals seeking financial support towards gender confirming surgeries, we are excited to share news of several additions and changes to our Board of Directors.
With much gratitude for their years of service, Vice President Ryan Sallans’ and Director Emma Shinn’s terms of service concluded June 13. Both Emma and Ryan served the Foundation admirably and regularly demonstrated their dedication to our mission and the transgender community.
Ryan Sallans, national speaker and author in inclusion, diversity and healthcare, served on the Foundation board since 2014. He concluded his service the past two years as our vice president. Emma Shinn, an active-duty judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps, served on the Foundation board since 2018.
Earlier this month, we elected Director Ezra Young (Brooklyn, NY) to succeed Ryan Sallans as vice president. Vice President Ezra Young is a nationally recognized transgender civil rights attorney. Young’s litigation and scholarship centers on transgender rights and focuses on rights of recognition, employment protections, and healthcare and insurance coverage issues. Prior to founding his practice in 2017, he served as Director of Impact Litigation at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.
The board re-elected President Jody Randall (Lubbock, TX), Secretary Ava Arnett (Stratford, CT) and Treasurer Ryan Rasdall (Boston, MA) to serve additional terms in their leadership capacities. Biographical information on our officers are available on the Foundation’s website.
The Foundation elected three new directors: Xander Rice (Knoxville, TN), Aydin Olson-Kennedy (Pasadena, CA), and Jennifer Gay (Dallas, TX). We are very pleased to welcome our new directors to the Foundation and introduce them here.
Director Xander Rice (he/him/his), a 2019 Jim Collins Foundation Founders’ Grant recipient, is originally from Virginia but spent much of his life in Georgia before moving to Tennessee. He currently works as an accounts-receivable insurance collections specialist for Ortho Tennessee, while completing his doctoral degree in child and adolescent developmental psychology. His term on the board will expire on June 13, 2023.
Director Aydin Olson-Kennedy (he/him/his) is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Executive Director at the Los Angeles Gender Center. He is considered a national expert in the mental care of transgender and non-binary youth and their parents. He has been hired by numerous organizations and conferences worldwide to train other professionals about the psychosocial impact of gender dysphoria. His term on the board will expire on June 13, 2023.
Director Jennifer Gay (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Rethink Therapy, PLLC. Jennifer helps individuals, couples, and families, deal with a diverse array of Mental Health issues, including anxiety, depression, infidelity, and gender dysphoria. She also provides support for LGBTQ+ families to help them navigate the waters after their family member has come out to them as gay, lesbian, or transgender. Her term on the board will expire on June 13, 2023.
The Foundation looks forward to continued growth and the furthering of our commitment to providing funding assistance to our most marginalized community members. Our 2021 grant cycle is open until August 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST. Any person actively seeking gender-affirming surgery during the year 2022, but does not have the financial resources to access this life-changing procedure is encouraged to apply.