Print | Email


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month

In 1995, Union Bank launched the Local Heroes program in San Francisco with public television station KQED to help demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the communities it serves and in celebration of cultural diversity. Partnering with public television stations throughout California, the bank designed the program to pay tribute to local heroes who are making a difference to enrich the lives of others by improving their workplace, profession, neighborhood, community, region and the world. In 2011, the Local Heroes program was expanded to reflect the very vibrant and diverse communities in which the bank conducts business, adding heroes for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month and, in San Diego, Disability Awareness Month.

View Press Release

Nominate a Local Hero in the San Francisco Bay Area

Nominate a Local Hero in the Los Angeles/Orange County Area

Nominate a Local Hero in the San Diego Area

Banking on Diversity Video


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month: KPBS

2013 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month Heroes - KPBS

As part of the Union Bank Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Local Heroes Awards and to honor various individuals for their positive contributions in the LGBT community.

Congratulations to our 2013 Local Heroes of the Year:

     Carolyn Bolton
     Board Chair & Director of Project Youth
     North County LGBTQ Resource Center
     Max Disposti
     Executive Director
     North County LGBTQ Resource Center
     Watch video

Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Mr. Max Disposti worked as community organizer for human rights organizations upon arriving in the United States in 1998. In January 2008, Mr. Disposti founded the North County LGBT Coalition, a non-profit organization in the North San Diego community. Four years later, the North County LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Resource Center was founded. Mr. Disposti volunteers as their Executive Director alongside Ms. Carolyn Bolton, who volunteers as the Director of Project Youth.

Ms. Carolyn Bolton has been involved with the LGBTQ Resource Center for the past five years. As the Director of Project Youth, she ensures that the youth in our community feel safe not just at the Resource Center, but also in their schools. Ms. Bolton has been instrumental to creating or revitalizing and maintaining Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) at schools.

      Vincent Pompei
      Project Director & Conference Chair
      Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL)

      Watch video

Vincent Pompei is the Project Director for the Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership (CESCaL) and the Chair for the only national educator conference focused on LGBT youth.

He sits on the California Teachers Association LGBT Issues Advisory Committee, is a National LGBT Cadre Trainer with the National Education Association and authored the LGBT section of the American School Counselor Association’s National Model. Previously, Vincent served as a Chapter President for PFLAG and was an Ambassador for The Trevor Project.

He was one of four public educators invited to the first White House anti-Bullying Summit with President Obama and the First Lady. He has testified at a congressional hearing on safe schools in Washington D.C. In addition, he was named one of the Advocate Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 and selected by the National Education Association as a Classroom Superhero.

View KPBS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month Honorees for 2012 


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month: KCET

2013 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month Heroes - KCET

As part of the Union Bank Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Local Heroes Awards and to honor various individuals for their positive contributions in the LGBT community.

Congratulations to our 2013 Local Heroes of the Year:

     Thomas T. Carpenter, Esq.
     Former Co-Chair
     OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

     Watch video

Tom Carpenter, attorney and former U.S. Marine Corps Captain (1970 - 1982), has paved the way for the equal treatment of LGBT military service members through his dedication to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). As current co-chair of the Forum of Military Chaplaincy and former board member of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), Mr. Carpenter volunteered countless hours, drafted white papers, organized military personnel and persevered until its repeal in 2010. He served on the SLDN board from 1995 to 2012, co-chaired from 1998 to 2005, served on its legislative, development and communications committees, organized its Military Outreach Committee and was a member of SLDN’s Military Advisory Council. Mr. Carpenter helped establish the first LGBT active duty organization, OutServe, and played an instrumental role in the merger of OutServe with SLDN in 2012. Now known as OutServe-SLDN, the nonprofit advocacy organization supports, defends and empowers LGBT service members, veterans and their families and fights for equal treatment in the military

Mr. Carpenter currently serves as an attorney at LaMontagne and Amador, LLP and Conegy Consulting. He is a contributing writer of the blogs for LGBT POV and the Huffington Post. Mr. Carpenter has received numerous awards, including OutServe-SLDN’s Anna S. Curren Service Award and is OutServe’s Honorary Lifetime Member.

      Kalil Cohen
      Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival 

      Watch video

Kalil Cohen is a nationally touring educator, performer, speaker, filmmaker and founder of the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival (LATFF). Realizing that the transgender community lacked its own outlet to showcase its creative talent, Mr. Cohen founded LATFF in 2009 to provide a safe, empowering and creative environment dedicated to the diverse voices of the transgender community. The annual event held over a three-day period throughout Los Angeles screens short and feature films from around the world and offers an awards ceremony, panel discussions and post-screening festivities. LATFF also takes its show on the road, screening the films to students and the general public at more than 13 major international cities.

Mr. Cohen’s films such as “The Next Gender Nation” (2010) and “Queerer Than Thou” (2008) have screened at college campuses, academic conferences and at film festivals worldwide. He is a speaker on gender identity, an assistant programmer of Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, teaches Jewish American history and currently serves as director of the Southern California Region of The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring (WC/AR). Mr. Cohen’s gender activism has been featured in publications such as “The Progressive,” and on national news programs such as “Democracy Now!” He is a member of the Trans Inclusion Committee of JQ International and contributing writer of the “Oy Gay” blog. He has won several recognitions, including The Pride Award for Service and Dedication to the Transgender Community from Trans-Unity Pride in 2008. Mr. Cohen holds a master’s degree in education.


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month: KQED

2013 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month Heroes - KQED

As part of the Union Bank Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Local Heroes Awards and to honor various individuals for their positive contributions in the LGBT community.

Congratulations to our 2013 Local Heroes of the Year:

Michael V. Discepola, M.A.     Michael V. Discepola, M.A.
     Director, The Stonewall Project
     San Francisco AIDS Foundation    

     Watch video

Michael V. Discepola, M.A. is the Director of The Stonewall Project for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The Stonewall Project is a family of programs dedicated to providing client-centered harm reduction counseling, treatment and support services. Since 1993, Michael’s work has focused on community health and wellness for LGBT communities. He is a member of the San Francisco HIV Prevention Planning Council (HPPC), and has served as the community co-chair for both the HPPC and the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS). Michael has provided culturally responsive services, advocacy and leadership for 20 years in the fields of HIV prevention, harm reduction, community-based mental health, and substance use treatment.

Dawn Harbatkin, MD      Dawn Harbatkin, MD
      Executive Director
      Lyon-Martin Health Services 

      Watch video

Dawn Harbatkin, MD has been the Executive Director at Lyon-Martin Health Services since May 2012 and the Medical Director since January 2006. She served briefly as interim executive director from 2006-2008 and again in late 2010. Lyon-Martin is a community clinic in San Francisco that provides excellent health care to women and transgender people in a safe and compassionate environment, with sensitivity to sexual and gender identity. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay. Dr. Harbatkin also completed a fellowship through the California Health Care Foundation’s Healthcare Leadership Program. Her primary interest is in improving access to comprehensive, quality health care, particularly for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Her work focuses on developing clinical systems and programs that reach this community; educating health care professionals about their specific needs; and addressing policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.

Jodi L. Schwartz      Jodi L. Schwartz
      Executive Director, Lavender Youth Recreation and
      Information Center (LYRIC) 

      Watch video

Jodi L. Schwartz became LYRIC’s Executive Director in 2005. She has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit work, and an ardent commitment to social justice. During Ms. Schwartz’s tenure at LYRIC, she developed San Francisco’s first LGBTQQ youth-specific case management program, and facilitated the formation of the Community Partnership for LGBTQQ Youth — an eight-agency continuum of services for LGBTQQ youth, ages 16-24. Before joining LYRIC, Ms. Schwartz was the managing director of Resource Development Associates – a consulting firm working to strengthen public and nonprofit efforts to promote social and economic justice for vulnerable populations. She was also the co-founder and executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice – a private, nonprofit criminal justice organization designed to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems.

Stu Smith      Stu Smith
      Former Executive Director
      Tin Pan Alley Productions 

      Watch video

Stu Smith was a CEO in the Silicon Valley in the 1960s and diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the late 1980s. He volunteered at Shanti Project to help himself and others, while serving on the Shanti Project board he discovered the communications challenges nonprofits face. From this experience, he created Tin Pan Alley Productions, an Internet portal which connects nonprofits to needed resources. An early adopter, Smith employs social media to reach even more people and organizations. He is board chair emeritus of Shanti Project, board chair of The Paratransit Coordinating Council, member of the Castro Country Club Advisory Board, member of the newly created LGBT Senior Task Force, adjudicator for the Neighborhood Courts Program, producer and host of public access television show The Drag Show, Bay Times newspaper columnist and Advisory Board member of the MTA Disability Placard Committee.

View KQED Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month Honorees for 2012

Get Started Now

Set Up An Account

Open Online

Start Online Banking

Sign Up

Call Us