9th Annual Saginaw Valley LGBT & Allies Pride Awards Banquet

A Celebration of the 47th anniversary of Stonewall
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Andersen Enrichment Center


6 – 7 p.m. Receptions – Lucille Andersen Rose Garden

7 – 8 p.m. Dinner – Catered by The Savoy Grill

8 – 9 p.m. Welcome – Leo Romo, Awards Banquet Chair, Chris Lauckner, Perceptions Chair, David Custer

Pride Awards – Emcee David Custer (with Chris Lauckner and Leo Romo)


2017 Pride Award Recipients


Business Award

Angela Williams of Great Lakes Bay Health Centers

Angela Williams is the Special Projects Director at GLB Health Centers and has worked on LGBT issues with staff, students. parents, and the community–vital role for LGBT youth in Saginaw. GLB Health Centers is recognized for its contributions to the awareness of LGBT issues. They provide health care in the Mid-Thumb region, especially those who are under-served, uninsured, or under-insured. Nobody will be turned away based on ability to pay.

Rising Star Award

Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Pionk

Dr. Elizabeth “Libby” Pionk is an “out” lesbian physician and has dedicated herself to family medicine with a special interest in LGBT health and associated medical cases, situations and policies where healthcare is not tailored to the LGBT patient. As a Perceptions Board member, she is a liaison between the professional healthcare community and the LGBT/Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGIE).

J. Steele-Louchart

J. Steel-Louchart has been involved with the Saginaw Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Youth (SOGI YAC) and served as a volunteer with LGBT youth, he has been an active part of the MAX System of Care initiative at the Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority to increase access to services and improve outcomes for LGBTQ youth with emotional and behavioral needs. Recently, Steel-Louchart coordinated activities for Saginaw’s first Pride Week with educational and family-friendly activities for the LGBT community, especially youth.

Champion of Pride

Amy McDonald

Amy McDonald is a licensed professional counselor at Family and Children’s Services in Midland. She offers services to a wide range of clientele and specializes in LGBT, gender and sexuality issues. Amy has served the area LGBT community as an advocate, educator, therapist, clinician, and friend. She created a curriculum for teens an adults that focus on the coming-out process, self-esteem, healthy relationships among other related topics. Additionally, she is a Perceptions Board member.

Dr. Trevor Ewers

Dr. Trevor Ewers is an associate research scientist and the Global Culture Change leader with GLAD (LGBT & Ally Employment Resource Group) for The Dow Chemical Company. Ewers, along with a small group, created and continues to lead the annual Great Lakes Bay Pride LGBT Workplace Summit that promotes workplace equality through inclusive education, training, and regional support along with Perceptions and other collaborating businesses/sponsors. He has volunteered with LGBT group events.

Ellen Keeler

Ellen Keeler is a Bay City mother and grandmother that was concerned when her transgender grandson (female to male) tried to commit suicide. She was surprised to learn that most trans people had no or little support from their families, were evicted from their homes, and have lost jobs due to being transgender. She is the coordinator for the local Perceptions Transgender Support Group, Perceptions Trans, Family, Friends, and Allies, that includes high school students through senior citizens who are transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming, their partners and allies. Ellen is also a Perceptions Board member and updates the Perceptions website. She wants everybody to feel safe being themselves.

Political Award

Vanessa Guerra

State Rep. Vanessa Guerra – House District 95, D-Bridgeport Township receives the Political Award for supporting and co-sponsoring legislation that would expand the Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act to protect Michigan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. She has supported House Resolutions declaring June LGBT Pride Month each year she has been in office, State Rep. Guerra has attended Perceptions events and publicly supports LGBT equality issues.

 Special Thank You

2017 Pride Banquet Sponsors
Chris Lauckner
Alberto Jimenez
Tim Atkinson
Scott Schouest
Scott Ellis
Leo Romo
Ellen Keeler
Michael Kerkau
Al Shinaver
The Savoy Grill
Greg Gwaltney
Joel Payne
David Custer and YOU!

Pride Award Selection Committee:

Antoine Martin
Tim Atkinson
Denise Hill
Leo Romo
Becky Anderson
Dave Stickles


Edie Windsor

William Giorgis & Russell Inham

Harvey Milk

Dr. Harry Lenhart & Pam Blondin
Rick Farrand and Bob Enszer
Scared Heart Rehabilitation Center
PFLAG Tri-Cities
In Memory of Michael Brancheau (1941-2016)
Floyd Andrick
In Memory of Tom Burdick (1950-1993) and Ken Botwright (1951-1992)
Tom Burkey
Joan & David Brausch


Clint Bryant
Leo R. Romo


Home for Peace & Justice
Kitty Packard
Kyle Bostwick & Daniel Rodabaugh
Tom & Tracy Knaub

*Sponsor Levels: Edie Windsor – $200; Harvey Milk – $100; Advocate – $25; Patron – $10

Note From the Chair

Thank you for attending the 9th Annual LGBT & Ally Pride Awards Banquet and being part of local LGBT and ally history.

Thousands of Gay American couples have been legally married since the 2015 Award Banquet. True legal equality will continue.

Still, Michigan LGBT individuals can be legally discriminated in employment, housing and public accommodations. It will continue until Michigan’s Elliott-Larson Civil Rights Act is rewritten to include the words “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression” to ban discrimination. I hope tonight’s program will increase your knowledge on the issues and, in the end, inspire you to work toward equality for everybody.

Leo R. Romo

Chair, Pride Awards Banquet

Note From the Chair of Perceptions

Welcome to the 9th annual Perceptions LGBT & Allies Pride Awards Banquet. Perceptions offers this event to the LGBT community and supporters, and congratulates the honorees for their outstanding contribution toward making a positive impact on the lives of LGBT individuals, as well as helping to educate others on the need to change discriminatory laws and practices in Michigan.

we honor, celebrate, and retell stories of one business and seven incredible people who have shown us that it is possible to reveal, express, and support the needs of the LGBT community. Through their examples, we are inspired, empowered, and challenged.

We can all make a difference! The honorees give evidence to that fact.  I hope, by your attendance, you are moved toward a deeper call to action by stepping out and recognizing ‘we are the possible’.

Thank you,

Christopher Lauckner
Chair, Pereptions

About Perceptions

Perceptions is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It’s mission Is to provide inclusive sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE) education, advocacy, networking, and resources to individuals and organizations in the Great Lakes Bay Region. All of our operating fund come from donations, sponsorship’s, grants. and fund-raisers.

Perceptions 2017 Board of Trustees

Chris Lauckner – Chair
Beth Sibray – Vice Chair
Stacie Wawsczk – Secretary
Greg Gwaltney – Treasurer
Scott Ellis – Trustee
Ellen Keeler – Trustee
Scott J. Schouest – Trustee
Libby Pionk – Trustee

Board Advisors:

Joel Payne, Charin Davenport, Leo Romo, Amy McDonald, Tim Atkinson, Dillon Moorehead

Perceptions Community Liaison:

Andrea Hall