Speakers and Award Recipients

San Francisco Bay Area HRC Gala honors those who work tirelessly for LGBTQ equality. With inspiring speakers, moving moments, live entertainment, and so much more, check back often for new updates as the Gala approaches!

Alfonso David

HRC President — Alphonso David

We are excited to introduce HRC’s new President, Alphonso David. Mr. David is the first civil rights lawyer and the first person of color to serve as president of HRC in the organization’s nearly 40-year history. He has been at the forefront of the movement for LGBTQ equality for more than a decade and worked at both the state and national level. In 2015, Mr. David was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve as Counsel to the Governor. Prior to his appointment as the Governor’s Chief Counsel, Mr. David served for four years in the Governor’s cabinet as the Deputy Secretary and Counsel for Civil Rights, the first position of its kind in New York State. Before working in the public sector, Mr. David served as a staff attorney at the Lambda Legal Defense and Educational Fund.


Corporate Equality Award — Levi Strauss & Co.

The Human Rights Campaign proudly awards Levi Strauss & Co. with the HRC Corporate Equality Award at the 2019 San Francisco Bay Area Gala Dinner and Auction on Saturday, October 21. The award recognizes Levi Strauss & Co.’s exceptional commitment to equality for the LGBTQ community.

For the 16th year in a row, Levi Strauss & Co. scored a perfect 100 on HRC's Corporate Equality Index this year. Annually, we evaluate companies based on their LGBTQ-related policies and practices, including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. With each, Levi Strauss & Co. exemplifies the company’s support for the principles that ensure equality for all its employees.

We also recognize and applaud Levi Strauss & Co.’s extensive history supporting the LGBTQ community as the first Fortune 500 company to extend health benefits to unmarried domestic partners more than 20 years ago, and the only California business in 2007 to file an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage. The company’s support of the Equality Act as a member of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act speaks to the company's as ongoing champions of our community.

The Human Rights Campaign also applauds their exemplary work and dedication to equality for all Americans; including your steadfast public advocacy for LGBTQ Americans. Levi Strauss & Co.’s leadership is a tremendous asset to our cause, and their commitment to the many issues facing our movement is inspiring for our members and supporters. From public declarations of support for the LGBTQ community across the US in combating the various state anti-LGBT legislations to sponsorship of HRC’s Project One America to help change hearts and minds in the Deep South, Levi Strauss has demonstrated that their commitment to our community is in the fabric of their company. Their expansion of funding through the Levi Strauss Legacy Grant, has enabled our Youth Advocacy Program to further groundbreaking, youth-focused work across the US and amplify the voices of teens and young adults to engage in advocacy on the most pressing concerns they face today.

We thank Levi Strauss & Co. for their tireless commitment to diversity and are proud to present them with this year’s Corporate Equality Award.

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Accepting the HRC Corporate Equality Award on behalf of Levi Strauss & Co.

Executive Vice President & President, Levi Strauss Americas

As executive vice president and president for Levi Strauss Americas, Roy Bagattini
is responsible for leading the company’s largest commercial operations, spanning all brands and channels across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the balance of Latin America. He reports to president and CEO Chip Bergh and remains a member of the company’s worldwide leadership team, an executive forum that sets the global corporate strategic direction.

Roy has an extensive track record of delivering business results in senior leadership roles across the U.S., Middle East, Africa and Europe for consumer goods and beverage companies. In addition to leading numerous large scale merger and acquisition projects, he has also spearheaded the turn-around of several companies and successfully driven the growth and expansion of various businesses, particularly in emerging markets.

Roy previously served as executive vice president and president of LS&Co.’s Asia, Middle East and Africa operations. Under his leadership, the region has consistently delivered outsized growth, strengthened its customer relationships and attracted blue-chip talent.

Prior to joining LS&Co. in June 2013, Roy held the position of senior vice president for Asia and Africa at Carlsberg, one of the world’s leading brewing and beverage companies.

Roy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

John Lake

2019 Charles M. Holmes Award Recipient — John Lake

John Lake currently serves as the Vice President, Multicultural Strategy and LGBTQ Segment leader for Wells Fargo. In that role he develops and drives diversity-focused marketing efforts across Wells Fargo’s multiple regions and lines of business, with a special focus on LGBTQ initiatives. Mr. Lake’s commitment to the LGBTQ community extends long before he joined Wells Fargo. He spent several years serving on HRC's Board of Governors, co-chairing the HRC San Francisco Gala Dinners in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 he joined the staff at HRC where for eight years he served as Corporate Development Director, bridging some of the world’s biggest brands with the LGBTQ community while building resources to support HRC’s mission. Before moving to the non-profit side, John ran his own company, Open Door Marketing, and headed client services at the Isosceles Group – both agencies focused on respectfully connecting brands to LGBT consumers through purpose-driven marketing.

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Visibility Award Recipient Eugene Lee Yang

Eugene Lee Yang is a producer, actor, director, writer, and one of today's most recognizable queer Asian-American performers. His digital work over the past six years as a viral video producer has been viewed billions of times and he has been distinguished as one of the world's most culturally influential YouTube creators. In early 2018, he and the comedy quartet The Try Guys launched their own independent production company, amassing millions of followers with projects such as his official coming out video, titled "I'm Gay - Eugene Lee Yang," in June 2019 which raised over $100,000 for The Trevor Project, becoming YouTube's most successful fundraising effort. The Try Guys have just wrapped their 26-city international tour, "The Legends of the Internet," in which Yang focuses on LGBTQ+ pride, and their first book, "The Hidden Power of F*cking Up" was a #1 New York Times Bestseller this year. Yang also created and executive produced BuzzFeed's inaugural Queer Prom, was included on Logo30 and Gold House's A100 list in 2018, and is currently in development for future television and film projects.

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Live Auction Host Lenny Broberg

Lenny Broberg has been fundraising and conducting auctions for non-profits for over 30 years. He is a retired SFPD Police Officer and was a part of the Gang Unit for almost 20 years. He saw how community based organizations were able to assist and create programs that helped create positive change in the lives of so many. Lenny has donated his time to non-profits such as Muttville, the Aids Emergency and Breast Cancer Emergency funds, the SF SPCA, Shanti, Cake 4 Kids, GLAAD, HRC and many more.


Musical Performer Effie Passero

Effie Passero is one of the impressive contestants of the New 2018 American Idol.  Judges were expecting a soft shy voice when she walked on stage and introduced herself, but were shocked and impressed and gave her a standing ovation once they heard her sing! Lionel Ritchie walked up close to her saying when you have that kind of sound, he wanted to check for an "extra volume knob" on her. Katy Perry, with her jaw hanging open said "I just want to know who you are, how'd you get that voice and why are you a property administrative manager?" Luke Bryan said "I believe you're a presence, you're a look, I believe you have the whole thing going on, and when you deliver that, with the way your voice is, it's like a command" All 3 judges said they wanted to get to know her better and spend time with her, calling her that magic bullet, that secret weapon they were looking for! 

Effie is a 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Modesto, Calif., who lists her occupation as house manager of The State Theatre in Modesto. With the help of her family and mentors, she has been able to travel all over the country performing and entertaining since she was 5 years old.

Though trained in opera for 10 years, she decided to pursue more of a singer-songwriter path and has written more than 200 songs.  Her real passion is rearranging music from the 1960s, 70s and 80s into rock piano ballads.


DJ Chris B

After Party Music dj christopher b

For over 15 years, dj christopher b has been providing the soundtrack for fabulous events and huge parties at some of the world's hottest venues such as: The EndUp, Lookout, BeatBox, FRESH at Ruby Skye, Mezzanine, SoundFactory, Public Works, Eden - San Diego, Bent - Portland, REAL BAD events RECOVERY & REACH, and DAYWASH - the hottest finale party of Sydney Mardi Gras.

Christopher gets the crowd going year after year at major outdoor events like San Francisco Pride & Flagging in the Park. Winning the national "Next Top DJ" Contest on G.I.R.L. Radio led him to play for the LIQUID Pool Party during Gay Days at Disney World in Orlando. And Christopher's podcast reaches an ever-growing global audience of dedicated fans.