Out On The Lakeshore Board of Directors

Rev. Jennifer Adams Photo

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Rev. Jennifer Adams is one of the founding members of the OOTL board and currently serves as Chair. Jen helped launch Holland Is Ready in 2008 and has worked for LGBTQ rights and inclusion in the contexts of church, state, and local community. Jen is a Co-Convener of the Chicago Consultation, a group of Episcopal and Anglican lay people, clergy and bishops, working for the full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion and is the Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Holland where she has served as priest since 1994.

Rebecca Harris Photo

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Rebecca has been on the board of Out On The Lakeshore for almost 2 years, and currently serves as the vice-chair for Youth Programming. Rebecca came on board to work on marketing and social media platforms. Rebecca currently spends time in 7 local high schools going to Gay/straight alliances meetings to connect all the students in the community. We are connecting students from Holland, West Ottawa, Grand Haven, Hudsonville, Zeeland, Black River and Jenison by having social events with all the students. The reason that Rebecca came to Out On The Lakeshore is because Rebecca grew up in this community and went through the public schools and it was very rough growing up in this community. Rebecca’s goal is to make it easier for kids going through the school systems today with educating the community, providing resources and helping to provide a safe place for all.

Robbie Schorle Photo

Vice Chair

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Robbie has served on the board of directors of Out On The Lakeshore for five years. Robbie was introduced to this board by Rev. Jen Adams rector of Grace Episcopal Church Holland Michigan. At that time the group was looking for space to start a resource center and Grace Church had possible space for this purpose. Robbie is now vice-chair of the board and working on programming for the upcoming year.

Gesa Snook Photo

Treasurer

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Professionally Gesa holds a finance role in a West Michigan manufacturing company. Gesa has called Holland “home” for more than 20 years now. Gesa and her husband have raised two wonderful children. When she’s not attending one of the many activities of her children, Gesa enjoys pursuing her various sport interests, which include volleyball, soccer, snowboarding and foreign travel. Seeing diversity in it’s many forms from around the globe has encouraged Gesa to devote her energies toward promoting tolerance in our community, encouraging love and understanding.

Amy Bade Photo

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As a Mental Health Professional, Amy sees the mental health consequences of alienation and discrimination. Amy attended a City Council meeting years ago where discussion was held regarding the housing ordinance language in the City of Holland. The blatant and subversive discrimination that LGBTQ individuals faced in this community really bothered her. When Amy was asked to serve on the Board, it was an easy decision. Amy works with a dynamic and diverse group of individuals who are dedicated to make Holland an inclusive, warm and welcoming environment. Amy is proud to be part of Out On The Lakeshore.

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Charley Renee Bowers, Ph.D. is a transgender woman who lived with gender dysphoria most of her life. Charley was raised on a farm in Sodus, MI and graduated from Benton Harbor High School. From there Charley went on to earn her B.S. and M.S. degrees at Michigan State University and her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona. Charley was employed with The Upjohn Company Agriculture Chemical Division and subsequently Asgrow and Seminis Vegetable Seed Companies for 35 years. Following an attempt at retirement from professional employment, Charley worked as a sales associate for 13 years with JCPenney in West Lebanon, NH and Holland, MI.

Charley knew from a very young age she was different from other boys and was always more comfortable being with girls than with boys. In the 1970’s Charley started learning about gender dysphoria (an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and the gender to which they identify). However it wasn’t until her wife of 43 years died that Charley felt she could treat her gender dysphoria through counseling, medical and surgical treatments. Once Charley began living her life authentically she became active in the LGBTQ communities in Kalamazoo and Holland. Charley is an advocate for the transgender community and speaks publicly about gender dysphoria and being transgender. For the past six years Charley has been a guest presenter at numerous classes at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Hope College, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Bronson Hospital, Holland Hospital, U of M School of Nursing, WMU School of Medicine and various civic, professional and Social Services organizations.

Charley is a founding member and serves on the Board of Directors of Out On The Lakeshore and is an active participant in the LGBT resource center OutFront Kalamazoo. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Holland Is Ready and the Steering Committee of the organization Professionals Focused on Aging. Charley has dedicated her later years to creating a world that is safer and more accepting than the one she entered.

Charley has traveled extensively throughout the Americas and Western Europe and has lived in Sodus, MI; East Lansing, MI; Tucson, AZ; Los Gatos, CA; Davis, CA; Plainwell, MI; Woodland, CA; Windsor, VT; and currently resides near South Haven, MI.

Derek Hoehn Photo

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Derek Hoehn is a designer at Herman Miller, where his main job is to explore and design environments for customers, which allows people to feel comfortable, happy, energized, and creative. Outside of Herman Miller, Derek’s design interests continue with his hobby of sculpting, and his passion for home design and remodeling.

At OOTL, Derek is the co-chair for Holland Pride, and is also responsible for marketing materials. Derek’s main goals for joining the OOTL board are to give back and help the community, and also provide a voice for the younger generation.

PFLAG / GenderSAFE Rep

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Sara Jeanette is a longtime resident of Holland and proud mom of two transgender kids committed to the support and affirmation of the LGBTQ+ community. She and her husband have enjoyed raising their children here, taking in the beauty, art and music of the area. Joining the OOTL Board is a natural extension of Sara’s involvement with PFLAG and Gender S.A.F.E., having experienced the meaningful impact these groups have on individuals and families. Her goal is to further open communication and expand the safe places in our community where LGBTQ+ folks can live authentically and with equality. Sara looks forward to contributing to the continued growth of this important Community Center.

Wendy Rebhan Photo

Community Center Coordinator

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Wendy is the Center Coordinator for Out On The Lakeshore and started working here part-time in June of 2018. Wendy first volunteered with Holland PRIDE and was excited to hear about OOTL. When Wendy was asked to take this position, it was an easy answer YES for her. The board is a dynamic group of committed, hard working individuals and the OOTL community center is an inviting place where people feel safe and included. OOTL is making a difference for the LGBTQ+ and Holland communities and Wendy is proud to be a part of it! Wendy and her husband have three adult children and live in Holland with their two Field Spaniel dogs, Maizey and Bleu.

Our History

In 2015, the board of Holland Is Ready and the officers of Pride voted to form a new organization called Out On The Lakeshore. This organization (OOTL) was initially introduced to the Holland community at PRIDE in June of that year. An initial goal of Out On The Lakeshore was to establish and manage a LGBTQ Resource Center. The Center, in conjunction with PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore provides ongoing and new support programs and a safe location for community members to meet. Out On The Lakeshore is a 501(c)3 non-profit  corporation.

What We Do

Education: The Center has a library and will hold and develop educational literature to advance understanding and acceptance of LBGTQ people. It serves as a meeting center for educational programs, hosting speakers, movies and focus groups.

Youth: Programs to support area youth who are trying to come to terms with their sexuality or gender identity. OOTL provides a place where youth can feel free and safe to gather and share experiences or relax and do homework.

College: The Center provides a location for college age students to meet and carry out their support programs and related functions.

Transgender: The Center will be used as a meeting place for a transgender support group.

LGBTQ: Holland Area Pride, sponsored by Out On The Lakeshore is an annual event where LBGTQ people can gather and openly celebrate who they are. The Center provides a location to centralize knowledge of this annual event , to acquire volunteers and to plan and promote both PRIDE and pre-PRIDE events.

Events: Out On The Lakeshore will continue to sponsor events to raise funds for the community center, programming and PRIDE.

Coalition Building: The Center is a base from where we continue to build coalitions with area businesses, churches, law enforcement and social justice organizations.

Collaborative Organizations: OOTL collaborates with PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore and Holland Is Ready to provide complete and full support to the diverse Holland area LGBTQ community

Political: Holland Is Ready, will continue to advocate for legislative action at the local, state and national levels that supports the goal of safety, rights and inclusion of LGBTQ individuals and their families.

PFLAG: Parents, family and friends of lesbians and gays (PFLAG) is a national organization with a local chapter PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore. The mission of PFLAG is to promote the health and well-being of LBGTQ people, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy. The Center is a location for providing information, materials and contacts with PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore.