Who We Are

Our Staff

Shannon McKay, Executive Director

Shannon McKay – she/her
Executive Director

In 2012, Shannon co-founded He She Ze and We as a peer to peer support group during her own search for a better understanding of gender diversity, specifically in youth.

“As an educator, speaker, and advocate, I am passionate about spreading awareness of the complexities of gender identity, believing that education leads to understanding and acceptance,” said Shannon. ​​​​​​​“I feel beyond privileged to be working with the families that find their way to He She Ze and We.”​​​​​​​

Beyond program support, Shannon brings valuable expertise to education, resources and community partnerships.

Rosa Hamilton – she/her
Community Engagement Coordinator

Rosa Hamilton has over ten years experience as an educator, community organizer, and advocate dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and gender-diverse youth in Virginia. As a trans woman from a conservative family without acceptance, Rosa is excited to be a part of HSZ&W. She hopes to inspire and empower other trans folks, especially trans women and femmes, and be an example for them and their families. 

Outside of work Rosa is a drummer and musician in a local band and loves biking, dancing, spending time with her cat, and being a part of Richmond’s thriving LGBTQ+ and creative communities.

Rosa Hamilton, Community Engagement Coordinator

Our Board of Directors

Autumn Carter – she/her
Board Member
Event Committee Co-Chair

Autumn, born and raised in RVA, found a supportive community in ROSMY (now Side by Side) after coming out at age 14. She uses the resources and relationships cultivated from her boutique salon, Red Salon Organics (est 1999), to support and advocate for the LGBTQIA community. Autumn lives in Henrico county with her partner, 7 year old child and dog.

Mario Guevara – he/him
Board Member
Development Committee Chair

Mario moved from South Carolina to Richmond in 2019, works as the Development Director for REPRO Rising Virginia, and serves as the Development Chair for He She Ze and We. With his passion for LGBTQ+ rights and his knack for fundraising, he’s excited to work with the HSZW board to grow this important work. When Mario isn’t busy, you can find him listening to music at a local show, playing a game with Stonewall Sports, or hanging out with his cat, Lizard.

Meredith Hertzler – she/her
Board Chair

Meredith is a native Richmonder with hands in both non-profit and political orgs. She has been an active ally in the LGBTQIA community since the late 1980s, having found HSZ&W in 2016. Since then, witnessing first-hand the power of its message, she has helped guide the organization from a community support group to a thriving community resource. Meredith lives in Henrico with her husband, 2 teenage boys, 2 cats, and an elderly chihuahua.

Michelle B. – she/they
Board Member

Natalie Roper – she/her

Natalie saw first-hand the importance of this work when her brother came out as trans and He She Ze and We became an invaluable resource and community for the whole family. She has worked in nonprofit leadership for the past 10 years and is honored to be able to support the work and growth of this critical organization! A native of Hanover County, she now lives in Durham, NC with her girlfriend, dramatic dog, and gigantic cat where most days she can be found either singing with her LGBTQ choir, eating dessert of some kind on the porch, or reading books that make her laugh.

Rachel Leyco – she/her
Board Member
Event Committee Co-Chair

Rachel Leyco is an event designer and singer-songwriter. An ally of the trans and non-binary community she looks forward to helping He She Ze and We develop a fundraising strategy and events. She lives in Midlothian, VA with her wife, Jenn and her two sons, Elijah and Lucas.

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