Board of Directors

The Venice Pride Board of Directors work hard all year to present the annual Venice Pride Sign Lighting & Block Party and other events throughout the year. Our 100% volunteer-based leadership is committed to celebrating and honoring the LGBTQ+ community of Venice and the L.A. metropolitan area.
Grant Turck
President / Founder
Educating the public on LGBTQ+ civil rights has been a life-long mission for Grant. In 2001, despite strong opposition by administrators, he founded a Gay Straight Alliance at his high school in Madeira, Ohio and in 2004 he challenged anti-gay policies at Pepperdine University. Sixteen years later the GSA at Madeira High School continues to promote acceptance and awareness of the LGBTQ+ community amongst its student body.
In addition to activism, Grant has more than 10 years' integrated marketing experience across entertainment, hospitality, and technology. Presently he provides digital marketing consulting and training to growing companies and entrepreneurs. Grant lives in Venice, CA.
George Francisco
Secretary
George is the owner of Compound Entertainment. He has more than 25 years' experience producing films and events. He is a member of both the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. An active community member, George also serves as the vice president of the Venice Neighborhood Council and president of the Venice Chamber of Commerce. He lives in Venice, CA. Education: B.A., Columbia Univ., JD, Fordham University School of Law, MFA, USC School of Cinema Television

Allan jones
Treasurer
Allan, dropped out of college when he was 19 to join a start up technology company called Helio in Westwood, CA. Now he is a 2x entrepreneur and has held executive roles at a number of startups, including Head of Product & Subscription at Docstoc (acquired by Intuit), Founder & CEO of venture backed online clothier, Fourth and Grand and Chief Marketing Officer at ZipRecruiter, which raised $63M and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country. His expertise and successful track record in subscription businesses largely fueled ZipRecruiter's massive growth where he founded the company's first marketing team.

Today, he is the Co-founder and CEO of venture-backed Bambee, a first-ever, performance improvement & compliance platform. He is passionate about finding the good in people and searching to unlock the potential in businesses and society. He's committed to contributing to social change and community activism, and time donated to non-profits are a representation of this.

Heith Rogers
Board Member
Heith has been working in Facilities Management for the past 16 years including Sony Music, Sony Pictures and now with Google Venice for the past 3 years. He is a resident of Venice for the better part of 14 years and invests his love for the neighborhood with personal and professional energy to create a positive impact. Heith has developed a relationship with service agencies providing for the homeless and also serves on Google’s Community Outreach committee, helping to bridge the gap between local business and neighborhood.
Julian plunkett-dillon
Board Member
Julian has more than eight years' non-profit experience as the director of special events at the American Diabetes Association. He lives in Venice, CA.
Sunny Bak
Board Member
LA-based photographer Sunny Bak started shooting at the age of twelve in Manhattan, NY, when her father loaned her his Nikon Rangefinder.
A young Broadway groupie, she began by hanging out backstage and documenting some of its biggest starts, including the original cast of "A Chorus Line," "Chicago," Ben Vereen and Bob Fosse. She also shot the infamous lesbian cover for Newsweek in June 1993. Since 1992 she has made Venice Beach her home where she is also a board member of the Venice Art Crawl.
James aldous
Board Member
James is a communications and marketing professional with more than 10 years' experience consulting executives in the technology, nonprofit, and advertising industries.
Daniel Samakow
Board Member
Daniel is an artist and entrepreneur. For the past 20 years he has operated several Venice-based restaurants, including James' Beach. Prior to the restaurant business he launched one of the first men's cosmetics lines, Gruene. Active in the community, Daniel helped start the Venice Art Crawl, a monthly art happening, in 2010. He lives in Venice, CA.
Michael brunt
Board Member
Michael has more than 10 years' experience supporting C-suite executives in the entertainment and legal sectors. He has worked for Fox Family, MTV, and Viacom. Michael lives in Venice, CA.
Patrick Marston
Board Member
Patrick is an artist and muralist with more than 15 years' experience. His works can be seen at Google Venice and on the streets of L.A. He has shown at Santora Art Complex, the 2010 Palm Springs Modernism Show, the Lowes Santa Monica, and Neptina in Venice.  Previously he was employed with the Center Theatre Group and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Patrick lives in Venice, CA.
Troy masters
Board Member
Troy is the publisher of Los Angeles Blade, the largest bi-weekly newspaper targeted to the LGBT community in Southern California and sister publication of the Washington Blade the oldest LGBT newspaper in the United States. Prior to launching Los Angeles Blade, Troy was a galvanizing force in New York City’s LGBT media world for more than a quarter of a century as founder and associate publisher of Gay City News.
SEAN JAMES
Board Member
Sean is a renowned celebrity hair and makeup artist who enjoys giving back to worthy causes, especially those that have an impact on his local community. A passionate advocate for promoting inclusive spaces and a Venetian for 24 years, Sean was dismayed like so many in L.A.’s Westside LGBT community when the Roosterfish shuttered in May 2016. Through his work on the board he aims to reinvigorate Venice's  inclusive spirit. Sean currently lives with his husband in Marina del Rey.

Kimberly Fowler
Board Member
“The Godmother of the Hybrid Movement”, Kimberly Fowler is founder of YAS Fitness Centers, author, philanthropist, feminist, athlete, speaker and survivor. Since opening YAS Fitness Center in Venice, California in 2001, Fowler has regularly shaken up the yoga and fitness worlds with her fresh, no-nonsense workouts designed for everyone from elite athletes to, well, everyone.

It started in 2001 with the original YAS Fitness Center. No one had ever combined yoga with indoor cycling before let alone built a studio dedicated to the combination. Some yoga purists ridiculed mixing hard-charging cardio with straightforward yoga. A revolutionary fitness idea was coupled with daring foresight in real estate. Kimberly opened her flagship YAS Fitness Studio on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA.

With so many yoga-related accomplishments, it’s tempting to view Fowler as some kind of power yogi—that is, if such words and hero worship didn’t make her cringe. “I’m not your guru, you are,” is a common Fowler-ism. Open and accessible, Fowler means no disrespect for yoga traditions and their spiritual components, she’s just not into imposing dogma. Happily forgoing Sanskrit and chanting hasn’t always endeared her to the yoga establishment, but that’s never been her goal. Fowler wants to change the minds of everyday people about yoga. She wants to make yoga accessible to the masses, not just the chosen few.

She is getting there! If you’ve cracked a magazine or newspaper over the last decade, chances are you’ve read about Fowler, her original DVDs or YAS Fitness Centers. It’s her goal to get people “off the couch and onto the mat”. She’s investing in keeping her YAS studios the hot spots for fitness, offering workshops and retreats with guest appearances. If you can’t get in to the studios her DVD’s and books are always available. Her newest book, “Flat Belly Yoga” by Prevention is a true motivator with the growing interest in slimming down our waistlines. Looking at Kimberly, she is leading by example, practicing but not… preaching.