A Grammy, Emmy and Tony award winning artist with 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million, Cyndi Lauper has proven that she has the heart and soul to keep her legion of fans compelled by her every creative move. The past year has proven to be another amazing period for this career artist as Lauper released her New York Times Best Selling autobiography – Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir – published by Simon & Schuster, wrote the original score for the Tony award winning best musical Kinky Boots, partnered with Mark Burnett on the docu-series, Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual that aired on WE tv, and continued her philanthropic work through her foundation, the True Colors Fund.
Helping others has always been a guiding force for Cyndi. An unwavering advocate for equality long before she became famous, she co-founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 to further her commitment. The organization works to inspire everyone to get involved in advancing equality for all through its Give a Damn Campaign and to bring an end to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth homelessness through its Forty to None Project.
In addition, Cyndi is the Honorary Chairperson and a co- founder of the True Colors Residence, the first project of its kind to provide a permanent, supportive and secure home to formerly homeless LGBT youth in New York City. Cyndi also continues to be a tireless participant in the struggle to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic and ensure that women are treated equally around the world.
For the past 26 years, Lisa Barbaris has built a stellar career in the music industry.
Lisa started out in the publicity department of Elektra Records in 1985. She worked with such artists as Metallica, Teddy Pendergrass, Motley Crue, Natalie Merchant, Simply Red, Anita Baker and many more. She moved onto Geffen Records in 1990 to serve as Director of Publicity, looking after XTC, Cher, Don Henley, Aerosmith, The Sundays, among others. She then headed over to EastWest Records as Vice President of Publicity and ran the department that looked after such artists as AC/DC, Simply Red, and En Vogue.
After 10 years at record labels, Barbaris decided to branch out on her own and opened So What Media and Management, a boutique publicity and artist management shop, where she has served as President ever since. In 1998, So What transitioned to just a management company with a current roster of clients that include Simply Red, Vivian Green, Hunter Valentine, and Grammy and Emmy Award winning artist Cyndi Lauper, co-founding the True Colors Tour with the musician in 2007, as well as the True Colors Fund in 2008.
Jonny Podell has been called “one of the three most powerful agents” in the music business by New York Magazine and has created a string of successful companies including the most recent, the Podell Talent Agency. As creator of the first “boutique agency” early on in his career, he is credited for single-handedly changing the way rock shows were booked, and at one point, the motto around town was “If you’re playing clubs and dreaming of stadiums, he’s the man to see.”
Prior to starting his current company, Jonny served as the head of East Coast music at William Morris, then head of the music devision at ICM, and ran Evolution Talent Agency (ETA), which along with his partner, quickly became home to some of the biggest artsits and their tours. After leaving Evolution, Jonny opened The Podell Talent Agency, where his longstanding success continues to thrive. Currently his roster includes Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper, Allman Brothers Band, Gipsy Kings, Gregg Allman, Erasure and Cyndi Lauper, with whom he co-founded the True Colors Tour and True Colors Fund.
Joseph Avallone is President and CEO of Creative Group Acquisition Co., a leading provider of production and post-production services to the broadcast and theatrical marketplace. In addition, Joseph is Managing Director of Indelible Agency LLC, a New York based advertising agency with unique experience in traditional, digital, and experiential marketing.
A graduate of Long Island University, Joseph earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is a certified public accountant.
Emmy-winning television star, celebrity stylist, author, fashion designer and philanthropist, Carson Kressley is out to make over the world.
Kressley helmed Lifetime’s critically acclaimed show How to Look Good Naked and earned a primetime Emmy for his role on Bravo’s breakout hit series Queer Eye. He was a frequent style contributor on The Oprah Winfrey Show where millions of viewers accessed his expertise, style, and wit. He currently can be seen as a frequent style contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America and Live! with Kelly. In 2011, Kressley starred in OWN’s (The Oprah Winfrey Network) Carson-Nation a one-hour reality show where he traveled to small towns throughout the U.S., transforming lives one person at a time with his signature heart, humor and style.
A strong supporter of many philanthropic causes, Kressley uses his celebrity to advance different concerns, such as The Trevor Project, the Human Rights Campaign, the Empire State Pride Agenda, LIGALY, GLSEN, AIDS WALK, The Ali Forney Center and the Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation. Kressley is also a trustee on the board of the True Colors Fund and The American Saddlebred Museum. He is the founding donor of the first scholarship program for GLBT youth in his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in addition to being a New York Times best-selling author with three books to his credit, including “You’re Different and That’s Super,” a children’s book promoting diversity and tolerance.
Cathy Nelson serves at the Vice President of Development and Membership for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization. For over 20 years, Cathy has led the organization’s fundraising and membership efforts. With a strategic focus on diversified revenue streams and a strong, committed volunteer network, she has led HRC’s growth from a $2 million organization with a small donor base to an organization with a budget exceeding $40 million and over 1 million members.
Cathy has been instrumental in HRC’s early and continuing investment in building its membership. Now, the organization has not only nurtured a loyal and generous group of donors that has ensured that HRC is able to fund its work towards equality, it has also been able to mobilize its membership to be advocates for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in their homes, communities, and in the halls of state houses and capitols across the country and in Washington DC.
As a Senior Vice President at M·A·C and Global Executive Director of the M·A·C AIDS Fund, Nancy serves as a member of the brand’s senior management team while overseeing the strategic direction and day-to-day operation of the M·A·C AIDS Fund. Under Nancy’s leadership, the Fund has further refined and enhanced its giving, taking on larger grant initiatives including the Caribbean Initiative, while at the same time continuing to fund the grassroots service-based charities that the Fund has supported in the past. Currently, the Fund gives away over $18 million annually throughout the world, particularly in the 74 countries in which M·A·C has affiliates.
Prior to joining M·A·C in June 2006, Nancy was Executive Director of God’s Love We Deliver (GLWD), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of life-sustaining nutritional support services for people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses. Under Nancy’s leadership, GLWD expanded its mission, doubled its client numbers to over 1,600 people per day and undertook numerous local and national public relations and advocacy campaigns. Before joining GLWD, Nancy was a Senior Program Director at George Soros’s foundation, The Open Society Institute (OSI). Nancy is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and New York University’s School of Law, where she was an editor of the Law Review. She and her partner reside in New York City with their two children.
Patrick Pocklington joined the True Colors Fund board in 2010 after collaborating on the successful 2009 True Colors Cabaret holiday benefit. Pocklington is a musical artist manager at Bill Silva Entertainment and is the lead manager for Jason Mraz, his affiliated companies and foundation. Pocklington started his music career in the marketing department at Arista Records in New York. He would later go on to become a partner in the management team of new artist Dido, bringing her to Nettwerk Management in Los Angeles. While at Nettwerk Management, Patrick was also involved in the management of other US and European artists including Poe, Groove Armada, Kristian Leontiou, Tiesto, Stefy Rae and Robert Post.
Patrick lives with his partner Carlos Antonio Flores in Los Angeles and has been active in communities in Boston, New York, Palm Springs, and San Jose, Costa Rica.