Board Members and officers of Affirmation are responsible for directing the activities of Affirmation as an organization, promoting growth, keeping the Affirmation community informed, organizing conferences, and defining the promoting the goals of Affirmation. For more information, please see the Affirmation Charter and Bylaws.
Nathan R. Kitchen
Elected as Affirmation President in 2018, Nathan Kitchen (he/him/his) grew up in Orem, Utah. When he was 15, he moved to Illinois and finished high school. He served a two-year mission in Alabama, where on a lonely Tuscaloosa country road, he had a tooth knocked out during a head-on collision. The dentist who saved his tooth was so cool that Nathan decided right then and there to become one himself. He received his BS from BYU Provo and a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Southern Illinois University. After a residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, he moved to Arizona and opened his private practice in Mesa. Nathan is the proud father of five remarkable children who are the pride and joy of his life.
Laurie Lee Hall
Senior Vice President
Laurie Lee Hall was raised in New England and was trained in architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. A practicing architect for over thirty years in New York and Utah, her career has included managing worldwide construction programs and many of the largest projects of the LDS Church. Today she is in private practice in Salt Lake City, UT.
Jairo Fernando González Díaz
The family of Jairo Fernando González Díaz was among the first LDS converts in Colombia, hence the unusual trajectory of an active Mormon since boyhood in a conservative and Catholic society where Mormonism was barely known. The mission he served in different cities of Colombia, accentuated his leadership skills and his religious convictions.
His professional training included a professional degree from the Colombian Polytechnic, as well as the development of his expertise as an auditor in renowned law firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers and Nexia International. In the latter, his performance included the assembly of a conceptual technical structure that is still in use today. In more recent times, he established himself as a Founding Partner of Infinity, an accounting and consulting firm that develops its activities in important companies in western Colombia and Ecuador.
Neca Denise Allgood
Neca Allgood was raised in Southern California. She attended BYU and Princeton, where she earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. She and her husband, David Moore, live in Utah and are parents of three sons. Her middle child, Grayson Moore, is FTM transgender. Since he transitioned (in 2011) at age 16, Grayson and Neca have been actively working to extend non-discrimination protections in Utah to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Neca is an active Mormon. She and her husband own a small engineering consulting firm.
Bill Evans was an employee in the LDS Church Public Affairs Department for more than 30 years. He was assigned in 2008 to work on the Church’s Prop 8 campaign in California. In 2009, he and colleagues in Public Affairs were authorized to accept an invitation from local LGBT community leaders to begin meeting. As a result of these meetings, genuine friendships developed. Later that year, the Church endorsed passage of Salt Lake City’s anti-discrimination housing and employment ordinances. In 2012, Affirmation leaders reached out to Church Public Affairs, and Bill played a role in setting up a dialogue that has continued to the present day. Since his retirement in 2013, Bill has devoted time to the problem of homelessness, including an emerging outreach to off-the-grid homeless youth in Utah.
Aaron Mark McManus
Aaron is from a small seaside town called Southport in Northwest England. He is a Floral designer, enjoys running, hiking and loves to go on adventures around the world. His parents converted to the church just before they got married and Aaron was born and raised a Mormon. He came out as gay when he was 24 to his close family and friends. He has since navigated his way through staying active in the church and being a gay Mormon, while pursuing a long tern same-sex relationship, finding the balance and making it work.
Wendy Williams Montgomery
Wendy Montgomery was born and raised in Southern California. She has always been a member of the LDS Church. She and her husband were married in the Los Angeles Temple in 1995. They had 5 children in 7 years – not recommended. They found out in January of 2012 that their oldest son (13 years old at the time) was gay. It has at times been unbearably painful. But it has also been an enlightening, spiritual and joyful journey. Wendy has many new LGBT-supportive heroes in the LDS community.
She is a Brumado girl in Bahia, Brazil, and is 40 years old. She is the oldest of five siblings, she is married to her wife Viviane Moraes, lives in San Bernardo del Campo - São Paulo. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, served as counselor of the Relief Society and Youth leader. She served on a full-time mission from 1998 to 1999, serving honestly in the Porto Alegre Sur and Santa Maria - Rio Grande do Sul - Brazil missions.
She has said: "To serve in the work with LGBT Mormon Affirmation, it is much more than executing a job, it is to rescue the children of God from the state of despair that many fall. It is to show these children of God that the atonement of Jesus Christ is also for them".
Ron Raynes deeply loves his mixed faith, mixed orientation family. He and wife Sue managed to come out of the closet together during the last ten years. They are proud parents of three beautiful grown-up daughters. Six years ago, Ron and Sue joined Affirmation, and two years later founded Affirmation’s affinity group MOFIA (Mixed Orientation Families In Affirmation) which caters to a spectrum of people impacted by mixed orientation marriage in their family life. Ron serves on Affirmation’s Board of Directors and was recently asked to be an area president for the U.S. and Canada, where he is working to establish local chapters across the country.
Francisco Ruiz accepts himself as both Mormon and gay. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Affirmation Mexico. While serving as an Affirmation leader in Mexico, the country saw remarkable growth, organizing in eight areas and training regional leaders who continually work together.
Ron Schow splits his time between residences in both Pocatello, Idaho and Salt Lake City. He is Professor Emeritus at Idaho State University (ISU) where he has taught since 1975. Although semi-retired he continues to do research and publish textbooks in the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences in the Division of Health Sciences. Recently, he presented at the Sunstone Conference on findings from the Four Option Survey which gathered data from over 1700 mostly LDS respondents who identify as having homosexual identity or attraction.
Randall Thacker grew up in Taylorsville, Utah, the youngest of three children. He recognized his attraction to the same sex when he was about 8 years old. He grew up focusing prayers, fasts, and birthday candle wishes on removing this attraction.
Not long after returning from a Spanish-Speaking mission to North Carolina, he reached out for help to his BYU bishop who referred him to counseling. The counseling focused on changing Randall’s orientation.
Justis serves as the Program Manager of both the Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations Program and the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program and as a Program Officer with the Magnet Schools Assistance Program at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). In these roles, he oversees a portion of the Department’s work in the areas of diversity, arts education, arts integration, strategic foreign languages, communication, leadership, STEM, gifted education, international baccalaureate, cross-cultural understanding, and school choice.