Board of Directors
Kirsten has been part of the NAGLY family since 2006 and had served as president of the Board from 2009 to 2016. Kirsten spearheaded NAGLY's fundraising Gala and other fundraising events which started in 2008. She has been an active leader in various community and LGBTQ+ causes and is also a founding and current board member for North Shore Pride, Inc. She was the first female Outreach Educator for an HIV/STD Prevention and Education Program for Gay and Bi Men on the North Shore and received the "Certified Male" title due to her unprecedented involvement with the gay male community. She sits on the Community Advisory Board for the HIV Vaccine Trial Network at Fenway Health, was co-chair for 5 years. Kirsten served as a commissioner for the Mass Commission of LGBTQ Youth from 2013-2015. Kirsten is a self-employed consultant working in the health & wellness, hospitality, and entertainment field. She has a passion for travel, continuing a path of self-awareness, facilitating women's circles and spending quality time with family and friends.
William Neely has served as a Board Member and the Events and Marketing Committee Chair for YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore), from 2012-2015. His professional background is in corporate and non-profit management, marketing, program development, and event planning. He is an actor, singer, and the Executive Director of MetroWest Opera, a small professional opera company based in Boston. William also works as a Non-Profit Marketing and Fundraising Consultant. In his free time, he sings with the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, performs regularly in cabaret-style shows and theatre, and travels as much as possible.
Alexandra Dietrich, originally from Freeport, Maine, is known throughout New England for her work as a mezzo-soprano praised for singing with "passion and understanding", music educator, arts and social justice advocate, and as a stage director. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor's in Music Performance and attended the Longy School of Music for her Graduate Performance Degree in Opera. Ms. Dietrich has performed with many opera companies, choirs, and orchestras including Odyssey Opera, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, OperaHub, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, MetroWest Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, and NEMPAC Opera. As a soloist, she has sung with the Portland Symphony Pops, the North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, the Charlemagne Orchestra of Belgium, the Metropolitan Chorale, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Longy Chamber Orchestra, the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, and the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra.
A music educator, choral conductor, and stage director, Ms. Dietrich has been on faculty with the University of Southern Maine as an Artist Faculty in Voice since 2019, was appointed the Artistic Director of NEMPAC Opera Project in 2019 and has been praised for "immense ingenuity" in programming by the Boston Globe, and has taught with the North End and Music Performing Arts Center since 2011, as a choral conductor, whose choirs have performed with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra under the baton of Christopher Wilkins. Her choir, in 2018, performed as a Prelude Concert to a Landmarks Performance at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade with Ms. Dietrich conducting. She is the Director and Co-Founder of the Boston Opera Outreach Troupe, and was a Master Teaching Artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild.
As a parent, and social justice in the arts advocate, Alexandra is excited to join the NAGLY Board and to work to provide LGBTQ+ youth and their loved ones a safe, educational, and uplifting social atmosphere in which they can celebrate their authentic selves and to extend that work further in the North Shore area.
Peter has extensive experience in Human Resources as a Director level executive at a multi-billion dollar print and online media company where he led the Employee/Labor Relations function. He is recognized as a Senior Certified Professional in HR by the Society for Human Resources Management. Since beginning his career, Peter has also worked in accounting/financial management, marketing, and strategic planning. He is currently Director of Operations for The Resource Connection, Inc., a staffing and temporary help services firm headquartered in Middleton, MA.
Peter has taught business and finance courses at the graduate and undergraduate level as an adjunct faculty member at several area colleges. He has long been active in the community and has extensive experience in the non-profit sector. Peter was a founding board member and longtime board President of Strongest Link AIDS Services, Inc. serving Essex County. In 2011 he worked with the Strongest Link board to effect its merger with AIDS Action Committee, Massachusetts’ oldest and largest AIDS organization. In 2013, as a board member of AIDS Action, he worked on the affiliation of that organization with Fenway Health a leader in enhancing the health and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community.
Peter earned an MBA from The Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, and a BA in Economics, from St. Lawrence University. Peter and his partner Shaun live in Salem.
A transgender woman and North Shore native, Lyla has twelve years of experience working with youth in Danvers and Salem. As Director of DanversCARES, she is responsible for developing innovative youth programming, family education and community engagement opportunities guided by the positive youth development model. With a background in coordinating grant-funded after-school and out-of-school time programming, via the Danvers YMCA and LEAP for Education, and community/labor organizing, with the Service Employees International Union, Lyla brings innovative approaches to empowering youth and has a strong commitment to social justice and community building.
Lyla serves as the Chair of the DCF Cape Ann Advisory Board. In addition, Lylas is on the Steering Committee of the North Shore Community Health Network and is a Fellow for Salem State University's Center for Childhood and Youth Studies.
Originally from Kinder, Louisiana, Fred VanNess has lived in Beverly, Massachusetts for 10 years. An avid concert performer, Mr. VanNess is a member of Castle of Our Skins, an organization dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. In addition, Fred is part of the ensemble with Boston Lyric Opera and has performed with many symphonies and organizations throughout the United States. Mr. VanNess holds degrees in vocal performance from The Longy School of Music at Bard College, Louisiana State University and McNeese State University. When Fred is not performing, he loves to spend as much time as possible back home in Louisiana working on his childhood home and spending time with his family and friends.