Staff Bios

James Giessler

Executive Director

James Giessler has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than a quarter of a century. Trained by the fundraising professionals at The Fundraising School at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, James launched his nonprofit career in Indianapolis in 1993 before moving to the Greater Boston area in 2008.


Over the years, James has been an event planner and director of development for an HIV/AIDS organization, a development writer and director of corporate and foundation relations for a comprehensive university, executive director of a cancer support organization, president and chief development officer for an innovative start-up nonprofit working in the ALS sector, and most recently executive director of a private foundation supporting the performing arts.


An avid walker/hiker, James enjoys getting outside with his four-legged daughter, Tessa (who loves to keep him company in the office while he’s working). James also boasts a wonderful family including two daughters, a son and daughter-in-law, and twin grandsons (all of the two-legged variety). He is delighted, proud, and deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve NAGLY and advance its mission on behalf of GLBTQ+ youth.

Tony Leone

Program Director

Tony is the Program Director at NAGLY.  He currently resides in Salem, but he grew up in Peabody and graduated from Peabody High School in 2011.  Tony  pursued an undergraduate degree at Salem State University, first in criminology and then in Juvenile Psychology.  He plans to receive a Master's Degree in Psychology within the next few years.  Along with being part of the management team at NAGLY, Tony is also a Therapeutic Support Specialist with Children Friend and Family Services, which is a partner of Justice Resource Institute (JRI).

Whitney M.

Outpatient Clinician


Whitney joined the NAGLY family in 2019 to bridge the gap between Justice Resource Institute/Children's Friend and Family Services and NAGLY. She is  our Outpatient Clinician, here to help provide mental health resources and assisting with any mental health-related concerns that staff and youth have.  She holds a Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Salem State University and believes that we do not have to struggle in silence. 

When she's not working, Whitney likes spending time with her cat and has a quirky hobby of dressing him in costumes!  Her most favorite is when he's dressed as a penguin.

Todd P.


Todd joined NAGLY in 2014 and currently serves as webmaster and Facebook Coordinator.  He has a Bachelor's Degree in History and a Master's Degree in Education.   Todd has over 20 years of experience teaching at the middle school level.   He currently resides in Peabody with his husband and their cat.

Syd S.

Peer Leader

Syd is a Peer Leader who primarily helps moderate NAGLY's Transcendence group. He joined NAGLY through a photojournalism project he did during his second semester after transferring to Salem State University in 2019.  He's currently studying psychology and photography and has plans of becoming an art therapist in the future.  In between working at his job as a residential assistant at college and his positions at NAGLY and North Shore Pride, Syd enjoys practicing electric bass, painting, and DIY-ing thrifted clothes.