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Get to Know Us!
Meet the experienced personnel turning Pride into Action

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President

Franklin Sablan

Franklin Sablan is a seasoned Human Resources Professional with over 25+ years of professional experience in all areas of Human Resources. He has worked in sectors spanning tourism, government contracting, banking, labor union to non-profit work supporting persons with disabilities and STD/HIV/AIDS prevention. He has worked in Guam, Hawaii, California, Virginia, Maryland and Georgia. Prior to relocating back to Guam, he was the Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the prestigious Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).  He is currently the Chief People Officer for Pay-Less Supermarkets.  Franklin founded GALA in 2008 and now serves as our Board President effective on May 24, 2024.

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Reverend James Moore

Vice President

Treasurer

Attorney Bill Pesch

Bill Pesch has been a practicing attorney on Guam for the past 40 years.  Over these years he served as a Public Defender, the legal counsel for the Guam Department of Education, and for the past 29 years he has been in a solo law practice specializing in family law.  In 2015, Bill, along with brothers Mitch and Todd Thompson, represented a lesbian couple who challenged a Guam law that prohibited same-sex couples from marrying.  They obtained a favorable ruling from the District Court of Guam exactly three weeks prior to the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges in which the right of same-sex couples to marry was found to be a Constitutional right.  Several years later Bill successfully represented another lesbian couple in a lawsuit against the administrator of Guam Office of Vital Statistics who refused to list both as parents on their adopted child’s birth certificate.  He continues to fight for equal rights for the LGBT+ community by serving on the Board of Directors for both GALA INC. and Equality Guahan.

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Secretary

Ashley Yamanaka, PhD.

Executive Director

Timmy de La Cruz, PhD.

Program Coordinator

Hannah Andrea Mendiola

Hannah Andrea Mendiola is a pansexual cisgender CHamoru/Samoan woman from the village of Mangilao. She graduated from George Washington High School in 2016, received her associate’s degree of Liberal Studies from Guam Community College in 2018, and earned her bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from the University of Guam in 2022. For as long as she can remember, she has had a heart for service and desired a career in an organization that completely aligned with her personal values of community, family, and love. After learning about nonprofit organizations in her undergraduate career, Hannah began working for GALA, Inc. as an Administrative Project Assistant in March 2022 and became GALA’s Program Coordinator/Administrative Officer in October 2022. Through her time with GALA, Hannah has planned, coordinated, and facilitated substance use prevention workshops, summer camp programs, after school programs, and outreach events. Hannah has also maintained her administrative responsibilities such as bookkeeping, check processing, and organizing meetings. She had the honor of being one of two sponsored delegates representing Guam for the 3rd Pacific Human Rights Conference on SOGIESC. She has earned the following certificates that have strengthened her capability in the role of Program Coordinator/Administrative Officer for GALA, Inc:

  • Intuit Bookkeeping Professional Certificate

  • Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Training from Guam DPHSS/Guam Office of Minority Health

  • IVE Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Certificate from the American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Program (modules in Child CPR AED, Infant CPR AED)

  • LIVINGWORKS Start from LivingWorks Education

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop from LivingWorkssafeTALK Suicide Alertness For Everyone workshop from LivingWorks

  • Adult Mental Health First Aid USA from National Council for Mental Wellbeing

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid USA from National Council for Mental Wellbeing

  • Kumarah Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Training

  • Guam’s Third and Fourth Annual Conference on Substance Use Disorders among Pacific Islanders Virtual Conference

  • Grant Writing Workshop from University of Guam Entrepreneur Society

  • Mandated Reporting for Child Abuse and Neglect with Department of Public Health and Social Services, Division of Children's Wellness, Bureau of Social Services Administration

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Assistant Coordinator

Brenna T. Rodriguez

Brenna Rodriguez identifies as a gay cisgender CHamoru woman from the village of Sinajana. She graduated from the Academy of Our Lady of Guam in 2017. Brenna began with GALA as an intern with the University of Guam’s  undergraduate psychology program in January 2023. Coming out as gay at the age of 19, Brenna spent most of her final years of her Bachelor’s degree learning and researching more about the LGBTQIA+ community. Since graduating from UOG in December of 2023, Brenna has been able to utilize her knowledge, compassion, and empathy to boost GALA’s services. Along with these personality traits, Brenna’s education has provided her with a variety of skills within the fields of research, counseling, and clinical psychology. Brenna began her internship assisting in the revitalization and marketing for GALA’s LGBTQIA+ adult peer support group. In July 2023, we welcomed Brenna into our GALA team as an assistant coordinator. Her position began with facilitating GALA’s 2023 Power Camps, but her responsibilities did not end there. Brenna continues to be a helping hand through facilitating peer support groups, substance use prevention workshops for high schools, LGBTQIA+ educational presentations for both youth & adults, and planning for future LGBTQIA+ related events. She has earned the following certificates that have strengthened her capability in the role of Assistant Coordinator for GALA, Inc.: 

  • Fourth Annual Conference on Substance Use Disorders among Pacific Islanders Conference

  • safeTALK Suicide Alertness For Everyone workshop from LivingWorks

  • Mandated Reporting for Child Abuse and Neglect with Department of Public Health and Social Services, Division of Children's Wellness, Bureau of Social Services Administration

  • Planting the seeds: Working With Youth in Violence Prevention Conference with Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

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