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LGBTAC Advisory Council

 Erica Barz

Member:  Erica Barz
Email:  ericabarz11@gmail.com

Erica Barz is the Communications and Grants Coordinator at One Iowa, the state's leading LGBTQ advocacy organization. She moved to Des Moines in 2015 after graduating from Simpson College with a BA in English. Her goal for LGBTAC is to both help the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission better serve the LGBTQ community and to help the community better utilize the Commission's resources. 


Sharon Free

Member:  Sharon Free
Email:  zonkfree@gmail.com

Sharon Free is a long-time activist and straight ally for the LGBTQ+ committee and stands up for equality and unity in myriad ways. Sharon is a relative newcomer to Des Moines. She has protested, marched, and provided support for LGBTQ+ rights since the 1980s in New York City, more recently in Greenville, South Carolina, and is honored to work with this committee to continue the work within the Des Moines Metro. On her days off from activism, she is a graphic designer, illustrator, and musician.


Holly Herbert

Member:  Holly Herbert
Email:  holly.herbert@gmail.com

Holly Herbert is an Iowa native but spent roughly 6 years of her formal education in Tampa Bay, Florida, where she graduated from high school and earned a degree in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida.   Holly Herbert is a member of the state Board of Psychology and works for Principal Financial Group as an Advanced Solutions Analyst.


 Joby Holcomb

Member:  Joby Holcomb
Email:  jholcomb@synergyclinicalservices.com

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and currently serve on New Beginnings Community Advisory Board and will begin serving on One Iowa's board in July.  Through both my personal and professional experiences I have had the opportunity to help many different individuals who struggle with addictions, mental health disorders as well as those in the LGBT community overcome and advocate for basic human rights. I believe that our community has made so much progress but also have a long way to go. It is my belief that being a part of the LGBT Advisory Council will allow me to continue to advocate and collaborate to make change one person, one community and one city at a time.  


 Brandon Paulsen

Member:  Brandon Paulsen
Email:  bp312899@gmail.com

An active community volunteer, Brandon Paulsen strives to improve the Des Moines community focusing on education, arts & culture, and human services. Brandon currently is employed by Wells Fargo as a Project Coordinator where he has been employed there for six years. He serves on Wells Fargo's LGBTQ employee resource group Pride Iowa, who's mission is to act as Wells Fargo's voice for LGBTQ inclusion across the state of Iowa, as well as the Central Iowa Advisory Volunteer Council. He is a graduate of Loras College with a degree in Business Management. Brandon currently serves on the Des Moines Public Library Foundation Board, Des Moines Art Center member board, the Iowa Cultural Trust Board of Trustees, and Des Moines Neighbors, an umbrella group for the neighborhood associations.


Donna Red Wing

Advisor:  Donna Red Wing
Email:  donna@eychanerfoundation.org

A lifelong activist, Donna Red Wing has decades of experience advocating for equality and justice across the country. She recently retired as Executive Director of One Iowa, the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization. She now serves as the Director of the Eychaner Foundation and  as Vice-Chair of the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission. Earlier, she was Chief of Staff at Interfaith Alliance in Washington, DC. She has held executive positions at the Gill Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. She was the first recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Faith & Freedom and is a member of the LGBT Hall of Fame.