The Rainbow Center's mission is to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by providing education, resources, information and opportunities for empowerment to individuals and organization with the south Puget Sound area. We find our activities falling into three general categories.
- Educate - to provide information to all individuals and groups about the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed, Questioning/Queer and Allied individuals community in an effort to eliminate harmful stereotypes.
- Advocate - to ensure that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed, Questioning/Queer and Allied individuals receive the same basic human rights as all other citizens of pierce County, the State of Washington and the United States.
- Celebrate - to acknowledge pride in who we are as valuable creative members of a diverse population in this county, state, and country.
The Rainbow Center is a safe, accessible and welcoming community space for meetings, activities and events that strengthen the lives of people in our community. We support Greater Pierce County by providing a centralized source of information and referral for and about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. We provide visibility to the history, culture and diversity of our communities.
We believe that having a unified voice strengthens the community as a whole by contributing to the richness of diversity found in the South Sound area. We support other like-minded organizations by nurturing their development and providing opportunities for networking across differences. We are passionate about supporting the entrepreneurship of people demonstrating the initiative and talent to develop new opportunities for service and support. We offer free meeting space, participation in and financial support for special events.
Michelle Douglas, Executive Director
Michelle comes to Tacoma from Delaware, the second smallest state. She has been a community activist, ceramic artist, bar owner and a non-profit manager, with many other jobs in between. To the Rainbow Center she brings a commitment to social justice and a deep desire to serve her community. Being the Executive Director of the Center is a dream come true and she looks forward to educating, advocating and celebrating with the Queer community.
Laura Brewer, Center Administrator
Biography coming soon.
Derrek Zietz, Advocate
Derrek joined the Rainbow Center from rural Kansas, where he was born and raised. Derrek thrives on helping others maximize their potential on their voyage towards authentic validation. Having been educated as both a communication studies/public relations specialist and mental health counselor at Emporia State University, Derrek brings an integrative approach to advocating for victims of crime at the Rainbow Center. He looks forward to serving his community and growing with it over the years to come.
Marcie Osborn, President
Marcie has worked in the medical field for 30+ years, most of the time with GE Healthcare specializing in nuclear medicine and marketing. Moving from California 17 years ago, she has adopted Tacoma as her new home. Marcie began her involvement in the Rainbow Center in 2000 and was the first auctioneer of the Black and White Gayla in 2002. After 4 years she gladly turned over the auctioneering to the professionals! She has served as the Gayla Committee Chair and Co-Chair since 2008. She has served on the RC Board since 2009.
Marcie was raised LDS in California's Bay Area where most of her family still resides. Marcie loves to play tennis and golf. Look for her there when she retires!
Henry Waymack, Vice President
Henry Waymack was born and raised in Seattle Washington. While growing up, Henry was taught through example the importance of serving his community, by his parents, teachers, and members of his church community. He attended PLU from 2000-2005 where his desire to serve the community around him found a home in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community. He now has the honor of serving as Vice President for the Tacoma Rainbow Center Board of Directors. Besides serving on the board, Henry also volunteers his time to the Rainbow Center as a graphic designer and facilitator for Tacoma T-Men, a support and discussion group for transmen.
Terri Card, Treasurer
Terri has lived and worked in the Pierce County area her entire life, and currently resides in Tacoma with her partner of 25 years. She holds both a Master of Arts in Psychological Counseling and a Masters in Health Administration and has worked in the mental health field for nearly 30 years. Terri currently holds the position of Vice President of Clinical Services with Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare, in Lakewood.
Terri was accepted into the 2010 American Leadership Forum (15). She believes strongly in the concept of "servant leadership" and is committed to helping our community and our planet become a better place. She is also crazy about animals, but only has three pets (one dog and two cats) due to the stabilizing and sane influence of her beloved partner.
Sam Harris, Secretary
Samantha Harris is the Middle School librarian at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma. She began her work in education in 1995 as a member of the Inner City Teaching Corps in Chicago, Illinois. In 1999, she moved to the Pacific Northwest and began work at First Place School in Seattle, an education and social service agency working with youth and families in transition from homelessness. In 2004, she moved to Tacoma and began work at Charles Wright Academy, where she also chairs the Diversity Committee. Sam holds a BS in Anthropology from Santa Clara University, a Masters in Education from Loyola University, Chicago and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.
Not surprisingly, Sam loves books. She also enjoys knitting socks, hats and tiny adorable creatures for friends and family. One day she hopes to spend more time traveling to England, Ireland and the Isle of Man, where she was born; live on a farm with donkeys, goats and chickens; and write a best-selling young adult book that will leave the Hunger Games series in the dust.
Sam has been on the annual Black & White Gayla committee since 2009 and co-chaired the event in 2011. Sam also volunteers at the Oasis Youth Center.
John Cummings, Member at Large
Biography coming soon.
Jessica Gavre, Member at Large
Biography coming soon.
J. Lynn Goralski, Member at Large
Lynn was born, raised and has lived in Tacoma all her life. She has 20+ years working as a business loan officer and branch manager at a local banks in the Puget Sound region. Currently she is self-employed providing business administrative support and seminar and meeting coordination, marketing and management. She spent 3 years working on the board of the Washington State SIDS Alliance. She has also been a part of Junior Achievement, teaching money skills to 6th graders, local Rotary clubs and local Chambers of Commerce. Serving her community is an important part of her life and she is particularly passionate about being an advocate for the LGBTQ community. She has 2 daughters still living at home with her.
Frank Leonzal, Member at Large
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Frank served in the US Navy for twelve years as a Cook before spending four years in warehouse management and then moving into transportation, in the public sector with King County and in the private sector.
When not working at his day job, Frank enjoys working with the communities in furthering Human Rights through Gay Pride Events. Addicted to toys, he maintains a continuously growing collection of Matchbox type cars, other assorted toys and HO scale trains.
Kim has worked with the Rainbow Center the board since 2001. A Mississippi native (with Cajun leanings), she relocated to Tacoma in 1996 with pit stops in Berkeley, Eugene, and Omaha. Kim has been a Nuclear Pharmacist for 20 years, but mostly enjoys karate, wine making, and cooking. She is also involved with the Pierce County Pride Foundation, Coalition for Marriage Equality, and a variety of other like-minded organizations.
S. Troy Christensen
Troy recently completed his sixth year with the Rainbow Center board, stepping down as co-chair. He works for Pierce County Human Services administering a variety of programs for people affected by mental illness and homelessness. Troy holds Master's Degrees in Counseling, Clinical Psychology, and Health Administration. He is involved in many social justice issues including ending homelessness, and equal rights for all minority classes.
L. Rachel Kaufman, MD, PhD
Rachel is a medical doctor with an extensive background in visual art. We're not sure how often these overlap, but her eye and organizational skills are invaluable at our art auctions. Rachel's charm is only occasionally upstaged by her frequent companion, Tribble, the world's most darling Welsh Corgi.
Willie Painter has called Tacoma his home since 2002. Graduating from Pacific Lutheran University in 2006, Willie served as the President of the Rainbow Center Board of Directors from 2009 through 2011. He has also been active with the Pierce County Steering Committee of the Pride Foundation, HRC Federal Club, and the successful campaign to provide domestic partner benefits to Pierce County employees. In addition, Willie has served as the President of the Washington School Public Relations Association, Associated Students of Pacific Lutheran University, and Evergreen Sportsmen's Club, Inc.; he is currently a board member of the Franklin Pierce Foundation, whose aim is to provide scholarships to graduating seniors of the Franklin Pierce School District in Tacoma, WA.
Maggie Webb, CPA
Maggie has served as a board member nearly since the Rainbow Center's beginning. Our community relies heavily on Maggie's tax acumen, making her a bit of glue that binds us better together.