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Incoming Executive Director Tony Hoang Announces New Equality California Leadership Team
Hoang To Take Helm of Statewide LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Organization October 16
October 8, 2021 at 8:16 am

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October 8, 2021

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

LOS ANGELES — Equality California Executive Director-designate Tony Hoang announced the organization’s new staff leadership team on Wednesday, as he prepares to succeed Rick Chavez Zbur as Executive Director on October 16, 2021.

As announced in April, Equality California and Equality California Institute’s boards of directors unanimously selected Hoang in April following an extensive year-long succession process. Since April, Hoang has served as Executive Director-designate, leading the organization’s day-to-day operations. He first joined Equality California as an intern in 2009 and has worked his way up through the ranks to helping Rick lead the organization as Managing Director for the last 4 years — and now serving as the organization’s next Executive Director.

Hoang will succeed Zbur and carry Equality California into its next chapter with a reorganized leadership team, including several long-time organizational leaders in new and expanded roles:

  • Tony Hoang, Executive Director
  • Samuel Garrett-Pate, Managing Director of External Affairs
  • Robbie Rodriguez, Managing Director of Operations
  • Erin Arendse, Program Director
  • Tami A. Martin, Legislative Director
  • Sarah Morrow An, Development Director
  • Valerie Ploumpis, National Policy Director
  • Stacy Triolo, Interim Director of Finance and Administration
  • André C. Wade, Nevada State Director
  • Alice Kessler, Senior Legislative Advisor

“I am honored to step into the Executive Director role with such an extraordinarily experienced, committed, and diverse team,” said Hoang. “We look forward to continuing more than two decades of impact, seizing this opportunity and responsibility to create a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people.”

Equality California’s leadership team underscores the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Women will continue to make up a majority of the leadership team, and — like the entire staff — the leadership team will continue to reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of California’s LGBTQ+ community.

“We have full confidence in and excitement for the future of Equality California as Tony takes the helm as Executive Director after months of diligent, thoughtful and deliberate planning,” said Equality California Board President Joe Gregorich and Equality California Institute Board President Jackie Thomas. “As we shift our sights to what’s next for California’s LGBTQ+ communities, we welcome the organizations’ next era of bold impact.”

Equality California Communications Director Samuel Garrett-Pate has been promoted to Managing Director of External Affairs. In this role, Garrett-Pate will oversee the organization’s strategic communications and media relations, state and federal legislative advocacy, political affairs and impact litigation. He will continue to serve as the organization’s primary spokesperson. Prior to joining Equality California, Garrett-Pate served as a strategic communications consultant at a progressive issue advocacy firm in Los Angeles and as an aide to U.S. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney in New York and Washington, DC.

Program Director Robbie Rodriguez has been promoted to Managing Director of Operations. In this role, Rodriguez will oversee and help to support the organization’s programmatic and development work. Additionally, Rodgriguez will help manage board relations and oversee Silver State Equality’s work in Nevada. Prior to joining Equality California, Rodriguez was a media consultant in Sacramento and served as an AmeriCorps member for a national service program designed to alleviate poverty.

Associate Program Director Erin Arendse has been promoted to Program Director. Arendse will lead the organization’s programs aimed at reducing disparities in LGBTQ+ health and well-being, empowering LGBTQ+ leaders and increasing civic participation within the LGBTQ+ community. She has a background in higher education and previously served in grants management at The Hispanic Scholarship Fund in Los Angeles.

Stacy Triolo of Evergreen Alliance CPA will serve as Interim Director of Finance and Administration while the organization searches for a permanent Director.

As Executive Director, Hoang hopes to expand the organization’s physical presence across California, with a particular focus on the Central Valley, Orange County and the Inland Empire. He also plans to focus on advancing racial justice and reforming the nation’s immigration system as key priorities critical to achieving full, lived equality for all LGBTQ+ people. And building on key victories in recent elections, he plans to deepen Equality California — and the LGBTQ+ community’s — political power across the state.


Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

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