The Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts is led by the following individuals:
Bruce Sinor, Acting President, San Francisco, CA
Bruce has resided in San Francisco since 1994 and has been a member of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band since 1999. In 2002 Bruce was elected on board of the Lesbian & Gay Band Association (LGBA) and in 2004 was appointed VP of Fundraising. With this, Bruce brought LGBA online for expansion in fundraising opportunities. His contributions to this organization include: eBay’s charity program Mission Fish, eBay’s Affiliate program and the online shopping charity network iGive. In 2008 Bruce teamed up with a small group of musicians to help create the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS). As one of BARS’ original board members he helped to shape this now highly successful music organization. Bruce currently serves as BARS’ Membership Chair and is a musician of the horn section. Bruce is also an active volunteer for AIDS Emergency Fund (AEF) & Positive Resource Center (PRC), and the South of Market “Bare Chest Calendar” which provides major funding for people living with HIV and AIDS. Bruce Sinor has been a member of the Jon Sims Endowment Fund Board of Directors since 2006.
Kathy Hennig, Oakland, CA
Music and community service has long been a part of Kathy Hennig’s life. She first became involved in Lesbian Gay Band Association (LGBA) in 1982. Ms. Hennig was a Board Member during the early days of LGBA, serving as Executive VP, VP, Secretary and Treasurer. She was formerly a member of the Oaklawn Band of Dallas, where she held several offices and was a community organizer. Ms. Hennig joined the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band in 1989. Ms. Hennig has served the band in a variety of leadership roles, including President, Vice President, Drum Major, Assistant Conductor, Treasurer, Secretary, and Member-at-Large. In her long tenure, she has served as Board President, Vice President and Secretary of the Jon Sims Center for the Arts, fiscal sponsor of the band until 2003. She has written several grants for musical groups and advised several LGBA bands on how to organize and gain non-profit status. She studied conducting under Martha Stoddard. A clarinetist by training, she performs with the Oakland Civic Orchestra and the Community Women’s Orchestra.
Ms. Hennig is active in her community, serving on the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission and SHARE, a community food co-op. She is a Directors Circle patron of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and volunteers for the Montclair Jazz and Wine Festival, among other community events. Formerly a candidate for county school board in 1999, her interest in education led her to serve on the State of California textbook review committee for English/Language Arts, representing Contra Costa County as well as the Contra Costa Legal Compliance Review Committee, C.C.C. Office of Education. She holds a Teaching Credential in Music and Psychology and takes classes in enology at UC Davis.
Her affiliations include the California Association of Public Purchasing Officers; National Association of Purchasing Management, the Institute for Supply Management; and Jon Sims Endowment Board. Other memberships include Pi Alpha Alpha, Public Administration Honor Society; Mu Phi Epsilon, Professional Music Sorority; Tau Beta Sigma, National Honorary Band Sorority. Ms. Hennig holds a Masters of Public Administration, and Bachelors in Music, Marketing, and Psychology. She is employed as a Finance Professional for a large college district. “I enjoy pulling together the passion of the arts and the business of non-profits.”
Jerry Abrams, Treasurer, San Francisco, CA
Jerry has been on the JSEF board since 1998, serving once as President and currently as Treasurer and investment director, managing the health of our investments and reporting our investment results. He has been supporting gay performing arts organizations for many years, first assisting the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band and Twirling Corps with computerizing their mailing list in 1982, followed by extensive technical support for the Jon Sims Center.
Other organizations he has volunteered for include 42nd Street Moon, Joe Goode Performance Group, San Francisco Ballet, and Men’s Associated Exchange (MAX). Jerry is involved with the JSEF to try to make a positive contribution to the acceptance of the gay community into society, convinced that performing arts is an excellent avenue toward this goal.
Doug Litwin, Secretary, Sausalito, CA
Doug has been on the JSEF Board since 2003 and has been the Secretary that entire time. He also has served for years on the Boards of the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (presently serving as President) and the Federation of Gay Games (as Officer of Marketing). Adding further to his legacy of supporting non-profit LGBT performing arts groups, in 2010 he stepped down after serving for 20 years on the Board of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (including 4 years as its President). Doug's commitment to serving these performing arts groups through the JSEF is clear, backed by his financial acumen gleaned while earning business degrees from the University of Illinois (BA) and Northwestern University (MBA).
Bruce Jewett, Palm Springs, CA
Bruce brought his Tenor Saxophone to the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Marching Band & Twirling Corp in 1979 and in later years served on it Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He became associated with the Lesbian and Gay Band Association at its founding and held the office of Secretary in 1989.
Bruce was a founding Director of the Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts and is currently serving as assistant Treasurer and an Investment Advisor.
After retiring from his career as an Electrical Engineer, Bruce and his late partner, James H Jones relocated from the Bay Area returning to Southern California in 1996. They were active in establishing endowment funds at Irvine Valley College, Instrumental Music Area and at California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Bruce is currently a member of the President’s Council at Cal Poly.
After attending the LGBA Conference in Palm Springs in 2005, Bruce began playing with the Desert Winds Freedom Band. He was a member of its Board of Directors and Treasurer from 2010 until 2015. He relocated as a permanent resident to Rancho Mirage after Jim’s passing.
He is also a member of the Endowment Committee of the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus.
Matthew Novotny, Kansas City, MO
Matthew’s obsession for music started in New Prague, Minnesota. Since then music and its significance has become his backbone. While trying out instruments in 5th grade he played a perfect note on the clarinet, he knew it was meant to be. While still in school, Matthew assisted in representing the music department in a variety of events and fundraisers. There he understood the importance of providing lifelong music by and for members of the community at large. Outside of school, he played in the New Prague's Community Band, and numerous other musical groups along his journey.
Shortly after serving in the US Air Force he moved to Kansas City, MO in 2004. There joined the Mid America Freedom Band. MAFB was a friendly and welcoming musical family. Matthew served as a board member of MAFB from 2007-2010 and 2014-2017, five of those years as treasurer. He was also executive director of MAFB 2010-2013. Matthew has also been on the board of director for the Lesbian and Gay Band Association form 2012-2013 and 2016-Pres as the treasurer. Matthew has been a board member of JSEF since 2013. He has a BS in Accounting from Park University.
Patti Calandra, Philadelphia, PA
Patti works for Temple University as the Senior Associate Registrar. A great deal of her time is spent ensuring that military veterans and their families receive the benefits that they worked so hard to earn. She holds a BS in Anthropology and is currently in pursuit of a Master’s in Higher Education.
Patti joined Philadelphia Freedom Band (PFB) in 2010 and was first elected to their Board in 2011 and served one year as Treasurer Then came a stint as Vice President in 2012, and President (2013 - 2016). She has had occasion to represent her home band in a number of national events. Additionally, she served on the advisory board for the annual Philadelphia Soul Arena Football LGBT Theme Game which culminated, in 2014, with the first televised, national-league sporting event with an LGBT theme.
Patti has the capacity to recognize the strengths of others, and then to call upon them to use those strengths for the greater good. She mentors fellow band mates in leadership skills and continues to pay forward the lessons given by those who came before.
When she’s not keeping up with her various board duties, Patti plays Baritone Sax in the concert band and is the Drum Major for the PFB marching band. She’s a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and the National Association of Veteran's Program Administrators. She’s an errant writer and enjoys motorcycling and camping. She’s also a certified massage therapist who used to own a Victorian Tea Room.
Bruce Herr, Washington, DC
Bruce joined the JSEF board in October 2017. He was born & raised in Michigan and earned a B.S. in Nursing at Northern Michigan University and a M.S. in Anesthesia at Wayne State University. Bruce packed up and moved to the East Coast, settling in Washington, DC to pursue his career as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).His lifelong passion for music led him in 2006 to join D.C.’s Different Drummers, the LGBT Music Ensembles for the Nation’s Capital & a founding member of LGBA. He served as its Treasurer from 2008-2011, Vice-President from 2014-2015, and President from 2015-2017. He presently sits on the DCDD Board of Directors as Past-President
Bruce met his husband, Adam, in DCDD, and was married in 2014. They reside within the District of Columbia and enjoy travel, the theater, exploring the arts & culture of DC, and visiting wineries in the Commonwealth of Virginia.