This prestigious award recognizes notable alumni and faculty who have contributed positively to advancing LGBTQ causes both within the University community and beyond. Established in 1999 in honor of the late Bernard D. Mayes, former Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the award was given to him at the 1st Annual QVA Fall Weekend and Awards Gala on October 30, 1999 for his lifetime support of LGBTQ students at the University. It is presented each year at QVA’s Fall Gala. Prior year recipients are listed below.
2023 Recipient: Brian Rosman
Brian Rosman, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, graduated from the University of Virginia 1998, with a double major in Biochemistry and Drama. He moved to Los Angeles to begin his career in the Endeavor Talent Agency Mailroom, now known as WME and later went on to The Firm, the largest artist management company of its time. Brian shifted his career into public relations and later founded DOG AND A DUCK, a public relations, social media, and influencer marketing agency with operations in Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York.
Throughout his career, Brian has been a board member for various organizations, including Nashville Education, Community, and Arts Television Network, LAXART, a nonprofit visual art space, and the Los Angeles Mayor’s LGBT Heritage Council. As a board member and Communications Director for LA Pride, Brian spearheaded the first ever and historic televised broadcast of the LA Pride Parade on ABC.
In 2017, Brian’s journey took him to Nashville, where he joined the board of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce. As President, he guided a transformative rebranding and expansion, creating the Tennessee Pride Chamber. Under his leadership, the chamber has evolved into a powerful advocate, representing corporations, businesses, and professionals across the state. Brian’s efforts have extended far beyond Nashville, with the chamber now hosting impactful programs in multiple cities. He has overseen the hiring of key staff members, engaged a dedicated lobbyist to champion LGBTQ+ rights, and organized the first-ever statewide candidate forum on LGBTQ+ issues. Additionally, he established a critical legal defense network and fund to safeguard drag artists, businesses, and festivals from local anti-LGBTQ+ prosecution, permit fights and selective code enforcement. As Brian led the expansion of programs, he also shattered fundraising records and implemented the two most substantial grant programs in the organization’s 25-year history. These initiatives include direct support for six rural and suburban Pride festivals, and the allocation of over $100,000 to bolster LGBTQ+ owned bars and restaurants in Tennessee.
Brian lives outside Nashville with his husband, Tyler, and their dogs and horses.
2022 Recipient: Dr. Jeffrey Reider
Jeffrey Lynn Reider (he/ him) grew up in Edison, New Jersey and found himself with a varied reputation, receiving high school graduation awards for “Class Blabbermouth”, “Most Gullible”, and “Student Who Has Done Most for the Class of 1970”. He also received a varsity letter for the only sport he was proficient at: Choir. Jeffrey’s brother was a medical student at UVA, and his parents said that if Jeff saw the University, he wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. They were right – Jeff visited, decided to attend, and immediately joined the Glee Club whose 150th anniversary he recently celebrated.
Upon graduation from UVA, Dr. Reider earned his Master’s Degree in Microbiology and Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Medical College of Virginia. It was in 1980 when he moved to Cleveland for residency that he discovered who he really was and started to reach out to other gay people. However, it didn’t take long for him to realize that you couldn’t hang out at the bars and also take hospital call every third night.
In 1983, Jeff moved to Michigan to start his career as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for a multi-specialty group. Jeffrey’s work ethic and leadership were recognized and he became the group’s Director, overseeing forty doctors and 300 staff members. During the pandemic he made the difficult decision to retire after thirty-eight years as a surgeon. In 1988, Jeffrey met Chuck Otis. They fell in love, bought their first home together three months later, and after decades of partnership were married in 2014. As their professional careers progressed, Jeff and Chuck also became LGBTQ+ community leaders.
As the Human Rights Campaign was getting started, the two of them actively participated in the Michigan Chapter. Jeff and Chuck like to mix fun with purpose, so their volunteerism has a whimsical side, whether Jeff is shaving his head to raise money for food banks, hosting congressional fundraisers that involved personally cooking a six-course meal for their Congresswoman, or hosting a charity event featuring SCUBA lessons in their pool.
Jeffrey and Chuck have also been long-time proponents of the value of scholarship. In addition to setting up a charitable remainder trust with UVA, their Reider-Otis Endowed Prize (initially awarded almost two decades ago in 2006) was the first substantial LGBTQ+ focused scholarship at UVA. Given their satisfaction with the UVA scholarship, they also endowed one at Wayne State University where Chuck attended and host the annual Wayne State Otis-Reider Graduate Student Symposium for the History Department.
Jeff is also a competitive athlete, having run over thirty marathons and ultra-marathons, including running Boston four times. A true life-long learner, Jeff learned to swim at age sixty-two and then competed several triathlons and became an Ironman in 2015. For his next adventure, Chuck recently gifted Jeff guitar lessons for his 70th birthday so he can serenade his friends and family. When not volunteering or traveling the country for marathons, Jeff and Chuck share their home in Michigan with their Jack Russell, Murphy.
2019 Recipient: Gary Nimax
Gary Nimax serves as the university’s Assistant Vice President for Compliance, working with compliance managers across Grounds to develop and enhance university programs to comply with federal, state, and other regulatory requirements. He formed the university’s Compliance Network, comprised of subject-matter experts from the University’s major compliance functions.
He has worked at the university since 1989 in a variety of administrative roles, starting his career as a buyer in the medical center before becoming the Assistant Director of Procurement Services for the academic division. He has since been promoted to positions working as a team lead on the university’s Oracle software implementation, coordinator of process simplification, and the Assistant Vice President responsible for the administration of university-related foundations.
Since 2011, Gary has served as the chair of the LGBT Committee for faculty and staff, the first such committee to be officially recognized by the university. This committee has served UVA’s academic division and medical center employees in expanding the university’s LGBT inclusion and equity in areas such as health insurance benefits, non-discrimination policy, communication and outreach, training, social events, guidelines for all-gender restroom signage, and benchmarking against nationally recognized standards and rankings.
Gary serves as President Ryan’s representative on the board of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), one of the university’s related foundations. He also serves as a member of the UVA Diversity Council and on the planning committee for Festival of Cultures, a local community event celebrating international cultures, performance, and food.
He earned his undergraduate degree from UVA and his Master of Business Administration from James Madison University. Gary obtained his professional certification as a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP) through the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.
This year Gary and his husband, Allen, are celebrating their 35th anniversary as a couple and fifth wedding anniversary. They live with their beloved rescue dog, Woodrow.
2018 Recipient: Sean Patrick Maloney
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney currently represents New York’s 18th district in the U.S. House of Representatives and was first elected in November 2012.
Rep. Maloney currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which are both key contributors to the Hudson Valley economy and the creation of good-paying jobs. His priorities in Congress include strengthening the health and financial security of America’s retirees, creating jobs and economic opportunity for New York families, investing and improving our infrastructure, and keeping our communities safe. He has a distinguished background in business and public service. He served as a senior advisor in President Bill Clinton’s White House as part of a team that balanced the budget and paid down the debt, all while creating over eight hundred thousand jobs here in New York.
When Sean left the White House, he built his own business from scratch. His high-tech startup created hundreds of New York jobs. Sean then served as a senior staff member to two Democratic governors of New York, focusing on education and infrastructure projects. He oversaw 13 state agencies and departments, including those responsible for all homeland security, state police and emergency management operations.
Sean and his husband, Randy Florke, have 3 children together and currently reside in Cold Spring, NY.
2017 Recipient: Bob Elkins
Bob Elkins serves as an IT Category Manager in Strategic Sourcing at Caesars Entertainment, a global leader in gaming and hospitality. He is a member of the company’s LGBTQ business resource group, EQUAL and represented it at the National Gay and Lesbian Chambers of Commerce annual conference, held this year at Caesars Palace.
Previously, Bob served as CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, a community-based organization founded in 1992. In this role, Bob managed all programs and services; financial, IT and human resource management; external fundraising and marketing; and represented the organization in public relations and community outreach.
Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Bob served as director of business development at AT&T Interactive in Los Angeles where he managed the company’s strategic relationships with tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. In 2008, he joined LEAGUE at AT&T, the company’s LGBTQ Employee Resource Group and the oldest in the nation. Bob was elected president of LEAGUE’s At-Large chapter in 2009 and National Board Treasurer in 2010.
At Kintera, he developed best in class alumni engagement solutions for leading colleges and universities, including U.Va. Earlier positions in the technology sector included VP of Business Operations at USSearch.com, director of Internet Business at Packard Bell NEC, director of marketing at Techmedia Computer Systems, and senior manager for executive reporting systems at PCMall.
In 1989, three years after testing positive, Bob moved to San Francisco to join the fight against AIDS. He began fundraising for Project Inform, the national leader in HIV treatment education, first as a volunteer and later as the group’s development director. Project Inform was instrumental in forcing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a “parallel track” of compassionate use of experimental drugs for patients with life-threatening illnesses.
Bob served the boards of the 9-county AIDS Service Providers Association of the Bay Area and the DC-based AIDS National Interfaith Network. He worked alongside Cleve Jones and Ken Jones, two of the brilliant heroes portrayed in ABC’s mini-series “When We Rise.” In 1990, Bob co-produced the first-ever inter-faith worship service at an International Conference on AIDS, at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral.
In New York from 1987 until 1989, Bob was an assistant vice president at Sanwa Bank where he had responsibility for a billion dollar portfolio of syndicated corporate loans. He began his career as a commercial banking officer in 1983 with The First National Bank of Chicago, spending three years in Hong Kong before returning to manage the Asian headquartered bank in New York.
Bob earned his MBA in International Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1983 and attended the Chinese University of Hong Kong for a semester abroad in 1982.
Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Bob received a BA Cum Laude from the University in 1979 in East Asian Studies On grounds, he was president of the Gay Student Union, co-chair of the Counselors Committee on Human Sexuality and a member of Resident Staff for 3 years, including serving as First-Year Resident Staff Co-Chair.
In the fall of 1976, Bob unwittingly became the subject of national press coverage over his role as an openly gay RA when then President Frank L. Hereford sought to remove Bob from his position after this was reported on by the Cavalier Daily and released nationwide. Hereford then convened a committee of faculty, students and administrators to investigate and determine the suitability of an openly ‘homosexual’ RA. After weeks of hearings, the tide of public opinion shifted to supporting Elkins, primarily due to the Black Student Alliance president announcing full support of Bob’s remaining an RA, stating that discrimination against any person, for any reason, will not be tolerated.
As a lifetime member of the U.Va. Alumni Association, Bob served on the board of directors of the U.Va. Club of Los Angeles from 2003 to 2013. He joined QVA’s board in 2002 and served in myriad roles, including board president, secretary, treasurer and development committee chair through 2016.
Bob resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his husband, Mark Hoyer, who is a Wig Stylist and Makeup Artist with Cirque du Soleil’s production of “The Beatles LOVE” at the Mirage Resort and Casino.
From 2010 to 2011, Victoria served as a staff attorney at Whitman Walker Health’s (WWH) Legal Services Program, which specializes in service to those living with HIV and AIDS in the Metro DC area, as well as the LGBTQ community at large. While at WWH, Victoria represented more than 50 transgender clients seeking name and/or gender marker changes on identity documentation issued by federal, state and local agencies. She successfully obtained grants of asylum for 2 male-to-female transgender immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who sought asylum in the United States due to their fear of persecution in their home countries based on their transgender status.
In 2011, Victoria joined Hogan Lovells as an Associate in their D.C. office, where she continued her work on behalf of the transgender community on a pro bono basis, partnering with WWH to establish the monthly Name and Gender Change Clinic designed to serve the local transgender population in need of pro bono representation with name and/or gender marker changes on identity documentation. Victoria has served as a supervising attorney at the Name and Gender Change Clinic through 2015 and has helped WWH staff train hundreds of local attorney volunteers on how to legally change names and gender markers in MD, DC and VA. In 2013, Victoria received Hogan Lovells’ Citizenship Award for her pro bono work with the transgender community.
In 2014, Victoria joined the Educational Opportunities Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, where she enforces federal anti-discrimination laws in the education context, including those that protect LGBT students. She was a key member of the Department’s team of lawyers who supported a transgender boy, Gavin Grimm, in his dispute with the Gloucester County School Board over his right to use the restroom facilities that correspond with his gender identity. Victoria also serves on the Civil Right’s Divisions LGBTI Working Group. She continues to volunteer at WWH’s Name and Gender Change Clinic.
Carter Covington is a writer/producer/showrunner who’s work includes GREEK, HART OF DIXIE, and 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU which he adapted for the small screen. In addition, Carter has been a longtime volunteer and supporter of The Trevor Project, a crisis hotline for at-risk LGBTQAI youth. Volunteering there inspired his most recent venture: MTV’s FAKING IT, the critically-acclaimed comedy that featured television’s first intersex lead character, and groundbreaking storylines around sexuality and gender. Over the show’s three seasons, it received three GLAAD award nominations for Best Comedy and won a Teen Choice Award for Breakout Show. It was also the first TV series to be awarded a key to The City of West Hollywood. It’s message of tolerance and inclusion aired in over 200 countries worldwide including on MTV Russia.
A Winston-Salem, North Carolina native, Covington lives in Los Angeles with his husband Sean, son Mac, dog Pepper, and cat Kinky.
2015: Claire Naomi Kaplan, Ph.D.
Claire Kaplan, Ph.D., is director of the Gender Violence and Social Change Program at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center. A self-described “late bloomer,” Claire came out to herself and the world when she was 29 years old, following many years of progressive/feminist social justice activism.
A California native, she moved to Spotsylvania, Virginia in 1989 with her now-wife, Lisa J. Berke and seven cats, to direct a national grassroots anti-rape organization. She then worked as a reporter for a small cable news station in Fredericksburg, until she was hired as the University’s first full-time Sexual Assault Education Coordinator in 1991 (which evolved into the Gender Violence and Social Change Program at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center).
Claire received her BS from the University of California at Davis (Environmental Design and Animal Behavior), her Masters Degree in Professional Writing (screenplay and non-fiction) at the University of Southern California, and her Ph.D. in Education from UVa in 2004. Her doctoral research focused on undergraduate campus feminist activists and their ability to sustain their activism after graduation.
Claire is rarely shy about speaking up, and quickly found the LGBTQ community at the University when she arrived. One of Claire’s earliest UVa memories was the historic and emotional moment when a group of faculty and staff met to launch UVa Pride (the faculty, staff and graduate student association) in 1991. In the mid-1990s, she served as the group’s co-convener with History professor Nick Edsall.
Claire was deeply involved in the long-term struggle to achieve equity for same-sex couples at the University, meeting regularly with senior administrators to gain official recognition of our families, in order to get health benefits for partners and children, and family memberships to the AFC. Claire was also involved with the committee that worked with the University to open the LGBTQ Center, served on the board of QVA, and worked with student sexual assault peer education organizations to become more inclusive of LGBTQI people as well as all marginalized groups.
Among her publications are: “Domestic Violence–Intimate Partner Violence,” (Emergency Medicine Specialty Reports, 2006); “Shattered Pride: Resistance and Intervention Strategies in Cases of Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, and Hate Crimes Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Students,” in Toward Acceptance: Sexual Orientation on Campus, edited by Nancy Evans and Vernon Wall (University Press of America: 2000), and “A Mother’s Loss: Reflections on the Sharon Bottoms Decision,” for In Other Words, Winter, 1993. She also was film critic and feature writer in Women’s Arts for The Washington Blade from March 1991 to 1993.
These days Claire lives with her wife, Lisa J. Berke, and their daughter Sammy in Louisa County. She has determined to reclaim her creative self by taking classes in stained glass, mosaic, and glass blowing, and hopes to finish her children’s book before too many decades have passed.
Previous Award Winners
Claire Guthrie Gastañaga
Maria K. Pulzetti
Richard L. Babson
Charlotte J. Patterson
K. Scottie Ginn
Richard P. Keeling, MD
Bernard D. Mayes