GLAAD National Board of Directors announces new members Justin Blake, Sharon Callahan, Mike Doyle, Liz Jenkins, and Reese McCranie

September 1, 2020

Today, GLAAD announced that Edelman’s Global Head of Leadership Positioning Justin Blake, CDM CEO Sharon Callahan, Ketchum President & CEO Mike Doyle, Hello Sunshine CFO Liz Jenkins, and the Mayor’s Office of One Atlanta’s Deputy Chief Equity Officer Reese McCranie have joined the organization’s National Board of Directors. Members of GLAAD’s Board of Directors oversee the organization’s work to accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ people and raise funds to support and grow GLAAD.

Justin Blake heads Edelman’s Global Leadership Positioning offer, guiding leaders in telling their authentic stories in today's complex communications environment. Blake counsels CEOs, University Presidents, NGO heads and other executive-level leaders to develop differentiating and relevant messages and communicate them through a range of channels, including media, conferences, digital and direct-to-influencer engagement. Blake also leads Edelman’s client work at Davos, where he has attended since 2003. Blake previously served as the Managing Director, Corporate & Public Affairs, Edelman New York and the Director of Communications for the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce. Blake is also a Trustee of the Classic Stage Company in New York and on the Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality.

Sharon Callahan is the CEO of CDM, one of the world's most admired healthcare advertising agencies. Prior to this role, Callahan was CEO of TBWA\WorldHealth, a healthcare advertising agency network she founded in 2016. Callahan also serves as Chief Client Officer of Omnicom Health Group, the world’s largest network of healthcare communications companies, and is an active board member of several corporate and philanthropic institutions, including: LGBTQ Victory Fund (Chair), HBA Advisory Board, the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame, the Arthritis Foundation, Women Against Alzheimer’s, the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Government Relations Committee, and the Coalition for Healthcare Communications. Callahan co-founded and continues to champion Omniwomen and OpenPride, Omnicom’s employee resource groups, designed to foster the full potential of women and LGBTQ+ people within the company.

Mike Doyle is the President & CEO of Ketchum, a leading global communications consultancy. With more than two decades of experience in the field, Doyle has partnered with clients in a variety of industries to advance and protect their corporate and brand reputations. He is the co-chair for Omnicom’s global OPEN Pride employee resource group, as well as a member of the Arthur W. Page Society’s Page Up community, the foremost professional association for senior communications executives and educators. Doyle was Omnicom’s delegate on the steering committee to create the World Economic Forum’s Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality, supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and launched in January 2019. He also was named to the first-ever PRWeek “40 Under 40” list in 2007.

Liz Jenkins is the CFO of Hello Sunshine, a multi-media company founded by Reese Witherspoon that puts women at the center of every story it creates, celebrates, and discovers. In that capacity, Jenkins is tasked with accelerating and enabling the growth of the company’s increasingly robust and multifaceted business, which includes their Scripted, Unscripted, and Kids and Animation studio businesses, audio storytelling, Reese’s Book Club, and more. Previously, she served as the Head of Strategic Ventures for Sony PlayStation and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Media Rights Capital. Jenkins has also served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Female Executives in Media and Entertainment (‘FEME’), the nonprofit organization of which she is the co-founder.

Reese McCranie serves as the Deputy Chief Equity Officer in the Mayor’s Office of One Atlanta. In this role, McCranie works to advance Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ progressive public policy agenda on equity and inclusion, with a focus on health disparities, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ affairs, and economic empowerment and inclusion, and workforce development. Most recently, McCranie was appointed as Georgia’s Deputy State Director for the Biden/Harris campaign and the campaign’s OUT Leadership Council. McCranie is also a board member of the Fulton County HIV/AIDS Advisory Council and the Georgia Foreign-Trade Zone, as well as a member of the Georgia Advisory Committee for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. McCranie was previously honored by GLAAD with the Champion Award for furthering LGBTQ equality in Atlanta and he was also recognized as one of Atlanta’s 40 Under 40 from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Pamela Stewart, Vice President, National Retail Sales for Coca-Cola North America, currently serves as the Chair of GLAAD’s Board of Directors.

“In today’s divisive political and cultural climate, GLAAD’s Board of Directors plays a pivotal role in advancing GLAAD’s mission to accelerate acceptance,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “This year’s newest Board Members are not only some of the top leaders in media and business, but bring a diverse range of skills, experience, and expertise that will strengthen and guide GLAAD’s work in those industries.”

GLAAD’s work continues to remain critical in accelerating LGBTQ acceptance and amplifying LGBTQ issues and stories during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • In April, GLAAD hosted “Together in Pride: You are Not Alone,” a digital event which highlighted the LGBTQ response to COVID-19 and raised funds for local LGBTQ centers.
  • Following the U.S. Surgeon General’s urgent calls for blood donations during the pandemic, GLAAD launched a campaign calling on the FDA to lift the ban on gay and bisexual men, and other LGBTQ people, from donating blood. After launching a petition that garnered nearly 25,000 signatures, the FDA announced in April that it would revise its deferral time for blood donations from gay and bisexual men from 12 months to 3 months. GLAAD continues its campaign to end the deferral time.
  • GLAAD also forwards LGBTQ inclusion with global brands. Earlier this year, GLAAD and Procter & Gamble released the “LGBTQ Inclusion in Advertising and Media” study, which measured attitudes of non-LGBTQ Americans to exposure of LGBTQ people and images in the media. The study quantified how LGBTQ representation in TV, film, and advertising can lead to greater acceptance, comfortability, and understanding of the LGBTQ community. Non-LGBTQ respondents reported being comfortable with LGBTQ-inclusive media and nearly 70% reported feeling better about purchasing products from companies with inclusive advertising.
  • In response to protests against police brutality, racism, and discrimination across the country, as well as the rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, GLAAD announced new projects to center the voices of Black LGBTQ people. During Pride Month, GLAAD premiered the “Black Queer Town Hall,” which was hosted by LGBTQ icons Peppermint and Bob the Drag Queen and spotlighted diverse LGBTQ voices responding to racism and other LGBTQ issues. 
  • Last month, GLAAD released its annual Studio Responsibility Index, which reviews the quantity and quantity of LGBTQ inclusion in mainstream films. The report showed a lack of inclusion, particularly of LGBTQ women, people of color, and transgender characters and is part of GLAAD’s ongoing advocacy work to advance LGBTQ representation in entertainment.
  • On July 30, GLAAD also hosted a virtual ceremony for its 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor outstanding LGBTQ images across media. During the ceremony, GLAAD worked with celebrities including Dwyane Wade & Gabrielle Union and Demi Lovato to send messages of acceptance to LGBTQ youth around the world.
  • In July, GLAAD also revealed the findings from its first ‘State of HIV Stigma’ study, which found that only half of American adults feel knowledgeable about HIV and that high levels of perceived stigma around HIV still exist. To help combat stigma, GLAAD also announced its ‘Accelerate Compassion’ and ‘Accelerate Impact’ programs which include media trainings for hundreds of HIV and LGBTQ advocates in the U.S. South, regional media work to improve the quantity and quality of HIV and LGBTQ coverage across local media outlets in the region, as well as recent staff hires and leadership to support both national and regional work.

GLAAD is currently engaged in a 100 Days of Action campaign to educate LGBTQ people about what's at stake during the 2020 election and to increase LGBTQ turnout at the polls in November. GLAAD is also planning Spirit Day, the largest annual anti-LGBTQ bullying campaign, on October 15, when millions show support and raise awareness for LGBTQ youth.