Officers: 2016-2018

The position of Treasurer is currently open through Spring ’18.  See below for summary of duties.  Volunteer Today!!  Contact Jack Bergen if interested.

GALA-ND/SMC officers serve for two-year terms. Any current member in good standing is eligible to run for office. More information about the purpose and duties of each office can be found in the GALA-ND/SMC Constitution.

Chair: Jack Bergen, ND ’77  chair@galandsmc.org

Jack graduated from Notre Dame in 1977 and has been a member of GALA ND/SMC for a number of years. He held the position of GALA- Vice Chair for Programs during 2012 and 2013 prior to becoming Chair in Spring 2014. He most recently worked as a Senior IT Manager at one of the most recognized and liked coffee brands in the world Dunkin’ Donuts until he retired in early 2015. Jack and his husband David live in the suburbs of Boston. He has one daughter, Kerri Bergen Byrne, who graduated from ND ’07 as an Arkie major and a daughter-in-law Rachel Byrne, ND ’06, ’08.  Kerri and Rachel have a “Little Domer” who Jack loves to spoil.

Jack started giving back to the LGBT community years ago as a volunteer at various community organizations in Boston. He was instrumental in getting his prior employer to offer domestic partner benefits to Gay and Lesbian employee’s years before gay marriage was allowed in Massachusetts. He also organized the company’s first participation in the annual Aids Action fund raising walk in Boston. Jack is also on the board of the ND Club of Boston where he is partnering with the local alumni club to sponsor events and raise awareness of LGBT issues.

During Jack’ first term, GALA started the LGBT student scholarship and kicked off the associated fundraising capital campaign to ensure continued funding.  In his second term as chair, his focus will be on strengthening relations with the ND Alumni Association and on building out a strong member base as GALA embarks on the student scholarship capital campaign.


Vice Chair for Programs: Holly James SMC ’02 programs@galandsmc.org

Holly pic_1

As a bisexual alumnae of Saint Mary’s, Holly hopes to foster an inviting atmosphere in the ND/SMC LGBTQ community. As a Southern woman, as a Native woman, and as someone who is married to an incredibly supportive, intelligent and beautiful wife, she hopes to cast a wide net of inclusion and foster a fun and inspiring space for our longtime members and our newcomers alike. While GALA ND/SMC hosts wonderful events in Los Angeles, New York and Boston, Holly looks to explore events in Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago- other metropolitan areas that may not warrant events hosted solely by GALA ND/SMC, but could be co-hosted with local LGBT groups.

 

About Holly: SMC c/o 2002. She was a Student Manager, and loved the COUNTLESS hours working making Notre Dame athletics the best of the best. Unfortunately, her sexual orientation came into play over time, and she was unable to continue into her senior year with the SMO. Still, you will not meet a bigger fan of Notre Dame- and of college sports in general- than Holly!

Currently she is finishing her Masters of American Indian Law, and hopes to provide a much needed resource in our tribal courts. Previously, Holly worked 14 years in medical malpractice, construction defect litigation, and sports liability. In her spare time, she coaches football and golf, and also performs house and construction inspections to fund her school habit. She is now serving on the Board for an Indigenous Languages and Community Advocacy program in Seattle. Holly is looking forward to the opportunity with great relish to serve the ND/SMC LGBTQ community with the same vigor and enthusiasm.

Vice Chair for Membership: Ram Ballesteros, ND ’09 membership@galandsmc.org

As the Vice Chair for Membership, Ram is responsible for managing the processes to maintain current members, recruit new ones, conduct member communications, and process new membership applications.  He’ll also undertake a revamping and modernization of our back-end membership systems in hopes of improving the overall member user experience.  He will work to make membership interactions and engagement as easy and seamless as possible so that we can all focus on our group’s mission (and have some fun doing it)!

 

Ram describes his time at Notre Dame as some of the best years of his life.  Although initially concerned about his sexuality, he was met with nothing but acceptance, support, love, and community (even from his dorm’s rector!).  During his undergrad years he was actively involved with the Hispanic Student Group, Spanish Mass Choir “Coro Primavera”, the Hispanic Business Students Association, and the Core Council.

After graduation, Ram began his career at Notre Dame, where he worked with student services software as a project specialist focusing on maintenance and upgrade efforts.  He developed a real passion for software product management and business process disruption through innovation and design.  He now works in New York City at a startup called Haven Life where he hopes to spread financial stability through life insurance and other financial products directly to millennials.

Ram is also active in the community via the Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame (HAND), the NY Alumni Association, and Out in Tech.  He lives in Brooklyn with his partner of nine years, also an alumni, who he met while a student at Notre Dame.  Feel free to reach out to him anytime!


Secretary: Michael McCabe ND ’72  secretary@galandsmc.org

Michael McCabe picMichael graduated from ND in 1972 after 3 years in South Bend and one in Innsbruck Austria as part of ND’s Sophomore Year Abroad program. After a year as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Bonn, Germany, Michael studied German Literature at Cornell where he also taught language and literature courses. Following graduate school, he worked first for a German publishing company, eventually moving into technology at Lotus, IBM and then Microsoft.

During the 1980’s and 90’s Michael worked as a volunteer in the IT department at God’s Love We Deliver, and later as a Buddy Team Leader at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

Michael met his husband through a mutual friend when he moved to New York City after graduate school. They have been together 38 years so far and were married six years ago in New Canaan, CT (NY state would approve marriage equality exactly one year later on their anniversary).

Michael would like to offer more of his time and effort to GALA to support the contributions of those who have already been working to increase our visibility to the entire Notre Dame community. He has been shocked by the slow response of the University administration to the needs of current LGBT students. Michael believes there is strong support at ND from straight student, faculty, and even some alumni, allies. He would especially like to work to grow the connections between GALA and those allies in support of current LGBT students, faculty and staff.


Treasurer: Currently Vacant (Term Through Spring ’18) treasurer@galandsmc.org

The treasurer is responsible for maintaining the financial records of the club such as dues, donations and expenses.  Also responsible developing an annual budget and managing actual expenses to ensure compliance of spending guidelines and against the budget.  Maintains the bank accounts and files the annual tax returns.