Live Out Loud Staff Leo Preziosi, Jr.
Founder and Executive Director
Founded on the East Coast by Leo Preziosi, Jr., this non-profit organization is built on a singular premise --- to inspire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth to live proud. The inspiration came from a Metro Source article titled, "The Gun in the Closet," which talked about two high school students who committed suicide because of societal bullying. Knowing what had to be done, Preziosi dedicated himself to helping young adults connect to role models and leaders in the community.
Many years later, 12 and still counting, Live Out Loud continues to bring innovative programming throughout the tri-state area, and to inspire and lead by example. Since its inception, Live Out Loud has had the opportunity to bring over 500 LGBT role models to NY tri-state area high schools and universities, involving renowned panelists from every walk of life. From spiritual leaders to fashion designers to corporate powerhouse and grass-roots activists, Live Out Loud speakers have touched thousands of lives.
In his former incarnation, Leo Preziosi, Jr. was a Fashion Designer working for a number of apparel companies including Gloria Sachs and Banana Republic. In 1990, he began his volunteerism by aligning with DIFFA, the Design Industry Foundation for AIDS in event production. This led to an opportunity at Felissimo, a specialty lifestyle retailer, where he repositioned the tearoom and joined the marketing team collaborating with numerous organizations including the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, The United Nations, and The Rain Forest Foundation.
He is a graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Textile Production Management and an A.A.S. in Fashion Design.
Manager of Youth Programming
Educational Project Manager
Live Out Loud Board of Directors
Live Out Loud's Board of Directors is a group of volunteers comprised of corporate and community leaders from the tri-state area - is the governing body for the organization. Its members determine Live Out Loud's mission and purpose, and they sustain the organization's vision.
The Live Out Loud Board of Directors has the ultimate authority over the organization's actions, including fiscal management and budget approval. Board members also establish the official policies that direct Live Out Loud. Felicia Geiger
Felicia is SVP, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Deutsch Inc. Part of the Deutsch family since 2000, Felicia is highly regarded as a cultivator, supporter and champion of multicultural talent. She has impacted not just Deutsch, but also the advertising community and by reaching out to—and cultivating—tomorrow’s diverse talent. Felicia’s been honored with the prestigious ADCOLOR Change Agent Award, AAF Diversity Achievement Educator Award, and the 4A's MAIP Pantheon Award. Felicia was also instrumental in Deutsch NY winning a MAIP Service Award.
She is a founder and executive board member of the Madison’s Browne Fellowship, serves on the AAF Mosaic Council Executive Committee, and the 4A’s and Interpublic Group Diversity Committees. With Felicia’s guidance, Deutsch proudly supports initiatives including ADCOLOR, The One Club, RADE (Roundtable of Advertising Diversity Executives) and TORCH.Hector Rojas
Hector Rojas was born and raised in Lima Peru. He attended F.I.T. for Merchandising and is currently a sales manger for a leading trimmings manufacturer. In the 20 years living in New York he has worked for Saks Fifth Avenue and has extensive experience in countless special events. Volunteering at St. Paul the Apostle Church Homeless Shelter, introduced him to Mustard Seed Communities, supporting an orphanage in Nicaragua. Their need inspired him to create his own annual benefit. He is currently on the Board of Directors of The Wayuu Taya Foundation, which creates and manages schools for indigenous children on the border of Columbia and Venezuela. The opening of their first ever computer lab, dedicated to Hector Rojas and Friends will be this spring. Hector is proud to be involved with Live Out Loud since 2007.Hal Rubenstein
Hal Rubenstein is a writer, designer, and one of the founding editors at InStyle
magazine, where he served as fashion director for fifteen years. In fall 2013, he launched his eponymous women’s collection on the Home Shopping Network and formed Hal Rubenstein & Associates. In 2015, he launched his website, Halrubenstein.com, which focuses on popular culture and provides advice on leading a better life; and with model-designer Iman Abdulmajid he introduced a new style show on Sirius Radio. The author of Paisley Goes with Nothing
and the bestselling 100 Unforgettable Dresses
(Harper Design, 2011), he is a special projects editor at Architectural Digest
. He has also written cover stories and interviews, and served as a columnist on various pop-culture topics for The New Yorker
, New York
, Vanity Fair
, and Details
. He has been a frequent red-carpet commentator for such shows as The Today Show
, and The View
. He lives in New York City with his husband, David Nickle, and his dog, Murray.Bruce T. Sloane
Bruce T. Sloane was born and raised on Long Island NY and is a Real Estate Professional in New York City. He was raised to believe in "Tsudukah" ( charity) doing good and helping those in need.
Bruce comes to Live Out Loud with past experience with various LGBT organizations.
Drawn to Live Out Loud's mission to help today's youth to be out, proud and to know that they are OK just the way they are!
He hopes that he can be a role model to young LGBT kids.After being introduced to Live Out Loud's work by being invited to the NYC Gala in 2007, Bruce has served on committees, been a major donor and in 2009 hosted and originated the Live Out Loud "Pride in the Hampton's" event. This event has been very well received and has grown in size, popularity and has become an important part of Live Out Loud's annual budget. It is his pleasure to have created the event and is proud to be a member of the Live Out Loud team.Darrin Varden
Darrin Varden joins the board in 2014 just as he is celebrating the first anniversary of founding his New York interior design firm, Darrin Varden Design. Darrin creates timeless interiors, gathering inspiration from fashion, art and history and uses juxtaposition as a tool create an intriguing dynamic between furnishings, textiles, art, lighting and architecture. He graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology and has worked for acclaimed design firms Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, Charles Klein and Drake Design Associates. Five years ago several designers came together to be part of the It Gets Better movement by producing a video. Through his participation in the project, Darrin felt a deeper need to affect change and soon after aligned himself with Live Out Loud to help end the legacy of bullying LGBTQ youth. His hope is to set an example as someone who was bullied himself in high school and went on to overcome those experiences to live a fulfilled, successful, happy, supported and creative life. He has served as Live Out Loud’s 2013 Gala Silent Auction Chairperson and the 2014 Gala Silent Auction Co-Chairperson prior to joining the Board. His other philanthropic efforts include fundraising for the Breast Cancer Research Fund, The Alpha Workshops and DIFFA (Design Industries' Foundation Fighting AIDS). His motto is “Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.” from Justify My Love by Madonna.