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Paper Heart

Our Staff

Our  Staff is hardworking, knowledgeable, skilled and friendly, they continuously impress us.


Executive Director

Paul Nagle

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Paul has over 30 years in both nonprofit administration and LGBTQ+ activism and currently serves as the Founding Executive Director of Stonewall Community Development Corporation (Stonewall CDC) since 2015. Before joining Stonewall CDC, Paul was the Founding Director of Cultural Strategies Initiative Inc. (CSI), established with a major grant from the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund. The mission of this project was to strengthen art’s central role in civic life, in order to enhance cultural, community, and environmental sustainability.  Originally envisioned as a two-year project, it operated for four years, with one of its projects, Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay, lasting six years, and playing a role in helping to defeat the creation of the Pebble Mine in Alaska.  ​  Before that, as Director of Communications & Cultural Policy for NYC Councilmember Alan Gerson (2002-2010), Paul organized the hard-hit cultural community in District 1 and engaged them in crafting strategies to help preserve and revitalize the arts in Lower Manhattan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.  The community-generated plan, Campuses & Corridors, served as the blueprint for a partnership between the Mayor, the Council Speaker and the Councilmember that was very successful in providing targeted capital and programmatic investments to restore the sector. ​  During that time, Paul also volunteered as the original development director and fundraiser (with several of the same members of the Stonewall CDC founding team) to create the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, which has grown from a small group working out of a donated office space in the Borough President’s office to a thriving organization with two community centers serving the borough.  Paul earned both of his degrees from the Gallatin School at New York University, graduating summa cum laude from the bachelor’s program.  He earned his masters’ degree at age 49. An abridged version of his master’s thesis, Room for Creativity – the Role of Artists’ Live/work Space in the New Economy, was published in The International Journal of the Arts in Society.

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Program Director

Sayief Leshaw

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A native New Yorker raised in The Bronx, he joined the organization in 2016 as an intern, motivated by realizing that the LGBTQ+ older adults that trail blazed for his right to be out were forced to go back into the closet to safely access senior programs service. He continues this work driven by a desire to build a truly inclusive and supportive community. He has overseen several expansions, developing an additional 12 client facing, direct service positions since 2020. On behalf of Stonewall CDC, he serves on the Bronx Borough President’s LGBTQ+ Policy Task Force. Sayief was included as one of Crain’s NY Business Magazine’s “Twenty in their 20s – Class of 2020.” He is also a member of the Leadership Council of the Stonewall Quarter Share Board and sits on the grant committee (Stonewall Community Foundation,) member of the AVP Associate Board (Anti-Violence Project,) former member of the New York chapter of the Habitat Young Professionals (Habitat for Humanity,) former member of the NYTAG Junior Board (New York Transgender Advocacy Group) and former chair of the DorillYoung Professionals (The Dorill Initiative).

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Program Coordinator

Alejandro Ruiz

Alejandro (they/she) is a queer community organizer based in NYC. Since 2020, they've been able to produce over 25 events across NYC through working with their own collective as well as LGBTQ+ non-profits, creating spaces that celebrate the voices of non-white queer and trans people. Currently, they are the Program Coordinator for Stonewall Village NYC, working closely with the Executive Director and Program Director to develop and facilitate virtual programming for LGBTQ+ Seniors. Motivated by seeing tangible results, they work towards providing marginalized community members with access to sustinable and vital resources

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Director, The Stonewall Bridge

David Nimmons

David Nimmons served as Board President of the New York City Lesbian & Gay Community Services Center for six years. He served as Deputy Director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and was the founding Board President of The Family Center, an agency serving low income families in NYC. Dave led an NIMH-funded research project on altruism and HIV safety at the University of California San Francisco, and held a Revson Fellowship at Columbia University for his work on values-based cultural change among gay male communities. He has published several books, most recently the Soul Beneath The Skin: The Hidden Hearts and Habits of Gay Men, named one of the year’s top non-fiction books. The current project is a synthesis of those lifelong interests, inspired by the fact that, despite all best efforts, he and all his friends appear to be aging.

Catherine Peila

Strategic Finance and Development Consultant

Catherine A. Peila

Pella has 30 years of experience in business and non-profits in the cultural and investment sectors. She holds a master's in policy and non-profit administration with 20 years of experience working with international governments in transition creating policy for privately owned and city-funded organizations; linking financial stability to organizational and government strategic planning; and social good programs for minority groups, youth, and elderly communities at home and abroad. She has held positions of executive director and financial director for non-profit and for-profit organizations working in partnership with financial advisors from some of NY and Europe's top financial firms. She advises on financial and programs developed with executives and boards for organizations and educational departments with budgets under $4 million setting benchmarks to reach financial goals. Ms. Peila is very honored to be working with the Stonewall corporation on its financial planning and growth.

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Housing Programs Assistant 

Tajera Deane

Tajera Deane (She/her) is a native New Yorker with a drive to help persons find safety and security. She likes to be a friendly helping hand because everyone deserves to be supported and treated like they matter. Since 2022, she has been involved in assisting charities that help the homeless find affordable apartments. Currently, she is the HAP Program Assistant for Stonewall Housing Assistance Program working closely with the Executive Director and Program Director to support and give aid the senior LGBTQ+ individuals that are in need of help to find housing. She is motivated by helping persons be given the tools and guidance they need to live safe healthy lives.

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