Six new board members recently joined the Board of Directors of The LGBT Community Center of the Desert (The Center) replacing some retiring directors, announced Randy Lowe, Chair. 

Newly appointed are Mary Sue Allen, Lucy A. DeBardelaben, Chris Kallgren, Cary Lowe, Robert Van Roo, and Randy Schild.

Newly elected Board Members of The Center are from left to right, Lucy A. DeBardelaben, Robert Van Roo, Mary Sue Allen, Randy Schild, Cary Lowe and Chris Kallgren.

Allen is Vice President of Human Resources for UPS West Region. A native of Hayward, California, Allen received her B.A. degree in Human Resources Management from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, and began her UPS career in 1980 as a part-time package handler in Los Angeles. She has served on the Board of Directors for Girls Inc. Orange County, Leadership California, and Oakland Military College Prep Academy.

DeBardelaben is co-founder of the prestigious Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival, and the Acting Finance Director for the Palm Springs Art Museum. A former board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, she, and her partner, Gail Christian, received the 2013 Palm Springs Pride Spirit Award.  

Kallgren is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Palm Springs, who believes in advocacy for the LGBT community and animal rescue. Among her accomplishments is co-producing the Joshua Tree Gay Pride Festival, with founder Andy Woods. In October 2014 she was recognized as one of the ‘Most Influential Women Of The Valley’ gracing the cover of Desert Outlook magazine.

Lowe is owner of Cary A. Lowe Associates, based in Los Angeles & Atlanta, a women’s wholesale firm. Born and raised in Los Angeles as a first generation Chinese American, Lowe attended Los Angeles Trade Tech for Fashion Design and UCLA for Business Economics. Lowe has served on the Board of Directors of The LA Gay and Lesbian Center and has had a home, along with his partner Allan Ames, in Palm Springs since 1989. 

A California native, Van Roo is the President & Co-Founder of Palm Springs Safe Access, a medical cannabis dispensary. A photographer by trade, he began his career in his teens after exhibiting in fine art museums both nationally and internationally. Recently developing an interest in medical cannabis as a result of a friend’s illness, he volunteered space in his photography studio and warehouse in San Francisco to help facilitate a clean and safe medication for his friend. Moving to Palm Springs in 2011, The desert landscape continues to inspires his artistic desires with a thriving art community that continues to grow.

Schild holds the position of First Vice President-Wealth Management with Merrill Lynch in Indian Wells. Before joining Merrill Lynch, he was the Branch Manager at Smith Barney / Morgan Stanley in Palm Desert, and also an owner / operator of a manufacturing and retailing facility in South Florida.  He holds an MBA degree from St. John’s University, New York, NY. Schild has been active in the local community, having served on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, and in various leadership positions for the Jewish Federation.  He, and his wife Dini, have two adult children who reside in New York Florida.