opening minds. growing pride

About Us

Phoenix Center Logo - Central Illinois LGBT Center

About Us

The Phoenix Center was founded on April 1, 2001 by a group of LGBT teens wanting to create a safe place to meet.  For a while meetings were in a garage and later met at a church. It was then that a Board of Directors was formed and the agency became a  501-c-3, not-for-profit.  Eventually we moved to a building at Laurel & 2nd St. and in 2005 bought our current home at 109 E. Lawrence Ave. Since that move, services and groups have expanded extensively.

Phoenix Center Illustration
artwork by Dennis Sklenka, Springfield IL

Mission

The mission of the Phoenix Center is to support Central Illinois’ LGBT Community with programming for promoting equality, health & well-being, and social and educational growth.

Phoenix Center Team

Jonna J Cooley PhD

Executive Director

team member since 2006

jcool@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Teresa Silva

Director LGBT+ Services & HR

team member since 2021

teresa.silva@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Ronetta Buckner

Director of Housing & Outreach

team member since 2020

ronetta@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Jodi Tabor, MA

Community Engagement & Fundraising

team member since 2019

jodi@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Duane Williams

Director of Operations

team member since 2024

duane@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Public Health

Ruth Ann Bertram

Director of Clinical Services

team member since 2011

rab@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Shawna Peterman

Peer Recovery Specialist

team member since 2023

shawna.peterman@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Amy Shepard

Peer Recovery Specialist

team member since 2024

amy@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Keith Wilson

Outreach Assistant

team member since 2023

Huston Beverly

Outreach Assistant

team member since 2024

Samantha Brown

Peer Recovery Specialist / Outreach Team Leader

team member since 2020

sam@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Lee Gelarden

Peer Recovery Specialist +

team member since 2023

lee@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Nancy Cox

Outreach Assistant

team member since 2022

 

Jasmine Sullivan

Outreach Assistant

team member since 2023

Housing

Jaime Estell

Director of Housing

team member since 2023

jaime@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Keith Wilson

House Manager

team member since 2023

Counseling & Groups

Rachael Gardner Purdy, LIDC, LSW, LPC

Clinical Counselor

team member since 2023

rachael@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

yOUTh Group Facilitators

David Kohlrus

team member since 2023

Dre Duvendack Visk

team member since 2022

Emerson Krasnican

team member since 2023

Teagan Sachs

team member since 2023

TransParent Group Facilitator

Gail Wasmer

team member since 2019

TransSupport Group Facilitator

Kate Schwartz

team member since 2022

Neurodiverse Group Facilitator

Rachael Gardner Purdy

team member since 2023

rachael@phoenixcenterspringfield.org

Step Into Recovery Group Facilitator

Andy 

team member since 2023

andy.phoenixcenter@gmail.com

OUT on Second

Andy Lee

Event Coordinator

andy.phoenixcenter@gmail.com

Board of Directors

Karen Reynolds

Board President

Gina Snook

Board Treasurer

Terry Dobbs

Board Vice-President

Dena Marshall-Howell

Board Secretary

Dean Mentjes 

Sarah Disney

Richard Martineau

Gina Romer

Paul Staab

Candice Trees

Vanessa White

Josh Wright

David Yankee

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