Jack Nooren

Vice Chair/ Assistant Director

Jack migrated to the United States from Holland in 1989 at the age of 19. He built a successful career in real estate and moved from the Midwest to California in 2008.

 

Jack has always played an active role in numerous nonprofit organizations including: Red Cross, Pathways Behavioral Services (a drug and alcohol treatment center), YWCA, Lions Club, Sports for Exceptional Athletes and numerous other organizations. Three years ago he became involved in Casa de Luz in Tijuana and took a leadership role in helping to raise money in order to make the program more sustainable. Jack started a 501(c)(3) and acquired the current location that Casa de Luz resides in.

 

His passion to help LBGTQ + refugees shows with his continued active involvement in the program and the leader ship role he has assumed within the organization

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Benny Cartwright

Benny is a lifelong San Diegan who has been actively involved in the LGBTQ+ community since he was a teenager, for over 20 years. He began his activism while a student at San Diego State University, where he got a degree in Communications. He also studied at the University of San Diego and earned a master's degree in Nonprofit Leadership & Management. His career has included a number of diverse positions including serving as the first Executive Director of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, the Director of Community Outreach for the San Diego LGBT Community Center, Senior Staff Reporter for San Diego LGBT News (sdlgbtn.com), and Government Affairs Coordinator for the Associated Students of SDSU.

 

Benny currently serves as a Community Representative and Communications Coordinator for City of San Diego Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, and can be found on the weekends working his side-job at the door at Rich's San Diego.

 

Benny will also assume the role of Publisher of San Diego LGBT News later this year. He is looking forward to utilizing his nonprofit leadership and communications/marketing skills to support the important work that Casa de Luz does.

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Ken Kurzendoerfer

Ken is Vice President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals with 12.5 million members across 8 Kaiser Permanente Regions.  Ken assumed the role at Kaiser  in August 2013.

A nationally recognized leader and a champion of health care transformation, improving access, and pushing for better health outcomes, Kurzendoerfer, since his time with Kaiser Permanente, has been driving the comprehensive work focused on growing the organization’s membership, improving affordability for members, and transforming and expanding access to care.

Ken has 30 years of leadership experience as a senior health care executive and has played an integral role in leading the transformation and improvement of patient care outcomes at Kaiser Permanente. In addition, he has been a key leader in driving the organization’s mission of providing high-quality, affordable care and coverage; strengthening the culture; and ensuring Kaiser Permanente continues to be a great place to work.  Ken has comprehensive expertise in strategic planning, performance improvement and measurement, data analysis, compliance and P&L.

Prior to his current role, Kurzendoerfer served as Vice President at Aetna Health Plans for 18 years, with direct responsibility for health plan operations, serving over 20 million members. Ken’s accountabilities included leading Enterprise Shared Services to serve the operational needs of the regions and leading national care delivery strategy.

Kurzendoerfer is a member America’s Health Insurance Plans and is both a governor and steward within the Global Health and Healthcare Community at the World Economic Forum. Additionally, Kurzendoerfer is a member of the National Association of Health Services Executives and The Executive Leadership Council. He also serves on the board of directors for Urban Street Angels, San Diego.

Ken has a Master’s of Arts degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Louisville, Ky.  He also holds an Executive Leadership Certification from Harvard Business School.

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Teamwork

Board Members 

Michael Albo

Michael Albo is Vice Chair and Clinical Professor in the Department of Urology at the University of California, San Diego where he has been on faculty since 1996.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1983 with a BA in Preprofessional Studies.  He earned his medical degree in 1988 from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, completed a residency in Urology in 1994 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery in 1996 at the University of California. 

 

After graduating from Notre Dame, Dr. Albo volunteered with the Holy Cross Associates working as a Program Coordinator at the Eden Youth Center, a community-based organization for underserved youth in the East Bay.  The year between his residency and fellowship, he volunteered at a small hospital in the city Solala, Guatemala, to bring urologic care to the surrounding farming villages and then volunteered at the McCormick Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

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 Ryan Bedrosian

Ryan is the owner of Rich’s Nightclub in the heart of Hillcrest and a San Diego resident for over 20 years. Before taking ownership of the club in the beginning of 2020, he was the General Manager of Rich’s for the previous 12 years. He currently serves on the Mayor's LBGTQ community advisory board, the Police Chief and the Sheriff’s LBGTQ advisory board and is an officer of the Hillcrest Business Association.

Tan Carlin

Tan is a local area pharmacist that was himself a refugee that immigrated to the US in 1989. The youngest at the time, his 3 older brothers and mother took the long trek from war torn Vietnam to land in Cleveland OH.

 

He got his PharmD from the University of Toledo in 2011 and moved out to sunny San Diego in 2016. His previous volunteer work includes leading college students in a monthly service learning experience through Americorps at places such as Ronald McDonald Charities making food for families with kids at the hospital, Josina Lott residential facility for those with disabilities in Toledo, OH and Cherry Street Mission serving the homeless. 

 

More recently he has dedicated his volunteer hours to student pharmacists and to the free local health events they hold. Tan hopes to be able to give back to the community more so by being involved with Casa de Luz.

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Markus Zaugg

After moving to San Diego from Switzerland in 1998, Markus broke into the construction industry and secured his state contractor's license and opened a custom cabinetry shop. Shortly thereafter he introduced a German cabinet line to San Diego and became an exclusive dealership.

 

Markus has an open minded view and loves people from all over the world with different cultures, backgrounds, religion and sexuality.

 

The involvement to help other people is his passion and becoming a board member of Casa de Luz was a perfect fit to help LBGTQ people achieve their dreams.

Byron Ross

As a born and raised San Diego native, Byron has loved growing up in such a diverse town full of transplants and immigrants from all over the world. Byron has been involved in all sorts of nonprofit organizations, which include Urban Street Angels, a homeless youth outreach, 8-West, supportive housing, and transitional employment program, MissionGathering, and he currently holds the position of Vice-Chair on The Hillcrest Town Council.

 

Helping people find a place to call home has always been a passion of his, which in part is the reason Byron became a Real Estate Agent.

 

He believes that every person deserves to have a roof over their head, a meal in their tummy, and a fair chance for the pursuit of happiness.

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Freda Horton

Freda is a proud mother and grandmother. She moved to San Diego 12 years, after years of spending her vacations here! In 2021 she was honored by Nicole Murray- Ramirez as Miss LGBTQ pride San Diego for her ongoing commitment to community involvement.

 

She is very passionate about serving and protecting plus raising awareness for the weak and vulnerable. Freda is unwavering in her commitment to help others. “I believe we all are entitled to live authentically and Love who we are.”


She advocates for trans youth, black trans women, BLM, stop Asian hate, women reproductive rights, protecting children, and our seniors. Recently she moved her mother to San Diego in order to care for her.


She is often referred to as “mom”.