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Founder and President: Tico Almeida launched Freedom to Work in the fall of 2011. He has extensive experience advocating for workplace fairness as a civil rights litigator in private practice and a legislative attorney in the U.S. Congress. From 2007 to 2010, Almeida served as lead counsel on the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) for the Committee on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He drafted several portions of the bill, organized Committee hearings in support of ENDA, and built a thorough Congressional record necessary to apply ENDA to State government employers. He has provided media commentary on ENDA to publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Congressional Quarterly, the Hill, Huffington Post, the Washington Blade, MetroWeekly, Bilerico, TowleRoad and the Michelangelo Signorile Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
The National LGBT Bar Association recently named Tico Almeida to its list of the Top 40 LGBT Lawyers Under the Age of 40. He has served as Chairman of the Employment and Labor Law Section of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Almeida received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from Duke University.
Legislative Director: Christian Berle serves as Freedom to Work’s Legislative Director.
Christian Berle has had a lengthy career in the advocacy world with a focus on securing Republican support for pro-equality positions. Most recently, he served as Director of Communications and Coalitions for Richard Tisei for Congress Campaign in Massachusetts Sixth Congressional District, where he managed messaging for one of the top House races in the entire country. From 2009 through 2012, he served as Deputy Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, overseeing the organization’s PAC, legislative and political operations, and all administrative matters. In 2008, he served on the McCain for President Campaign in the coalitions and online media departments. From 2006 through 2008, he worked in the Political Department of the National Federation of Independent Business, where he coordinated political communications to the organizations 400,000 members and in political support of the organization’s endorsed candidates. In 2005 and 2006, he served as a Professional Staff Assistant for the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, under Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), focusing on budget, finance, tax, social security, healthcare and veterans’ issues. He currently serves on the Victory Fund Campaign Board and has served on numerous local, state and national committees for the Republican Party. He is a native of Portland, Maine and an alumnus of The George Washington University.
NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD:
Dr. Dana Beyer, Executive Director of Gender Rights Maryland
Donna Cartwright, Co-President of Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
Jarrod Chlapowski, former Field and Development Director at Servicemembers United
Becky Dansky, civil rights lobbyist and former lead ENDA lobbyist for The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Edward Feighan, former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (D-OH)
Bill Hendrix, DOW Chemical
Darren Hutchinson, Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law
Kevin Kish, Director of the Employment Rights Project at Bet Tzedek Legal Service
Ari Lipman, Industrial Areas Foundation
Seth Marnin, Co-Chair of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
Joe Racalto, Principal at Giesta Racalto Solutions
Skip Roberts, the Service Employees International Union
Renee Rosenfeld, President of Reverberate Media
Meghan Stabler, Business Executive, Transgender Advocate and National LGBT Activist