2019 Grand Marshals
Carole Goldsmith, Ed.D.
Dr. Carole Goldsmith has been recognized on state and national levels as an expert on workforce development, contextualized learning, and career technical education. She has spent over 20 years in a variety of educational leadership roles, most recently as President of Fresno City College.
Before taking the helm at Fresno City College on August 1, 2016, Dr. Goldsmith served as President of West Hills College Coalinga for nearly four years. Prior to that, she held multiple positions at West Hills including Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Workforce Development and Director of Strategic Planning. She also worked at Fresno Unified School District as Vice Principal III, and helped to open the César E. Chávez Adult Education Center.
Dr. Goldsmith has extensive expertise in building collaboration among faculty and industry, workforce investment boards and postsecondary educational agencies in order to identify and provide opportunities for students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for future employment in high demand fields. Dr. Goldsmith is a talented grant writer and educator. She has been called an evangelist for education whose efforts has led to a better life for thousands of students and families in the San Joaquin Valley.
Dr. Goldsmith has served on a number of other boards including United Way, California Community College Administrators of Occupational Education and San Joaquin Clean Energy Organization and the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. Most recently, she is serving on the Board of Governors Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and a Strong Economy. The California Community Colleges Board of Governors commissioned the Task Force with a goal to increase individual and regional economic competitiveness by providing California’s workforce with relevant skills and quality credentials that match employer needs and fuel a strong economy.
Dr. Goldsmith’s leadership has been acknowledged by many different organizations. In 2018, she was recipient of a Top 10 Professional Women and Leading Business Award by the Marjaree Mason Center. She was also recently named Woman of the Year by the City of Fresno. In 2017, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from National University School of Education and the Outstanding Alumna Award by the California State University, Fresno Graduate Studies Division in 2013. Dr. Goldsmith received the Mariann Loniello Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Community and Continuing Education.
She earned her Doctorate of Education from the Joint Doctorate program offered by California State University, Fresno and University of California, Davis. Dr. Goldsmith is the first in her family to graduate from a university. She has two adult children, Chad and Chelsea Dobbs and one God-daugther, Ashlee Sian Hernandez. Carole is happily engaged to Melissa Blake and is looking forward to getting married in February 2020.
Dr. Julie Nicole
Dr Nicole is originally from Quebec City, Canada. She has been living in the US since 1995 and has worked in a variety of fields including teaching French, banking and medical laboratories. She decided to become a physician as a natural progression from her work as a teacher and her love for research.
She completed medical school and her OBGYN residency at the University of Vermont where she found the support and training needed for her to start providing care to the transgender community. As a self-described “underdog” in medical school, a single mother, who did not come from a family of doctors and had to work AND go to medical school to support her family, Dr Nicole sees the same resilience in her transgender patients and it resonates with her in a very personal way.
After her training was completed, she joined Dr Marci Bowers' practice in August 2013 and left for Fresno in October 2014 where she grew her practice mostly by word of mouth. Today, Dr Nicole provides medical and surgical services for hundreds of transgender patients all over the Central Valley.
Dr Nicole has 5 cats named after the Harry Potter series (Gryffindor, Oliver Woods, Minerva, Fred and George). Her husband, Drew, is a critical care nurse, woodworker and photographer. She also has two adult daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking and knitting.
Fresno Unified School District
In August 2017, comments made to a Fresno Bee reporter in opposition to California’s sex education curriculum generated concern and controversy within Fresno Unified and the larger community. While not a shining moment for district representatives, the incident did identify a need to further enhance acceptance and supports for Fresno Unified’s LGBTQ students, staff and families.
As a result of collaborative meetings with community members and district staff, a cross-departmental LGBTQ+ Work Team developed a comprehensive plan to create safe, supportive and inclusive schools that are culturally responsive to the needs of all LGBTQ+ stakeholders.
As a part of this on-going plan, professional learning has been a key focus area for Fresno Unified. To date, over 500 district staff members in various roles have received learning on Gender Inclusive Schools and LGBTQ+ Cultural Responsiveness, including the board of education, district leaders, school administrators, counselors, school social workers, nurses, teachers, classified employees and support staff. A system of high-quality and best practice consultation was established so that school staff can access supports and services to better meet the needs of the district’s gender diverse and LGBTQ+ students and their families.
The plan also focuses on empowering the district’s LGBTQ+ students with increased access to resources, meaningful engagement and leadership opportunities. For the last two years, Fresno Unified has partnered with GSA Network (Gender & Sexualities Alliance) to support these goals and to strengthen the 15 active middle and high school GSA clubs. In February, the inaugural “Fresno Unified GSA Student Voice Committee” was launched with students coming together from across the district to build relationships, discuss issues that matter to them, and to help plan student events. After the Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade, the students’ next focus will be on holding the first ever dance for LGBTQ+ Allies in the fall.
Fresno Unified has also continued to ensure that student records, district activities and policies support LGBTQ+ students and are in alignment with state law. On May 23, 2018, the board adopted the new Gender Identity and Inclusion Board Policy, which was developed with input from experts in the field, community members and the Student Advisory Board. Acknowledging the historical contributions of the community, the Board has adopted a resolution recognizing the month of October as LGBT History month the last two years. The work in Fresno Unified has continued to grow and evolve over time and is grounded in the vision of creating safe, supportive and inclusive schools for all.
“Our district is honored to be one of today’s Grand Marshals. We want students, employees and our entire community to know that ALL are welcome and safe in Fresno Unified schools. We hope our work echoes that message loud and clear every day.” -Bob Nelson, Superintendent Fresno Unified School District.
Queens of the South Valley
Hi my name is Priscilla McNamara...Your Miss Gay Fresno for less than 24 hours 😂 jk. My name is Priscilla McNamara, I am a Visalia Queen from the South Valley who has been doing drag for about 7 years now. I work closely with The Source LGBT+ Center in Visalia specifically with Drag Queen Bingo and other local events. I am apart of an amazing haus team called Queens of the South Valley who gather as one and give back to our local community and surrounding cities. I also host DLG CO. Comedy show in Bakersfield at the BackDoor which every once a month show gives portions of the proceeds back to a different local nonprofit organization. It’s my honor to be one of this year’s Grand Marshalls and hosts. Always remember to spread peace love and happiness. Let’s party.
Trance like the Electric Dance Music… last name Former. Trance Former that is. She is known for her love of EDM music, play those fun remixes and she will dance her heart out for you. She started Drag about 5 years ago where she put on a wig, some heels, and barely any makeup…went out on the town and had the best time being able to enjoy life, and dance in a community with every color of the rainbow. Meeting some amazing performers, friends, and sisters along the way she has been able to learn, grow, and give back within the community. Supporting the Local Drag Shows each and every Friday night right here in Tower District, at club FAB. She is also involved with the SOURCE LGBT+ Center in Visalia, performing at there Annual LGBT Youth Prom, also performing and calling out those numbers at there Drag Queen BINGO Events in Visalia!! Trance is very honored to be here today as one of the 2019 Grand Marshals for the Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival!
Jesus Arredondo aka Bebe Waters is one of the three pioneering Queens of the South Valley. Bebe Waters is known for her big personality but her bigger heart. Bebe, at the age of 18 got her start in drag by winning Closet Ball Queen 2013, a camp title from the Imperial Dove Court when male contestants are transformed into the opposite gender. She has performed with such groups as Lotus and formerly with Illusions Drag Show in Visalia. Bebe’s undying support to the Fresno Community and well as the Visalia Community does not go unnoticed as she is one of the three empowering queens of the South Valley. Her contributions include doing blanket drives for the homeless during Christmas, supporting the SOURCE in Visalia with various events and performing for the Imperial Dove Court. Bebe is ecstatic to serve as one of the 2019 Grand Marshals for the Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival.
My name is Ray Quenga, formerly from the Island of Guam and currently residing in Fresno, California. I moved to Monterey, California in 1998 from Guam, spent seven years there working for Wells Fargo Bank before transitioning to Fresno where I met my partner of 15 years. We moved down to Orange County from 2007-2009 for a brief period before returning to Fresno.
I am currently 46 years old, father of 2 little beautiful boys, partnered for 15 years, and a professional photographer, and signer. My career was primarily spent in Banking and Lending, before doing my photography full time as a business. I have live in the Fig Garden area of Fresno over the last 4 years now. We adopted our little boys officially in January 2019, however we had our boys since May 2018. The decision to adopt was a long process until one day we finally decided to take the leap of doing so in September 2017. Our boys have been a blessing to us and our families, and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity of having such supportive family and friends during the process of adoption.
I have spent years supporting our LGBTQ community as well as other organizations and non-profits. I have donated my time over the last 3 years capturing moments for the Marjaree Mason Center benefiting women and children of domestic violence. I have spent countless days and nights supporting the local night life, and day life scene. I am also the Vice President of the Fresno Rainbow Bowling League and have been for 8 years now. I have helped grow the league to what it is today, with the help of some great people.
I come from a very close net family, my parents have been the constant driving force for my siblings and I. In the passing, their teachings and love remained with us all and it is that same love teachings we are instilling in our children. I am honored to have been chosen to be Grand Marshal for Fresno Pride 2019. I appreciate the recognition and love from the community.