Bianca Humady Rey – Co-Chair (She/Her)
Bianca Humady Rey was born and raised in the Philippines. She moved to the United States in the fall of 1998 and began working in the healthcare field in 1999. She is currently an Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Specialist at Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States (KPMAS) Region. Bianca’s passions include a devotion to the normalizing and visibility of the Transgender Communities Nationally and Internationally. Bianca has also worked with Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau (TASB) Program as a Speaker/Facilitator for three years, with focused on conversations about own life stories, while providing a forum for participants to engage in a question-and-answer dialogue. One story at a time, helping to build understanding and support for the Transgender community. Bianca is also a Board Member at Equality Virginia.
Sam Bhutia – Board Member (He/Him)
Sam works in international development, spent the past decade hopping between various cities and continents, and speaks six languages on a good day. He is passionate about issues at the intersection of race and queerness, and the fight for LGBTQ rights across the world. Sam is also very passionate about the art of making dumplings and dreams of running a small dumpling stall in a Singaporean hawker center one day.
Lord Edwin J. Carreon – Board Member (He/Him)
Eddie is a Filipino-American who hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, but as a U.S. Army Brat, he grew up moving and traveling all over the world. Eddie attended college and graduate school in Washington, DC and after many years away, returned in February 2020. He currently serves as the Director of Residential Education at Georgetown University. Eddie’s passions include creating safe and brave spaces for people to flourish, centering the experiences and voices of those marginalized and minoritized in our communities, educating and empowering individuals and communities to work for justice, and actively dismantling oppressive systems. Eddie is a social justice educator, trained InterGroup Dialogue facilitator, and DEI consultant. Some of his hobbies include cooking, hiking, cinema and theatre-going, and long weekend adventures.
Colton Gibbons – Board Member (He/Him)
Colton Gibbons (He/Him) is a Vietnamese Transmasc Activist. He recently founded Trans 501c3 nonprofit CAKE Society Co serving the BIPOC, Immigrant, Trans and Gender-Expansive Community through health and wellness. Colton is a PhD student in Business Psych, and spends his time organizing events for the community.
David Liow – Board Member (He/Him)
David is a Taiwanese-American who moved to the DMV area in 2019. Born and raised in the South, David first moved to New York City after receiving his Master’s in Accounting and BBA in Accounting and International Business. After arriving in DC, he joined AQUA looking to be involved in the QTAPI community. David is passionate about uplifting others and giving back to the community. David is an avid Taylor Swift fan, enjoys running and fitness, and wants to get into gaming.
Thomas Nagata – Board Member (He/They)
Thomas Nagata was born and raised in Los Angeles in a Japanese-American household. After receiving a BA in Theatre Design and Technology, from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, he returned to LA for a few years before moving to DC in 2017. Thomas currently works as freelance stage manager and also performs in drag as Sasha E. Mi. He hopes to work to increase visibility of the QTAPI community, especially in theatre and the performing arts. Thomas can often be found singing along with Betty Buckley or Barbara Cook while sewing in his basement. He also enjoys experimenting with sourdough starter and blaming the weather or oven when it doesn’t turn out.
Paul Jhon Palapal – Board Member (They/Them)
Paul Jhon was born and raised in the Philippines, and moved to the Northern Virginia area in 2005. They are currently studying at George Mason University, majoring in Forensic science. Outside of school and work, Paul’s interests include: horror films, cosplay, gaming and attending rock-metal concerts. Paul hopes to build the AQUA DC community by expanding the number of social events that focus on people who are new to the DMV as well as fellow introverts.
Jenish Patel – Board Member (He/Him)
Jenish was born and brought up in Gujarat, India, immigrated to the United States with family as a teenager. He currently works at the US Department of Veterans Affairs as a Regional Lead in Intellectual Property. He has expertise in biotechnology development, patents, licensing and other legal agreements governing technology transfer. Jenish has educational background (PhD) in Microbiology with focuses on infectious diseases and immunology and has worked both at the US National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously.
Jenish is a trained Indian classical (Kathak) and Flamenco dancer and enjoys dancing, working out, tennis, yoga, hiking, movies and traveling. Jenish has also contributed to other community organizations as a former member of the New York city-based South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA) and current member of Khush DC, DMV-based organization for South Asian LGBTQ+ individuals. As a Board Member of AQUA-DC, Jenish is excited not only to work with the amazing team and contribute to existing programs and initiatives but also lead new programs for the betterment of the community while contributing to strategic planning and bringing AQUA-DC closer to other organizations.
Kenny Rakwong – Board Member (He/Him)
Kenny is a Thai-American undergraduate living in Northern VA. He is studying Information Systems and Operations Management at George Mason University developing skills to support communities and causes he’s passionate about. He’s had internship experience with organizations relating to healthcare, end of life, and caregiving. Outside of school and work, his interests are meditation, indie music, and hiking with his terrier and boxer. With his role on the AQUA DC board, he hopes to connect with queer API university students across the DMV and introduce them to a safe and supportive community.