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2016 Board of Directors

president melissa

Melissa A. Flories – President and Founder

Melissa has been a member of the fundraising community in Fort Worth and Houston for over 25 years. While in Fort Worth, Melissa served as President and Vice President of Tarrant County Lesbian and Gay Pride Week Association as well as the first Lesbian to serve a full term of the Imperial Court de Fort Worth/Arlington as Emperor 16 and was also the first lesbian to be appointment Heir Apparent 17 by Jose 1, The Widow Norton, founder of the ICS. She was honored for her service when elected by the community as the Grand Marshal in the 1995 Pride Parade. She also served as a Board Member to the Tarrant County Gay and Lesbian Alliance and was one of the founding members of Samaritan House, a facility dedicated to caring for People with AIDS.

While in Houston, Melissa was the first Lesbian to serve as Mr. Gay Pride Houston. She served on the Board of Directors for the Empire of the Royal Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Single Star and was bestowed a Lifetime title to the organization in 2003. She served on the Board of Directors for the Lesbian Health Initiative and has been active in raising money for various charities dedicated to Lesbian and Gay health issues. In March of 2012, Melissa was one of the original six founding members of Texas United Charities.

Professionally, Melissa has been in Sales and Marketing for over 30 years and is responsible for the Houston Market for Color Dynamics, based in Allen, TX. Melissa is also an ordained Minister and a licensed New Decision Therapy Practitioner.

Melissa – President and Founder – Contact Email Address: mflories7@yahoo.com


vp sara

Sara B. Sjolander – Vice President and Founder

Sara has been an active member of the Gay and Lesbian fundraising community for the past 15 years. Her vocal styling’s have helped to raise funds for organizations such as ERSICSS, The Montrose Center, HATCH, Legacy Community Health Services, The Lady Victoria Lust PWA Campout, AIDS Foundation Houston, Lazarus House, The Lesbian Health Initiative, Assist Hers, and many many more.

She has proudly served on the board of several charitable organizations and has held such titles as Ms. Michael’s Outpost 2006-2008, October 2005 Face of the Month Key’s West, and Ms. Gay Pride 2008 & 2009. Additionally, she was bestowed the honor of being named the B.J. Summors Memorial Entertainer of the Year in 2006 by the Colt 45’s.

In her professional life she is a graphic designer and has donated countless hours of service to various organizations producing posters, flyers, banners, and other advertising and print material. She is constantly searching for new avenues in which to serve in the community and is very excited to be back on the Board of TUC as Vice President. In March of 2012, Sara was one of the original six founding members of Texas United Charities.

Sara – Vice President and Founder – Contact Email Address: sarasjolander@yahoo.com


director keith

Keith Woods – Secretary

Keith Woods has worked within the Gay and Lesbian community of Houston since the early 1990s. He is a founding member of the Cajun Bellefest Committee who raised money and donations for the Loving Arms Foundation which provides daycare and education of children who were HIV+. He has been a member of TUC for 2 years.

Keith – Secretary – Contact email address: d.keith.woods@gmail.com




director shiela

Sheila Morton – Treasurer and Major Gifts Director

Sheila A. Morton was born in Houston, Texas in 1960 and in 1964 moved to Alvin, Texas upon her family purchasing a restaurant. She grew up in Alvin, and later her family began investing in multi-family and commercial real estate.

Upon graduating from Alvin High School, she attended Alvin Community College, University of Houston, and graduated from Sam Houston State University with Bachelor of Business Management degree. She also attended the Art Institute of Houston and studied the Culinary Arts.

Since graduating from college, she continues to have a very successful career as a Property Manager and has worked for various corporate property management companies in the Greater Houston area since 1986. Also, she and her sister are now business partners in their ownership of their parent’s legacy in Alvin, Texas.

Sheila began fundraising three years ago in 2013 with Texas United Charities. In 2014, she was Director of Fundraising, and this year (2015) she was voted on the board and eventually appointed Treasurer for TUC.

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite hobby is traveling most especially to South Padre Island to her condo for much deserved relaxation and beach time.

Sheila – Treasurer and Major Gifts Director – Contact email address: shava42@yahoo.com


director barry

Barry Larson, Major Gifts Coordinator

Barry started helping raise money for the Houston Gay community during the thralls of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980's. While working at The Galleon, a local gay bar, Barry joined the Happy Hour Daddy's and started performing to help raise thousands of dollars for AIDS Foundation of Houston in 1985, 1986 and 1987 until he returned to Missouri to obtain a Bachelors of Science Degree in Public Relations.

Upon returning to Houston in 1992, Barry found himself involved with the Houston Gay community once again. While working at Gentry, the bar that was formerly known as The Galleon, he was introduced to the community fundraising organization, The Royal Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Single Star of Houston, Inc. Barry joined the organization in Reign 9 and worked with the organization for several years to help raise money for the Houston Gay Community. He holds the Perpetual Title of Her Serene Highness, The White Pearl, Black Onyx, Lone Star Holstein Heifer Imperial Princess Royale XII.

Barry was also a member of Soiree Aubergine, another Houston Gay community fundraising organization for AIDS. He was crowned Miss Soiree Aubergine in 2000.

Barry's other contributions and achievements in the Houston Gay community include, but not limited to: Miss Chances Emeritus 1996, Miss Honeybee 1999 and from November 15, 1996 - August 1997 he was the publisher of the Montrose Area Pride, "THE MAP," with Jim Cheek. The newspaper was published for the men and women of the Houston Gay community.

Barry – Major Gifts Coordinator - Contact email address: larsonbarry@yahoo.com