Copyright 2005
Girl's Best Friend Foundation

Girl's Best Friend Foundation (GBF) closed November 2007. 
GBF’s records are archived with Special Collections of the University
of Illinois, Chicago.  In fall 2008, they will be made public:

Girl's Best Friend Foundation Board of Directors

Nikita Buckhoy has centered her life and career on the belief that people are individually and collectively powerful. She has supported progressive social change through political activism/advocacy, direct service, program design, administration, evaluation, and fundraising. Active in African American lesbian, gay, and HIV-impacted communities, she was elected to the GBF board in 2002. Nikita, a Social Worker, recently relocated to Detroit, where she created Dovetail Management to offer project and grant mangement services to local non-profits.


Tiffany Chiang's belief in girls' leadership began when she founded and coordinated Girl World, located in the Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods. After stints in the trading and education fields, she has returned to a community-based organization, Alternatives, as a grant writer. She will also be exploring entrepreneurial ventures in the coming year. Tiffany joined the GBF board in 2000.

Tracy Fischman is Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area. Her career has included policy, advocacy, legislative and political posts in the areas of STD/HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and reproductive health care. Tracy is a key instigator of the dynamic Illinois Campaign for Responsible Sex Education and serves on the boards of Health and Medicine Policy Research Group and the American Jewish Congress of the Midwest. Tracy is committed to social justice and to eliminating barriers that divide communities. She loves GBF because the organization -- and the people involved in it -- exemplifies those principles both in theory and practice. Tracy became a GBF board member in 2002, and is board chair. 

Stephanie Kanter is co-owner of Suvi, a women's boutique in Frankfort, MI, and a local consultant focusing on disability-related issues. Her professional experience includes work with the Health and Fitness Center at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Access Living. She also provided marketing and program development for VSA arts, an disability-based arts organization. Stephanie is a past member of the board of Women in the Director’s Chair, a feminist media organization. Stephanie has been a member of the GBF board since 2000.

Kate McLachlanKate McLachlan is the creator of Bellyfruit, a midwifery practice in Portland, Oregon. She previously worked in healthcare policy, with an emphasis on the health of adolescents, mothers, children, and women; reproductive rights; and health care access. Kate co-founded Martinez Street Women's Center in 1999 with a small group of friends and colleagues in San Antonio, Texas.  Influential in her mother's planning of GBF, Kate was a board member from 1996 to 1998 and returned to the board in 2002. She is Secretary.

Suleyma Pérez is Associate Director of the Northeastern Illinois University Chicago ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities in Education) and the Legislative Liaison/ Assistant to the President at NEIU. Suleyma's expertise includes higher education research and state and foundation-funded initiatives. She has a keen interest in developing young Latinas/os to become future community leaders. Suleyma joined the GBF board in 2002.

Karen TamleyKaren Tamley is Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. She has dedicated her career to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities to live independently in the communities of their choice. Her powerful record in the disability rights movement includes initiating and building the Illinois Disability Vote Project, designed to organize Illinois' thousands of eligible voters with disabilities into a powerful voting bloc; program management at Access Living; and co-founding the Disability Rights Action Coalition for Housing. Karen was elected to the GBF board in 2004.

Presita May WestPresita May West is an Assistant Public Defender, the mother of two, and a longtime advocate for children and adults in the criminal justice system. She is committed to creating a voice for young girls in the criminal justice system. Presita is dedicated to the goals of GBF and enthusiastic about SES. Presita joined the GBF board in 2001.

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