Meet Our Board of Directors
Our President Diana Prince was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to a life in banking and finance, Diana used to teach High School Social Studies. After graduating from Graceland University, Diana worked several jobs, including six years of nonprofit work. After going back to school in 2008, Diana realized she had a passion for numbers, and started calling herself “the nerdy kid”. She began a new career in the mortgage and banking industry. Outside of the “nerdy kid” work, Diana is a huge Wonder Woman fan, and likes playing golf in her spare time. In 2015, Diana rode in the Tour De Ladies, a 62.5-mile ride (metric century) and Venus De Miles, a 100-mile ride in the Longmont/Boulder Area. In 2019, Diana was asked to join the Des Moines Pride Center and in July 2020, became the President of the Pride Center.
Stacy Schmidt (She/They) joined the Pride Center board in the fall of 2021 and has worked primarily to develop programming for LGBTQ+ young people in the Des Moines metro. Stacy’s passion for LGBTQ+ activism stems from working to be the kind of adult they wished they had as a young person growing up in rural Iowa. In addition to serving on the Pride Center board, Stacy is active in the Des Moines Education Association and serves as a regional co-director of the National Education Association’s LGBTQ+ Caucus. Locally, Stacy is involved with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ-Des Moines) as a leader in their education work group. During her free time, Stacy enjoys watching anime, gaming with friends, and spending time camping and boating with family.
One of more recent board members to the Pride Center is Alyssa Turner. Alyssa was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She is a true Southsider as she chants, “Southside Pride.” After graduating from Des Moines Lincoln, she attended DMACC followed by attending trade schools. For the past several years, Alyssa “Allie” drives for DART full time. Alyssa also serves on the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) board and as a local union steward at DART. Alyssa has two school age kids. In her spare time, she likes to work with LGBTQIA online support groups.
Alex (They/Them) moved to Des Moines in 2016 from Denver, CO. In 2017, they started on the first consolidation and labeling project for the library. They currently hold the role of Secretary for the board. Outside of volunteer work, they have two huskies and enjoy listening to music and biking around downtown.
In 1976, Mr. Miller first participated in Pride Week when he made a banner that was carried in the parade. He is a graduate of UNI (BA) and ISU (MA) with a fellowship to the UI through the Connie Belin Gifted and Talented Program. His Queer activities have been ongoing since 1985, when he was president of the Gay Coalition of Des Moines; and later the Des Moines Men’s Chorus, the Gay & Lesbian Resource Center, and the Des Moines Pride Center. Rick was inspired by early LGBTQIA+ local activists in the 1980’s like: Ken Valadez, Rich Eychaner, Bob Eikelberry, and many others. He has worked with ONE Iowa on their Senior Advisory committee, and was a co-chair for Gay and Lesbian Education Network (GLSEN) with Ealaine Imlau in the 1990’s. He has participated in numerous other historical, cultural, and informational activities throughout the years.
In 2020, Rick was awarded Person of the Year by Capital City Pride for his work curating “Evolution of the Revolution: 50 Years Since Stonewall” exhibit at the Polk County Heritage Gallery in 2019. He has worked with Plymouth Congregational UCC to be more inclusive with their programming, and twice presenting art exhibits called “Gay Speak”. Rick was on the church Willits Committee that created the first health conference for older LGBTQIA+ Iowans, which was titled “A Matter of Grace and Dignity” and held at the State Historical Society.
Rick has been active in promoting LGBTQIA+ libraries since 1990 and is an avid reader of historical information about the civil rights of gay people. He recently moved from the role of Treasurer to Archivist for the Des Moines Pride Center, with a focus on completing a historical biography project about LGBTQIA+ icons in Iowa.
Leslie Woodris (She, Her) has recently joined the Pride Center Board bringing with her 6+ years of mental health experience. Leslie is passionate about supporting LGBTQIA+ health and wellness working within the Des Moines community for the past 4 years supporting youth, families, and adults on their healing journeys. Leslie is excited to be part of the board and to be more active in supporting the community. During Leslie’s free time she enjoys painting, playing with her puppy Sally, and learning how to play the ukulele.
Marlú Abarca (They/Elle, She/Ella) was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, Chumash, and Fernandeno Tataviam. In 2010, Mx. Abarca moved to Iowa to attend Grinnell College where they studied Psychology & Spanish, with a concentration in language development & acquisition. After graduating with her Bachelors degree, she moved to Des Moines where she served on the Al Éxito Board, serving as one of the youngest Board Presidents in the state.