Meet the Board
President – Connie Stolp
Connie has over thirty years of experience in the field of vision rehabilitation therapy. She worked in direct service and leadership positions at non-profit, state and federal agencies. Prior to retirement, Connie was employed at the Department of Veteran Affairs as a Certified Rehabilitation Therapist where she assisted in the provision of training and resources enabling veterans with low vision and blindness to live safe, productive and independent lives.
Connie has lived in Seminole County for seventeen years. She received her master’s degree in Education at Florida State University.
Her focus, throughout her lifetime, has been to live in a way that reflects her values of equality, inclusion and justice.
Vice-President – Luther “Luke” Dowe
Luther “Luke” Dowe (He/Him/His)
Originally from upstate New York, Luke went into the Navy directly after high school. After serving his country, he attained his commercial pilot license and real estate license. In 2013, he moved to Florida permanently to start his family and become a successful real estate investor. Luther and his husband settled in Seminole County with their three children.
Luke has served on several boards, including A Day to Be Gay Foundation and the Liberty Youth Center. Luke also owned the largest alternative nightclub outside of New York City. He offered a safe place for the LGBTQ community of upstate New York to gather and feel welcome.
More recently Luke ran for Florida State Representative and has become motivated to speak out against biased politicians that are hell-bent on disenfranchising the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for the equal treatment of all Floridians.
Treasurer – Salvatore Vieira
Salvatore Vieira (he/him/his) is thrilled to be a part of the Board of the Rainbow SemDems! As someone who grew up in Central Florida, advocating in his community is something very important to him. He is ecstatic to be the Chair of the Membership Committee, as well as working on the Communications Committee to help robust engagement with our Seminole LGBTQ+ folks!
Salvatore got his break into political activism as a volunteer turned field organizer for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for President during the primary. He went on to work with Organizing Together 2020 before making his move into the nonprofit world with Equality Florida. He is currently the Central Florida Field Organizer at Equality Florida.
Prior to finding his voice as an advocate, he received his B.F.A in Musical Theatre at the University of Central Florida and performed in theatres along the east coast!
Secretary – Sue Jenik
Sue is a nearly native Central Floridian currently working in career 2.0 as a Professional Services Consultant at a local software company. Prior to that, she worked for 20 years in human resources management before taking a mid-career gap year to teach English in Vietnam and explore Southeast Asia. Sue went to Winter Park High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida so that was her first time living somewhere else since childhood! Aside from travel, Sue loves movies and TV (especially Sci-Fi!), eating around town at fabulous independent restaurants, and she interminably tries to learn Spanish.
Passionate about service and having a deeply held core value that all humans have the same rights, and should be granted equitable access to opportunities, Sue has been serving the community as a volunteer and Board member of various professional and community organizations throughout her life, including the Greater Orlando Society for Human Resources Management (Technology Chair), Sanford Rotary Club (Events Chair), and the Seminole County Democratic Party (Credentials Chair).
These experiences have lent Sue a wealth of knowledge and skills in Project Management, Leadership, and Communications which she proudly brings to support the Rainbow SemDems’ mission.
Director, Communications – Claudia Thomas
After graduating from the University of Arizona and spending 30+ years working as an HR Professional and Systems Integration Analyst in the Aerospace Industry, Claudia got the Activist Bug after attending the 2017 Women’s March in DC. That led to becoming a Precinct Organizer in Brevard County, as well as a Field Organizer for candidates like Sanjay Patel (US Congress 8), Mel Martin (Florida Senate), Pam Dirschka (Florida House 50), and Alton Edmond (Brevard County Sheriff). She was also the Chair of the Brevard Dems’ Technology Committee – a good fit for a geek!
And, like Salvatore, music is Claudia’s first love and performed as a musician (guitar and bass) at the Titusville Playhouse. Now that she is a happy Seminole County resident, she hopes to get involved in theatres over here. (That’s when she’s not supporting our Rainbow SemDems, watching the four furry family members at home, or helping out as statistician for her wife’s four-time National Champion Raider Golf Team.)
Director, At-Large – José Negrón
José R Negrón was born and raised in United States Territory of Puerto Rico. He completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at the University of the Sacred Heart in San Juan, Puerto Rico. José moved to New York City in 1988 after being recruited by the New York City Department of Education to work as a teacher. He completed a Master’s Degree in Education at Lehman College (Bronx, NY) and taught at the elementary school level in public schools in the NYC Boroughs of the Bronx and Manhattan for 17 years. While teaching, Jose earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work at New York University. After completing this degree, he began to work as a School Social Worker serving students enrolled in public and private schools in the Bronx. In total, Jose completed 32 years of service for New York City schools until July 2020, when he retired. He moved with his husband to the City of Longwood in Seminole County in 2022.