Our Committee

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Dr. Gennifer Herley

Dr. Gennifer (Genn) Herley, PhD is the founder and Executive Director of TransNewYork, a non-profit organization serving the transgender non-conforming (TGNC) community. TransNewYork’s mission is to bring awareness to the issues facing the community and give guidance and support to individuals and their loved ones within an open and safe environment. Gennifer is a proud transgender woman who recently transitioned and earned her doctorate degree in 2014. Prior to founding TransNewYork she ran A Better Life Counseling for 7 years. Gennifer is currently finishing her memoir, which she hopes to complete by 2020.

Karen Cunningham

Karen Cunningham is the Vice President on the Board of Directors of TransNewYork. She is also the founder of Femme Fever and has a degree in social work and cosmetology. For over 25 years, Femme Fever has offered full transformation services to individuals within the gender expression and crossdressing aspect of the transgender community, which involve full makeovers, photoshoots, shopping, and much more. Additionally, Karen runs support groups every month that help those who are closeted in our community, as well as a monthly social events and the yearly Gala Ball.

Cheryl Cush

Cheryl Cush is a Senior Director at NYC Health and Hospitals in the Enterprise Information Technology Services group. She has over 25 years of experience in technology systems architecture, design and engineering in Healthcare and Financial Services fields. Cheryl is a transgender woman who is working with her Executive Leadership to develop strategies to provide guidance for transgender individuals on the best ways to transition in the workplace while maintaining professionalism and career growth. Cheryl is also working to start a program within HR departments to encourage recruitment and career development of pre-workforce transgender youth to aid in their full transition and realization of their talents and abilities.

Shannon Whittington

Shannon Whittington, BSN, MSN, received her BSN at The University of Tennessee and her MSN from Walden University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  She began her nursing career at the University of TN hospital with a focus in Cardiology and then at Emory Hospital in Atlanta on the Renal and Hepatic transplant unit.

After relocating to New York, Shannon joined The New York Presbyterian Hospital as a member of the  Cardiology department.  Shannon then started an auspicious career at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York as a staff nurse.  Shortly thereafter, Shannon was promoted in rapid succession to  Team manager, Regional Branch director, and her current post as Director of the Gender Affirmation Program (GAP). Shannon personally developed and expanded this program to become the preferred home care provider.  Shannon greatly enjoys educating and coaching clinicians in caring for the LGBTQ+ population and transgender patients who undergo gender affirmation surgery.

Shannon was recently greatly honored to receive the Quality and Innovation Award from the Home Care Association of New York for her work with the Gender Affirmation Program. Additionally, Shannon is a certified speaker with the John Maxwell team. She specializes in leadership, coaching, and training to individuals and corporations. Many of her speaking engagements are centered on servant-based leadership and adding value to others. 

To date, Shannon has presented  to various organizations at conferences across the U.S. delivering  extremely well-received  lectures on leadership, transgender health and cultural sensitivity. 

Sonya Lee

Founder, Body, Mind, and Soul Institute, and Program Director, SheTek 

Sonya has a deep passion for people, business, and technology and its impact on each other. She enjoys the challenge of bringing people, products, services, and processes together to help unleash human productivity and creativity. And she looooves the intersection of fashion, retail, consumer behavior, health, analytics, technology, and public policy. 

Sonya served as a career officer in the military for 20+ years before completing her MBA from Babson College. For the last 10+ years, she has served in corporate America. Sonya believes unless you bring your whole self to work where your body, mind, and soul are in harmony with what you do for a living, it is difficult to lead a satisfying, fruitful, and productive personal/professional life.  
Sonya’s one-line elevator pitch says: ” Sonya is a Storyteller and a Choreographer with an Engineer’s and an MBA’s mind, an Artist’s heart, and a Communicator’s soul.”.

Veronica Vera

Veronica Vera made history thirty years ago when she founded the world’s first transgender academy Miss Vera’s Finishing School For Boys who Want to Be Girls in New York City. Since 1989, two thousand adult students from across the country and around the world have enrolled at her studio main campus. Thousands more have read her three books.  Miss Vera’s many media appearances focused a bright light of understanding on crossdressing and the transgender experience. Throughout the 1980’s her experiences in adult media as a journalist and porn star, as a free speech activist and an advocate for sex workers’ rights – passions that continue to this day – granted her the privilege to know  individuals who identify throughout the broad expanse of the trans spectrum, across economic levels and beyond binaries. Veronica received her doctorate in human sexuality in 2014.

Edy Nathan

Edy Nathan MA, LCSW is an AASECT certified sex therapist, keynote speaker, author of It’s Grief: The Dance of Self-Discovery through Trauma an Loss, and EMDR practitioner. For the past 20 years, she uses her innate abilities as a specialist in sexual trauma, grief, anxiety and depression to work within the transgender, bi-gender and gender non-conforming community. Her unique approach focuses on the role grief plays in the ongoing emotional trauma experienced anyone struggling with issues related to gender identity and gender dysmorphia. One-on-one intensives, workshops, family and couples engage in interactive sessions.

Edy writes a blog for Psychology Today and Newsmax. Her writing is also seen in the Boston Globe, The LA Daily News, Huffington Post. She has been on CNBC, Fox News, and interviewed on Fordham’s Public Radio. .

In the past 10 years, Edy has written gender reassignment assessments using the WPATH Standards of Care. Offering tools to empower each client as they navigate a design created by Edy, called the 5 principles of therapy intervention: Emotional, spiritual, family, psychological and grief. This design establishes boundaries and the necessary safety to enable exploration of the options for finding and living with the truest self.

The goal is to find the best life possible. This means being able to sort out, see and understand the possibilities of having the life they have only imagined.

Edy offers workshops and one on one intensives with individuals, families and partners.

A full resume/PR kit furnished upon request.