Interim Leadership Press Release

San Diego, Nov. 29, 2023 — San Diego Pride, a leading nonprofit organization in the LGBTQ+ community, is excited to unveil an innovative leadership approach with the appointment of Interim Co-Executive Directors to guide the organization through its transition period.

Sarafina Scapicchio (She/Her/Hers)

Sarafina Scapicchio has been on staff at San Diego Pride on and off since 2015, most recently serving as Deputy Executive Director. During that time she not only brought much needed funds to the organization, but also helped to grow and formalize the San Diego Pride Community Grant Program. She brings nearly two decades of expertise in philanthropy and nonprofit management within the LGBTQ+ community, and holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and a Master’s degree in Social Work. Beyond her professional work, Sarafina has volunteered on the planning committees of the Transgender Day of Empowerment and She Fest for many years and recently served as Membership Chair for Women Give San Diego, and as the Vice President of Inclusion on the Board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego Chapter. Her work in the community has been recognized by multiple awards including being named Mayor Todd Gloria’s Women of Distinction in 2021, the Barbara Blake Leadership Award, and the Toni Puente Equality Award. 

Jen LaBarbera (They/Them)

Jen LaBarbera has been on staff at San Diego Pride since 2018, most recently serving as the Director of Education & Advocacy, where they direct the organization’s community partnerships, education & advocacy programs, civic engagement, and international diplomacy work. They are a passionate advocate for policy change, grassroots organizing, and community engagement. As a queer, mixed-race, neurodivergent, nonbinary femme survivor, Jen brings a wealth of experience as a political and community organizer and social justice movement leader. As part of their role at Pride, they also serve as the Vice President of Global Outreach at InterPride.  In addition to their political and community organizing experience, Jen also has a MA in Library and Information Science and has worked as a librarian and archivist in Boston, Denver, and here in San Diego at Lambda Archives. With nearly 20 years of experience, Jen’s commitment to social justice and liberation is evident in their work, making them a key asset to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Co-Executive Director Model: A Vision for Continuity

Sarafina and Jen will jointly lead San Diego Pride during this interim period, each bringing unique strengths to the table. Sarafina will continue to lead the Philanthropy team, Operations/Finance team, and will add supervision of the Director of Entertainment. Jen will retain responsibilities for Education & Advocacy, and will oversee Programs and the Marketing Department. This collaborative approach ensures a seamless transition, reflecting San Diego Pride’s commitment to continuity and elevating the talents within the organization.

This co-leadership model not only reflects San Diego Pride’s commitment to continuity but also underscores the organization’s dedication to fostering an inclusive and empowered leadership structure.


Melissa Malone-Montgomery, Board Co-Chair, shared, “We’d like to thank our staff, who proposed this co-leadership model. This innovative leadership approach will ensure strong organizational continuity while also recognizing the exceptional talent within our organization. As a Latina, I’m also happy to see us elevating diverse inputs from our team and community.”

Noah Lomax, Board Co-Chair, expressed, “We are thrilled to welcome Sarafina Scapicchio and Jen LaBarbera as our Interim Co-Executive Directors. Sarafina is a recognized non-profit expert whom I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside from the beginning of my board time. And anyone who has had the privilege of attending a training led by Jen knows they are an expert at education and advocacy. We congratulate them and are here to support them.”

Jen LaBarbera, Interim Co-Executive Director, said, “I am looking forward to supporting my colleagues and our incredible family of volunteers during this transition. As Interim Co-Executive Director, I am dedicated to working alongside Sarafina to ensure San Diego Pride remains a trusted community leader and partner in building toward LGBTQIA+ equality and liberation in our region.”

Sarafina Scapicchio, Interim Co-Executive Director, added “I am honored to serve as interim co-lead of f San Diego Pride with Jen. I will work to ensure our dedicated staff, our hard-working volunteers, and our beloved community partners remain at the forefront of everything we do and that San Diego Pride’s mission and values will remain our north star during this period of transition.”

For media inquiries, please contact:

Joe Fejeran

Executive Projects Manager

[email protected]

(619) 297-7683 ext. 113

For Board of Directors inquiries, please contact:

Noah Lomax

[email protected] 

Co-Chair, San Diego Pride Board

Melissa Malone-Montgomery

[email protected]

Co-Chair, San Diego Pride Board


About San Diego Pride

San Diego Pride raises funds primarily through festival ticket and beverage sales, and through sponsorships, and exhibitor fees. These funds support San Diego Pride’s community philanthropy which has distributed more than $2.5 million in advancement of its mission to foster pride, equality, and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities locally, nationally, and globally.