We’re pleased to announce our board members for A Different Drum! Each person brings a unique perspective to the team, which leads to a great experience for students, parents, and investors.

Taran Payne – Founder & CEO – As a member of the LGBTQ community, Taran Payne recognizes the void that exists for many young people who seek community, safety, and venues for expressing themselves. Taran has been an advocate and activist in his pursuit of meaningful change for LGBTQ youth. Additionally, Taran has been involved in music since he started collecting cassette tapes at age 10. Since then, he’s performed and competed in show choirs, mastered several instruments, and built a successful career in the music industry. In his current position, he started a program through which he can educate and mentor musically inclined young people. A Different Drum is the perfect culmination of his incredible talent and passion for music and his strong desire to support and teach LGBTQ youth.

Jill Dannis – Jill Dannis is passionate about working with and for queer youth, particularly via creating safe spaces where they can live their best, most authentic lives. In her current role as Internship & Scholar Relations Manager at Point Foundation, Jill works with promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society. Jill has several years of experience working in nonprofit programming, and previously worked at The Trevor Project, which is the leading national organization providing crisis service intervention services to LGBTQ young people.

Jose Torres – Jose Torres is passionate about and active in the fight towards equality for members of the LGBTQ community. He has been part of fundraising efforts and sponsoring local events such as annual pride, the red dress party to raise awareness and funds for LGBTQ community health programs, and Sacramento’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. He visits local high schools to speak with students in the gay/straight alliance about any questions they have about our community and what it’s like being gay in a professional setting.

Jamie Salas – Jamie Salas has devoted her work and support to youth programs in the Los Angeles & San Francisco areas. Having been raised in LA county, she recognizes that queer youth services are limited, and queer youth are in dire need of safe spaces where they can have creative and positive outlets. When she herself isn’t playing her acoustic guitar or taking French Classes, she works as a therapist in the San Francisco area for Latin@/Chican@ youth.

Zeina Kazour – Treasurer – Zeina Kazour loves music and believes that it’s essential to provide safe, creative spaces where young people who are LGBTQ are given the opportunity to be themselves while participating in something empowering, educational, and inspired. Zeina also believes in supporting institutions that are aggressively seeking to welcome and accept youth who are LGBTQ for who they are, as they are, and believes in supporting educators in their efforts to mentor and empower them to do amazing things with their lives. Zeina is a practicing attorney in San Francisco.

Advisory Board:

Nora Rohman -Nora R. Rohman has a personal passion for the intersection of queer politics and music; she has extensive background in community organizing in queer and trans communities. She’s worked as a fundraising coordinator, and has interned and volunteered for numerous non-profits. Currently, she works as a staff investigator where she investigates workplace discrimination and works on death penalty cases with defense counsel. She holds a bachelors and masters degree in Queer Theory and Gender Studies. She has a lifelong passion for music, which she has expressed in two bands, as a volunteer for community radio, and a band leader at Rock Camp for Girls.