Staff

  • D’Arcy Kemnitz, Esq.

    Executive Director

    D’Arcy brings more than two decades of non-profit and social justice experience to her role as The LGBT Bar’s executive director. Under her leadership, The Bar has become the largest and most recognized organization of LGBT legal professionals in the country. In addition to orchestrating a coalition of more than 25 local, state, and regional LGBT bar associations, and dozens of LGBT law student associations, D’Arcy has overseen the annual “Lavender Law” Conference and Career Fair with thousands of attendees each year.

    D’Arcy is a frequently quoted expert on LGBT legal issues, appearing in media outlets including The ABA Journal, ABC News, Time Magazine, and others. She is a distinguished graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Hamline University School of Law.

    EMAIL: darcy@lgbtbar.org
    PHONE: (202) 637-7663
  • John Westfall-Kwong

    Director of Development

    John provides support and strategic insight for all facets of revenue generation for The LGBT Bar. Over the past two decades, John has raised over $220 million for charitable organizations. He most recently was the Director of Development for Lambda Legal for the last 12 years.  Prior to Lambda, he was the Vice President for Individual Giving & Development Administration at Lighthouse International (an organization whose mission is to help people overcome the challenges of vision loss) and the National Director of Direct Marketing for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR).  John obtained a B.S. in Business Administration & Marketing from California State University Long Beach.  He and his spouse live in Millburn Township, NJ with their two daughters.  John was unanimously appointed and then elected to serve on the Millburn School District Board of Education from 2013 through 2016.  In 2015, he was selected by his peers to serve as the Board President for that year.

    EMAIL: john@lgbtbar.org
    PHONE: 202-637-7663
  • Paul Thaler, Esq.

    Director of External Affairs

    Paul fosters the relationships between The LGBT Bar and its members, leadership, and outside constituencies, including law schools, law firms, and corporations. He also develops programming that The LGBT Bar puts on for the benefit of its members and the LGBT and ally legal community. Paul received his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude in 2012. While in law school, Paul worked for a civil litigation firm in Baltimore and externed for the Honorable Shirley M. Watts of the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. After law school, Paul worked as an attorney for two litigation firms in the Baltimore area. Most recently, he was the Assistant Director of the Law Career Development Office at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Paul is an active member of the Maryland State Bar Association, in which he is the Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Legal Education & Admission to the Bar section. He is a 2016-2017 Fellow of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Leadership Academy.

    EMAIL: paul@lgbtbar.org
    PHONE: (202) 637-7663
  • Laura Hoch

    Manager of Policy & Communications

    Laura works on both federal and state policy issues, including the Jury ACCESS Act, Transgender Military Advocacy and the elimination of the so-called gay and trans “panic” defenses. She also handles the LGBT Bar’s communications work, including all of their social media accounts. Prior to joining The Bar in 2013, Laura interned in an LGBT policy organization, focusing on federal immigration reform and has served as a Congressional intern for a United States Senator.

    Laura is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Oneonta, where she studied Political Science and Spanish. She holds a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in lobbying and advocacy from American University’s School of Public Affairs.

    EMAIL: laura@lgbtbar.org
    PHONE: (202) 637-7661
  • Harry Christian III

    Development Associate

    Harry manages and develops the relationships between The LGBT Bar and its sponsors. He is also responsible for achieving specific revenue goals, developing, and implementing a comprehensive development plan for The LGBT Bar, which includes strengthening existing fundraising procedures and operations, and developing new funding avenues and systems as needed. Prior to joining The Bar in May 2016, Harry assisted in overseeing all public relations and media relations for one of DC’s government agencies. Harry is a distinguished graduate of one of the nation’s oldest HBCUs, Clark Atlanta University, where he studied Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Public Relations. He holds a Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations/Corporate Communications from Georgetown University.

    EMAIL: harry@lgbtbar.org
    PHONE: (202) 637-7663
  • Meredith Walsh

    Office Administrator

    Meredith joined the team in early 2016 and works as the Office Administrator. She helps maintain organization and improve communication between staff, leadership, and members.  Working and volunteering for over ten years in a variety of management and hospitality roles, she brings extensive experience and passion to all of her endeavors. Having previously worked in restaurant management in the mountains of Colorado and the beaches of Hawaii, she subsequently moved closer to her roots to obtain her bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. While completing her degree, she worked in a non-profit animal shelter and became involved in volunteer work with local governance and the AmeriCorps/EnergyCorps federal program. Meredith enjoys exploring her new home in the DC area with her one-of-a-kind Labrador mutt, Radley, and wonderful husband of 3 years, Joel. Although she finds great things in every place she’s lived, she will always be “TrueBlue” – Go Royals!

    EMAIL: meredith@lgbtbar.org
    PHONE: (202) 637-7661