January 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Comings & Goings
Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade

The ‘Comings & Goings’ column chronicles important life changes of Blade readers.

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at comingsandgoings@washblade.com.

Masen Davis, gay news, Washington Blade

Masen Davis

Congratulations to Masen Davis who is joining the Gill Foundation as Senior Director of Special Projects. In making the announcement, president & CEO Courtney Cuff said, “We are excited to welcome Masen as a senior member of our team. He brings incredible knowledge and experience to the table. From ushering in sweeping changes to California’s non-discrimination law to increasing healthcare access for transgender people across the country, Masen’s leadership and proven track record are a critical addition to the foundation at this pivotal juncture.”

In accepting the position, Davis said, “After focusing on international equality for transgender people in recent years, I’m ready to dive back into the work that’s needed to protect and secure equal treatment here at home. The Gill Foundation team is smart, strategic and relentless in pursuit of equality. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Davis has more than 20 years of advocacy and nonprofit leadership experience. He most recently served as co-director of Global Action for Trans Equality (2015-16) and executive director of Transgender Law Center (2007-2015). Under his leadership, Transgender Law Center became the nation’s largest transgender advocacy organization. Davis’s work was critical to the elimination of discriminatory insurance exclusions in California, creating a pathway for transgender Americans to access transition-related care. He was also an integral part of the coalition that helped pass California’s School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), ensuring transgender students have access to facilities and activities that match their gender identity.

Davis will oversee several key program areas. He will manage a grant portfolio focused on advancing equal treatment and opportunity for transgender people and assist in efforts to increase and diversify funding for the movement. Davis earned his bachelor’s from Northwestern University, a master’s from UCLA, and completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Congratulations also to Wallace (Denny) Lyon who has joined Bastille Restaurant in Alexandria as its new general manager. Bastille’s chef/owners are Christophe and Michelle Poteaux.

Christophe said, “We’ve known Denny for many, many years, have first-hand knowledge of his professionalism and dedication. His success at Nellie’s, Bobby Van’s and the PassionFood Group convinced us that he would be a great team leader for Bastille Brasserie and Bar.”

Lyon brings a wealth of restaurant industry experience to Bastille, formerly serving as manager of D.C.’s Ten Penh and general manager of Ceiba, Passionfish, and Teatro Goldoni. The LGBT community most likely knows him best as director of operations at Nellie’s Sports Bar.   

Lyon’s passion for the industry crosses over to his personal life where he enjoys hosting dinner parties and cooking. On an unrelated note, he’s an avid collector of Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers and owns 55 pairs. Perfect for a man on his feet. He earned his B.B.A with honors at University of Michigan.

Bastille is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. serving brunch, lunch, dinner and all-day dining with café and bar menu offered.

Denny Lyon

Denny Lyon

Congratulations also to Vincent Ryan who has been named by Trinidad Navarro, Insurance Commissioner-elect of Delaware as senior adviser to the commissioner. Navarro said, “Vince is a trusted adviser and was instrumental in the campaign. I’m excited to bring him on board. His political skills, ability to assist in navigating complex government and legislative channels, and communicate with various stakeholders will make him an asset to the department and our team.”

Ryan was the campaign manager for Navarro for Insurance Commissioner. He previously worked in a local government relations practice helping to present matters before the Delaware Legislature. Active in politics since 2008, he has also assisted other officeholders and campaigns on various levels. Many know Ryan from his activism on LGBT issues in Delaware and from his work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Delaware and Philadelphia. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware. The commissioner-elect and his administration took office this week.

Vincent Ryan

Vincent Ryan

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