October 7, 2016 at 6:14 pm EST | by Peter Rosenstein
Comings & Goings
Comings & Goings, gay news, Washington Blade, Alex Cole

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

The Comings and 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

Congratulations to Alex Cole, who was named director of communications for IREX, a global development nonprofit focused on civil society building. IREX seeks to create a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world by empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions and extending access to quality education and information.

In his new position, Cole will drive strategic communications for the organization across its operations in 100 countries on a range of issues, from helping to end the gender digital divide, to administering President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

Previously, he worked at multiple strategic communications firms in D.C., including Monitor 360 and Hattaway Communications. A long-time supporter of the LGBT movement, Alex has advised numerous advocacy organizations on messaging and strategy, including the Human Rights Campaign, Victory Fund, Freedom to Marry, MassEquality, and GLAAD. He holds a bachelor’s from Vassar College and a master’s of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Alex Cole, gay news, Washington Blade

Alex Cole

Congratulations also to Joe Kapp, co-founder and board member of the LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute, who was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). Joe joins 29 private sector, nonprofit, and academic newly appointed leaders to serve on NACIE and was selected from a pool of more than 200 accomplished applicants. The council members will offer recommendations for policies and programs designed to make U.S. communities, businesses, and the workforce more globally competitive.

Kapp is someone who many would call a serial entrepreneur. He started and sold his first business, a video production company, in college. Since that time, he has started numerous other successful ventures. Kapp has 10 years of experience in the technology industry, having advised Fortune 500 companies on the use and implementation of new and emerging technologies. He worked in KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice advising on knowledge management and tax technologies and served as a consultant for KPMG’s Information Risk Management Practice performing security and technology risk audits for clients.

Kapp served as president of the Capital Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. During the seven years of his oversight and involvement, the chamber expanded its membership, increased programs and advocated on behalf of its members.

He holds a master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida State University.

Joe Kapp

Joe Kapp

Congratulations also to Dana Nearing, recently transitioning to the SaaS industry to work for FiscalNote (FN). According to Inc. Magazine, FN began “In the summer of 2013, when high school friends Tim Hwang, Gerald Yao, Jonathan Chen, and Dev Shah camped out in a Motel 6 room in Sunnyvale, California, laboring seven days a week to put the finishing touches on the artificial intelligence platform that ultimately became the flagship product for FiscalNote. The Washington, D.C.-based company uses artificial intelligence to sort through reams of publicly available government data to make predictions about legislation that’s likely to pass in Congress and statehouses around the country, which can be useful to businesses in highly regulated industries. The company’s clientele consists of some of the nation’s largest businesses, which buy access primarily to FiscalNote’s Prophecy platform, which tracks legislation as it moves through 50 states and Congress. The customer list includes Southwest Airlines, ride-share company Lyft, and software company VMWare.”

Nearing, originally from Detroit, has lived in the D.C. area since 2008 working in the hospitality industry and holds an MBA from University of Maryland. He lives in Dupont Circle and sings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington.

Dana Nearing

Dana Nearing

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