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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Scott Paul Zumwalt on his appointment as a managing director at Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI). Bully Pulpit Interactive is a modern communications agency that builds believers for brands, causes and candidates. Founded by leaders of the Obama campaign, they apply their expertise to create customized strategies for companies, causes and candidates. Upon his promotion Zumwalt said, “I’m especially proud of our team’s work to drive innovation in the fight for LGBTQ equality. Whether through our work the last six years with the Human Rights Campaign or this past year in Massachusetts where we successfully fought to protect transgender rights in Massachusetts, the BPI team has been an amazing partner to our movement.”
Zumwalt has been at BPI for six years helping to develop BPI’s metrics-driven approach to many of their largest corporate and public affairs clients. He has more than a decade of experience in digital strategy and marketing for Fortune 500 corporations, non-profits and progressive political campaigns. In his time at BPI, he’s also served as a lead digital marketing consultant for the Human Rights Campaign for the past six years and worked on multiple campaigns and initiatives. He has also served on the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Campaign Board since 2014.
Before joining BPI, Zumwalt was a freelance consultant and owner of Empowered Media Strategies. As a digital innovator in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, he was the chief digital strategist that helped launch and develop the award-winning It Gets Better Project in 2010. Zumwalt earned his bachelor’s in Political Economy from Georgetown University where he graduated cum laude and he was president of the Georgetown University College Democrats and then the D.C. College Democrats. He is anticipating finishing his Executive MBA at Columbia Business School in May.
Congratulations also to Melissa Sklarz who has started her new position with SAGE, Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders as a Senior Government Relations Strategist. She will be advocating for SAGE at the city and state level in New York to help with their legislative agenda including fighting for LGBT veteran services and protection in long-term care. She will work on the capital campaign to provide resources for the Ingersoll Senior Residences in Brooklyn. Sklarz said, “This position is a good fit for my skills and I am very grateful to Lynn Faria and Michael Adams for the opportunity.”
She has broken ground in many ways for the transgender community. In 1999, Sklarz became the first transgender person elected to office in New York when she was elected a Judicial Delegate from the 66th Assembly District. In 2004, she became the first transgender person from New York to be part of the state delegation at the Democratic National Convention, by being appointed to the Credentials Committee and again on the Rules Committee in 2008. In 2016, she became the first New York trans person elected to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Later that year, Sklarz became the first trans American to be selected for the Electoral College.
She is a past board co-chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda and of National Stonewall Democrats. She is a former president of Stonewall Democratic Club of New York and of Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats. In 2008, she served as a co-chair for Obama Pride NYC, helping to organize the LGBT community for the campaign and was one of 250 activists invited to the first LGBT Pride in White House in June 2009.
Sklarz worked for two years as director of development for the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund resigning in 2018 to run for Assembly. She also had a featured role in the film “Transamerica.”