Our People: Q&A with HRC’s 2015 Gala Co-Chairs

Jason Boone, Jeremy Carter & Shelly Schoenfeld

The Human Rights Campaign Carolina Gala is on its way to Uptown Charlotte. Slated for Feb. 21, the black-tie event will feature keynote speakers, entertainers and awards. qnotes had the opportunity to catch up with the gala’s three co-chairs and get to know them a bit better.

Jason Boone

A native of LaGrange, N.C., Jason has lived in Charlotte for 11 years, where he works in business continuity and crisis management for Bank of America. He’s been involved with HRC for two years and also volunteers with and supports Time Out Youth and Stonewall Kickball Charlotte.

What’s your favorite food? What’s so special about it?

Seafood — Because it reminds me of growing up near the coast and of my roots.

Your favorite color? Has it always been your favorite color, even as a kid?

Blue – Yes, it has always been my favorite color.

What’s your perfect weekend evening?

My perfect night is usually spent on my back deck, grilling out in the spring, summer and fall, surrounded by friends. Talking, laughing, and really getting to know each other more deeply.

Are you a pet person? What kind and how many pets do you have?

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I’m very much a pet person. I have a rescued Boxer named Sammy. He has been a part of my life for going on seven years.

What’s your favorite Charlotte neighborhood? What’s so special about it?

Elizabeth. The great thing about this neighborhood is, by far, the people. For example, the neighbors across the street 10 year old just this past year had a lemonade stand to raise money for Time Out Youth. She raised enough to pay one month of their rent during her five-hour stint in the front yard.

What are you most looking forward to for this year’s HRC Carolina Gala?

There are so many things, I can’t just name one! I am looking forward to seeing all of my 1,500 friends in black tie (I am a sucker for a gala). I am looking for to the camaraderie that is shared in that room when so many LGBT people get together for a common cause. I am looking forward to celebrating the many achievements that have been accomplished this year in North Carolina, by people in the room and across the state.  And finally, if I am being honest without sounding selfish, I am looking forward to sitting back and taking it all in. The HRC NC committee works tirelessly for almost nine months to put on this event. I can’t wait to just take in the magic of the night that we have all worked so hard to put together.

Jeremy Carter

Jeremy is one of those rare Charlotte natives. Yes, they do exist. He lived in Atlanta for a while and moved back to his hometown 10 years ago. Carter works as a financial advisor and has been involved with HRC for a number of years, currently serving his first term as a member of the national board of governors. In the past, he’s chaired the Time Out Youth board and is currently serving as a member of the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund’s board.

What’s your favorite food? What’s so special about it?

Thai , I love spicy food!

Your favorite color? Has it always been your favorite color, even as a kid?

Green – Yes, it has always been my favorite color.

What’s your perfect weekend evening?

I love to cook and entertain, so one of my favorite things is to have friends over for a good meal and of course a glass of wine or two.

Are you a pet person?

Absolutely, I have two dogs — my 10-year-old vizsla Sarika and her very mischievous sister Mina, a black mini schnauzer.

What’s your favorite Charlotte neighborhood? What’s so special about it?

Elizabeth. It’s where I live and I really enjoy the architecture, all the trees and my great neighbors.

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What are you most looking forward to for this year’s HRC Carolina?

I am looking forward to celebrating 20 years! It’s amazing to me that the NC gala has been so successful for so many years in our great state. We are one of the biggest in the country and I think that says a lot about our community and the commitment we have to equality. I’m also looking forward to celebrating that evening with friends and family, and all the members of our gala committee. It takes a ton of work to pull off a gala this size and it could never be accomplished with out all of our hard working volunteers.

Shelly Schoenfeld

Originally from Westerville, Ohio, Shelly has lived in the Queen City for 21 years, where she works in credit risk management for Bank of America. She’s been involved with HRC for several years and, like Jeremy, is serving her first term on the board of governors. She’s also worked with Susan G. Komen Charlotte.

What’s your favorite food? What’s so special about it?

Italian — it reminds me of my Nana cooking in her kitchen.

Your favorite color? Has it always been your favorite color, even as a kid?

Green and blue, always.

What’s your perfect weekend evening?

I can be anywhere, as long as I’m surrounded by the people that I love and care about.

Are you a pet person? What kind and how many pets do you have?

I’ve had cats all my life. I have an adopted 9-year old Maine Coon named Mackey.

What’s your favorite Charlotte neighborhood? What’s so special about it?

I’ve lived in Plaza Midwood for almost 17 years, so it’s definitely my favorite neighborhood. It’s such a friendly, walkable neighborhood, and I love the diversity of people who live and play here.

What are you most looking forward to for this year’s HRC Carolina Gala?

I’m really looking forward to celebrating the 20 years of HRC in North Carolina, as well as the tremendous successes our community has had. Our state has been such a strong supporter of HRC and our commitment to equality — we’re one of the largest Galas in the country — and I’m looking forward to showcasing some of the recent work HRC has been doing here locally. After all the hard work that our committee has put into this event over the last nine months, I’m also really looking forward to sharing the evening with them, friends, family and the entire community. : :

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.