Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch


Dear Trans Lifeline Community,

This is a wonderful and bittersweet letter to write to you — today, Trans Lifeline’s Board of Directors announces that as of March 15th, our Interim Executive Director, Sam Ames, will be stepping down from their work with Trans Lifeline and passing the torch to our Deputy Executive Director, Elena Rose Vera.

For the past year, Sam Ames has served as our Interim Executive Director with Elena Rose Vera serving alongside them as Deputy. Sam and Elena both started at Trans Lifeline in a time of uncertainty, and in a time of increasing demand for our life-saving services.

Since the beginning of their time with us, Sam held the mission of Trans Lifeline as sacred work; with Elena’s help, they helped the organization do deeply needed grounding work addressing our systems and culture, and they helped move us toward wholeness and sustainability.

Sam also knew that the success of their time here depended on the ways the next Executive Director would be set up to serve. That’s why Sam has been working with Elena this year with the understanding that she would eventually take the reins. Their time together has been incredibly valuable, allowing for a depth of relationship building with staff, partners and key constituents, and a lived understanding of the organization.

Throughout all of this, the Board of Directors has worked closely with both of them, and it has been an incredible thing to witness and support. While we are undoubtedly sad to see Sam leave Trans Lifeline, we are excited to see them continue to pursue their endeavors. We are confident that Sam has helped prepare Elena to lead Trans Lifeline with integrity, strength, and vision. Elena, too, holds Trans Lifeline’s work as sacred in a way that grounds our community and our organization in a shared vision — a vision of a world with more justice, and more light, for all of us.

We are so grateful for Elena’s continued leadership, and it’s an honor to be working alongside her as Executive Director going forward. She brings with her many years of experience, and much love and devotion to serving the trans community. As far as skills go, Elena is an incredible communicator, is able to use our mission and shared humanity as her compass amidst difficult decisions, and possesses a depth of personal leadership rarely seen.

We end this note with much love — for our community, for one another, and for the powerful leadership that serves in so many ways.

Trans Lifeline’s Board of Directors

Elliot Altomare
Jess Annabelle
Olivia Danforth
Tracy Garza
Tonei Glavinic
Leila Haile
Maia Leonardo
Jen Orthwein
Bianca Salvetti


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