Desert Hot Springs Pride 2017

Board Of Directors

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build a successful Pride Event. The following members of DiversityDHS Board of Directors have been working for over a year to bring Desert Hot Springs it's very first LGBT/Diversity/Inclusive community event.

Sam Messler


Following four decades of helping others, Sam retired from his teaching career, Senior Manager of Learning and Development at Sony PlayStation, and airline/travel industry. Throughout that time and during retirement, his dedication to serving others highlighted his "spare" time as adviser to youth groups, organizer of the first Gay and Lesbian March on Washington (1979) and Sacramento (1980), and currently as President of DiversityDHS, Educational Liaison to the Mayor of Desert Hot Springs, President-elect of the local Rotary Club, Board member of the Coachella Valley Couples, and more. Sam lives by the profound words he taught his students, "Everything you do says something about you."

Floyd Barten

Vice President

Pride festivals are about our community opening its arms up to all who find it comforting and empowering.  It is about spreading hope that not only are things getting better but things will continue to improve because we won’t forget about the lives of friends and family we lost; the battles and the pain we suffered that now affords us a growing list of equal rights in the United States.

Lindley Karstens


Lindley Karstens is a Senior Management Consultant for Kaiser Foundation Health Plans. She moved out to the Coachella Valley in 2014 and has been working with various non-profits in Desert Hot Springs ever since. Lindley is also an artist, writer, and local Realtor. She shares a home with her wife, three furry heathens, and an abundance of kitchen utensils.

Kim Karstens


Kim Karstens is a retired 20 year Navy veteran, last serving as a Chief Petty Officer in Washington DC. She is also an active Realtor in Desert Hot Springs, CA and the surrounding communities. In her spare time she is reconfiguring her irrigation system, battling an influx of Ficus, and spoiling her two dogs and one larger-than-life cat.

Jay Cooley

Media & Advertising

My experience spans over 30 years in LGBTQ advocacy and coalition building at the national and regional level via multiple organizations. Broadcast television series production, advertising, marketing, print and web media design, IT tech and VR entertainment development are my specialties rounding out my 10%. Moved to Desert Hot Springs in 2016. Love the resort lifestyle of the CV and all leisure and entertainment activities the area has to offer. Always seeking to meet and make new friends locally.

Donna Poyuzina

Community Outreach

If you go to my Facebook page you will find many pictures I have taken of many people and events from around my community. Born in Croatia and came to NYC at 13 years old. Married,  have 4 children and 4 grandchildren. I am retired a nurse, writer and photographer. I am an Elk and involved in Women's Group. Desert Hot Springs Historical Society and DiversityDHS. I do many fundraising events for all in need or a large group to uplift my community.




Member At Large

I moved  to Desert Hot Springs 12 years ago. I came from Northern California. I worked in schools for 32 years in classified positions. I am proud to be a part of DiversityDHS. I have always volunteered in my community. I have years of experience in fundraising and event planning. I serve on several boards and I'm excited about our festival in November!

Jason Liebhauser

Member At Large

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Jason Liebhauser received his BBA in Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and his MBA from Cardinal Stritch University.  Upon graduation, Jason
moved to Milwaukee, WI. where he lived for ten years until moving to the desert in 2014.  While living in Wisconsin Jason served on the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center. Jason is currently a member of the Palm Springs Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and is honored to have been selected to serve on the Board of DiversityDHS.

Committee Members

It takes many talented and creative individuals to make DiversityDHS the comprehensive community service organization it is.