Who We Are

Elevate Burbank is a 501(c)3 non-profit formed by a group of dedicated, multicultural, multi-racial and multi-generational locals who care about Burbank, its present and its future.

Our mission is to promote the understanding of cultural diversity through events, engagement and partnerships with the Burbank community. We aim to create a Burbank where residents can experience and appreciate the cultural diversity in our city. By appreciating what all residents contribute to Burbank, we hope to create a modern Burbank that is unified, joyful, vibrant and prosperous.

Elevate Burbank Board of Directors

Linda Bessin

Linda is a 30 year Burbank resident who is retired. She is a member of the Burbank Infrastructure Oversight Board and also currently serves as Board Chair of Valley Community Healthcare, a non-profit community healthcare clinic. She is Past President of Haven Hills, one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the San Fernando Valley.

Madison McAleese

Vice President
Madison is a lifelong Burbankian and is the founder of a community impact consulting firm, Access Impact. She is also the Associate Pastor of Queer-led church, The Table, and is currently working toward her Doctorate of Ministry in Social Transformation.

Isabel Omero

Following four-decades in production on sitcoms including “The Golden Girls,” plus live events, coupled with nonprofit volunteerism, Isabel came out as transgender in 2019. In 2022, she spearheaded the first-ever Burbank Pride festival. In 2023, she was named Burbank’s Woman Of The Year by Congressman Adam Schiff.

Susan Tompkins

A 20-year Burbank resident, Susan has spent her adult life as an arts professional. She's served as a Diversity, Equity, Accessibility & Inclusion committee member at a large Los Angeles arts institution. Susan regularly brings her passion and skills to our Burbank community, its vibrant arts scene, and its growing number of cultural events — especially those of Elevate Burbank!

Chris Bolm

Chris is very passionate about social justice and equality. A lifetime Burbank resident, he is currently an IT Director at a local Burbank post production facility

Sonya Garza Barry

Sonya is a long-time Burbank resident and community supporter. She is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and currently serves as co-chair for Luther Burbank Middle School’s DEI committee.

Darya Babenko

Darya is Ukrainian-born first generation American musician and music teacher, whose passion is to create a positive impact on youth through music education. Darya is the owner of Burbank based music school Elf Music Academy.