The purpose of Hot Springs Pride Alliance is to develop and maintain a sense of community and awareness of, about and for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons and their allies throughout Garland County, Arkansas. We aim to accomplish this through organizing social, service and educational opportunities and outreach efforts to aid our community and celebrate our diversity.
We seek equal opportunity to participate in our community at large and to be of service to those who believe we are all members of one family. We welcome all who share and support our purpose to join our organization.
The mission of the Hot Springs Pride Alliance is to engage, educate, empower and enrich the LGBTQ+ community in Garland county and surrounding area.
Bob Haness currently serves as President of the Hot Springs Pride Alliance. Bob has been actively involved with the Alliance since moving to Hot Springs from Atlanta 10 years ago. Bob was raised in Hot Springs and graduated from the University of Arkansas. He retired after 31 years of service from the Georgia Department of corrections as the Director of probation. While in Atlanta, he was actively involved in gay rights issues, AIDS walks, pride parades, etc. beginning in the early 1980s and continuing until he and his husband moved to Hot Springs.
He has been with his husband Tom for 42 years, and they were legally married in Boston in 2013. Bob is passionate about serving the LGBTQ+ community in any way he can.
Trevor Lewin serves as Vice President of the Alliance. Trevor moved to Hot Springs at age 7 when his father retired from the Air Force, after graduating from high school he attended DeVry Institute of Technology in Irving, Texas. After several years in the Irving area and spending some time traveling abroad, he returned to Hot Springs to help with the family photography business.
He later joined his twin brother Tracy in a computer business specializing in voter election management. The business saw him living in several major US cities and traveling constantly for the next five years until he returned to the area and started his own computer business in Hot Springs Village, which he continues to this day.
Trevor was involved in the initial meetings which led to the creation of the Hot Springs LGBTQ Alliance (now Hot Springs Pride Alliance) and has held most of the board positions during his tenure. Trevor currently lives in Hot Springs with his husband of 8 years.
Tod Finn recently joined the board as Treasurer for the Alliance. Originally from Louisiana, Todd spent 25 years in Fort Worth Texas before moving to Hot Springs to be closer to family and retire. He is an accountant by degree, but spent many years in hospital administration while in Fort Worth. Tod loves to volunteer and currently not only serves as the treasurer for the Hot Springs Pride Alliance but also for the Hot Springs farmers market. In his spare time Todd loves to travel, being outdoors, helping others and spending time with friends.
Nicholas (Nico) Damiani is Alliance Board Secretary. Nico is an Arkansas transplant from Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. Philadelphia is where he met and married his husband-together for 27 years. Nico is a conservatory trained classical organist and is retired from the elementary music classroom with Philadelphia school systems. His husband, the opera, the music of Bach and European travel make him the most happy.
DR. SHAUN POPP
Dr. Shaun Popp joined the board of the Hot Springs Pride Alliance in December 2021 to serve as the Education Coordinator. He has been involved in education for over twenty years and has been a faculty member in the Department of Music at Henderson State University for the past ten years. Prior to coming to Arkansas, Shaun was a high school band director in Louisville, Kentucky and was the artistic director of Voices of Kentuckiana, a community choral ensemble affiliated with the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA). Shaun is excited to serve the Hot Springs Pride Alliance and surrounding communities. He resides in Hot Springs with his husband, Brad Burleson Popp.
Sandy Haness is board Outreach Coordinator. Sandy was born and raised in Hot Springs, and after attending two years at William Woods College in Missouri, she transferred to the U of A to receive her BA in education. She was hired in northern Indiana with Michigan City schools and worked for 12 years as a teacher for third then sixth grades. She returned to U of A for a Masters in Education and then completed a Master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance from Purdue University in Indiana. She continued working in Michigan City as a school counselor for 24 years and retired in 2019. Sandy returned to Hot Springs to help care for her mother, when she also became actively involved in the LGBT+ Alliance. She looks forward to helping grow the local community.
Tim Looper is Services Coordinator for the Alliance. Tim has been an advocate and activist since high school, where he began to show interest in Equal Rights and Social Justice issues. He currently runs the Healing Outreach Ministry of Equality in conjunction with the Blessing Box Arkansas Project and is also working with Spa Independent Living Services on a meditation, memorial and celebration community garden. He currently sits on 3 boards of different causes and is an ordained minister. Having been in the hospitality business for over 40 years and with several years of study in Community Advocacy, he has built contacts and has been involved in many community efforts. As an ordained minister, Tim feels strongly about bringing spiritual guidance to the community along with our outreach.
Scot Key is the Social Coordinator for the Alliance. Scot lived in Southern Arkansas in the 1970s and would frequently vacation and long weekend with family in Hot Springs. He had an almost 30-year career as a Visual Director for Saks Fifth Avenue, traveling to and residing in several US cities, finally landing in Philadelphia where he met and married his husband. They legally married in 2014 and, having retired, he returned to the Natural State with his husband. Scot is a bird enthusiast and thrives on the crystal energy, fresh spring water and natural beauty of Hot Springs and its environs.
Heather Buckley joins the Alliance as its newest created position of Ally Coordinator. In addition to living abroad and teaching English as a second language, her background is in graphic design. She has 20+ years of experience as an Art Director for several publications throughout the state and currently works as the Art Director for a local marketing agency, alongside her husband, and Creative Director, Aaron.
When she is not busy being “creative” she likes to spend time with her husband, two children and three fur babies.