Message from President Joe Matessa - April

On Wednesday evening, I had the honor of attending a retirement celebration for the amazing Janet Jackson, President & CEO of United Way of Central Ohio.  During her address, she reminded us of one of her personal mantra’s that I’ve heard her share on many occasions: “’Service’ is the rent we pay for the opportunity to live on this beautiful earth, not something we just do in our spare time.”

As you may know, FPN was conceived in 2014 from the UWCO’s Pride Leadership program.  During her past 14 years of service with UWCO, Janet has been a tireless proponent of diversity and inclusion, and is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community.  Her passion and leadership has been a personal inspiration to me, and has truly opened my eyes to the need for service within our local community.  While it’s not always easy, or convenient – as a working parent with 8-year-old twin boys – the time that I’ve committed to serving our community over the last few years has been rewarding beyond words, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

In today’s message, I’d like to publicly thank Janet Jackson for being my personal inspiration to serve, and encourage each of you to reflect upon how you’re ‘paying your rent’.  As May begins a new cycle for our Board of Directors, I’d also like to publicly thank two of our outgoing directors – Jake Bluvstein and Mark Deans.  Jake was one of my peers in the Pride Leadership program, and is a founding member of FPN.  Both of them have been a tremendous asset to serving our mission, and they will be greatly missed.

If you are interested in joining the FPN Board, and working with a fun group of people to serve LGBTQ families in the state of Ohio, please send an email to