Who I Am
After decades of living my life on terms other than my own, of running from my true self, of enduring waves of shame, guilt and denial, I decided enough was enough. I knew I had to stand up and face my truth and embrace my innate uniqueness, my humanness. So I did the only thing I could do–I came out.
Since that time I have dedicated a large part of my life to giving back and paying it forward. I believe the only way meaningful change can occur is if we embody that change and live it fully and proudly each and every day. That is why I do what I do. It is the only way I know how to live my life. That is what it means to . . . Follow Your Heart.
As the founder and owner of Follow Your Heart, LLC Stephanie is an internationally recognized speaker, workshop presenter, trainer, workplace diversity & inclusion consultant.
A major voice in the LGBTQ workplace equality movement focusing specifically on transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, Stephanie casts a bright light on all of the pertinent Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) issues that companies and organizations must face to successfully transform their workplaces into a truly welcoming environment for all of their employees. Stephanie’s warm and personal style has engaged and enlightened her audiences wherever she speaks.
Corporate and Non-Profit Experience
She currently sits on the Board of PFLAG National and is the Chair of their Business Advisory Council. She has proudly served on the Boards of the following organizations: the LGBT Community Center of New York and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF). She is also a past member of the Transgender Advisory Committee of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. As a recently retired Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance Company, Stephanie possesses over 40 years of management and leadership experience in marketing, advertising and communications within the Fortune 100 of Corporate America.
Board Service & Related Non-Profit Involvement
- The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York, Board member since 2009
- Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Board member since 2011
- PFLAG National, Board member since 2014
- International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), past Board member former Communications Director
- Winslow Street Fund of IFGE, Past Chair
- Oasis Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, New Jersey, past commissioner
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, past member of their Transgender Advisory Committee and LGBT Diversity national trainer
- Pride Center of New Jersey, past facilitator of the transgender support group, TrueSelves
Stephanie holds a BA in Communication from the University of Delaware and an MBA in Marketing from the Samuel L. Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is also a graduate of the prestigious UCLA Anderson School of Management’s LGBT Leadership Institute.
Selected Media Appearances
- Huffington Post Live
- In-studio guest, “#WMN” show
- Guest panelist, Transgender Parenting
- Guest panelist, Coming Out Over the Holidays
- Huffington Post Gay Voices – featured blogger
- Diversity Best Practices
- Webinar: Out and Up: The Transformative Power of LGBT-Friendly Workplace in Unleashing Productivity and Creativity
- Feature Article – “Getting the Language Right: The Transgender Conversation”
- Contributor, D&I Strategist Playbook
- The Advocate.com - guest op-ed contributor
- GLAAD.org – contributing blog author
- HRC.org – Featured blog author for National Coming Out Day, 2014
- New Republic – featured video interview in The Next Republic series, contributor to "Welcome to America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" special edition
- IntegrityUSA.org – contributing writer, “Walking With Integrity” blog
- TueNight.com – contributor
- Associated Press article on transgender health benefits equality (appeared nationally in print and on the Internet)
- Featured in an episode of the GLAAD Media Award-nominated documentary series, Sex Change Hospital, which aired in the United States on the Women’s Entertainment (We) cable network, as well as in the United Kingdom, Brazil and Sweden in 2007 and 2008
She resides in Palm Desert, California with her wife Mari.
Connect with Me on Social Media
Facebook: Follow Your Heart, LLC
LinkedIn: Stephanie Battaglino, MBA & Follow Your Heart, LLC