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Free Speech Coalition Announces 2006 Board of Directors


January 6, 2006 – The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) was very pleased to announce the 2006 Board of Directors at its annual Membership Meeting last night in Las Vegas. The meeting, held in the Venetian Hotel during the Adult Entertainment Expo and Internext trade shows, was standing room only, with most of the new, re-elected and returning BoD members in attendance.

Newly elected FSC Board Members are Jim Everett of LD Management, Gregory Shearer, and Nellie Symm-Gruender, whose terms will begin immediately.

“The membership has elected an energetic and committed Board of Directors to steer FSC in the right direction in 2006,” said FSC Executive Director Michelle L Freridge. “This next year will be very challenging for the adult entertainment industry as federal, state, and local governments increasingly violate the civil rights of Americans in misguided and illegal attempts to censor legal adult speech.”

Jim Everett is Chief Operating Officer of L.D. Management Company (Lions Den), a leading fifteen-state chain of adult superstores. Prior to joining L.D. Management, Mr. Everett was an internationally recognized retail and marketing consultant.  A graduate of the Ohio State University, Mr. Everett has served on the board of several public and private companies, such as the American Marketing Association and Habitat for Humanity. Recently, Mr. Everett was elected to the Board of Directors of the Buckeye Association of Club Executives.

Gregory Shearer (AKA Spanky) is in the alternative adult Video Production, Manufacturing, and Distribution business.  With a marketing background, experience producing gay visual erotica, a background in retail sales, Mr. Shearer will represent the interests of the gay community and bring his skills to the FSC Board.

A registered nurse for 31 years, Nellie Symm-Gruender has a long history of involvement in social issues, and has served on numerous boards both as a member and in leadership positions. In 2000, when Nellie and her husband Gene started their first adult entertainment store, they became outspoken supporters of the First Amendment and activists for the adult industry in the state of Missouri. It is her hope that through a position on the Board of Directors for the Free Speech Coalition she can continue her advocacy of the First Amendment at the local, state and national level.

Sid Grief of AAA News in Texas, Joan Irvine of Adult Sites Advocating Child Protection, William Murphy of Fairvilla MegaStores in Florida, and Connor Young of YNOT Radio were re-elected to the Board of Directors. Returning to complete their terms on the Board are Mara Epstein, Mark Kernes, Nick Boyias, Jerry Westlund, Reed Lee and Jeffrey J. Douglas.

The FSC Board of Directors serves an active and vital role in the organization, providing oversight over activities and functions, including strategic planning, approval of annual budgets and periodic review of strategic goals. In addition to oversight, Board members also sit on supporting committees, of which there are six: the Executive Committee, the Government & Legal Committee, the Membership Committee, the Internet Committee, the Fundraising Committee, and the Public Information Committee. The Board meets bi-monthly, and all members volunteer their time.

Free Speech Coalition is the trade organization of the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to safeguard the industry from oppressive governmental regulation and to promote good business practices within the industry.


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