Sunday, July 14, 2024

SAGE board welcomes new members on mission to uplift LGBTQ+ elders

SAGE, the worlds largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders, has welcomed four board members.

Darrell Burks, Sue Wilder, Teresa J. Verges, and Zak Karim have joined its national Board of Directors. They will bring the commitment and drive that fuels SAGE’s work to better the lives of LGBTQ+ elders across the country.  

“We are grateful to have these incredible leaders joining the SAGE board, enhancing our mission with their invaluable wisdom and experiences,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “Their generous spirits and dedication to LGBTQ+ elders will undoubtedly make a positive impact on the SAGE community.”

Darrell Burks

Darrell Burks has contributed his entrepreneurial skills to many companies over the years, including Kroger Co. and Monsanto Life Sciences, before beginning his real estate career with Arvida Realty in 1997. Through acquisition, he became part of Coldwell Banker Realty, serving as chairperson of Coldwell Banker Color of Real Estate, and now Managing Broker of the Coldwell Banker Realty Hollywood Florida office. In addition to being an active philanthropist, Darrell is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Florida Realtors, National Association of Real Estate Brokers and the Miami Association of Realtors. Most recently, Darrell was asked to serve on the newly created Miami Dade County Commissioners LGBTQ+ Advisory Board and on the nomination committee for the Miami Dade Police Oversight Panel.

“I am so grateful to be elected to the Board of Directors of SAGE, an organization devoted to assuring the betterment of the lives of all LGBTQ+ elders,” said Darrell Burks. “I look forward to contributing to Board’s vision and strategic planning in supporting our philanthropic growth and services throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties communities.”

Sue Wilder

Sue Wilder is a retired financial services industry executive. She enjoyed a career that focused on wealth management and product development, based on Wall Street in her native New York City. She has been residing in South Florida for the past 20 years. Sue has become an active member of the local LGBTQ+ community, using her professional background to build a second career to “give back.” Sue serves on the board and as Treasurer of Our Fund Foundation, the LGBTQ+ community foundation of South Florida. She is also a board member of Island City Stage, an LGBTQ+ community theater in Wilton Manors. Sue has also volunteered in the Archives at Stonewall National Museum and Archives, developing SNMA’s Gallery space and serving on the SNMA Board.

Upon her election to the SAGE Board, Sue enthusiastically responded, “I look forward to help expand SAGE’s mission to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ elders in South Florida and across the country. Our elders are not invisible.”

Teresa J. Verges

Teresa J. Verges has over 30 years of legal experience in securities regulation and investor protection. She is the founding director of the Investor Rights Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law, which represents low-income investors in securities arbitration proceedings before FINRA, and worked as Assistant Director of Enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission at the Miami Regional Office. Verges has published articles and participated on panels discussing senior financial exploitation, regulation of financial intermediaries and ethical issues in securities litigation and arbitration. Verges has received awards and recognition for her work, including the SEC’s 2011 Arthur F. Matthews Award, Florida Trend’s 2009 noted “Florida Legal Elite Government Attorney,” and Women of Color Magazine’s 2010 Top Women in Finance. She previously served as co-Chair on the board of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, as well as on FINRA’s National Arbitration and Mediation Committee and FINRA’s Discovery Task Force.  

“SAGE is advocating for our rights to age with dignity, have equal access to vital services, and to celebrate our diversity and community,” said Teresa J. Verges. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members to help SAGE grow its services network and advocacy at the state and national level.”

Zak Karim

Zak Karim joined Bank of America in 2016 and currently is the HR Executive for Consumer and Small Business Products. Before joining BofA, Zak spent fourteen years at Pfizer Inc., in various roles in Strategy, Operations and Human Resources. Zak currently Co-Chairs the Enterprise LGBTQ+ Employee Network and is a member of the LGBTQ+ Executive Council Steering Committee. He also sits on the New York City Market President’s Leadership Council. Externally, he sits on the Board of Directors for Garden State Equality (GSE) and was recently named to the Board of Trustees for Theater Development Fund (TDF). Additionally, Zak was appointed onto the Aga Khan Council for the Northeastern US, as Member for Communications and Publications.

“I am truly humbled to be given the opportunity to serve on SAGE’s Board of Directors and I look forward to advancing the amazing work the organization does to positively impact our elder LGBTQ+ community,” said Zak Karim. 

SAGE is the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older people. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in New York City, SAGE is a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to LGBT older people and their caregivers. SAGE also advocates for public policy changes that address the needs of LGBT elders, provides education and technical assistance for aging providers and LGBT community organizations through its National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and cultural competency training through SAGECare. With staff located across the country, SAGE also coordinates SAGENet, a growing network of affiliates in the United States. Learn more at

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This article was first published on SAGE Matters. SAGE is the USA's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults. For more info visit

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