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The Straight Spouse Network has named
Stephanie M. Skylar as new Executive Director

Stephanie M. Skylar began her role as Executive Director for the Straight Spouse Network in July 2017. She is an active Support Group Facilitator and Support Contact in Ohio.

Stephanie, who has two adult children, was married for 26 years before discovering her husband was gay. “I searched on line for “my husband is gay” and found the Straight Spouse Network website. I immediately took advantage of the network’s online forums and support groups, which made an enormous impact on my life and well-being.” Stephanie and her ex-husband worked diligently to maintain a good relationship post disclosure. She attributes this outcome to the positive support and hope provided by Straight Spouse Network volunteers.

“The straight spouse is often the forgotten spouse,” says Skylar. “We have to make sure support services continue to be there to help people navigate the chaos, and by providing resources and hope. We must work to increase awareness of our organization, continue the level of triage we provide to incoming straight spouses requesting support, and recruit and train more Support Group Facilitators and Support Contacts across the country and around the world.”

Ms. Skylar received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Tulane University. She went on to earn her Masters of Business Administration, and a Masters of Organizational Leadership from Defiance College. Prior to her position at the Straight Spouse Network she was an entrepreneur and business leader. From 1986-2007 she was owner of WCIT and WLSR radio in Lima, Ohio. She was the youngest station owner in the country at that time. She began her association with Chief Super Market, Inc. in 1996 where she progressed from Executive VP of Marketing and Communication, to President and CEO and was on the Board of Directors. She retired in 2014 when the company was sold.

Stephanie received the Women Grocers of America Woman of the Year Award and Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery Award. She also served on the Ohio Grocers Association Board of Directors Executive Committee, the Food Marketing Institute’s Board of Directors and the Promedica Defiance Regional Medical Center Board of Directors. 

Stephanie has been a mentor to students planning careers in the food industry for NGA, served as a United Way major gifts campaign chair, was President of ArtSpace Lima and President of the Visionaries of Allen County Ohio, an economic development organization; was a board member for Junior Achievement, and is a founding board member of the Allen/Lima Leadership project to educate and train the next generation of community leaders. 

Stephanie is a weekly volunteer at the Equestrian Therapy Program at Fassett Farm in Lima, Ohio, a non-profit group providing therapeutic horseback riding for disabled persons in northwest Ohio. Her hobbies include kayaking, biking, and renovating houses. 

Daphne Callen, Triage and Recruitment

Daphne Callen

Daphne was interim Executive Director pending installation of a permanent successor. She is leaving that role, but will continue as a Staff member working with Triage and Volunteer Recruitment. She has been involved with the Straight Spouse Network since 2006 and previously served on our Board of Directors. Since 2007, she has been a primary referral contact in Chicago, where she has been facilitating face-to-face meetings since 2008. Daphne and her husband Jeff, both straight spouses, mentor other Chicago area facilitators and contacts and their’s is among our most active groups nationwide. She has been co-host/organizer for multiple Chicago Gatherings. She and Jeff have spoken on behalf of the Straight Spouse Network at local PFLAG chapters in order to increase awareness of the straight spouse experience with the LGBT community. She is also the moderator of a variety of Online Straight Spouse support groups. 

Daphne and her ex-husband have maintained an amicable relationship. Her straight spouse journey (as “Delilah”) is featured alongside those of fellow straight spouses in Unseen-Unheard: Straight Spouses from Trauma to Transformation, written by Straight Spouse Network’s Founder, Amity Pierce Buxton, and R. L. Pinely. 

Daphne has a wide range of professional leadership, management, interpersonal and constituent service skills that assure her ability to maintain the Straight Spouse Network’s mission of reaching out, healing and building bridges. Her experience includes intake and administrative duties in a psychologist’s office, and she has also worked in retail, hospitality, advertising and has performed administrative and sales functions for dance studios. Currently, she is an office manager responsible for business development for an architectural firm.

When asked about her passion and dedication to the Straight Spouse Network, Daphne responds, “I want people who are discovering that they are in this situation to know that they are not alone. There is help, and we are here for them. I remember what it was like being new, and feeling lost. I want to be there for people coming in the way others were there for me.”

Janet Mc Monagle, Communications Director

Janet McMonagle has been involved with the Straight Spouse Network since 2003. She has been volunteering as a Support Contact, as well as assisting with administrative work and research for grant funding. She is a professional virtual assistant, specializing in website updates, social media connections, and sales support. Her background is in music, education, and real estate.

Janet discovered her ex-husband was gay while she was already preparing to divorce him. They were divorced in 1999.  Her ex-husband has never acknowledged being homosexual or bisexual. Janet lived for several years among family and friends who believed that he was not gay and she was delusional. After finding the Straight Spouse Network in 2003, she realized that she knew the truth, no matter what anyone else believed.  She became involved with the Straight Spouse Network as a Support Contact for others who accept and live the truth, no matter how unbelievable it is to those around them.

 Janet edits the blog Straight Talk and contributes much of the content. She lives near the beach on Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast, where she enjoys volunteering with a local Krewe that puts on a spectacular Mardi Gras Celebration. She also enjoys singing in her church choir, and has had the honor of being asked to sing the National Anthem for several minor league ball games and local ceremonies. She’s also the proud mom of two adult sons.

Linda Ehle-Callens, Website Manager 

Linda Ehle-Callens, web managerLinda had been married for 32 years when her husband came out in 2007. Having just lost her eldest son to cancer and relocating from a life-time in Northern California to Southern California, the straight spouse process was a rough one for the first few years. She found the Straight Spouse Network and the Long Beach support group, began designing our donation campaigns and our newsletter, News&Notes. Three years post-revelation, Linda went through the qualification process to become a Support Group facilitator and Support Contact. She’s had her group in Pasadena, CA for over six years now.  

Linda has a grown daughter and son who also live in Pasadena. It took time and work; but she rebuilt the family relationship with her ex-husband, the father of their children. For several years they enjoyed family dinners, celebrating birthdays and holidays together. As his life with a new partner evolved, her ex-husband's family involvement has decreased. Linda says, "The Straight Spouse Experience is always changing. As in every life, nothing is predictable."

Linda is from the San Francisco and Monterey County areas. After she married, she and her husband settled in San Jose where she had her own advertising, marketing and publication design company for 25 years. Linda was also on the staff of a nonprofit, Search Finders of California, for over 10 years. She is an art-director, professional illustrator, senior graphic designer, and writer/editor/published author. She co-designed our new website with long-time business associate Sam Grinels, and has now taken the website-management reins.  She is also our Facilitator Liaison and Creative Director. She is dedicated to helping others not feel as lost and alone as she did when “it” happened to her.