Spencer Thompson

Conference Co-Chair

Vaughn Armstrong

Conference Co-Chair

Spencer is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah and has been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his whole life. He served a mission in the Netherlands Amsterdam Mission and is grateful for the experiences on his mission that led him to develop a deep and intimate relationship with the Savior. It is this relationship with the Savior that has helped navigate and guide him as he came to terms with his same-sex attraction. Spencer is married to his wife, Mary, who has been an amazing support in every step on this journey. They are the parents of 3 beautiful children.

Spencer has been involved with North Star for many years and has been a part of the North Star Conference since its inception five years ago. Being involved with the North Star Conference has been a life-changing experience for him and something he is eternally grateful for. The spirit, strength, and support that the conference provides is what drives him to be a part of the planning process each year.

The oldest of 6 siblings, Vaughn grew up playing music and card games, swimming, hiking, and camping in Arizona. Through personal revelation, he dedicated his life to the Gospel of Jesus Christ at a young age. After serving as a missionary in England, Vaughn graduated from the BYU film program and has worked in various aspects of media production ever since. (A few fun highlights of his career include falling down the 2002 Olympic slope, buying a donkey from KSL classifieds for a TV ad, and playing Christmas carols for the Quorum of the Twelve.) Now in Centerville, Utah, in his spare time, Vaughn hosts game nights, volunteers for the Mankind Project, teaches Sunday School, arranges choral music, and develops and publishes party games.

Somewhere in the middle of ~300 first dates with women at BYU, Vaughn recognized his attractions to men. His desire to live by faith and his own personal covenants set him on a difficult path of earnest seeking and discovery that lead him to North Star and continues today. He’s grateful for the support, resources, personal growth, friendships, forgiveness, and miracles he’s experienced at the crossroads and along that path.

Brigit Pack

President of the Board, North Star International

Bennett Borden

President, North Star International

Growing up in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia made the experience of being a member of the LDS Church unique. When her family moved back to the US she went through a discovery phase to begin building the relationship she needed with the Lord. Through a move to Utah, lots of prayer and service she met and married her spouse in the Bountiful Temple in 1999. Today they live in Syracuse, Utah, where they are busy raising their daughter, Alyssa.

In 2014 Brigit’s spouse came forward as Transgender. Since then Brigit and her spouse have been navigating the uncharted path of remaining active in the LDS Church as a transgender couple. Brigit now serves as President of the Board and is committed to help grow the Gender Identity resources.

Within the church, Brigit has served almost exclusively as a Primary teacher. With a soft spot for Sunbeams, she is quick to volunteer to stay in the Primary and is currently serving as a counselor in her ward’s Primary Presidency.

Bennett, President of North Star, was raised in a first generation Latter-day Saint family in the rural south. He served an American Sign Language mission in Indiana, North Carolina and Michigan. After his mission, Bennett came out and spent the next 20 years in a same-sex relationship, marrying his partner when it became legal to do so. However, the light of the gospel of Christ always drew Bennett back, and he longed for the peace and joy it brings. Bennett’s journey back to the gospel as a child of God who experiences same sex-attraction has given him a treasured testimony of the power of the Atonement of Christ and the love God has for each of His children, especially those who experience SSA and their loved ones, friends, and leaders. After his divorce from his husband and returning to the Church, Bennett married Rebecca in 2013 and they were sealed in the Washington DC temple in 2014. Together they are striving to share the message of hope and joy the gospel brings and their journey as SSA children of God.

Bennett Borden is a partner at an international law firm, Chair of a litigation practice group and its Chief Data Scientist. In addition to his work as a litigator, Bennett has extensive experience advising companies on corporate and information governance, growth strategies, and effective messaging. Bennett has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from George Mason University, a Masters in Business Analytics from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School.

Chris Staggs

Marketing Lead

Brent & Courtney Ebmeyer

Program Co-Leads

Chris was raised Catholic and intended to be a Priest. However, a high school friend shared the gospel with him and he joined the Church at 18. A year later he left on his mission to Japan which sparked in him a love of service to others. Chris and his wife are the parents of four sons and live in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.

He strives to live by the principle of “kindness begins with me” and believes that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the key to living a happy, authentic life. Being involved with the LDS LGBTQ community has helped him learn to treat others with greater empathy and compassion. A former bishop, Chris is the VP of Marketing for North Star and serves as the Sunday School President in his ward.

Brent and Courtney Ebmeyer are native Californians and have been members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints their whole lives. Brent served a mission in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission and Courtney served her mission in the Alabama Birmingham Mission. They are grateful for the experiences on their missions that grounded them in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They met in 2002 while living in Utah and were married in 2004. They have 5 children and currently serve as the Elders Quorum President and 2nd counselor in the Relief Society presidency of their ward, respectively.  

A year after they were sealed in the Oakland temple, Brent shared his most intimate secret with his bride: he experiences same-sex attraction. It took them to the brink of separation, but through consistent communication, compassion, and love, they have been able to navigate their path of remaining active in the church in a mixed-orientation marriage. They find strength and feel the Savior’s love through sharing their story with others. They know that Heavenly Father is mindful of all of his children, and He wants them to find joy and be happy regardless of the trials or burdens that are placed on their paths in this mortal journey.

Lana Garfield

Logistics Co-Lead

Debby Jackson

Logistics Co-Lead

Lana is married to her best friend and high school love, Bryan. They are the parents of three amazing girls and two adorable granddaughters. Her greatest love is to spend time with family and to travel.  Lana is currently serving in the Relief Society and has served in the Stake Young Women’s and also as YW’s president. She loves the youth of the church and finds joy in serving and loving them.

Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, Lana has a new understanding, love and compassion for those with SSA. She strongly believes in the healing power of the Savior and that HIS atonement covers all conditions of mortality. Lana has been associated with North Star for four years and has a deep love and appreciation for the North Star family and organization. It has given her guidance, hope and understanding not only for her, but her family as well.

Debby and her husband Robert are the parents of five wonderful children. Debby became involved with North Star in 2013 after her youngest child, Meagan, came out as SSA after her mission. Debby later co-chaired the 2014 and 2015 conferences. Debby joined the church when she was 17 and served a full-time mission to Italy. She attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a degree in Communications. She now works at BYU as the administrative assistant in the School of Communications, and loves interacting with the students and faculty there.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, shooting, watching movies, traveling and visiting her eight grandchildren. She loves the gospel of Jesus Christ, and believes that we have all been given challenges to deal with while here on this earth to strengthen us and help us to develop faith in Him. She also knows that since He can’t be here personally to help each one of His children on the journey through this life, it’s up to each one of us to help each other as we make our way back to Him.

Ryan Warnick

Tech Lead

After spending decades in California and Oregon, Ryan and his family recently relocated to Utah. Ryan and Kerrie met in Berkeley, married in the Oakland temple 18 years ago, and are raising four beautiful daughters. Ryan is a motion graphic designer and art director who has worked in the live corporate events and broadcast television industries for nearly 25 years – working primarily with technology, pharmaceutical and retail companies.

Ryan served a mission in Rochester, New York and his wife, Kerrie, served a mission in Porto, Portugal. The Warnicks volunteer their time with North Star in the hopes of evolving the dialogue surrounding LGBTQ challenges in relation to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, end ensuring that all of God’s children feel loved, welcome and supported.