2023 Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree: Tom Nolan

Photo of Tom NolanShanti’s Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals for their lifelong work to improve the human condition. In their service to the community, honorees have made significant contributions resulting in positive impacts on San Francisco residents and the populations Shanti serves. We are incredibly honored to present this award in 2023 to Tom Nolan.

Tom grew up in a small town in Upstate New York. He graduated from LeMoyne College, Colgate and Duke Universities. Tom worked in the social justice office of the Catholic Diocese of Virginia where he met his life partner of 46 years, Larry Friesen.

Tom and Larry moved to San Francisco in the spring of 1979, then to Redwood City in 1984 where Tom ran for and was elected to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors becoming one of 14 openly LGBT elected officials in the country. In 1994, Tom became Executive Director of Project Open Hand, where he served in this role until 2011.

In 2006, then Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed him to the SFMTA Board of Directors, where he served for 11 years, 8 years as Chairman. In 2012, Tom joined the San Francisco Disability and Aging Services Department as manager of Special Projects, primarily serving and addressing the LGBTQ+ community.

Tom retired in 2022 and is living happy in the Western Addition with Larry.

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