About the Team

Atsushi Akera (she, her)

Co-Founder & General Manager

"I’ve always been into creating community, and it was my thought, given the politics of the times, that the transgender community needed a safe space, and a place to gather and connect, like this one. I hope we succeed!"

Riley Lynn Nairn (she, her)

Co-Founder & IT Director

"I can’t wait to open our space. I’m tired of cis people telling me how to express my gender. My coworker-owners and I are creating this as much for ourselves as we are for others."

Rio Riera-Arbogast (they, them)

Programs Coordinator & Marketing Director

"The project is important to me because of its potential to cultivate local trans/gnc community and celebratory visibility. When folks are welcomed to show up fully in their gender expression, everyone is extended the opportunity to heal and grow."

Tucker Hanley (she, her)

Executive Chef

"This is a space where I can explore my craft and my identity. As someone who fell in love with food at a young age, it means the world to me that I can pursue this passion as my authentic self. Cafe Euphoria is the perfect place for me to prove myself and hopefully act as a role model for trans folks who want to work in the restaurant industry. I’m eager to put my skills to the test!"

Daniel Rodriguez (he, him)

Startup Staff

"Cafe Euphoria to me is so much more than any job I've ever had. Here I know that I can be comfortable within myself, knowing I am never to be discriminated against. I'm excited to help build and foster this space for other trans and gnc folks to feel just as safe as I do."

Stevie Hipwell (she, her)

Kitchen Unit Manager

I’ve thought for a long time that there should be safe spaces for queer and marginalized folk within the Capital Region that aren’t just bars. I’m excited to be providing that space served with tasty food!

Ryah Kowalchyk (they, them)

Finance Director

As a Capital Region native, I fully believe forming a community for transgender and gnc (gender nonconforming) individuals is needed. I want to help create a space where every individual can discover themselves while feeling comfortable and safe.

Robin Dowell Baum (she, her)

Development Director

From the moment I heard about this project, I knew I had to be involved. In this moment of unparalleled visibility for the trans community - for good and ill - I can think of no worthier endeavor than creating a safe, affirming, joyful space for trans and gender non-conforming folx and our allies to find support, community, and solidarity (not to mention a cute outfit and a delicious meal!). I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this venture.