About Us

Our Organization

Panhandle Equality is a non-profit organization located in the Nebraska Panhandle committed to full equality for residents of the Nebraska Panhandle region by advancing LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer) rights through advocacy, education and community service.

Our Mission

Panhandle Equality is committed to full equality for residents of the Nebraska Panhandle region by advancing LGBTQ+ rights through advocacy, education and community service.

Our Vision

Inclusiveness and equality for all.

Our Board of Directors

Ladessa Heimbouch, AS


Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Scottsbluff, NE

Ladessa is a Training and Quality Manager at Faneuil. She was born and raised in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. After earning her Associate of Science degree from Western Nebraska Community College in 2007, she moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. After seven wonderful years of experiences there, Ladessa decided to move back to the Panhandle to be closer to family and friends, and to contemplate her next chapter in life. Not long after moving back , she secured a training position at Faneuil where she applies her teaching and writing skills to the fullest. When she’s not writing training manuals, creating online resources, or developing spectacular spreadsheets, Ladessa loves to sing karaoke, jam on her guitar, ride her motorcycle, and spend time with her dog (Odie) and two cats (Khaleesi and Ori).

As one of the founders of Panhandle Equality, Ladessa is determined to make the Nebraska Panhandle a more inclusive and safe place for other LGBTQ+ individuals. She is confident that she and her fellow board members will continue to grow the organization and make a positive impact in the community.

Megan Barhafer, BS


Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Iowa City, IA

Megan moved to Scottsbluff, Nebraska for her first job out of college, in 2018. She has been committed to human rights from a young age. Growing up in Iowa and watching the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights was the spark for her commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. In college, at Iowa State University, Megan studied environmental science and community and regional planning which laid the foundation for her current position working in public health. Megan is passionate about the social determinants of health which include environmental factors of health like access to food, safe and affordable shelter, and preventing trauma.

Megan is very honored to serve as Vice-President of Panhandle Equality, which she sees as an amazing opportunity to do the work of creating inclusive communities. Megan enjoys singing, acting, hiking, and most especially knitting!

Troy Eberling, BS


Pronouns: He/Him

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Troy is a plumber for Deines Irrigation. He moved here from Salt Lake City, Utah and currently resides in Torrington with his husband Brian. They have known each other for 20+ years, and were married July of 2018. Troy attended Southern Utah University and received a B.S. in Psychology. He has served on the Chamber of Commerce as a Job Coach for the mentally disabled where he received Man of the Year award. He also helped change LGBT housing discrimination laws in Salt Lake City, UT. Troy grew up in a religious family that taught him hard work and good values are key to any organization. In his spare time, Troy likes to ride horses, attend rodeos, go hiking, camping, and boating all with his husband. He also has a special knack for crafting and baking cakes.

Troy is excited for the opportunity to serve as the Secretary of Panhandle Equality and make a positive impact in the Nebraska Panhandle which he now calls home.

Brandi Ward, BA


Pronouns: She/Her

Hometown: Chadron, NE

Brandi is a Legal Assistant at Ellison, Kovarik & Turman Law Firm. She was born in Chadron but moved around a lot as a kid. Brandi moved back to Chadron in 2006 and began attending Chadron State College as a part-time student where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies – Legal Studies. She then moved to Scotts Bluff in 2013 to begin her career as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal.

Brandi looks forward to serving on the Board of Directors and hopes to help the organization achieve its goal of advancing LBGTQ+ rights. One of her favorite quotes is by Ella Wheeler Wilcox and states:

"To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men."

Vacant Position

General Board Member



Our Constitution & Bylaws

For a full description of how our non-profit organization is governed, click on the image below to review our Constitution & Bylaws.