top of page

"We wanted to find a way to give back to the community by helping our at-risk and vulnerable LGBTQIA+ members of our community on the verge of homelessness."


- Claude Raffin


The Bright Star Team

Claude Raffin, Founder  
In Memoriam
Jon Gathercole

Claude and Jon met on January 7, 1978 at a cocktail party in San Francisco.  Claude, a Vietnam veteran, was then a US Army Lieutenant Colonel, Jon worked in the travel industry..


Shortly afterwards and upon Claude’s military retirement, they moved to Santa Barbara.  Together they started a career in Real Estate, opening two offices, Spectrum Realty, in Santa Barbara and San Diego.  Thru astute investments and a degree of luck they were quite successful, retiring in 2003.  They have since traveled extensively, having set foot on all 7 continents.

After a valiant seven month battle with cancer, Jon passed away on March 1, 2019, at the age of 70. 

Claude Raffin (left) and Jon Gathercole (right)

A California native with a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Doug has been buying and selling Real Estate for over 30 years as a private investor.  With successful careers in Advertising, Sales and Marketing commencing in the Telecommunications industry where he served as President of a large telecom interconnect.  Particularly adept at strategic pricing for buying or selling. Doug is an avid skier, scuba diver, wine connoisseur, with a passion for architecture.  He has served on and led several non-profit board of directors, including a large chamber of commerce and a college foundation. In addition to serving on the Bright Star Board, Doug is currently serving as a member of the board of directors of the California Association of REALTORS.

Doug Van Pelt

Soléil McCants

Soléil McCants is an African American woman of Trans Experience. A native Detroiter, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan in Psychology. She is a 12-year vet in Digital Marketing and is currently Senior Paid Search Specialist at Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas.


Soléil is an enthusiastic community advocate and activist. She currently serves as Director on several Boards in the valley that aims to uplift the LGBTQIA+ community. She serves as Chairwoman of EQUAL which is a Business Interest Group for Caesars LGBTQIA+ employees and allies that coordinate Professional development, volunteer opportunities for members and create networking opportunities. She serves on the Board at the Brightstar Foundation which provides low-cost transitional housing for those in the LGBTQIA+ community.


As a public speaker, Soléil has appeared on television, panels and podcasts sharing her own journey of discovery among other topics such as Healthcare, Politics, and Marketing. An avid volunteer, Soléil was recognized by Compete Sports Diversity in January 2022 as it's Community Hero of the Year recipient for her work in the community. 


Douglas Jones



For over 35 years, Doug has been a senior executive engaged in marketing and sales with various consumer product goods companies in the United States and Canada. He has worked on such brands as Nature Made Vitamins, Minute Maid beverages and several specialty food and pet brands.


Doug currently leads the Global Sales and Marketing for a Dietary Supplement Ingredient Manufacturer based in Southern California.  He is active in numerous dietary supplement industry groups as well as global nutrition groups.


Doug is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and the Public Relations Society of America.


Doug and his husband John live in Los Angeles and can be found most weekends running short and long-distance races. They are active with the Los Angeles Frontrunners. Doug completed his 14th marathon last October in Dublin, Ireland.

Peter Florstedt



With over 30 years of experience, Peter has been a senior executive responsible for leading internal audit, finance, and operations teams with several global Fortune 500 companies as well as in the Big 4. His experience includes positions in the financial services, public accounting, construction and real estate, as well as hospitality industries.


Peter currently leads the global internal audit function for a Fortune 500 professional services company based in Southern California. Peter is a CPA and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Internal Auditors.















Bio Pic (1).jpg

Tyler Renner

Digital Director 


Tyler Renner works as Director of Community Outreach for San Diego City Council's District Three. After earning his B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara he worked as Behavioral Therapist for children on the Autism Spectrum. He worked as an LGBTQ Program Coordinator and Development Associate at LGBT Community Centers. He is passionate about social justice and reducing homelessness. 

TR Headshot.png

Xavier Foster

Xavier Foster is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Master’s in Higher Education Leadership. He also received a B.A. in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii-West Oahu after completing his service in the United States NAVY. As a native-born Panamanian and through his experiences traveling abroad and living among diverse cultures, Xavier has developed a great understanding on how cultural knowledge not only inform but is necessary to development and implementation of services and programs.


Xavier has worked with at-risk and underserved youth in the Child Welfare system as a n advocate, educator and provider of psychosocial rehabilitation services. Currently as a Health Equity Coordinator, He has over 10 years’ experience facilitating evidence-based programs and implementing health strategies in the community. Xavier’s expertise includes evaluation and implementation of programs under the national registry of evidence-based programs and practices, community engagement and collaboration, fiscal oversight and strategy development.

BSF 2.jpeg
bottom of page