LGBTQ South Florida

Our Fund to host National LGBT Leadership Forum Monday in Fort Lauderdale

Our Fund, the Broward County-based philanthropic foundation, will host its annual National LGBT Leadership Forum 5 p.m. Monday at Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale.

Panelists this year will be U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston; Rea Carey of the National LGBTQ Task Force; Kevin Cathcart of Lambda Legal; Nadine Smith of Equality Florida; and attorney Paul Smith.

“Based on what has happened this week, it should be an interesting discussion,” said Our Fund CEO/President Anthony Timiraos, referring to Tuesday’s election.

Here’s the complete news release, with biographies of the 2014 speakers:

Less than one week after the 2014 mid-term elections, the future of marriage equality and other LGBT issues will be the focus of a panel of nationally-prominent figures from the LGBT and mainstream political realms. Our Fund will bring the elite group together at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale for the 4th Annual National LGBT Leadership Forum, slated for Monday, Nov. 10, from 5 to 7 p.m.

For the first time, the most prominent leaders of national and state LGBT organizations will be joined by a nationally-prominent Member of Congress, when Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (D-Weston), joins the panel to weigh in with her thoughts on the future of marriage equality and other LGBT issues.

Wasserman Schultz will be joined by panelists Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force; Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal; Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida; and Paul Smith, Law Partner with the firm Jenner & Block of Washington, D.C. The five participants will present individually and take questions from the audience, which is expected to completely fill the 256-seat Horvitz Auditorium at the Museum of Art in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Forum will be moderated by philanthropist Mona Pittenger, a member of Our Fund's Board of Directors.

The Leadership Forum is open to the public free of charge, however, seating is limited and guests must RSVP to Our Fund. For more information, visit or call 954/683-6619. The National LGBT Leadership Forum is sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Lawyer’s Network.

About Our Fund

Based in South Florida with offices in Wilton Manors, Our Fund is a tax-exempt community foundation organized to improve the lives of LGBTQ people with a strategy of providing financial resources to non-profit organizations serving the LGBTQ community. Our Fund’s purpose is to bring together financial resources from individuals, families and businesses and direct those dollars to effective non-profits.

About Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has fought for fairness and equality throughout her 20-year career as a policymaker, consistently favoring the expansion of civil rights for the LGBT community, such as ensuring federal protection from hate-motivated violence and proving legislative remedies for unfair discrimination in the workplace. The Congresswoman continues to be an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage equality in Florida and nationwide, and was outspoken in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and ending Florida’s ban that prohibited gay and lesbian parents from adopting children. Wasserman Schultz resides in Weston with her husband, Steve, and their three children.

About Rea Carey

Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, Rea Carey is one of the most prominent leaders in the U.S. LGBT rights movement. Carey, who came to the Task Force in 2004 as deputy executive director, has served as executive director since 2008. Through her leadership, Carey has advanced a Task Force vision of fairness and justice for LGBT people and their families that is broad, inclusive and unabashedly progressive.

About Kevin Cathcart

Executive Director of Lambda Legal since 1992, Kevin Cathcart is a leading strategist and spokesperson in the movement to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT individuals and persons living with HIV. Mr. Cathcart has made Lambda Legal an unparalleled national force through its far-reaching litigation and public education efforts. Under his leadership, Lambda Legal promotes security, respect and fairness for lesbian and gay youth, families and all people, regardless of sexual orientation or HIV status.

About Nadine Smith

Nadine Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Equality Florida, the state’s largest organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A former award-winning journalist turned organizer, Nadine was one of four national co-chairs of the 1993 March on Washington, D.C. She served on the founding board of the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization, which celebrates 30 years in 2014. In 2013, Smith was named one of the state’s “Most Powerful and Influential Women” by the Florida Diversity Council. She lives in St. Petersburg with her wife, Andrea, and son, Logan.

About Paul Smith

Paul M. Smith is a Partner in the law firm Jenner & Block of Washington, D.C. He chairs the firms’ Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and co-chairs its Media and First Amendment and Election Law Redistricting Practice. He is a former member and co-chair of the national Board of Directors of the American Constitution Society, and a former member and chair of the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal. He is currently a member of the organization’s National Leadership Council.

About Mona Pittenger

Mona Pittenger earned a BBA in Finance from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Arts in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Her company was a prime contractor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and managed and marketed foreclosed properties exclusively in five states. She co-founded the Tulsa Girls Art School in 2007, an organization which provides art instruction and entrepreneurial skills to under-privileged girls living in the inner city. An active philanthropist, she formed a public foundation in 2004 at the Tulsa Community Foundation and a donor-advised fund at Our Fund. She has served on many non-profit boards including Lambda Legal, the Victory Fund, Philips Theological Seminary and Our Fund.

If you go

Our Fund’s fourth annual National LGBT Leadership Forum

Where: Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, One E. Las Olas Blvd.

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday

Cost: Free; RSVP mandatory. For more information, or call 954-683-6619

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