Gonzales previously served as board chairman for the SAVE Foundation
MIAMI, FL (September 10, 2019) - Safeguarding American Values for Everyone (SAVE) has named Orlando Gonzales as its new Executive Director, effective September 16, 2019. As South Florida’s leading organization for policy advocacy and community engagement for the LGBTQ+ population, Mr. Gonzales will work to expand the organization’s reach and voice throughout South Florida to address the threats and challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the region.
“We feel very fortunate and proud to have Orlando back at SAVE as the organization’s executive director. His background, vision, unique experience, and passion for advocacy work are emblematic of the work SAVE has led for the South Florida LGBTQ+ community for more than 25 years,” said SAVE board of directors chair Elizabeth Regalado.
Mr. Gonzales will relocate to Miami from Washington D.C., where he was working in real estate as well as with various non-profit organizations leading their fundraising, grant writing, and programming efforts. As a longtime ally and leader of SAVE, Mr. Gonzales served as the chairman of SAVE from 2009-10 and as chairman of the SAVE Foundation from 2008-2012, during which time he helped to significantly increase the organization’s donor contributions and political footprint.
“The conversation and climate around LGBTQ+ issues has evolved greatly in recent years, but there is still a lot of work to be done, at home and nationwide. Orlando’s vast experience in working with diverse LGBTQ+ communities throughout the country will bring a new and fresh perspective to SAVE and the work that it does in South Florida and statewide,” said Regalado.
Mr. Gonzales was selected from more than a dozen well-qualified candidates through a rigorous and competitive two-month interview process, which included a selection committee of SAVE board members and community leaders at large from the LGBTQ+ and non-profit space.
A formal introduction of SAVE’s new executive director will be made during the organization’s annual Luminaries Awards taking place on September 18, 2019 at Bacardi Headquarters in Coral Gables at 6:30 p.m. For tickets and information, please visit www.LuminaryAwards.org.
SAVE is recognized as South Florida’s longest-serving organization dedicated to protecting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) against discrimination. Since 1993, SAVE has advocated for equal rights for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions by focusing on civic engagement and community outreach. SAVE’s vision is a community where people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer have full equality in all facets of life.
Safeguarding American Values for Everyone’s (SAVE) mission is to promote, protect, and defend equality in Miami-Dade County for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ). Established in 1993, SAVE strives to accomplish this mission through community education, grassroots organizing, mobilization and advocacy.
Pardo will lead the search for new leadership while supporting the organization’s signature programs and policy outreach initiatives
SAVE has named Damian Pardo as interim executive director, effective immediately. As interim ED, Pardo will oversee the non-profit’s signature programs, donor engagement, and policy outreach, as well as form part of the executive director candidate search committee, to be led by SAVE Board of Directors Vice-Chair Helena Castro.
“As the founding chair of SAVE and one of the LGBTQ community’s most respected and accomplished advocates and leaders, we are thrilled about having Damian take the helm of the organization during this transition period,” said SAVE Chairman of the Board Elizabeth Regalado. “Damian not only understands the South Florida LGBTQ population intrinsically, his deep involvement with the organization and understanding of its work over the years will serve as the driving force for SAVE’s continued success as we move forward.”
In a historic victory today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act 236 to 173.
SAVE is proud of the overwhelming support the bill received from the South Florida delegation including Rep. Hastings, Rep. Frankel, Rep. Deutch, Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Wilson, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, and our Champion Congresswoman Donna Shalala.