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.Read more
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.
Over in Miami Shores, we made history by helping elect Miami Shores Village’s first African American, female Mayor! Congratulations Mayor-elect Crystal Wagar. We are very excited to work with you! SAVE Action PAC endorsed Candidate (and former SAVE Board Chair) Christian Ulvert is headed to a runoff election on April 30th pending a recount.
Congratulations to Mayor Raul J. Valdes-Fauli for his win in Coral Gables. We look forward to working with you Mr. Mayor! SAVE Action PAC endorsed candidate for Coral Gables City Commission Ralph Cabrera, is headed to a runoff election on April 23rd. We will keep you posted on the final results.Read more
Our Representatives are considering a bill that would strip away all local business regulations, which puts the non-discrimination protections that we've passed locally at risk. We've worked too hard to lose our rights.
I was delighted last week to be an original co-sponsor of the reintroduction of the Equality Act to ban LGBTQ discrimination. Led by David Ciccilini (D-RI) the bill adds “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the classes protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It effectively bans discrimination in employment, public accommodations, jury service, education, federal programs, and credit.
The new bill specifies as well that it is illegal to discriminate against all protective classes in retail stores, emergency shelters, banks, transit and pharmacies among other places. The new bill also clarifies that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot be used in the civil rights context, prohibiting religious liberty from being used as a license to discriminate.
We will pass it shortly in the house and have a shot in the Senate if the Majority Leader will put it on the floor. Signed into law it would be the first national non-discrimination law for LGBTQ Americans. Promises Kept.