George Wallace: Current LGBT+ Center of Central Florida Executive Director

By : Michael Wanzie
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Michael Wanzie

I may not be aware of all that George Wallace has done to make him a hero of 2018 specifically, but I do know that George has been my personal hero for many years.

Firstly, as a healthcare advocate for special needs individuals. Secondly, as a person who has helped countless individuals in need—on a personal level, well beyond the scope of any employment mandate, and he has done so often and without fanfare or public recognition. Thirdly, as one of the true visionaries and hardest working people who dedicated every fiber of his being to help make The Orlando Fringe Festival the resounding success it is today. Now George is lending his winning personality, gifts of persuasion and considerable business acumen to The Center.

Throughout 2018, George has shepherded The Center through a recently completed and glorious expansion—both in square footage of The Center Orlando as well as the opening of The Center Kissimmee. He has accomplished these feats all while improving and expanding The Center’s services and setting an ambitious agenda for future fundraisers and community outreach.

George always has been and continues to be an amiable and effective ambassador who inspires others to become involved. I have long marveled at George’s ability to attract the right people to the right tasks and then keep them happy in their volunteerism.

One of the things I most admire about him is that he never appears anxious or overwrought about the tasks that lie before him and I never see him rushing to get anything done. I have encountered very few people in my life who have taken on challenges the likes of those to which George naturally gravitates without looking like they are succumbing to pressure. One never sees George rushing about as though he hasn’t the time to do all he has to do. George appears perennially composed and has never made a show of working hard because he always works smart.

George has made a huge difference at The Center this past year because he is one of those rare individuals who balance the business aspects of running such a facility with the people skills required to make those who come seeking assistance (and those who volunteer) feel like they have made a fast friend. It is not often we find those two qualities embodied in the same individual, but these qualities are one and the same when it comes to one Mr. George Wallace.

The Center, and Orlando as a whole, is the happy beneficiary of this hero’s unique blend of intellect, approachability, common sense and long hours of mostly unseen hard work and tremendous dedication. I am thrilled that one of my personal friends and longtime heroes is being officially recognized by Watermark as a hero of 2018. Congratulations, George Wallace!

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