PHOTOS: UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality hosts Florida LGBT-Allies Summit

By : Maia Monet
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The 7th annual Florida LGBT-Allies Diversity Summit was held this past Friday at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality. Companies from across the state sent representatives to attend panels on “LGBT Equality and Civil Rights” as well as “Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace.”

The morning began with a panel on “Allyship: Voices of the LGBTQ Community” made up of George Wallace the Executive Director of the LGBT+ Center Orlando, Jennifer Walls the Senior Vice President/Area Sales Director for Lee Hecht Harrison, Marco Antonio Quiroga the Program Director for the Contigo Fund, and Kellie Parkin the Executive Director of MBA Orlando – LGBT Chamber of Commerce answering questions on the challenges and benefits of LGBTQ visibility at work. As noted by Parkin, it is estimated that 50% of employees are still in the closet and need support. Walls added that there are still large companies with annual revenue of $100M+ who believe that they do not have LGBTQ employees.

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Trevor’s Notebook: Make Tampa Bay a gay destination

By : Trevor Pettiford
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TervorPettifordHeadshotIt’s fascinating to think that just a few short years ago, the LGBT community was at odds with Hillsborough County Commissioners over their refusal to recognize LGBT Pride. Today, the county joins a long and growing list of jurisdictions that not only recognize LGBT Pride, offer domestic partner benefits and have a domestic partner registry, but are also rolling out the rainbow carpet to gay tourists.

Seeing a local government or company realize all the green in the gay flag is nothing new, but actually targeting LGBT international tourists is a new concept for Tampa Bay. Santiago Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay says, “the Bay Area has a wide variety of hotels and destinations that are very welcoming to the LGBT community.”

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