Sometimes your cup runneth over. Sometimes you realize that you have a duty to society. Few in Orlando carry that weight – and amazing artistry in their downtown condominium – better than Ted Maines and Jeffrey Miller. While they both have their side duties – you know, running an interior design business or being a lawyer – there’s something more to this more- than-once-named-power-couple. They’re kind. And they back it up.
“First of all, because we live here, we work here, and we both own businesses here, we feel we have a responsibility to make it the best place it can be, not only for ourselves but for everyone that lives here,” Maines says. “It’s just to give back. We’ve been very lucky and very fortunate in our lives, and we feel that, because of our ability to try and do things with both our time and our resources, we feel that it’s something we have an obligation to do.”
This year, the couple received the Holocaust Center’s Kenneth F. Murrah Esq. Award for Outstanding Philanthropist at the Association of Fundraising Professional’s annual National Philanthropy Breakfast.
“We’ve been living in this community since 1986,” Miller says. “And in 1986, Orlando was a very different place…The city has grown up around us, and we’ve grown up around the city. We’ve been here for quite a while.”
They’re also well known for their outspoken, even fiscally outspoken, support of progressive rights. Also, holy art collection! But moving forward, they are still in for the fight, long term.
“I feel that you can never just give up anything,” Maines says. “It’s got to be a positive thing. To throw your hands in the air and say, ‘We’ll just never get things done?’ That’s a defeatist attitude. We’ll just never have that. Some things take a long time, some things take a short time; some things are easy, some things are hard. But, in the end, the pendulum swings toward justice.”
It also swings out of our LGBTQ wheelhouse and into the infrastructures we’ve created as minorities throughout the nation.
“We encourage our friends in the LGBTQ community to do the same thing: To truly be a part of the fabric of the community is to go beyond LGBT issues and to find something that you’re interested in, whatever it could be,” Maines says.
Gallery photos by Jake Stevens.