Organizations United Together (OUT), a coalition of over 80 Florida LGBT and ally groups, has announced they have hired an interim Director. Their choice is Ted Howard, a Tampa-based LGBT community organizer and activist.
Citing the need for a full-time staff member to oversee its numerous projects, Organizations United Together (O.U.T.), a federation of local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations and allies in the State of Florida, announced today that it has hired Ted Howard to serve as its Interim Director/State Coordinator while a national search for a permanent executive director takes place.
A founding member of OUT, Howard has a long and impressive record of LGBT activism in Florida, as co-founder of the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN) and founder and director of the Unity Leadership Conferences for many Florida local communities. Howard served as the Director of Operations and Leadership for Equality Florida from 1999 through 2004, and as the first-ever openly gay outreach director for a gubernatorial nominee, Bill McBride, in 2002. Howard resigned from the OUT board of directors and his job at Raymond James Financial in order to assume the Interim Director position.
Reflecting on his hiring, Howard stated: "I am very excited about the opportunity for cooperation OUT represents for local, state and national organizations in our state, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to help OUT in a full-time capacity. Working together, we will achieve equality for LGBT people in Florida."
OUT board chair Georg Ketelhohn said "OUT is delighted to have Ted Howard take this full-time position. Ted is well-known and respected by LGBT leaders across Florida for his many years of hard work in the movement, his impeccable ethics and his organizational skills."
Since it's founding in December of 2008, OUT has held two statewide conferences of LGBT leaders, and conducted trainings for member organizations. Ketelhohn stated "Now that Ted has assumed the Interim Director role, OUT will be able to deliver more services to its members. Having a full-time employee focused on OUT's mission will enable us to provide the help that local organizations need to grow and thrive much more efficiently. It is a huge step forward for OUT and its member organizations."
Howard will focus his efforts on the first "OUT University" training, which will offer capacity building and leadership training for local LGBT leaders and organizations.
Organizations United Together (OUT) is a federation of local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied organizations dedicated to achieving equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Floridians. By connecting and empowering local organizations throughout the state to share resources, skills and knowledge, OUT aims to forge our statewide strength to achieve common goals. OUT's vision is a Florida free of prejudice and discrimination where all people have full legal, political and social equality.