News release from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force:
WASHINGTON, May 11 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force announced today that it will honor Georg Ketelhohn at the 15th annual Miami Recognition Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This major fundraising event recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, political and humanitarian needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
“Georg is the consummate activist. He sacrificed his law career to co-chair the successful campaign to defend the Human Rights Ordinance against repeal,” says Liebe Gadinsky, Task Force board member. “It was then that he became a hero to me and countless others, who may not know him but will forever benefit from his leadership, dedication and brilliance.”
Ketelhohn, who will receive the 2011 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award, is a litigator with the firm of Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel, P.A., and serves as board treasurer for Florida Together, Florida’s statewide federation of LGBT and allied organizations.
At the age of 10, Ketelhohn came to Florida from Nicaragua with his family, seeking asylum from political persecution. As an undergraduate at the University of Florida (UF), and while attending UF’s College of Law, he was active in a number of LGBT-focused initiatives, as the president of the UF Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Union and as one of the founders of Outlaw, an organization for LGBT law students.
After moving to Miami, Ketelhohn served on the board of Dade Action PAC, an LGBT political committee, and then went on to join the board of SAVE Dade, where he served for nine years in various capacities including chair. He also worked as part of the leadership team on the successful campaign to preserve the Miami Beach domestic partner benefit ordinance at the ballot in 2001, and to pass domestic partner benefits for county employees in 2008.
In 2002, Ketelhohn resigned his paid position as an attorney to serve as the unpaid campaign manager for SAVE Dade’s successful “No To Discrimination” campaign, which defeated an attempt to legalize discrimination based on sexual orientation by repealing a portion of Miami-Dade’s Human Rights Ordinance. During that campaign, he also served as SAVE Dade’s liaison with the Task Force’s Organizing and Training department, which helped train SAVE Dade’s campaign staff and volunteers.
Most recently, Ketelhohn was one of the founders and the first board chair of Florida Together, helping to organize several conferences of LGBT and allied organizations across the state.
“The Miami Recognition Dinner is a unique event that not only raises significant funds for local LGBT organizations, but honors our local heroes,” says Christopher Russell, event co-chair. “We are proud of these individual contributions and the collective results we have achieved.”
Launched in 1997, the Miami Recognition Dinner quickly cemented its place as the premier event for uniting the community and honoring individuals and organizations for their achievements and efforts in fostering equal rights for LGBT people. Over the past decade, it has become a vital source of funding for organizations serving the LGBT community. Since assuming responsibility for the dinner and its sister event, Winter Party Festival, in 2004, the Task Force has donated close to $1,000,000 from the proceeds of the two events to the Miami-Dade community.
Information on individual and corporate sponsorship opportunities is available by calling the Task Force’s Miami office at 305.571.1924.