News release from the LGBT Visitor Center in Miami Beach:
MIAMI, FL - August 13, 2012 – Long-time hospitality executive Karen Brown has been selected as the new executive director of the LGBT Visitor Center in Miami Beach, announced Steve Adkins, president of the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is responsible for the LGBT Visitor Center operations. The LGBT Visitor Center is sponsored by MetLife.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Karen’s extensive hospitality background take the helm of the LGBT Visitor Center,” said Adkins. “I have worked with Karen on many initiatives over the past several years and she knows the hospitality industry incredibly well. Her expertise will definitely help the LGBT Visitor Center grow and continue to be a must-visit destination for our tourists as well as a centerpiece for the local LGBT community.”
Brown is a native Miamian who has spent the last 19 years working in the hospitality industry in South Florida. Before joining the LGBT Visitor Center as executive director, she was the general manager at The Angler’s Resort in South Beach. Her professional experience also includes serving as the vice president of sales and marketing for Boutique Hospitality Management and positions with Island Outpost, The Double Tree, and Interstate Hotels.
The LGBT Visitor Center, the only visitor center of its kind in the United States supported by a gay and lesbian chamber, will be celebrating its 2ndanniversary next month. It is located at 1130 Washington Avenue in the lobby of Old City Hall. The facility, although a visitor center that caters to the LGBT community, also serves as a gathering point for social and civic events.
“Managing the LGBT Visitor Center allows me the opportunity to create a unique travel experience and a positive place where all are welcome. For so long our community lacked a place to call their own and now through the work of the MDGLCC we have a brick and mortar place to call home,”Brown said. “We are working diligently to build programs and resources to welcome the LGBT traveler by introducing them to the myriad of people, businesses and attractions our city has to offer. We are growing and that’s the fun part. I thoroughly enjoy meeting the people who walk into the Visitor’s Center. I want them to leave our city knowing we are glad they came and that they are welcome to visit us again.”
Brown has served as co-emcee for the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade for the past four years. She worked on Sweet Charity, the blueprint for Aqua Girl, and has volunteered for organizations including The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Aqua Foundation, IGLTA, Casa Valentina, and multiple AIDS-related charities and fundraisers. She currently serves on the City of Miami Beach GLBT Business Enhancement Committee and Business Development Subcommittee as the appointee of Mayor Matti Bower. Brown has Theatre and Communication degrees from both Florida State University and Miami-Dade College. She is a resident of Miami Beach.
The MDGLCC Foundation, Inc. is the 501(c)3 arm of the Miami Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The MDGLCC Foundation exists to support the education, travel and tourism outreach efforts for the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce by providing educational programs, seminars, diversity outreach and educational training for entrepreneurs.
MDGLCC Foundation operates the LGBT Visitor Center on Miami Beach. Located conveniently in the historic Old City Hall building at 1130 Washington Avenue, the visitor center is a one-stop destination for information, publications, wireless internet access, LGBT curious and weekly community events in addition to being a resource and meeting place for MDGLCC members and community organizations. For more information, call 305-397-8914 or visit www.gogaymiami.com.