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Miami-Dade County lobbyist Eston ‘Dusty’ Melton elected secretary of national Scouts for Equality

Miami-Dade County lobbyist Eston "Dusty" Melton, a second-generation Eagle Scout and father of an Eagle Scout, has been elected to the board of Scouts for Equality.

Melton, a one-time Miami Herald reporter, resigned his volunteer Scout positions about 15 years ago in protest of the organization’s anti-gay policy. He serves as Scouts for Equality’s secretary.

Here’s the complete news release:

Washington, D.C.—Scouts for Equality, the organization that spearheaded the successful effort to allow openly gay youth to be members of the Boy Scouts of America, has elected its first national board of directors. Members are:

  • William C. Hemenger, senior executive at Electric Cloud, a software optimization company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. Hemenger, 45, will serve as the organization's president and treasurer and is a gay Eagle Scout.
  • Eric R. Andresen, owner of West Coast Property Management Company in San Francisco. He is the father of Ryan, a gay Scout who was denied his Eagle award prior to the BSA's 2013 change in youth membership policy, drawing national attention. Andresen, 53, volunteered for 17 years in a variety of BSA leadership positions and will serve as the organization's vice president.
  • Eston E. Melton III, chairman of Global Projects Inc., a Miami-based political consulting and lobbying firm. Melton, 60, will serve as the organization's secretary and is an Eagle Scout.
  • Terry Howerton, an entrepreneur, CEO of one of the nation's top start-up incubators, a tech industry advocate, and a charter school founder in Chicago. Howerton, 42, is an Eagle Scout.
  • Mark Noel, managing director of professional services for Catalyst Repository Systems Inc., a multi-national document repository and legal-technology firm based in Denver. Noel, 44 and a gay Eagle Scout, is founder of the Inclusive Scouting Network, which has merged into Scouts for Equality.
  • John Tedstrom, founder of John Tedstrom Associates in Carlsbad, California, advisers to major corporations and institutions regarding their relationships with LGBT and allied stakeholders in their workplaces, marketplaces and communities. John, 52, is a gay Eagle Scout.

The Board also promoted Jonathan D. Hillis to be its second executive director. Hillis, 22 and an Eagle Scout, is a co-founder of Scouts for Equality and had served as the organization's managing director. He succeeds Zach Wahls, also an Eagle Scout and the organization's other co-founder, who resigned from Scouts for Equality to take a new position in Washington, DC for the summer.

"We are enormously excited by our new board's commitment to move the mission of Scouts for Equality forward on a national scale," Hillis said. "Much important work remains to be done, and we are creating the infrastructure and setting the strategy to make Scouting even more inclusive than it is today.

"Scouting molds lives and Scouting saves lives. Our goal is to help the Boy Scouts of America to become a vibrant and inclusive organization that endures for generations to come," Hillis added.

Scouts for Equality is leading the national campaign to end discrimination by the Boy Scouts of America, and it is committed to ensuring that the BSA continues to be an organization that contributes positively to the lives of America's young people. For more information, visit our website at www.ScoutsForEquality.org.

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