She came from a family of musicians, but Myra Koutzen eventually became a politician and mayor of Palm Beach Shores.

Koutzen started out as a lighting designer for theatrical productions, but eventually got her master's degree in finance and worked in marketing. Her political start came from an issue close to home for her.

“There was an infrastructure problem in the town that affected the building I was in and the whole corner of the town I lived in,” Koutzen said. “I wasn’t getting satisfaction from the town commission, so I ended up running for the commission and we eventually got the issue fixed.”

As an openly LGBT elected official, Koutzen said that factor is not the main thing that defines her.

“The people in my town all know who I am and it doesn’t seem to play a role in whether they vote for me, don’t vote for me, support me, don’t support me,” she said. “It’s a very small town, so I have a personal relationship with many of the voters.”

Koutzen said her work includes protecting the barrier island community from natural elements like sea level rise and hurricanes. This includes upgrading the infrastructure within the town to prepare for those events and keep property safe.

As well as her mayorship, Koutzen likes to ride her bike in the community to stay in shape. With her musical background, she also like to play piano and go to concerts.


Next: Sarah Malega - The Businesswoman

Table of Contents: SFGN's OUT50 2018

Previous: Adrienne Percival - The Community Organizer