MDGLCC to Honor Community Leaders at 9th Annual Gala

Steve Rothaus

Miami Herald Columnist Steve Rothaus Among Recipients

TheMiami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber Of Commerce will honor corporate and individual leaders in the region’s LGBT community at its 9th Annual “Blue” Gala Awards Celebration, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, at the Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel (1601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami).

The honorees were selected for their long-term commitment to fostering diversity and their contributions to overall quality of life in South Florida.

“As the voice of the LGBT business community, the Chamber is especially proud to have such an exemplary group to recognize this year,” said Steve Adkins, president of the MDGLCC. “We’re anticipating one of the largest turnouts in our nine-year history, and we envision this year’s gala to be particularly significant in view of the Chamber’s achievements in growth andinfluence—especially in light of the new LGBT Visitor Center we recently opened in Miami Beach.”

This year’s recipients include Miami Herald columnist Steve Rothaus, who will receive the “Business Person of the Year” award for his coverage ofgay and lesbian issues for The Herald. His daily blog, “Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida,” is one of the paper’s most popular, read by thousands of readers each week. He is the only reporter employed by a major U.S. newspaper to exclusively cover the LGBT community.

“I very much appreciate that the MDGLCC recognizes the work I've done through the years at the Miami Herald,” Rothaus says. “It's always nice to be honored, but it's especially gratifying this award comes from a diverse organization that's so well-respected in our community—not just the gay community, but the entire South Florida business community.”

Another recipient will be Safe Schools South Florida, the only organization in South Florida that trains education professionals to recognize and intervene in harassment and bullying of LGBTQ students and the children of LGBT parents. Robert Loupo is the co-founder and executive director of SSSF and has been an unflagging advocate for the community.

“Safe Schools South Florida is deeply honored to be given this award by the MDGLCC,” Loupo said. “This award will inspire us to continue striving to do our best to support LGBTQ youth in our schools and communities and to teach respect for all.”

In addition, George Neary, associate vice-president of the Greater Miami CVB, will be on hand to accept the “Blue” Diamond Award.  This award is given periodically—and only to those individuals who embrace diversity in all forms and have dedicated themselves to the betterment of the community through their superior leadership skills.

Neary is honored by the nomination: “I think it’s amazing to have been chosen and recognized for my many years of work in the community and to be honored at an event where my long time friends, colleagues and associates will be present,” he said.

The final recipient is the Morgans Hotel Group, a boutique group of hotels that revolutionized the hospitality industry by providing personalized service and home-away-from-home ambiance in a setting of timeless elegance. The Morgans Hotel Group has worked tirelessly to support diversity and equality in the hospitality industry.

For the past several years, MDGLCC has selected a different color of the rainbow flag for its gala theme. The theme for this year’s event is “Blue,” which is meant to represent knowledge, power, integrity and professionalism—all the qualities that this year’s honorees possess. Gala attendees are encouraged to wear “a touch of blue.”

This annual event is MDLCC’s principal fundraising effort and money raised helps sustain operations and the ever-increasing demand to expand programming.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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