And then there was one. After months of chaos surrounding Pride Fort Lauderdale (legally called Greater Fort Lauderdale Pride Inc.) and their event, Pride of the Americas (POTA), loss of major sponsors, and resignations, there now appears to be just one person remaining in any official capacity with the organization.
Pride President Miik Martorell, multiple sources tell SFGN, is the only person running operations.
-Lack of any Board of Directors
-Distribution of Funds
-Notice of Meetings
-No Minutes of Meetings
SFGN reached out twice to Martorell for this article. Both calls have gone unreturned.
Article VI Section 1 A. of Pride’s By-Laws says “The Board of Directors shall consist of not less than three (3) persons.” Later the by-laws state the president, in this case, Martorell, only votes to break ties of the board.
He has spoken previously with SFGN and said reconstituting a board must be a top priority. But whether he has the unilateral power to do so is questionable. Filling vacancies is left to the remaining directors. In this case, none remain.
Also, there are three tiers of board members, and each requires experience in the organization. In this case, there are no active members to elevate. It is possible the organization could lure someone with experience to return.
But again, the by-laws don’t seem to anticipate a situation where the entire board has resigned.
Article VII calls for an Executive Committee, made up by the organization’s five officers: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Parliamentarian. Currently, only the position of President is filled.
The Secretary and a co-treasurer resigned in January, just before POTA. The other co-treasurer has since left. This means no one has been officially in charge of keeping and posting records for months. Even when there was a secretary, minutes, past agendas, and notice of meetings were not available for SFGN to review.
How Pride is paying anything is unclear. Any checks or disbursements from the past few months were likely in abeyance of Pride’s own by-laws.
Article X Section 2 calls for all checks to be written by the Treasurer and signed by two other officers. The treasurer may not sign checks. With no active treasurer, there is no one to keep the books, update the budget, or do tax filings or other critical jobs.
There is also no one to sign checks. As president, Martorell has signed checks but there is no one left to co-sign.
SFGN spoke with Martorell a few weeks after POTA, and he promised prompt disclosure of past minutes as well as the profit/loss sheet from the event. None of these have been forthcoming in the more than a month since he spoke to SFGN.
When is the next Pride Fort Lauderdale? Who knows. The organization has not announced a date for 2024, and its website is still promoting POTA events. Just weeks before POTA, which was years in the making, transparency issues began surfacing. Then board members started resigning and major sponsors pulled out.