Mark your calendars for the Second Annual StartOut Awards, to highlight and celebrate exceptional and innovative entrepreneurs in the LGBT Community!
On Friday, April 19th, 2013, StartOut will once again honor entrepreneurs and business leaders for their accomplishments and personal commitments to both the entrepreneurial and LGBT communities.
Last year’s event recognized four amazing and inspiring individuals, including Peter Thiel (recipient of the JP Morgan Leadership Award in Entrepreneurship), Ramona Pierson (recipient of the Google Innovator Award), Kathy Levinson (recipient of the Pillsbury Advocate Award) and Geoff Lewis (recipient of the Wells Fargo Next Generation Award).
This years evening’s festivities will include a cocktail reception, awards ceremony and dinner, and an exclusive keynote interview with the recipient of the 2013 Leadership Award. Each award will recognize exceptional entrepreneurs for their vision, leadership and achievement in entrepreneurship, and for providing inspiration to the LGBT community.
Award categories include: Leadership Award, recognizing an inspiring entrepreneurial role model; Advocate Award, recognizing a champion for LGBT business leadership; Disruptor Award, recognizing an innovator who is revolutionizing an industry; and the Next Generation Award, recognizing a young entrepreneur of great accomplishment.
A software entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tim Gill was inspired to start the Colorado-based Gill Foundation by a 1992 anti-gay ballot measure in Colorado. The foundation has since invested more than $220 million to support programs and nonprofits across the country that share a commitment to equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.
In 2005, Tim started the Gill Action Fund, an issue advocacy organization working through the legislative, political, and electoral processes to pass and protect laws that positively impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.
Tim founded Quark, Inc. in 1981 with a $2,000 loan from his parents and built the company into a leading developer of page-layout software. Tim is recognized for revolutionizing the publishing industry with Quark’s innovative and affordable page-layout software.
Tim and his husband, Scott Miller, live in Denver, Colorado.
Retired Navy Commander Zoe Dunning served on the SLDN board from 1993-2000, serving as its Co-Chair from 1993-98. She rejoined the board in 2005 and has been Board Co-Chair since October 2006. Zoe has been a tireless advocate for fighting the military’s policies prohibiting open gay service. In January 1993, while a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserves, Dunning publicly came out as a lesbian at a political rally outside the gates of California’s Moffett Field. Dunning won her subsequent two-and-a-half year legal battle to remain in the Navy Reserves. The Navy promoted her twice and awarded her the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal since her coming out. She retired in June 2007 and holds the distinction of serving her country as an openly gay member of the U.S. military for over 13 years. She currently serves on Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) Service Academy Selection Committee. In her civilian life, Zoe is a principal at Quintus Associates, LLC where she partners with executives and their teams to lead major change initiatives. She also facilitates graduate-level courses on Interpersonal Dynamics and Influential Leadership at Stanford University. She is a United States Naval Academy graduate, and received her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Zoe resides in San Francisco, CA with her wife Pam.
Frustrated by his own experiences with the college search process, as an 18 year-old Jordan created the best-selling “Students’ Guide to Colleges” series of college guidebooks, which were released in five annual editions from Penguin Books. After graduating Jordan founded Unigo, which The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg called “a college resource built for the age of YouTube and Facebook.”
Jordan and the Unigo team have gone on to raise capital from McGraw-Hill Ventures and The Gates Foundation, grown Unigo to more than 18 million visitors per year, and have forged strategic partnerships with publishers including USA Today, US News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal. Unigo’s business lines include direct-to-consumer services and b2b SaaS technology sales to non-profit and for-profit colleges.
As an education expert, Jordan has published papers with The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation, been a columnist for US News & World Report and The Huffington Post, and has been featured on more than 75 episodes of ABC News. He was named “One of the Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs in America” by Inc Magazine, “One of the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs in America” by the White House, and “One of the 100 Most Influential People in NYC Business and Technology” by Silicon Alley Insider. Jordan studied English Literature at Wesleyan University, Oxford University and The University of East Anglia and lives in New York City.
Heather Hiles has committed her life to closing the education and employment achievement gaps for youth and adults. Her leadership experience spans more than 20 years, during which she founded and led several private and public sector organizations. Her roster of leadership roles includes: Commissioner, San Francisco Unified School District; Executive Director of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2); CEO of Hiles Group (a philanthropy consultancy firm); Co-Founder of EARN (Individual Development Accounts program); CEO of SFWorks (NGO to place women from welfare into careers); and COO of Break the Cycle (K-3rd grade tutorial program).
Her newest company; Pathbrite delivers next-generation solutions that help students – and learners of all ages – collect, track and showcase a lifetime of achievement, and recommend pathways for continuous success. This is done by documenting, analyzing and mapping individual achievement of all kinds against individuals’ goals and those of their peers – what’s called a Knowledge Graph. Students use the Pathbrite Portfolios and their performance relative to a wider Knowledge Graph to differentiate themselves to get into their preferred schools or land the jobs of their dreams. School admissions officers and employers rely on the Pathbrite Portfolio Platform to get a holistic view of candidates, and to better evaluate their readiness for and organizational fit to the opportunity at hand. Pathbrite Portfolios are helping people to always put their best foot forward.
Moderating the keynote and conducting a special interview with Tim Gill at the event will be award-winning MSNBC anchor
Thomas Roberts is an award-winning journalist and anchors MSNBC Live on weekdays at 11am. Roberts also serves as a fill-in host on MSNBC’s “First Look” and NBC’s TODAY. Roberts was made an official member of MSNBC’s dayside team in December 2010, after having served as a freelance anchor for several months. Prior to his addition to MSNBC’s dayside team, Roberts served as a correspondent for CBS News. He also contributed to several entertainment shows including “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider.” Prior to that, Roberts was a news anchor for CNN Headline News. Roberts is an award-winning journalist, having received a 2002 Emmy nomination and a Virginia Associated Press award for his work on the documentary, “Parvo Puppies.”
He also received an Edward R. Murrow award in 2001 for a documentary that he produced titled, “When Parents Don’t Pay.” Roberts has also been honored for his work as an advocate in the LGBT community, and was recipient of the prestigious Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign in October 2011. Roberts is a graduate of McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College). He resides in New York City.
More of the 2013 class of award recipients will be announced in the next few weeks.
Event proceeds go to StartOut, a national 501(c)3 charitable organization that is building the next generation of LGBT business leaders through entrepreneurship.
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When: Friday, April 19th from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM (PST)
Where: Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102