The seventh annual Respect Awards - Los Angeles were a smashing success. We honored Chaz Bono, Rick Welts, Emmett Patterson, Rob & Michele Reiner, and Wells Fargo for their immense commitment to equality.
The cast of Dancing with the Stars came out to support fellow castmate Chaz Bono as we honored him with the 2011 Hero Award. Posing with him on the red carpet are Elisabetta Canalis, Carson Kressley, Nancy Grace, Ricki Lake, Hope Solo and David Arquette.
Celebrity guests joined educators, student advocates, corporate partners, donors and GLSEN staff to celebrate the gains made so far in making schools safer for all throughout the country and to continue promoting respect for difference.
The work of GLSEN is vital and it is because of the tireless contributions of advocates and role models such as the individuals GLSEN honored in Los Angeles, the thousands of safe school advocates around the country, and the students, educators, parents, and GLSEN chapters that we are able to ensure safe and respectful learning environments.
Eliza Byard concluded her remarks by saying, "Every day, more than 55 million students go to school in this country. Each of them has a right to reach for more. We owe it to each one of them - and I owe it to Jessica - to speak out boldly, to seek out advocates and allies everywhere, to continue our quest to touch every school in this country, and to affirm every student's right not just to survive but to thrive."
With all the glitz and glamour Hollywood has to offer, the Respect Awards really exist for one reason: to ensure that every student is safe and supported at school, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Donors, students, educators, staff, volunteers ... we all come together for that singular purpose. And we know that it is working. The students we work with directly and support indirectly through resources and programs continue to dazzle us with their commitment to and their courage in the face of adversity.
As a special surprise, the 2011 GLSEN Student Ambassadors put together a video message just for you. Take a look.
Of course, the Respect Awards - Los Angeles could not be possible without support from our generous sponsors. The crew at Entertainment Tonight put together a short segment honoring our supporters.
Michele and Rob Reiner are founding board members of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California's Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Michele, an accomplished photographer, producer, and children's advocate, co-founded Parents' Action for Children (formerly the I Am Your Child Foundation) and produced the prime-time ABC special "I Am Your Child."
Rob, an actor and director, has been a leader in elevating the issue of pre-Kindergarten education and other services for children. Reiner won an Emmy Award for his role in "All in the Family" and has numerous film credits including "When Harry Met Sally." In 2008, Rob and Michele teamed up with political strategist Chad Griffin to form the American Foundation for Equal Rights, working to protect and advance equal rights for gay and lesbian couples across the country.
2011 Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Award
Wells Fargo has a long history of supporting the LGBT community, serving LGBT customers and creating an inclusive workplace environment for nearly 280,000 team members. Wells Fargo scored a perfect 100% on HRC's Corporate Equality Index for 8 consecutive years and is currently ranked #2 on DiversityInc's Top 10 Companies for LGBT employees.
The financial services firm received a 2010 GLAAD Media Award in Advertising and was ranked No. 23 on Fortune's 2011 rankings of America's largest corporations. Wells Fargo is a premier sponsor of GLSEN's Safe Space campaign and salutes the important work of GLSEN in creating safer schools for all students.
2011 Inspiration Award
Rick Welts is the current President and Chief Operating Officer of the Golden State Warriors. He also spent nine years with the Phoenix Suns, serving as President and Chief Executive Officer for the last two seasons. Prior to joining the Suns, Welts enjoyed a successful 17-year stint at the NBA league office in New York, where he became the league's third-in-command as the Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and President of NBA Properties.
In addition to his overall contributions to the revitalization of the league's image and popularity, his notable accomplishments at the NBA include the creation of the NBA All-Star Weekend in 1984 - a model that subsequently became a fixture in both MLB and the NHL - along with the creation of a marketing program with USA Basketball for the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team." Along with Val Ackerman, Welts was named "Marketer of the Year" by Brandweek in 1998 for his role in launching the WNBA. In May of this year, in a front page story in the New York Times, Welts became the highest ranking executive in men's' professional team sports to publicly acknowledge he is gay. This fall he was presented with a United States Tennis Association 2011 ICON Award at the US Open, recognizing his positive impact on diversity and inclusion in the sports industry and society.
2011 Hero Award
Chaz Bono is an LGBT rights advocate, author, speaker and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher. Chaz's decision to come out as a Lesbian in 1995 prompted his public work in support of LGBT rights and social justice. Chaz has contributed as a writer-at-large to The Advocate and in 1996 became the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Day spokesperson. Chaz also served with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and has spoken at dozens of universities and LGBT events.
An acclaimed author, Chaz has written three books including Transition, which was released by Dutton in May of 2011. He has recently shared his life and experiences in the three-time Emmy nominated documentary, "Becoming Chaz." Chaz recently signed on to compete in the 13th season of ABC's hit show, Dancing With The Stars. He is very excited to compete athletically and continue to create awareness and impact change for the LGBT community. Chaz currently lives in Los Angeles with his fianc%E9, Jennifer Elia.
2011 Student Advocate of the Year Award
Emmett Patterson is a senior at Trinity High School in Washington, Pennsylvania. Emmett has been a leader in the community GSA in his rural Pennsylvania town for four years and this year worked with a friend to start a GSA at their high school so that students who come after them have a space place. Kathy Cameron, the GLSEN Pittsburgh Chapter leader who nominated Emmett, stated that "Emmett has been an amazing asset to the LGBTQ youth community in our town as well as at the high school level." He has been working to educate students, faculty, staff and administration of his high school about the issues that LGB, and particularly transgender youth, face when they do not have adequate protections in place at their school. Emmett is a cellist in his community symphony and chief photo editor for his school yearbook as well as a lifeguard and swim team coach over the summers. He is actively involved with two community centers, PERSAD and the Academy for Adolescent Health and recently took on a position at the latter as the fi rst high school student to operate the Common Ground Teen Center.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Nancy Grace (Dancing with the Stars)
Country singer Chely Wright
Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks Animation)
James Duff (The Closer)
Executive Vice President Patricia Callahan (Wells Fargo)
Phoenix Mercury President & General Manager Ann Meyers-Drysdale
Jonathan Del Arco (The Closer)
Clementine Ford (The Young and the Restless)
Ross Cassidy (Million Dollar Decorators)
Carson Kressley (Dancing with the Stars)
Peta Murgatroyd (Dancing with the Stars)
Val Maxim Chmerkovskiy (DWTS)
Maxim Chmerkovskiy (Dancing with the Stars)
J.R. Martinez (Dancing with the Stars)
Sean Maher (The Playboy Club)
People.com editor Janet Mock
Leah Renee (The Playboy Club)
Greg Rikaart (The Young and the Restless)
Krisily Kennedy (The Bachelor)
Jeffrey Alan Marks (Million Dollar Decorators)
Elisabetta Canalis (Dancing with the Stars)
Hope Solo (Dancing with the Stars)
Linda Bell Blue
The 2011 season marks Linda Bell Blue's 17th year as executive producer of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, making her the longest-running executive producer in the history of the No. 1 syndicated entertainment newsmagazine in the world. An Emmy Award-winning producer, Ms. Bell Blue joined the venerable entertainment newsmagazine at the beginning of season 15, after more than a decade working in television news.
Ms. Bell Blue also serves as executive producer of THE INSIDER, the nightly half-hour newsmagazine based on the popular ET segment of the same name. THE INSIDER premiered in 2004 with the highest-rated debut of any syndicated newsmagazine since 1996.
A senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, Dave has written over 40 cover stories since joining the staff in 1995, on subjects ranging from George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Julia Roberts, to Elton John, Taylor Swift, and Justin Timberlake. He also spearheads Oscar coverage for the magazine and EW.com.
On television, he is the U.S. correspondent for the BBC's flagship movies program, Film 2011. He has also served as a guest correspondent on Access Hollywood and has made over 150 appearances on NBC's Today show. In 2011, he co-hosted the Oscar Digital Experience on Oscar.com, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media. Also in 2011, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named him the official red-carpet greeter at the Oscars.
Dave graduated cum laude from Duke University.
Michael Lombardo is president, HBO Programming, for Home Box Office. He is responsible for overseeing all of HBO's original programming initiatives including HBO Films, HBO Sports, HBO Documentaries & Family, and HBO Entertainment. He also oversees HBO's Program Planning group, which is responsible for research and scheduling in connection with the HBO and Cinemax services. In addition, he is responsible for the West Coast Business Affairs, Legal and Production departments. He was named to this position in June 2007.
Formerly, Lombardo was executive vice president, Business Affairs, Production and Programming Operations, a position he held since January 2003. In this capacity, he was responsible for the negotiation and administration of talent, production and license agreements for HBO original programming as well as overseeing the network's West Coast Production and Legal departments and the Programming Operations area, which includes original programming operations, administration and budgeting.
Lombardo currently serves on the boards of The Paley Center, The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation and GLSEN.
He has an AB degree from Cornell University and JD from the University of California at Berkeley.
Chip Sullivan oversees corporate communications at DreamWorks Studios and also serves as Head of Publicity. He joined DreamWorks in 1995 as Head of Special Projects and worked on such films as "Saving Private Ryan," "American Beauty," "Gladiator" and "Shrek."
After the animation studio went public and Paramount Pictures acquired DreamWorks, Sullivan played a role at both companies in their marketing and publicity campaigns. He oversaw Special Marketing Projects at DreamWorks Animation and continues to work on their upcoming projects. He has contributed to the campaigns for DreamWorks Animation films such as "How to Train Your Dragon," and "Kung Fu Panda" and DreamWorks Studios live action films such as "Sweeney Todd," "Dreamgirls" and "Transformers."
Current projects that he is working on include "Real Steel," "The Help," and "War Horse" for DreamWorks Studios, who partnered with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group in 2009, and "Puss in Boots" and "Madagascar 3" for DreamWorks Animation.
Before DreamWorks, Sullivan was Director of Special Projects at Walt Disney Studios. He currently serves on the National Board for the GLSEN and on the advisory board for Project Angel Food. He served of the board of LifeWorks Mentoring for seven years. He is a graduate of Bentley College.
David Phoenix has earned his reputation as one of the country's most influential designers with 20 years of design experience, fifteen at the helm of his own firm. House Beautiful recognized his talent, and awarded him the title of one of America's Top Young Designers. His projects currently grace the covers of Architectural Digest, California Homes, and this fall's national issue of LUXE magazine.
Creating designs that incorporate and reflect the personality and passions of his clients is David's stock-in-trade. Whether it is an individual room or an entire residence, he draws from a multitude of styles, juxtaposing contemporary and classic, bold and subdued, to achieve a look that is inspired by the goals and aspirations of the Owner for the ambience of their living space, rather than by a particular design vernacular or popular trend. He provides a wide range of services for his elite clientele, from consulting and space planning to the acquisition of art and antiques.
This quintessential American designer was selected an honorable appointee of the State Historical Resources Commission of California (SHRC). Perhaps best known for designs that address the special concerns of America's highest public officials, business magnates, Middle Eastern royalty and Hollywood celebrities, David Phoenix has decorated homes for such luminaries as the Kennedy family, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver, and actor Rob Lowe. His works leave a lasting impression on devotees, leading to completion of multiple projects for his enthusiastic clients.
Made possible by:
RECEPTION SPONSORED BY
Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen
Kevin Brockman & Dan Berendsen
Michael Lombardo & Sonny Ward
James Duff & Phillip P. Keene
Abraham Higginbotham & Steven Petrarca
Ryan Pedlow & Jonathan Ducrest
Tracy Poust & Forrest O'Connor/
Jon Kinally & Chris Young