Gala Recipients

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Event Attire – Tuxedo to Dressy “Coastal” Casual

Awardee
Lora L. Tucker
CEO, CenterLink

Lora is the CEO for CenterLink a national nonprofit dedicated to developing strong, sustainable LGBT community centers. LGBTQ community centers are essential to creating a healthy, vibrant society where everyone can live up to their full potential and contribute their gifts and talents in meaningful ways. CenterLink develops strong, sustainable community centers that provide LGBTQ people of all ages with the building blocks of well-being that we all need to thrive, such as healthy social connections, safe places to live and work, support to do well in school and prepare for careers, enriching cultural experiences, and timely health and mental health services. Serving over 200 LGBTQ community centers across the country in 45 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, as well as centers in Canada, China, and Australia. CenterLink assists newly forming community centers and helps strengthen existing centers, through networking opportunities for center leaders, peer-based technical assistance and training, and a variety of capacity building services. CenterLinks efforts are based on the belief that LGBTQ community centers lay the foundation for a national movement working to ensure that all LGBTQ people have the opportunity to live happy and healthy lives in communities that honor and support their full participation.

Lora has an impeccable background leading highly complex organizations. Before her work with CenterLink, Lora was the Founder and President of Leading With HEART, a leadership coaching and consulting business. Lora was the CEO for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana and worked for GSUSA as a Council Advisor. Lora (retired Col. Tucker) spent 24 years as a soldier and officer in the United States Army.

Lora is a distinguished Cum Laude graduate of Boston College where she received her BA Degree in Social Science. She obtained an MS Degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and MSS Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.

As a volunteer, Lora is working with a Fort Lauderdale organization to save disoriented sea turtle hatchlings.

Lora contributes her success in life to her loving partner Dawn and her family and friends.

Awardee
Mark Ketcham

Mark is the Executive Director of SunServe, the LGBTQ social service agency providing mental health services, senior day care, youth programming, HIV Housing Assistance, Project AIDS Care, Transgender & Women’s Services and cultural capacity training in greater Fort Lauderdale. He has been in his position for 8 years. Under Mark's leadership, SunServe has grown from 7 employees and a $300,000 budget to 38 full time employees and a $2.6 million budget—always in the black, with a solid financial past and future.

Mark started his LGBTQ career working with Gay Men’s Health Crisis as a buddy volunteer in 1985 in NYC. He went on to paid work with them for a year in the education department before moving to the AIDS Resource Center/Bailey House as the Central Operations Manager. In 1990, his partner was transferred to Tampa and Mark followed. He became the Director of Client Services at Tampa AIDS Network, where he oversaw and developed case management, the food bank, housing program, pediatric program, minority outreach initiative, as well as the Buddy and hospital visitation Program. He later served as the Executive Director of the Bay Area AIDS Consortium for more than a year- an AmFar supported clinical trials site- that had one of the first Protease Inhibitor trials. In 1995, they moved to Fort Lauderdale where Mark became the Director of Volunteers for Health Crisis Network in Miami.

After 13 years, Mark left AIDS services and actually made some money for a while. He worked as a Realtor (in the good years) and as a campaign manager for some local successful races. During that time, Mark was very active in civic activities and local politics, as well as being on the board, and eventually chair, of the Gay & Lesbian Community Center (Pride Center). He found he was pretty good at raising money. Along with 4 others, Mark founded Our Fund in January 2011, the LGBT Community Foundation in Broward. He is currently the Chair of the Non-Profit Executive Alliance of Broward, the United Way Public Policy committee and is on the Board of Governors of the United Way Commission on Substance Abuse and Prevention. Mark graduated from Quinnipiac University with BS in Marketing in 1982. Mark, and his husband of 31 years, Werner Lutz, own a home in Fort Lauderdale with the required dog, and two cats.

 

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