Golden State Warrior’s COO Rick Welts and Houston Mayor Annise Parker to Receive 2012 Out & Equal Advocacy Awards

January 24, 2012

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is pleased to announce that Rick Welts, President and Chief of Operations of the Golden State Warriors, and Houston Mayor Annise Parker will be honored with 2012 Out & Equal Advocacy Awards.

The awards will be presented to Welts and Parker at the Out & Equal
Leadership Celebration on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco.

Rick Welts is the first openly gay executive of a professional sports team. He publicly came out in an interview with the New York Times in 2011. “Mr. Welts showed incredible courage by coming out in the world of professional sports,” said Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director of Out & Equal. “He was at the top of his game, decided to take a gamble, and won.”

Annise Parker is the first openly lesbian mayor of any major U.S. city. “Mayor Parker showed an immense amount of integrity in running for mayor in Houston as an open lesbian. Her election shows the amazing progress that has taken place across the United States. Out & Equal wants to honor Parker’s important impact by being out and a leader,” said Berry.

This year, the Out & Equal Advocacy Award recognizes leaders who are making a difference because they are out at work. In the past, the Advocacy Award has honored allies who have contributed to equality and companies which supported same-sex marriage in California.

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is an international nonprofit organization committed to ending employment discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. The Out & Equal Leadership Celebration honors workplace courage and support of LGBT equality, specifically those organizations and individuals who take the lead on fundamental issues of equal rights in and out of the workplace.

The Leadership Celebration is part of the Out & Equal Executive Forum, a multiday conference for out and successful executive leaders to learn from one another and share their best practices. Hundreds of LGBT senior executives and emerging leaders have participated in the annual event since 2008.

Media contact: Justin Tanis, Director of Communications, 415-694-6512