GLAAD announces inaugural San Francisco Gala

Ric Weiland Award to honor tech innovators advancing LGBT equality
July 11, 2014

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced the inaugural GLAAD Gala San Francisco: Game Changers to recognize national and Bay Area leaders advancing LGBT equality through the media. The event will be presented nationally by Ketel One Vodka, Wells Fargo and Hilton Worldwide and locally by Southwest Airlines. The gala will be held on September 13, 2014 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and will also fund GLAAD's national advocacy work to rewrite the script for LGBT equality.

“This evening will showcase the media disrupters who are agents of cultural change around the globe,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “I’m excited to launch the GLAAD Gala series in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region known for its cultural leadership in the LGBT movement.”

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At the gala, GLAAD will present the inaugural Ric Weiland Award. The Ric Weiland Award will honor innovators who advance LGBT equality through tech and new media. The award is named after Ric Weiland who was a computer software pioneer and philanthropist. Together with his surviving partner Mike Schaefer, he is known for his dedication to LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations.

"Ric and Mike not only opened new doors for LGBT-inclusion in the tech industry, but have been instrumental in bringing our LGBT movement into a digital age," said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.

"Silicon Valley and the tech industry have reshaped the media landscape and the way people interact with their environments, businesses and each other," said David Hornik, General Partner of August Capital and member of GLAAD's Board of Directors. "With GLAAD's long history and successful track record of advocating for LGBT inclusion in various forms of media it only makes sense for us to take a lead in ensuring that the digital world is a safe and inclusive place."

At the event, GLAAD's President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis will also present GLAAD's Presidential Local Hero Award. Previous San Francisco Bay Area leaders including Kara Swisher, Robert Hanson, and filmmakers Geoff Callan & Mike Shaw have been recognized with GLAAD's Local Hero Award. 

Additional honors and award recipients will be announced in coming months.