FORT LAUDERDLE, Fla. (16 October, 2012) — Since 1983, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association has provided networking support for gay and gay-friendly travel businesses around the world. With the launch of its nonprofit IGLTA Foundation, the organization now has a philanthropic arm that will use the power of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travel to build bridges with communities globally. The IGLTA Foundation received a grant to focus on initiatives in four distinct areas:
- a scholarship program to expand educational opportunities for students in LGBT tourism;
- assistance for emerging LGBT destinations that may not yet have full government support, and companies in those emerging destinations that seek to welcome LGBT travelers;
- meetings and conferences that explore the opportunities and challenges facing global LGBT travel, and advance other key issues impacted by global travel; and
- creation of programming and outreach surrounding LGBT human rights.
The IGLTA Foundation has its own volunteer board of directors that operates independently from the association board and is made up of veterans in travel, finance and philanthropy:
Chair – Charlie Rounds, Mossier Foundation and Forward Motion Group; Vice Chair – Jody Cole, Wild Rainbow African Safaris; Treasurer – Brianna Murphy, Trillium Asset Management; Secretary – Jeff Guaracino, Atlantic City Alliance; and Directors – Gregg Kaminsky, R Family Vacations; Charles Lapointe, Tourisme Montreal; Todd Ney, Brendan Vacations; Rebecca Rittgers, Arcus Foundation; Steve Roth, OutThink Partners; John Tanzella, IGLTA; and Shannon Wentworth, Sweet.
“Over the past 30 years the travel industry has played a pivotal role in advancing LGBT rights worldwide,” Rounds said. “We look forward to working with all facets of our industry to help them establish best practices and improve LGBT rights, while at the same time increasing their business in the LGBT marketplace.”
“We would especially like to thank the Kevin J. Mossier Foundation, for their generous support in helping us launch the IGLTA Foundation,” he said. “Kevin was not only a visionary in our industry, but clearly understood the role of philanthropy and activism.”